Dunne: An an honor to serve

It has been an honor to serve the residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough for the past three years. While at times frustrating, I do feel a sincere sense of accomplishment as your District 9 Assembly member.

After wrangling through many of the bigger, thornier issues like taxes, $80 million budgets, hospital service area boundaries, lawsuits and so on, it is my day-to-day work and communication with constituents that is most gratifying.

When I look back on some of the “little things” that have been asked of me to assist with at the borough level, the list warms my heart. A few examples:

• Facilitating land appropriation and lease agreements to the Soccer Club so the new SPARC facility could be built.

• Working with residents to develop a community garden.

• Helping to initiate plans for diverting food waste from our landfill into a composting program.

• Assisting local trail groups — Snowmads, Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, Homer Wilderness Leaders — to obtain grants for building and maintaining public access to backcountry areas.

• Supporting innovative ideas for repairing the historic road to Red Mountain and Windy Bay.

• Gathering with local residents to find solutions for public access to borough rights of way at Stone Step Lake and other areas.

• Amending our Borough budget to provide funds to remove abandoned vehicles from our roadsides.

• and many more!

While some of these projects have come to fruition, others will take continued time and energy to benefit Borough residents. I am ready to dedicate that time and energy to our borough for another three years. We can only accomplish tasks such as these by working together, not by attacking others with different views. I do my best to respond to and work with all constituents who contact me.

Please vote to continue effective representation on Oct. 2. Thank you.

Willy Dunne

Editor’s note: District 9 Borough Assembly candidate Troy Jones was also invited to write a letter about his campaign.

Vote for Dunne

What does it mean to live in Homer, the Kenai Borough, Alaska, the U.S.— a place where we pride ourselves on our freedom, independence, and government of, for and by the people? To me it means each of us is free to live as we see fit, while all of us have common needs and desires, and we work together to make universally-needed benefits accessible to all. For instance, we all pitch in to pay people to make sure our water is clean, so that each of us doesn’t have to go out and fight for water. We pay people to make sure when there is a medical emergency there is help available, no matter who needs it. We pay people to make sure everyone’s children are safe while they are learning. These and other services make us, as a whole, and as individuals, stronger, better, safer, and happier.

Whether you’re skiing the Tsalteshi Trails on a clear moonlit night, or your children are racing around the SPARC floor while it is storming outside, whether you need emergency services in the remote areas of the borough or you wind up hospitalized and want to stay near home, you have people like Willy Dunne to thank. If you’re the kind of person who is glad to see children learning and growing in the Kenai Borough, or you’re relieved to buy your groceries all winter without borough taxes, you can thank Willy Dunne. Willy is serving Homer and the Borough well by looking to those universals that raise us all, and providing for them.

I’m voting for Willy for Borough Assembly this year. I hope you will, too.

Carol Ford

Castner is best choice for mayor

I would like to encourage people to vote for Ken Castner for Mayor. The job of mayor requires someone who is good at consensus building and facilitating discussion among council members. The major must also make the public feel welcome and listened to when they are giving input to the council. I believe that Ken would be excellent at both of these aspects of the job.

Ken is a long time Homer resident. He has always strived to be informed about, and often participated in the ongoing processes which make this community a vibrant and valued place to live. His local knowledge about the many projects and proposals that Homer has undertaken is very comprehensive.

Ken knows how to listen, and can use the information that he collects to guide a meeting or a project in a positive and productive direction. His contributions to this community speak for themselves, from the Homer Foundation to the Task Force researching the new Police and Fire Stations, and everything between. His dedication to the Nutcracker Productions has been unshakable.

I will be voting for Ken Castner, and writing David Lewis in as a city councilman. To me this would be a win/win way to vote.

