Letters to the Editor

Go ban yourself

On Nov. 15 the Homer Public Library Advisory Board heard arguments and a petition seeking to control library materials in the children’s section. Specifically, “…transgender ideology, drag queens, homosexuality and all other books which are intended to indoctrinate children in LGBTQ+ ideologies,” to quote from the petition. Titles promoting diversity, such as “Black is a Rainbow Color,” by Angela Joy are included as well.

The text of the petition reveals the authors’ unacknowledged bigotry and narrow perspective. This extremist viewpoint completely misunderstands the non-homogeneous reality of being human and sharing the world. We are not all the same as you; neither are we supposed to be. Likewise your children will not become exact copies of yourself, thank heavens. They will browse the library of your opinions, mistakes and successes over time, choosing aspects to embody and those to ignore.

Browsing a library is an experience of discovery and learning. The individual’s taste is specific, and the library’s collection is intended to represent the entire spectrum of humanity and ideas — not just the ones you like.

Your children will talk with their friends; they will inevitably find their way online. They will join societal discourse as we all do. They will experience the endless colors, shapes and emotions which exist in the world eventually. If they have been raised in isolation up to that point, they will lack the tools to think critically and evaluate what they encounter.

Talk with your children about your beliefs. Give them rational explanations for your decisions as their parent. Prepare them for the ever-changing and beautifully diverse world. Raise critical thinkers, for there are enough bigots in the world.

I would encourage everyone in the community to actively support our outstanding local library.

Great minds think for themselves.

Aaron Ford, Anchor Point

Bans off our books!

Since when does Madeline Veldstra et al. have the ability and authority to act as censors to our community — especially other people’s children (Homer News “Point of View,” Nov. 10). When it comes to children, parents have that obligation. Each parent has (should have) the responsibility for their child’s action and reading habits.

And, if parents have concerns about what their child reads at the library, they should make sure they visit with them and read with them. Responsible parents do that. They know their child’s needs, values and limits.

What’s next? Do you want to censor what I read? Or, come into our homes and censor our lifestyles? Or, check on our social media activity? Or, even shopping habits?

I’m proud of our library. I’m proud of the wonderful people who work there. I’m proud of library management and its stated position on library issues. I’m proud of our Library Advisory Board and the decisions it makes. Every person who is part of the library process does a super job. Let them continue to do so, and ensure our library maintains a diverse view on ALL subjects.

Keep your petitions out of our lifestyles.

Bans off our books!

509 plus Lucifer are wrong!

Michael Haines

Censoring public library books is gravely wrong

I am adamantly opposed to censoring out books in the children/young adult section of the library that are related to LGBTQ people/families/parents/lives. The petitioners for this censorship believe such materials will influence a gay lifestyle on children/young adults. What are they afraid of, I wonder? This, in effect, is a censorship of our friends, our community members, parents, families. A time will come when we will not be judged for our sexuality as the fear will eventually fade.

Of serious concern to me are materials related to guns, war/war games, and violent topics in this section of the library. These have the possibility to influence children/young adults to grow up believing violence, bullying, killing, and war are the norm and practiced as a way of life. How much better the future for our young people would be without accepting war and violence as normal.

The bottom line, however, is this is a public library, not a religious or private library. The petitioners for censoring LGBTQ related material are gravely wrong. I put full confidence in the Homer Public Library Advisory Board and the library director to make proper decisions on its holdings. If parents do not want their children to be subjected to a topic they deem influentially harmful, it is their responsibility to oversee what they read and view. That includes all the devices kids use to play war games on, which sadly, is not censored and practiced way too much.


Therese Lewandowski

Speak truth to power

All parents should be free to direct the upbringing of their children; furthermore, LGBTQIA+ children shouldn’t be adultified and forced to find books in the adult section. Prohibiting these titles altogether violates the rights of other parents and the rights of children.

In doing so, you’re removing the possibility for LGBTQIA+ children to hold meaningful conversation and relationships with their families while laying the groundwork for bullying, disrespect and violence.

This abhorrent petition for the erasure of LGBTQIA+ representation highlights the cultural incompetence of our neighbors — specifically, how we as a community treat people of different gender identities.

When your reference group is a white, hetero-normative, cisgendered, sexist, evangelical community who demonizes others you’re destined to be upset by anything that contradicts this reality.

“They are not upset that we are taking up space in fictional stories. They are upset we’re taking it up in real life. Writing entirely white, [hetero-normative, cisgendered] worlds in fantasy is a form of storytelling/visual eugenics. These folks are imagining a world where no one else exists,” to quote Ashtin Berry, educator.

Please see this petition for what it actually is: trash.

Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget to check in on your LGBTQIA+ friends and family while the town is reeling. Events like these are extremely isolating and triggering. While our neighbors show their true characters, LGBTQIA+ folks are the ones who are impacted most.

You can find more resources for LGBTQIA+ youth locally at The REC Room (907-235-3436) and online at The Human Rights Campaign Foundation at https://www.hrc.org/.

For mental health support, call the Trevor Project’s 24/7 support line at 866-488-7386.

You can also reach a trained crisis counselor through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or by texting “HOME” to 741741.”

Karianna Ford

Keep LGBTQ+ books in children’s section

I was dismayed to read about the petition to remove LGBTQ+ children’s books from the Homer Public Library. I have a 3-year-old daughter who loves the library and is so proud of her library card. You know what we do when she picks a book that includes new, unfamiliar, or even uncomfortable ideas? We talk about it. I firmly believe that exposure to a wide variety of books and discussion about them will help her learn to be kind, thoughtful, and curious.

The LGBTQ+ books in the children’s section of our library are age-appropriate and reflect some of the many different families and experiences in our community and our world. I am immensely grateful that our library has books that show us many ways of being and thinking.


Katy Rice

A hard lesson learned

Dear Editor,

In August, Joe Biden signed his student loan forgiveness executive order, forgiving up to $20,000 of student loan debt. I cautioned at the time that this action was a ploy to buy votes for the Democrats from the young and gullible. It didn’t take long to be proven correct. Literally two days after last week’s election a federal judge declared this EO by Biden unconstitutional and shut down the student loan forgiveness program. What amazing timing, two days after the election; who could have predicted that?

I am sure that many young college grads were pleased with Biden’s August announcement and happily voted for all the Dems, only to find out two days after the election that they had been swindled out of their vote. They should now be outraged and can consider this a good lesson from the school of hard knocks. They have learned not to trust Democrats. Sorry about your vote kids — no refunds.


Greg Sarber

LGTBQ+ books help bridge gaps of ignorance, fear and misunderstanding

I support the Library Board in following their stated policies and procedures: to keep all books relating to LGTBQ+ , trans experience and sex education themes in place whether in the children’s or young adult sections. I believe it is important for families to have access to these items. Those who do not want their children to read them have the right to manage their children’s access.

Knowledge/examples of these aspects of life are all around us in our community and in the media. The children will be exposed, regardless. As a lesbian raising two daughters in Homer, I found the community to be generally very supportive and unbiased. Unfortunately, my daughters did have to bear some bullying in school. I can only think that the children who were mean and rude came from families where there was no or only limited discussion of what it means to be gay or lesbian, that perhaps fear was instilled due to lack of information and understanding.

Books about these issues help us all bridge gaps of ignorance, fear and misunderstanding. I hope we can all listen to one another with compassion as we help our community become ever more diverse, safe and open hearted.

Lolita Brache