Local News

Council postpones action on water-sewer rates

Although it held a second reading and a public hearing on proposed changes to the city water and sewer rate schedule, the Homer City Council in a 4-1 vote on Monday postponed action until its June 24 meeting.

The council said little during the regular meeting about why it postponed action, but at a work session earlier at 4 p.m. it discussed the status of the proposed rate changes and why some wanted to delay a vote. 

Relay for Life

Marilyn Parrett, one of the co-chairs of Relay for Life, Homer, takes a lap with others thanking sponsors of the event last Friday. Participants walked on Friday and Saturday in the American Cancer Society fundraiser. At least $75,000 was raised, said co-chair Tammy Ackerman.

It’s not just our imagination: Homer is different, say economists

Most of us living here in the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea have always suspected that we are, well, a little different. Turns out state labor analysts agree.

Writing in the latest issue of Alaska Economic Trends, Economist Alyssa Shanks, of the Alaska Department of Labor, confirmed what a simple look around would lead you to believe about Homer.

“Despite some similarities to the rest of the state, Homer has key differences in industry make-up, income and demographics,” she said.

Lower peninsula streams closed until July 15

Because of low king salmon runs, an emergency order issued Wednesday by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game closes all sport fishing for any species of fish in the lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Stariski Creek beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The closure is in effect until 11:59 p.m. July 15 or until another emergency order is issued.

King salmon fishing opportunities had already ended in June on Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River. In effect, the order closes fishing on the Anchor River one weekend earlier in June.

Seldovia: Residents look to future with optimisim

Seldovia’s long history has been marked with highs and lows. Alaska Native groups came to the area to meet and trade. In the first half of the 1900s, fishing, mining and logging helped drive the population up to nearly 1,000. However, the opening of the Kenai Peninsula’s Sterling Highway, a decline in the industries on which Seldovia depended and the 1964 Alaska earthquake caused dramatic changes.

Term limits back on table

With many among them up for a third or fourth re-election in 2014 and 2015, members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough 

Assembly are looking to remove citizen-created term limits from borough law this summer.

The assembly Tuesday floated a proposed ordinance seeking to amend a 2007 citizen initiative limiting them to two consecutive terms without taking a six-month break before a third.

Assembly members voted to hold a public hearing on the ordinance and set it for July 2. 

Police arrest four in meth, heroin bust

Following a tip that an Anchorage man on parole for drug charges might be in the Homer area trying to sell drugs, Homer Police on May 29 arrested the man, Michael Delpriore Jr., 32, after stopping him near his rental condominium on the Homer Spit.

They also arrested his traveling companion, Regina Johnson, 30, also of Anchorage. Both were charged with fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, a felony. Johnson faces two counts for alleged possession of methamphetamine and heroin and Delpriore one count for possession of cocaine.

Changing of guard at Homer Police

Lt. Randy Rosencrans has retired after serving with the Homer Police Department for more than 20 years and in law enforcement for 25 years. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl praised him for his service.

“He’s done a great job,” Robl said. “He’s been very progressive in keeping the department up to date in current techniques and other trends in law enforcement.”

Rosencrans and his family plan to move to Arizona at the end of the summer, where he hopes to continue working in criminal justice, possibly in teaching.

Fifth annual Relay for Life Events at Homer High School

Friday

5 p.m. Relay begins with survivor and caregiver reception

5-10:30 p.m. Luminary sales

5:45 p.m. Call Me Maybe performs

6:15 p.m. Opening ceremonies with Anchor Point VFW Color Guard, singing of National Anthem by Sophia Park, “God Bless America” by Methodist Church Chorus, survivor recognition lap and caregiver and survivor recognition lap

6:30 p.m. Silent auction bidding opens

Low tides, high lines

The F/V Anna Lane delivers its halibut catch on Tuesday afternoon at the fish dock as workers offload and ice the big flat fish. The Anna Lane is owned by Barb Scalzi and captained by her son, Luke Scalzi. The late Drew Scalizi named the Anna Lane after his grandmother.

Homer ready to relay

In five years the annual Homer Relay for Life has become one of the town’s bigger cancer fundraisers. The overnight event starts at 5 p.m. Friday at the Homer High School parking lot with a survivor and caregiver reception.

While raising money for the American Cancer Society is the big goal, Relay for Life also celebrates survivors of cancers, honors their caregivers and remembers those who fought hard and lost.

Assembly passes 2014 budget, property taxes static

With little fan fair the Kenai Borough Assembly on Tuesday passed the 2014 budget by unanimous consent, sending $73 million into the collective checkbook for the next fiscal year beginning July1.

Very little conversation was had on the so-called "status quo budget" beyond a last-minute moving of money into and then back out of the funds allotted to the Kenai Peninsula Development District.

"The mayor promised status quo and brought it," said District 8 Assemblyman Bill Smith.

Raw milk infection spreads again on peninsula

Another outbreak of campylobacter infection tied to a Kenai Peninsula cow share operation has sickened five people, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

An earlier outbreak sickened more than 31 people in February. 

Both outbreaks have originated from Peninsula Diary, a raw milk cow share operation in Kasilof, said Laura Carpenter, public information officer for the state department of health.

Man dies during river raft trip

ANCHORAGE — A man who was on a rafting trip near Hope south of Anchorage died after falling overboard. KTUU-TV reports that Steven Morton from the United Kingdom died Monday during a Nova River Runners trip down Six Mile Creek.

Nova River Runners owner Chuck Spaulding says water levels along the creek were elevated due to recent snowmelt, but below a level where trips would be suspended. Officials with the Chickaloon-based company say a rescue was initiated and Morton was flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center.

New water, sewer rate plan advances

A plan to overhaul the city of Homer’s water and sewer rate structure is now on the fast track. At its meeting Monday night, the Homer City Council heard testimony about the plan and cleared the way for its passage later this month. 

The new rate structure is the result of months of work by the Homer Water and Sewer Task Force, which presented its plan to the council at the April 8 meeting.

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