Get ready to light up the sky this New Year’s Eve as the fourth annual crowdfunded New Year’s Eve Fireworks FANTASTICAL returns at Mariner Park at 8:05 p.m. Dec. 31. The fireworks for the show are bought by Aaron Weisser through community contributions. To have a show as big as last year’s, this year’s show is expected to cost up to $15,000, and Aaron has already raised over $4,000. More contributions are needed to have a show like 2020, so here are a few ways to donate: online at paypal.me/WeisserFireworks, on venmo @Weisser-Fireworks-2020, or on Facebook Messenger with “Fireworks” in the memo, or drop off cash or check to the Weisser Homes office at 1091 East End Rd. For those who cannot attend in person, the firework show will be broadcast on the Homer’s Fourth Crowdfunded New Year’s Eve Fireworks FANTASTICAL! Facebook page. For more information about the event, visit https://aaronw970.wixsite.com/fireworks-fantastica.
The Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association will hold its annual meeting on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. We hope you will be able to take the time to join us. We will vote for the 2022 officers, have various slide presentations and Roberta will give us a recap of the year along with some other things. Make your popcorn and enjoy it while attending the meeting. Join the meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87931839595?pwd=WU5Nd29jRURpUkh2dXBCQkgrMTBpZz09 with the Zoom meeting ID 879 3183 9595 and passcode 812087.
Homer’s American Legion Auxiliary is offering gift wrapping at Ulmer’s, Dec. 17-24, from noon to 5 p.m.(ends at 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve). There is no charge, but donations to support veterans programs are greatly appreciated!
Bear Creek Winery Garden of Lights will return this weekend with Christmas lights, hot chocolate, a bonfire and holiday music. Garden of Lights will be open from 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 17-18. Admission is free. Bear Creek Winery is located three miles out East End Road.
The Loved & Lost Memorial Bench is being created to honor all those missing around Alaska, the nation, and the world. Three artists, 250 pounds of clay and more than five months in the making, work continues on the bench with a goal of placing it in its permanent spot outside the Homer Public Library. A memorial for Duffy and bench dedication event will be open to the public via Zoom, with details to be announced soon.
If you have a missing loved one and would like their photo included on the bench during the dedication event, please email a photo along with their name and date/location they went missing to Christina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fundraising efforts are ongoing with $10,000 still to be raised. Donations can be made online at gofundme.com/f/lovedandlostmemoria AND homerumcalaska.org/donate, and by check payable to HUMC, mailed to HUMC, 770 East End Rd, Homer, AK 99603 with memorial bench in the subject line.
You can also continue to drop dollars and change in donation jars around town – Chevron, Coles Market, Latitude 59 SBS, Ulmers and Wild Honey Bistro. If you’d like to support the bench as a major donor and receive name/logo recognition in a variety of ways, please contact Christina for more details and the donor form – email@example.com, 907-435-7969.
Duffy’s family would like to share the modeling clay that has been used to create the 12 sculptures that will be depicted on the bench. If you are a local or statewide artist, school or arts organization interested in re-using some of the 200 pounds of clay, please contact Christina, 907-435-7969.
Anchor Point Group of Alcoholics Anonymous continues to meet in person at the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce at 34175 Sterling Hwy (north of Chapman School) on Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m. These are open meetings, and alcoholics and non-alcoholics are all welcome. For more information, call 907-223-9814.
Co-Dependents Anonymous is meeting in person at Homer Methodist Church, located at 770 East End Road. Please contact Kay at 907-399-6243 for more information. All are welcome.
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 is closed on Sundays for the winter through April 24, 2022. 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.
Homer Public Library
Medieval Heraldry and the Story of Shakespeare’s Coat of Arms Workshop at the Homer Public Library: Hear ye, hear ye! Come to the Homer Public Library for Medieval Heraldry and the Story of Shakespeare’s Coat of Arms. This festive three-day workshop is co-sponsored by the Mud Bay Bards of Pier One Theatre and the Friends of the Homer Public Library. Learn the tools to become a herald and create your own Coat of Arms. Explore the role of the monarchy in the Bard’s works. A workshop for children grades 4-6 is Dec. 20-22 from 1-3 p.m. daily in the Joy Griffin Children’s Library. Space is limited! Attendees must reserve their spot by registering on the Homer Public Library website or calling 235-3180. Pier One Theatre Inc. is supported, in part, by a grant from Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Homer Foundation and by the City of Homer.
Storytime at the Homer Public Library is back for a December 2021 special. Join them Thursday, Dec. 23, at 10:30 a.m. at the library!. Meet Cinda, the new Youth Services Librarian. We’ll read, dance, sing and get silly. In honor of the Illustrating Alaska Exhibit, this special edition in-person Storytime will feature books by Alaska authors and illustrators, such as “I would tuck you in” by Sarah Asper-Smith, “Arctic Aesop’s Fables” by Susi Gregg Fowler, “We are Water Protectors” by Carol Lindstrom, and “Little Red Snapperhood” by Neal Gilbertson.
