Here we are in the midst of the holiday season again. It seems like we just boxed up last year’s decorations, doesn’t it? The older I get the faster time flies. I told the Other Fisherman at the rate our life has accelerated, maybe I’ll leave all four seasons of décor up at the same time. He thought that might be a bit tacky. I think it would be quite efficient. Our home would look like party world.
The Homer Chamber of Commerce hosted a Christmas tree lighting in the back lot of the Visitor Center on Nov. 30. Complete with Santa, hot drinks and a fire pit where celebrators young and old made s’mores, more than 100 watched the inaugural two-hour event.
Santa talked to more than 40 kids, and people were served 80 cups of hot chocolate and 50 cups of cider.
By TIM BRADNER
Morris News Service - Alaska
The market situation for an Alaska gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas project may be getting more complicated and uncertain, a respected U.S. energy analyst said Nov. 28.
Mikkal Herberg, director of research, energy security, for the National Bureau of Asia Research, spoke Nov. 28 at an Alaska’s World Affairs Council meeting in Anchorage.
BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
The dream of renovating and bringing up to code the Homer Educational and Recreational Complex — the old Homer Intermediate School — got a setback on Monday night when the Homer City Council received a report saying that could be expensive — very expensive.
“The cost of a complete renovation of this building will most likely be the same cost per square foot for construction of a new building,” architect Peter Klauder of Klauder & Company Architects concluded.
By Lori Evans
Carrara Poindexter’s husband, Logan, thought she was crazy to spend $130 for a Homer Chamber of Commerce car-ATV raffle ticket. His thinking: No one ever wins those things.
But Carrara said she had a feeling in her gut — unlike anything that she had ever experienced — that she would be this year’s grand prize winner of a $25,000 credit from Stanley Ford or $15,000 in cash. It’s only the second time she’d ever bought a chamber raffle ticket.
How do citizens want to pay for city government and how much should that government cost? At Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting, council members and taxpayers debated — and acted upon — those issues which are at the heart of modern government.
On the big ordinance of the night, the budget, the council showed solid agreement, unanimously approving a 2013 budget of nearly $25.4 million.
BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
Following a comment period that brought 1,500 comments from all over Alaska and the United States, the Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation earlier this month announced it will postpone a decision on whether or not to allow commercial helicopter assisted skiing in Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay Wilderness Park.
By MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
and JERZY SHEDLOCK
A chance encounter at the Anchor Point Grocery Store by an Alaska State Trooper with a suspect wanted for kidnapping, armed assault, robbery and burglary led to the suspect’s arrest last Friday. Troopers took Bret Herrick, 52, into custody after a brief scuffle when Herrick allegedly assaulted troopers and resisted arrest.
Although Buccaneer Oil Alaska got from the city of Homer an extension to Dec. 8 to moor its jack-up rig, the Endeavour-Spirit of Independence, at the Deep Water Dock, it doesn't look likely state permits will be issued by Saturday to allow it to put legs down at the Cosmopolitan site off Anchor Point and begin oil and gas exploration.
Buccaneer's original intent had been to stay for just eight days after its arrival in August.
"The next thing you know, we're in October," said Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins.
With less than two months to go for property owners to object to the proposed Homer Natural Gas Special Assessment District, so far, objections have been light. As of this week, of the 3,855 lots in the assessment district, the city clerk’s office has received objections from owners of 110 parcels. Objections must be received by the clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Jan. 25.
MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) of the Southern Kenai Peninsula, a local collaborative for community health improvement, recently received a grant from the Capacity Building for Charitable Organizations fund of The Alaska Community Foundation.
That grant has already been put to use with the purchase of software to support and manage MAPP’s collective impact efforts for community health improvement.
Homer Police on Monday charged an Anchor Point man with first-degree arson, a felony, for burning a fishing boat in dry dock at the Northern Enterprises Boatyard on Oct. 29.
Police allege Mike Makai Martushoff, 58, intentionally set his father's boat, the Slava II, on fire in an attempt to kill himself. The $240,000 boat had major damage, but firefighters kept the fire from spreading to nearby boats. The Slava II was not insured.
Think you know the teen brain? Sure. Most of us were teenagers once. All the thrilling experiences of adolescence should come rushing back just at the thought.
Last Thursday, five high school students with Promoting Health Among Teens, or P.H.A.T., spoke on "The Amazing Adolescent Brain" at the Youth Resource and Enrichment Co-op, or R.E.C. Room. Volunteer peer educators, the P.H.A.T. team present information on adolescent health through skits and other activities.
Homer isn't the only city trying to figure out how to finance natural gas delivery to city residents and businesses. Homer's little neighbor to the east, Kachemak City, is in the same boat.
For Homer, population about 5,000, the estimated cost of natural gas distribution within city limits after Enstar pipes the gas to the southern peninsula from Anchor Point is expected not to exceed $12.7 million.
For Kachemak City, population about 475, the price tag is estimated at $1 million, according to Kachemak City Mayor Phil Morris.
Alaska’s annual flu season has started early, with reports of increased flu activity being reported to the Alaska State Virology Laboratory, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said last week in a press release.
“The flu is here,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, chief epidemiologist for Alaska.
A new school for Kachemak Selo is a step closer after passage of Resolution 2012-087 by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly at its regular meeting Nov. 20.
The resolution authorizes the borough’s participation in the Community Development Block Grant Program offered by the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development for a public school facility project.
Shoppers could see their weekly grocery bills go up $7.44 a week if the Homer City Council passes at its next meeting an ordinance it moved forward Monday night.
Noting problem areas on the Sterling Highway between Soldotna and Homer — sites where vehicle accidents have occurred — the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is planning slow-vehicle turnouts to help eliminate the problem.
The 12 northbound and 10 southbound pullouts considered for construction between milepost 100 and 165 were addressed at open houses at Homer Middle School on Tuesday and at Ninilchik School on Wednesday.
Shoppers can take advantage of two fairs this weekend. The Nutcracker Faire is Saturday and Sunday at the Homer High School (see related story,
page 2) and, in close proximity, is the Sugar Plum Holiday Fair in the basement of the Homer United Methodist Church from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
A Nordic favorite — lutefisk — and all the trimmings for the perfect holiday meal will be served at the Faith Lutheran Church of Homer on Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are now available at the church at the corner of Soundview and the Sterling Highway: adults, $18; high school, $10; children through the eighth grade, $6. Purchasing them in advance is encouraged.