As a Homeless Liaison for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's Students in Transition Program, I'd like to take a moment and thank the Rotary Club of Homer Downtown, Rotary District 5010, and the Homer Foundation for their outstanding contribution to the "Polars for Peeps" project. This project strives to ensure all elementary-aged homeless children in the Homer area have sufficient cold-weather clothing. Because of their generosity, children who enter the program this winter will benefit from this warm, heartfelt gift.
Marine safety is a very fun yet educational class for us fishermen. It is very important to learn about all of the dangers that could occur on a fishing vessel. I just want to thank the instructors, Anna Ivy-Borland and Rick Peterson, for taking the time to come down to Voznesenka and teach marine safety. Because they taught us the principals of marine safety, we will have some idea of what we have to do if the fishing vessel is on fire or going down. Thank you very much for doing what you do. You are saving lives.
I would like to thank Homer, and in particular AJ's and the staff at South Peninsula Hospital for its support of Heidijo music and my Kickstarter project. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
When I was researching Kickstarter, the advice was that most of my support would be from family and friends, and though it is mostly true, I was surprised with the showing of local support.
Heidijo music is 100 percent funded for recording in New Orleans. I couldn't have done it without you. I wish each of you a magical thank you for participating in Heidijo music.
Hospice of Homer would like to recognize the David and Mary Schroer Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Homer Foundation, for the recent grant. The monies from the grant helped to cover some of the expenses for the hospice service-area wide newsletter mailed to the community in November. If you live on the southern Kenai Peninsula you received this newsletter which provides much need information about the services Hospice of Homer provides, remembrance notices, educational information and much more.
In an attempt to put cancer in its place, nearly 20 fine individuals from around the state joined forces for a fourth year to raise money by growing mustaches. This unique fundraiser, called Movember, has grown dramatically over the last few years, but Team Arctic Walrus has been a stalwart in this fight, celebrating its four year anniversary in 2012.
To commemorate this accomplishment, and the fact that they raised more than $7,000 this year, the group hosted its annual gala celebration at the Down East Saloon on Saturday, Dec. 1. The gala was a smashing success.
The holiday season was heralded in again with another season of the Nutcracker Faire. Thank you to the Homer folks and visitors between here and Anchorage, for joining us at the Faire and supporting the artists of the Lower Kenai Peninsula. Thank you to the vendors for your effort and hours, providing a variety of wares and an abundance of creativity. Thank you to Joy Steward, Carol Comfort, Pat McNary and all the musicians who provided wonderful music on the stage all weekend. Thank you to the Homer High School custodians for your vigilance in quickly attending to our needs.
A hearty thank you goes out to all those who attended Kachemak Ski Club's recent annual meeting. We are sad to see Bob Shavelson stepping down from his job as president, but happy to welcome Randy Wiest on board, in that position. And we would like to extend sincere thanks to Ulmer's, Homer's Jeans, and Homer Saw and Cycle, for their support of Kachemak Ski Club in supplying us with some wonderful door prizes.
The Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center's annual Car Raffle was held on Thursday, Dec. 6. As always it was a fun evening of laughter and prizes. We would like to thank all the volunteers and donors that made the raffle a success. Also to everyone that bought a ticket this year, we were able to sell all 500 tickets.
The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies completed its 28th year of the Kachemak Bay CoastWalk citizen monitoring program and we want to thank the 552 volunteers who removed 4,373 pounds of debris from 70 miles of Kachemak Bay coastline this fall.
Many individuals contributed to this effort as well as local Girl Scouts, HoWL, West Homer, McNeil Canyon and Fireweed elementary schools, Homer and Mears Middle Schools, and students from the Kenai Peninsula College.
The Nov. 29 issue of the Homer News' Seawatch column reported on some of the issues the commercial fishing fleet is having with the new NMFS Observer Program. I appreciate Cristy Fry showcasing our concerns. I'd like to clarify that I fully support the development of an Electronic Monitoring System as an integral part of the NMFS Program.
Interesting letter last week by young Zoe Story wondering why women feel compelled to respond to media models which require them to reconfigure their bodies into abnormal anorexic toothpicks. I think I can assure her that, with respect to women's body shapes, most men are programmed by nature to prefer well-shaped curves.
Clearly the entertainment media is engaged in creating artificial appearance and behavior standards that are impossible for young women to comply with, despite their efforts to conform to the presumed peer-based cultural norm.
I wanted to applaud Ms. Story's well written and insightful article on Dec. 6 drawing attention to the media's portrayal of women. The travesty that a young girl at some point believes the lie that she is somehow less because she doesn't measure up to a popular media propagated image has destructive implications far more then we realize.
Looking at the Fiscal Cliff dilemma from an accounting perspective, raising taxes for the wealthy should actually benefit the economy.
Every dollar spent on creating jobs and paying employees is a business expense, and therefore already tax deductible, so the more a business invests in job creation, the fewer taxes they will have to pay.
Investing in their business, therefore, becomes even more of an incentive for the business owner, in addition to their privilege to be able to help grow the economy.
This was my first year to coach the Homer High School football cheerleaders and it was truly a pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with the cheerleaders, their wonderful parents and the volunteers. I am so grateful for their endless time, support and energy and appreciate all they did and all the help they provided -- thank you.
Hospice of Homer recently held our annual Remembrance Celebration where community members had the opportunity to honor their loved ones. On behalf of hospice, I would like to thank the businesses and individuals for their support of this program: Hospice of Homer Chaplain, Bob Redmond, for his heartfelt words and Buck Curry for the inspiring Native American flute music as well as Safeway Food and Drug for the lovely flowers and Two Sisters Bakery for the delicious treats.
It is important to remember them, to speak their names aloud, and remember their wisdom.
Big Brothers Big Sisters would like to thank the Homer Foundation for awarding our program a grant to purchase a new camera and video recorder. These funds have been put to good use documenting our new matches and group activities. The video recorder is not only allowing us to interview our Bigs and Littles for fundraising events but also for use by our matches for fun activities. We already have one Teen Sister who is using the recorder to make her own movie. Thank you, Homer Foundation, for starting something big and supporting mentoring in our community.
"Dear most honorable citizens dancing on the Wheel of Destiny here in our Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea" -- I would pop right out of my boots to see again the poet who coined that phrase and wrote more than 200 Letters to the Editor in that reliable unique style. Can you believe it, it was almost 13 years ago when Brother Asaiah left this planet.
Some of us see his spirit of community goodwill arising through many people, here and there, as the wind blows, but no one has the same unique prophetic sense of poetry and history as Brother Asaiah.
It seems that we, as people, are not as open-minded as we could be. So often we are unwilling to see the other side of things. We are convinced that the way we do something is the only way that works. When someone does something that doesn't fit in our approach, we react to it growling and snapping, "How can you do that?" There is only one way of living life, and no other.
But this is not the case. All we need do is look outside to see that our way is not the only way.
Homer Electric Association would like to thank everyone who helped make our recent Energy and Conservation Fairs a great success. The fairs at the Kenai Middle School and West Homer Elementary School attracted more than 800 people who received information about energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling and other topics related to this year's theme, "Safe, Responsible Energy Solutions."
Teens United For A Future wants to thank all of the volunteers and teens representing the 37 homeless school students at the first Annual Homeless Awareness Rally in Homer Dec. 1. The signs and displays, amazing teens standing up for their peers and the group of adults standing together showing we care about our community of homeless families and teens was so moving.