Renee Gross

Reporter/Host
Chuck the Monk

Homer, commonly known as the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea, is a beacon for artists around Alaska, but it also attracts others from Outside who are looking for a place to work on their craft. Colombian writer Carlos Valencia is one of those artists. He travels around the world writing a comic strip about a Buddhist cat named "Chuck the Monk" and is giving a talk on it at Many Rivers on Friday. Chuck is based on Valencia, who also happens to be a brain scientist. 

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Homer’s emergency management officials gathered on Thursday for a debrief on the tsunami warning earlier this week. Officials agreed the evacuation went well as residents heeded the warning. But Fire Chief Bob Painter said there was still talk of what could be approved upon. 

"One of the things that we wish we would've had done was to early on appoint a public information officer for the city that could better track the incoming and outgoing information during the event rather than us trying to do that in-house," he said. 

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton of Homer spoke with Renee Gross on Jan. 26 about education funding, crime bills and sexual harassment policy in the Legislature.   

South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services

South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services is kicking off the first DeStig Cinema Series on Thursday with the romantic comedy, “Benny and Joon.” Health services, better known as the center, will be showing one free movie a month about mental illness, substance use and disabilities at the Homer Theater for the next four months. Head of the center, Jay Bechtol, said he hopes it will jumpstart conversations about stigmatized identities. 

Ryan Oles/Flickr

The Homer Fire and Police Departments responded to an accident Monday evening around six p.m. A vehicle rolled over on the east end of Beluga Lake and the driver suffered serious injuries. He was medevacted to Anchorage and his name was not released. 

Renee Gross, KBBI News

The tsunami warning on Tuesday sent people along the Gulf of Alaska scrambling to find higher ground. In Homer, residents evacuated to the north side of Pioneer and over 60 people waited out the warning in the South Peninsula Hospital and Homer High School.

Chuck Hagen was asleep at his home on Bay Avenue when he realized something was wrong.

“I heard the sirens going and I turned the radio on and it said a tsunami was coming this way,” he said.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The City of Homer may have its first marijuana cultivation facility next December. Dan Coglianese and Janiese Stevens, owners of Alaska Loven It, applied for a standard marijuana cultivation license to operate out of a 5,000 square foot building on Kachemak Drive.

Coglianese said they’re aiming to offer better quality cannabis than other facilities by testing out their product out before selling it.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

This weekend, the Women’s March is returning to cities all across the country. In Homer, this nonpartisan event will focus on women’s rights and getting out the vote.  To prep for the march, community members made over 90 signs at the Old Inlet Bookshop.

Almost a dozen women hovered over pieces of cardboard in the backroom of the bookstore. Jan Agosta’s sign was bright pink, yellow and purple.

Homer Tribune/Cindy Barker

Internet is a basic commodity for most of U.S. consumers, but some remote Alaskan towns like Point Hope on the Chukchi Sea are just getting connected to the digital world. Other rural towns in Alaska have surprisingly been connected nearly as long as their peers in the Lower 48. 

The internet came to Homer in 1995, but it wasn’t a large internet provider that broke into the rural Alaskan market, it was a 20-year-old college student that saw the business opportunity.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

The National Center for Biomedical Research and Training taught nearly 40 emergency responders this week on how to handle an active shooter situation. The three-day course began with lectures, but increasingly became more hands on and cumulated with an active shooting simulation. The center, which partners with the Department of Homeland Security, is housed at Louisiana State University but provides trainings all over the country free of charge.

Fire Chief Bob Painter applied for the training to come to Homer.

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