For some youth on summer vacation, constructive activities can be few and far between, particularly literal construction projects. But a small group of local teens worked hard last week to preserve a slice of history of the Kasilof area, and in learning about the past, they also developed skills that may one day help them in the future.
“All the kids are from the local area, so they were excited to be working on this project,” said Ciara Johnson, a Kenai National Wildlife Refuge leader for the Youth Conservation Corps, in regard to the efforts of the eight teens in YCC to restore the roofing tin on a portion of the Watchman’s Cabin, which now resides at the Kasilof Regional Historical Association’s museum grounds on Kalifornsky Beach Road.
A two-day music festival, produced by Milo Matthews who was inspired to bring a brilliant singer/songwriting legend, is coming to Homer June 29-30.
Buffy Sainte-Marie was a graduating college senior in 1962 and hit the ground running in the early 1960s. That was after the beatniks and before the hippies.
Lifelong Alaskan and hotel owner Jon Faulkner declared his candidacy for Alaska House District 30, a seat currently held by Rep. Paul Seaton.
Faulkner, owner of Land’s End Resort and two other hotels on the Kenai Peninsula, is making is first bid for public office. Now is the right time to make a foray into active politics, he said.
“My kids are grown, business is stable and the economy needs a renewed focus on small business and the creation of jobs,” Faulkner said Thursday. Redistricting also presents opportunities for a new start. “The last time Paul (Seaton) ran, he ran unopposed, which isn’t good for democracy. People need choices.”
Faulkner classifies himself as a conservative Republican, an independent thinker and an inherent of an Alaska-born philosophy on citizen politics. When he was five years old, his mother married Barrie M. White Jr., a delegate to Alaska’s Constitutional Convention and signer of Alaska’s Constitution. The family home in Anchorage was active with visitors such as Delegate Vic Fischer and Katie Hurley, Alaska’s first woman candidate for governor who had served as White’s secretary at the convention.
The Perennial Plant Association announced it has awarded its highest award for garden design to Brenda Adams for her creation of the Serenity Garden at the entrance to the South Peninsula Hospital.
The award is the result of an international competition among top professional garden and landscape designers. Each year, a panel of experts in landscape design and horticulture make the award selections. They base their selection not only on artistic merit of the design, but also the creative horticultural use of perennial plants in implementing the design. The Honor Award is the Perennial Plant Association’s highest award and is not necessarily granted every year. The award is additionally unique in that Adams is the only Alaskan ever to win this prestigious honor.
It’s always interesting to Kachemak Bay Shorebird Coordinator Christina Whiting to hear what a person’s lifetime bird is.
“A woman told me the other day what she really wants to see is a Yellow-billed loon, and I was able to tell her, well, there’s one in the Barge Basin right now,” Whiting said. “For others it’s the warbler or eider or a Sandhill crane.”
Which fits in perfectly with one of the big name attractions to the festival: Mark Obmascik, the author of “The Big Year” a bestselling novel whose book was made into a hilarious, richly layered movie starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson.
It tells the story of three men who abandon their normal duties to spend a year viewing birds in one of the world’s quirkiest sporting contests. With few rules and no referees, there is one goal: to see and identify the most species of birds in a single year. The three main characters will spend a grueling, exhaustive year traveling hundreds of thousands of miles and spending thousands of dollars.
Obmascik was part of a Denver Post team of journalists who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for a series on the Columbine High School shooting massacre.
Kickstarter.com came to photographer Jim Lavrakas’ attention when a friend notified him on Facebook of an original film by Inupiat filmmaker Andrew MacLean.
“His film was made, and now he needed money to distribute it. I pledged $30 and got a DVD of the movie,” Lavrakas said. “I felt really good when I saw the premier in Anchorage. I felt like I owned a piece of the movie. How cool is that?”
Now, faced with the completion of his own creative project, a memoir called “Snap Decisions: My 30 Years as an Alaska News Photographer,” Lavrakas signed up for the same kind of partnership with patrons. In the next four weeks, he hopes to raise as much as possible toward the $12,000 needed for publication. For $25, each patron can own their own book and a piece of Lavrakas’ success getting it to the bookstores.
• 4 p.m. Pratt Museum meet Archibald • 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School Staff report International Crane expert George Archibald pioneered unorthodox methods to save cranes from the brink of extinction, including having human handlers wear crane costumes to avoid human imprinting. He used ultralight aircraft to help teach migration routes to cranes. [...]
Opening an account with the Homer Time Bank doesn’t involve exchanging money – it’s all a matter of time.
You make a deposit every time you lend an hour of help to someone’s project.
You deduct from your bank account every time you let someone else perform a service for you.
The idea is based on a precept as old as time: People can accomplish needs in a bartering system just as well as they can with money, said Mark Tanski, one of the local organizers. And, it helps with community building.
It was a reaction to an ailing economy that saw hundreds of thousands suddenly unemployed. It offered a way, for example, for someone who can’t afford to hire a plumber to get a plumbing job done.
The Homer Council on the Arts’ 25th anniversary of the Jubilee Youth Variety Show has seen a lot of changes since the first year a group assembled in the Homer High School commons.
Diane Borgman, one of the key organizers, recalls it started humbly as a chance to let children show off their talents for live audiences. They sat on folding chairs in the smaller area, using very little technology and a small stage.
“I was principal at McNeil Canyon Elementary at the time. I’ve been a big supporter of the arts since I came to Alaska in 1970, working in rural schools throughout Alaska. At that time, there was little opportunity for young children to perform,” Borgman said. “Some teachers did recitals. It was before many other activities and opportunities.”
Homer-based Jeff Williams of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge was recognized in a ceremony last week in Atlanta by receiving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s highest award for Science Leadership.
Williams was recognized from over 500 National Wildlife Refuges throughout the country as well as numerous other USFWS research offices for his exceptional scientific accomplishments that have a lasting influence on the management of fish and wildlife resources.
In addition to the honor of the award, Williams will bring back to the refuge $50,000 that will be used to maintain a field study for the summer and other biological work.