Letters to the Editor

Alaska could use a lottery

Alaska does not need a state income tax, nor a statewide sales tax, nor a school tax! But it could use a “volunteer tax,” otherwise known as a lottery. The state of New Jersey is doing wonders with its lottery.

So, why not Alaska?

With the Russian-Trump investigation of the 2016 election, why not an investigation into the payment of $35,000,000 by the Russians to the Clinton Foundation?

The answer might be explosive, even nuclear. Is it true?

Jim Hadley



Time to being healing process

The vote is cast and common sense prevailed. Homer City Council members Reynolds, Aderhold and Lewis are once again proven fit to serve our community. Let us come together as a community and begin the healing process. We have paid the price in not just dollars but in discord.

I pray the energy of the hard-working and organized individuals invested in democracy can now shift collectively to unseating the one person who is truly unfit to serve us all, Donald Trump.

Michael Walsh



Writers’ conference enjoys success

The Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College would like to extend its sincerest appreciation and gratitude to the many individuals, agencies and businesses whose generous grants, donations and in-kind support made our 16th annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference such a tremendous success.

More than 125 writers, students, teachers, literary enthusiasts and readers from Homer as well as throughout Alaska and the lower 48 spent four days together within a context of shared experiences of workshops, informal conversations, discussions, craft talks, open mics and readings. Another 150 members form the public and tourists enjoyed the three evenings of public readings. Participants left with a renewed appreciation and passion for the written word, new friends, new resources, new “tools” and incredible inspiration.

For 16 years, this conference has fostered a vibrant literary community in our state and as such, a strengthened understanding of the evermore critical role that literature plays in our complex world.

This highly acclaimed, educational and cultural experience could not have been made possible without the significant contributions from many including: Atwood Foundation, Advance Printing, Alaska Airlines, Alaska Coastal Marine, Alaska State Council on the Arts, KBC Caroline M. Coons Fund, Barbara Baugh, Bay Excursions, Ravn Alaska, Eleanor Andrews, First National Bank Alaska, Friends of the Homer Library, Homer News, Mary Hughes, Gary Klopfer, KBBI, Land’s End Resort, Peninsula Clarion, Peter and Jo Michalski, Connie Ozer, Cathy Rasmuson, Peggy Shumaker/Joe Usibelli, The Homer Bookstore, Two Sisters Bakery, Tutka Bay Lodge, University of Alaska President’s Office, UAA’s Chancellor office and the Usibelli Foundation. Thank you all

See you next year — June 8-12, 2018!

Carol Swartz, Campus Director

Kachemak Bay Campus-Kenai Peninsula College/University of Alaska Anchorage



Praise for soccer, those involved

Another soccer season has come and gone for the Lady Mariners and although it didn’t end as planned, there are many thanks and praises to be doled out.

First of all, my job and the reward of doing it is not possible without the great young women I get to work with every day. No matter the circumstance, good or bad, in our favor or stacked against us, they showed up to practice and games with smiles on their faces and a work ethic that will provide for success in all aspects of life.

Secondly, I’d like to thank my assistant coach Jessi Felice, volunteer coach Zoia Basargin, all the parents, administration, school staff and everyone in the community who came to a game, donated their time or just provided their support in other ways.

Soccer is a beautiful game and it’s an honor to be able to coach it in such a beautiful place amongst wonderful athletes and the support systems they have around them.

Finally, congratulations to our three seniors, Sam Jacobsen, Uliana Reutov and Megan Pitzman. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you.

Mike Tozzo

Varsity Girls Soccer Coach

Homer High School



Kids learn skills in Coding Camp

On a recent morning at the Homer Public Library, before the building officially opened for the day, kids with bright smiles ran from the parking lot to the front door. These aspiring programmers were on their way to the third day of the library’s free, four-day Coding Camp led by Tauseef, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. With huge grins the kids, ages 9 to 11, made their way to the library’s meeting room where they spent the morning learning the fundamentals of computer science. (A group of teens also spent four afternoons programming.)

Using JavaScript, a common programming language used for games, apps and websites, the kids drew, colored, and animated circles. While it sounds basic, they were actually using advanced math, reading, writing, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills to design the beginnings of the familiar game known as Pong. Each unique game design included more than 100 lines of code which the kids created, edited, and rewrote themselves.

The idea for the Coding Camp, one of many free Summer@HPL 2017 programs and events, grew out of three years of after-school and summer “maker” programs, including multiple introductory Hour of Code events. We are always looking for fun, high- and low-tech opportunities to help kids apply their academic interests and foster their love of learning, whether it’s part of programs like Coding Camp or the more traditional Storytime. In fact, many, if not all, of the aspiring programmers began their relationship with the library as toddlers and preschoolers. We look forward to seeing what’s next for these kids and teens.

