Cat photo flub not intentional


People looking at the photo in last week’s paper may think we have added elements from a New York Fashion Week to our costumes for this year’s Nutcracker Ballet. Sorry, no!

Some quirk of photography cast an unfortunate shadow, but no shadows have been cast on the photographed dancer, Llena Bice, who shrugged it off.

Ken Castner

Homer Nutcracker Productions

Editor’s note: When the newsroom staff looked at the photo on the computer screen that appeared on the Best Bets page in the Nov. 30 issue, the dark spots on the cat costume appeared patchier. Unfortunately, when printed, the image looked more suggestive. In retrospect we should not have used the photograph. We have changed the photograph on the Homer News website. The Homer News apologizes to Llena Bice and her family for any embarrassment the photograph may have caused them.

It’s up to us to make change happen

I read with interest Larry Slone’s letter concerning Charlie Rose and other celebrities whose inappropriate behavior has been illuminated in recent news. My thoughts on the subject also include the recent controversy of NFL players kneeling or linking arms before the beginning of a game to protest injustice.

My question is this: If all it would take is “people educating themselves on the dynamics involved and adjusting their behavior,” why hasn’t this approach already solved the problem? Why are we still a society in which this behavior towards women and minorities has not become extinct?

Larry hit it on the head when he said “civility is skin deep.” I have thought about this in personal terms as an awareness that I have preconceived biases towards others, even those I purportedly love. I have to acknowledge what goes on in my own mind and try, by open examination, to be accepting of people’s differences. When I have these feelings I talk with someone about it, usually my wife Ruth. When he was still alive, it was my dad, but for others it could be a best friend or their pastor.

It doesn’t matter though, as long as I get it out in the open. Now, this is just me, and what I hope is a solution for my skin-deep civility. I can only change myself, and that has been the daily lesson of a life lived for 65 years. This is hard work, and I fail all the time. But if I can be mindful of my thoughts and actions, then I’m on the right path. If I have trouble accepting others, then I need to work on me some more. I guess that just means it’s up to each of us individually to make change happen.

Thanks for your thought-provoking letter, Larry.

Jim Lavrakas

Benefit support appreciated

We never thought beautiful redundancy could be two words that went together, but after watching the Homer community come together time and again for people, causes, organizations and benefits, it is surprisingly appropriate. Perhaps both newspapers could just have a boiler plate template that they could roll out every week with “fill in the blank” slots for the beneficiary and the donors.

On Saturday night, Nov. 25, Salmonfest and Alice’s Champagne Palace held a benefit for Yvonne Bouchard and Russ Morse. Like many of us, they fell in love with Homer for its beauty and decided to move here and build their dream home. After a terrible accident, Yvonne is now in a wheel chair and their dreams have been adjusted accordingly.

The benefit will help them tremendously in this difficult transition as the compassion and generosity of this community, their new neighbors, have undoubtedly made them realize that the beauty here is more than just visual.

Hopefully they will, again like most of us, be thankful that they moved here and grateful they live here.

The list of gifts, donations and participants is simply too long to list. You know who you are and so does much of the community you consistently step forward to help.


Jeannine Armour and Jim Stearns

Homer Rocks Small Biz Saturday

Thank you to everyone who supported Small Business Saturday on November 25th. We live in such a tight-knit community it only makes sense to help support our friends and neighbors by shopping locally. This year the Homer Chamber of Commerce helped promote the event and handed out 200 reusable canvas bags filled with coupons &offers from local businesses. It was such a pleasure to see people walking up and down Pioneer Ave with their bags, supporting the local economy. Thank you to all of the businesses that participated and all of the consumers that stayed in town and shopped locally this weekend.

