Letters to the Editor

Holiday Cheer

I’d like to thank whomever is responsible for the random acts of holiday cheer in the form of small handmade snow people sculptures that are dotted around downtown Homer, tucked into spaces in front of local businesses. On a scavenger hunt with a friend we spotted at least 17, although we know there were more prior to our determined search. You have brought delight, charm, and warmth to our Cosmic Hamlet! Thank you!

Fran Durner

Happy Birthday, Jake!

We want to wish our beloved patriarch a happy 100th birthday.

John (more commonly known as Jake) McLay grew up on a ranch in Vale, Oregon, along with six brothers and two sisters.

He was born on Jan. 5, 1923. He located to Homer in 1945 with his wife ‘Mid’ (Mildred) and 8-month-old son Woodie. They had two more sons, Val and Bert (who passed away at the age of 38).

John was a commercial fisherman and master guide for a total of 38 years, with some years overlapping. He also was manager of the Homer Ferry Terminal for eight years before retiring. He was also known as a ‘jack of all trades’. There was almost nothing that he could not do.

Since retirement, he became a “snow bird” spending the winters in Gold Canyon, Arizona, for approximately 30 years. Since the onset of COVID, he has moved back to Homer permanently and is an active part of the community.

Jake’s wife Norma, sons, and grand children

This has been a very busy year for us at TRAILS, the inclusive recreation program at Homer ILC. With the coming of the New Year we give thanks and lookback on 2022.

We kicked off the year by offering curling thanks to the support of the KBA crew. In spring you found us reeling in halibut, then connected with a local horse riding outfit, allowing us to spend fun, quality time on horseback. Next we spent the rainiest day of summer wildlife viewing in the bay on a local tour boat.

In July, commemorating the passing of The Americans with Disabilities Act, ILC’s 31st Anniversary, and Disability Pride Month in Alaska, we hosted a fundraiser. Multiple functions were held around town in hopes of raising funds, and to raise awareness regarding barriers many people with disabilities encounter. A huge thank you to everyone who donated art for the art auction, to Land’s End Resort for hosting us, to Grace Ridge Brewery for their support, to Annie Garay at SPH for all her efforts, to Pat McBride for sharing his story, and to Pat Case for his huge contributions.

We then braved the poor weather yet again, camping at the Anchor River State Recreation Area including a horseback ride on the beach. Thank you to Boy Scout Troop 555 for helping us stay dry. To finish off the busy summer season we explored across the bay having a peaceful beach picnic soaking up much needed sunshine. Thanks to the SVT for the use of their accessible van. Thanks to KPC who assisted us in hosting our first ‘Disability Film Festival’ and thanks to Homer Art and Frame for donating space for us to host a participant-led art group. I look forward to 2023 and all the amazing things we do together.

Michael Gavillot

Program Director