Sandhill crane monitoring season has started. Sandhill cranes have been reported on the ground in Homer. Please report sandhill crane sightings to Kachemak Crane Watch at 235-6262 or The date, time, location and number of cranes is helpful. Leave a name and number in case Kachemak Crane Watch needs more details.

As part of its Green Dot program, South Peninsula Haven House holds “quick conversations” about Green Dot from noon-1 p.m. every Tuesday in April at K-Bay Caffé. A Green Dot is “any behavior, choice, word or attitude that promotes safety for everyone and communicates intolerance for violence.” 

Kenai Peninsula Fair will host the Second Annual Alaska Fiber & Arts Festival from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at the fairgrounds in Ninilchik. This festival was started to bring awareness to a dying art — natural fibers of Alaska and education of that art.  There will be informative booths, hands-on experiences and demonstrations as well as craft booths. Booth space is still available if anyone is interested. Classes are being made available this year. The class schedule is on the website,, along with the registration form.

The annual Safe Kids Fair is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School. A free, fun event for children of all ages to focus on safety, health and wellness, the fair offers numerous booths with hands on activities and demonstrations. Loads of door prizes are given away throughout the free fair, including the grand door prize of a tricycle and bicycle. A bike rodeo will take place in the school parking lot from 10 a.m.-noon. Kids can bring their bikes and gear up for safe, summer fun. Helmets are required, and are available for purchase on site. The drunk driving go-cart is available for test drives in the parking lot from noon-2 p.m. A sleeping bag drive for fellow residents in need will take place at the fair — please bring your gently used sleeping bags and pads to donate. Highlights of the day include visits from Smokey the Bear and Safety Seal, a Zumba dance demo, a presentation on the warning signs of a biting dog, a hand wash station, a teddy bear clinic, hearing tests, givaways and more. Numerous summer programs also offer sign-up tables. Boating and water safety, face painting, green dot violence prevention and campfire safety will be offered. The fair is an effort of the local SafeKids Coalition, made up of concerned agencies working toward injury prevention. For more information, contact Haven House at 235-7712.

The Kachemak Bay Birders meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Seminar Room at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Following the meeting there will be a presentation on South Texas Birding by George Matz. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. For more information, contact Lani Raymond at 399-9477 or Lori Paulsrud at 299-3724. The meeting is cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

The Kachemak Bay Birders’ trip this Saturday is to Seaside Farm to find some songbirds and other birds in the bird habitat on Mossy Kilcher’s farm. Meet at 8 a.m. at Seaside Farm, Mile 5 East End Road. Parking is at the top of the hill, but there is good birding even just walking down the driveway. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. All trips are co-sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Birders and Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Bring binoculars and scope and field guide if you have them. For more information, contact the trip leader, Michael Craig, at 235-0631.

Volunteers are need for the 22nd annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, to be held May 8-11. Opportunities include preparing festival bags on May 1-2, helping with registration in 3-4-hour shifts May 8-10, merchandise sales in 3-4-hour shifts May 8-10, and selling and collecting tickets to the keynote address in 2-hour shifts 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 10 at the Mariner Theatre. For more information or to sign up, contact Robbi Mixon, Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival coordinator, Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, 235-7740.

Clean-Up Week is April 27 to May 3 and sponsored by AJ’s OldTown Steakhouse. Trash dropoff is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center parking lot. There are four categories this year: Individual (1st-3rd place), Group (1st-3rd place), Kids 6-10 years (1st and 2nd place) and Kids 11-15 years old (1st and 2nd place). Participants may enter only one category. Both the kids’ categories will be the bikes donated by the Kachemak Bay Lions Club; therefore there will be no kids’ raffle. The chamber encourages the community to start cleaning up Homer early. There are clean-up bags available for pick up at the Homer Chamber of Commerce.

The Second Annual Almost Spring Fling Bazaar, benefiting Special Olympics-Homer Area, will be from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 3 at Homer United Methodist Church on East End Road. Vendors are still needed and may contact Joyce Shuler at 907-398-6712 or e-mail at for more info. There will be a massage therapist at the bazaar, as well as home-based businesses with booths. Handmade items and baked goods will be sold. This will be a great day of fun for the entire family.

It’s time to clean out your closets and support Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS will have a clothing drive from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 3 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s Cleanup Day event. There will be a $50 prize for the person who brings in the most bags of gently used clothing, bedding, shoes or towels. For more information, call 235-8391 or go to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Homer Alaska facebook page.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has scheduled additional open houses to gather public input on its planning process for revising the Kachemak Bay State Park and State Wilderness Park Management Plan. Open houses will be held 5-7 p.m. April 29 at the Multi Purpose Complex in Seldovia, noon-2 p.m. May 9 at the Port Graham Community Hall  and 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 13, at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center auditorium. Previous open houses were held in Homer and Anchorage and one will be scheduled for Nanwalek as well. The purpose of the plan revision is to address issues the park is facing due to changing patterns in recreational use and increased visitation, as well as updating recommendations for park management and facility development. Additionally, a trail plan will be developed to provide specific guidance for trail management and development in these areas. 

Planning staff will be available to discuss issues, gather information, and learn more about current or future goals and uses related to the management plan revision. To view the existing park plan and learn more about this process, visit

Written comments are encouraged throughout the planning process. The deadline for submitting initial scoping comments is May 15. They can be sent via mail, email or fax to Kachemak Bay State Park Planning, 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1050, Anchorage, AK 99501, Fax: 907-269-8915, Email:

Reiki master and author Shalandra Abbey of Maui, Hawaii, teaches a first-degree class from 2 -8 p.m. May 19 and 20 at South Peninsula Hospital. The class is for all ages. After the 12-hour training, students will have the ability to provide hands-on healing treatments for themselves, other people, animals and plants. Abbey has dedicated her life to Reiki for more than 20 years and has trained more than a thousand students. She is the author of “Living a Life of Reiki, from Complete Healthcare to Ultimate Freedom in Day-to-day Life.” For more information on Reiki and to register, visit or call local Reiki practitioner Rita Turner at 907-299-3894.