Bridget Maryott, Marketing Director

Homer Chamber of Commerce &Visitor Center

HCC appreciates safety support

The Homer Cycling Club (HCC) would like to sincerely thank the Homer Foundation and the May Benson Fund for financially supporting the Homer Shares the Road (HSTR) campaign. The HSTR campaign was created with the goal to educate drivers, cyclists and pedestrians about the laws governing our roads and to encourage safe practices while using our roadways. There are several ways that HCC and HSTR are working to accomplish these goals. We have educational posters for permanent placement around town with the detailed rules of the road. Hundreds of drivers have placed HSTR bumper stickers on their cars, including the Homer Police Department vehicles, to remind drivers to be alert for cyclists and other roadway users. However, perhaps our broadest reach comes from the radio and newspaper ads that we have placed that include practical tips for responsible sharing of the road.

One of the exciting new ways in which the funding provided by the Homer Foundation and the May Benson Fund has benefited the community is through a new program that we have launched under the banner of HSTR called Bike Bucks. The Bike Bucks program compensates people who cycle to the Homer Farmers Market with a $2 voucher to use at the market. The program has been extremely successful and we estimate that approximately 500 bike rides to the market occurred this summer. The Bike Bucks program has helped to increase cycling in Homer, it has established the Farmers Market as a location to educate road users about the HSTR campaign, and it has helped mitigate some of the congested parking and high traffic around the market. Hopefully, with the increased education and pedestrian/cyclist activity, the Homer Farmers Market area can be a model for how we can all coexist safely on our road ways.

The Homer Cycling Club is very proud of the progress that has been made to make our community a safer place for all road users, but it would not be possible without your support. We are very fortunate to have such a supportive philanthropic organization as the Homer Foundation in our community and we sincerely thank the Foundation and the generous donors to the May Benson Fund for your support of the Homer Cycling Club and for helping make Homer a better place to live!

Hayley Norris, Homer Cycling Club Board Member and Treasurer

Murkowski tax vote was wrong

The following is the letter I sent to Sen. Murkowski: Greetings Senator, I want to go on the record as saying that there is no way in hell that you will vote against this tax bill, no matter how bad it is for everyone but the rich, no matter how much it adds to the deficit, no matter how big a tax cut there is for the extreme upper class that will be paid for by the underprivileged, no matter of your claim of not yet having made up your mind. It was apparent as soon as a provision to open ANWR to oil companies was added. You know that as well as I do. Republicans have had an attitude of opening it up at any cost. I can remember when Alaskan Republicans pushed to open it when oil was $17 a barrel. That oil would be long gone now, had they succeeded. So now, at a time when the world is awash with oil, when the causes and the effects of climate change are more than well-documented (including incredible impacts on our state), from your point of view, no time is a bad time to open ANWR.

I wish I could help from being so cynical about this. But I read and watch your act, claiming that you are still undecided, and I want to laugh and cry.

I was surprised you voted to keep the Affordable Care Act, but it was clear there was nothing in it for us. So it was an easy choice and made you look like a champion. But now you have been thrown a bone. While the thieves empty out the house, you will focus on the little bone that has only a shard of meat.

Why is it so difficult for you guys to think at all about future generations? Imagine the value of that oil in 100 years! I am sorry that you and your comrades are so obvious. I am sure that the word “donors” hasn’t crossed your mind.

Take a break and watch a few minutes of discussion of this bill on Morning Joe. 25 percent public approval rating? $2 trillion deficit? And you are still thinking about it. Right.

Can’t you understand that we could be doing such great things in this country if we were willing to solve the health care and higher education crises. Instead, no, lets move more money to the people who need it least. It is so disgusting.

I find it very interesting that no Republican ever talks about former president Dwight Eisenhower. We don’t want to talk about how our economy and middle-class thrived when the high end tax rate was over 90 percent. Just a coincidence. No one I know ever thought of the 1950s as the bad old days of high taxes.

I am 65 years old. I have been in Alaska for over 41 years. I am registered as an independent.

So, go ahead and cast your lot. I’m sure I will be really surprised. Just remember that on a spiritual level, nothing matters more than the choices we make. You will one day reflect on this choice, and, in part, thanks to this letter, you won’t be able to claim you were “unaware.” You will only have to whine and say how sorry you are. Make no mistake, a vote for this tax bill is a vote for pure greed. You won’t get my vote again.

Jim Nelson

Anchor Point