Oh, what a difference a few hundred feet in elevation can make.
At sea level Sunday, it was spring-like. Green grass poked through melting layers of snow on front yards and temperatures actually reached the low 40s. Up on East Skyline Drive, the sun was shining, but there was definitely more snow and the warm bonfire at Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ Wynn Nature Center marked the beginning of CACS’ Sunday bonfires, a free, family-friendly event.
The Ninilchik fairgrounds was home to two days of rodeo excitement in July. Last weekend it was the site of Salmonstock, a three-day celebration of “fish, fun and music” presented by the Renewable Resources Foundation. (See related story.)
Now it’s the Kenai Peninsula State Fair’s turn to fill the fairgrounds with three days of “clammin’ it up” excitement.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Monday announced the extension of Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishing to 24 hours per day through the end of the month.
The department is allowed by state law to extend fishing hours when the Kenai River late sockeye salmon run is expected to exceed 2.3 million fish.
The defined dipnet fishing area remains the same.
Until Monday night, fishing was allowed only from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
After four days of dwindling late run king salmon counts on the Kenai River, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Tuesday that anglers would be restricted to catch-and-release and trophy king salmon fishing through the rest of the season.
Beginning Thursday, any king between 20 inches and 55 inches in size may not be retained or removed from the water and must be released immediately, according to a Fish and Game emergency order.
Four Anchor Point shooters and one Nikolaevsk shooter competed at the Alaska State Territorial Shoot July 10-14. Four of the participants earned gold, silver and bronze medals for their accuracy in shooting black powder guns.
For 10-year-old Abigail Thomas of Anchor Point it was the first time to participate.
“Abby had never shot before and out of a possible 100 got 63 points on two targets,” said Sandy Thomas of Nikolaevsk, and three-year winner of the “top shot” title.
Dipnetters participating in the personal-use fishery at the mouth of the Kenai River are prohibited from retaining king salmon. The fishery opened July 10.
Due to poor performance of king salmon stocks in Cook Inlet and other parts of the state, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is taking management steps to conserve Kenai River king salmon in an effort to avoid additional restrictions or closure of the sport fishery, the department said in a Monday press release.
One minute, Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds’ bleachers were empty and water-soaked clouds hovered above the rodeo arena. Within minutes, a much larger crowd had taken their seats and, in spite of occasional rain, eagerly soaked up the action at the Ninilchik Family Style Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday.
Claiming first place for the first time in the Homer Yacht Club’s annual regatta was Capt. Ron Downing of Homer and his 28-foot Bristol Channel Cutter, Morning Star.
Saturday’s thick fog and Sunday’s lack of wind threw a couple of curve balls into the two-day event, adding to the excitement. Downing took it in stride, incorporating the conditions in his winning strategy.
The deadline to register online for the annual “10K to the Bay” Spit Run has passed, but registration can still be done before the event begins on Saturday.
The run will take place at 10 a.m. It begins at the Homer High School and ends at Land’s End Resort.
Registration on the day of the event is from 8-9:30 a.m. Entry fee is $10 for 17 years and under, $15 for over 17 and $25 for a family registration. Proceeds benefit local youth running programs.
In Homer’s version of the America’s Cup, the Homer Yacht Club-Land’s End Regatta is this weekend, with boats of all lengths, captains of varied experience and crews eager for some adventure welcome to accept the challenge.
Carlin Rauch, the club’s commodore and captain of the Martha J, has no idea how many boats will compete in the race, but is hoping to see at least a dozen cross the start and finish line off the end of the Homer Spit.
Few Homer and Anchor Point youth have been charged by a brown bear, but that’s something 12 middle and high school Girl Scouts recently experienced as they ventured across Cook Inlet to explore and understand Alaska wilderness. Despite the shock and eye-opening experience, however, the young women seem excited to continue learning about environmental issues and preparing for their next outdoor adventure.
The Great Alaska Horse Expo, begun last summer by former Anchor Point resident Allison Trimble, is making a return appearance at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik this weekend.
Trimble and returning instructors Kimberly Barber and Kade Mills will teach the courses.
Barber is from Blaine, Wash., and began riding at the age of 5 as a member of the United States Pony Club. Mills is form Alberta, Canada, and has trained in Canada, Europe and the United States.
More than 30 years ago, at the urging of Carrol Martin, Shirley (Schollenberg) Cox began Horse Camp. Shirley was terrified. She had no children of her own at that time. She did have a love for horses and held Carrol in such high regard that she stepped out on faith and Horse Camp was born.
Horse Camp has touched the lives of countless children on the Kenai Peninsula. Past attendees have grown up and, while some have moved on, many return each summer to participate and lend their support to a program that helped shape their lives.
FAIRBANKS — A 30-pound dog reportedly survived a harrowing flip of a boat in an Alaska river and then a four-day ordeal without food as she remained trapped in the small craft.
Boat owner Jeremy McDonald reached his damaged boat May 30 on the Chena River and heard noises inside, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
A retrieval crew righted the boat, and from beneath the dashboard in the bow, out popped Cutie, a Labrador retriever and terrier mix.
A hunters organization has put up a $500 reward leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person who killed a cow moose on East Skyline Drive on May 31. The death orphaned a male calf. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game rescued the calf, and it is now at the Alaska Zoo waiting transportation to the Columbus, Ohio, zoo in the fall, said Patrick Lampe, executive director of the zoo in Anchorage.
No more pencils, no more books. Students at West Homer Elementary School spent the end of the academic year putting aside those implements of learning in exchange for shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows. The end result: a new trail and landscaping that have created an outdoor learning classroom designed for easily accessible environmental learning opportunities.
Sometime during the night on May 19, likely when he was watching “The Voice” at a loud volume in his home, a brown bear tore the right driver’s mirror from his Subaru, smashed its right tail light and rear window, ripped off the back windshield wiper, left muddy claw marks on the remaining widows, and shoved the entire vehicle about 8 inches in the gravel driveway.
In spite of less than perfect weather — fresh snow, wind and choppy water on Kachemak Bay — four captains, crews and sailboats crossed the start and finish line of the Homer Yacht Club’s first race of the 2013 season, the Cheechako Cup.
“We were all just standing around the dock, moaning and griping for half an hour and then I think Mark Hemstreet said ‘I want to do it’ and everyone else said, ‘OK, let’s do it, man,” said Ron Downing, captain of the Morning Star. “We went out and had a nice time.”
Preliminary results are:
First place: Morning Star, Capt. Ron Downing;
Need to jump, throw or run off some out-of-school, summer energy? Sign up for this Saturday’s Hershey’s Track and Field Games for boys and girls, with a full day of events planned for ages 9-14.
Registration is free and can be done online or at the Homer High School track from 9-9:45 a.m. Saturday. Registration will close promptly at 9:45 a.m. so the games can begin on time.
“We’re really excited about promoting health and fitness, track and field and having fun,” said Mike Illg, coordinator of the city of Homer’s Community Recreation Program, sponsor of the event.