Bring ’em on
I can’t believe we’ve been wasting our time bickering over this recall thing when there’s a boatload of strippers anchored just off the Spit. Now there’s something we could really sink our teeth into.
Council members say thanks
Thank you. Thank you for caring about your local government. Thank you for hugs, bouquets of flowers, and chocolate. Thank you for listening, conversation, and laughter. Thank you for stopping your car in the middle of the street to state your appreciation. Thank you for construction paper hearts. Thank you for letters to the editor and opinion columns. Thank you for giving your time, energy, and resources to our democratic process. Thank you for attending council meetings. Thank you for phone calls and emails. Thank you for being kind to your fellow citizens. Thank you for being fierce. Thank you for seeking truth. Thank you for quietly standing firm. Thank you for understanding that recall in Alaska must show grounds, and that following process is not grounds. Thank you for demonstrating faith in us. Thank you for voting when the sun is high and fish are running. We are humbled.
Standing with Refugees June 20
World Refugee Day will be celebrated June 20. Its theme this year is “Standing with Refugees.” We all have seen in the media the atrocities committed against innocent people in the countries refugees are fleeing from. Many are families just like us with children and elders, only they are escaping unreal murderous regimes who conscript and raise young boys in their terrorist armies. Many are starving due to famine.
That we open our doors to these refugees is an act of humanitarianism. I’m proud our country has a history of doing this; we have been a leader in humanitarian aid since World War II. For refugees to be admitted into the United States they must undergo a rigorous process beginning with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees before being considered for admittance. Once allowed in they must go through multiple interviews and security check processes and be screened for a proper match with a resettlement agency and state (refugees.org). The U.S. immigration system is run with great scrutiny.
There are 10 U.S. resettlement agencies. Alaska has one — the Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services (RAIS) at Catholic Social Services in Anchorage. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 21 million people are currently recognized as refugees (unhcr.org). Imagine that: 21 million people. This year RAIS expects to resettle 90 refugees in Alaska. There were more but tragically for them, many of the families were kept back due to Mr. Trump’s executive order.
It seems to me Homer’s three recently newsworthy city council member’s work reflected World Refugee Day’s 2017 theme “Standing with Refugees” when they pursued a constituent’s proposal to proclaim Homer a sanctuary city to offer protection to those who may be sent back even after going through immigration service’s strict processes. Sadly, all the discussion and hoop-la has rallied around a foolish recall, losing sight that the real issue was about protecting innocent people from racist terrorist regimes, about being what the U.S. is supposed to be — a humanitarian country. For those who stand in horror of the world’s refugee crisis and want to somehow help, RAIS in Anchorage may have some ideas on what you can do to stand with refugees, see https://www.cssalaska.org/our-programs/refugee-assistance-immigration-services/
Homer hits hospitality home run
I want to thank everyone who helped with Homer High School’s hosting the Region Softball Tournament May 26 and 27. It was intense hosting two region tournaments two weeks in a row at the end of the school year, but the community of Homer did just that. Pam Rugloski, our tournament director, went above and beyond to make this event go smoothly. Thanks also to Bill Bell, our softball coach, and all the parents, umpires and volunteers who helped make this happen.
Folks worked 14 hour days on both Friday and Saturday to make sure athletes, coaches and umpires could focus on softball and not worry about being fed or where to park. We also want to thank our sponsors who generously donated to support HHS athletes: Aftershock Auto, Dutch Boy, Needham Homes and several parents. We received many compliments on the tournament and the warm welcome they received in the community and by businesses. The Homer community continues to amaze me and makes me proud to be part of this wonderful place!
Douglas Waclawski, principal
Homer High School
Here’s why people choose sides
At the No Recall Ball (a wonderful event with Hal Spence’s “Elders on Ice” Band) one of its prominent advocates insisted I openly declare my choice: Is a recall justified, yes or no? I demurred, believing that in this competing vision of lifestyles both are “right.”
Partly, my stance reflects the knowledge that humans are supposedly 99 percent genetically similar: 99.5 percent if same sex; 99.75 percent if factoring in same culture. It’s the unique human differences within that less than 1 percent that causes all the problems.
And that’s what our man-made political system is designed for: to accomodate and meld together in a functional system on this earthly world the variety of persons constituting the “people” of the United States so that they don’t tear out each other’s eyeballs over that 1 percent. As opinionated as I am, I find that the recall process, although a rather blunt tool, provides a legitimate means for midstream political corrections sought by a disaffected party, regardless of the validity or accuracy of their beliefs. Democracy, for better or worse, accomodates misapprehension, confusion, different values, and even downright ignorance.
So here we are, a captive but fractious species, crammed together on spaceship earth, hurdling who knows where through the vast and unknowable cosmos. It’s no wonder that people choose sides, either the Almightly or Thomas Jefferson, to make sense of it all. That’s why I, an agnostic, can borrow suitable elements from each with a clean conscience. As long as the system of ballots works on this chunk of the planet then I don’t have to chose “Skins” or “Shirts” and reach for the bullets.
Many help event run smoothly
I am writing to commend Homer High School for hosting a successful Region 3 and 4 Track and Field Meet last weekend. All went smoothly — even the forecasted rain held off until the final event. It takes a lot of hands and coordinated effort to run such a big meet. Thanks go out to the HHS’s coaching and administrative staff and Homer’s community volunteers who made it possible for all our young athletes to shine.
Student athletes aren’t the only ones putting out a lot of energy at these events. One of the trademarks that distinguish Homer’s meets is its friendly and nourishing hospitality. Thanks to KBay Caffe &Roasting Company for their generous early morning coffee donations that are eagerly anticipated by all race officials and coaches. Thanks to HHS Big Booster teams for their fantastic food donations that kept our volunteers warm and nourished throughout long days on the field, and to my tireless hospitality volunteers willing to go above and beyond to keep people well cared for —- you know who you all are.
Finally, heartfelt thanks to Coach Bill Steyer. From the new world class track and field to your commitment to each and every student, encouraging them to give their best and support the team, you have built a strong foundation here; it will keep HHS’s Track and Field program flourishing for years to come.
Cowboy Cabaret again a success
The Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association, (KBEA) would like to express our gratitude to all the individuals and businesses that helped make our 10th annual “Cowboy Cabaret” fundraiser a success.
We are so lucky to live in wonderful Homer, where supporting each other’s passions is a given. KBEA’s passion is horses and people of all ages who love these beautiful animals. We encourage all who enjoy these steeds to participate in our programs, especially our youth.
The Cottonwood Horse Park at Mile 1.8 East End Road was made a reality through the support of the Wranglers of Homer.
KBEA wants to give a huge shout out “thank you” to the following: Tim Quinn for lassoing it all together; Mark Marette, our Cowboy Emcee Extraordinaire who rode in from the head of the bay to control the herd of poets and musicians; Alice’s Champagne Palace for the western venue and great food; the fabulous businesses who donated to one more “stagecoach hold-up” for our auction; the cowboys and cowgirls who donated their loot and treasures.
A big thank you to board members Renee Eidem, Jackie Eisenberg and Sarah Roberts for “doing their chores right proper and keeping the herd from stampeding”; The Homer Ukulele Society for bringing the songs from the “Old West” alive; Sally O and Crew, Sunrise, Charlie and Becky for beautiful songs around the campfire and thanks to all the poets and story tellers.
This “thank you, pardner” wouldn’t be complete without a “hoot and a yip to all the cowboy and cowgirls who rode in off the range to make the roundup complete.”
Roberta Highland, president
Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association