Visiting mentors and experts, access to high- and low-tech tools, and a supportive community help Homer’s youth discover what’s possible and expand what they know. The Coding Camp was made possible with contributions from the Ashley J. Logan Fund and the Willow Fund at the Homer Foundation and Friends of the Homer Public Library, the annual sponsor of Summer@HPL. Thank you! The community’s ongoing support of Homer’s kids and the Homer Public Library is remarkable.

Claudia Haines

Youth Services Librarian

Homer Public Library



Teens encouraged by support

The R.E.C. Room would like to publicly thank the many supporters who help with resources and food for our local youth. We’d like to do a shout out to Karen Weston for supplying snacks, weekly hot foods and cereals and end of the year barbecue food; Jan O’Meara and Rotary Club of Homer Downtown for keeping the fresh fruit, cab vouchers and books supplied; Friends of the Homer Public Library for lending library; and the Homer Community Food Pantry for snacks and meals for the youth in our community.

And, of course, thank you to the Bagel Shop for supplying us with our very own panini press. Not only can we provide these resources for teens to feed themselves on a daily basis and receive entertainment and hobbies, these donations have opened up teaching moments through food preparation, cleaning and healthy living.

Many of Homer’s finest youth have expressed their gratitude by pitching in without prompting as well as verbally expressed their thanks for the food especially. The resources the R.E.C. Room provides for the youth in our community would not be possible without the local support. We feel thankful for the enormous amount of encouragement we have received from those mentioned here and those who are silent donors.

The R.E.C. Room will continue to be open all summer for local teens who might need resources or just a safe and fun place to hang out. Check in with R.E.C. Room Facebook page for any updates and hours.

Cody Davidson

R.E.C. Room Coordinator



Donation makes magic happen

The Independent Living Center TRAILS Program would like to thank Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware for their donation toward a scholarship for a participant to join a weekend of horseback riding at Horseman’s Adventure in Cooper Landing. I wish I could express the value of this experience for the scholarship recipient. Please know that your business made magic happen.

Tela Bacher

TRAILS coordinator and education specialist



Gift promotes reading

Dear Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary:

Thank you so much for the generous grant for $500.With this funding Homer Public Library will be able to continue to offer Tumble Books — an online collection of more than 1,000 books that is accessible to our children year round. Thank you for promoting reading in our community.

Lisa Whip

Educator and supporter of our

Homer Community of Literacy

Ann Dixon

Homer Public Library Director



Grant helps maintain ski trails

The Kachemak Nordic Ski Club would like to thank the City of Homer and the Homer Foundation for the generous support provided by the city grant that KNSC received this ear. The money provided by this grant is used to help offset the costs associated with maintaining and grooming the Homer area trails managed by the ski club.

In addition to trails dedicated to cross country skiing, KNSC maintains summer trail access at the Eveline State Recreation Site, which is managed by the ski club. We are attempting to add additional year round trail access at all of our areas.

Some of the money from this grant is also used to support efforts to obtain larger grants to help fund improvements to facilities at our ski areas. Having local government support through grants such as this is important for these additional efforts.

The continuing support of nonprofit organizations provided by the City of Homer and the Homer Foundation is important for our effort to provide healthy outdoor recreational opportunities to residents of the Homer area as well as winter and summer visitors. It is just one of the many reasons that Homer is such a great place to live and play. We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the trails that we maintain.

Richard Burton

Treasurer, Kachemak Nordic Ski Club



New beginning for old landmark

Last Saturday’s event at the new “Justin Cole’s Down East Saloon” was a new beginning for an old landmark. What a fun time for everyone, kids and adults alike, listening to awesome sounds on the outdoor stage of the re-re-union of The Three Legged Mule. Kudos to Justin Cole for bringing back the outdoor stage and barbecue fun for everyone … all for free.

Thanks to Homer Brewery for supplying the Beer Garden outdoors. Thanks to Katie Emerick for being Justin’s new planning assistant and for booking the bands. Thanks to Mike Fairman’s magic touch for making them all sound good indoors and out. Thanks to the the bartenders who didn’t get any breaks all day as they did their best to please the crowd.

The biggest thanks of all though, comes to the Homer community, for coming to enjoy the party, the food, and the live music. It would be nothing without you.

Kudos to Homer, Alaska,

Maka Fairman