Town Crier

The Ninilchik Rodeo kicks off this weekend with events Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, starting with the Peninsula Horseman’s Association Barrel Race at 7 p.m. on Friday. Also Friday is the Ranch Rodeo Preliminary Round. New this year are the horse races on the Ninilchik Beach, which start at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Those races are followed by the Junior Rodeo Action, the Ninilchik Rodeo Kickoff and the Community Barbecue. On Sunday, Cowboy Church is at 9 a.m., followed by High School Rodeo at 10 a.m. and more Ninikchik Rodeo at 1 p.m. For the most up to date information, visit the Ninilchik Rodeo Facebook page.

Pier One Theatre and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies seek comedic nature skits for the first ever Center for Alaskan Studies Coastal Cosmic Telethon. Submit skit ideas by Friday for the virtual fundraiser telethon to be held at 7 p.m. July 26. Prompt ideas include bay tours from an animal’s perspective, dancing cranes, kids day camps, beachcombing and activity at the Wynne Nature Center. Skits should be from 1- to 3-minutes long. For more information or to submit skits, contact Jennifer Norton at 907-299-3599 or Jennifer@pieronetheatre.org.

The Homer Elks Lodge is holding its “Annual Fourth of July BBQ” at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 4. The lodge will provide food, drinks, games and fun for $20 per person, $25 per couple or $30 per family. For more information, call 907-235-2335.

The Anchor Point Fire & Emergency Medical Service Area Board will hold its next board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday July 15. For more information call the department at (907) 235-6700.

Solarize the Lower Peninsula is holding its final public info meeting at 6 p.m., Wednesday July 8. If you’re thinking about going solar and you live in or south of Ninilchik on the road system, join Cook Inletkeeper and Ben May, owner of Alaska Solar, for a quick presentation about how to participate in Solarize. Come get your questions answered about the program and Alaska Solar’s approach. The last day to sign a contract and participate in the solarize program is August 1. Find the zoom link to attend at inletkeeper.org.

The July Kachemak Emergency Service Area Board regular monthly meeting has been cancelled.

Starting in late July, the City of Homer will be, as part of their regular road maintenance work during the summer season, mowing, cutting brush and trimming tree limbs that obstruct sight distances, block drainage channels or otherwise constitute a safety hazard on city-maintained roads. The city will not be removing entire trees without first contacting the adjacent property owner. You’ll see city crews and equipment moving throughout town doing this work during regular business hours, Monday – Friday, during the months of July and August. For more information, contact the city of Homer Public Works Department at 907-235-3170.

Kachemak Crane Watch keeps track of nesting cranes and wants your observations of crane colts. Send your report to reports@cranewatch.org or call 235-6262. Include date, time, location, number of colts and your contact information so the Crane Watch can call for more information. After30 days of incubation, sandhill crane eggs hatch. Crane colts and other baby wildlife are very vulnerable, so please keep dogs on a leash and cats at home.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste facilities are now open Sundays. For more information contact the KPB Solid Waste Department at 907-262-9667 or check their webpage at https://www.kpb.us/swd-waste/about-solidwaste.

Kenai Peninsula Votes tidbit:

On your mark, get set … wait a minute! The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has been working tirelessly on getting hybrid mail-in voting for the 2021 election. The Election Stakeholders group was commissioned in January 2019, in response to a complaint regarding a person who was visually challenged. To rectify that situation, and increase voter participation, the borough organized this group. The borough then conducted the stakeholder meetings throughout the year to address voting issues on the peninsula. The members of the group were from all areas of the peninsula and had different ideas and perspectives. One of the recommendations from the group was: in case of an emergency (fires, earthquakes, not to mention a pandemic, which wasn’t even on the radar), the borough would use a hybrid voting scenario which included both vote by mail and polling stations.

In June of this year, the assembly passed an ordinance for mail-in voting for the 2021 election. Then, one assembly member asked for a reconsideration. This meant that during the next meeting, the members would vote on whether or not to hear more arguments about this ordinance. The reconsideration was voted down and the ordinance passed. One sure thing about laws is that they can always change. Currently, two assembly members are trying to get this issue put on the October ballot as a referendum so that the public can vote it.

For the last four years, the average voter turn-out on the Kenai Peninsula has only been 23%. It is frustrating that you hear all this talk about mail-in voting or other subjects regarding the Borough, and it is just a small percentage of people making the decisions. Mail-in voting will continue to be a major topic as we move forward. Please vote — your voice matters.

Anchor Point Senior Citizens

The Anchor Point Senior Center on Milo Fritz Avenue is closed during the pandemic. The Anchor Point Senior Center serves take-out meals on Thursday evenings with pickup from 5-6 p.m. Helping Hands Thrift Store is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and donations can be dropped off any time. 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

An Automatic Scholarship for all full-time students is available. Take 12 KPC credits and receive $702 in tuition funding. No scholarship application necessary. To be eligible students must: be admitted to or have a pending application to any UA degree program; be enrolled full-time with a minimum of 12 credits at the Homer and/or Soldotna campus; and meet this criteria by July 15, 2020. Scholarships will be applied to student accounts after the Add/Drop deadline (September 6, 2020). For information call 235-7734.

The college and campus directors will be available for general information sessions via Zoom to answer questions and provide updates at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at https://alaska.zoom.us/j/94681988485, and at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13 at https://alaska.zoom.us/j/98979055598.

Weekly advising and financial aid sessions are available via Zoom. Get your KPC questions answered and learn more about financial aid at these information sessions:

Financial Aid Sessions — noon to1 p.m. July 21, and noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 4

General Advising Sessions — noon to 1 p.m. July 14, and noon to 1 p.m. July 28. All sessions will be available via Zoom at https://alaska.zoom.us/j/91420275179.

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 at 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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