Letters to the editor
Alaska Needs Alyse Galvin
I had the privilege of meeting, listening to, and talking with Alyse Galvin at Two Sisters Bakery recently. As far as I’m concerned she’s the woman who’s going to replace Don Young. Why? She’s knowledgeable of the needs of Alaskans and has been working for our youth who are Alaska’s future.
You can visit her website, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and even on Snapchat. This visibility on social media is because she understands the importance of reaching out to everyone and her young staffers know how to use today’s social media.
I’m not going to run a laundry list of her qualifications or her positions, now. I’m just taking my position in support of her. As a firm believer in the power of positive thought, envisioning, and taking action I’m standing to support a woman who can make a difference for Alaskans and encourage you support her too.
Visit her sites, follow her on social media, listen to her, question her. Compare her ideas and work to a man whose been in Congress for 44 years and has failed to get clean water for villages, who will take one position in public and vote the opposite way. This is the year for a change. We’ve marched for women’s empowerment. Now it’s time to support a woman who wants to show Alaskan’s the positive power of feminine leadership. For more information,visithwww.facebook.com/alyse.s.galvin or twitter.com/AlyseGalvin.
Confused about SPH meeting article
I don’t have Facebook, so I’m unable to post anything on the web article regarding Sarah Bollwitt’s discussion at the South Peninsula Hospital Board meeting Wednesday night, Feb. 28. However, as far as I can tell, nobody except Sarah Bollwitt and a select few know why Sarah has issues with the former director. The complaints have not been directed or expressed towards other staff who posited supportive letters for the former director.
If nobody at rehab knows what Sarah is complaining about in regards to the former director, how can they erroneously ignore (for lack of a better word) her complaints or greivances? It’s formulating the situation from her point of view into a one way street where only she and a couple others who have spoken with her and have similar feelings (still unknown to other staff members) are saying the general rehab staff ignore her complaints, but there is no actual knowledge of them.
Very confusing to say the least, and some people who work at rehab should know her complaints at least before she states they were ignoring her grievances. Still rather confused, but thank you for reporting on the meeting.
CBD change would be spot zoning
Objective B of the Draft 2018 Comprehensive Plan Update includes the following Implementation Strategy: “Support infill of existing commercial districts prior to expansion of a district.” Despite the facts that the GC1 district is far from “infilled” and, according to City Planner Rick Abboud, “no one in particular requested the change,” the Draft Land Use Recommendations Map promotes rezoning the area between Heath Street and Lake Street (and slightly beyond) from CBD to GC1. This rezone would allow the following commercial uses in the heart of Homer: car lots, vehicle repair shops, lumber yards/building supply stores, heavy equipment sales/rental/repair, RV parks/sales/service, warehousing, commercial storage, dry cleaning/laundry, unlimited taxi operations, industrial trade, car washes, junk yards (non-automotive), extractive enterprises, kennels, boat storage and open air businesses including outdoor pet crematoriums, and outdoor sales of firearms, fireworks, livestock, and drugs. Outdoor recreational activities, indoor crematoriums (human and pet), and public utilities would be allowable via conditional use permit. Most of these uses conflict with (proposed) Goal 2: “Maintain the quality of Homer’s natural environment and scenic beauty.” Furthermore, the proposed rezone plops a small island of incompatible commercial uses among two residential districts and the remaining CBD, which includes a mix of retail businesses, civic uses, educational institutions, and residences. This constitutes classic spot zoning and spot zoning is illegal in Alaska. Mr. Abboud emailed me: “Be assured that I have studied spot zoning and apply my knowledge to all zoning proposals.” I am not assured on either count.
HHS protest was heartening
The recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School saddens everyone. It is hard to imagine how a community copes with something so unimaginably horrible.
I find it heartening to see students all across America, including Homer High students, use their voices to express their opinions and to peacefully demonstrate at their schools, at community forums, and with their government officials. These young people are learning to be engaged citizens. They are taking action for the betterment of society. I am extremely proud and hopeful as I watch these future leaders navigate the systems of their schools, community, and government. I hope they know that many support their efforts to be heard.
Our country is having a hard time figuring out how to stop gun violence. It is my hope that we all respectfully listen to the youth of America and help them in their quest to make positive change.
