Local News

SPH offers classes

South Peninsula Hospital is offering several upcoming American Heart Association classes:

• April 26 and May 10: Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, $75, both at 8 a.m.;

• April 26: Heartsaver CPR/AED, $50, 1 p.m.

Pre-registration is required. Call the hospital’s education department at 235-0258.

Meeting to be held on extending gas line farther out East End

An organizational meeting to gauge community interest in extending the natural gas line beyond Waterman Canyon on East End Road is at 7 p.m. April 24 at the Kachemak Community Center. In unincorporated areas of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, neighborhoods can extend gas service by forming utility special assessment districts, or USADs. The purpose of the meeting is to explore options and form a working group of three or four people. For more information, contact Pete Roberts at 399-3713, but please leave no messages.

Court cracks down on scofflaw jurors

If you were one of the lucky 3,900 jurors last year who got summonses and forgot to show up for jury duty in your month of service at the Homer Court, guess what?

You’ve got mail.

Coming your way soon, if not already, is an order to appear in court at 3 p.m. April 26 before Judge Margaret Murphy. As Ricky Ricardo said to his wife Lucy in the 1950s sitcom, “I Love Lucy,” “You’ve got some ’splaining to do.”

Spit Trail extension starts in fall

These are busy times for the city of Homer.

Natural gas is making its way to the southern peninsula. Work on the Deep Water Dock is under way. Harbor work is planned to begin soon. And the well-used Homer Spit Trail is due for an extension, which will bring a smile to those who put the trail to good use. That work also will provide a staging area and rest-rooms for cruise ship passengers and address some harbor concerns.

Cruise ship tax projects proceeding

While an extension of the Homer Spit Trail and construction of the Deep Water Dock Trail are two of the major projects using cruise ship tax revenues starting this construction season, several other projects also are being done. This week, contractors started installation of ship fenders at the Deep Water Dock, a $2 million project. Also in the works are these projects:

• Restrooms, a guard house and a waiting area at the base of the Deep Water Dock;

• Paving of the parking and staging area at the dock;

Bears out and about; be cautious

Longer days and leaves on trees aren’t the only things that come with spring. So do hungry bears with new cubs to feed and protect.

April is dedicated as “Bear Awareness Month” in Alaska and the state Department of Fish and Game is offering some advice for reducing bear-human encounters.

At The Buzz in Ninilchik, words of caution about a black bear in the area were being shared by customers stopping for an espresso over the weekend. 

Area fares well in capital budget

In the first year of the 28th Alaska Legislature, the House and Senate moved at a faster pace, noted Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer.

“There’s been more movement this year than normal,” he said. “More bills have passed through both bodies and sent to the governor.”

Serving his first term in the Legislature, Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, noted a smooth-running session that finished without the call for legislators to stay longer or return to Juneau.

Q & A with Vic Fischer

With the first session of the 28th Alaska State Legislature set to adjourn April 14 and with Juneau having celebrated the 100th birthday of the Alaska legislature last month, former state Sen. Vic Fischer has a wish: “I would love to see the kind of bipartisanship that we had during my service in the Legislature in years past. There was a civility and a general feeling of collaboration and cooperation across party lines that we don’t seem to see much anymore.”

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.

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