What unites us is greater than what divides us
“The Vietnam War,” Ken Burns’ latest opus, is riveting. The Vietnam era in America was tumultuous, to say the least. It’s been said that it was the most divisive period in our history since the Civil War. Today, it often feels that we’re living in the most contentious times since Vietnam. Polarized. Black or white; no middle ground. Love it or leave it. We see it at the national level, all over the news, and it is relentless. Even worse, we see it here, at the end of the road; and that’s so much worse, because it’s not anonymous animosity, it’s our neighbors and coworkers and customers.
Then, as if things weren’t complicated enough, Mother Nature gets involved. The Pacific Northwest on fire; hurricanes and floods in Texas and Florida and our Caribbean territories. Millions of our fellow citizens suddenly without power or potable water, homes and possessions ruined. And what happens? Everyday Americans come together. We remember who we are, that we’re all in this together, and at least until we get through these real and immediate crises, it no longer matters how we got here or when, we’re all here now, and we pull together to help each other in whatever way we can, because that’s who we are, and that’s what we’re about.
Disasters come in all sizes and assorted intensities. They are relative. Recently a member of my family, a furry one, a Weimaraner named Elby to be specific, ran off. Bolted. Gone. Vanished. Not near home, either. She’d never done that before, and we had no idea why she ran off, where she might go, or how to find her. We called, we looked, we drove the length of the highway from Homer to Anchor Point, talking to people who might be in a position to spot her. Called the radio stations. Mike, at our local commercial station, said he’d coincidentally seen her nearby, but couldn’t catch her. Later, he couldn’t sleep and took it upon himself to look for her again, in the middle of the night. Mike’s never met us, or Elby. We may need to rectify that.
Elby was found the next day and is home, a little the worse for wear, but safe and sound. So that’s the thing: when America is in trouble, we come together and help each other as best we can. And here in our little cosmic hamlet, we still care enough for each other that strangers want to know about your lost dog, what her name is, what your number is, how they can help. And sometimes, they even go out in the middle of the night to see if they can find a dog they’ve never met.
What unites us is greater than what divides up. It’s easy to forget that. And it is wonderful to be reminded of it.
Margaret Anderson family expresses gratitude
The family of Margaret Anderson would like to thank everyone for their cards, calls, flowers and kind words during our time of loss. it means a lot to us and is much appreciated. She will be missed by many.
Thanksgiving Basket Program starts again
Greetings good citizens of Homer. Well, it is that time of year again when I start reminding everyone that it is almost Thanksgiving Basket time. Hope it was a good year for each of you. Last year was a big year for the number of baskets that were given out for Thanksgiving and I expect this year to be the same or even higher. If you can find it in your heart to help out with this program, we will be eternally grateful.
Applications will be out for those in need at First National Bank and hopefully we will have someone at the Food Bank each Monday starting on Oct. 30 as well. The FNB ones will be there from Oct. 30 unitl Nov. 15. If you wish to donate, please make your checks out to Kachemak Bay Lions, and mail to P.O. Box 1824 Homer, AK 99603. Any amount will be appreciated and all money collected is used for the baskets.
If you wish to help set up the store and/or help pack the baskets, you are most welcome to do this. Collection of the food is on Friday, Nov. 17, and putting together and distribution is on Saturday, Nov. 18. We always welcome extra turkeys if you can get them. I am thankful for each of you and feel blessed to live in this wonderful town.
Yours in service for more service,
Fran Van Sandt, Chairman
Kachemak Bay Lions Basket Program
Team 907 player gives thanks
Homer once again reminded me of what a great place it has been to grow up in, especially because of the generosity of the people who live here. This past summer I was invited to play in Las Vegas on a traveling basketball team, called Team 907.
The team was comprised of 10 players from around the state, and we traveled to Las Vegas where we spent the next three weeks playing ball. We practiced in high-level training camps around pros and played in two tournaments during our time down there. Our team competed at the highest level, going 8-2 overall in the two biggest tournaments in the entire country. The second one we entered in had over 150 teams from around the world. We were able to play many games in front of college coaches and get lots of exposure, which could open many doors in my near future.
However, in order to be able to go on this incredible trip, I had to raise $3,000 dollars. To raise that money, I mowed miles of lawns and was covered head to toe in grass clippings every day. In addition to that, I went around trying to fundraise from businesses and individuals in the community alike. From generous donations, I was able to raise all of the money needed and go on the most influential trip of my life. I grew not only as a basketball player, but as a person. I was exposed to many new experiences and situations both on and off the court, and what started as a basketball trip also became a huge development in my personal being. And for that, I would like to thank the people and businesses listed below: Mom and Dad, All Seasons Honda, Black Water Bend, Blackwell Pump Service, Bruins Basketball, Northwind, Sons of the American Legion, Deb Lowney, Grandma and Grandpa Wagner, Kenny Daher, Eric Knudtson, Jen and Eric Waltenbaugh, Colby and Devon Way, Faye and RJ, Tiffany Dierolf, Dan and Amanda Miotke, and Floyd and Gurt Seekins.
