Local News

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.

Airshow thrills spectators

The Alaska Aviation Centennial Celebration arrived at the Homer Airport the evening of May 24 to an appreciative crowd of about 150. Spectators marveled at the 1943 T-6 Texan trainer, the 1933 Stinson L-13 Grasshopper, and the 1938 AT-6 Texan “Harvard.” The planes were all used during World War II.

Interior Alaska town floods; residents evacuated

FAIRBANKS — The National Guard has helped evacuate residents from a small community in Alaska’s interior where a river ice jam caused major flooding, washing out roads and submerging homes and other buildings.

State officials estimate several hundred people have left the town of Galena, which remained mostly underwater Tuesday with the Yukon River ice jam firmly in place, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Parnell praises legislators

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell visited the central Kenai Peninsula Tuesday and signed three bills sponsored by members of the local legislative delegation during the last session.

As Parnell addressed the joint Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce luncheon group, he said he was proud of the coordination displayed by the Legislature. 

2013 tourist season showing promise

As Homer heads into the 2013 tourist season, it appears visitors are reacting positively to an improving economy; local charters and lodging concerns are reporting increased and earlier bookings; and many are saying it could be the best summer in several years.

Meanwhile, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Commu-nity and Economic Development’s tourism marketing program has been conducting a $5.7 million national TV ad blitz and investing heavily in magazine and online pitches.

Memorial Day events planned for Monday

The history of Memorial Day, a day for honoring all those who died in service to the nation, dates back decades before World War II touched the shores of the Aleutians. It was originally known as “Decoration Day” and officially proclaimed Memorial Day and first observed in May 1868. In 1971, it was recognized by Congress with the National Holiday Act.

Experts on aging, disability issues featured at symposium

The Independent Living Center and the Aging and Disability Resource Center offer information and consultation with attorneys specializing in Social Security, disability, military veterans and Medicaid issues. The attorneys visit from 9 a.m. to noon May 29 in the Homer Senior Center dining room annex. They will be available for consultations in the afternoon until 5 p.m. at the Independent Living Center. The symposium and consultations are free and open to the public.

Centennial Air Show visits Homer Friday

With the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Attu being honored this month, there’s a bit of poignancy that a World War II era Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero is among the historic planes visiting Homer this weekend. 

The Zero, one of only five flying remaining such aircraft, is part of a squadron of vintage planes on tour for the Alaska Aviation Centennial Celebration that started May 9 in Cordova.

Probe follows ‘prank’

A week after the discovery of a suspicious bomb-like device that caused Homer High School to be evacuated, Homer Police are still investigating the incident and looking to work with Kenai Peninsula Borough School District officials on how to better respond in similar situations.

“That’s definitely my goal, to get a meeting between us and school officials and hammer out what went right and what went wrong and how we can do this better in the future,” said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.

Graduates inspire with challenges, achievements, plans for future

“Tonight is all about you,” Dr. Allan Gee, Homer High School principal, told the graduates at Monday’s commencement ceremony. 

The same could be said at schools across the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District this week as high school seniors are handed their diplomas and tell their high school years good-bye.

Giving Homer High’s commencement address, teacher Matt Stineff encouraged the graduating students not to be discouraged by bad decisions they might make in their lives.

Teen charged in fake bomb incident released on bail

Kenai Magistrate Jennifer Wells on Friday morning released on bail a Homer High School teenager charged with terroristic threatening for placing a fake bomb in a stairwell at the high school. Wells set a $1,000 performance bond for Zachary T. Fraley, 18, a graduating senior.

Wells said $1,000 — the amount suggested by assistant District Attorney Amy Fenske — was an extremely low bond for a class B felony.

Fraley’s lawyer, Kenai attorney Kenneth Cole, entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

Alaska In Brief

Parnell adopted into Tlingit clan

SAXMAN — Gov. Sean Parnell was adopted into the Eagle Killer Whale Clan of the Tlingit people during a ceremony in southeast Alaska.

He was among a number of people adopted into the clan after a totem raising Saturday in Saxman, KRBD reported.

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