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FYI - News briefs & announcements - May 18

May 18th, 2017 | Staff Report Print this article   Email this article  

What can you learn about microalgae biodiversity?

The Homer Native Plant Society Meeting on Tuesday, May 23, will feature Tania Spurkland and focus on Exploration of Kachemak Bay's Microalgae Biodiversity.

The presentation will touch on the taxonomy, morphology, physiology, ecology, life histories and edibility of species from the mighty, robust kelps to the vibrant sheets of sea lettuce. A long-time resident of Kachemak Bay, Spurkland is a marine biology educator with an emphasis in marine ecology and marcoalgae.

The presentation starts at 7 p.m. at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. It is free, and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call 235-9344 or email

Wear your poppy with pride

Congress has designated May 26 as National Poppy Day — just in time for Memorial Day coming. American Legion Post 16 in Homer encourages everyone to wear or display a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance and hope.

Each year, Legion members distribute poppies by placing display cans at various local businesses. Members will be at Safeway from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 26 and 27.

All donations received in conjunction with National Poppy Day will be used by the American Legion to support the future of local veterans and active-duty military personnel and their families. The American Legion is the largest U.S. wartime veterans service organization with 2.1 million members in nearly 14,000 posts.

House moves toward REAL ID Act compliance

The Alaska House of Representatives passed House Bill 74 to give the Alaska Department of Administration authority to adopt regulations to comply with the Federal REAL ID Act.

Without this legislation, Alaska's waiver from the federal law will expire on June 6, and Alaskans would lose the ability to use state driver's license or state identification cards to access military bases.

Further, starting Jan. 22, 2018, Alaska state IDs and driver's licenses would no longer be accepted by TSA at airports. With final passage of this bill, Alaska's waiver will be extended to allow the State of Alaska time to implement REAL ID compliant driver's licenses and IDs.

House Bill 74 passed the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 25-9. Following a reconsideration vote, the bill will be transmitted to the Alaska State Senate.

Alternative cargo transportation offered due to Tustumena delay

The Alaska Marine Highway System announced that Coastal Transportation, Inc. will assist AMHS customers impacted by the delay of the M/V Tustumena.

Coastal Transportation, based in Seattle, will carry cargo on an "as-able basis" from Homer and Kodiak, to Aleutian Islands destinations, at the same cost AMHS charges. Unfortunately, Coastal Transportation is prohibited from carrying passengers.

AMHS customers attempting to rebook their cargo with Coastal Transportation should let agents know they are displaced AMHS customers to ensure they receive the AMHS rate. Coastal Transportation can be reached at 1-800-544-2580 or 206-282-9979.

Last week, AMHS announced that the Tustumena was delayed at the Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard for two months.

The delay was due to the discovery of additional extensive steel wastage in the engine room and necessary repairs. It is anticipated the Tustumena will return to service departing Homer at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 18.

Relax ... it was just a programming error

Residents may have heard the Kenai Peninsula Borough siren system sound at noon on Thursday, May 11. The system was undergoing upgrades to the hardware and software that controls the system, and a programming error occurred. That error was identified and corrected by KPB staff, as well as a representative from the manufacturer who was on site performing the upgrade.

All warnings from the siren system will include a voice message giving specific instructions. Warning chimes that sound without instruction are typically test or maintenance tones?


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