Recreation, road paving discussed by council

As budgets tighten across the state, Homer City Council officials this week put funding paving projects around the city under the microscope, as well as funding for a proposed community recreation facility.
Councilmember Heath Smith asked at the last meeting for more information about a request to use $638,000 from the roads and trails fund to pave city streets throughout the community. Smith said he had driven many of the streets and didn’t think all of them warranted repaving yet.
“I’m not an engineer, but they didn’t seem like they needed to be done,” Smith said.
City staff, however, said the roads have been identified as those that are high-use, or will soon need to be repaved. The city typically brings forward a series of paving projects every three years, they said.

Opioid/heroin addiction sparks syringe exchange program

The effort to proactively respond to the opioid and heroin addiction problem on the Southern Kenai Peninsula got a big boost this week as a syringe exchange program pilot project was funded through the Awesome Foundation. The Awesome Foundation is a global community providing $1,000 no-strings-attached micro-grants to a wide range of projects from individuals and organizations.
At Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting, Councilmember Catriona Reynolds announced the funding.
“I can’t believe we pulled it together so quickly,” Reynolds said.

Commercial cannabis moves forward on Kenai peninsula

Kenai Peninsula cannabis businesses have taken a step forward, now that Kenai Borough Assemblyman Blaine Gilman has withdrawn his ordinance to put peninsula cannabis businesses back on the ballot.
Gilman withdrew his ordinance at the April 19 meeting in Seward — at least for now, he said.
“There’s a vocal crowd of (cannabis business) supporters, but there’s no consensus on the peninsula,” Gilman said.
Ordinance 2016-10 would have placed a question on the October ballot of whether the Kenai Peninsula Borough should adopt local options to prohibit the operation of commercial marijuana establishments in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, outside of cities.

Public Safety – April 27

FIRE April 18-24 Homer Volunteer Fire Department responded to 10 EMS calls and one fire call. Anchor Point Fire and EMS responded to one medical and one fire call. POLICE Apr. 19 Assist Fire Dept.: An officer assisted medics at East Hill Rd. and Rosebud Ct. Fraud: A business on Heath Street reported counterfeit currency. […]

Huskies hold their own at home track meet

Homer Middle School eighth-grader Noah Fisk dominated the Huskies’ Track and Field Invitational on Friday, sweeping the sprint events with first-place finishes in the 100, 200 and 400-meter races.
Fisk ran the 100m in 11.65 seconds, followed closely by teammate Daniel Reutov, who finished second at 12:14. Fisk’s times of 24.55 seconds in the 200, and 56.17 in the 400 were also good enough for first place.
And, if that wasn’t enough, he also finished first in the shot put with a throw of 41 feet, 7 inches.

Births – April 27

Exandros Mordecai Eustler, weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces, was born at 11:32 a.m. Apr. 20, 2016 at South Peninsula Hospital to Heidi Bolton and Alexander Eustler of Homer.

Kachemak Center remains locally owned

The landmark Kachemak Center on Pioneer Avenue has new owners. And they’re locals. Over the last six weeks, Chris and Angie Newby signed all the papers for the purchase of the 55,528-square-foot building on two acres of prime Pioneer Street property.
The couple plans to give the building, “a complete face-lift,” said Angie.
She leaves the project in her husband’s hands while she continues her Homer Real Estate business here in town.
The large project is just in its infancy, according to Chris Newby.

Putting the power of peonies to work on Pioneer Avenue

Just as spring starts to bud around town, a collaborative project aimed at revitalizing Pioneer Avenue is sprouting up among businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and landowners on one of the town’s busiest streets.
“Peonies on Pioneer” plans to use Homer’s many assets “in the arts, recreation and agriculture to strengthen the physical, social and economic fabric of Pioneer Avenue.”
“We want visitors and locals alike to linger on Pioneer,” said Asia Freeman, lifelong Homer resident, director of Bunnell Street Arts Center and member of the Pioneer Avenue Revitalization Task Force.
In a press release, the task force listed the program’s goal as, “courting community and customers to explore and experience our unique sense of place; a modern Alaska community with homestead values.”

FYI – News briefs & announcements – April 27

Wildfire danger high on Peninsula The Alaska Division of Forestry and local fire departments have responded to 16 wildfires or illegal burns on the Kenai Peninsula since April 1. Lack of snow cover and standing dead grass has greatly enhanced fire danger, particularly in areas along main highway corridors. Exposed grass ignites easily and moves […]

Obituary – April 27

Homer resident Charles E. “Charlie” Little, III, 57, passed away Monday, Apr. 18, 2016 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. A private service will be held. Charlie was born to a military family on May 8, 1958 in Germany to Charles and Betty Little. He was a resident in Homer at Main Tree Independent Living […]

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