Editor’s note: As a public service to keep people informed on the COVID-19 pandemic, the paywall for the News section of the Homer News website has been disabled. Consider subscribing to the Homer News to support our continued work to bring important updates to the public. You can do so here.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and mandates from Gov. Mike Dunleavy to limit nonessential travel and close nonessential facilities, Homer area nonprofits have made the following closures or cancellations. Some organizations also have moved meetings and events to online conferencing.
Here’s a rundown of public facilities and other entities that are closed or have altered hours in the Homer area:
Bunnell Street Arts Center
Bunnell Street Arts Center has closed the gallery to the public temporarily. All events through April 30 are postponed. The gallery has a “To Go” plate painting kit. It also is facilitating a Community Chalkboard to share ideas via Facebook, email, or by contacting staff members. To serve artists and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can offer online gathering spaces for conversation, studio visits and performances. Share ideas for opportunities by email at email@example.com or on Facebookat https://www.facebook.com/BunnellArts/.
Bunnell offers weekly Zoom conferencing sessions, from 11 a.m. to noon every Thursday. On April 2, Molly Lou Freeman and Annette Bellamy present “Inspiration In Isolation.”
The April exhibit, “Waterhaul,” by Thorey Munro and Catie Bursch, has been canceled.
The Tim Easton concert and songwriting workshop has been postponed until Oct. 13-17.
For more information and updates, visit www.bunnellarts.org.
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
The Wynn Nature Center Cabin at Mile 1.5 E. Skyline Drive is closed and no longer staffed. However, the trails are open for use, and maps and activity guides are available. Hand sanitizer will be available at the cabin and in the outhouses. Visitors are recommended to honor the 6-foot recommended distance from others while enjoying the Wynn Nature Center trails and outdoors.
Outdoor “self-guided” activities will be available digitally through the CACS website and available outside of the headquarters building (708 Smokey Bay Way) for picking up hard copies if desired.
Snowshoes are available to rent from the headquarters, but call ahead to make sure there are pairs available and set a time for pick up to make sure a staff person is available to check them out. Snowshoe use is free for CACS members and $5 for nonmembers.
City of Homer
The Homer Public Library, the Homer Education and Recreation Complex (HERC) and other Community Recreation programs are closed and all public programs and activities scheduled there are cancelled until further notice.
Library staff will still answer phone calls at 907-235-3180 and respond to emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff will try to be available for calls Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will answer emails as they can. For information on the library, visit www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library/homer-public-library-closure-faq.
Library users can access the Alaska Digital Library any time, with thousands of titles available in eBook and audio format. For questions about getting started or if you need a library card, email email@example.com or call the circulation desk number at 235-3180. A staff member will assist library users in the process of getting the service set up.
The library also offers other online services, such as Flipster, a magazine service, and Mango Languages, a free online language learning service. Also available through the website are lots of how-to resources, from home and vehicle repair to crafts.
The Homer Police Department also is closed to the public. 911 dispatch is operating as usual. Non-emergency police business can be conducted by phone at 907-235-3150 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All city offices are closed to the public. City staff will be available during regular business hours by telephone and email. The public is encouraged to do city business over the phone or through email. Contact information is at the city’s website at www.cityofhomer-ak.gov. Updates on COVID-19 are on the city website. Bills can be paid online or by dropping off payments in the drop box at the front of City Hall by the Pioneer Avenue entrance.
Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center
The Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament is canceled.
Until further notice, the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center office is closed for public access but staff can be reached by phone and email messages.
Homer Community Food Pantry
The Homer Community Food Pantry distributes food on Monday at its regular hours of 1 to 3 p.m. at the Homer Methodist Church on East End Road with drive-up service.
The food pantry seeks volunteers younger than 60 who do not have underlying health problems and who can help relieve older volunteers with health issues. Call the food pantry office for more information.
Homer Council on the Arts
The HCOA office and gallery will remain closed until further notice. Other events are canceled or will be held online.
Weekly Portrait Group: On hold
The Disability Art Show is now available for viewing online. Enjoy the current exhibit from home and bid on the silent auction pieces with proceeds benefiting TRAILS. The show will be extended an extra month. The silent auction will now close at 3 p.m. April 30.
Art a la Carte: An online option is in the works. Art a la Carte instructor Carly Garay is working to develop alternative methods to continue the program. Information will be sent to currently enrolled students, and new students are welcome to join. Check this link for the latest updates as the program develops.
Jubilee Youth Art Exhibit: HCOA is accepting submissions for the Jubilee Youth Art Virtual Exhibit. The show will be shared through the HCOA Facebook page.
To participate, fill out the submission form at www.homerart.org and email it to email@example.com along with clear photos of each work being submitted. Contact the office to arrange help photographing works of art for submission.
Homer Electric Association
Homer Electric Association closed its Kenai and Homer office lobbies. Members can phone support representatives in Homer at 235-8551, in Kenai at 283-8551,or toll free 800-478-8551. Bills can be paid online at www.homerelectric.com, by phone or through the HEA on Apple or Android smart devices. They also can be deposited in secure lock boxes at HEA office entrances.
Homer Recall Dunleavy
The Homer Recall Dunleavy office is closed. Registered voters who want to sign the recall petition can do so by requesting a personal household recall petition book at RecallDunleavy.org/sign/.
For more information, contact Pat Cue, 907-299-3610.
Homer Rope Tow
The Homer Rope Tow on Ohlson Mountain is closed.
