Letters to the editor

Dipnetters: Remember where China Poot reds come from

Dip netting has been great at China Poot and we wanted to remind all of the people catching those tasty sockeye salmon about their origin. The reds at China Poot and Tutka Lagoon are provided by the commercial salmon fishermen of Cook Inlet through the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association hatchery and stocking programs. Funds that pay for these programs originate from cost recovery and taxes levied on salmon fishermen in Cook Inlet — there is no funding by the State of Alaska. The continued future of these two projects is dependent upon the success of all of the Aquaculture Association projects in Cook Inlet: Tutka Bay Pink Hatchery, Port Graham Pink Hatchery, Resurrection Bay Sockeye stocking and others. So wave to those commercial salmon fishermen when you go by them with their nets out. Everybody benefits when Cook Inlet Aquaculture projects are successful.

Chris and Pat Moss

Senators should ‘just vote no’ on Trumpcare

As a nurse who lives, and works in Homer, I am very concerned by proposed legislation to gut Medicaid and reduce private sector health insurance for Alaskans. Last week Senator Lisa Murkowski visited Homer, and eased my mind some with her expressions of concern about the bill. Yet Senators Murkowski and Sullivan have not said how they would actually vote on these bills. We need them to stand up for Alaska and “Just Vote No.”

But today, I read that Lisa says, with some new waiver, we Alaskans should now be happy with the bill. I am NOT happy with this bill. Please do not cave in Lisa! I do not trust members of Congress with my health, nor with the health of my patients.

Remember, Medicaid pays for one out of every two births, and two out of three seniors’ nursing home care. An attack on Medicaid is an attack on seniors, mothers, and babies. And believe me Medicaid is Under Attack!

Health care experts have said that this legislation (called BCRA in the Senate and AHCA in the House) would harm Alaska more than any other state. Why? We already have the highest health care costs in the country, and they continue to rise faster than inflation. So when BCRA caps Medicaid payments, our own health care costs will spiral upward, and what’s worse is -seniors may be thrown out of nursing homes and expectant mothers will have to go to the E.R. for prenatal care or even worse, to give birth.

All of Alaska stands to be hurt, and smaller towns like Homer will be hurt the most. Gutting Medicaid and tossing Alaskans off of private health insurance on the exchanges will mean that more Homer residents come to the emergency room for care There are serious problems with private health insurance, and I believe eventually we will have single payer healthcare. But right now, the bottom line is this: We cannot afford this plan. More uncompensated care equals higher health insurance premiums. Many of us can NOT afford higher premiums, and these higher premiums put additional strain on Alaska businesses that offer health care. It is a vicious cycle.. more uncompensated Emergency Room visits = higher premiums. It just doesn’t make any sense. And it till fails to address the actual COSTS of healthcare in Alaska.

This new health care bill is not better than the Affordable Care Act. It actually costs the average citizen, and our communities more money. It actually puts move of us at risk.

What I came away with from the meetings I attended locally, is that we want Health CARE not Health INSURANCE, that we are tired of this, feel very threatened. Please Lisa, please Dan, do not vote for this legislation that takes away health care— fix what we have, and move forward, not backward.

Sincerely, Amy Christiansen, R.N.

HEA rates are too high

Homer Electric Association rates are ridiculous — the highest on the road system by far and twice the national average. HEA should be absorbed into Chugach Electric and maintain the warehouse and field crews on the Kenai Peninsula and do away with all the redundacy, duplication and high priced admin and benefit costs here on the peninsula.

R. Hardy

RCA raised rates too high for Homer Electric Association members

The RCA raised rates 33.5 percent for Homer Electric customers effective July 1, 2017. While each HEA member only pays a small amount each month to the RCA (Regulatory Commission of Alaska), the composite increase to HEA members amounts to more than $100,000 yearly; all the other regulated electric utilities in the state also will be paying 33.5 percent more.

I guess the five commissioners’ salaries of nearly $130,000 each was not enough, or maybe the fact that some electric utilities around the state have withdrawn from the RCA, has caused a need to increase their funding to pay for 50 plus employees.

