Letters

Scholarship helped with sports camp

A few months ago I was honored with the Alice Witte Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Homer foundation for a volleyball camp. The grant led me to an excellent volleyball Nike camp in Santa Cruz, California where I learned new skills as well as improved old ones.

It was, without a doubt, the highlight of my whole summer. It made me realize how great of an opportunity I had been given and how I hope that others will also share my experience.

I would like to deeply thank the Homer Foundation for the chance to learn, play and improve under talented college athletes.

Sincerely,

Laura lnama

‘Voices for Freedom’ story was false

On Sunday, 26 August, a local radio station from Homer aired a story in their “Voices for Freedom” segment concerning transgender (TG) issues. It was so replete with misinformation that it is hardly worth mentioning. However, it can be used as an example of how an individual can use radio or newsprint time to purvey absolutely false information.

The basis for this author’s information is the story of a physician from Johns Hopkins University who promoted the idea that transgender individuals have a psychological problem as opposed to a genetic or biologic problem. Because of his beliefs, a clinic at Hopkins was closed. The year was 1975 and no mention was made of this by the author of the story.

Fast forward to modern times and we note that Dr. McHugh’s theories have been totally debunked as “balderbash.” Indeed, as of today, Johns Hopkins hosts one of the largest clinics in the country for TG individuals. The clinic is composed of professionals across the fields of plastic surgery, urology, endocrinology, nursing and social services.

It is unconscionable that an individual can disseminate such erroneous information in his radio time and be so careless with his research on an issue.

I would urge responsible adults to somehow review the work of “Voices For Freedom” and use this work as an example of how easy it is for false information to be disseminated to the gullible public.

Peter E. Cannava, M.D., Soldotna

A big thank you from SPBHS

For almost 40 years, South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services has been providing care and support across our community to children, adults and families with a variety of needs and health issues.

This summer we were able to add a new wrinkle to our services and create some unique opportunities for a group of kids we work with. It would not have been possible without local support. In that, we would like to extend our warmest gratitude to the Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee, The Sheldon Youth to Youth Fund and The Ashley J. Logan Fund. Especially Olivia Glasman, Bonnie Jason, and Joy Steward. Their efforts made it possible for us to offer real world experiential opportunities that help with the development of interpersonal skills, social skills, relationship skills, and self-reliance skills.

With the YAC’s help, we were able to get out of the traditional setting and offer services on boats, on mountainsides, in berry bushes, in yurts, and in swimming pools. A far cry from an office and a couple of chairs.

Thank you for supporting us, the children and families we work with, and our community.

We couldn’t do it without you.

Rudy Multz

SPBHS

Walk for Life a success

Water’s Edge, formerly Pregnancy Care Center of Homer, would like to thank all the individuals and businesses who helped to make the recent Walk for Life a success. Despite the rain, we had a great — and cheerful — turn out for our August celebration.

Thank you to the following businesses and individuals for their donations of door prizes: Boss Hogz, Don Jose’s, Homer Theatre, Captain’s Toy Chest, 3 J’s Pizza, Home Run Oil, Jenifer Kumfer, CJ McCully, Dawn Cooper, Pam Hall and Janyce Larrick. Also, thank you to the volunteers and the families and individuals who came out and walked in the rain. Thanks also to Safeway, Save U More and Moore and Moore Services. Also to Christian Community Church for the use of their parking lot and to Homer Assembly of God for all the help with coordinating and cooking food. The event was a success in great part thanks to event team Brandy Super, Vanessa Albertson, John Chandler and Suzy Erikson .

We are blessed to be serving in this community.

Sincerely,

LaDonna Stephens, Executive Director, Water’s Edge Family Resource Center, and the Board of Directors for Water’s Edge: Toni Ross, Vanessa Fuson, Marci Gordon, Elizabeth Traugott and Trena Dagenhart

KBC tuition excludes working class

After many years of being out of college, I decided to take a class at Kenai Peninsula College this fall. I have a bachelor’s degree, so wanted simply to take a single course in Creative Writing or Alaska History. Even Introduction to American Government appealed to me given the urgency of our current political climate.

After much excitement over my options, I couldn’t wait to dip my toe back into the world of academia, in what the University of Alaska Anchorage catalog describes as, “a rich, diverse and inclusive environment.” Then I looked at the tuition: $244 per credit? One class will cost me $732 and that’s not including extra fees. As a single working class woman, existing in an economically challenged time, who is looking to broaden her perspective and perhaps improve her quality of life, I find the cost of tuition for one class at KPC extremely prohibitive and far from “diverse and inclusive.” The price of $732 glaringly excludes poor, underprivileged and diverse communities, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and ignorance education is intended to heal.

