Come August 15, Homer Chamber of Commerce board member Jim Lavrakas will be switching roles as he moves from giving direction to the executive director, to becoming the executive director – and working for a board he once served on. It may be the first time the board has hired one of its own.
Current executive director, Monte Davis, announced in March that he would be resigning after two years as he and wife JoAnn are moving to Fort Worth, Texas to be near her sister and other family members. Davis said 16 applicants, mostly from Alaska, applied for the open position. Six of those applicants were from Homer. The chamber search committee weighted each of the applicants according to their marketing, managerial and accounting skills, he said, and the numbers just added up for Lavrakas.
“He did extremely well in the interview process,” said Davis. “Certainly his experience on the board, his knowledge of where the chamber stands, and what we face — both good and bad — helped unquestionably.”
Beyond the Bear: How I learned to live and love again after being blinded by a Bear, Globe Pequot Press, 212 pages by Dan Bigley and Debra McKinney One of the problems with a good bear story is that Alaskans like to hear every grim detail of an encounter gone wrong, then they sit back […]
Women writers will soon get a free retreat all their own under plans by prolific author, Dana Stabenow to set up a six-cabin campus in Homer called the Storyknife Writers Retreat.
The author of the Kate Shugak series of mystery novels launched a campaign to raise $1 million between now and next spring. The money will go to build Alaska’s only retreat for female writers.
“We have googled our little hearts out looking for women’s writing retreats all over the world,” Stabenow said Friday. “We tried to find retreats specifically for women. Hedgebrook Farm (on Whidbey Island) is the only one. Storyknife will be second in the world.”
Women writers continue to get second class treatment in the publishing world, Stabenow said. Women still need help in becoming published authors and to get their books reviewed. Reviewers are still more likely to look at books by male authors than by women, she said.
by Naomi Klouda Homer Tribune McNeil Canyon Elementary 6th grade students spent last week taking their Standards Based Testing in the morning and building robots in the afternoon. Sheryl Sotelo’s 6th grade class found the two topics harmonizing. “It was a great thing after focusing so hard on the tests. From noon to 2 p.m., […]
Brentwood Higman and Erin McKittrick are leaving for another wilderness walk, this one involving 800 miles around Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet with their two toddlers.
The Seldovia couple, with 2-year-old Lituya and 4-year-old Katmai, will set out Wednesday, weather permitting, at Dogfish Bay north of Nanwalek for the first leg of their journey. They figured out a lot of tricky things on previous walks, like how to change diapers in the middle of nowhere and what to pack. They took their oldest child, Katmai, on an expedition around northwest Alaska’s Chukchi Sea in 2010, when he was still a baby and the next year, the family set off for Malaspina Glacier for a two-month trek with Katmai and Lituya, when she was one-year-old.
Higman’s blog, www.groundtruthtrekking.org/blog shares information from these walks. He explains that the expeditions are how he frames his life.
Clement V. Tillion was selected to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Alaska Sealife Center.
The Alaska Sealife Center will host the fourth annual Alaska Marine Gala at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage Saturday. That evening, the Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards Committee will present six awards to organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to awareness and sustainability of the state’s marine resources. Alaska’s oceans are some of the most important.
Packing for survival in the wilderness involves themes more than a laundry list: What to bring to keep you warm? What to bring to scare off bears? What to bring for nourishment?
That’s part of the discussion with teens when Homer Wilderness Leaders’ director, Libby Veasey, calls on schools this month. HoWL wants to meet more students in an outreach at schools from Seward to Nanwalek, spreading Veasey’s infectious love for getting kids outdoors to have fun.
“We have schools booked in Homer, Seward and Soldotna so far and we have room to add more to the list,” Veasey said. “We want to get more kids from the rest of the peninsula to create a more cohesive community.”
A children’s book, “Odysseys from Homer,” has grown out of a father’s extemporaneous bedtime stories to his children and spins a resonate title-play on the classic of Homer’s Odyssey.
Jon Faulkner, owner of Land End’s Resort and two other Kenai Peninsula hotels, is also the author of a political thriller-mystery, “The Ghost of Fannie Guthry-Baehm.” Homer people will recall Faulkner’s run for the House District 30 seat this past election season.
The book comprises three stories: “The Ant and the Elephant,” “Island of the Horses” and “Freddie the Frog.” Illustrated by Aurora Firth, the national award-winning artist who designed several duck stamps used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the art complements the stories like a classic book of Aesop Fables or a Kipling’s collection.
The road leading to certain points in life often take surprising turns, like service years in the Peace Corps or work on a family dairy farm setting one on a path to work with youth.
That’s the case for the R.E.C. Room director team Doug Koester and Anna Meredith. Each of them experienced an array of career positions that somehow make them uniquely suited for a rare community job.
Today, they direct and collaborate with a team of young people – this is the teens’ paid job – known as the PHAT team. PHAT stands for Promoting Health Among Teens, a bold program now in its second year in Homer.
“If you look at historical quotations about young people going all the way back in history, a lot of adults found they didn’t know how to relate to young people,” Koester said. “I think it was Shakespeare who talked about how ‘today’s youth are lazy and untrustworthy.’”
Meredith said she sees nothing awkward in relating to teens.
Plans are underway to enhance the beauty and safety of Old Town Homer over the next few months (and ongoing) through a project called Family Garden.
Below the Bypass and accessed mainly from Main Street, the district was once the heart of Homer. It is still a vibrant area that draws locals and visitors for beach walks, dining, entertainment and art, as well as basic needs like help with computers.
Spearheaded by Bunnell Street Art Center, the project’s focus will be a “long garden path” from Bunnell to Two Sisters’ Bakery, flanked by art work and edible beauty such as Siberian apple trees, gooseberry, rhubarb and rose bushes.