PSP found in Halibut Cove shellfish

Tests have found paralytic shellfish poison in shellfish from Halibut Cove last week prompting state officials to warn against personal harvesting of shellfish in the region until the bloom of algae ends.
George Scanlan, shellfish permit coordinator with the state Department of Environmental Conservation said the samples of shellfish containing paralytic shellfish poison were collected Sept. 13, prompting the state to suspend sales of shellfish from that commercial operator until three clean samples were obtained. Shellfish growers in other regions of Kachemak Bay, however, were unaffected, though their shellfish was being closely monitored. Scanlan said other growers in the bay were testing each lot of oysters and mussels harvested before they were sold commercially, but no harmful algae was found in any of the samples from outside of Halibut Cove.

Forum clarifies candidates stance on budget, issues facing city

From marijuana clubs to climate change, the candidates for two Homer City Council seats voiced their opinions about the many factors and facets of life in Homer to an audience of voters last week.
The candidates forum, moderated by Michael Hawfield and held at the Homer Public Library, drew a crowd of Homer residents with plenty of questions for five of the six running candidates. Bob Howard was unable to attend the forum, but Joni Wise, Donna Aderhold, Heath Smith, Tom Stroozas and incumbent Beauregard Burgess all weighed in on their vision for Homer’s future. Candidate Michael Neece has unofficially withdrawn from the race, though his name will still appear on the ballot.

Celebrating Over a Decade of the World’s Best Docs!

The Homer Documentary Film Festival begins with the Gala Opening 6:15 p.m. Sept 24 at the  Homer Theatre on Pioneer Avenue. This year’s festival celebrates over a full decade of showing the current Year’s Best Documentaries from around the World. The Gala Opening will feature reindeer sausages grilled by local cowboys, guest speakers and a […]

Basket burns despite vandalism

Early Sunday morning, just hours before festivities were to begin for the 12th-annual Burning Basket ceremony, pieces of the 2015 “Reach” creation lay strewn across the Homer Spit. Volunteers gathered sections of the destroyed basket from the ditch along the road, and chased bundles of dry fireweed across Mariner Park.
The night before, someone had tried to torch it.

Council mulls revenue options

City council began this week to review its options for closing the current $1 million budget gap, considering everything from taxing internet sales to raising property taxes to bring the city out of the red. Many of the options will be presented at a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at city hall.

Harbor load and launch ramp closes until December

Anyone who has backed their boat down the Homer Load and Launch Ramp in recent years has seen the problem. Pitted, worn out concrete with rebar showing through greet the hundreds of users of Homer’s harbor launch facility each summer, and most could see that repairs were in order. The price, however, is several months without an easy place to bring your boat in and out of the water in Homer.

First halibut festival aims to celebrate, educate and unite

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council would like to do for fish what the shorebird festival has done for birds.
It’s hard to imagine Homer without fish — or fishing. The AMCC is throwing a weekend-long festival in appreciation of the bounty of the sea Saturday, Sept. 19.
The Homer Halibut Festival brings back a celebration of our fisheries, but also shares information and brings the fishing community together in what they hope will become an annual event.
While fishing is integral to the Homer lifestyle, there hasn’t been a fun way to bring fish-loving groups together for several years.
Fisheries touch the lives of nearly everyone here, from the commercial and sport fishermen, processors, who depend on it as a livelihood to the end user who may never get on the water but has a deep and abiding love for the taste of fresh seafood.

Build it and they will come

For a remote path in an area far from Alaska’s road system, the trails to Grewingk Glacier in Kachemak Bay State Park were buzzing with activity on a sunny Saturday in August. All morning long, charter boat operators dropped off passengers — some decked out in the latest hiking gear and some in Nikes and nylon jackets. They slowly moved down the beach in clusters, heading for the trailhead of the two-mile Glacier Lake Trail.

Local business wins $50,000 in prize money

A Homer business was selected for an award of $50,000 to help Alaskan businesses boost their entrepreneurial plans in a first-ever nationally-backed Homer Incubator project.
Nickie Knight and Ken Sprague own the Alaska Marketplace on Ocean Drive. The vendors under the umbrella of their business are the inspiration for the newly established Alaska Small Business Incubator, LLC. What spells good news for the project is a hoped-for economic shot in the arm for future year-round employment and local manufacturing from this national nod of recognition.

Coastal Studies’ CoastWalk 2015 celebrates 30 years

Ocean trash is entirely preventable, and involving our younger citizens may be integral to the future health of Kachemak Bay, according to experts.
There has been a dramatic shift in the type of debris collected says Melanie Dufour, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ outreach and marketing director.
“We used to collect more commercial-type debris like fishing lines and buoys and tools. Stuff that you just lose. But over the years that’s really changed to more recreational kinds of debris. Stuff we just throw on the beach and walk away from.”

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