Sincerely,

Amy Backas

CACS thanks Briscoe Fund

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies would like to thank Martha Briscoe and the Martha H. Briscoe Fund administered through the Homer Foundation for the support of our Sea Lion in a Box project. Many community members, including all of last year’s 7th grade class and Marine Mammal Camp participants, have had a chance to build the sea lion and/or see it displayed. It is so impressive to see such a magnificent creature in full size. Thanks to support from the Martha M. Briscoe fund we were able to bring Marc Swanson, a teacher from Seward who had worked with Lee Post to build the first Sea Lion in a Box in Seward, over to Homer to work with Lee Post again and welder Lisa Crebs to create the frame to support the entire skeleton.

Semester by the Bay college interns worked with Lee to build three sturdy boxes to hold all of the bones and the frame and CACS staff along with Kendra Bush-St.Louis from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife worked to develop lessons to guide the learning and articulation of the skeleton. It has been on display at the CACS headquarters as well as at the Islands and Oceans Visitor Center. It even traveled on the Tiglax out to Unalaska this summer to be used during the USFWS Culture Camp program.

This project has been more than five years in the making and involved many collaborations. We are thankful for the Martha H. Briscoe Fund that allowed us to bring it to completion and provide such a wonderful educational tool for use by educators in (and beyond) the Homer Community.

Beth Trowbridge, Executive Director

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

Crane colt death a reminder to keep dogs restrained

The other day, I got a call from Nina Faust of Kachemak Crane Watch to see if I could come and help her catch a young crane colt that was injured. Upon arrival, the colt could not rise to its feet and if it wanted to move, it had to use its wings in a rowing motion to drag along the ground.

Talking to the owners of the property where the colt lay, it seems a pack of three dogs from the neighborhood had been out chasing the crane family. He discovered the colt in this condition the next morning.

To catch the colt, we had to wait for the adults and remaining chick to leave for their evenings roost. While we waited, this trio of dogs made their appearance again and ran at the downed chick. We chased the dogs away.

It was a pitiful and deeply disturbing sight to see the crane family leave. The frantic crying that followed from the departing family and the abandoned chick was difficult for all of us to see. With the adults gone, we captured the chick and found one leg broken and the other was mangled and broken in a number of places, held together by a thin bit of skin. Bite marks were evident on its chest. Euthanasia was the only option.

So to the dog owners of the Homer area: Be a good neighbor and do not let your dogs run loose. While they are on the loose, they not only do things like this, but they cause other problems as well. Instead, grab a leash and take them and your family for a neighborhood walk. Exercise is good for man and beast alike.

Holly Van Pelt

Gravel pit neighbors incensed about Anchor River area operation

My wife and I purchased a view lot in Anchor Point in 2013 and an adjoining lot in 2016 through Coastal Realty. We started building our “dream cabin” in 2014, and have spent the last four years completing it. Our beautiful view of Cook Inlet and the Alaska Range in the distance is absolutely spectacular. We look across the lowlands that Beachcomber LLC is now turning into a disgusting, noisy, dusty eyesore. For anyone to simply say the “vegetation for the required screening” is adequate obviously hasn’t been to the area.

Danver Street runs right by the gravel pit, with absolutely no screening. Every surrounding home sees the pit, and is inundated by the noise and dust created by just the one bulldozer they have used so far. The thought of endless large dump trucks destroying an already-poor Anchor River Road is even more bad news.

After over 30 years of visiting this neighborhood, we have become friends with all of the great people we have met here, who are also incensed about the proposed gravel pit.

On July 16, the Kenai Borough Planning Commission denied the Beachcomber LLC permit for sand, gravel, and rock mining/excavation, yet the LLC found a way around them. It’s a sad day when one lower bureaucrat is able to back-door a panel of concerned commissioners, and grants a larger operation when the Commission expressly and accurately denied the operation due to noise and view ordinances. One owner’s land is only a few yards from the rapidly expanding gravel pit, and his campground business hasn’t just decreased, it’s been devastated.

If this monstrosity is allowed to proceed, everyone on the peninsula might want to look out the windows of their house and listen to the sounds in their neighborhood. Now imagine what that is going to look and sound like with an open, active, dusty, road-destroying gravel pit right near your property.

When we talked with Bruce Wall of the KPB Planning Department, he said they had never ultimately denied a gravel pit application. It’s time to have this Commission’s denial stick.