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. Monday is Homemade Soup and Bread night. Serving two different soups to-go each week, from 4-6 p.m. Quart’s $12 / Pints $7. Reservations not required. Tuesday is Kickin’ Fried Chicken night. Serving from 4-6 p.m. Buckets or 3-piece meals. With or without Coleslaw and Biscuits. Walk in’s welcome or call ahead 235-7786. Thursday night is Home Cooked Dinner Night. Each Thursday is a different meal. Dine in or Take out. Served from 5-6:30 p.m. Reservations 235-7786.
Helping Hands Thrift Store is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 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.
All of our meals and programs are open to the public and do not require membership. Call 235-7786 for more information.
Homer Senior Citizens
Homer Senior Citizens Inc is closed to the public due to the high spread of the virus in our community. We are being very COVID-conscious due to the vulnerability of the people we serve. Please follow the signage on the entrance doors, which follow our mitigation efforts based upon the community levels of spread.
You my order a take-out meal from the Silver Lining Café or you may receive a meal at your home (if you do not have transportation at this time). Just call 235-7655 and reserve your meal. This week’s menu includes walnut-crusted pork with asparagus and roasted potatoes on Thursday; halibut steak with butternut squash, quinoa and vegetables on Friday; spaghetti with meatballs and vegetables on Monday; peach-glazed salmon with snow peas or asparagus and rice on Tuesday; and roast beef with mashed potatoes and corn on Wednesday.
Family members may visit their loved ones at the Terrace Assisted Living. Face masks and screening are required to enter our facility. Visitation is allowed in the resident’s apartment. If you are a friend and would like to schedule an indoor visit in our Visitation Room, please call Tanner at 235-7655 to schedule your visit.
Friendship Center Adult Day Services will reopen to the public once our community level of spread is back to Intermediate.
Please join us in our concentrated efforts to reduce the spread of this virus wear a mask and avoid indoor gatherings. Choosing to get vaccinated is the single most important action you can take to protect yourself and our community. We care about our community and want to rejoin it safely.
Hospice of Homer
Purchase a luminaria to support Hospice, and we’ll decorate it with the name of a loved one or a message for the community. Luminaria are $20 each and can be purchased at our office or on our website.
Join us Thursday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. for our second annual Light Up A Life event. The luminaria from our fundraiser will be lit and placed around WKFL Park where we’ll gather to bring light to a dark night. Share a story, wish your community members well, or just take in the light and a few cookies.
This prize for this year’s raffle is a striking Norman Lowell lithograph of “Mt. Redoubt (Ninilchik).” The lithograph is signed and numbered by the artist and beautifully framed. The drawing will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16.
Hospice of Homer seeks to start a general Bereavement Support Group. This will be a facilitated group that will meet in person and be subject to our current COVID guidelines. Hospice has specific groups for those who’ve lost a life partner or child, but this group would welcome anyone dealing with loss. If you’re interested in joining, please contact the office at 235-6899 to be added to the list. Day/time information will be sent to you directly once we have an understanding of group size.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-949-8969.
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
It’s time for a Gingerbread Contest. Create a festive and edible architectural masterpiece for the holiday season. HCOA’s guest judges will select one winner in each category to be shared on social media. One overall “Most Exceptional Edible Edifice” will receive a gift certificate to either The Classic Cook or Captain’s Toy Chest (your choice). All ages welcome to enter. Visit homerart.org/calendar/gingerbread-house for more information.
Registration is open for Art a la Carte, after-school classes for grades 3-6. In January students will create sculptures using a variety of materials with artist and teacher Sharlene Cline. Details and registration at homerart.org/aalc.
Anchor Point VFW
The Anchor Point VFW Post 10221 is hosting a potluck benefit fundraiser in honor of Rick Paulsrud, who has suffered severe medical issues since October, at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 at the VFW. The fundraiser was planned in hopes of easing the financial burden the Paulsruds have faced since he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome after suffering from COVID-19. The benefit will include a live auction, silent auction, dessert auction and a wall of guns raffle, which will begin at 6 p.m. For more information about the benefit, including donating an item for the auction, making a dish for the potluck or how to make a monetary donation, contact Heidi at 907-399-6025 or Cora at 907-435-1024.
The Anchor Point VFW is also hosting a family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration on Friday, Dec. 31, that is open to everyone. The Post’s doors open at 3 p.m., and events begin at 9 p.m. with the flag retirement ceremony. Fireworks will follow at 9:30 p.m. for all to enjoy. Hot chocolate, cookies and finger foods will be provided and a champagne toast will ring in the New Year. The Anchor Point VFW is locaed at 72551 Milo Fritz Ave.
Kachemak Bay Campus
The Spring 2022 printed class schedule is available on campus, at the Homer Public Library and throughout town. Offerings can be found online at: https://kpc.alaska.edu/academics/schedule/. Be sure to contact an adviser to find the classes that are right for you. Registration for the spring semester is now open and classes begin Jan. 10. Visit us on campus or call (907) 235-7743 to be connected with an adviser who can help you find the schedule that is right for you.
