Dear Editor Armstrong –
For my husband Bob and me, deciding to settle in Homer was simple given its proximity to water, Bob’s love of fishing and our love of fresh-caught wild seafood. Becoming part of our new hometown, knowing the people who live here and what matters in their lives, was made possible, in no small part, by the Homer News.
Week after week for the past 23 years, your balanced reporting has kept us apprised of events past, present and planned for the future. Even when undoubtedly pressed for time to cover the many facets of life at the end of the road, you never failed to provide thoughtful and timely responses to my inquiries.
Linguist Avram Noam Chomsky said, “The duty of journalists is to tell the truth. Journalism means you go back to the actual facts, you look at the documents, you discover what the record is, and you report it that way.”
Michael, you have repeatedly been recognized by your peers, both in and out of Alaska, for doing just that.
Now, as you prepare to retire, know that your community also recognizes your commitment to keeping us informed, inspired and involved.
We want to express our deep gratitude to Michael Armstrong for his many years of dedication to the honorable profession of journalism with the Homer News.
Keeping a community informed and connected is what a local newspaper is all about. I read recently how important this is to small towns, although many towns no longer have this necessity. We have been so lucky to have Michael Armstrongthere for us to share the happenings of our Hamlet every week. We wish him all the best in whatever “retired “ newspaper journalists do, as they move down the trail of life.
Roberta Highland and Robert Archibald
Foundation support appreciated
West Homer Elementary School would like to thank the Homer Foundation Dave and Mary Schroer Fund for the generous grant that allowed us to purchase a poster maker for our workroom. We have never had this technology before, and it will give us the seamless ability to generate poster sized documents for classroom use as well as the ability to promote school events. We are looking forward to putting it to good use!
Thank you for your continued support of education in Homer!
Eric Waltenbaugh, Principal, West Homer Elementary
Time for residential z-o-n-i-n-g?
Mr. Brent Johnson, President, Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, and Assembly members
Dear Mr. Johnson and Assembly Members,
Reading about the wish of the Assembly to review the Gravel Pit Ordinance reminded me of my years of involvement with this.
Drew Scalzi wrote the first one, which the gravel folks hated. They did not feel it was necessary to control their businesses, and deeply resented the efforts. I got involved thanks to Ann Byes of Anchor Point, who lives near a prime example of gravel pit abuse, where a house stands totally isolated by the deep extractions all around it. She and I were concerned that future extraction should not affect residents nearby, and had asked for at least a 300-foot distance from a busy gravel pit just and nearby well. As it is, the biggest concerns to deal with are proposed pits just outside a quiet subdivision, and those folks are not happy about it. They can get local option zoning within the subdivision, but no protection outside the subdivision.
It is time for the Assembly to consider zoning certain areas as residential that would not allow gravel pits or commercial businesses. It is the only way to ensure established subdivisions will be protected from commercial disturbances.
In the past there has been a huge outcry against zoning, but I think the time has come. I see the planning committee listening to impassioned cries against proposed gravel pits, and I can empathize. It is impossible to create an ordinance that will protect them, unless there is zoning.
And we also have to recognize there is a need for gravel in order to build anything, roads, homes, etc. That is a vital business on the peninsula.
I do not envy you what lies ahead. I wish you the best in your endeavors.
Thanks to election workers
The election season is over, except for a special election for the Borough Mayor on Feb. 14. Elections take a lot of work. Kenai Peninsula Votes wants to give our thanks and gratitude to the elections workers and officials that helped run our elections smoothly and efficiently. We also want to give a big shout out to the candidates who ran for office. Some win, some lose. We believe that all the candidates are winners. Without these unsung heroes we couldn’t have elections. They put themselves out there for a cause they strongly believe in. Finally, we want to thank the voters. We need lots of voters to help keep our democracy strong and healthy.
Let’s now look at our voter turnout for 2022.
We had four elections this past year. The mail-in special election Primary for the late Rep. Don Young’s seat, (choose one candidate from 48 candidates). Next, the Primary/ Special ranked choice voting for Don Young’s seat, (which was a temporary seat until December). Then, the Borough and City elections. And, finally, the general election that we just completed.
The mail-in primary had a state turnout of just under 28% (almost 5% of the ballots didn’t count because of mistakes made). Our state primary and special RCV for Don Young’s seat had a 32% percent turnout. That was much higher than previous primaries because it also included the election for Don Young’s seat and it was an open primary-which means all the candidates running for office were on one ballot and the top 4 would go on to the general election. Our third election was the Borough and City elections in October, with an 18% voter turnout. The Nov. 8 State election had a voter turnout of 44 %. Homer House District 6, came in second out of 40 House districts, with a voter turnout of almost 55%.
There is a lot to take away from these numbers. The bottom line is that we will need to continue to encourage, educate and make voting a higher priority than it is. Remember your voice matters and your vote counts!
Alex Koplin for Kenai Peninsula Votes
In support of Greg Sarber
This letter is in defense of a letter Greg Sarber posted. He was accused of being a hate-filled individual.
He supports the community’s life-extending lifestyle at large in Homer concerning the controversy at the library. Greg never said he hated the life-ending lifestyle of the people on the other side of the issue. He was being vigilant to inform us that some employees or volunteers at the library of city have put the literature in question back on the shelves before city policy has been formulated in January. I thank him for that.
Greg is loving the families of the life-extending lifestyle of the community at large. They say they will keep their children out of the library with the literature in question in the child section. This is not hate! Our culture treats life ending as a sin and so does the Bible. Murder, and suicide, and in some cultures around the world believe LBGQ in that mix, and end their life in the public square. These sins are redeemable through our creator’s forgiveness. Hallelujah!
I ask please give us your opinion as to what love is.