Town Crier

The quarterly meeting of 100 Women Who Care will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 3, via Zoom. The 100 Women Who Care philanthropy will choose which project, non-profit or charity will be the recipients of the funds raised from this quarter. For the Zoom link or to join 100WWC, call 770-826-5016. The meeting was previously planned to be held in person; however, it has been rescheduled as a Zoom meeting.

Homer’s sandhill crane pairs are starting to nest. Watch for the pair to start showing up alone, indicating one is sitting on the nest. An accurate count of nesting crane pairs helps Kachemak Crane Watch estimate the local crane population and provides an indication of annual reproductive success. Please report nesting Sandhill Crane pairs to Kachemak Crane Watch at reports@cranewatch.org or by calling 235-6262. Leave your name and number, including location and date when nesting started. Thank you for participating in this Citizen Science effort. For more information, contact Nina Faust at 235-6262 or reports@cranewatch.org

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 now open on 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.

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. – 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.

The Anchor Point Senior Center is hosting the third annual Land & Sea Flea Market from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, June 5 in the Anchor Point Senior Center parking lot. Vendor spaces are still available for $25, and tables are available for rent. Martime, camping, fishing, boats and camper items will be available. For more information, contact the Anchor Point Senior Center at 907-235-7786.

Homer Senior Citizens

Some activities remain canceled, and the Homer Senior Center is closed to the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friendship Center Adult Day Services is now open six days a week. Call 235-4556 for more information.

Homer Senior Citizens congregate lunch is closed, but meals can be picked up at noon Monday-Friday. You must call 907-235-7655 by 10 a.m. daily to reserve your meal.

The Homer Area Caregiver Support Group has resumed its monthly meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays in the senior center dining room. Enter through the back of the building where you get meals. The caregiver group provides support, information, referrals and friendship with other people dealing with the joys and challenges of caregiving. Speakers on related topics are scheduled at least once a month. For more information, call Pam Hooker at 907-299-7198 or Janet Higley at 907-235-4291. Newcomers are welcome.

Hospice of Homer

The Bereaved Parents Support Group is a newly formed support group and mutual assistance self-help group offering friendship, understanding, hope, encouragement and healing to all bereaved parents. Our purpose is to provide support, share and emotionally assist parents through their grief. The group is intended to serve both newly bereaved parents and those who are continuing on their grief journey. Anyone that has lost a child knows, you don’t just stop grieving. A parent’s grief is as timeless as their love.

For more information, please email thomasklingensmith@yahoo.com or call 303-949-8969.

Widows Group: Losing a partner is one of the most devastating things a person can experience. Hospice of Homer has resumed its monthly Widows 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

Local artists and makers are invited to apply for a vendor booth at Homer Council on the Arts’s Mary Epperson Day Celebration. This community event will take place from noon – 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5. In addition to the outdoor artist market, there will be live music, family activities and community mural painting. Booths are $40 for HCOA members and $60 general. For more information and to apply, visit homerart.org/calendar/mary-day.

Kachemak Bay Campus

Registration for fall classes is open. For fall 2021, Kachemak Bay Campus will be offering several in-person courses, which were traditionally offered before the pandemic, as face-to-face/hybrid classes with safety protocols in place. A limited number of on-campus/in-person seats will be available for each class while the remaining spots will be offered online/in-person via Zoom. We will continue to offer exceptional online-only classes for students who prefer managing their own schedules. Registering early offers the best chance of being in the classroom with other students and your professors. Call (907) 235-7743 to be connected with an adviser who will help you determine which classes are best for you.

Would you like to work on a peony farm this summer? On Saturday, June 5, Kachemak Bay Campus and American Beauty Peony Co-op will offer a half-day Peony Harvest Crew training course that will include an introduction to field maintenance leading up to the cut flower harvest. Topics will include sanitation, disbudding, managing insects and mold, stages for harvest and post-harvest handling. This training costs $35 and is for individuals 14 years and older. The virtual seminar will be held from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., and the in-person trip to a local farm will be from 1-2 p.m. To register, call (907) 235-7743 or visit https://kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com

Pratt Museum

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

Opening in May is Alaska Positive, displayed in the People and Place Gallery. Now in its 49th year, Alaska Positive is a statewide juried photographic exhibition organized and toured by the Alaska State Museum. Its purpose is to encourage the practice of photography as an art form in Alaska.

