Town Crier

The Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center holds a grand opening and ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Thursday for its new Spit Visitor Information Center located near Ramp 4 on Homer Spit Road. Located in what was the former longtime Halibut Derby Shack. Commonly referred to as the “cabin with the red door,” the Spit VIC will be open and staffed Thursdays through Sundays, beginning July 1 and through Labor Day Weekend. The Center will serve visitors as well as locals,including those who walk, run, bike on the trail along the Spit Road. Stop by to ask questions, get Visitor Guides and other miscellaneous information. At the grand opening, Chamber Director Brad Anderson and Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins will share information about the history of the log cabin and the vision for it moving forward.

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.

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies presents the Coastal Cosmic Online Auction continuing through July 7. Themed “Celebrate Local, Buy Local, Play Local,” items donated by numerous Homer businesses include adventures like water taxi rides, bear viewing trips, kayaking excursions, in- and out-of-state destination accommodations and more! Additional items include gift certificates to local restaurants, coffee shops, the bookstore and movie theatre, for yoga and dog training, a dozen oysters, gourmet curry dinner for two, a tea party for six and more!

Funds raised help support the education programs and camp scholarships. Save the dates and get in on all the auction fun through our Facebook page, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, and our website, akcoastalstudies.org. For more information, call 907-235-6729.

The Cottonwood Horse Park will be closed to the public on these days for Kachemak Pony Club events: July 6-8 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Beginner Camps; July 10-11 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the Sara Weideman Clinic; July 17-19 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the Jim Briggs Clinic; and July 20-22 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Beginner Camps. If interested in riding at the park, please keep these closures in mind.

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 closed for the first session of the 32nd State Legislature.

After 30 days of incubation, sandhill crane eggs hatch. Tiny, precocious crane chicks or colts have started to appear around Homer. Crane colts and other baby wildlife are very vulnerable, so please keep your dogs on leash and cats home.

As part of its Citizen Science projects, Kachemak Crane Watch keeps track of nesting success and wants your observations of Sandhill Crane colts. Send your report to Kachemak Crane Watch at reports@cranewatch.org or call 235-6262. Include date of hatching, time, location, number of colts, and your contact information so we can call for details.

For more information, contact Nina Faust at 907-235-6262 or reports@cranewatch.org.

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.

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 dining has returned. The dining room will be open for reservations from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 907-235-7655.

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

Registration is open for HCOA’s summer programs, including Art in the Park for ages 5-18! Check out homerart.org/calendar for a full list of our summer camps, classes and workshops for all ages in a variety of mediums.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about LIVE musical performances on July 8 and July 10. Visit homerart.org for more information.

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.

Kenai Peninsula Votes Tidbit

There are only 103 days until our next Kenai Peninsula Borough election and City of Homer elections. Yawn! No! Kenai Peninsula Votes wants to encourage all registered voters to go online today and apply for your absentee ballot for the Oct. 5 election. Don’t delay. It is easy and takes just a few minutes and then you are prepared for our next election. This is the link to use to apply for your ballot: https://my.kpb.us/users/sign_in

It is important to note that if you are applying online for your ballot, it doesn’t commit you to voting absentee. It just gives you another choice. If you want to vote early, or in person, you would not send in your absentee ballot. The borough makes sure that voting twice does not occur and there are penalties if you do.

What really matters is that you vote. There are different ways to vote, but more people voted by mail than we had ever seen before in our last election. Here are the numbers for our October 2020 election: 14,572 people voted, and of those, 4,535 voted absentee or question ballot.

Absentee voting in our state and borough was extremely popular this past election. And why not? With the threat of the pandemic looming large, it was a safer way to vote. We learned that absentee voting is easy and safe and actually more secure than voting in person because you have to ask for your ballot to be sent to you. Also, there is a paper trail that can verify your ballot. If you actually go to a polling station to vote, a machine reads your vote instead of a person. There is also the advantage of being able to study the ballot and do your research on the positions of the candidates as well as any ballot issues. And the borough pays the postage to return your ballot. In the past, I rarely voted absentee, but now I am sold on voting at home. Old dogs can still learn new tricks and I am happy for that.

So don’t delay, sign up today. There is a system in place that will notify you when your ballot is sent and when it is received. Remember your voice matters! Once you know what method you will use to vote, you’ll have time to focus on the candidates and the issues in the upcoming election.

Pratt Museum & Park

The Pratt Museum & Park is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

The latest Pratt Museum & Park exhibit is “Microbial Worlds,” a close-up look at the hidden world of microscopic organisms through the lens of art. The exhibit is on display through Sept. 25. A Collaborative Arts-Humanities-Science exhibit, 14 artists and writers magnify the microbiome in this collaborative exhibit sponsored by the Fairbanks-based arts-humanities-science consortium, In a Time of Change. The exhibit includes original art works and writings by Alaska artists Susan Campbell, Annie Duffy, Nancy Hausle- Johnson, Jessie Hedden, Eric Henderson, Mariah Henderson, Margo Klass, Debbie Clarke Moderow, Jennifer Moss, Ree Nancarrow, Gail Priday, and Sara Tabbert, as well as San Diego artist Charlotte Bird and Brooklyn artist Stephanie Rae Dixon. Mary Beth Leigh, a professor of microbiology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, directed the project.

Alaska Positive is 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.

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 and Ocean Visitor Center is now open to the public. Throughout the summer, it will be open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including all federal holidays. Summer Ranger Programs are in full swing, so check out the website alaskamaritime.fws.gov/ for updates and program schedules. 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 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.

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