Town Crier

The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board is an elected board that oversees local tax dollars for a healthier community. The SAB will hold its regular monthly board meeting virtually via Zoom on Thursday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. Public Meeting ID and details will be made available closer to time of the meeting.

The 3rd Annual Homer Pottery Tour, scheduled for May 16 and 17, 2020, is cancelled. This self-guided tour of nine area pottery studios with eleven participating artists welcomes the public into our studios for a glimpse at what it takes to make things from clay. Some studios give demonstrations, some slide shows, there is pottery for sale and organizers had planned a game to search for hidden pots to give away at each studio this year.

Though the tour has been cancelled, potters are all still making pots. Their website, homerpotters.com provides links to each artist. Potters hope to see you soon and for the tour in 2021.

Sandhill cranes are heading north. Please report Sandhill Crane sightings to Kachemak Crane Watch at 235-6262 or reports@cranewatch.org. Date, time, location, behavior, and number of cranes is helpful. Leave a name and number in case Kachemak Crane Watch needs more details.

The May 2020 Hazardous Waste Collection Days for Soldotna, Seward and Homer are canceled. Organizers anticipate the July 2020 events will resume as normal. For more information, please contact the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Department at 907-262-9667 or email us at solidwaste@kpb.us. Also, check the borough website for updates.

Kenai Peninsula Votes tidbit:

On April 7, Wisconsin held their spring election and Presidential Primary. This election was definitely a test of the voters resolve. The day before the election, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 that Wisconsin’s election would proceed normally. This decision by the Supreme Court forced many voters to have to go to the polls if they wanted to vote. Wisconsin was not prepared to have a normal election. For example, Milwaukee only had five polling stations available for voters as opposed to their normal 100. This meant that anyone who voted in person on April 7 had a greater chance to acquire the COVID-19 virus. The final voter turnout for this election was 34%. (It is important to note that absentee ballots were the more predominant method of voting). There were long lines and waits. Those who went to the polls recognized the importance of their vote, despite the health risks. Across the country there are discussions going on about how voting will look this year. COVID-19 will have a huge impact on the process of voting in the future. By filling out your absentee registration today, you can be sure to secure your ballot now for the upcoming elections in Alaska. Please remember to vote—your voice matters!

Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste facilities will be closed on Sundays for the winter through April 26. For more information contact the KPB Solid Waste Department at 907-262-9667. Due to a change in its recycle market, Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste facilities will no longer accept D grade plastic film, including plastic shopping bags. Also, they are only accepting #1 PETE beverage bottles with twist tops for recycling.

Kenai Peninsula Service Area Boards meetings have been postponed until further notice. For more information, visit kpboem.blogspot.com.

Anchor Point Senior Citizens

The Anchor Point Senior Center on Milo Fritz Avenue is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congregate meals and the Helping Hands Thrift Store also are closed. The Anchor Point Senior Center serves take-out meals on Monday and Thursday evenings with pickup from 5-6 p.m. Donations for Helping Hands Thrift Store can dropped off. The office staff are at work and available by phone for addressing needs. For information, call 235-7786.

Friendship Center

Friendship Center Adult Day Services is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 235-4556.

Homer Senior Citizens

All activities are canceled and the Homer Senior Center is closed to the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homer Senior Citizens congregate lunch is closed, but meals can be picked up at noon from Monday-Friday. You must call 907-235-7655 by 10 a.m. daily to reserve your meal.

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Hospice of Homer

Hospice of Homer requests that anyone who needs to borrow or return medical equipment or to pick up disposable personal care items, call the office. Staff will check availability and arrange a time for pick up.

Anyone needing access to grief counseling or other services should also call to talk with a staff member. Staff will be available Monday-Thursday at 235-6899.

Support Group meetings have been canceled.

Hospice of Homer has had an unusually high demand for medical equipment recently and are in great need of many items. Anyone wishing to help can go to Smile.amazon.com.

Select Hospice of Homer as your charity then select Charity List and choose any of the items on our List of Current Needs. All donated equipment is loaned out free of charge to anyone who needs it in the Homer vicinity and a percentage of the purchase is donated to Hospice of Homer.

