The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class in Homer from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Best Western Bidarka Inn, 575 Sterling Highway. The cost for the class is $125 for commercial fishermen and $175 for all others. Interested mariners may register online at www.amsea.org or call 907-747-3287. Instructor Rob Hulse will cover cold-water survival skills; EPIRBs, signal flares, and mayday calls; man-overboard recovery; firefighting; flooding and damage control; dewatering pumps, immersion suits and PFDs; helicopter rescue, life rafts, and abandon ship procedures; emergency drills; and an in-the-water practice session. AMSEA’s Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor workshops meet the U.S. Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels, 46 CFR 28.270 (c).
Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) will host a Sip with Sarah event at 5 p.m. Monday, March 29 at Captain’s Coffee. Join Vance for a town hall meeting over a cup of coffee, which will be provided. For more information, contact Legislative Aide Greg Knight at 907-465-2689. Captain’s Coffee does not require face masks to be worn.
Are you a farmer, food vendor, or crafter looking to connect with local customers? The Homer Farmers Market is now welcoming vendor applications for its summer 2021 season. Applications may be submitted online at http://www.homerfarmersmarket.
Anchor Point Group of Alcoholics Anonymous continues to meet in person at the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce at 34175 Sterling Hwy. (north of Chapman School) on Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. These are open meetings and alcoholics and non-alcoholics are all welcome. For more information call 907-223-9814. The group has a mitigation plan in place to ensure proper distancing between participants.
Step into Freedom is a narcotics anonymous group that will be held at 7 p.m. every Thursday at the Glacierview Baptist Church “Big House” next to the main church. This group is for both women and men, and is open to non-addicts who would like to sit in on the meetings. For questions, call Jaclyn at 907-756-3530.
The Caregiver Support Group for persons caring for a family member with a disabling illness, either in or outside your home, will meet temporarily at Hospice of Homer, with maximum COVID-19 precautions provided. The group will continue to meet on Fridays at this time until further notice. Please call Pam Hooker at 907-299-7198 or Janet Higley at 907-235-4291 if you have any questions about this group or this notice.
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.
The nonpartisan Homer Legislative Information Office at 270 W. Pioneer Ave. is now open for the first session of the 32nd State Legislature. 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 email@example.com.
Kenai Peninsula Votes Tidbit
Kenai Peninsula Votes (KPV) began over 5 years ago with the idea that all registered voters should vote and also be informed about what they would be voting on. In the years prior to the pandemic, we canvassed areas in Homer and passed out sample ballots to let people know when elections were coming and what was going to be on the ballot. For the most part, the people were very positive and many thanked us for reminding them about the upcoming elections. But we also learned from these meetings why many people chose not to vote. A common thread was that they were disgruntled and felt promises were made but never kept, or were just tired of a system that didn’t seem to care about them. For many people, voting is a sacred rite. But for another group of people there is a strong disconnect.
And now a new battle emerges. In addition to voter apathy, we are now dealing with an onslaught of voter suppression bills. In many states, the Republican Party is currently working to pass laws that will make voting harder. In Alaska, we have Senate Bill 39 and SB 83 that, if passed, will bring more restrictions to voting. Just this past week, James Kavanagh, a Republican legislator from Arizona was quoted as saying, “There’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans … Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.” These are dangerous words, and he is not alone in this sentiment, as many people in Alaska feel the same way.
So now what? This past election in Alaska was secure and worked well. There were no reports of voter fraud. Also, accessibility for voting was improved because of the pandemic. Basically, there are two schools of thought. The Republican Party wants to make voting harder. Democrats want to make it easier to vote. These opposing views are creating more division in our country.
However, KPV suggests that they work together. Voting should be a nonpartisan issue. The lawmakers should only bring to the table a voting bill that both parties can support. How wonderful would that be? It could be a win-win. If people see that the two sides are working together, then maybe the people who feel disenfranchised might be more willing to cast a vote. We all can agree, that every voice 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 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 would like to graciously request that you return any equipment not currently in use. The need in our community is increasing and we are short on hospital beds, wheelchairs, transport chairs, bedside commodes, and walkers. Thank you for helping us help our neighbors.
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
Calling all youth artists. Share your art in the annual Jubilee exhibit at Homer Council on the Arts. Artwork of all mediums by Homer-area preK-12 students is welcome. The deadline to submit is 5 p.m. Monday, March 29. homerart.org/calendar/jubilee
Applications are open for the 2021 Youth Summer Fine Arts Scholarship. Homer-area students in grades 6-11 are invited to apply; due no later than 5 p.m. on April 23. Scholarship funds support summer arts lessons. Full details at homerart.org/calendar/scholarship
HCOA’s March community exhibit “The Art of Wellness: Stories of trauma, loss, and resilience” is a fundraiser for the Independent Living Center’s T.R.A.I.L.S. program. Stop by weekdays from 1-5 p.m. to check it out and show your support.
The council is accepting proposals for 2021-22 gallery exhibits through April 1. Find out more and apply at 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. Registration is open and is $100 for the general public. Registration for University of Alaska students is $50. Academic credits and financial aid available. Visit writersconf.kpc.alaska.edu or call 907-435-7743 to register.
A KBC Afternoon workshop with author Andromeda Romano-Lax will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 3 via Zoom. The workshop is Psychological Suspense, and is a clinic with same-day writing and sharing. For over a century, novels of all kinds have included psychological elements including unreliable narration, emphasis on doubt or distortion, probing of our darkest fears, twisty plots that rely heavily on secrets, and the chilling notion that it’s hard to know anyone accurately, even ourselves. Romano-Lax is a co-founder of 49 Writers and a University of Alaska Anchorage Creative Writing faculty member. Limited enrollment is available. The cost is $60. To register for this workshop visit https://kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com or call (907) 235-7743.
Chance to win a scholarship: KPC students who register for six or more KPC credits before April 19 will be entered to win one of over 100 scholarships of $250. Returning and pending students can register as follows: veterans, April 2; seniors, April 5; juniors, April 6; sophomores, April 7; freshmen, April 8; and pending fall admissions, April 12.
The Pratt Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Peninsula Hospital
South Peninsula Hospital offers free testing and vaccinations for COVID-19. Free testing is offered daily 9 a.m.to 6 p.m. at the test site on Bartlett Street. No appointment is necessary. Vaccines are offered by appointment as supplies permit. Appointments can only be made online at www.sphosp.org. Vaccinations are open to anyone 16 years and older for Pfizer, and 18 years and older for all other brands. Call the COVID nurse at 235-0235 to discuss symptoms, or the COVID vaccine info line at 435-3188 for recorded updates. Mass vaccination clinics happen twice a month. Details are in the weekly newspaper ad, at www.sphosp.org or at 435-3188.