In addition to Alaska Positive, this will be the opening for Finding Home in Homer. Finding Home in Homer is a new project hosted by the Pratt Museum for young people (ages 14-24) who have lived experience with homelessness, housing insecurity/at risk, couchsurfing, unstable home environments or car camping, or teens seeking emancipation due to parent relations. The goal of this project is to connect young people in the community with local artist mentors, workshops, and a group of peers to create art, music and writing in response to the question “what is home?” The hope is the project provides a platform for young people in the community to share stories, make connections and call Homer to action to work to end youth homelessness. Concluding this year’s program, youth participating have the option of submitting their artwork for the Finding Home in Homer exhibit. Come see what they have created.

Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center

The Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center now has an outside walk-up information desk. The outside walk-up desk is open from noon – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday. As a public health precaution, the visitor center is temporarily closed for the safety of staff and visitors.

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

South Peninsula Hospital

South Peninsula Hospital, in coordination with the City of Homer, is offering a free, walk-up COVID-19 vaccine event on the Homer Spit from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Thursday in June. This event will take place in the Boathouse Pavilion at the top of Ramp 2 near the public restrooms and will be offering the single-dose Janssen vaccine and the two-dose Pfizer vaccines.

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 walk-in or by appointment as supplies permit. Walk-ins are welcome daily noon-5 p.m. 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. Free testing is now offered for anyone who recently attended a social gathering or who was in a crowded indoor space and close to others. Details are in the weekly newspaper ad, at www.sphosp.org or at 907-435-3188.

Vaccination supports a fast and safe return of our economy by protecting the health of employees and eliminating the need to quarantine for two weeks after coming in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. That matters because two weeks is a large part of our short summer season.Vaccines are the best assurance that the short summer season will not be impacted.

Kenai Peninsula Voting Tidbit

Why can’t voting be fun? Voting seems so serious. No wonder most people don’t vote in local elections. (28% voter turnout in our Borough election last October). We should celebrate voting, make it fun, and not a drudgery. If you have ever been in line in the early morning hours or after a long day at work to do your civic duty, you probably weren’t smiling. All you’re really doing is checking one more thing off your to-do list.

Kenai Peninsula Votes is saddened to see the number of states that have worked this past legislative session to make voting harder. In Alaska, we sure did a heck of a job talking about election reform from both directions, and none of them passed, even in their respective houses. (Also remember that voting in Alaska this past election had no reports of voter fraud.)

Recently, I took a week-long vacation and took the opportunity to ask some people I met in Texas and Oregon what they thought would be the best way to get more voters to vote.

Here are some of the ideas I heard:

We could have a National voter week. Polls would be open Monday through Friday for this week and from 7 a.m, to 10 p.m., except for Friday. On Friday, there would be a parade down Main Street where all the voters can strut their stuff, and at the back of the line are the candidates that ran for elections, as they happily sweep up the confetti and mailers tossed at the marchers.

Other ideas were early voting for three weeks, same day voter registration, easier access to vote by mail and drive through voting. There was a suggestion that if your ballot needs correcting, or curing, the election folks would give you a heads up before the final vote deadline to fix the problem. Bring your family to watch you vote! Make it a spectator event.

Positive messages could be sent to you after you vote thanking you for a job well done. Another idea is after you vote and get your, “I voted sticker,” you could show it at the local grocery store and get a small discount. Also, I heard from young people who wanted to vote via the internet, but not until that system can be secured.

I think the public should demand more measures to make voting easier. Instead, politicians are making voting rules. The people need to make them. Politicians should not be making voting laws, because they are the ones who are directly affected by the rules, and they have a definite conflict of interest. We should get back to building a voting system that we are all proud of so we can smile after we leave the polling center and say my voice matters and I am glad I live in a country that gives our vote more meaning as the process to vote becomes more supportive to the peoples’ needs.

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