Homer, Alaska

Homer, Alaska

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Homer
other_name =
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settlement_type = City
motto =

image_caption = View of Homer and the Homer Spit
imagesize = 250px

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mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of Homer, Alaska

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pushpin_label_position = left
pushpin_mapsize = 300
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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Alaska
subdivision_type2 = Borough
subdivision_name2 = Kenai Peninsula
subdivision_type3 =
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area_total_km2 = 58.1
area_land_km2 = 27.4
area_water_km2 = 30.7
area_total_sq_mi = 22.4
area_land_sq_mi = 10.6
area_water_sq_mi = 11.9
area_water_percent =
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population_as_of = 2005
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population_total = 5364
population_density_km2 = 144
population_density_sq_mi = 372.9
population_metro =
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timezone = Alaska (AKST)
utc_offset = -9
timezone_DST = AKDT
utc_offset_DST = -8
latd = 59 |latm = 38 |lats = 35 |latNS = N
longd = 151 |longm = 31 |longs = 33 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 29
elevation_ft = 95
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 99603
area_code = 907
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 02-33140
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = [Gnis3|1413141 1413141]
website = [http://www.ci.homer.ak.us/ City of Homer official home page]
footnotes =
Homer is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population was 5,364.cite web | date = June 21 2006 | url = http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/files/SUB-EST2005-04-02.csv | title = Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Alaska | format = CSV | work = 2005 Population Estimates | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division | accessdate = November 9 | accessyear = 2006] One of Homer's nicknames is "the cosmic hamlet by the sea"; another is "the end of the road". A popular local bumper sticker characterizes the town as "Homer - A quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem."


Homer is located at 59°38'35" North, 151°31'33" West (59.643059, -151.525900)GR|1.

Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its most distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mile (7 km) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.

Much of the coastline as well as the Homer Spit sank dramatically during the Good Friday Earthquake in March 1964. After the earthquake, very little vegetation was able to survive on the Homer Spit.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58.1 km²), of which, 10.6 square miles (27.4 km²) is land and 11.9 square miles (30.7 km²) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.


Archeological digs indicate that early Alutiq people probably camped in the Homer area although their villages were on the far side of Kachemak Bay.

Coal was discovered in the area in the 1890s. The Cook Inlet Coal Fields Company built a town, dock, coal mine, and a railroad at Homer. Coal mining in the area continued until World War II. There are an estimated 400 million tons of coal deposits still in the area.

Homer was named for Homer Pennock, a gold mining company promoter, who arrived in 1896 on the Homer Spit and built living quarters for his crew of 50 men. However, gold mining was never profitable in the area.

Homer has long been known as the "halibut fishing capital of the world" and halibut and salmon sport fishing, along with other tourism, commercial fishing, and logging are the dominant industries in the Homer area. Homer co-hosted the 2006 Arctic Winter Games.


As of 2004, there were 3,726 people, 1,523 households, and 955 families residing in town. The population density is PD mi2 to km2|372.9. There are 1,873 housing units at an average density of 177.0 per square mile (68.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town is 88% White, 2.33% Black or African American, 4.88% Native American, 2% Asian, 1.19% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. 2.41% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 1,523 households out of which 31.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% are married couples living together, 9.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% are non-families. 29.7 % of all households are made up of individuals and 6.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.40 and the average family size is 2.99.

In town the population is spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 28.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 98.7 males.

The median income for a household in town is $42,821, and the median income for a family is $53,571. Males have a median income of $38,063 versus $30,494 for females. The per capita income for the town is $21,823. 9.3% of the population and 7.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.6% of those under the age of 18 and 6.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


The Homer Public Library has enthusiastic support from the Friends of the Homer Library, established in 1948, which raised funds and support for a new library building, opened on September 16, 2006.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District provides primary and secondary education to the community of Homer. These schools are:
*Homer High School (9-12)
*Homer Flex High School (9-12)
*Homer Middle School (7-8)
*West Homer Elementary (3-6)
*Paul Banks Elementary (K-2)
*McNeil Canyon Elementary (K-6)
*Fireweed Academy (3-6)

The Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College provides post-secondary education, as well as ESL and GED training to the community of Homer.


Homer has two newspapers, the "Homer Tribune", an independent weekly paper established in 1991, and the "Homer News", a weekly founded in 1964 and bought in 2000 by Morris Communications.

Homer has a number of radio stations including KWVV-FM at 103.5 FM, KMJG at 88.9 FM, KGTL at 620 AM, and KBBI at 890 AM [List of radio stations in Alaska] .

Homer receives 7 analog television stations: [ [http://www.kyes.com/antenna/aktvlist.html TV Station List ] ]
* KTUU-TV Channel 2 - NBC
*KTBY Channel 4 - Fox
*KAKM Channel 7 - PBS
*KYES Channel 9 - MyNetworkTV
*KTVA Channel 11 - CBS
*KIMO Channel 13 - ABC


Homer is the Southernmost town on the contiguous Alaska highway system. It is also part of the Alaska Marine Highway (the Alaskan ferry system). The regional airport lies near the coast as well, with two local air taxis and scheduled flights to Kenai and Anchorage. Homer constructed its first traffic light in 2005. [ [http://homernews.com/stories/120105/news_1201new003.shtml Homer News Online - News ] ]

Notable people from Homer

Notable people from or living in Homer include:

* Tom Bodett, writer. Bodett is known for the Motel 6 "We'll leave the light on for you" advertisements, and the whimsical book about Homer, "As Far as You Can go Without a Passport".
* Stacey Borgman, Olympic competitor in rowing.
* Lincoln Brewster, Christian Worship Musician
* Shelley Gill, author, adventurer, and one of the first women to compete in the Iditarod.
* Andy and John Hillstrand, captains of the "F/V Time Bandit" crab boat on the television series Deadliest Catch.
* Jewel, singer/songwriter.
* Jean Keene, the "Eagle Lady" of Homer, known for her decades-long history of feeding bald eagles on Homer Spit
* Larry Martin, competitor in cross country skiing at the 1972 Olympic games in Sapporo, Japan. He spends his retirement from competition teaching others to ski.
* Tela O'Donnell, Olympic competitor in women's wrestling.


External links

* [http://www.ci.homer.ak.us/ City of Homer official home page]
* [http://www.homernews.com/ Homer News (Local print & on-line newspaper)]
* [http://www.homertribune.com/ Homer Tribune (Local print & on-line newspaper)]
* [http://library.ci.homer.ak.us/ Homer Public Library home page]

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