Seaton sweeps primary

The tempo was upbeat at Alice’s Champagne Palace as supporters of incumbent Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, compulsively hit refresh on the state Division of Elections web site to see the latest updates from the polls.
By 10 p.m., with only 6 precincts reporting, Seaton had more than 50 percent of the vote. Supporters shook hands with the Alaska State House representative, who campaigned on a moderate platform and said his record in Juneau reflected his ability to bridge party lines and be an effective lawmaker.
When all the votes were tallied, Seaton had earned 46.6 percent of the votes, while John Cox, an Anchor Point businessman, took the second-highest vote count with 28.7 percent. Beth Wythe, the outgoing mayor of Homer, received 24.7 percent of the votes.

Zak, Lewis face off in Homer city mayor’s race

Two current council members who have often found themselves on opposite sides of issues will face off for the mayoral seat of Homer this fall. Bryan Zak, a business counselor with Southwest Alaska Small Business Development Center, will face off against David Lewis, a retired teacher and former coordinator of the Kachemak Bay Campus’ Youth Job Training Program.
Both candidates were elected to city council in 2008 and have weathered a variety of issues around the council table, from the legalization of marijuana to the ever-shrinking city budget. The two have disagreed on many issues, including the institution of a bed tax in Homer, which Lewis has long supported, and Zak has summarily opposed.
In his candidate statement, Zak said he believes encouraging involvement in local government is key to the success of the community.

Against odds, fisherman lands huge halibut

It was a slow day on the water for Daniel Spies and the employees of his Soldotna construction company. But that was all about to change as Spies hooked into something that felt like dead weight at first.
“I didn’t know what to think” Spies, a longtime fisherman who placed fourth in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby last year with a 187-pound fish. “I couldn’t really tell what it was.”
Spies said at first, he thought maybe his line was stuck on the bottom. Then the mystery fish took off running for a bit and stopped again. Every time he would reel the fish up a bit, it would head right back down to the bottom.
“It was like it was stuck to the bottom with suction cups,” Spies said. “It really didn’t move around a lot.”

Public Safety – August 18

Fire Homer Volunteer Fire Department responded to nine emergency services calls and three fire calls. Anchor Point Fire & EMS responded to six medical calls and three fire calls. Kachemak Emergency Services responded to two fire calls and two EMS calls. Police Monday, Aug 8 1:15 p.m. A female came to the front counter of […]

Satanic invocation opens Borough Assembly meeting

The invocation that started the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s Tuesday meeting was a little different than usual: Instead of espousing the ideals of Christianity, it carried a message of Satanism.
It was the culmination of recent discussion at the Assembly around whether to keep up with the tradition of opening meetings with prayers, or whether doing so was excluding those who hold different beliefs.
In June, the Assembly discussed an ordinance aimed at doing away with invocations before meetings, but not enough members voted in favor of introducing it.
Instead, the borough has decided to make the reading of invocations more equitable. In the past, said Assembly President Blaine Gilman from Kenai, a group of pastors would usually give the names of members who would give the invocation. Now, it’s on an open, first-come, first-served basis: someone who wants to give an invocation can contact the borough clerk and sign up to do so.

Sports Briefs – Aug. 18

Kings grab 13 medals at long-course swimming championships In late July, Kachemak Swim Club sent swimmers Carly and Luke Nelson and Nathan Overson to the Alaska Swimming Summer Long Course Championship Meet held at Bartlett High School. The long-course meet is held only during Olympic years, sanctioned in a 50-meter, eight-lane pool. (Quite different than […]

Community news – Aug. 18

SPH adds new radiologist, gynecologist to staff South Peninsula Hospital welcomes new radiologist Edson Knapp, MD, and his wife, gynecologist Renda Knapp, MD, to the hospital’s medical staff and the community. Both doctors received their medical degrees at the University of South Florida, and have practiced medicine in Florida and Tennessee.  Renda is board certified […]

Program to bring violin instruction to students

Sometimes everything just falls into place. Such was the case recently for Linda Reinhart, who had been scratching her head for several years over how to bring music instruction to more Homer youth.
Reinhart, who is involved in and a proponent of the Kenai Peninsula Youth String Orchestra, had searched for a way to encourage more youth to join the orchestra. But until last winter, all her ideas had run into roadblocks. Private lessons were expensive. Afterschool programs required an expensive transportation component.

High-tunnel gardening is booming on Kenai

HOMER — Farming in Alaska can be a tricky prospect, with fickle weather and short growing seasons. But farmers across the state are working around that with simple steel frames and yards of Visqueen.
Meet the high tunnel, a 15- to 20-foot-tall structure that’s looks like half-Quonset hut, half-greenhouse. Alaska farmers are embracing the high tunnel, sometimes called a “hoop house,” not only as a way to extend their growing seasons — and therefore profits — but also to expand the agricultural variety of what they grow.
High tunnels in Alaska are yielding melons and elephant garlic. Peaches and green chilies. Apples double the size of outdoor-grown cousins. Carrots planted in March that are harvested in early June.
The region taking advantage of high tunnels more than any other is the Kenai Peninsula Borough. There are more high tunnels on the Kenai per capita than anywhere in the U.S., according to the National Resource Conservation Service, a soil and water conservation division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Kachemak Bay State Park – August 18

Trail Conditions Report • Snow levels at Kachemak Bay State park are at 2,500 ft. and above. • Trail locations are obscured in alpine areas, and the majority of trails are very brushy and overgrown. When in doubt, look for chainsaw cuts on trees and logs. • Trails in KBSP are rough, with steep grades […]

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