Are you ready for a job in the healthcare industry? Becoming a Certified Nurse Aide is a great way to gain an entry-level position in the field in a relatively short period of time. Classes meet at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer once a week on Fridays beginning Jan. 14, followed by two weeks of supervised on-site clinical training (Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays) at local health care facilities. By April 29, you will be eligible to take the State of Alaska certification licensing exam on campus. The curriculum includes CPR training, medical terminology, basic anatomy, first aid, and skills labs. Talk to an adviser today to explore options for financial assistance. Call 907-235-7743 for more information.
Coastal Navigation with Anna Borland Ivy will begin Feb. 2, 2022. Learn essential boating skills to safely explore Kachemak Bay. The class covers safety, navigation, anchoring, rules of the road, charting and basic seamanship. The class is meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5-9 p.m. from Feb. 2-11 (Starts on a Wednesday). Fee $95. To register visit https://kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com/ or call (907) 235-1674.
Deckhand Skills with Anna Borland Ivy begins Feb. 18, 2022. Learn practical job skills for becoming a deckhand on any vessel. The class includes safety, survival skills, line handling, knots, gear, basic navigation, crew roles, helm, wheelhouse expectations and more. This class takes place on a three-day weekend, Feb. 18-20, for the Kenai Peninsula Borough school district from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fee is $85. To register visit https://kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com/ or call (907) 235-1674.
Able Seaman in-person with Anna Borland Ivy begins Feb. 25, 2022. This USCG-approved course is for those that have sea time and would like to obtain the ABLE SEAMAN Merchant Mariner Credential. Complete the course and examination at Kachemak Bay Campus and you will then receive a course completion certificate in lieu of Coast Guard examination. Fisherfolk are welcome. Topics include Navigation, Rules of the Road, Safety, Marlinespike Seamanship, etc. You may have more qualifying sea time than you think. The class will meet Friday from 5-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Feb. 25 through March 6. Fee is $500. To register visit https://kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com/ or call (907) 235-1674. KBC is also offering Able Seaman online, year-round, in partnership with the Training Resources Limited Maritime Institute (TRLMI).
The Pratt Museum & Park
The Pratt Museum & Park will be closed from Dec. 19 through Feb. 2, 2022.
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 1 – 2 p.m. for our FIRST free-family Saturday event. This will take place every third Saturday of the month and will include crafts, treats and story time for families. For December, welcome the snow and celebrate the Holidays with snowflake making, hot chocolate with marshmallows and story time. All the materials will be provided.
A new special exhibit has opened at The Pratt called “Ron Senungetuk: A Retrospective” and features work from the late iconic Alaska artist Ron Senungetuk. Senungetuk was a world-renowned sculptor, silversmith and woodcarver who blended ancestral Inupiaq forms with modern concepts and materials. This exhibition presents works created over his career, which have been featured in exhibitions and public art installations throughout Alaska and the U.S. He was a leading advocate for art in Alaska and helped establish the Native Art Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
South Peninsula Hospital
South Peninsula Hospital offers free testing and vaccinations for COVID-19. Free testing is offered daily 9 a.m. – 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 5 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.
Pediatric vaccine appointments are also now available every Wednesday and Saturday at the SPH test and vaccine clinic on Bartlett Street. Pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine are now available for children ages 5-11. Appointments can be scheduled at sphosp.org. A parent or guardian must be present during the appointment.
Kenai Peninsula Votes Tidbit
What do voting statistics say about our democracy?
Voting is a constitutional right granted to all citizens 18 years and older. It is the most peaceful tool individuals have to employ our democracy. Yet voter turnout is often marginal, especially in municipal elections where it is likely your vote will make the most difference in your community.
Kenai Peninsula Borough total voter turnout in this past October 2021 municipal election was a sad 11.84%. In 2020 it was 28.15%, 18.03% in 2019 and 18.70% in 2018. There are 28 precincts in the borough; six are strictly mail-in voting.
The City of Homer October 2021 voter turnout was 25%, with 37% in 2020, 29% in 2019 and 33% in 2018.
Voter turnout in our state/national elections are markedly better. In 2020 our voter turnout was 60.67%, 49.84% in 2018, 60.77% in 2016 and 56.08% in 2014. There are 441 precincts in the state of Alaska.
Voting for our state and national legislators and judges is immensely important. Just as important is voting for local city council and assembly members, school district and hospital board members – these are our neighbors guiding important decision-making that impact us daily.
What makes people choose to vote or not vote? The election day, available time, ballot measures, accessibility to the polls, feeling uninformed, importance or concern? The non-partisan group Kenai Peninsula Votes is conducting a quick survey to dig into these reasons. Please take just a few minutes of your time to complete the Kenai Peninsula Votes (KPV) Voter Survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWPTJTP.
Remember, all votes count and all voices matter.