It took three tries, but at 8:30 a.m. Friday, the Endeavour-Spirit Independence jack-up rig left the Homer Deep Water Dock. Towed by two Titan tugs, with a third on stand by, within an hour the Endeavour had rounded the Homer Spit and was heading up Kachemak Bay toward the Cosmopolitan oil and gas lease site off Anchor Point.
The Endeavour had scheduled departure times on Tuesday and Thursday, but canceled both because of bad weather. This morning, with sunshine and flat calm waters, conditions were perfect to leave.
Jury selection started on Wednesday at the Homer Courthouse in the trial of Ralph K. Vos, 24. Vos faces four counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault relating to a July 10, 2012, incident in which he’s alleged to have had unwanted sex with a woman, then 18, after a party at a Homer apartment.
Editor’s note: With natural gas to Homer getting closer every day, questions abound. In this three-part series, the Homer News looks at some of the challenges in converting to natural gas — including how the conversion hurts some businesses.
As trees come down and survey stakes go up, property and business owners wonder how they will be affected by a project to bring natural gas from Anchor Point to Homer and Kachemak City.
A political science student could have garnered good field research Monday night at the Anchor Point Senior Center when the Kenai Peninsula Borough Anadromous Fish Habitat Task Force held a town hall meeting. Public testimony spoke to a classic question that has vexed American political theory since the American Revolution: What is the role of government in protecting the common good?
Endeavour still at dock
A planned departure on Tuesday did not happen for the jack-up rig Endeavour-Spirit of Independence. The rig, operated by Buccaneer Alaska, had been given a March 26 deadline by the city of Homer to leave. Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins extended that deadline after Jay-Brant General Contractors and Hopkins Brothers Construction, Seldovia, said work could be delayed.
“It’s not problematic at the moment, with the assumption those guys are going to be gone in three days,” said Bob Brant of Jay-Brant.
A court hearing for an Anchor Point woman accused of shooting at an Alaska Wildlife Trooper on the Sterling Highway has been postponed to April 18, with a possible trial set for the week of April 22.
Tonee Walker, 58, was charged with attempted first-degree murder and four counts of third-degree assault. Troopers allege that on July 15, 2012, Walker shot at Trooper Trent Chwialkowski in his patrol car when he tried to stop Walker.
There was only one ordinance scheduled for public hearing at the Homer City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday.
Ordinance 13-07, sponsored by City Manager Walt Wrede and Public Works Director Carey Meyer, appropriated up to $42,450 from the Sewer, Water and Fleet Reserve Fund to purchase a steamer truck. There was no public comment, no discussion by the council and no objection to its approval.
The rest of the meeting went just as smoothly.
Anticipating a quarter-of-a-million savings, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre is following through with plans to have a contractor transfer Homer’s waste to the Central Peninsula Landfill when construction of the Homer site is complete in August.
“I actually signed approval to move forward with it yesterday, late afternoon,” Navarre told the Homer News on Tuesday.
Frank Mullen and Liz Diament face off in the Homer Public Library’s 2013 Scrabble Tournament on Saturday. Mullen placed third in World Game Players Organization category, with Mike Gracz in first and David Ciptal in second. Judy Sanford was first in the Advanced Level Amateur category, with Wendy Wayne in second and Eileen Mullen in third.
A high school junior who lives on the outskirts of Rochester, N.Y., has nominated Homer as the Ultimate Fishing Town, after reading a story in the Democrat and Chronicle, her hometown newspaper.
In an email to the Homer News, Mallory Mintz wrote: “I’m very excited to nominate Homer for this fishing town contest ... I really think you guys have a chance at winning.”
With her official 100th birthday March 27, Margit Andersson of Homer was honored by family and friends with a celebration at the Homer Senior Center on Saturday. Andersson shared the honors with her friend, Edna Farsdahl of Homer, who turns 100 in June.
Andersson’s sons — Lars of Connecticut and Ole of Homer — and Ole’s wife, Jane “Jinky” Handy, helped organize the party, which included a dinner of shrimp scampi and roast beef.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough has completed its annual review of its floodplain management program. A copy of the memo to the assembly is available online at the borough clerk’s website, or by request to the River Center Department.
The memo reviews the floodplain management strategies proposed by the KPB All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, and offers suggestions for the coming year.
Property owners within mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas are encouraged to understand and comply with the floodplain management regulations.
Monte Davis, executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, announced Thursday plans to leave the chamber by the end of summer.
“I promised in my letter of resignation that I’d stay until we found my replacement or Sept. 1, whichever came first unless I were to get an offer of an incredible position,” Davis told the Homer News Friday morning.
Davis and his wife, Jo, plan to move to Fort Worth, Texas, where Jo’s family lives.
A snowmachiner missing since yesterday has been found in what Alaska State Troopers called a “self rescue.” Charles Moore, 51, of Homer, walked out of the Caribou Hills to his home near Mile 14 East End Road about 11:45 a.m. Monday morning. Moore was cold but otherwise uninjured, said Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Elizabeth Ipsen.
Moore had winter clothing and food. He made a fire and camped Sunday night, Ipsen said. Temperatures last night were about 28 degrees, but high winds caused conditions to get worse today, with blowing snow and low visibilty.
The Snomads snowmachine club seeks volunteers to join a search for a snowmachine rider lost in the Caribou Hills. All searchers should check in at Kachemak Emergency Services McNeil Canyon Fire Hall before searching. The search begins at 2 p.m. today after volunteers have checked in.
All searchers are wanted, especially riders familiar with the Caribou Hills area. Once volunteers check in, they will be briefed on the areas to be searched. Conditions are rough, with blowing snow and low visibility.
For a day that started with clouds, Saturday ended up with bright sunshine. It was even brighter for Anchorage angler Leszek Kuligowski, winner of the 2013 Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament. For reeling in the largest fish in the tournament, a 35.10-pound king salmon, the smiling Kuligowski’s winnings totaled $15,393.
As part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, local, state and federal agencies will conduct a test of the Alaska Tsunami Warning System at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, the 49th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local emergency management offices and the Alaska Broadcasters Association are cooperating in the test.
Editor’s note: With natural gas to Homer getting closer every day, questions abound. In a three-part series starting this week, the Homer News will look at the challenges in converting to natural gas; the positive effects of natural gas on southern Kenai Peninsula communities; and the negative effects. This week’s story looks at how homeowners and business owners can be prepared to hook into natural gas.
With a new facility to be completed by August that will turn the four-employee, borough-operated Homer Baling-Landfill Facility into a transfer site, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre is considering cost-cutting measures.
Describing the action as a dual benefit for both the borough and the city of Homer, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly gave the thumbs-up Tuesday to a multi-million dollar loan to help build a Homer natural gas grid.
“It makes good sense,” Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre said. “I can understand why some think maybe we shouldn’t be in this business, but all we are in the business of is investing funds that we have available and getting a reasonable return that can be used to offset expenses for the borough.”