Letters to the Editor

Conversation is what makes America great

I thought the letter by Charlie Franz and essay by Bob Swenson in the Dec. 23, 2022, Homer News made some interesting points.

First, the letter addressed the recent library controversy making a point that the group petitioning to move books they deemed not fit for children was not book “banning.”

I agree that what was being proposed by the petitioning group was not a banning of selected books. I do think that moving selected books not to a certain group’s taste could be perceived as a step towards banning, and marginalizing others.

Also I think an important point made is that it is the responsibility of parents as adults to monitor what their kids are reading. I agree that we need, as Franz says, a “better conversation.”

In the heat of a public hearing it is difficult sometimes to get a true conversation going.

Swenson’s essay about democracy also touches on a need for a better conversation among differing viewpoints. The importance of reading openly and objectively different viewpoints. We sometimes don’t take the time or interest in listening to the other side, and understanding their point of view.

We may not agree with it, but it is important to have the conversation. In my opinion, this is what makes America’s democracy great.

Charles Barnwell, Homer

A great year for TRAILS

With the start of 2023 we give thanks and lookback on 2022. It was a very busy year for us at TRAILS, the inclusive recreation program at the Independent Living Center (ILC).

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

Homer Trails Alliance Grateful for Homer Foundation YAC

The Board of Directors and volunteers of Homer Trails Alliance are so appreciative and grateful for the Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee’s (YAC) support with our ongoing efforts to improve the Homestead Trail. When the snow clears and trails allow, we will be back at work on our “Mud to Boards” efforts. The support of YAC will help us to continue our endeavors dealing with the wet muddy areas on the Homestead Trail, focusing on a 120 foot section that needs to be 8 feet wide for its entire length.

This multi-use section of the trail will be used by hikers in the summer and skiers in the winter and the wider trail will allow cross-country ski grooming equipment access as well.

Many thanks again to the YAC of Homer Foundation. We are excited to continue our mission advocating for trails, coordinating safe walkability efforts with community partners, and maintaining and developing new trails on the north side of Kachemak Bay. We could not plan, dream and work on these efforts without your support.

Kim Smith

Homer Trails Alliance

Fireworks Admiration

A huge thank you to everyone in our community that collaborated and contributed to put on our Fifth Fireworks FANTASTICAL!! The city of Homer has opened their arms and lent a helping hand in so many ways to make this a fun and safe event. A big shoutout to the local outfits that went the extra mile to help fund our show: Homer Chamber of Commerce, South Peninsula Hospital, Sea Sweets, Duncan House, Bay Weld Boats, Story Real Estate, Home Run Oil, Ulmers, Alaska Peninsula Plumbing & Mech , Lower Peninsula Power Sports, Ace Towing & Recovery, Alaska Ocean Pros, Peninsula Builders LLC, Joshua Veldstra Photography, The Office of Representative Sarah Vance, and 84 families.

There are some other key players that make this event really fun. A huge thank you to Peninsula Radio for gifting us a commercial free live Radio Music Soundtrack for the third year. Thank you to Captain’s Coffee Roasting Company for braving the cold to get us hot drinks. Thank you Homer Rotary Club for taking on the parking assignment — it was amazingly well organized. And a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped us set up, light, and clean up fireworks.

This year I was able to sit and watch the fireworks for the first time and I’ll be honest, brought a tear to my eye to hear the crowd enjoying the show. I say let’s make this a tradition! Thank you, Homer, for making all of my pyro dreams come true.

Aaron Weisser