Homer United Methodist Church
Public worship at Homer United Methodist Church is suspended until the end of April. Pastor Lisa Talbott said she will email worship books to members. Services are broadcast through the church’s Facebook page.
Twelve-step programs are now conducted using the church’s Zoom platform. For information on connecting, call the church office.
Kachemak Bay Campus
In order to promote the health of the community, all classes at the Kachemak Bay Campus have now shifted to online/alternate delivery and will not be held on campus. Community events have been cancelled and non-credit classes have been postponed until further notice.
Professors will contact students directly on how to connect with classes. The college is working on a plan for lab classes and to make resources available to students who do not have access to computers or the internet.
While administrative operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, the college asks that people call 235-7743 with questions rather than stop by the office. The campus will be closed on Saturday and Sunday until further notice.
Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic
KBFPC will be implementing moderate mitigation strategies, including limiting services and actively screening staff, clients, participants, and any other visitors to the buildings.
All visits must be prearranged by calling 907-235-3436. This includes appointments and supply pickups.
“Clients will be informed during that call of our screening efforts and anyone experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath (or any other COVID-19 symptoms) will be referred to primary care before coming to KBFPC,” said Executive Director Catriona Reynolds in an email. “Some routine visits may be delayed in order to prioritize time-sensitive care.”
Any client relying on a birth control method which requires supplies (pills, patch, ring) or is due for replacement in next three months is encouraged to contact KBFPC as soon as possible to ensure continuity.
The R.E.C. Room
The REC Room is no longer open to the public. Individual teens in need of food, hygiene supplies, or support from a trusted adult are encouraged to ring the doorbell (ideally between 3-6 p.m.) and a staff member will be available for them, pending a COVID-19 symptom screening.
Kenai Peninsula Service Area Boards
All Kenai Peninsula Borough Service Area Board meetings have been postponed until further notice. For more information, visit kpboem.blogspot.com.
Kevin Bell Arena and Homer Hockey Association
The Kevin Bell Arena is closed.
The rink will not hold the Ash Cup Adult Hockey Tournament in addition to not providing a recreational outlet for members and the community at large.
Homer Hockey Association also is canceling its End of Year Celebration. The three individuals who are selected to receive awards in the Justin Adams Player of the Year Award, Youth Volunteer Award and Kevin Bell Coach of the Year Award will still be recognized. Please send nominees directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. The association also plans its Annual Meeting in April, subject to change.
South Peninsula Activity and Recreation Center (SPARC)
The SPARC is closed until further notice.
South Peninsula Hospital
SPH Long Term Care
South Peninsula Hospital Long Term Care is restricting all visitation.
Only essential health care staff and pre-approved visitors for end-of-life or other compassionate care situations are the only persons permitted to enter the unit.
Long Term Care is following guidelines announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and to help protect seniors and some of the community’s most vulnerable population from the novel coronavirus.
The hospital also is now restricting access only for those with appointments for medical care, persons seeking critical care in the ER, designated visitors of patients, and staff. No other visitors are permitted; this includes delivery drivers, non-essential contractors, family members of staff, and public for any other reason.
Access to the cafeteria is for patients and staff only.
The Gift Shop is closed indefinitely.
The lower level of the hospital is closed to public entrance. The only public entrance is at the main upper entrance. Follow instructions on signs for admission.
Sleep studies have been discontinued.
Homer Medical Center evening extended hours clinics are cancelled. To relieve pressure on the Emergency Room, the medical center now offers urgent care daily.
Large group events at SPH are postponed, including Childbirth, Newborn Care, Safe and Healthy Kids Fair, Walk with a Doc, and Stop the Bleed.
SPH phone numbers:
South Peninsula Hospital: 235-0235
Homer Medical Center: 235-8586
HMC West Wing Clinic: 435-3040
Behavioral Health: 235 7202
SPH Specialty Clinic: 235-0310
Family Care-Carol Klamser: 235-0310
SPH Rehabilitation Department: 235-0370
The Exchange, Homer’s safe and confidential resource for needle exchange that operates out of the South Peninsula Hospital Training Center, is still opening on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, from 5-7 p.m. with some modifications to operation. Ginny Espenshade, a co-founder of the Exchange, said the modifications are following CDC guidelines and social distance recommendations, “to best protect the health of our participants and volunteers.”
The Shop: Kachemak Bay Art Space
The Shop: Kachemak Bay Art Space has cancelled Homer and Anchorage workshops for the foreseeable future. Artist David Pettibone will offer drawing and painting classes online through Skype. Students can email him examples of work and what they want to develop. Students will have a 60-minute online session followed by email discussions of more work. At the end of the week there will be a 30-minute online session. The fee is $75 per week. For more information, email email@example.com.
The Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament has been canceled.
The South Peninsula Haven House Women of Distinction Auction and Dinner scheduled for March 27 has been postponed.
The Kachemak Nordic Ski Marathon was canceled; however, the trail was groomed and is open to skiing.
The Epic Big Fat Bike Festival scheduled for March 27-29, also hosted by the Homer Cycling Club, has been canceled.
The annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival will not take place as scheduled in May, but will return in 2021.
The Safe and Healthy Kids Fair, scheduled for April 25, has been canceled.
The Kachemak Bay Quilters’ quilt show scheduled for Mothers’ Day Weekend has been canceled.
If you have a closure or altered hours of operation to announce, send that information to firstname.lastname@example.org.