For second year, vandals strike Burning Basket

When builders of the Burning Basket project woke Saturday morning from their guardposts around the basket, they were shocked to find that for the second time in as many years, vandals had managed to damage the community art project.
But what may seem a tragedy on the outset was turned into a victory yet again as the basket was rebuilt and the community once again rallied around the project on a rain-and-wind-whipped night to “expand.”
This is the Burning Basket’s 13th year, said Mavis Muller, who heads up the effort each year, as well as similar projects throughout the state and beyond. The basket, typically a 6-foot-by-6-foot basket woven out of natural materials like grasses and alder, is a gift to the community, incorporating school groups, volunteers from far and near, and a spirit of togetherness after a summer of work.

SPARC building to break ground this month

Organizers plan to hold fundraiser to ‘Fan the SPARC’ By Carey Restino Homer Tribune By the end of this month, Homer should be able to see the beginnings of what will eventually be a 12,000-square-foot multiuse facility that will house everything from soccer games to toddler playgroups. The South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center, or […]

Week of events aim to show benefits of mindfulness

Take a breath. Notice the feeling of your breath. Take another. According to medical researchers, you have just done something profoundly positive for your physical and mental health.
Over the next week, everyone from parents to health care providers will have a chance to learn more about the potential benefits of mindfulness thanks to a series of workshops and presentations organized by South Peninsula Hospital. The series will feature both local presenters knowledgeable about mindfulness as well as Dr. Jerry Braza, a leading voice in the field of health education and mindfulness and author of two books on the topic.

Beach policy laws, signage irk some

For more than 40 years, Willie Suter has been driving on Mariner Beach at the base of the Homer Spit to collect wood, seaweed, sand and coal.
But on June 13, his drive was a little more eventful than usual. Suter said he was met by police officers from both the Bishop’s Beach and Mariner Park sides telling him he had to leave the beach. The laws had changed, the officers informed him, and driving on the beach was no longer allowed during the summer months. Then they gave him a citation for driving on the beach illegally. He could have paid a $25 fine, but Suter contested the citation.
He said he knows you aren’t allowed to collect wood or drive above the high tide line or in the storm berm. He wasn’t doing that. And unlike Bishop’s Beach, the signs at Mariner Park say nothing about any new driving restrictions.

HEA asks members to approve deregulation

This summer, the Homer Electric Association board of directors voted unanimously to hold a member vote on detaching from the state regulatory commission. The move is being championed by some as a way to save money in lean times, but others are concerned about an unregulated association operating a monopoly on the southern Kenai Peninsula.
The Homer Electric Association is currently overseen by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which reviews and approves rates, fees, and actions as per state statute. But in 1980, the state enacted legislation that allowed cooperatives to seek exemption from that oversight. It requires a majority vote in favor by at least 15 percent of the membership, and can be rescinded with a similar vote. But some are concerned about the implications for the direction HEA will take in the future.

Wooden boat, halibut festivals join forces

As the Homer fishing fleet makes its way back to port this month from Prince William Sound, Kodiak and other locales, a celebration planned this weekend on the Homer Spit is ready to celebrate the many ways our community is connected with the sea that surrounds it.
The Wooden Boat Festival has been running for decades in Homer, but this year, organizers have joined forces in earnest with the Halibut Festival for a weekend of events ranging from a fish fry to the classic boat-painting event under the big white tent.

A year after Obama’s visit, Exit Glacier retreats

A year ago, President Obama stood at the toe of retreating Exit Glacier and proclaimed it a beautiful but vulnerable sight, an obvious “signpost” of climate change.
“We want to make sure that our grandkids can see this,” he said then during a Kenai Fjords National Park tour that was part of the unprecedented presidential trip to Alaska.
Now Exit Glacier is even farther away from the spot where the president stood.

Aleutian tern numbers take dive

For decades, the elusive Aleutian tern has flown to Kachemak Bay and nested in several locations in modest but predictable numbers. This relatively rare tern had one nesting location that was even viewable from one’s car in Homer, much to the joy of visiting shorebird enthusiasts. But those days may be over and those who study the Aleutian tern say it may be in trouble.
Martin Renner, a bird expert who runs Tern Again Consulting out of Homer, is one of several bird biologists who have been studying the Aleutian Tern in recent years. Last year, they published a paper documenting the bird population’s apparent decline. Renner very little is known about the Aleutian tern, which nests in remote areas and is difficult to count. But researchers started to notice nesting sites were abandoned in many areas, including one in Homer, and a study was launched to get more definitive numbers.

Fire station sees upgrades

Drive by the Homer Volunteer Fire Department building on Pioneer Avenue this week and you are likely to see changes afoot. The building is getting a facelift starting literally at the ground level. But those are just some of the new developments at the fire hall this month. The department just received a much-needed ambulance through a mix of city, state and federal funds. And last but certainly not least, a grant is making it possible for the department to hire an assistant fire chief, a position that has been unfilled for a decade.
“We are trying to keep up with it all,” said Fire Chief Bob Painter.

Car crash injures driver, knocks out power

An Anchor Point woman was seriously injured in a rollover crash near Homer early Monday when her vehicle struck a power pole, knocking out electricity to hundreds of area residents for hours.
Alaska State Troopers said in a dispatch that they responded at 7 a.m. to Mile 13 of East End Road, in the Fritz Creek area northeast of Homer. They found 39-year-old Jill Davis still in her vehicle at the scene.
“An investigation showed (Davis) had been driving on East End Road when she failed to negotiate a curve in the road,” troopers wrote. “Davis’ vehicle went off the road, rolled several times and struck a power pole.”

Like us on Facebook