A warmer winter has pushed many Homer residents inside the local ice rink, looking for a blast of cold air and a good winter sport. And curling seems to be just the ticket. It’s a centuries old game that can be played by people young and old, highly athletic or not, by rookies and experienced players alike. KBBI’s Shady Grove Oliver stopped by an open curling night at the rink to find out just what attracts new people to this unique sport and keeps them coming back.
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As the Homer curling club gets more members, it’s also trying to build its stock of equipment. It's purchased a new set of curling stones from a club in Canada. But, it doesn't have a way to get the stones to Homer. 16 stones are looking for a driver!
If the weather had been different so far this winter, the state’s mushers would be heading for the Kenai Peninsula this coming week. The Tustumena 200 sled dog race was originally scheduled for the first week in February, but was postponed for lack of snow. It’s now slated to start on February 21st, but could be cancelled if conditions aren’t right. Recent colder weather could bode well for the race, but plans are still up in the air.
The City of Homer has released its adopted budget for 2015. The budget is a prediction based on past city budgets and recent financial indicators. This year the budget is balanced but there are a number of necessary improvements the city will not pursue because the money is not available.
The City of Homer has received numerous complaints of pollution, vandalism, and other alleged illegal behavior on Homer's beaches. The complainants called for action and now the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission will answer. Earlier this month the Commission held the first in a string of upcoming meetings in which they'll decide what is and isn't allowed on Homer beaches.
Alaska is getting older. Its population of seniors passed the 70,000 mark last year. That’s according to the Alaska Department of Labor, which released statistics for the aging population on Friday. The number of Alaskans age 65 and older increased by more than 3,000 since 2013. That group now comprises 10% of the state’s population. The state’s median age is 34.
Last week Governor Bill Walker took to the airwaves not once, but twice to impress upon Alaskans the dire situation the state's finances are in. On Wednesday, his State of the State address was akin to a pep talk before the big game, while on Thursday, his State of the Budget address was a wake-up call that declining oil revenue will require belt-tightening across the board. Stevens says the budget will be a challenge for everyone.
South and Central Peninsula Hospitals reported the results of their latest quarter this fiscal year during the latest Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Meeting. Both hospitals reported surges in net income and South Peninsula Hospital's CEO reported a large increase in patients.