Town Crier

Set Free Alaska invites the public to an open house from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 25 at 51310 Timber Bay Court down East End Road. A dedication ceremony for the religious nonprofit’s new in-patient, residential addiction treatment center, Compass Men’s Residential Facility, will start at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit setfreealaska.org.

As part of Homer’s first peony celebration, the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay is partnering with the Alaska Beauty Peony Co-op to “Spread Joy, Say Thanks” by selling bouquets of peonies for $20 each.

Peony sales will happen on the lawn of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 23, 24 and 25. Sales also are planned on the Homer Shores Boardwalk on the Homer Spit on Friday and Saturday afternoons during the peony celebration.

Bouquets of seven stems of peonies with buds getting ready to open will sell for $20, with $10 going to the growers and $10 going to Rotary to help do good in the community.

When buying bouquets, people are encouraged to remember area essential workers. Rotary will deliver bouquets to the following essential workplaces: South Peninsula Hospital, Public Health, Seldovia Village Tribe, Safeway, Save-U-More, Post Office, the Homer Police Department, the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, the Homer Senior Citizens Center and Hospice of Homer. For more information, call Lori Evans at 399-7767.

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 asks you to report fledging sandhill cranes. Sandhill crane colts are practicing their flying skills. It takes 60-70 days from hatching to fledging. Some may even fledge by the end of July. Please report any crane colts fully flying (fledged) to Kachemak Crane Watch. Let them know where and when the colts were able to fly off with the adults. Include your specific location and other information you care to share. If the colts you have been watching have disappeared or died, please report that as well. If you know how they died, please include that information too. Successful fledging and mortality reports help Kachemak Crane Watch determine nesting success for the year compared to previous years. Your citizen science reports are vital to KCW monitoring of the nesting season. Send reports to reports@cranewatch.org or call 907-235-6262.

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 (by Alex Koplin):

I’m asking for your help. The goal of Kenai Peninsula Votes, (KPV) is to have all citizens vote. How do we get more people to vote? Really whose job is it? If voting is one of our basic fundamental responsibilities, why doesn’t everyone vote? It is a conundrum. Because we are a country steeped deeply in individual liberties and freedoms, each citizen also has the right to vote or not to vote. Many of them choose the latter.

So, what can we (you) do to encourage more people to vote? Talk about voting. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and families. If you’re reading this Voting Tidbit, I can infer that you care about voting; and even though you are not our target audience, you hold one of the keys to increasing voter turnout. You can reach out and talk to your people about why you vote and the importance of voting. KPV members feel that an effective way to get more people to vote is the art of conversation surrounding this topic. Non-voters are more apt to change their thinking when the message comes directly to them from people who they have personal connections with.

Of course, voting is more than putting a check in a box. It is a complicated process that takes time and consideration. But in your discussions about the merits of voting, you can explain that too. There are also tutorials online. Studies show that once you do start voting, you are more inclined to do it regularly.

I know this seems like a simple solution to increase voter turn-out, but we have to do it one person at a time. I know my children weren’t really aware about the importance of voting until we sat down and talked many times about the subject. And if you feel that voting is important, let your voice be heard. Your voice and your vote matter!

Anchor Point Senior Citizens

The Anchor Point Senior Center on Milo Fritz Avenue 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.

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

Full-time, part-time and potential Kachemak Bay Campus students: KBC has seven local scholarships and you can apply for all of them with one application. The deadline is Aug. 7. Call 235-7743 for information on how to apply.

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, 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 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.

Pratt Museum

The Pratt Museum’s summer hours through Aug. 31 are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

These hours are subject to updates in compliance with CDC State/Federal Public Health Guidance.

For the safety of guests, members and staff:

• Face masks required for entry.

• Visitor log sign-in required upon entry.

• Social distancing guidelines include maintaining 6 feet of distance at all times.

• Capacity limited to 10 guests in the museum at one time.

Face masks and capacity limits do not apply to outdoor spaces including gardens, forest trails, and Homestead cabin; however, staff do request that visitors respectfully comply with social distancing guidelines.

The Pratt Museum invites you to Windowsill Stories: An Exploration of Our Collected Treasures from 6-7:30 p.m, today, Thursday, on Zoom. Please register at: bit.ly/3gk6vJx

Join the Pratt Museum and community members of all ages to hear and tell stories about the stones, flowers, shells, and other treasures that we gather and collect in our homes.

Throughout the course of this 90-minute participatory event, you will have the opportunity to share a story about an item in your home, listen to the stories of others, and make connections with strangers and acquaintances alike.

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

South Peninsula Hospital is offering free COVID-19 testing at the Boat House Pavilion on the Homer Spit from noon to 6 p.m. today, Thursday. There is no charge to the individual for testing. This testing is offered only to individuals who fit one of the following criteria:

· working in critical infrastructure or the fishing industry,

· have had recent travel out of state (residents and non-residents)

· have known exposure to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19,

· they have new onset of any symptom related to COVID-19,

· ferry passengers with ticketed long-distance voyage within the next five days

Results should be available within four to five days via the hospital’s patient portal. No appointments are necessary. Individuals are asked to provide a driver’s license or state I.D., email address, social security number and phone number to register, and show an insurance card if insured. The pavilion is located at the top of ramp two, near the public restrooms at the Homer Harbor.

Additional testing is available 10am-8pm daily at the hospital’s main entrance parking lot at 4300 Bartlett Street, Homer. For more information about testing, visit sphosp.org or call the COVID-19 nurse at the hospital at 235-0235.

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