Letters

  • Thursday, February 15, 2018 10:31am
  • News

Clearing the air on tribal support

I would like the opportunity to clarify the record regarding (a Point of View) in the Homer News on Feb. 8, 2018, written by Mr. Peter Zuyus titled “A Day at the Republican District 31 Convention (AKA The Paul Seaton Retirement Party).”

The (POV) states in part “… Ivan Encelewski, Director of the Ninilchik Tribal Council spoke of the tribal contribution to the economy, health and community involvement on the Kenai Peninsula and how Ninilchik tribal activities benefit both native and nonnative borough residents. He outlined the ongoing programs of the Ninilchik Council and the Council support for much of the Republican Party platform and agenda. …”

The Ninilchik Traditional Council is apolitical and does not specifically endorse a certain political party or candidate over another. This was noted and cited verbatim in the speech. The idea was to talk about who we are, what we do in the community, and to highlight some areas of alignment with the GOP platform. This included past and current support for aspects of the following specific topics: developing natural resources; jobs and the economy; less governmental regulation; fish and game resources to include supporting subsistence; bolstering transportation with our new bus service; honoring the relationship with Alaska Natives and American Indians; responsible homeownership; combatting local drug abuse; and honoring our veterans which includes sharing agreements that allow VA patients to be seen at our clinic. In addition; supporting the 2nd amendment to coincide with subsistence hunting; ensuring safe neighborhoods; and the concept of restorative justice with tribal courts such as the recent state-tribal accord reached with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe’s wellness court was presented as well.

Alignment with parts of the aforementioned platform and attendance by certain individuals wasn’t to be construed as an endorsement by the tribe of much of the Republican Party platform and agenda. We continue to be apolitical and at the same time welcome the occasion to present positions where we can work together, or are in agreement on issues of paramount importance. We would extend that opportunity to any party wishing to hear our voice and how our activities might align with their organization.

We believe a correction or opportunity to present this clarification is appropriate, as many may incorrectly assume based upon the statement in the (POV) that we support a certain political party over another. Thank you.

Ivan Z. Encelewski, Executive Director

Tribe is nonpartisan

The Ninilchik Tribe as a whole does not support any candidate, platform, or agenda, Republican or otherwise.

This letter is meant to refute and clarify statements contained in Mr. Zuyus’s personally expressed Point of View in the Feb 8, 2018 edition of the Homer News.

Mr Zuyus incorrectly states that the Ninilchik Traditional Council (NTC) supports much of the Republican platform and agenda. This is absolutely NOT true. Mr. Encelewski assured me that he correctly prefaced his remarks at the Republican shindig (the Republican Party had rented space from NTC), stating that NTC is nonpartisan. NTC represents and respects all members of the tribe who have various political affiliations and beliefs, mine included.

I do not support most of the Republican platform nor agenda. Mr. Zuyus, please listen closely to the remarks made at any gathering and report them accurately. In this case you did not do so, thereby offending many. There are likely many members of the Ninilchik Tribe who DO NOT support the current Republican agenda.

Sara Jackinsky, member, Ninilchik Tribe

Utility pole bill usurps citizens rights

Homer’s LIO office invited public testimony on Senate Bill 173 regarding pesticides and utility poles. We own and operate Oceanside Farms out East End Road. We grow food without synthetic “-cides” and take use of poisons seriously. SB 173 was designed to financially protect the state, AK utilities and rate payers by releasing them from any liability regarding Penta (a known carcinogen) and other wood preservatives used on poles. Though not in the bill, ADEC will provide best practice guidance (with no teeth). No HazMat clean up required when removing poles?

SB 173 was inspired by a lawsuit in Vermont that proved toxins from utility poles leached and contaminated ground water and wells. Homer Electric Association reps and a national utility pole salesman spoke in Juneau in support of this bill. Other utilities called in testimony.

Honestly? Do public health and citizens’ rights mean nothing? We hope SB 173’s sponsor reconsiders. As HEA ratepayers, we want costs kept down and lawsuits avoided, but we also expect our “cooperative” to be held accountable. If your family’s well is poisoned, we want you to continue to be able to collect costs and damages. If actions of a utility ruin community groundwater, it should be held liable. If you or someone in your family get cancer due to chemicals a utility chooses to expose you to, we want you to have help with medical costs.

Maybe (gasp!) in 2018 it’s time for new technology and to outlaw toxins that leach and cause harm. Till then, know that SB 173 attempts (to) take away citizen rights. It is not a good Alaskan neighbor bill. Nor is it good for the environment — no one knew about the impacts of Penta on the marine environment or on salmon. Speak up if you care. Stand up for neighbors, good health, salmon, your rights — pay attention!

Respectfully,

Donna Rae Faulkner and Don McNamara

Roadside wrecks should be removed

On the short drive the other day from Nilolaevsk to Homer I passed four. There might have been a couple more. They have become so common that they are unremarkable. I’m not talking about moose here, I’m talking about wrecked cars left in the ditch. Sometimes these hulks are left rusting, leaking and decaying for the better part of a year. Sometimes at night they fall prey to scavengers, losing wheels or other savable parts. It’s sad that the owners of these vehicles don’t take responsibility and remove them in a timely manner. It’s also sad that as a community we allow them to remain.

Scott Van Hoozer, Nikolaevsk

Hospice thankful for grant support

Hospice of Homer wishes to extend our warmest thanks (to) Jane Little Family Endowment Fund for supporting our general operations with a generous grant.

The grant, awarded to Hospice via the Homer Foundation, supports our work by providing unrestricted funds for use where they are most needed. This donation helps Hospice of Homer provide medical equipment to keep our clients mobile while they recover from surgery or receive end-of-life care. It also helps to ensure that Hospice can train volunteers to visit the ill and isolated in our community.

Thank you to the Jane Little Family Endowment for their benevolence in support of Hospice of Homer’s mission.

Jessica Golden, Executive Director

Hospice of Homer

Ulmer’s helps Food Pantry

The Homer Community Food Pantry would like to thank Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware for their donation of four grocery carts. The carts are used every Monday during food distribution. Volunteers use the carts to collect food for the Homer R.E.C Room, Flex, and monthly food boxes. Clients also use the carts during food distribution.

Sincerely,

Crystal A. Hall, Coordinator

Homer Community Food Pantry

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