Baking treats and building dreams

Adrienne Leffler is a stay-at-home mom who juggles caring for her family with providing baked goods for the Homer community.
“I started out baking just for people I know,” Leffler said. “But so many people told me I should go into business for myself, so I thought I would give it a shot.”
Leffler created Dren’s Creations, and her baking and sweet treats can be found every Saturday at the Alaska Wildberry Emporium Market on Pioneer Avenue.

KHLT speaks on land projects

Icy roads and Nutcracker practice didn’t stop the Homer community from gathering for Thursday’s Kachemak Heritage Land Trust’s annual meeting at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Some 50 people came to hear stories of the Anchor River — the evening’s theme — from special speakers, like award-winning author Richard Chiappone.
Other speakers included Coowe Walker, Watershed Ecologist with the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. Walker explained that much of her current time is consumed by being the parent of a “mouse” in the Nutcracker Ballet. She added she’d be leaving early to get back to rehearsal — but that’s how it goes when a town is dedicated to its community.
While the Nutcracker and the Land Trust may not seem to have much in common, Walker said she found heartwarming analogies. Both evoke a commitment to community and an understanding that a lot goes on behind the scenes.

Clear Creek on a mission to help homeless cats

For the last few years, Clear Creek Cat Rescue volunteers and Judy Price, coordinator of Clear Creek Cat Rescue have been taking in homeless cats from the Homer area and helping the cats find forever homes through temporary foster care. However, most of the homeless cats, either because they are strays or owner surrendered, are fostered outside of Homer and Clear Creek Cat Rescue wants to change that.
Kevyn Jalone of Homer Animal Friends, who works with Clear Creek said, The idea for fostering animals was born as a solution to the problem of overcrowding in animal shelters. Many shelters, no matter how dedicated their staff, often lack the resources and people to give individual attention to all the animals in their care.

Saving Dena’ina language helps preserve heritage

What do a person, a dog, a shaman effigy and a crucifix have in common?
Nothing obvious, to most people. But to traditional Dena’ina speakers, all four are in a linguistic classification that categorizes them as sharing a similar essence — of being alive, in a sense, or having a soul.
The idea doesn’t quite translate to English. It’s a facet of culture embedded in language, as subconscious as the grammatical structure a baby learns as they absorb the dialogue around them. It’s the cultural equivalent of, “You had to be there,” when the humor of a story doesn’t quite land for someone who wasn’t witness to the event being described.
Without speaking a language, without knowing it to the point where it is language — the ability to create an infinite number of sentences without having heard them before — there’s a barrier to knowing the culture, as well.

Library offers ideas for ‘Raising a Reader’

Welcome to Raising a Reader! Each month, this column will feature information to help you include everyday literacy in your family’s daily routine, supporting your young readers. Here are a few tips for raising a reader by reading, talking, playing, singing and writing with your child. Early Literacy Tip: Reading with young children every day […]

Homer’s Waclawski named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist

This year, not only does Homer High School Principial Douglas Waclawski get to boast about HHS having the only National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist on the Kenai Peninsula, he also gets to brag about it being his daughter.
A senior at Homer High, Aurora Waclawski scored 213 points out of a possible 240 on her Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. According to the NMS website, some 1.5 million students take the required initial screening test, and students with the highest scores in each state become semi-finalists.

Garden store with deep roots in Homer changes hands

Walk into Wagon Wheel Trading Post this week, and things are much the way they have been for decades. Laying hens wander beneath tables filled with lettuce and broccoli starts, back rooms are atwitter with birds and hamsters, and a steady stream of customers leave with arms full of purple petunias and yellow marigolds.
But here and there, signs of something new appear. The store is a little shinier than it has been in recent years, and a high-tech digital cash register has replaced the old till.

King of Norway visits Alaska, stops in Homer

His Majesty King Harald V of Norway had Homer on his agenda for May 26, one of many stops on a visit through hotspots in Washington and Alaska. The King started out his journey through the two states in Seattle on May 21 and is scheduled to leave Anchorage on the evening of May 27.

The many ways AmeriCorps helps in Homer

Having spent years invested in PeaceCorps and Americorps, for VISTA volunteer Amanda Miller, service is a way to make sense of things; a connection to community, a conduit for strengthening culture.
Before winding up in Homer in the 2000s and again in 2014, Miller was born and raised in Minnesota. A correspondence during her undergrad years with a friend working with Peace Corps in South Africa sparked her interest in service.
“She would write letters, and I would send packages,” Miller said. “Then I went to grad school, and it just felt like the right time — like I had some on-the-ground experience; I was older.”

Ranger retires after lifetime in the great outdoors

For the past 30 years of his life, Alaska State Parks Ranger Roger MacCampbell, has done everything from nature guiding to horse patrol in Alaska’s wild backyard. So naturally, upon retirement, MacCampbell is looking forward to a little R&R; perhaps camping, he said, or a road trip.
Of course he would need just a little more time outdoors.
Following a childhood filled with outdoor activity and adventure, MacCampbell spent his early years in what is now Silicon Valley in Northern California. Taking excursions with his dad — a retired navy aircraft mechanic — weekend activities included camping, fishing and road trips to the Sierra Mountains.

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