Jeanne Parker

Support Aderhold

The election for Homer City Council is Tuesday, Oct. 2. I support Donna Aderhold for City Council. Donna is extremely proactive with sponsoring approximately 20 Resolutions and Ordinances that have primarily focused on improving state and federal funding to the City. Quality of life issues including addressing the opioid crisis, water quality, pedestrian safety and transportation challenges are top priorities for her. Donna is a proven leader and collaborator. She works with city commissioners and staff to seek resolution and is admired for her thoughtful and thorough demeanor. Donna is an asset to the City of Homer and I urge you to vote for her on October 2.

Patricia Cue

Why I support Ken Castner

I support Ken Castner for Mayor because he is willing to forego the Mayor’s power to break tie votes, to help steer the Council toward consensus. As someone who plays and follows sports, I know that any given system of tiebreakers changes how participants approach a contest. The understanding that a split council cannot rely on simply persuading the Mayor could impel the council members and their supporters to strive for consensus. Instead of listening to the other side to rebut, they could listen to the other side to understand. I fear that our community has forgotten that we have much in common, much more than what divides us. The status quo approach of each “side” trying to line up votes will only harden our divisions. I think Ken has the skill set to break that cycle. He defies labels; the fact that you may be scratching your head at neighbors’ yard signs supporting candidates from different perceived camps is evidence of that. He does his homework and has contributed countless hours behind the scenes to community efforts. Finally, and most important to me, he is embracing the Mayor’s position as one of consensus builder. As Sonia Sotomayor described her similar approach to conflict in her memoir My Beloved World, “Quiet pragmatism, of course, lacks the romance of vocal militancy. But I felt myself more a mediator than a crusader. My strengths were reasoning, crafting compromises, finding the good faith on both sides of an argument, and using that to build a bridge” (186). Please be sure to vote.

Ginny Espenshade

Help re-elect Dunne

On Tuesday, Oct. 2 we head to the polls to vote in municipal and Borough elections including our District 9-South Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly seat. For the last three years Willy Dunne has very ably held this seat and performed to the enormous benefit of all Southern Kenai Peninsula residents, and I encourage you to help reelect Willy Dunne to our Borough Assembly Seat. Willy has stepped up to the plate on so many occasions and has tackled the tough issues, including some very thorny funding and budget challenges. Willy has worked creatively on trying to close our $4 million budget deficit and balance our Borough budget, while at the same time maintaining critical Borough services. Also, Willy has been instrumental in developing effective compromise solutions to modify the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area boundaries while maintaining the financial health of the hospital. Willy has also consistently voted to maintain full funding for schools, which is one of the key functions of government. He also provided key Borough support for the creation of the new SPARK facility in Homer. Additionally, Willy has worked with the Board of Fish to improve fish habitat protection measures, which are critical to helping us maintain our fisheries on the Kenai Peninsula. Willy Dunne is a proven problem solver and tireless worker for our Southern Kenai communities, and I encourage you to vote for Willy Dunne to retain his District 9 South Peninsula Assembly seat.

Please mark Tuesday, Oct. 2 on your calendar to vote, or better yet, vote between now and then at Homer City Hall, if you’re a Homer City resident, or at the Borough building on Pioneer Avenue, if you live outside of the city.

Taz Tally

Voter myth busters

I am really surprised when I am doing voter registration to hear the same “voter myths” over and over again. It’s time for the myth buster.

Myth No. 1: Early votes and absentee votes are not counted unless the results are super close on election day.

Busted-every vote is counted, whether you vote ahead by mail, or do early in person voting at City Hall.

Myth No. 2: I can’t vote early at City Hall because I live out East Rd or Anchor Point.

Busted-Early, and also called in person absentee voting, starts 15 days before election day. If you live in our District 31, you can vote any business day, Monday through Friday between 8-5. The City Clerk’s office downstairs has Borough and City ballots. Early voting is easy and gives you lots of flexibility to vote according to your schedule. I voted already on Sept. 20.

