Town Crier

The Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center has temporarily closed indoor services out of concerns for the health of visitors,...

The Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center has temporarily closed indoor services out of concerns for the health of visitors, employees and volunteers as COVID-19 cases continue to rise on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. Staff will continue to share information and greet visitors daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at an outdoor station located near the center’s front doors. Outdoor activities and ranger-led programs will also continue. The refuge will continue to monitor local conditions and evaluate how best to safely increase public access to the visitor center if the number of cases declines.

Alaska Mindful Paws is hosting a spay/neuter and vaccination clinic for cats at the Homer Animal Shelter on Aug. 18. Spays and neuters are $30; vaccinations for cats, including FVRCP, FeLV and rabies are $10; and microchips will cost $5. The clinic is by appointment only, and those interested must call the shelter at 907-235-3141 to reserve a spot.

Work on the Homer Wayfinding and Streetscape project continues this month with several chances for the public to comment on the sign designs. People can see the designs in person at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 19 and at the Port and Harbor meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 25. Both will be held at the City Hall Cowles Council Chambers and online via Zoom. Public comment is accepted through Aug. 31. For more information, visit www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/planning/homer%E2%80%99s-wayfinding-streetscape-planning or contact Julie Engebretsen, deputy city planner, at 907-435-3119.

Homer Truffle Company is hosting a grand reopening at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Homer Truffle Company is an artisan confectionery that specializes in handmade truffles and chocolates. The company is located at 397 East Pioneer Ave.

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 Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center Photo Contest by Sept. 10 for the chance to win a $100 prize. Visit www.homeralaskaphotocontest.com for more information.

Instead of celebrating Duffy Murnane’s 40th birthday this Aug. 12, family and friends continue to search for her and for information about whoever took her. Abducted in October 2019 and declared dead by homicide this June, they need your help to find her and bring her home. Please call the Homer Police Department with any information, 907-235-3150. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 907-283-8477. A $10,000 REWARD is still being offered. Please keep Duffy in your thoughts and be attentive to what you see and hear. Someone somewhere knows something. That someone could be you.

In honor of her birthday, everyone is invited to stop by the gazebo at WKFL Park (corner of Pioneer Avenue and Heath Street) between noon and 5 p.m. Aug. 12-14 to leave a note for Duffy’s family, expressing love and encouragement, or sharing your frustration, grief and anger about how her disappearance makes you feel or has affected you. We hope that the love and presence that Duffy’s spirit continues to have in our community will be a comfort to her loved ones as they mark this milestone without her. Reading what others are compelled to share will remind them that they are not alone in their own feelings as they move on without answers and without their daughter. Pens, paper and a vessel to place letters in will be on site during the days and times noted.

Duffy’s family and friends are hosting an online auction fundraiser Aug. 20-29 to benefit the Loved & Lost memorial bench that is being created and will be placed at the Homer Public Library this fall. They are currently seeking donations of items and experiences for the auction. The donation form can be found on the Bring Duffy Home Facebook page or contact Christina with questions and to donate – 907-435-7969, lovedandlostmemorial@gmail.com. Auction site is www.32auctions.com/lovedandlostmemorial. All funds raised for the bench are managed through the Homer United Methodist Church, which serves as fiscal sponsor for the memorial project.

Work continues on the Loved & Lost memorial bench for Duffy and all those missing. Drop your dollars and change in donation jars around town and help bring this beautiful and important bench to life. Jar locations include: Chevron, CoffeeSmith, Coles Market, KBBI, Fritz Creek General Store, Homer Theatre, KBBI, SBS, Safeway, Sunny’s Service, Ulmers, and Wild Honey Bistro, and in Kenai at Kamakani Kitchen. Want a jar at your business? Call Christina, 907-435-7969. Donations can also be made through the Go Fund Me gofundme.com/f/lovedandlostmemorial, and through the Homer United Methodist Church by credit card at https://www.homerumcalaska.org/Donate.html or by check payable and mailed to the HUMC, 770 East End Rd. Want to see the work in progress bench? View photos and videos on the Bring Duffy Home Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/918428765210019.