Lynn Takeoka Spence
Children Free Zones
President Trump wants to eliminate “Gun Free Zones” from schools; his solution to the seventeenth school massacre this year. Mister Trump believes arming teachers with guns will scare off would-be shooters, since they’re “cowards.” (Can you say “a large number commit suicide?” If they’re going to kill themselves, they’re not afraid of being shot.)
I have a better solution, since we have to bow to the great power of the NRA, and not one sensible gun safety law can be implemented that just might threaten the 2nd amendment. (Can you say “gun manufacturer profits are more important than children’s lives?”) We certainly can’t deprive an American citizen the right to own an AR rifle. I’m picturing the total collapse of America — and NRA political campaign donations.
So let’s replace “Gun Free Zones” with “Children Free Zones.” Because at what point does a school zone become a war zone? Children aren’t safe where the bullets are flying. I mean really, how many children dead and injured since the very first school shooting? And what’s the effect on a child’s mental state when he enters what more closely resembles an army base, since a lot of schools already have armed policemen, metal detectors, bullet-proof windows, active shooter drills, and trauma packs (used by the military to stop profuse bleeding)?
Schools shouldn’t be places where it’s expected, “normalized,” that someone will show up with a gun, illegal or not, and plow bullets into human bodies. Is this what teachers should prepare for, with a gun under their shirts, as they demonstrate how to add 2 plus 2 equals four?
Because this is insane. It doesn’t add up. Teachers packing guns so we can have crossfire over — or through — the heads of kids doesn’t make them safe from a “coward”; it only provides a false sense of safety. This isn’t a reality show. This isn’t John Wayne. This isn’t TV where the good guys always win. Teachers aren’t soldiers trained to be in a battlefield, or even in a SWAT team. They are educators. They wield pencils and chalk. And how are armed teachers going to work, anyway, if even some armed police don’t “go in” during a shooting — as several officers remained outside, guns drawn, during the Florida shooting. (Can you say “get real?”) How many times do parents, children, students have to go through the ‘shooting — sorrow— funeral — no, no, no — no gun control (and repeat) death dance?
It’s time to investigate why so many people generate mass carnage. Considering there’s been a mass shooting about every 60 hours in 2018 alone, there’s lots of subject matter, and a predictable pattern. Let’s do the difficult work, and find a solution. Even if there’s some things we’ll have to change in our thought processes and culture. Let’s start now.
Meanwhile let’s institute sensible gun safety measures; The NRA lobbyists can go jump in a lake full of spent bullet casings.
Masons help hospice
Hospice of Homer would like to thank Kachemak Bay Masonic Club for their recent generous donation.
For the last three years, we’ve had the great honor of being a beneficiary of the Mason’s annual Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction. We appreciate the time, effort, and compassion that each member of the club gives to make this event a success. Not only did the club raise more than $2,000 to support Hospice of Homer’s programs, they hosted a fun evening with great food and exciting auction items.
We would also like to thank the Elks Lodge #2127 for their contribution to this event.
Hospice of Homer is, as always, humbled and thankful for the support of the community.
Jessica Golden, Executive Director
Hospice of Homer
Foundation help appreciated
KBBI would like to thank Beth and Dave Schroer and the Homer Foundation for supporting their public radio station! We appreciate the Homer Foundation for its stewardship of the David and Mary Schroer Donor Advised Fund, and give huge thanks to the Schroers for choosing to support KBBI via the fund.
Listener support remains the largest source of revenue for public radio, and your support does make a difference. We encourage you to explore ways to contribute to your public radio station both directly and through the Homer Foundation. Find more info at our website- kbbi.org- under the “support KBBI” tab. Thank you!
Alder Kaitlin Seaman
KBBI Development Director
Foundation keeps helping hospice
Hospice of Homer wants to give a heartfelt thank you to the Jenson Fund for awarding our agency a grant via the HomerFoundation. The grant allowed Hospice of Homer to recently update our donor database software. This will improve Hospiceof Homer’s ability to record and track donations and to thank the supporters who make our work possible
Thank you to The Jenson Fund and to the Homer Foundation for their generosity and for supporting Hospice of Homer’scommitment to provide dignity, connection, and mobility to those in our community who are ill or isolated.