Dick Waisanen

HEA Member

Thanks for HCOA scholarship

I would like to publicly thank the Homer Council on the Arts foundation for offering the HCOA Youth Summer Arts scholarship. This scholarship has enabled me to attend the Suzuki Fairbanks Institute for the past four years. I have learned new techniques there for violin that has significantly advanced my playing. I began playing in the Homer Youth String Orchestra but now am also a member of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra. A special thanks to all who attend the annual Jubilee Concert which helps to fund this scholarship. Our comunitee’s involvement promotes us, flourishing young artists. Thank you,

Theodore Handley

Thanks for support of health awareness

Kachemak Bay Family Planning board and staff would like to thank the many individuals and businesses that contributed to our June 8 and 10 N.E.D. events to raise awareness of gynecological “below the belt” cancers. We were delighted to have so many in the community join us at these events and support our local reproductive health care and outreach for breast and cervical cancer screening. The N.E.D. Documentary at the Homer Theater on June 8 was a great opportunity to see the mission of the “No Evidence of Disease” Band to spread the word about gynecological cancers. Dr. Katie Ostrom enlightened us about symptoms and best screening practices. The N.E.D. Concert at Alice’s Champagne Palace on June 10 was inspiring with testimonials of people served by KBFPC and fantastic fun with music and dancing led by Dr. Joanie Hope, Anchorage surgical oncologist and N.E.D lead singer rock ‘n’ roller. Thanks to Zoe Story, KBFPC board member, for our fabulous T-shirts and live auction activities, and especially all who gave so generously to sustain high-quality, low-cost reproductive health care for women, men and families of the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Mary Lou Kelsey CNM

KBFPC Board Of Directors

Thanks for local scholarships

It has been such a pleasure to grow up in Homer and have so much support from the community. I want to express my thanks for the scholarships I received to attend the University of Oregon. The Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary and the Kachemak Bay Lions Club were very generous to support my interest in studying marine biology and the Homer Foundation’s support will allow me to combine this with my desire to teach others. I was inspired in acting, music and science by all the staff at McNeil Canyon Elementary School and they offered me financial support as well. I could not have received any of that support if it were not for the people in the community, agencies and educators who shared their expertise, encouraged my interests and nurtured my love of learning. Thank you.

Johanna Allen

Thanks for Homer Foundation for softball club support

The Tsunami Softball Club, a branch of Homer Mariner Softball, Inc, would like to thank the Homer Foundation and their Mariner Fastpitch Softball Fund for making it possible to take 11 players to the USA Softball/ Alaska State Tournament in the 14 and Under Division. This was an excellent opportunity for these 8 younger Homer women and 3 Central Peninsula players to participate in a higher level tournament, be inspired by stronger older players who will be going on to play in college, and make new connections as they move into the competitive High School years. The Tsunami team came away with a 2-2 record and the realization that they can play competitively with other teams around the state.

Hannah Gordon, Head Coach

Community Food Pantry gives thanks to supporters

On behalf of the Homer Community Food Pantry board of directors, volunteers and clients, I would like to thank Wells Fargo Bank and Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary for funding the Homer Community Food Pantry’s latest project. The Food Pantry will be working in concert with the Students in Transition program and the Homer FLEX School this fall to distribute food and supplies to young adults in need throughout the year and hopefully into the summer months. This is a pilot program we hope will grow roots.

I cannot fully express how thankful we are to receive not only grants like these, but all of the generous donations from the community at large. To name a few: the Homer Library food drive, Homer Elks Lodge 2127 Fourth of July barbecue food donations, weekly produce donations from individuals and farmers, and a huge shout out to Homer Fish Processors who recently processed 296 pounds of donated fish from our friends at the Alaska Department of Fish &Game.

It truly takes a village, and we are so blessed to have citizens of Homer in our village. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Cinda Martin, Secretary

Homer Community Food Pantry

McCain should be compassionate in health-care vote

The U.S. Senate has delayed a vote on passing Trumpcare because Sen. John McCain is in the hospital. They need to wait for McCain to recover so that he can vote to take away health care protections for the rest of us. How pathetic is that? McCain’s procedure is something that Obamacare protects, but under Trumpcare if McCain were just a citizen the procedure he is getting to remove a blood clot might be denied. I’m hoping that McCain’s medical experience will help him feel compassion before he votes to take health care protections away from the rest of us. I’m Marc Perkel — and I approved this message!

Mark Perkel

Gilroy, Calif.