A Veterans Appreciation Picnic will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 15. The picnic is FREE to veterans, active duty military and their families. You do not need to be a member of a veterans organization. The picnic is hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 16 and will be held at the American Legion Post 16, located at Mile 2.5 East End Road. Local VA representatives will be available onsite for questions regarding services available to veterans. There will be barbeque, live music by the 8 Mile Band, door prizes and fun.

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.

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.

We need your participation during Kachemak Crane Watch’s annual Count Days: Aug. 21 and 28, and Sept. 4 from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Citizen Scientists needed for special Sandhill Crane population survey in the Homer area (Anchor Point South). Kachemak Crane Watch would like to know of specific crane sightings on each of these three Saturdays. Please report the number of adults, colts, or banded cranes seen by location, time, and day, and your name and contact information for each of the count days to reports@cranewatch.org or by calling 907-235-6262. For a special experience, join us at Beluga Slough at the end of the gravel trail for the evening crane fly-in from 6 p.m. to sundown on each count day. Please wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot physical distance from others. For more information, contact Nina Faust at 235-6262.

Harvest Moon Local Food Festival Seeks Vendors

Kenai Local Food Connection is accepting vendor applications for the Harvest Moon Local Food Festival, to be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna. It’s the Kenai Peninsula’s biggest local food celebration of the year with live music, free kids’ activities, food demonstrations, pie baking contest and the popular Fermentation Station. The festival is open to vendors of food (grown, harvested or made in Alaska); medicinal/wellness/personal care products made from locally grown or wild-harvested ingredients; food trucks featuring local ingredients; and educational booths relevant to the purpose of the festival. The rate is $30 per 10’ x 10’ tent space. Apply by Sept. 1 at www.kenailocalfood.org/2021-vendor-info. For more information, email kenailocalfood@gmail.com.

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

Homer Senior Citizens, Inc. has reopened to the public. We are being very COVID-conscious due to the vulnerability of the people we serve. Please follow the signage on entrance doors, which follow mitigation efforts based upon the community levels of positive cases.

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

The Homer Senior Citizen’s congregate dining has a new menu. Reservations to dine in the Silver Lining Café can be made by calling 235-7655.

This week’s menu includes walnut-crusted pork with roast potatoes and vegetables on Thursday; pork loin with caramelized onions and pears and baked potatoes on Friday; beef stroganoff with a vegetable medley on Monday; peach-glazed salmon with raspberries on Tuesday; and beef brisket with three bean salad and coleslaw on Wednesday.

The Homer Area Caregiver Support Group has resumed its monthly meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays in the Senior Center Multi-purpose room. Enter through the main entrance on Svedlund Street. This group provides support, information, referrals and friendship with other caregivers. Speakers on related topics are scheduled. For more information, call Pam Hooker at 907-299-7198 or Janet Higley at 907-235-4291. Newcomers are always welcome!

HSC is hosting AARP Veteran’s webinars specific to their needs. Aug. 10, from 10-11a.m. – What Programs does the VA provide for Veterans who wish to stay in their own home? Presented by Nicki Addonisio. Aug. 18, from noon to 1 p.m. – What can Veteran Service Organizations do for me? Presented by Verdie Bowen. Need more information, contact HSC at 235-7655.

Coming soon Parkinson’s Support Group – stay tuned. Strong Women and Zumba will resume once the virus case counts lower in our community.

Hospice of Homer

The Bereaved Parents Support Group is a 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

HCOA Members are invited to create artwork for this year’s Member Showcase, its 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.

Jim Anderson is back. Register for youth and adult workshops using theater arts to develop leadership skills and create greater momentum in your life. The workshops will include hands-on vocal production, movement and interactive learning. Learn more at homerart.org/calendar.

