Town Crier

The Homer Public Library will celebrate Black History Month with storytelling by author Skywalker Payne. The library will host Mothers of Black History, a family friendly (best for children over 6) virtual storytelling series, led by Payne, as part of its mission to promote lifelong learning, cultural creativity, and community engagement. The series will be presented live on Zoom from 6-7 p.m. every Tuesday in February. To participate in the live storytellings, register for free at http://bit.ly/hstry11. The videos will be available for viewing on the library website.

The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board will hold its regular monthly meeting virtually via Zoom at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11. The Committee of the Whole will meet at 5:30 before the regular meeting. The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board is an elected board that oversees local tax dollars for a healthier community. Learn about the workings of your hospital!

The public is welcome to attend both meetings. The Zoom link is available on the Kenai Peninsula Borough calendar found at https://www.kpb.us/service-areas/south-kenai-peninsula-hospital-service-area and by emailing Devony at dlehnerediting@gmail.com.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will be offering free screenings for preschoolers 3-5 years old (not yet in Kindergarten). The screenings will be at Paul Banks Elementary School on Thursday, Feb. 18. Staff will screen your child’s motor skills, speech/language, early learning concepts, vision and hearing. Children will be seen by appointment only. To make an appointment or for more information, call 907-260-5148 or email Childfind@kpbsd.k12.ak.us.

The nonpartisan Homer Legislative Information Office at 270 W. Pioneer Ave. is now open for the first session of the 32nd State Legislature, which convened Tuesday, Jan. 19. At this time the office is able to assist by phone or email only.

The office is a distribution site for PFD forms which can be picked up in the entry way between 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Please call to arrange other means of pick up. To learn more about how you can participate in the legislative process or to obtain more information on issues of interest facing the Alaska State Legislature, please contact 235-7878 or lio.homer@akleg.gov.

The Caregiver Support Group for persons caring for a family member with a disabling illness, either in or outside your home, is now meeting by Zoom either with computers or smart phones. These meetings are taking place on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 2:30-4 p.m. These groups are a tremendous support, offering current ideas, resources and lasting friendship. All personal information is considered confidential. Newcomers are welcome. For further information, please call Pam Hooker, facilitator, at 907-299-7198.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste facilities are now closed on Sundays through April 25. 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

What’s in a number? Kenai Peninsula Votes wanted to examine voter turnout in the last two presidential elections, as well as some local and state elections we just had. To begin, the 2020 national election had one of the biggest national turnouts since the 1900 election. In all, we had about 67% of registered voters vote (electproject.org). Of all the votes cast, a little under 2% went to third party candidates. In terms of actual numbers, we had about 160 million people vote in 2020. In comparison to the 2016 election, we had a little over 61% of the registered voters vote, or 133 million votes cast. It is important to note that presidential elections traditionally have a bigger voter turnout than mid-term elections. In 2018, the midterm election had about a 50% voter turnout, which was exceedingly high for a mid-term. In the 2020 election the highest voter turn-out for any state was Minnesota, with a turnout of almost 80%. In Alaska for the 2020 election, we had a turnout of 60.67%, which was a little less that the 2016 election that showed a 60.77% turnout (elections.alaska.gov).

In our borough election in October, our voter turnout was 28%. For our District 31 election in November, our voter turnout was almost 70%. The trend for voter turnout for elections seems to be going up. (The average turnout in the four previous borough elections was 23%.)

What does this mean? Well, for one thing, more people are interested in what government is doing. In the 2020 election, the people spoke loudly. For Democracy to really work, the people must invest time and energy to learn about what is on the ballot and see how it aligns with their values. Remember, your vote matters.

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 is seeking new board members. Are you interested in using your compassion, enthusiasm, and love of community to help your neighbors in their times of need? The organization hopes you’ll consider joining the Hospice of Homer Board of Directors.

Qualifications:

Prior knowledge of nonprofit boards is helpful but not required—just an interest and willingness to participate in monthly meetings, occasional fundraising events and community outreach.

Time Commitment:

Meetings are once a month for 1.5-2 hours on the third Wednesday of the month. The board expects members to attend these monthly meetings as well as to be an active participant on sub-committees as needs and interests warrant. Sub-committees include areas such as finance, personnel, events, and policy review and revision.

