Geoff Coble loves fossils. He loves to collect them. He loves to talk about them. He loves to lead hikes to look for them. He also realizes that others may not share his enthusiasm and may actually find fossils to be gray and lifeless.
“I thought one way I could get people interested in the importance and significance of fossils and the geological history of Kachemak Bay, would be to curate an exhibit,” he said.
On Feb. 1, Coble’s inspiration comes to life when the Pratt Museum presents, “The Living Tertiary.” Beyond featuring local fossils, the exhibit compares local fossil remains to similar plants and animals found both nearby and around the world, drawing comparisons on geologic processes, paleontology and climate change.
“Goat lost 12 miles out East End Road.” “Ride needed from Homer to Anchorage for two big men and one small dog.” “This message is for Snookie in Petersen Bay: we love you and miss you. There’s moose meat waiting for you in the freezer.”
These are just a few of the messages you might hear during KBBI AM 890’s daily “Bush Lines.”
Homer community members proudly display KBBI bumper stickers, drink coffee from mugs featuring artwork by local artists, volunteer at memberships drives and Concert on the Lawn and eagerly tune into favorite local programs like “Coffee Table” and “Slack Tide,” as well as national programs like “Car Talk” and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”
As recipient of this year’s Homer Council on the Arts award for Art Education, Cody Davidson inspires and empowers local youth by sharing his love of music.
“Cody reaches an audience that is often overlooked and can benefit from being able to express themselves in the arts,” said Diane Borgman, HCOA Board President.
Davidson moved to Homer in 2001, and started Youth on Record Alaska in 2011. He provides quality music instruction to Homer’s youth through weekly classes supported by Haven House and Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic’s R.E.C. Room.
The program is open to youth aged 13 to 19, and requires no musical background; only a love of music.
As the first 2014 meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission opened in Seattle last week, Homer resident Donald Lane took his new seat at the table.
Lane, who has been longlining for halibut out of Homer for 32 years, is one of two Alaskans newly appointed to the Commission.
“This appointment is an honor,” Lane said. “The slate of nominees from Alaska were all respected and knowledgeable professionals in the halibut industry. To actually be the one appointed is an honor I have not quite digested.”
Dr. Jim Balsiger of Juneau was appointed at the same time, filling the commissioner seat designated for a United States fisheries management official. Balsiger is the Alaska Regional Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
For many, the new year provides an opportunity for new beginnings. For Carmen Field, the new year offers a chance to rekindle a love affair with her former life.
Diagnosed with breast cancer on her 50th birthday last year, Field now feels healthier than ever, and is eager to step back into the life she has always loved.
One of Field’s passions is storytelling.
Kachemak Bay Girl Scouts are mentors in the making. They camp in the winter, clean beaches in the fall, decorate gift tags for Share the Spirit’s Giving Trees, decorate the Elks Club for spaghetti dinner fundraisers and make cookies for the Pratt’s Stocking Stuffer party.
“Girl Scouts is about fun and adventure, but it’s also about learning and respect,” said troop leader Tina Ball. “It is important for young girls to have good role models, and a great way to model respect is to take the girls into the community to volunteer. This gives them an outlet to be creative, thankful and artistic and lets them know they can make a difference in their community and in the world.”
Ball co-leads a local troop with Poppy Benson.
Homer community members are stepping out of their comfort zones and into the spotlight on the Mariner Theatre stage in an evening of artistic exploration with Homer Council on the Arts. And, while many have performed on stage before, others will perform in public for the first time. All of the performers, however, will be stretching beyond the familiar during this year’s production of “Stepping Out.”
“We encouraged artists to step out of their role in the community, their comfort zone and their usual performance and try something new, different and unexpected,” said Gail Edgerly, HCOA director.
Music is what feeds Andrew Vait’s soul.
“When I write a new song, I think, ‘this is what it feels like to be alive’,” he said.
In 2011, the Seattle-based, Homer-born-and-raised singer/songwriter released “Closer To The Setting Sun.” He describes this set of solo recordings as having a “folksy, country vibe.”
From maintaining outhouses, running rivers and chasing vandals from archaeological sites, to managing the visitor center at one of the largest National Wildlife Refuges in the United States, Poppy Benson has dedicated her life to protecting wild lands.
Just 35 miles southwest of Homer, on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, is a community abundant in culture and history. This is Nanwalek, aka English Bay, aka Alexandrovski. So rich is Nanwalek’s history, Hungarian anthropologist Dr. Medeia Csoba-DeHass and her husband moved to the Native village.