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Sep 17 2014
Perennial Homer Candidate Vondersaar, Deat at 64
Wednesday, 17 September 2014

frank_vondersaar_trib_bw.jpgFrank Vondersaar poses for a photo in 2010. Vondersaar was a veteran and candidate for Congress. He passed away Sept. 12. HOMER TRIBUNE/file photo

Homer Tribune staff
    Longtime Homer resident, Frank J. Vondersaar, 64, died Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage.
    Mr. Vondersaar served in the U.S. Air Force from 1972 to 1985, where he received various commendations for meritorious service. He lived in Homer since 1989 and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton that same year. He worked as an attorney and engineer. Mr. Vondersaar was a member of the Homer Community Emergency Response Team.
    As a perennial candidate for Congress, Mr. Vondersaar, a well-known Democrat, conducted 11 campaigns against Sens. Ted Stevens and others in Alaska's congressional delegation. He began running for congress in 1992, and every two years, he continued to throw his hat into the ring. Most recently he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in this year's primary election, hoping to run against Republican Rep. Don Young in the general election. He called Young, “one of the most corrupt congressmen in the U.S. House.”
    Mr. Vondersaar also took issue against the culture of corruption in Washington and economic matters where one percent of the country’s wealthy hold the power. He wanted to protect Social Security and Medicare-Medicaid.
    Mr. Vondersaar was also a regular writer of letters to the editor to the Homer Tribune, and served on the board of directors of KBBI public radio, where he was a long-time volunteer.
    A visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at the Homer Funeral Home. Funeral Services will follow the next day at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Homer.
    Mr. Vondersaar will be buried following the services at the Hickerson Cemetery on Diamond Ridge Road. A potluck will follow at the Salvation Army Church on the Sterling Highway.
    Arrangements are with Homer Funeral Home & Cremation Services. Family and friends will submit a longer obituary at a later date.

Sep 17 2014
Rescued Seal Pup Returns to Kodiak Waters Today
Wednesday, 17 September 2014

seal_pup_everest.jpgJay Barrett/KMXT
    A harbor seal pup that was found near Kodiak abandoned and injured in early June is scheduled to be released after three months of rehab at the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward.
    The pup, now a healthy 25 kilos, or 55 pounds, will be released by NOAA Fisheries officers and personnel from the Sea Life Center at 11:30 this morning at Mayflower Beach.
    The pup, named Mount Everest, was rescued on June 3rd, with multiple puncture wounds on the beach of an island off the coast of Kodiak. NMFS officers and a local veterinarian cared for the animal before it was transported to the Sea Life Center for rehabilitation.
    There, Everest’s wounds were treated and healed within a month, and he was trained to chase small salmon in a pool he shared with other rescued seals.

Sep 16 2014
No Timeline for Declaring Narrow Cape Fit for Man or Beast
Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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    Work continues to pick up the pieces of the failed U.S. Army rocket that exploded moments after launch from Narrow Cape three weeks ago, and the rocket range remains off-limits to the public. In fact, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Jade Gamble, not even state inspectors have been allowed in to determine the environmental impact or to issue any sort of update.
    “No there hasn’t been. We don’t have a lot of information on it at this point. It’s been a fairly low public health risk to this point, so we just haven’t put out any type of sit-rep for it.”
    “Sit-Rep” is short for situation report, which the DEC issues for pretty much every incident that could affect the environment, including fuel spills. And though it was fuel that did scatter around the Kodiak Launch Complex, it is very different than the standard diesel fuel spill that DEC regularly reports on.
    “Right now they’re working on collecting that material and dealing with that material, and we don’t have an estimated time at this point. It may take a bit to do the sampling and get a work plan in place. So this is something a little bit unique to deal with on Kodiak.”
    Dozens of square miles of tundra, grassland and wetlands used by humans, bison and cattle are closed off. Berry-picking especially is a common traditional use on the rolling hills surrounding the KLC, but Gamble said it’s not known yet how any residue from the solid rocket fuel will affect the area.

Sep 15 2014
After Rescue, A Jail Cell
Monday, 15 September 2014

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    An Air Station Kodiak helicopter crew rescued three men from a hunting trip gone bad on Sunday morning, but for one of those men, things went from bad to ... well, maybe not worse, but he was arrested by the Alaska State Troopers after returning to Kodiak.
    At about 8:30 Sunday morning the troopers received a report that three hunters at Windy Lake had lost their tent during the storm overnight and were becoming hypothermic. Both the troopers and Sea Hawk Air contacted the Coast Guard, which launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to retrieve the men.
    According to the Coast Guard in Kodiak, the Jayhawk was able to land near where the men were and they were flown to safety. After returning to Kodiak, they were examined by emergency medical personnel, and then one of them was arrested for an outstanding reckless driving and failure to appear warrant from Soldotna.
    Thirtyfive-year-old Zebadiah Carpenter of Kenai was arrested by troopers and lodged at the Kodiak Jail without bail pending his arraignment.
    Despite any past lapses in judgment, Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Doug Watson said the men did everything right by planning ahead, maintaining contact with their charter airline and rescuers, and most importantly not over-estimating their ability to endure the elements.
    Conditions at Windy Lake lived up to its name, with nearly 50 mph winds, intermittent showers and a temperature of 45-degrees.

Sep 15 2014
ADQ Swimming and Diving Swamp Homer
Monday, 15 September 2014

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    The Kodiak High School swimming and diving team reasserted their dominance over Homer High over the weekend, with both the boys and girls winning handily.
    The girls had a 171-46 victory on Friday and a 177-62 victory on Saturday. The boys won 189-80 on Friday and 193-93 on Saturday.
    We’ve got full individual and relay results after the jump.

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