Youth orchestra appreciates community support

The Homer Youth String Orchestra Club, conducted by Daniel Perry, would like to thank the community for their continued, enthusiastic support. This past summer the orchestra was invited to participate in the making of a music video. Through the creativity of Johnny B and the generosity of the Homer community, including the Homer Foundation, HYSOC members performed/starred, along with the Grewingk Glacier, in “Blue Ice.” Truly it was a fun filled experience and the kids are grateful to have been able to collaborate with Johnny B.

HYSOC’s most recent concert at the Homer Public Library included a showing of this music video. Mercedes Harness and the HPL were gracious hosts to the musical event which took place on a November evening and boasted a standing-room-only-crowd. We thank Mercedes for the extra time and effort she gave in order for the concert venue to be such a resounding success! (You can view the video if you google “Blue Ice” on YouTube.)

If community members would like to get another chance to hear the Homer Youth String Orchestra Club perform they are in luck. On Saturday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. the youth orchestra will be playing at K Bay Caffé on Pioneer Ave. We look forward to seeing you there, and again, thank you, Homer.

Leah Handley

Homer Youth String Orchestra Club

Thanks for fundraiser support

To all the wonderful people of Homer who supported us in the auction fundraiser last weekend. We are both so grateful for the generosity and kindness of all those who participated. We wish you all an especially beautiful holiday season; thank you and bless you all.


Yvonne and Russ Bouchard

‘Lutefisk Lady’ gives thanks

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined us for the Scandinavian Dinner on Dec. 2. The lutefisk and pickled herring had a special trip to Nome (OME) thanks to Alaska Air cargo in Seattle. Then they advised me to drive there and pick it up. Thanks to Ravn Air it safely arrived in Homer. Curt and Lorna Olson performed their magic in cooking this delicacy to perfection. We want to extend a very special thank you to McNeil Canyon Meats for donating the meat for our Swedish meatballs again this year. The Homer High Swing Choir highlighted the evening as they sang for their supper. We’re planning to have this feast every other year in the future provided the wonderful crew step up again to lighten the load. Merry Christmas.

Connie Isenhour, a.ka. “the Lutefisk Lady”

HCOA thankful for volunteer Nutcracker Faire support

Another Nutcracker Faire has come and gone, and once again, the Homer Council on the Arts staff wants to thank the tremendous dedication of the plethora of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make this event an annual special community gathering. This year, we had 26 volunteers who stepped up to help tape the floor, stand in the rain and direct traffic, help vendors schlep their wares to and from their vehicles, set up and oversee musical performances, host the cookie decorating table, and other various jobs. We particularly want to thank Kevin Duff and Tim Quinn for taking charge of the music, Cathi Purington for leading the planning and execution of cookie decorating, and Elisa Russ for taking charge of the ominous floor taping. From the staff here at HCOA, thank you, a million times over, and have a glorious holiday season.

Peggy Paver, executive director

Homer Council on the Arts

Taking a knee can help correct injustice, further equality

I was confused by Charles Graham’s letter in the Nov. 30 issue. On the one hand he says that First Amendment rights are inviolate, and on the other he says that kneeling during the National Anthem is disrespectful. His arguments in which he brings into his reasoning the Tenth Amendment only muddies up the waters. What circumstances is he describing in which prayer is prohibited?

How about we agree that the right to peaceful protest and free speech exist wherever and whenever the call? Did our Founding Fathers, and their Revolutionary brethren withhold their protestations to King George because they thought it was disrespectful? History says that they did, actually, with many attempts to reasonably ask for their rights from the king. It was only after numerous fruitless attempts at negotiation that they revolted with fire, fury and blood.

It seems to me that minorities in this country have made past reasonable efforts to do the same. Is kneeling or linking arms during the Anthem a reasonable way to protest? What makes it disrespectful? Doesn’t disrespect require intent, something we cannot glean from a quietly kneeling person, correct?

If a silent protest, in which an NFL player (who might actually be praying), or any other citizen, spurs the conversation, and evolution perhaps, towards the correction of injustice and furthering of equality, then let’s all link our arms together.

Thanks for your thought-provoking letter, Charles.

Jim Lavrakas

Bess needs support

Hello Homer,

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Sherry Bess, former manager of the Homer Animal Shelter, suffered a major stroke and was medevaced to an Anchorage hospital, where she is recuperating.

For 26 years, Sherry kept a watchful eye on Homer’s animals, provided shelter, found homes, coordinated hundreds of adoptions and corrected situations of neglect. No homeless dog, cat, guinea pig, bird, or any other animal that came to the shelter’s door was overlooked during her watch.

Now Sherry needs our help, and Homer has never turned a deaf ear to someone in need.

Earlier this month, Tom Irons and Jean Aspen used the Homer Theatre premiere showing of their new film, “Desert Glass: A Love Story” as a fundraiser for Sherry, along with Homer filmmaker Brian Smith’s film, “The Care and Feeding of Jack,” based on Sherry and the shelter.

Anyone wanting to add to the fundraising effort and/or send Sherry get-well wishes can send it through her close friend and long-time shelter volunteer Brian Smith, P.O. Box 3541, Homer, AK 99603. Make checks out to Sherry Bess.

Thank you,

Sandy Mazen, former shelter volunteer

McKibben Jackinsky

Gear Shed helps with food drive

Homer Community Food Pantry would like to thank Kachemak Gear Shed for supporting our efforts to end hunger this holiday season. They have already collected 149lbs of food, and are accepting cash donations as well. They are offering 5-20 percent off purchases to those who donate, depending on the amount of the donation. The food drive will continue through December. They are located at 3625 East End Road, and are open seven days a week (Mon-Sat 8-6 p.m., Sun 9-5 p.m).

Crystal A. Hall, Coordinator

Homer Community Food Pantry