Council rejects dispatch merger

After countless meetings, hours of often-heated testimony and a $30,000 consultant study, the Homer harbor finally has a new set of moorage fees. The Homer City Council voted to approve the new fees after postponing a vote on the issue for several months to allow fishermen time to weigh in following the fishing season. And weigh in they did, with large and small boat owners filling the council chambers for several meetings. Most of the larger boat owners said that while they didn’t love the proposed rate structure, which charged large vessels progressively more per foot, it was acceptable. Others, including several small boat owners, objected, however, saying the large vessel owners were still being subsidized by the smaller boats.

Diamond Creek bike trail unveiled with celebration

Over the course of several years, plans to create the first official mountain bike trail in Homer have gradually rolled forward, and this Sunday, a day-long event aims to introduce the recreation option to riders of all ages.

ACLU: Invocation rule is ‘unconstitutional’

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska on Thursday called a recent decision by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to allow only religious invocations before Assembly meetings unconstitutional, asking that the body change course.
ACLU of Alaska’s Executive Director Joshua Decker said in a letter to Assembly President Blaine Gilman that if the Assembly wants to have invocations before its meetings, a religious test to determine whether someone can give one “violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and religious freedom.”

Public Safety – October 17 to 24

FIRE Oct. 17-23 Homer Volunteer Fire Department responded to eight emergency medical service calls. Anchor Point Fire and EMS responded to one fire call and four EMS calls. Kachemak Emergency Services responded to one EMS call. POLICE Oct. 20 10:49 a.m. A caller reported vehicles parked in violation of city code, hindering snow removal. 1:28 […]

Alaska’s population was flattening even before it began shedding jobs

The latest round of population estimates from the state shows Alaska’s growth rate was flattening due to stronger job growth in the Lower 48 and other factors even before the state’s current economic slowdown.
The statewide headcount stalled at about 737,000 people in both 2014 and 2015, disrupting a pattern of more than two decades of modest but steady population growth.

Expect warmer weather for start of winter

Arctic sea ice is scarce, ocean waters are warm and the coming months are expected to be warmer than normal in most of Alaska, weather experts say.
The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center forecasts that most parts of Alaska next month are likely to be significantly warmer than the 1981-2010 average, thanks to more ocean heat and less sea ice.

Life on barrier islands, north and south

GALVESTON, TEXAS — Here on this alligator-shaped mound of sand, the temperature of 88 is the warmest recorded this late in the season since weather observers started writing them down in 1871. Sitting here in the shade, absorbing a sultry breeze, I’m seeing few things that remind me of Alaska.
But there are connections between the Deep South and Far North: some of the shorebirds probing the beach on the Gulf of Mexico emerged from eggs this summer on northern tundra. The tankers sitting just offshore awaiting transit to Houston are filled with the same liquid that fuels the Alaska economy. And this barrier island 27 miles long and two miles wide is at constant risk of being hammered by a storm.

Chris Palmer feels at his best when he is in the cockpit of a plane

“Aviation is only 100-years-old, but we’ve gone from walking across the land, to picking up speed with horses, to sub-supersonic traveling all over the world by airplane,” local pilot, Chris Palmer shared.
Palmer currently has 750 hours of flight time logged.
“It’s while in the cockpit that I feel I’m at my best and truly living the life I want to live,” he shared.
His fascination with aviation began at a very young age.
“The airplanes landing in Salt Lake City were on approach over my house,” he shared. “My friends and I would often look up and see them flying over.”

Appeals court supports listing bearded seals as threatened

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reinstated a decision protecting bearded seals in Alaska under the Endangered Species Act, reversing a lower-court ruling and accepting that projections of climate-change present a long-term threat to the ice-dependent species.
The opinion, written by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Paez said the decision was based on whether the National Marine Fisheries Service can list an animal population that is not currently endangered but likely will suffer a population decline in decades to come.

Community news – Oct. 27

The Element of Autumn Head over to SVT for a Thriving Thursday presentation on “Metal — the Element of Autumn.” Starting at 6 p.m., licensed acupuncturist Amy Rattenbury will teach the five-element style of Chinese medicine, which includes wood, fire, earth, metal and water. This class will introduce the elements and how this system is […]

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