The 30th Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival runs through May 8. Attendees can look forward to boat tours, kayaking, bird walks, junior and teen birder activities, art programs and more. The festival normally draws over 1,000 registrants, including locals, Alaskans from other communities, and visitors traveling from across the country to spot the thousands of migrating shorebirds passing through Kachemak Bay annually.
This year’s festival artist, Stacy Studebaker from Kodiak, created the artwork featuring the Bar-tailed Godwit. Studebaker along with many other expert guides will lead various workshops and tours.
Shorebird Festival printed programs can be found around Homer including the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 95 Sterling Highway. Participants can register and sign up for activities online at https://kachemakeshorebird.org.
The Homer Yacht Club and Homer Theatre present the film “Race to Alaska” at 6 p.m. today, May 5, at the Homer Theatre. The documentary film chronicles a non-motorized boat race from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska. Admission is $9 general and $7 discounts. For more information, visit www.R2AK.com.
Hazardous Waste Collection Day is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Homer Transfer Facility. Disposal is free to households; businesses are charged a fee. Specific Questions regarding disposal, fees and to pre-register, call US Ecology at 877-375-5040. For general questions, call Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Dept. at 907-262-9667. This event is for households and small businesses. All businesses must pre-register with the US Ecology. Households with 55 gallons or more must also pre-register. The US Ecology manages this event; the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Dept. provides the location.
How are you feeling about the Special Primary Election? By now, many of you have received a mail-in ballot. Community Engagements is a series of Zoom events sponsored by Kenai Peninsula Votes and the Homer Public Library, that combines voter education and conversation. Our next meeting is 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, where we will be talking with Melissa Jacobsen, Homer City Hall Elections Clerk, about the Special Primary Election. To register for this event, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZckf-6sqjkrHNUdYg-4DZDGDaoNSKIE6xIX or to the Homer Public Library’s main webpage or Kenai Peninsula Votes Facebook page where there is a link to register.
The South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board will hold its regular monthly meeting virtually via ZOOM at 6:30 pm, Thursday, May 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 and your Service Area Board.
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 or by emailing Devony at email@example.com.
The sandhill cranes are winging their way north. Homer’s sandhill crane pairs are starting to nest. Watch for the pair to start showing up alone, indicating one is sitting on the nest. An accurate count of nesting crane pairs helps Kachemak Crane Watch estimate the local crane population and provides an indication of annual reproductive success. Please report nesting sandhill crane pairs to Kachemak Crane Watch at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 907-235-6262. Leave your name and number including location and date when nesting started. Thank you for participating in this Citizen Science effort. For more information, contact Nina Faust at 907-235-6262 or email@example.com. Kachemak Crane Watch is a project of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.
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 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.
Registration is now open for the Homer Steps Up! 2022 free community wide steps challenge that runs from May 1–28, 2022. Anyone residing in the southern Kenai Peninsula is eligible to participate and enter for a chance to win great prizes.
Last year in 2021 there were more than 600 total individual participants on 40 teams who took a total of 164 million steps together. This year the community step goal is 175 million steps in May.
Enrollment is free. Great cash prizes are awarded to first, second and third place individuals, and the winning team takes the trophy. Random prizes are given away throughout the challenge. This year the team sizes are limited to five to 25 members, and there is only one team category.
Online registration is now open. Complete information is online at homerstepsup.com. Call 235-0285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or more information. The Homer Steps Up! Community Challenge is cosponsored by South Peninsula Hospital, South Peninsula Behavioral Health, SVT Health and Wellness, The City of Homer and SPARC, and made possible with a grant from South Peninsula Hospital Foundation.
Homer Legislative Information Office
The Homer Legislative Information Office at 270 W. Pioneer Ave. is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We are here to help you learn about, participate in and track matters facing the State Legislature. Please call 907-235-7878 for more information. Masks are required and provided.
In addition to providing legislative information, we assist the Permanent Fund Division by verifying passports and birth certificates so you do not need to mail original documents.
BILL HIGHLIGHT: Senate Bill 126: Repeal 90-day session limit.
MEETING HIGHLIGHT: The Senate State Affairs committee will take public testimony on SB 126 today, April 28, starting at 3:30 p.m. To participate come to the office or call to learn how to participate from home. You can also send written testimony to email@example.com.
LEGISLATIVE TIDBIT: In 2006, citizens passed Ballot Measure No. 1, establishing a 90-day legislative session (AS 24.05.150). The constitutional limit is 120-days (Art. II, Sec. 8). No special action is needed to go beyond 90 days, but the Legislature must adjourn 120 days after the day the Legislature convenes unless extended for up to 10 days by a two-thirds vote of each house.
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge visitor center is now open to the public. The Shorebird Festival is here. Join us for special opportunities in and around the refuge visitor center with Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, Alaska Clean Harbors, Vortex Optics, U.S. Fish & Wildlife invasive species team, and a Junior Duck Stamp display. Visitor center hours are Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Visitor hours for May 11 to May 14 are noon to 4 p.m.
