Town Crier

The Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is hosting the second annual Homer Peony Celebration July 9-24. Known as the “City of Peonies,” Homer has 25 peony farms producing the flowers. Visit homeralaska.org for more information. The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club has partnered with the Alaska Beauty Peony Co-op to sell bouquets of peonies for $20, beginning Friday, July 15 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce. The peonies will be sold from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 15-17 and 22-24. Proceeds will go to the rotary club and the peony growers.

Are you a photographer or videographer who enjoys capturing Homer’s beautiful landscape and people? Be sure to enter your best photo/video in the Homer Photo Contest by Sept. 10 for the chance to win a $100 prize! Visit www.homerphotocontest.co for more information.

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 Cottonwood Horse Park will be closed to the public on these days for Kachemak Pony Club events: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.

Sandhill Crane colts are in flight training! It takes 60-70 days from hatching to fledging (fully flying). Some may even fledge by the end of July.

Please report any fledged Crane colts to Kachemak Crane Watch. Let us know where and when the colts were able to fly off with the adults. Please include the specific location and other information.

If the colts you have been watching have disappeared or died, please report how they died. Successful fledging and mortality reports help Kachemak Crane Watch determine nesting success for the year compared to previous years.

Your Citizen Science reports are vital to KCW monitoring of the nesting season. Send reports to reports@cranewatch.org or call 907-235-6262. Enjoy the summer and the cranes!

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

Join HCOA for peony-themed art classes during Homer’s Peony Celebration. We’re offering classes in plein air painting, Chinese brush painting, crepe paper peonies and pressed peony luminaries. Learn more and register at www.homerart.org/calendar/2021-peony

Registration is open for HCOA’s youth summer camp, Art in the Park! Need-based scholarships are available. Learn more and register at www.homerart.org/calendar/summer-camp

HCOA Members are invited to create artwork for this year’s Member Showcase, our September gallery exhibit. We look forward to highlighting local talent during the Alaska World Arts Festival! Artwork submissions are due to HCOA by 5 p.m. Aug. 30. Visit homerart.org/calendar/member-show 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

The Fourth of July has come and gone. On this day, we pay homage to how we became a country. Our Declaration of Independence is a major building block for our beginnings. However, one of the sentences in this document is terribly misleading. The sentence that reads “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”, … is inaccurate. (For this to be true, all men would have had the same rights as each other). When the United States first held elections, the only people who could vote were white men who had property, and that was the way it was for a long time. The 19th Amendment of 1920 allowed women the right to vote, and in 1965, the Voting Rights Act helped more minorities to vote. It was a long, arduous and deadly journey. Being a woman or a minority used to be a barrier to vote. The history of how different groups of people had to fight to earn the right to vote is horrendously unjust. All citizens should have had that right to begin with. The right to vote was not given but earned.

It would have been better for the founders to have written that all PEOPLE (instead of just men) are created equal and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We can rewrite history by taking into account that to have a more perfect union, we need all our citizens to have their voices heard. Voting is one way that can happen. On average, 75-80% of registered voters don’t vote in our borough elections. Our next election in the borough and municipalities is Tuesday, Oct. 5. You can vote by mail, vote early, go to the polls … just VOTE! Stand up and honor America’s roots.

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 from Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 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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