Homer’s Hailey Smith sees art in everything

When Hailey Smith decided to spend her junior year of high school as a foreign exchange student in the Dominican Republic, she was excited to learn Spanish. What she discovered was a deep passion for art, specifically, painting and drawing.
“In the Dominican Republic, one of my best friends’ mom was an artist,” she shared. “I spent time with them and she introduced me to various young artists who had attended Altos de Chavon, a local art school.”

Robbi Mixon’s feet firmly planted in Homer

Robbi Mixon coordinates opportunities for local farmers
In the summer of 2009, feeling restless, tired of living in the city, and her adventurous spirit spurred on by recent trips around the United States and abroad, Robbi Mixon came to Homer for the first time to visit a college friend. Today, seven years later, her roots in the community run deep and wide.
During that first visit, Mixon met Emily Garrity, the owner of Twitter Creek Farms. The two developed a friendship and Mixon spent her summer learning farming basics while she volunteered on the farm.

Teen works to help the homeless

Local youth, Casey Marsh, is dedicated to helping the homeless in Homer.
“If I see people struggling, I have empathy and I want to help,” she said. “Everyone has their struggles, but those struggles shouldn’t have to include not knowing where they will sleep tonight, or when their next meal will be.”
Inspired by role models, Marsh volunteers her time with many local homeless advocacy groups.
While a junior in high school, Marsh watched her older sister, Chelsea, work on her senior service project, called Teens in Between, with J.J. O’Rourke, local resident and founder of homeless youth advocacy organization, Teens United for a Future (T.U.F.F. Teens).

Louisiana man heads call to help Alaska youth

For years, Troy McMorris has had a heart for youth ministry.
“Youth are the future and we can’t risk losing a whole generation to the hopeless trappings of the bad aspects of society and culture,” he said. “We have to act, we have to become advocates within the community and we have to avail ourselves to be participants in the solution.”
Born and raised in Louisiana, McMorris shared that his own childhood was tumultuous. While his mother was pregnant with him, his father left to fight in Vietnam. After he was born, his mom enlisted in the United States Army.

Food pantry receives $5,000 grant for Martin’s service

The Homer Community Food Pantry will receive a $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo in recognition of Homer Business Relationship Manager Cinda Martin’s volunteer efforts with the nonprofit. The grant will help Homer Community Food Pantry provide food and assistance to approximately 100 families a week and 12,000 individuals a year in the southern Kenai Peninsula.
Martin is one of only 34 team members across the company to receive a $5,000 Volunteer Service Award. The award recognizes Wells Fargo team members who make an exceptional impact through volunteerism.

Local youth meets her muse in music

Throughout her young life, Ella Parks has been surrounded by artists who inspire her, including her aunt – a ceramics artist, her dad – a photographer and her mom – a musician.
Now a junior at Homer High School, she is sharing her own talents with local and Anchorage audiences, belting out blues and jazz songs from some of her favorite singers, including Etta James, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Adele.

Kayak angling offers more than just ‘good vibes’

Kayak angler Rudy Tsukada first started seriously fishing from a kayak in 2011, but he still considers himself “relatively new” to the sport. That “newness,” however, appears to have little bearing on his overall knowledge and experience with the whole process.
With the help of the Kachemak Bay Water Trail Committee and Dave Brann, Tsukada will host a workshop this weekend: Water Safety and Tips on Fishing from Your Kayak. The two-day event offers a 6-9 p.m. Saturday presentation at Land’s End, followed by an on-the-water demonstration Sunday.
Tsukada spoke with the Homer Tribune earlier in the week, and offered some insight into human-powered fishing in Kachemak Bay.

Beth Carroll wears many hats around town

Growing up in a row house in Philadelphia, Beth Carroll had limited access to natural and open spaces.
“My mother used to talk about how she would love to live in the country,” Carroll said. “We moved to New Jersey, which to my mom was a dream – we had an acre, trees and a tiny patch of forest near our house. To my family, that was nature and a love of nature, earth and wild places was instilled in me.

NOAA to remove Endangered Species Act protections for most humpback whales

Humpback whales, a species that migrates to Alaska and is famous for singing below the water’s surface and leaping above it, are now so numerous that most no longer need the Endangered Species Act protections that have sheltered them since the 1970s, federal officials said on Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a final rule designating 14 distinct population segments of humpback whales and removing listing for nine of those segments. The ruling will go into effect in early October.

Acorn Enterprises: vacuum and mops ‘part of the family’

Candy Edwards refers to her vacuum as “Nigel,” her mop as “Cinderella” and her feather duster as “Rex.”
For the past 27 years, Edwards has provided janitorial services to Homer residences and businesses; she considers it a privilege that people entrust her with their homes, their families and their businesses.

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