Halloween is Monday and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory is gearing up for its annual Haunted Hickory food drive today at the Pioneer Dock on the Homer Spit. Tours of the Haunted Hickory are from 3:30-4:30 p.m. for a less-intense tour suitable for children under age 13 and those who frighten easily and from 6-9 p.m. for older children and more mature audiences wanting intense thrills. Admission is free, but a donation of two nonperishable food items is request. Donations support the Homer Community Food Pantry. The food collected from the annual event helps the pantry meet the upcoming holiday demands.
As Halloween has grown in popularity, so has Haunted Hickory grown in its reputation from year to year, not just in the Homer community, but over the whole Kenai Peninsula. The crew has hosted this event annually during the decade that Hickory has been around. Before them, the crew of the Sedge, which predates the Hickory as the Coast Guard cutter home-ported in Homer, began the thrilling trend of opening up a “haunted ship” to the public each year around Halloween. Every year, the haunted ship draws larger crowds to enjoy the thrills, last year seeing more than 1,200 guests come aboard. It has been enjoyed by locals for the festive thrills, while the crew uses it as an opportunity to give back to their local community and collect donations of food to give to the local food pantry. Last year, over 1.5 tons of food was donated through this event.
Guests are reminded that Hickory is a working vessel and is not ADA compliant. There are many steep staircases and cumbersome walkways. Moderate physical activity is required for guests to transit along the tour. Crewmembers of the Hickory will not touch any guest during any scare portion of the tour, and request that guests refrain from touching their tour guides. Guests should dress warm, as the staging area for the tour will be on the pier and exposed to the elements. No alcohol or weapons are allowed on the ship or the pier.
All attendees are encouraged to bring two nonperishable food items to the event.
Edward Berg presents a lecture, “Grewingk Glacier: Kachemak Bay’s poster child of climate change,” at 7 p.m. today at the Alaska Islands and Oceans Visitor Center. Berg will present historical photos from the late 1800s, as well as modern satellite imagery, and lake sediment cores to demonstrate the advances and retreats of the glacier since the last glacial period. Grewingk glacier is a good “poster child” for Alaska glaciers, many of which are melting at rapid and accelerating rates as the climate warms. His talk will conclude with a look at how these melting glaciers will likely contribute to sea level rise over the next several hundred years.
Tibetan Buddhist monk Khentrul Lodrö T’hayé Rinpoche visits Homer for a two-day presentation, “Bringing Suffering and Happiness onto the Path,” from 10 a.m.-noon and 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, at Many Rivers, Mile .25 East End Road. He will speak about true mindfulness and how it can change lives. Khentrul Rinpoche grew up in Tibet where he became a monk at the age of 7. Since then, he has studied the mind and how our happiness lies within our mind. He is now sharing what he learned with the world. For more information, visit katogcholing.com or contact Deborah Poore at 235-6266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kachemak Bay Birders meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in the auditorium. Following the meeting, Aaron Lang will present “Homer in the Fall: Our Best Kept Birding Secret!” Come and enjoy and learn from Aaron’s discovery of all the interesting birds we have here in winter. Aaron Lang is the owner and tour leader of Wilderness Birding Adventures, an Alaska-based bird tour company. Some really great birds are right here in Homer, right now and through the winter. Come and find out how you too can find them in your backyard and neighborhood. This event is cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. It is free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information: Lani Raymond, 399-9477.
Homer Community Food Pantry holds its annual Empty Bowls Soup Luncheon from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Homer United Methodist Church. Local restaurants will donate soup and the Homer potters have made bowls for the event. To-go orders may be placed the morning of the event by calling 399-4574 and then picked up at the church.
The Cook Inlet RCAC’s PROPS Committee (Prevention, Operations, Response & Safety) meeting is 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association building, 40610 Kalifornsky Beach Road. The Public is welcome to attend. For an agenda, directions or more information call 907-283-7222 or 800-652-7222. Meeting materials will also be posted on the website (www.circac.org) before the meeting.
Anchor Point Senior Citizens
The Anchor Point Senior Center on Milo Fritz Road is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-noon Friday. The center serves Thursday night dinners starting at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Bingo is at 6:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. on Friday nights. The Helping Hands Thrift Store is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exercise sessions are at 10 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. The senior center sponsors its annual Holiday Bazaar from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Chapman School. Vendors in about 45 booths will be selling quilts, clothing, jewelry, baby clothes, woodwork, purses, art, books, wreathes, socks, baked goods and more. There also is a food court. For more information, call the senior center at 235-7786.
Friendship Center Adult Day Services is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday with extended hours for special situations. Programs are offered daily, including story time, crafts and musical performances. Call 235-4556.
Homer Senior Citizens
Homer Senior Citizens lunch is open to seniors and guests and is served noon-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The lunch menu for this week is: today, corned beef with cabbage, carrots and potatoes; Friday, battered cod; Monday, pork Adobo; Tuesday-Wednesday, to be announced .
Strong Women classes are 1:30-2:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Homer Senior Center. The cost is $3 for members and $6 for nonmembers per class.
Zumba Gold classes with Maria are 11 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Homer Senior Center. The cost per class is $4 for members, $6 for nonmembers.
