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Town Crier

The Homer Unitarian Universalists will host a Vigil for Democracy at Wisdom, Knowledge, Friendship and Love Park from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Jan. 6 in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection. Americans across race, place, party, and background are holding candlelight vigils to say: In America, the voters decide the outcome of elections. To prevent this kind of attack from happening again, advocates are demanding that elected leaders pass urgent legislation including the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and D.C. Statehood. This event in Homer is one of more than 175 events that will take place across the country, including at the U.S. Capitol. Signs and placards condemning the insurrection at the Capitol and in support of democracy will be available at WKFL Park. For more information, contact Hal Shepherd at uuhomer@gmail.com or 907-491-1355.

The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board will hold its regular monthly meeting virtually via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13. The Committee of the Whole will meet at 5:30 p.m. 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 and your Service Area Board. This meeting will include presentations from MAPP and the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic.

All are welcome to attend either or 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.

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 lovedandlostmemorial@gmail.com. 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 – lovedandlostmemorial@gmail.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.

The Homer Unity Group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 6:30 p.m. downstairs at Homer United Methodist Church, 770 East End Road. All meetings are open to anyone wanting to learn more about recovery from alcoholism. More information and online links to meetings can be found at www.aahomer.org.

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.

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 chicken chow mein with broccoli on Thursday; grilled miso salmon with snow peas and cucumber slices on Friday; green pepper steak with cucumber yogurt dip or potato salad; roast Cornish game hen with asparagus or broccoli, apricot or orange rice, corn bread or a roll on Tuesday; and pork pot roast with mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts or okra 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

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 thomasklingensmith@yahoo.com 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

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.

HCOA sponsors a live performance of traditional Irish music by trio Pat Broaders, Brenda Castles and John Walsh at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Homer Theatre. Mask or proof of vaccination is required. Get your tickets at homerart.org/calendar/irish.

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.

South Peninsula Hospital

Walk-with-a-Doc resumes under new name: After over one year of being cancelled, followed by months of being offered as a “self-guided” no-frills individual event, regular Wellness Walks for the community will now resume. Formerly known as Walk-With-a-Doc, these free, bi-monthly wellness walks will begin in January at SPARC. The first is Saturday, Jan. 15, from 9-10 a.m., when walkers will find a heated, ice and snow free, COVID-safe space to get moving in the new year. There will be plenty of door prizes and great health information provided. Please bring dry, clean indoor walking shoes.

The Jan. 15 event education will focus on Vitamin D and offer free blood pressure checks. Participants can enjoy the information, blood pressure checks and door prizes, and walk at their own pace during the one-hour event. SPARC is located at 600 Sterling Highway next to the Homer Middle School. COVID screening will take place at the entrance, and individuals experiencing any type of illness or symptom will not be permitted. Masks will be required and available at the door. This is for all ages, but youth under 12 require adult supervision.

Wellness Walks are sponsored by South Peninsula Hospital Community Education department with support from South Peninsula Hospital Foundation and are scheduled for the first and third Saturdays of each month. This offers a great opportunity to stay active, connect with community, win prizes, and get a dose of health and wellness education. Check www.sphosp.org for continuing information.

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

Elections are non-partisan and administered by local governments. Decades ago, with increasing partisan pressures, an appointed administrator, usually the Secretary of State, established more professional oversight procedures for its state ensuring greater security and accuracy. Federally, various voting rights acts were passed to not only protect voter discrimination but also to ensure national consistency.

States continually review election procedures and pass legislation if changes are needed. So far, this fairly new decade has seen more election legislation enacted than the previous one.

In 2021 approximately 1,000 bills were introduced in state legislatures. Of those, 96 election laws have been enacted. Some of the introduced bills will carry over into 2022 for more legislative discussion.

Nineteen states enacted 34 laws to make it more restrictive to vote, such as tighter ID requirements, minimizing time to obtain an absentee ballot, purging voter rolls according to certain criteria, and partisan control over election administration. Twenty-five states in 2021 enacted 62 election laws to ease voter access such as expanded mail-in-voting, easier means to register to vote and early in-person voting. For instance, here in Alaska in 2016 voters approved a ballot measure that automatically registers eligible individuals to vote when applying for the Permanent Fund dividend. (Residents are sent an opt-out of being a registered voter mailer when first applying for a PFD or when there is a mailing address change or can contact a regional elections office to opt-out.) Other examples of voter ease election laws: In 2020 four more states added all-mail voting – joining Oregon which began this voting method in 2000 – including Colorado, Hawaii, Utah and Washington. And by 2020 several states added early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee voting.

Election security, efficiency and accuracy continue to be integral to maintaining non-partisan run elections. Remember, all votes count and all voices matter.

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