Richard Cline, Anchor Point

Support from medical staff, friends appreciated during illness

We would like to thank Dr. Adcox and staff and South Peninsula Hospital staff and physical therapists for their care while Lee was hospitalized. We also want our friends who so kindly stopped by with food so Fred would not be overtaxed with his cooking skills.

We greatly appreciate all the prayers and good wishes sent to us at this time. God bless you all.

Fred and Lee Yenney

Seaton wrong person for Juneau

After reading the letters this past week, I am conflicted on which to respond to: the nonsensical hyperbole of Bob Shavelson or the confusion of Martha Ellen Anderson.

I shall attempt to respond to the Seaton letter, as Bob’s is so ludicrous reasonable folks will determine that for themselves.

Concerning Mr. Seaton, I don’t know whether the writer is misinformed or uninformed, but the facts are easy to discover.

Mr. Seaton is absolutely the wrong person to send to Juneau, for the sake of this state’s future. He has mislead the voters on his political allegiance ever since he was first elected to the House. He demonstrated this last election cycle by running as a Republican and, the day after the election, joined with Stutes and LeDoux in switching to the Democrat team to give the Dems control, clearly predetermined before election day. This move has been disastrous for Alaskans financially.

Last year they kept the legislature in session almost the entire year, burning through $3 million plus just in per-diem, at a time when we are in a $2.5 billion deficit. All in an attempt to implement a state income tax which would have driven the final nail in our coffin. He supported Mr. Walker stealing our PFD for three years in a row, which was unnecessary and foolish. He supports the governor’s wasteful efforts to build a gasline; yet another boondoggle in a long string of such. We are paying a guy in Texas $750,000 per year to “market” this gasline that is not built, that is intended to bring to market natural gas that we don’t own, to sell to untrustworthy customers (China). What could possibly go wrong? We have spent well over $ 1 billion on this pipe dream, with nothing to show for it.

The one thing Walker did good was to veto an expenditure of $500,000 out of last year’s budget that was put in by Seaton to study vitamin D. If you want info on vitamin D, Google it.

Vote Vance to preserve the PFD, for a sound economic future, a true stateswoman we can trust.

Duane Christensen

Remember Exxon Valdez decision in Kavanaugh confirmation

I am concerned with the upcoming confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court and I have a few questions for the voters in our lovely community.

Do you, a citizen of the United States, think it is not important who is placed on the Supreme Court? Have you noticed that when conservative judges vote on big money issues vs. the citizens of the U.S., that Big Money tends to win at unprecedented rates? Do you remember the findings of the U.S. vs. Exxon in the Exxon Valdez debacle? Did they find on the side of the citizens negatively affected by that drunk captain? Did you receive the monies you lost because of that oil spill? Did the pennies on the dollar you received redeem the losses you incurred?

Should Kavanaugh really be confirmed when only a minimal amount of his documents has been given to our Senate to enable them to make an educated decision concerning his confirmation? Do you still think it is not important to care who is appointed a lifetime tenure to the United States Supreme Court?

Please become a voice in this process. Call Senator Lisa Murkowski at 202-224-6665 to tell her of your concerns.

Thank you,

Kim Burrows

Bear viewing industry needs restraint

People from around the globe are in awe of the natural beauty of Kachemak Bay and the activities that provide them an intimate look into Alaska. The many visitors I spoke with this summer came from places where the natural world no longer exists or is compartmentalized into small parks and zoos. Those pressures that have destroyed entire ecosystems Outside are a clear and present danger in Homer and Alaska.

The bear viewing industry is one example. I made the decision to partake in a bear viewing experience and while my guide was professional and ethical, but there are others who have managed to turn this once quiet, unobtrusive viewing experience into something resembling an amusement park. One particular guide has an airboat which is located at the entrance of Lake Clark National Park. Imagine the scene where groups of people are photographing bears catching fish while the noise from the airboat pierces your ears with such horrendous noise that you have to cover your ears to protect them. The airboat traveled closer to the bears as the tide changed intruding on their space. People would get off of the boat to get as close to the bears as possible. Lack of concern for others who pay a significant amount of money to view bears undisturbed and the need to protect the bears from human intrusion has been lost.

I urge local, state and federal agencies to do more to address the pressures being exerted by the bear viewing industry. I support the work of ethical bear viewing guides who understand that minimizing the impact will result in a better experience for both the bears and tourists and encourage them to work together to establish guidelines for safe and ethical bear viewing practices.

Patricia Cue

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