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 three-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
The Homer Senior Citizens Inc. Silver Linings Cafe has reopened. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m for high-risk seniors and 12:30-1:30 p.m., masks optional. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance; call 235-4555.
The Terrace Assisted Living welcomes visitors. Face masks and screening are required. All visits must occur in a resident’s apartment only.
Friendship Center Adult Day Services is open. Contact Liz, ADS Manager, at 235-4556 to register.
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.
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 HCOA’s summer art camps. One-week sessions in June, July, and August for ages 5-7 and 8-12. Details and registration at homerart.org/education/.
On Second Friday in May, HCOA will host new local band Bed of Roses in the gallery. Join us for the live performance at 6 p.m. on May 13. Admission by donation at the door; masks required.
HCOA is now accepting vendor applications for an Arts and Craft Market on Saturday, June 4 from noon-5 p.m. for our annual Mary Epperson Day Celebration. Guidelines and registration at homerart.org/mary-day-vendor.
Kachemak Bay Campus
Congratulations to the UAA/KPC KBC graduating class of 2022. Celebrate our virtual commencement today, Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. You can watch from the comfort of home at https://kpc.alaska.edu/commencement.cshtml or join us on Kachemak Bay Campus where we will be broadcasting the ceremony in Pioneer Hall.
Registration is now open for the fall 2022 semester. The printed schedule is around town and in the mail. To view our searchable schedule visit https://kpc.alaska.edu/academics/schedule/.
A free Festival of Readings will take place Saturday through Monday, May 14-16 throughout Homer. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Jericho Brown, winner of the American book award will read his work at the Mariner Theater on Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 15 at 7:30pm at Alice’s Champagne Palace will feature readings by Marcus Burke, CMarie Fuhrman, and Marie Mutsuki Mockett, and Monday, May 16 at 7:30pm Victoria Chang, Christina Chiu, and Toni Jensen will read their work at Kachemak Bay Campus. The Free Festival of Readings is a program of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference. For more information call (907) 235-1674.
The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference will be held May 14-17, 2022 at Kachemak Bay Campus. The 2022 keynote speaker will be Jericho Brown, 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, winner of the American book award, and a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award. Joining Jericho are the amazing Victoria Chang, Christina Chiu, CMarie Fuhrman, Toni Jensen, T. Geronimo Johnson, Tynan Kogane, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, and Anjali Singh. The conference also includes 4 days of in-person craft classes, conversations, generative workshops, panels, readings, opportunities to form a writerly community, and more. For information on speakers and tuition packages, visit https://writersconf.kpc.alaska.edu/ and register today. The registration fee is $400 through April 30 and increases to $450 from May 1-14, space available.
The Pratt Museum & Park
The Pratt Museum & Park is now open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
A Moveable Feast, curated from the museum collection by Marilyn Sigman, opens with live music from 4-6 p.m. Friday.
Kenai Peninsula Votes Tidbit
How Do I Choose a Candidate for this Special Primary Election?
There are some great tips found online for picking a candidate. With the number of candidates running for this Special Election Primary, it may be helpful to consider these suggestions.
When judging a candidate, consider the issues they stand for, how that affects you and your community. Take a look at their leadership qualities, not just whether they’ve held political office in the past, but think about their honesty and ability to communicate. Do they seem to care about the community they live in and have they been involved in their community?
Slogans and images on campaign material do not have much substance as they are designed to catch your attention on an emotional level. Negative remarks about their opponents do the same and may even distort the facts. Be cautious of name calling, blaming and rumor-mongering. These tactics say little about what the candidate can actually do. Sort through their campaign promises — are they realistic?
Most candidates have websites that list their positions on issues. You could start by making a list of your top choices with the issues they support that you care about. Maybe ask trusted friends and family members their opinions on these candidates. Find out who is endorsing the candidate. Often times those endorsements are tied to campaign contributions.
In the next KPV tidbit we will consider polls, debates and forums and how to rate them.
The deadline to be a registered voter and update your mailing address is May 12. https://myvoterinformation.alaska.gov/. Or, visit your local Legislative Information Office. You can track your mailed ballot by signing up at the state site, https://alaska.ballottrax.net/voter/.
The list of the 48 candidates is found at https://www.elections.alaska.gov/.
Remember, your vote does count and your voice does matter.
South Peninsula Hospital
South Peninsula Hospital offers free wellness walks the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9-10 a.m. at SPARC. Please bring clean indoor walking shoes and be prepared to answer covid screening questions at the door. Free blood pressure checks and door prizes are offered at walks. Please bring indoor shoes, and refrain from attending if you are experiencing any covid-like symptoms. Masks are optional. Walks are at SPARC located at 600 Sterling Highway. For more information, call SPH Health and Wellness at 907-235-0285.
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 for testing. Vaccines are by appointment as supplies permit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Because of increased demand, it is asked that people make appointments. They 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.