Duplicate Bridge meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays. Tai chi classes are Thursdays at 3 p.m. The cost per class is $3 for members and $6 for nonmembers. Call Daniel Weisser at 235-4555.
Caregiver Support Group meets 2-3:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday in the senior center conference room. Call Jacquie Thaute at 299-2924 or Daniel Weisser at 235-4555.
Kachemak Bay Campus
Registration for community education and marine technology workshops and classes is going on now: Science and Nature Writing with Nancy Lord (Nov. 3), Aluminum Fabrication (Nov. 4-5 and Nov. 11-12) and Marine Electronic Navigation (Dec. 6). Call 235-7743 or visit kpc.alaska.edu.
Degree-seeking student early registration for classes that start in January opens on Nov. 14. General public registration begins Nov. 28. See the winter schedule for campus-based classes at www.kpc.alaska.edu/academics/schedule/?text=&subjeF2Fct=&location=R&semester=201701.
The museum gallery winter hours are noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Business offices are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The 31st annual Ritz gala fundraiser is Nov. 5 at Wasabi’s, with the theme, “A Black and White Cabaret Ball.” For more information, call 435-3334. The Ritz art preview exhibit opened Oct. 7.
Fall is a great time to think about recycling while you get ready for winter. There are some new possibilities in Homer to recycle or reuse important items. Note that the Homer dump is closed in the winter on Sundays.
• Items to recycle: Keep electronics out of the landfill. When people upgrade their computers, often they have usable equipment which then sits on a shelf. Matt Lees of Lees Technology LLC (out near the Kachemak Gear Shed at 3585 East End Road, Unit #9) will take equipment, particularly laptops that are still working or that have minor or cosmetic damage. If you come in during working hours, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and noon-5 p.m. on weekends, he will take a look. For questions, call 299-5161.
• #5 plastics can be dropped off at Sustainable Wares (1103 Ocean Drive) during business hours, Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Owner Karen West will take clean, dry #5 plastic containers to be shipped to a company that makes plastic products (Gimme5). She is asking for a donation to offset the postage. #5 plastic is what yogurt and cottage cheese and many other food containers are made of as well as many prescription pill containers, like the orange ones. Most plastic bottles and containers that are not #1 or #2 are #5s; just check the bottom of the container and look for the number 5 in the triangle.
• Cell phones can be put in collection boxes at GCI, Spenard Builder’s Supply, Center for Alaska Coastal Studies, Cook InletKeeper, Tech Connect and the Chamber of Commerce. Also collected in these boxes are cameras and rechargeable batteries.
• Eyeglasses can be taken to Gus Van Dyke at Scruggs Automotive, 1080 Ocean Drive. He collects them for the Lion’s Club, and they are repaired if necessary and reused as glasses.
• Prescription medicines and drugs can be put in a bin, an “amnesty box,” in the lobby of the Homer Police Station in town which is open 24/7. These substances should never be put down the drain or toilet nor put in the trash because they are terribly dangerous for the environment.
• The dump (Homer Transfer Station) up on Baycrest Hill is closed on Sundays through the winter. Sunday hours return on May 1, 2017. It is open from 8 a.m.- 5:45 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. You may recycle the following items at the dump: glass, mixed paper, cardboard, #1 and #2 plastics, plastic bags and wrap, “tin” (metal) cans and lids, household batteries.
• Recycling locations. It is possible to recycle the following items in the dumpsters in the Save-U-More parking lot and at McNeil Canyon and Anchor Point at their Transfer Stations: glass, mixed paper, cardboard and aluminum.
For more information, contact Kachemak Advocates of Recycling (KARe), 399-9477 or visit on Facebook. Its next meeting is 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. Contact the Borough Solid Waste Department at 262-9667.
Rotary Health Fair
The 33rd annual Rotary Health Fair is 7:30 a.m.-1: p.m. Nov. 5 at Homer High School. “It’s Your Life … Take a Day to be Well” is the theme of the fair, sponsored by Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club in cooperation with South Peninsula Hospital. As part of the health fair, comprehensive blood analysis is available for only $40, a sizeable discount from the average cost of a comparable test. In addition to the basic wellness test, additional tests are available for purchase, including prostate, thyroid, cardiac, vitamin D and hemoglobin A1C.
These tests are offered by appointment at the fair, or before the fair at the hospital with the results available for pickup at the fair. Appointments are offered from Oct. 17-Nov. 4 in the hospital conference room on the hospital’s lower level. Appointments can be made at www.sphosp.org or by calling the health fair hotline at 399-3158.
More than 50 exhibitors will be available to offer various health screenings, demonstrations and services, including blood pressure, vision tests, hearing tests, flu shots, fitness tests and more.
South Peninsula Hospital
South Peninsula Hospital offers “Living Well Alaska,” a six-session chronic disease self-management class. This group workshop is for people dealing with ongoing health conditions or the family members who support them. People with all kinds of long-term conditions such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses can benefit. The workshop meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 31 to Nov. 16. The cost is $10 for the entire six-week series. Registration is required. For more information and to register, call 235-0285.