Interested? For more information or to express your interest, please contact Board President Charlie Franz at Kachemakcharlie@gmail.com

To learn more about Hospice of Homer and to find a more detailed description of board member job expectations, please visit their website at hospiceofhomer.org

Widow’s Group: Losing a partner is one of the most devastating things a person can experience. Hospice of Homer has resumed its monthly Widow’s Support Group. This group is a place for those who have lost their partner to share and heal. It is a safe place for coming to terms with the powerful feelings and experiences only those who are walking the same path can truly understand. Participants will be following all COVID-19 protocols. RSVP is required if you plan to attend so organizers may plan accordingly for social distancing and group size limitations.

Homer Council on the Arts

Homer Council on the Arts is exploring wellness through art, and how art can facilitate wellness in us as individuals, families, a community, and across the Southern Kenai Peninsula. The council invites you to be part of a new community exhibit, “The Art of Wellness: Stories of trauma, loss, and resilience.” The exhibit will be hung in HCOA’s gallery during March and will also be viewable online. Works in all media (visual art, digital media, literary, performance recording) are encouraged. To submit your work, visit HomerArt.org/Gallery.

Kachemak Bay Campus

The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference returns to Homer and Kachemak Bay Campus virtually on May 15 with a faculty of award-winning authors bringing fresh perspectives and a diversity of ideas. Participants can enjoy four days of classes, conversations, public readings and a panel discussion by writers from the Peabody Award-winning PBS show, “Molly of Denali,” as well as networking and community building activities. Early registration is open now at $80 for the general public, becoming $100 on Feb. 28. Registration for University of Alaska students will remain at $50. Academic credits are available. Visit writersconf.kpc.alaska.edu or call 907-435-7743 to register.

Master 100 Ton/OUVP with Victoria Winne Wilson will take place from 5-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays, March 5-28. Enrollment is very limited due to COVID-19 protocols. First come, first served. This U.S. Coast Guard-approved course is for those with enough sea time to earn a 100 ton USCG license or an Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel license. The exam will be administered upon completion of the course. Full attendance is mandatory. Upon passing the exam a certificate will be issued which the USCG will accept in lieu of taking their exam. You may have more qualifying sea time than you think. Verify eligibility before enrolling. Contact KBC Marine Tech Coordinator at 907-235-1622. The fee is $705 (includes PPE).

Basics Of DC Electricity For Vessels with Adam Smude will take place from 6-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday from March 8-19. Enrollment is very limited due to COVID-19 protocols. First come, first served.

Basic troubleshooting and theory of direct current systems on vessels. Topics include electrical terms and definitions, safety codes, fundamental diagrams, battery types and application, marine wiring and more. Includes use of vessel simulator. The fee is $180 (includes PPE). Call (907) 235-7743 or visit https://kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com/

Marine Vessel Systems with Adam Smude will take place from 6-9 p.m. March 9 and 11. Enrollment is very limited due to COVID-19 protocols. First come, first served. Focus on what is underneath the deck and examine major vessel systems, including diesel, electrical and hydraulics. Includes hands on use of a vessel systems trainer. The fee is $50 (Includes PPE). Call (907) 235-7743 or visit https://kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com/

Pratt Museum

The Pratt Museum reopens starting Feb. 4 with hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

On Friday, Feb. 5, a new exhibit called “Familiar Faces: Portraits of Community” opens. Masks are required, and capacity will be limited to 10 visitors at any one time. During an era of social distancing, this exhibit provides visitors the opportunity to “meet” our neighbors and community members throughout history, with up-close observations of individuals and the stories that surround them.

Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center

The Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center operations are temporarily suspended, but please visit virtually and take a 3D tour by going to http://ow.ly/hf3f50Bf4HB. The Beluga Slough Trail and other outdoor areas on the refuge will remain open to provide healthy options for recreation and relaxation. Kids can download the Agents of Discovery App and play an interactive learning game on the trail.

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

South Peninsula Hospital

Free COVID-19 tests are offered 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week at the lower level of the SPH Specialty Clinic, at 4201 Bartlett Street, Homer. Please use the Danview Avenue access. Tests are for those who have had recent travel out of state, have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they have new onset of any symptom related to COVID-19, or have a provider referral. See complete list of eligible individuals at www.sphosp.org or call the COVID information line at 235-0235. Please call and pre-register before coming if and when possible.

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