Lewis, Zak vie for mayor

Two candidates are vying for the mayor’s seat in Homer this year, both current council members and longtime members of the community. David Lewis is a retired educator while Bryan Zak has long been involved in business development on the Kenai Peninsula. Here are their responses to a series of questions posed by the Homer Tribune.

Borough planning commission retains 13 seats

Planning commissions fly under the radar of most Kenai Peninsula residents, but at a recent meeting, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission considered weighty issues like extending the time needed the Port Graham townsite application, accepting FEMA maps for flood insurance for Seward, Cooper Landing, Ninilchik, Nikiski and Anchor Point, and allowing a structure to be placed in the Kenai River habitat protection district.
The commission decisions impact development, the environment and much more from one end of the peninsula to the other. So when the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration proposed reducing the number of members from 13 to 11, there were concerns.

BlueCrest briefs assembly on Cosmopolitan development

In today’s economic climate, news that oil and gas development in the Cook Inlet is going well, creating jobs and a revenue stream is welcome for many. But as BlueCrest Energy readies to start up its drill rig to tap into new wells, things are going to get substantially more disruptive, and not everyone is thrilled about it.

City projects list to include Beluga Slough trail in honor of Carmen Field

The Homer City Council began work on its wish list of projects — a list that in the past would have been likely to attract state support, but given the current fiscal climate, might be less successful.
The top priority projects for this year’s capital improvement plan list changed little this year, with the proposed public safety building topping the chart so far, followed by the proposed large vessel harbor and other harbor work. Fire department equipment and the work to the city’s storm water master plan rounded out the city’s top priorities as proposed by city staff.

City council candidates weigh in on issues

On Oct. 4, Homer city voters will elect two new city council members to fill the seats vacated by Gus VanDyke and Bryan Zak. This council will be challenged with navigating ever-shrinking budgets while carefully promoting economic development opportunities that may contribute to the community’s future stability.
This week, the Homer Tribune asks these candidates about their vision for the future of Homer, the challenges they see on the horizon and what strategies they will employ to overcome those hurdles.

Homer library serves 1.2 million in first decade

In the decade since the Homer Public Library opened the doors of its new Heath Street facility amid great fanfare, a lot has happened. What has not changed is the continued enthusiasm and support that built the library in the first place, as was evident by those gathered to celebrate the building’s 10th birthday with cake, hot dogs and a chance to check out the new community bookmobile.
Cleo Webb, a Friends of the Homer Public Library board member for an astonishing 35 years before retiring a few months ago following a move to Anchorage, said she was pleased to see the continued support for the library.

Homer centenarian with long history in Homer celebrated

At 100 years of age, Nadine Pence was surrounded by friends and well-wishers at the Homer Senior Center on Tuesday as she heralded in her second century of life.
In her 10 decades on the earth, Pence has done more than can be captured in a newspaper story. She has gardened, sewn her own clothes, gathered subsistence foods, served as the radio dispatcher for her husband, Ed Martin, who was a police officer for the Alaska Territorial Police before statehood and then an Alaska Fish and Game Protection Officer after statehood. She served on board that built the South Peninsula Hospital and stayed involved in community efforts, serving on the Homer Senior Citizens Inc. board into her 90s.

Community news – Sept. 22

Moving through Thriving Thursdays Head over to SVT from 6-8 p.m. today, where Dotti Harness-Foster, Cathy Stingley and Rick of Insightful Body Moves and Kara Clemens of Dance for Connections present “Moving with Greater Ease.” Explore issues related to flexibility and coordination, including those with Parkinson’s, MS, or the after-effects of a stroke or tremor. […]

School start times to change next year

Students on the southern Kenai Peninsula will either head to school earlier or later than they do now next year as part of a school district cost-saving plan to stagger school start times and use fewer buses.
At a meeting Monday night introducing the idea, parents and educators had more questions than answers as Kenai Peninsula Borough School District administrators told them few details were available yet as to how the new staggered start times would play out for specific areas and schools.

Council hears updates on KPB, city bond props

Bonds propositions for a new public safety building in Homer as well as improvements to the Homer Medical Clinic and South Peninsula Hospital were all discussed Monday night as the weeks dwindle before the October vote.
A skeleton council — minus council members David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds — were on hand to hear several presentations pertaining to the ballot, including a run-down of issues by Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre.
Navarre reported on two ballot propositions that were being proposed on the borough ballot to mitigate the impacts of its shrinking revenues, which were expected to continue as the state wrestled with its budget crisis.

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