Calling all performing artists! We are accepting submissions for a new Second Friday Performance Series, showcasing emerging or developing local work or artists in any performance genre: music, dance, drama, standup, and more. homerart.org/2nd-friday

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.

Pratt Museum & Park

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

The Pratt Museum & Park, in partnership with South Peninsula Behavioral Health, will host a community conversation around youth housing insecurity on the Peninsula from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13. The discussion will center on the exhibit “Finding Home in Homer” on display through Aug. 31 in the museum’s community gallery.

Finding Home in Homer is a year-long project that invited youth who have experienced homelessness or housing insecurity in Homer to explore their stories and express themselves through different artistic mediums, with the support of artist mentors, community mentors, and their peers. We will explore how the program was shaped by COVID 19 and reflect on what we learned in the process. This discussion is open to the public and will be made accessible on Zoom.

RSVP via Eventbrite or email hatkins@prattmuseum.org. Once you RSVP, you will receive the zoom link closer to the date.

On Aug. 14, the Pratt Museum & Park will host a live music and artist celebration from 4-6 p.m. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, this event will have limited attendance. Please arrive early to ensure entry. Once we reach capacity, the event will be full. Thank you for understanding and keeping our community safe.

Music performances by Courtney Rose, Little Foot, and special guests. Courtney is the Bristol Bay Lead for the Youth Alaska Action Board on Housing and Homelessness (YAABHH), creator of the Blue Eyed Native project, and lead singer of Murmur. Foot is the Statewide Lead for YAABHH, founder of Houseless Records, and member of the Continuum of Care Board for the Balance of State. Both of these artists/ activists/ musicians will perform their original music. Courtney and Foot will offer a tour of the current exhibit, Finding Home in Homer, located in the Community Room at the Pratt Museum.

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.

The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board will hold its regular monthly meeting virtually via ZOOM at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 12. The Committee of the Whole will meet at 5:30 before the regular meeting. The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board is an elected board that oversees local tax dollars for a healthier community. Learn about the workings of your hospital!

The public is welcome to attend both meetings. The ZOOM link is available on the Kenai Peninsula Borough calendar found at https://www.kpb.us/service-areas/south-kenai-peninsula-hospital-service-area and by emailing Devony at dlehnerediting@gmail.com.

Ninilchik Traditional Council Community Clinic

The Ninilchik Traditional Council Community Clinic holds a mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today, Aug. 12, in Anchor Point next to the Cheeky Moose Laundromat on the Sterling Highway.

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 12 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 Votes Tidbit

Here’s a question for you: Do you know when our next borough and city elections are? If you know the answer, you most likely are in the minority. (The average voter turnout for our last six borough/city elections has been a little under 24%.) So, if you do know the date, congratulations!

Knowing the date is one thing, but there are still more questions to be answered before you even decide who you are going to vote for. For example, are you registered to vote? Do you know if your registration is correct? Do you know where your polling station is? Do you know if you are going to go to the polls to vote, or will you vote early or absentee? If you are reading this, but live in another state, can you answer these questions?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, here are two websites that can help. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Elections website is www.kpb.us/assembly-clerk/elections/election-information or call them at 907-714-2160. You can register to vote or update your voter information, especially if you have moved, at the Alaska Division of Elections at www.elections.alaska.gov/ or call them at 907-465-4611. You can also reach us at Kenai Peninsula Votes on Facebook and ask us any question. We will be happy to help.

Our next election is Oct. 5. The ballot for this election has not been completed yet because candidates and ballot propositions are still being sorted out, and filing deadlines aren’t until mid-August.

So don’t procrastinate! Start the process to vote today! If you take care of the basics now, you will have more time to educate yourself about the candidates and ballot issues. The last day to register to vote for the Oct. 5 election is Sept. 5. You need to be registered to vote 30 days before the election. Remember, every vote counts, and every voice needs to be heard!