There are so many people to thank for their efforts in the arts these past few weeks. Too many for letters to the editor so instead I thought I would highlight the number of people involved. April started with the Jubilee Gallery Exhibit at the Homer Council on the Arts and South Peninsula Hospital, showcasing youth art of 60 students from the Homer area.
Point of View
As I sat in my aisle seat minding my own business, reading my John Grisham novel, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between my two seat mates. They were lamenting their most recent water bills, “Over $35 this month!” said the young woman in the window seat.
The man in the middle, who is her neighbor in Anchorage, said his bill usually runs about $20. It was at this point I could hold my tongue no longer.
The ability to recycle electronics helps families, businesses, governments, tribes, and non-profits make responsible waste disposal decisions. It also puts our dollars to work supporting green jobs and re-using precious metals instead of mining for new ones.
When we talk about creating a greener economy in America, thoughts often go towards creating more sustainable energy sources like wind, solar and tidal power. Often overlooked is another aspect of being green — what to do with all the waste we currently produce?
“What should we say in this article about the Homer Food Pantry?” I asked some fellow volunteers. “What happens here? What makes us unique?” There were lots of suggestions. Mostly we give food to people who need food, but there are so many other ways that we help share what needs to be shared. My list ended up getting longer and longer and I was imagining an awful run-on paragraph — until I decided to write a poem. (Perhaps after this, you will think that run-on paragraphs aren’t so bad, but here we go…)
The Creative ways Homerites
Support the Food Pantry
Week of the Young Child at a Glance
Monday, April 21
Toddler Playgroup from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the HERC building. Children from 0-5 years old and their parents are welcome to run, romp and play. $2 per child.
Tuesday, April 22
“Blockfest” Playgroup at Sprout. Visit www.sproutalaska.org for details.
Story time at the Homer Public Library 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for children aged 3 to 5 and their caregivers and siblings.
Wednesday, April 23
“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
— Chinese Proverb
Best Beginnings Homer will be celebrating Week of the Young Child April 20th-27th with the theme “Strengthening Families” to honor families with young children. Homer’s celebration will be a week of fun activities to promote the importance of early learning, which helps children succeed throughout life. Week of the Young Child is celebrated nationwide and Homer is proud to show our support for young children and the important people in their lives.
We are growing and circulating creative currency through Old Town, and it is spreading throughout Homer. Our recent Old Town Artist in Residence Jarod Charzewski and our Homer community worked nimbly to complete an attention-grabbing installation that reaches from the inside of the Arts Center and spills out to the street of West Bunnell. Jarod’s installation symbolizes just what successful creative placemaking should do: expand to spill beyond the borders ... and spread.
I live in a remote coastal village in Lower Cook Inlet, and my family and my community depend on the ocean for food. Whether it’s collecting bidarkis off the rocks, clams from the beaches or halibut from deeper waters, we rely on a healthy ocean to sustain us.
Today, however, we’re seeing rapid changes in our oceans, and one of the most alarming problems is ocean acidification. As we pump more and more carbon into our atmosphere, our oceans absorb more carbon, and they’re becoming more acidic.
It’s not surprising that at the blistering pace Internet demand the FCC predicts a demand of one communication tower for every 75 residents. Increased access to bandwidth is an economic stimulant and educational boost for schools. Every year demands more bandwidth. Alaska is behind the curve significantly in providing bandwidth and our costs are very high compared to all other states.
Since 1990, culminating with Obamacare, progressives progressively destroyed health insurance. How? By switching definitions.
It’s the season for Pick.Click.Give., the concept that we pay it forward and give to nonprofits of choice. This act satisfies the human need to give out of one’s abundance and also supports the saying, “It’s easier to give than to receive.” It also allows nonprofits to plan next year’s budget.
That said, I suggest we consider this idea. We give because we care, and we care because a purpose fuels why we care. Allow me a personal story.
Truth is one of the first casualties of war, and in Alaska, truth was the first casualty of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Does it matter if we know how much spilled? Eleven million gallons was an intentional lie; the Exxon Valdez actually spilled about 30 million gallons.
Mark Hamilton, president of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) recently opined that the Board of Fish (BOF) meetings had produced a “clear victory for Kenai kings.” I disagree, and believe that any objective person would disagree as well.
The Senate Resources Committee is holding hearings this week on House Bill 77. HB 77 is Gov. Sean Parnell’s grab bag of anti-salmon, anti-democracy rollbacks that grants new super powers to our state government while stripping away our rights as Alaskans to protect our fish and game resources. Despite claims that recent amendments “fix the bill,” little has improved.
Every Alaskan who cares about salmon and democracy should speak out on HB 77.
As one of the original Homer community members who worked to have Kachemak Bay selected as the first National Estuarine Research Reserve in the state of Alaska, I strongly urge the Legislature to reinstate the $175,000 in funding that was deleted from the budget for the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The rigorous selection and approval process to create this preserve is a feather in Alaska’s cap.
Budget cuts recently requested by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will close the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. Of course that’s not the way ADF&G would prefer to say it, but that’s the reality.
Recently I was interviewed by Homer News concerning the Asaiah
sculpture debate. As one of a small group of friends who cared for Asaiah’s body, interred him and was privy to his last wishes, I thought it was important to repeat what I was told by him at the end of his life and was not just my opinion on the subject.
The Board of Fisheries has been meeting in Anchorage recently with their focus on Upper Cook Inlet fisheries management. I was there for most of it, as I have been for nearly 40 years.
Remember long ago when the Marlboro man advertised the benefits of smoking? Many of you are too young for this one, but at one time in the recent past smoking was advertised as being good for you. Clearly this idea has been disproven by science.
In Alaska, and more recently, in Homer, we frequently here the mantra we’re “open for business.” The intent of course is to present a business-friendly face to potential investors so our community can reap the promised benefits of jobs and contracts such businesses might bring.
But “open for business” has to mean something more than simply open to any business, because if not, we’ll attract corporations to Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay with low standards and a profit-at-any-cost mentality. And local residents ultimately will bear the cost.
Editor’s Note: As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Homer News has asked former “Newsies” to reminisce about their time at the newspaper and some of the top stories of the day.
In the second such piece, Tom Kizzia, former managing editor, talks about his time at the Homer News in three separate stints — from 1975-76, 1977-78 and again briefly in 1989.