Hospice of Homer
One Size Fits All
“Oh please don’t let that curtain fall open.” The boy was inside the dressing room pulling on the third pair of jeans his mom had handed through the curtain.
She said, “Hey honey…see if these will fit.” The boy prayed they would. He desperately wanted to walk out of that store withhis new 501 levis; the ones with the red tag on the back pocket. The tag that said you belong. You’re one of us.
The boy got the jeans part way up his big thighs, tugging them up a little higher before he gave up. He sat down on thesmall seat in the corner, unfortunately placed just opposite the full length mirror. The very mirror that now mocked him.
The boy dropped his head, tears rolled down his chubby cheeks. He stifled a cry with his shirt sleeve.
Oh please don’t let that curtain open …l et me just stay in here forever, he thought. Fitting into the jeans would have meantfinally fitting into his life.
Mom patted his back as they walked out of the store together. She said, “They just don’t have your size. We’ll get more ofthat other brand you like to wear.” She bent down low and kissed him on top of his head.
The problem is pain comes in one size fits all. The kind of pain you can’t see, that pain fits like a glove. The pain of theheart so often invisible to the outside world
That pain is custom tailored.
The boy, now a man, sees himself in the mirror, he still sees the fat little boy looking back at him. They see in each other’seyes the unspoken burden of quiet desperation.
Only now the man doesn’t lower his head. He doesn’t cry. He simply tells that boy to dry his eyes. He tells him to stand tall.He says with years of confidence behind him,
“You Matter….you are here for a reason. You were born on purpose young man. You were born to live on purpose, yourpurpose. Love yourself.”
You never know who you’re talking to in life. No matter where you go in this world, you are going to cross the path of thatlittle boy, or young woman who wants only to fit into their own life
If you are reading this, I want you to know that I see you. I see you as the beautiful person you are. You are a miracle. Youbelong and you matter.
Dear Editor and State Legislator,
During the week of January 29 to February 2, Homer High School students had the opportunity of working with two visiting poets, Dasha Kelly Hamilton and Kima Hamilton. Their appearance in each of our classrooms is possible through the Artist in Residency program hosted by the Bunnell Street Arts Center with support from Rasmuson Foundation and US Artists. Support also comes from the Homer Foundation, ArtPlace America and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as private donors.
The English teachers at Homer High would like to thank these organizations for making this week possible for many reasons. The synergy between the visiting artists and the students created a fun, engaging, and poetic atmosphere. Dasha and Kima are also very skilled at pulling out the writer within and allowing students a safe space to explore their own ideas on the page. The poetic activities culminated with an exciting “Poetry Slam” of student performances and awards where students, often too shy to get up in front of others, found the courage to share their work and personal stories. This is the magic Dasha and Kima bring to the classroom, they awaken our students in a new and exciting way while modeling how to find their voice through poetry. Now let us see what some of our students have to say about their experience with Dasha and Kima:
“It was a unique experience that taught me many new intriguing writing techniques.”
“I enjoyed the teaching style they brought to Homer High school, fun experience!”
“A truly magical and enlightening experience - I’d love to have the privilege of being able to have more like it.”
“I learned lots of new ideas and techniques when it comes to poetry and writing.”
“Their enthusiasm for poetry transferred into everyone in the room and made it a fun and interactive experience.”
“I think that it’s a great experience for kids who don’t normally get poetry or art in the school, and I think it’s a wonderful way for students to work with people from outside our community.”
“My experience with Dasha and Kima was very mind opening and made me see the world in a way that I never had before.”
“My experience was pretty mind-blowing; they helped me widen my outlook on life and made me see the world in a different way.”
“It was very refreshing, thought-provoking as well. They made things a lot more clear and understandable for me. They were very fun to learn from.”
“I was thanked for being honest with them and it turned from an alright day into a good one.”
“Dasha and Kima were not only engaging and fun, but they helped us employ our persuasive skills in a new way.”
“Dasha and Kima really engaged with us individually and challenged us to think intellectually with an open mind to challenging concepts. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to work on poetry with them and wish they could come again!”
These poets obviously made a difference.