Many support CACS raffle
The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies would like to thank everyone who supported our Costa Rica Raffle Fundraising Event. Through the purchase of a raffle ticket you had a chance to win a fabulous trip to Casa Las Nubes, donated by Board member Leah Evans Cloud, and you also supported a great cause: hands-on science-based outdoor education that stimulates environmental stewardship. We lead dozens of programs that engage many thousands of students each year, and our “Dream Vacation Raffle” is a fun way for people to help us reach more kids with innovative programming.
Our lucky winner was Homer’s own Dots Sherwood. Congratulations Dots, and thanks for all you do for our animal friends in the Homer community.
CACS is celebrating our 35th anniversary this year and we are forever grateful to all of our volunteers and supporters who have helped us get this far and will keep us going for many, many years to come!
Beth Trowbridge, Executive Director
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
Flex students appreciate DocFest support
On behalf of myself and everyone here at Homer Flex High School, I would like to sincerely thank the Homer Theatre for allowing us as a school to attend the Documentary Film Festival. The films this year where extremely intriguing, and deep in storyline. One that I personally enjoyed the most was the movie “Step.” It exercised several aspects, within their Step performances, of the hip hop culture, my culture, as well as being controversial and emotional. This film inspired me, and one day I will create a documentary about hip hop culture in Homer.
Colten Lee Morris
Bishop’s Beach pavilion is disgusting
Greetings. I am sad to report I have a complaint. The parks department has really got a black eye in this situation. I am speaking of the horrible condition you are letting to exist and continue at the picnic area at Bishop’s Beach. The tables under the shelter at the facility are absolutely disgusting and very unsanitary — they are most of the time unusable. There is not one square foot of the tables there that is not covered in big plops of crow poop. Have you ever really looked at it? If you have and do nothing about it you should be ashamed of yourself and the city of Homer. A very inexpensive fix will keep the crows from roosting in the raters. A very few rolls of galvanized chicken wire and a sack of staples will take care of the problem once and for all and let the place be enjoyed by many groups of people.
I am a grandmother and wanted to have a birthday party for my granddaughter there, but because of the deplorable conditions surely would not expose children to the mess and possible disease that birds carry. Please go look into this matter. You would not want to have any type of outing there either. I see many places such as the Spit cleaning tables are bird proof to the tune of many taxpayers dollar. Surely Homer can buy a little chicken wire and let the citizens enjoy the shelter.
Lower peninsula should support Hutchings again
Hey Homer voters! If we turn out, we just might determine the outcome of the runoff election for borough mayor on Oct. 24. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to vote again for Linda Farnsworth Hutchings. Linda carried the majority of Homer and the lower Kenai Peninsula in this month’s earlier election for good reason. We need a borough mayor who is well-versed in financial management, local government and staff management. We need a mayor who has the experience and the will to tackle the challenge of adequately funding our schools in the face of a deficit budget. We want a mayor who appreciates the need to keep decisions about our hospital local. We need a mayor who can attract and keep quality employees. Linda fits the bill.
As a second-generation Peninsula resident with grown children and grandchildren living here, Linda is deeply invested in the success of our government, environment and economy. She is experienced in the works of boards and commissions, small business and financial management. Linda is intelligent, dedicated and well-qualified. Please join me on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in going back to the polls to vote for Linda (or vote early in person at Homer’s borough office annex on Pioneer starting Monday, Oct. 16).
Another vote for Hutchings
On 24 October, citizens of the Kenai Peninsula Borough will have the opportunity to vote in the runoff election for borough mayor. One of the two candidates stands out markedly, and I’ll be voting for her, Linda Farnsworth Hutchings.
Linda Hutchings has a great deal of experience that is relevant to the duties of a borough mayor, particularly in having to wrangle budgets and to understand highly detailed and complex issues. She is especially strong in health care and hospitals, but she also makes very clear that maintaining an excellent system of public education in this borough is a strong value for her.
The issues are important, but in my interactions with Linda, and in the times I have observed her speaking with constituents, certain elements of her character have impressed me. First, she genuinely is a very good listener who quickly understands the points people are making or the questions they are asking. Her ego doesn’t get in the way and her responses make clear that she has thought deeply about issues and that her intentions in all cases are to provide a reasonable response, not some knee-jerk reaction. In other words, she’s smart! Linda also is quite willing to stand up for her values and for the conclusions she has reached; she’s a person of strong moral fiber.
Don’t fail to vote on 24 October, and please cast your vote for a woman who will serve this borough wisely and well, Linda Hutchings.
Love, Lind bequeathment appreciated
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire staff at Homer Senior Citizens Inc., we would like to thank Alice Love and Rangvald Theodore Lind for their very generous bequeathment. Your kind words and appreciation are very much appreciated. We strive to meet the needs of seniors and their families with grace, dignity and sincerity.
Again, thank you sincerely.
Keren Kelley, MPA, LNHA, Executive Director
Homer Senior Citizens Inc.