Town Crier

After Saturday, Sept. 4, the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center will no longer operate an outside station for visitors at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. The outside station has been available to the public since July 27, when the visitor center was closed out of concern for the health of visitors, employees and volunteers. The visitor center will remain closed due to ongoing health concerns. Visitors may get information by calling 907-235-6961 or by visiting our website: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/alaska_maritime/. Updates about visitor center operations will also be posted on the website. Still want to tour the exhibits? Visit the website to take a virtual tour.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Child Find Program will be offering free screenings for preschoolers (3 to 5 years old). We will screen your child’s motor skills, speech, early learning concepts, vision and hearing.

Screenings will take place on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at Paul Banks Elementary School. To make an appointment for your child or for more information, please call Kelli Creglow at 260-5148.

The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, virtually via Zoom. 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.

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.

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.

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.

We need your participation for the last Kachemak Crane Watch’s annual Count Day on 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 Saturday. Please report the number of adults, colts, or banded cranes seen by location, time, and day, and your name and contact information for the count day 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. Please wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot physical distance from others. For more information, contact Nina Faust at 235-6262.

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 pulled pork sandwiches with black beans, corn and cole slaw on Thursday; hot turkey sandwich with shredded carrot salad and mashed potatoes on Friday. The senior center will be closed Monday, Sept. 6 for Labor Day and will not host congregate dining.

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!

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

We are always accepting proposals from artists wishing to share their skills by teaching workshops. Open to opportunities for any age group in both single-session and ongoing-series formats. Connect with us at homerart.org/education.

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. Visit www.homerart.org/2nd-friday

Kachemak Bay Campus

Ed Berg is offering Global Climate Change on Monday evenings from Sept. 27 through Nov. 1. Learn how the earth is changing and how it is predicted to change in coming decades, especially in Alaska. Field trip included. Call 907-435-7743 to register.

The Pratt Museum & Park

The Pratt Museum & Park will operate on its regular 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday schedule until Sept. 5. The museum will be closed Sept. 6-10, and beginning Sept. 11, the Pratt Museum & Park will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and will be closed Monday through Wednesday.

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.

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

In the past 10 borough and city elections, we have had a little under 23% voter turnout. One of the qualities of a healthy community is civic engagement. Voting is one way to show that. Increasing voter participation and education helps our community.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could increase voter turnout for our next election? Early absentee voting for the Oct. 5 election begins Sept. 21. KPV has been doing voter outreach for the past six years. So, what can you do to encourage a friend, co-worker or family member to vote? The answer is simple. Talk. Have conversations about how voting can help our community grow. Share your stories about voting, listen to each other’s point of view and agree to disagree when you have to.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is huge. It covers almost 25,000 square miles and includes 28 voting precincts from Hope to Nanwalek. We are a diverse Borough and have many issues that unite and divide us.

This is an off-year election but that doesn’t make it any less important. These regional elections are just as vital as the state and national elections are. The voter pamphlet will be mailed to all registered voters around Sept. 20.

Remember all votes matter and all voices need to be heard.