Homer, Alaska: Letters to the editor

I ask everyone in our community to “be yourself” and work hard to accept others for who they are. The diverse viewpointsexpressed in Homer are what make us strong. We can be diverse. Respectful. Equal. And, yes, inclusive.

Volunteers made Fourth special

It was a special treat for the Homer Chamber (of) Commerce & Visitor Center to celebrate the Fourth of July with the community during the annual parade celebrating freedom and the volunteer spirit in Homer. We have so many people to thank. Without our parade sponsors Alaska USA Federal Credit Union and Grand Stand sponsors Bay Realty the parade couldn’t have gone on. Special thank you to first time parade MC Dave Eckwert.

Thank you, parade judges Talena Kinder, Kyah Fisk and Helen Phipps. Thank you, parade volunteers Megumi Beams, Terrilynn Dale, Julie Davis, Dana Cordle, Lucy Marrott, Susan Kaplan, Bob Neubaur, Pam Soderholm, Jane and Ron Echler, Paula Riley, Chad La Blanc, Dee Macy, Irene Randolph, Mark Speakman, and Beth’s Boys. Thank you, City of Homer police and fire department. Thank you to parade coordinator Jan Knutson.

The Grand Marshals of this year’s parade were Dave and Ruby Nofziger. These extraordinary community volunteers really exemplify the volunteer spirit.

Finally, a special thank you to the community of Homer who came out and cheered on those marching in the parade.

Debbie Speakman, Executive Director Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

Help end world poverty

Right now, around 8 percent of the global population is living in extreme poverty on less than $1 per day. However, many in the United States seem to believe that their contribution to the cause of combating global poverty cannot possibly make real change on their own. Well, there is an organization that is dedicated to ending global poverty by lobbying our Congress on behalf of global poverty reduction legislation and it is called The Borgen Project. Started in 2003, The Borgen Project has focused on mobilizing and educating the populace on major global issues and advocating for global food security, food aid reform, newborn child and mother survival, and access to clean water, sanitation, and power for those in the most impoverished and overlooked corners of our world.

During a world public opinion poll, it came to light that the average American believes that 20 percent of the federal budget is spent on foreign aid programs. The reality is that less than 1 percent goes to assisting the world’s poor. If we want to make a true difference in the lives of the struggling and starving, we cannot stay the course. It is imperative that we educate ourselves on the issues at hand. That is why I recommend that we all take a minute to go to www.borgenproject.org, and see the impact that volunteer-centric advocacy has made in helping to change the world.

The world is changing day by day, and the impact that we have on that change is only limited by our own willingness to care. With just a phone call or an email, you can help make a difference in the world by sending a message to our Congress that when the world is better off, that makes us better off as well.

Evan Boyer

Delusional king solutions

I just love listening to anglers complain about our king salmon runs shrinking or disappearing. When they finally get done complaining, I ask what their solutions are. I can handle just about any creative attempt except the one that includes hook and release king fishing while commercial gill netters continue slaughtering kings.

What if Alaskan natives would have released their whales while our whaling fleets were slaughtering them a hundred years ago? Would “release hunting” been able to save our whales from extinction? Probably not but it would have been a nice delusional gestor that would have harmed the natives while doing nothing to save the whales.

Anglers hooking and releasing king salmon in the freshwater to help increase future kings in the saltwater would basically do the same. Hook and release king fishing does nothing to help the future king salmon resource because all those extra kings are just killed off by excessive commercial gill net fishing. Hook and release king freshwater fishing within “a gill net slaughter saltwater environment” equals nothing but self-deception.

Self-deception can be a pretty funny thing. I use to hand out money to the homeless. It was a fast and easy way to ease my conscience because I was helping them. One day I saw my money get spent on alcohol and discovered how a superficial solution can deceive you into believing you are solving a problem when you’re actually just creating another problem. I discovered that superficial solutions usually have unintended consequences. Superficial hook and release solutions within a gill net slaughter environment may ease your conscience but they help reduce efforts, resources and finances for real king salmon solutions.