Kachemak Bay Campus

Thursday, May 7, Celebrate Our Graduates at KPC’s 50th Commencement Ceremony – Join Kenai Peninsula College in honoring graduates from both the Kachemak Bay Campus and the Kenai River Campus in a virtual event that will go live at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7. This combined ceremony will feature two keynote speakers, with writer and KPC adjunct instructor Rich Chiappone representing KBC. Amber Grady will speak as the Homer campus valedictorian. Each participating graduate will be highlighted with a photo, a list of honors and some thoughts about their accomplishment. KBC director, Dr. Reid Brewer will launch the students into the future with words of encouragement. The event will be broadcast on Facebook live at 6 p.m. and can be found at facebook.com/KenaiPeninsulaCollege, and then remain as a recorded event on KPC’s website and youtube channel. For more information visit https://kpc.alaska.edu/commencement2020 or call 235-7743.

College Contingency Planning – COVID 19 has disrupted daily lives and students have been particularly impacted. If you want to use the summer to take a prerequisite, staff will help you find one. If you want to take transferable classes locally in the fall, you don’t have to be admitted to a degree program. Join our virtual information session at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. Staff will be on hand to answer your questions. Join at https://alaska.zoom.us/j/94026597870. Reach an advisor anytime during regular business hours by calling 907-235-1655.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough will pay around 68% of tuition for up to six credits per semester for eligible high school juniors and seniors through the JumpStart program, making it possible for borough residents to complete up to a year’s worth of college courses while finishing high school, at a fraction of what their freshman year would normally cost. Learn how the program works at one of four zoom meetings: Wednesdays May 6 and 13 at 3 p.m., and again at 7 p.m., where KPC will share information and answer questions about courses, partial tuition waivers and anything else you might want to know. Join at https://alaska.zoom.us/j/93347652998. Call 235-1655 to talk to an advisor.

Summer and fall registration are open now. Summer 2020 classes start May 18 and if you are staying in our beautiful town this summer, now is the perfect time to pick-up a class you might have missed during the fall or spring semester. Visit this link to see what we have on offer. https://tinyurl.com/y9bdk3fm. Call 235-7743 with questions.

For the fall, our printed schedule is back. Look for it in your mailbox and around town in May. Register now to hold your place in your local campus classes. Want a sneak peak? Visit this online link, https://bit.ly/2wRIxEA to see what KBC is offering our community; call 235-1655 to talk to an advisor.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Homer Annex is closed to walk-in traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic at its location at 638 East Pioneer Ave. in the Homer Borough Maintenance building east of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department. The office is staffed for help by phone or email. For more information call 235-9837 or email Tamarron Baxter at tbaxter@kpb.us. Forms for property tax exemptions or appeals are available outside on the door, and a dropbox is available for completed forms.

Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center

The Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center operations are temporarily suspended following guidelines from the CDC and recommendations from state and local health authorities. Updates will be posted to the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge website and social media channels. The Beluga Slough Trail and other outdoor areas on the refuge will remain open to provide healthy options for recreation and relaxation. A reopening date has not been determined at this time.

Updates about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s response to coronavirus will be posted at https://www.fws.gov/home/public-health-update.html. Please check with individual refuges or facilities regarding the change of operations or postponement of events and programs.

To reach refuge staff call 907-235-6546 or email alaskamaritime@fws.gov.

South Peninsula Hospital

Got symptoms? Get tested!

Symptoms of COVID-19 include: cough, chills, difficulty breathing, diminished sense of taste or smell, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, muscle/joint aches, nausea, rash, chills with shivering, runny nose, sore throat, or increased sputum (phlegm) production.

Three ways to get tested if you have symptoms:

• Call your provider

• Call the hospital Covid Nurse 235-0235

• Just show up! Come to the drive through testing in the hospital’s main entrance parking lot.

COVID-19 testing does not require a referral and there is no charge to the individual, regardless of insurance or not. Testing is offered 24/7 in the tent in the hospital’s main entrance parking lot. Call 235-0235 en route to be met outside for a drive by swabbing.

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