Myth No. 3: My vote doesn’t count

Busted-this is the saddest myth of all. If you don’t vote, you don’t have a say in public policy. Laws about taxes, health, privacy, equal rights, education-all of these areas deserve your input. Your vote does count. Look at all of the elections in Alaska and around the country that are less than 10 votes apart, or even closer. Remember a couple of coin tosses to decide tie votes?

So get out there vote and have your voice heard.

Angie Newby, KPV (Kenai Peninsula Votes, a nonpartisan group supporting voter turnout)

Elect Dunne for Borough Assembly

Every election is important, and the Municipal Election in Homer on Oct. 2 is almost here. A bumper sticker on my car says “Voting is My Superpower!” I believe this to be true, literally as well as humorously. It’s time to vote and then you too can have this superpower.

Considering the candidates running for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, and for any job, experience is extremely important. Willy Dunne served on the Assembly from 2015-2018, and the knowledge he gained from those years is huge. He understands the job, has developed the skills to do it very effectively, works efficiently with all citizens, and already has the strategies necessary to represent his district well. District 9 has different needs and priorities than some other districts on the peninsula. For one thing, it is so spread out geographically.

Combining experience with his accomplishments serving on the assembly, Willy has worked hard to give us a superb hospital system, excellent emergency services, and he has worked to balance the budget and eliminate deficit spending. He prioritizes education and works to fully fund education.

Willy has excellent communication skills to work with people. He is available, taking the time to explain or answer questions; he listens and always does research to find answers or other options. He is an excellent problem solver, and he is guided by high standards and ethics, fiscal responsibility, and a wide background as a fisherman, a fish biologist, outdoor enthusiast and community member.

Experience, accomplishment, and commitment to our future: vote for Willy Dunne. Use your Superpower…vote.

Lani Raymond

Exactly the Right Kind of Mayor

David Lewis was a city councilperson for nine years, and during that time he was a strong advocate for many of the forward-looking steps our city has taken over the last decade. Some of those projects that most of us will remember are the new harbor master’s offices, funding for the new SPARC building, working on the large vessel haul out, and the Soundview sidewalk. Even before he ever was elected to city council, Lewis, a hockey player parent, advocated for and worked for construction of the Kevin Bell Arena. He has had a positive impact as a strong supporter of progress in the city.

Nonetheless, what we most should remember about David are a couple of traits that demonstrate his concern for the people of our community. He is one of the strongest proponents of moving Homer toward total handicap accessibility. Universal Accessibility, he calls it, and it would mean a gradual implementation of the physical structures that allow access to handicapped people. In addition to doing what is just the right thing to do, Lewis points out that we have many elderly tourists in Homer, and it only makes good economic sense to make our city accessible to them. Lewis also advocates to make our city a year-round tourist destination!

One other strong trait Lewis has demonstrated during his years in the public eye is his willingness to listen — really listen — to all the people of Homer. He takes very seriously the idea that when in office, he represents ALL the people of Homer, not just those who voted for him. He’s exactly the kind of person we need as mayor.

Ron Keffer

Vote Lewis for Homer Mayor

(Please note that the positions below contrast with those of the other mayoral candidate.)

Reason No. 1: It is the mayor’s privilege, and David is willing, to cast a deciding vote, if necessary, when the council members have reached a 3-3 tie. Before an ordinance or resolution comes before the City Council for consideration, the Homer citizens involved and council members have worked very hard preparing them. My opinion is that the resolution/ordinance deserves a clear decision. A mayoral non-vote is actually a no vote in every case. I think the mayor owes more consideration to the Homer residents than a consistent “no” vote.

Reason No. 2: David plans to continue devoting some time at council meetings for proclamations. I have been amazed by the many heroes we have in Homer, whose selfless and noteworthy contributions to our quality of life, can so easily be overlooked. I really appreciate the recognition that individuals and groups receive for their many under-the-radar efforts. Life is very busy, and it is easy to overlook really great people and the things they do, to make this town such an awesome place to live. Proclamations are one way to help us honor the people who make this be true.

