Homer Alaska - Opinion

Story last updated at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Online calendar provides tool for good planning

You know those days and weekends in which there's so much going on — all activities that you want to take part in — that it's hard to pick and choose what to do?

Or maybe on a Monday afternoon you've run into a friend in the grocery story who told you what a fabulous concert she attended Friday night and you wondered how you missed it?

Perhaps you're the person in your organization responsible for planning the group's activities and you want to make sure the date for your most important event of the year doesn't conflict with another group's big night.

The Homer News is proud to offer its online community calendar that can help with all the above dilemmas. It's free for anyone to use. And simple.

Just go to the Homer News web site (www.homernews.com) and near the top of the page you'll see an icon that says "What's Happening Events in Homer, Alaska." Click where it says "click here," and the month's current calendar will appear. You can pick any day that you want to figure out what's going on and click on a specific event to get more details.

If you want to submit an event, click on those words, and you'll be walked through the process. You can submit an event months — even years — in advance, which means groups planning their activities one to two years out can get them scheduled online as soon as the dates have been established and begin to get the word out. The calendar is a tool for everyone to use to help avoid date conflicts and participate in community activities.

At the left of the calendar, you'll see many of the organizations that have already learned the value of the Homer News online calendar. Like most small, nonprofit organizations, many of them don't have time to manage the calendars on their own web sites, so they pull data from the Homer News calendar that fits their mission (for example arts activities or youth activities). You and your group are welcome to do this as well.

The more people use the calendar, the more valuable it becomes to the entire community. And that's really the goal: to offer a tool that everyone in the community can use so the entire community can know what's happening on any given day. It's a way to enhance cooperation, collaboration and communication among the many groups in town, as well as individual residents.

The value of a community newspaper such as the Homer News is its ability to connect members of the community by providing them with the best information possible so they can make the best decisions possible about where they live and how they live. The online calendar is one powerful way to do that. On Thursdays, readers find a condensed and edited version of the online calendar in the print version of the Homer News. One of the limitations of print is space, so not everything gets printed. All the details are provided online.

If you haven't used our online calendar, here's an encouragement to do so. If you need help using it, give us a call at 235-7767. Adam Bauer and Merinda Knight are our calendar experts and can help walk you through the process. If you have ideas for making the calendar better, please let us know. Our vision is the Homer News online calendar will be the one-stop directory and the premier planning tool for what's happening on the southern Kenai Peninsula.