Local News

Deposit refused

Protesters at a rally last Thursday at Bishop’s Beach burn a $5.5 billion mock check made out to oil companies. About 75 people spoke against Senate Bill 21, Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposal to lower state taxes on oil companies. Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, voted “no recommendation” on the bill when it came before the House Resources Committee.

Nanwalek-Port Graham airport plan moving forward — slowly

With the release last month of an environmental assessment, planning has moved forward for a new airstrip to serve the lower Cook Inlet villages of Nanwalek and Port Graham — the main transportation connection between them and Homer and the road system. 

The two Alaska Native villages now have separate airstrips, but because of safety concerns, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities proposes building one new airstrip between the two communities on English Bay south of Seldovia.

Credit union burglary take: $1

Most bank robbers try the direct approach in stealing cash: Enter a bank or credit union during business hours and demand it. Homer Police last week charged a Homer woman with taking a back-door approach when she allegedly broke into the Alaska USA Credit Union at about 1:45 a.m. last Friday. 

Sierra M. Steen, 23, was charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree theft, both felonies, third-degree criminal mischief and resisting arrest.

Fishing Hole runs hard to predict

Eagles are flying over it and seals are poking their heads above its surface, but will fish be in it? That’s the million-dollar question when it comes to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, a popular fishing spot on the Spit.

“That’s a fair question,” said Mike Booz, fishery biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Homer. “We don’t think we have a really good sense of what our runs for kings and coho will look like.” 

Crash knocks out Internet service

BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG

STAFF WRITER

A late evening car crash on East End Road knocked out Internet service for about 400 customers on April 1. 

Homer Police have charged a Homer woman, April Orleans, 26, with leaving the scene of an accident in relation to the crash.

According to a criminal complaint, police at about 11:10 p.m. received a report of an empty car that had hit an electrical pole on East End Road near the intersection of McLay Road. 

Daugherty gets time served in assault conviction

Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet has sentenced William Daugherty, 47, to time served for a fourth-degree assault conviction. A Homer jury had found Daugherty not guilty on three felony counts of kidnapping, third-degree assault and third-degree weapons misconduct in a trial held last month, but found him guilty of two counts of fourth-degree assault, domestic violence.

Contractor chosen for Homer natural gas distribution system

Enstar Natural Gas has selected Utility Technologies Inc. to install the natural gas distribution mains and service lines within the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District, according to John Sims, Enstar’s manager of corporate communications and customer service.

“They have installed hundreds of miles of utilities throughout Alaska,” said Sims, of the company, who has offices in Anchorage, Wasilla and Washington state. “They are in the process of planning, training and mobilizing for the Homer project.”

Council begins work on water-sewer rate schedule

Homer Mayor Beth Wythe stepped away from the gavel during a work session of the Homer City Council on Monday to present a report from the Homer Water and Sewer Task Force, which she chaired.

 “When all is said and done, there are two rates in water and two rates in sewer,” said Wythe. “There’s a water rate for primary customers and a different rate for bulk sales. There’s a sewer rate for all those customers that are gravity-fed into the station and a different rate for those requiring a lift station.”

Council to receive tablet computers, talks technology

Although not yet in hand, tablet computers were a topic of conversation around the Homer City Council’s table during the council’s regular meeting Monday.

With digital communication seen by the city as a necessity for conducting business, a tablet usage policy outlined steps for the proper use of digital communication. 

Originally on the consent agenda, Resolution 13-035 was removed and made part of the regular agenda by council member Beau Burgess in order for the council to discuss the policy.

Jury finds man not guilty in sexual assault trial

A jury last week found a Homer man not guilty on four counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault. Ralph K. Vos, 24, had been charged in an incident relating to a party in July 2012 at a Homer apartment. In that incident, a woman told police she had unwanted sex with Vos after he laid down on a mattress next to her.

“Mr. Vos is grateful that the truth set him free,” said his lawyer, Andy Pevehouse. “He wants to thank the jurors and the defense provided by the Alaska Public Defender Agency.”

