Town Crier

Sandhill cranes will be migrating through any day now. Our local cranes will soon be landing in the Kachemak Bay area. Please report sandhill crane sightings to Kachemak Crane Watch at 907-235-6262 or reports@cranewatch.org. Date, time, location, behavior and number of cranes is helpful. Leave a name and number in case they need more details.

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Stability Awareness for Commercial Fishermen class from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, at the Best Western Bidarka Inn, 575 Sterling Highway. The cost for the class is $100 for commercial fishermen and $175 for all others. Interested mariners may register online at www.amsea.org or call 907-747-3287.

Instructor Jerry Dzugan will cover the basic terminology of stability;, owner responsibilities and requirements; stability, buoyancy, and gravity; how vessel stability works;, stability risks; seamanship; damage control; risk factors for different fisheries and operations; calculating, evaluating, and displaying a vessel’s stability; how stability guidance is created, and the “Roll Test.” AMSEA’s Stability Awareness Class for Commercial Fishermen class is U.S. Coast Guard-accepted.

The Coast Guard recommends stability training for commercial fishermen. AMSEA is offering this class at a reduced cost to commercial fishermen thanks to support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, and AMSEA members.

Anchor Point Group of Alcoholics Anonymous continues to meet in person at the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce at 34175 Sterling Highway (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 Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste facilities are 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.

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.

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

Many activities remain 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.

Hospice offers volunteer training 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, at the hospice offices. Hospice seeks volunteers to serve as dog walkers, client visitation, shopping and other tasks. The training also can be attended through Zoom or by recording. Call 907-235-6899 for more information. Volunteer paperwork is available at the offices at 265 E. Pioneer Ave., No. 3, in the lower level.

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. Call 907-235-6899 to respond.

Homer Council on the Arts

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.

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.

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.

Kenai Peninsula Votes tidbit

Voting legislation has drawn lots of attention these days. There is very little chance that any election/voting bills will pass this year in Juneau. The House and the Senate are leaning in opposite directions. However, Kenai Peninsula Votes (KPV) thinks this is a good thing because a pause for any voting bill might defuse some of the tension we are currently feeling about voting. Our organization would like to see any voting bills coming out of Juneau have bipartisan support. In Kentucky a voting bill was passed by both houses, with major bipartisan support, and now is just waiting for its governor’s signature.

Senate Bill 39, referred to as the election integrity bill, has been the most talked about election bill to date in our State. It is sponsored by Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla. Currently, SB 39 is being “marked up,” and likely will look different than its original format presented back in January. One senator said over a zoom meeting that he thinks some of these changes can be attributed to the written testimony that has been received on the bill. (Yes, your voice does matter.)

While listening to SB 39 testimony, a new voting option was introduced. Chris Miller came as a private citizen, to testify about how voting online can one day be a reality. Mr. Miller works for Oracle. (He made it clear that Oracle was not part of his presentation, but gave credence to his expertise in working with computer security and his extensive background in using technology safely and easily). KPV is a proponent of online voting. We were impressed with Mr. Miller’s presentation and you can go online to watch it (his testimony begins 42 minutes into the video).

We all realize that voting securely on the Internet can be tricky to say the least. For example, Alaska’s Division of Elections voter registration was hacked last year and reports of hacking very secure systems do happen. However, secure online voting is an idea that could be used for voting in three to five years. Indeed, many of us use the Internet daily for so many things: from applying for our PFD, to banking, to doing our taxes and paying our bills. Online voting has the potential to make voting easier and more accessible, and as a result, more voters will vote.

Our group was pleasantly surprised to see that Sen. Shower had looked at this online option for voting. Wouldn’t it be great to have a voting bill that makes voting easier, more secure and one that all parties could possibly agree on?

During the pandemic, many of the voting procedures were streamlined to allow easier access to voting, which did not result in any voter fraud. Remember, every vote matters.

Pratt Museum

The Pratt Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

“Familiar Faces: Portraits of Community” is on exhibit through May 29. 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

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 907-435-3188.

Homer Steps Up! 2021 is a free community wide steps challenge from May 1 – 28. Everyone in the local area can participate. Last year in 2020 there were 610 total individual participants on 31 teams. The community took a total of 120,418,211 steps together. This year the community step goal is 150 million steps in May. Anyone in the community is invited to step up, step out and to join a team – every step counts. Enrollment is free. Great cash prizes are awarded to first, second and third place, and random prizes are given away throughout the challenge. Last year’s team winner was the City of Homer. On-ine registration opens Saturday, April 17, and a special signup event will be held Saturday, April 17 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Homer Chamber of Commerce at 201 Sterling Highway.

In addition to awarding prizes of over $2,500 in Homer Bucks, Homer Steps Up! participants are offered local discounts throughout the month of May at participating businesses who are offering an incentive of their choosing to Homer Steps Up Participants. Examples include % discount on purchases, Buy One Get One, free sample, etc. Businesses simply display the Homer Steps Up! Community Business Partner poster or vinyl static cling (available at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and upon request at wellness@sphosp.org) in a high visibility area of a business. Homer Steps up participants will identify themselves with a Homer Steps Up! Key Chain!

If a business, organization, or group wants to register, contact wellness@sphosp.org or visit the signup event on Saturday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Homer Chamber of Commerce for a free pedometer.

Complete information is online at homerstepsup.com. Call 235-0970 or email wellness@sphosp.org for questions or more information. The Homer Steps Up! community challenge is cosponsored by South Peninsula Hospital, South Peninsula Behavioral Health, SVT Health and Wellness, The City of Homer and SPARC, and made possible with a grant from South Peninsula Hospital Foundation.

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