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) will present the Tustumena Replacement Vessel Reconnaissance Report to the communities of Kodiak Island, Southcentral and Southwest Alaska May 19-22. The report will be presented in Homer with teleconference availability for neighboring communities from 5-7 p.m. May 22 at Pioneer Hall, Kachemak Bay Campus, 533 E. Pioneer Ave. Seldovia residents can participate by teleconference by calling 800-315-6338, conference code 3905#. An open house for meeting attendees will be held from 5-5:30 p.m. The teleconference and presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to review the report prior to the meeting. Time for questions will be provided immediately following the presentation. In addition to the public meetings, DOT&PF will accept public comments regarding the Tustumena Replacement Vessel Reconnaissance Report through May 30. A copy of the report is available online at Comments may be submitted via email to

Cooperative Extension 

Ever wonder how to make birch syrup from our native birch trees? The Cooperative Extension Service has a new publication out, “Backyard Birch Tapping Basics,” that is available for free on its website or by visiting its office. This new publication will answer the how, when, why and how much questions you might have as to how to make this sweet northern delight. The local Cooperative Extension Service is a year round resource for a variety of topics. Visit it at to find this publication and more, or stop by between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at the extension, 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road.

Friendship Center

Friendship Center Adult Day Services is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday with extended hours for special situations. Special programs are offered daily, including story time, crafts and musical performances. For more information, call 235-4556.

Homer Senior Citizens

Homer Senior Citizens lunch is open to seniors and guests and is served 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. The lunch menu for this week is: today, roast beef; Friday, zesty tilapia with mushrooms; Monday, baked ham; Tuesday, hamburgers; Wednesday, zesty Cuban pork.

Strong Women classes are 2-3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Homer Senior Center. The cost is $3 for members and $6 for nonmembers per class.

Zumba Gold classes with Maria are 11 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Homer Senior Center. The cost per class is $4 members, $6 nonmembers.

Tai Chi classes are Thursday at 3 p.m. The cost per class is $3 members and $6 nonmembers. Call Daniel at 235-7655.

Caregiver Support Group meets 2-3:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday in the senior center dining room. Call Pam Hooker at 299-7198 or Daniel Weisser at 235-7655. 

Kachemak Bay Campus

Registration is now being held for the 2014 Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, June 13-17, featuring 19 visiting, local and statewide poets and creative literary nonfiction and fiction writers. Early registration fee available. See for more information. The deadline for early registration at a reduced fee is May 2.

The Student Art Showcase opening reception featuring artwork from painting and ceramics classes will be from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday.

KBC Commencement at Mariner Theater will be at 7 p.m. May 7. 

The annual watercolor painting workshop with Jan Peyton will be May 31, June 2, June 5 and June 7. Register now.

Kachemak Bay Campus and the UA MAPTS program offer an upcoming job training opportunity, the NSTC Unescorted Program, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. May 9. The fee is $204. Advanced registration is required at KBC. This training is required for all employees prior to arrival on the North Slope. The one-day course consists of six modules (“six-pack”) plus H2S/FeS. Upon completion of the course, participants receive an NSTC card, which allows them to travel unescorted within and between the operating fields to which they are assigned.

Pratt Museum

The museum galleries are open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Business offices are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill is the subject of the Pratt’s stewardship exhibit, Darkened Waters, which will be on display through May 11. The Jubilee Student Art Showcase will be on display in the Pratt’s lower level art gallery through May 11. “Key Ingredients,” the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition about how food and culture inform each other across America, is on display in the special exhibits gallery though May 15. A subsequent exhibit “Putting By: Food Identity on the Kenai” will open May 15 and focus on foods collected and preserved to last the winter. During the exhibits, the Pratt will accept donations of canned and preserved foods for the Homer Community Food Pantry. 

The public is invited to participate in exhibit planning workshops from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday and from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Pratt’s consulting exhibit planner and exhibit designer will be at the museum sharing preliminary exhibit plans for the new Pratt Museum. This is an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions. These two events are identical.

From 5-7 p.m. May 1, Ember Jackinsky from Local Organic Vegetables and Edibles (L.O.V.E.) Farm presents “Sustainable Foods for Future Generations: Acclimated Heirloom Seeds and Food Security.” Jackinsky will discuss her family’s homesteading systems and efforts to acclimate and make available heirloom seeds on the lower Kenai Peninsula. The presentation is in association with the “Key Ingredients” and “Putting Food By” exhibits and will be outside in the Pratt Pioneer Garden, weather dependent.

R.E.C. Room

The R.E.C. Room (a Youth Resource and Enrichment Co-Op) offers activities for the school year. Free programs include instruction on software installation and customization, digital music production, fresh and organic cooking, gardening and slam poetry. The R.E.C. Room provides teens ages 12-18 with a safe space to hang out after school and connect with positive resources, activities and programs available in our community. It offers computers and Wi-Fi for homework, guitars, XBox Kinect, games, darts, rave gloves, movies, art supplies and more. A program of Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, the R.E.C. Room is always staffed by a program manager. Hours are 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 3957 Nielsen Circle, off Ben Walters Lane. For more information, call 235-6736, e-mail or visit or

SVT Health & Wellness

SVT Health & Wellness offers a series of classes covering all aspects of wellness every Thursday at 6 p.m. Today’s class is part two of a three-part gardening series presented by Kyra Wagner and Jessica Ryan. The classes are open to the public. For more information, call 226-2228 ext. 660.