News in brief

Homer Chamber of Commerce tree lighting

Homer Mayor Ken Castner will appear at a Homer Chamber of Commerce Holiday Tree Lighting when the event is held from 5-7 this Friday.

The tree will be lit at the Chamber building on the Sterling Highway. Castner will greet Santa, after which there will be opportunities for photos with him and Mrs. Claus.

Those who attend can also enjoy hot cocoa, cider, crafts for children, s’mores and a bonfire. The Homer High School Swing Choir will also perform.

Participants needed for public health emergency response exercise

The city needs participants for a POD exercise from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Homer High School Commons.

This is an emergency preparedness exercise coordinated by the State of Alaska Section of Public Health Nursing.

It will be administered by South Peninsula Hospital, Homer’s Public Health Nurses and seven other service organizations.

People who stop in during this planning exercise can receive a free flu shot. The vaccines are provided by the State of Alaska Department of Epidemiology and will be offered to those older than 6 months, pregnant women and seniors, who will receive a high dose.

“The POD exercise tests the response capabilities of local healthcare, the fire department and other government agencies to distribute protective vaccinations in an effective, timely and organized manner,” according to the city’s website. “If a widespread disease or other public health emergency were to occur, it may be necessary for health providers to activate a POD to distribute large amounts of vaccinations, antibiotics, and other medicines to a large number of people.”

Homer Community Food Pantry hosts reverse Advent calendar

The Homer Community Food Pantry is encouraging area residents to participate in a reverse Advent calendar project this holiday season.

The pantry will accept the boxes between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day at 770 East End Road.

“Decorate a box, and each day place an item in it as a reverse Advent Calendar,” the food pantry wrote in a flyer. “Count down each day leading up to Christmas.”

A list of the food and home items to put in the box and their corresponding days is as follows: Dec. 1, peanut butter; Dec. 2, canned peaches; Dec. 3, canned pineapple; Dec. 4, applesauce; Dec. 5, canned chicken; Dec. 6, canned tuna; Dec. 7, spaghetti sauce; Dec. 8, rice; Dec. 9, canned corn; Dec. 10, canned green beans; Dec. 11, canned beets; Dec. 12, canned beans; Dec. 13, protein bars; Dec. 14, canned salmon; Dec. 15, shampoo; Dec. 16, conditioner; Dec. 17, bar of soap; Dec. 18, deodorant; Dec. 19, feminine hygiene products; Dec. 20, wool socks; Dec. 21, pack of underwear; Dec. 22, toothbrush; Dec. 23, toothpaste; Dec. 24, canned chili.

Call the food pantry at 907-235-1968 to set up an appointment to drop off your box if you are unable to drop it off on a Monday.