Peonies bloom a month early

If you want to talk to a peony grower in Homer whose field is in production this year, the only way is to join them.
On the hills above Homer, Beth VanSandt of Scenic Place Peonies is in constant motion, wading through thousands of waist-high plants cutting buds before they “blow” into the outrageous explosion of fragrance and frilly beauty that has made the peony one of the most sought flowers for weddings and other special occasions.

Hatchery faces opposition to net pens in Tutka Bay

After years of struggling with brutally low pink salmon prices, the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery finally got back into production in 2011 after closing for seven years. But the hatchery now faces another challenge, and this time, it is not a price issue. It is all about location.
The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association, a nonprofit, took over operation of the hatchery in the 1980s, said Gary Fandrei, executive director of the association, and has run the hatchery in an effort to improve the pink salmon fishery to the point where it is an economically sustainable industry for both fishermen and processors.

Homer’s centenarian Clara Anderson turns 110

Clara Anderson celebrated her 110th birthday with family and friends Thursday, one of Alaska’s oldest and still active citizens who continues to play the piano at lunchtime for residents and visitors at the South Peninsula Long Term Care unit.
A multi-volume life story travels through Clara’s century-plus, one that’s garnered her national notice a few times over. Most recently, photographer Paul Mobley, working on “American Wisdom,” a book depicting centenarians, came to Homer this month to take her picture. Based in Los Angeles and New York City, Mobley is presently traveling the U.S. to photograph selected people to represent all 50 states. Clara was chosen for Alaska.

Teen effort sparks discussion about teen homelessness

On any given day, dozens of teens in Homer wake up on a friend’s couch, in a tent, or in a car. Like the rest of those homeless in Homer, teens have no place to go when their home life is disrupted. But unlike adults, teens face an arguably greater challenge because many do not know about the resources that are available to them in the community.
While efforts have surged at times over the years to help homeless teens, in recent months, a new push to develop a better network to support these youth has come from an unusual source — teens themselves.

Big bear up for Boone & Crocket trophy

Bear-baiting season finished last week on the Kenai Peninsula with the taking of 16 brown bears; one considered a contender for a Boone and Crocket trophy.
A 10-foot brown bear, shot by Duane Smith at Kenny Bingaman’s bear baiting station at Clam Gulch, is being considered for a possible record. It measured over 10 feet tall, with an unofficial skull measurement just under 30 inches, Bingaman said. He’s awaiting Boone & Crocket verification, a process which takes over 60 days by a certified scorer for the record book, Ted Spraker, the official for the Kenai Peninsula.

For the Record – July 8

The following records are cases and records filed in court. Individuals are innocent until proven guilty, and copies of the records are publicly available. Felony Gregory Simeon Kalmakoff, 28, third-degree assault Misdemeanor Raymond Arthur Spencer, Jr., 30, second-degree criminal trespass Judgments Ryan Howard Pitcher, 39, refusal of breath test, guilty Raymond Arthur Spencer, Jr., 30, […]

Birth – July 8

Emily Rose Fraker, weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces, was born on July 4, 2015 at South Peninsula Hospital to Lori and Chris Fraker of Homer. Grandparents are David and Gay Fraker of Homer, and Tim and Karan Philpsen of Albany, Ore.

Obituary – July 8

Edna Bernice Fisk of Homer, Alaska passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, June 28, 2015.  Edna was born in Melita, which is now Sterling, Mich., in 1920.  As a young woman, Edna was swept off her feet by serviceman Toras Fisk, and they were wed in 1943. Toras was the love of her […]

Public Safety – July 8

FIRE June 29 – July 6 Homer Volunteer Fire Department responded to seven emergency medical calls and one fire call. Kachemak Emergency Services responded to one fire and one EMS call. Anchor Point Fire & EMS responded to five EMS calls and four fire calls. POLICE July 1 Animal Related: A caller reported an injured […]

Navy urged to change practice time, place

The Homer City Council joined Kodiak, Cordova and other Alaska communities this week when it passed a resolution urging the U.S. Navy to change training exercises currently held in the Gulf of Alaska after dozens testified that the training could impact marine mammals and fish in the region.
The resolution, postponed at a previous meeting, asked the Navy to hold its training exercises in the fall, not in the summer during the main migration period for the region’s fish and marine mammals. It also requested that the Navy move the training to an area further offshore, out of the prime fishing grounds in the Gulf of Alaska.

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