Studded tire deadline extended

The Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Joseph Masters issued an emergency order Tuesday extending the studded-tire deadline to May 1 for all Alaska roads, including the Sterling Highway and the lower Kenai Peninsula. According to state law, April 15 is the normal deadline for Alaska roads south of 60 degrees north latitude. Roads north of latitude 60 already fall under the May 1 deadline. The 60th parallel crosses Alaska south of Ninilchik and north of Happy Valley and Yakutat in the Southeast.

Apache meeting in Ninilchik set

Apache Corporation’s seismic contractor is working in the Ninilchik area to clean up stakes and other debris left behind after the company brought operations to a “pause” in September. The community is invited to a meeting to find out more about Apache’s spring cleanup and future plans. It will be held at Ninil-

chik School, 6-7:30 p.m. April 16. For more information, call (907) 792-7302 or visit apachecorp.com.

SPH offers help with menopause

South Peninsula Hospital is holding a fun and informative evening with a focus on menopause at the Best Western Bidarka Inn at 6 p.m. April 17. Dr. Hillary Seger, obstetrics-gynecology board-certified, will present information about what menopause means to a woman and her body, and how to identify and manage symptoms. Ramona Pearce, an instructor at Many Rivers Yoga, will demonstrate poses to help relieve menopause symptoms. A light supper will be provided featuring foods with naturally occurring compounds which potentially offset some unpleasant symptoms of menopause.

Lifelong learning celebration honors Ken Castner, Ethan Kizzia

A sold-out crowd was on hand Saturday at the Homer Public Library’s Celebration of Life Long Learning. Honored were 2013 Life Long Learner Award recipient Ken Castner and the 2013 Youth! Learner Ethan Kizzia. The keynote speaker was Alaska Humanities Forum CEO Nina Kemppel, a four-time Olympian and nine-time Mount Marathon winner.

“In my world, this is the apex. This is the top of the world,” said Castner upon receiving the award. 

Homer man charged in rare DUI marijuana case

Alaska State Troopers last week charged a Homer man for driving under the influence. That in itself isn’t rare, but the nature of the alleged intoxication is: troopers claimed Paul Frary, 24, was under the influence of marijuana and nothing else. Also unusual is the time between when the incident happened, July 11, 2011, and when charges were filed.

Jack-up rig now at lease site

With little fanfare but much anticipation, a small group of residents watched early last Friday morning as the Endeavour-Spirit Independence jack-up rig left the Homer Deep Water Dock en route to its drilling assignments.

Among those watching was Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins, who has come to know the rig well since it first came to his port.

“The view has changed,” said Hawkins of the massive rig and its three, 410-foot legs that had been part of the Kachemak Bay scenery since it arrived in Homer on Aug. 24, 2012.

Task force to present new water, sewer rates

After a year-long review of Homer’s water-sewer rates, the Water and Sewer Rate Task Force will present its final recommendations to the Homer City Council at the council’s 4 p.m. work session Monday at city hall. 

For new rates to take effect, the council must consider and pass by July 1 a resolution adopting a new schedule, meaning the council will consider a resolution sometime in May or June.

Hickory returns to Homer

After 10 weeks of dockside maintenance in Long Beach, Calif., the USCGC Hickory and crew returned to Homer last week.

While in Long Beach, contractors performed 26 maintenance projects, including replacing the exterior deck non-skid, renewing the generator mounts, cleaning the engine plant exhaust systems, and refurbishing the cutter’s crane, extension boom and winch motors.

The crew completed more than 30 critical maintenance projects on shipboard systems including the potable water tanks and the reverse osmosis system.

Judge lifts some bail restrictions for two charged in sexual assault

With preparations for the upcoming Bristol Bay fishing season beginning, attorneys representing Joseph and Anthony Resetarits argued during a Friday hearing before Judge Margaret Murphy for less stringent bail restrictions that will allow the Homer brothers to pursue their livelihood.

Joseph Resetarits, 18, and Anthony Resetarits, 20, were charged with sexual assault of a drunken boy following a Sept. 8 East End Road party. Each has been charged with one count of second-degree sexual assault, penetration of an incapacitated person. 

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