Alaska currently has a huge statewide king salmon problem. Hook and release king solutions within a gill net slaughter environment are like putting Banaids on cancer. They only serve to delay real future king salmon solutions. Delusional hook and release king salmon solutions are used by people who do not understand how complex our king salmon problems really are.

Donald Johnson


The Pride ambush

The Pride (Proclamation) was deliberately planned as an ambush of three conservative Homer councilmembers, with the expectation that their sense of duty would override their sense of propriety. It didn’t work; they slipped through the noose, at some inconvenience to other city work.

Subsequently, the minor slings and arrows of LGBT resentment, whose energy would otherwise have been safely contained through participation in the Pride March, were stoked by the principal makers of the proclamation into a boiling resentment, and re-directed into a further attack against the three, as well as conservatives in general.

And for the second time in over a year, a police presence was deemed necessary at city hall.

Surely the authors of the (proclamation) fully appreciate, by now, how offensive these types of proposals are to conservatives.

Plotting revenge for Trump’s election through irresponsible efforts at the local level may be exciting for bored liberal retirees, but it’s a real depressant to civic discourse.

Over time, conservatives as a group have endured life-threatening prejudices, far above and beyond any personal angst over not being respected for one’s lifestyle. Although the defensive strategies and institutions which they’ve developed may not be all-embracing, they are the glue that’s held this nation together over the last 200 years.

In summary, conservatives are the nation’s potting soil, without which liberal beliefs couldn’t possibly sprout or, in due course, flourish.

Larry Slone

Thank ye for Scottish games help

To all those who came out to enjoy the eighth annual Kachemak Bay Highland Games, a big thank you. What a great day was had watching the games and enjoying the wonderful music of the Scottish band Fire. Twenty-five athletes had a great day competing in traditional heavy Highland Game events. Eighteen game field records were broken.

This event would not be possible without the help of many people and organizations.

I would like to recognize the Following: Kachemak Bay Scottish Club members Renee and Shawn Krause, Hal Shepherd, Shelly Fraley, and Roger MacCampbell for all their hard work; the Scottish American Athletic Association judges Chuck McClain, Justin Mattson and Ron Campbell; our artists, Rhiannon Wistrand of Tampa, Florida, and Carol Davison of Twin Falls, Idaho. These ladies have donated their talents annually to develop and design our T-shirts and awards.

We had the help from the following organizations: The Alaska Scottish Clubs President and Athletic Director Jeni McDaniel, Piper and Games Announcer Tim Kincaid and Nelson Alger; The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Renew Committee members, Ryan Andrews, Brian and Ashley Vecellio, and Alaska USA FCU employees Alita Mahan, Helen Phipps, Kyah Fisk, Talena Kinder and Ron Anderson.

I would like to recognize the wonderful volunteers from Homer: Taz Tally, Jim Ferguson, Steve Panarelli, Mary Edminster, Shay and Chelesy Lowney, Kathy Anderson, Bill Hague, Stu Schmutzier and Caroline Borg for the great shortbread.

The following businesses helped make the Homer Games possible: The Ocean Shores Hotel & Kannery Grill, Nomar Alaska, The Grog Shop, Homer Electric Association, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Alaska Communications, Cook Inletkeeper, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Trailblazers of Alaska, Alaska Scottish Club, Homer Council on the Arts, and the Alaska Chess Club,

Thanks to Brandon and Frank of Staff Infection for their entertainment.

The workshops and performance by the band The Fire was a massive hit.

The Fire Alaska Tour was made possible with funding from Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, and is administered through the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

The tour is also supported, in part, by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lastly, a big thanks to the City of Homer, Parks Director Matt Steffy and the all the folks who came out to enjoy the day. Let’s do it again next year.

Robert Archibald, President and Athletic Director, Kachemak Bay Scottish Club