Language Arts Teacher
Homer High School
The Kevin Bell Arena and the Homer Hockey Association would like to thank those who participated in our annual raffle that was drawn on February 14th. The winners have been contacted and the cash prizes awarded. I didn’t win either, but I will try again next year and I hope that you will also!
The Homer Hockey Association operates the Kevin Bell Arena to provide on ice recreational opportunities for all on-ice activities. The proceeds from the raffle go to support the infrastructure used by all groups; from broomballers, curlers, figure skaters, hockey players, recreational skaters, and coming soon; speed skaters. While our teams travel all over, and bring many players to this town, they cover their own travel expenses.
It is a financial and logistical challenge for a non-profit organization to operate an ice rink. For over ten years now the Homer Hockey Association has operated the arena for the public good and with your continuing support, we will do so for the foreseeable future.
Thanks again and if you haven’t looked at the different recreational opportunities at the rink in a while, check out our website at www.kevinbellarena.org or stop by the rink.
Jan Rumble, HHA President
I would like to take the time to thank Dr. Susan Polis of Preventative Dental Services, and the American Legion Post 16 for their generous donations this year for the Polar Bear Plunge. I would also like to thank each and every single person that has donated to my cause, this was my 19th jump this year.
I raised $6632 for the American Cancer Society. To date, I have raised about a quarter million dollars, which is amazing for such a small community! I appreciate each and every person whether it’s good thoughts or monetary donations or gift cards as well. Each person in this town has been so amazing and helpful to me through the years. I want my 20th year to be exceedingly outstanding! My goal for this next year will be $20,000. Keep on the lookout for a possible raffle and or bake sales to help reach my goal. I can start fundraising again this summer … again. Thank you to each and every one!!!
Splash Christie Hill
I thought those round table folk were critical thinkers. When I show a video of the WTC tower collapsing, the toastmaster says the blasts are from computers morphing into thermite. Seismic activity was detected across the Hudson. A series of sudden blasts were recorded. The towers were nuked and Osama Bin Laden was a patsy. It’s time we faced the truth because the tower destruction gave justification for our invasion of the Moslem world. Not right.
Schroer Fund helps Mariner Booster Club
The Homer High School Mariner Booster Club would like to recognize generous financial support from the The David and Elizabeth Schroer Fund, a donor advised fund at the Homer Foundation. The gift assisted in our purpose to provide support for all organized sports and activities at Homer High School including fall, winter, and spring sports, drama, debate, and forensics. Operating under the Kenai Peninsula Student Activities Association (KPSAA) and the Alaska Shools Activities Association (ASAA), the Booster Club is a nonprofit corporation that helps fund team expenses including uniforms and travel, advocates participation in co-curricular activities, and promotes student development.
Our students are well rounded as they must maintain standards of eligibility in academic progress, personal conduct, and enrollment. Mariner teams and individuals have been recognized at the local, regional, and state level for their achievements thanks to the time and investment from parents, coaches, and the generous support of our community!
Kathy Beachy, President
Homer High School Mariner Booster Club
Flex School appreciates healthy eating support
Homer Flex Staff and Students would like to thank the community and organizations who have made healthy eating a priority at our school this year. In the past year, many new programs have improved access for students to eat healthy meals both at home and at school.
First, thank you to the hard work and grant writing visionaries Cinda Martin and Susan Pacillo who have worked with the Food Pantry with funding from Wells Fargo and Homer Rotary to develop a backpack food program at Flex. This extremely successful program allows any student to bring healthy and easy to prepare food home. This program increases food security and decreases stigma for our students.
In addition, Flex has begun a community breakfast program. Through this program community volunteers sign up to serve a hot breakfast to Flex students every Wednesday. Access to warm home-made breakfast has made a huge difference for students and teachers alike. The graciousness of the breakfast club volunteers not only brings healthy food to the start of the school day, but shows students the amount of support that exists in our community.
Thank you to Karen Weston, Saundra Hudson, Connor Schmidt, Kyla Dammann, Shannon McBride, Sherry Stead, Jenna Kropf and the Young Adults Club, Leslie Slater, Shelly Laukitis, Claire Laukitis, and any others I have forgotten for getting up early and cooking pounds and pounds of bacon and pancakes. The Flex students are appreciative and grateful!
Ingrid Harrald, Counselor
Flex High School
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