Reason No. 3: One of the mayor’s responsibilities is to be Homer’s ambassador locally, statewide and internationally, as with our sister cities Teshio, Japan, and Yelizovo, Russia. David has a steady, calm, listening presence, even in tense times. His experience working with youth and being on the council for nine years has cultivated his natural openness to new ideas and new solutions to old problems.

I support David for his experience, inter-personal style, and vision of Homer’s kind and prosperous future successes.

Kate Finn

School bond is too expensive

At first glance ballot Proposition 1 on the Oct. 2 municipal election might seem like an issue worthy of your support, but on closer examination that may not be the case at all.

This is about building a $15 million school in the Russian village of Kachemak Selo to serve 45 students. Do they need a new school? Possibly. Do they need a $15 million school? Definitely not.

The State of Alaska, with its long history of over-spending, have decided on the size, specifications, cost of this school and now wants voters of the Kenai Borough to buy into their madness.

Sure, the first $10 milionn is coming from the state, so we only need to come up with $5 million. But wait, I thought the state was short of money? Just maybe it is because the legislature refuses to control spending on projects like this one.

As you know, the Kenai Borough does not have $5 million available and will be forced to bond for that amount. Which means taxpayers will pony up the cash. This $5 million will be on top of the $179,210,293 the borough and local service areas are already indebted for.

Maybe it is time to say no to the crazy spending habits of our government and force them to come back with a more reasonable alternative.

Please join me voting no on ballot Proposition 1.

Mike McBride, North Kenai

Vote ‘no’ On Prop 1

Borough elections are on Tuesday, Oct. 2. As citizens of the Kenai Peninsula Borough it is really crucial that we voters take the time to know the issues and vote. Actually, you can vote now by going to any borough office, or on election day vote at any polling place using the question-ballot process. There is no excuse for not voting.

Proposition 1, the proposed new school for the Kachemak-Selo Russian village who have 43-50 students this year, will obligate all of us to pay a $5.5-million bond as our share of a $15-million-dollar school. The selling point is that the state is kicking in $10 million, but the state has already overspent and stole our PFD too. There are three schools in the off-road area, so when will the other two petition for new schools?

If people choose to live so remote, they must be prepared to take more responsibility for themselves and their kids. The school board can offer a very successful “computer based education” through the Connections Program.

Let’s not spend money we don’t have. Join me in voting “no” on Proposition No. 1.

Ruby Denison, Ninilchik

Don’t vote hate

The upcoming, national election should not be voted upon, or for, hate. Hopefully, the voters will vote using common sense and for the betterment of its citizens and the country. I’m also speaking about he legal non-citizens that reside here.

Voters, don’t vote hate.

Jim Hadley, Anchor Point

Lewis is best candidate

The things I look for in a candidate for any office are a big heart, a sound mind, and an honest humility that does not exclude a strong sense of what is good for the community. Compassion, practical problem-solving skills and the humility to listen and respond are hallmarks of Mayoral candidate David Lewis — whether he’s teaching in the public schools, serving on the City Council or the Hockey Board, or just being a good neighbor. From asking the Navy to change the dates of its exercises, which went clear to the Pentagon, to leading Homer and the state of Alaska in taking a stand for the health of our oceans by banning plastic grocery bags, from keeping the community-use HERC building open for Boys’ and Girls’ clubs and other kids’ activities to helping get the Kevin Bell Arena built, David Lewis serves his community always with compassion, humility and a view to what will be most helpful to Homer and to all who live here. If you love joining in activities at SPARC, if you or someone you care about is handicapped and needs access to public places, or if you enjoy a stroll down the sidewalk on Soundview, David Lewis has your interests at heart. And it’s a very big heart. I’m voting for David Lewis for Mayor on Oct.r 2. (Don’t you forget to vote.)

Sincerely, Carol Ford

Let’s work together

I salute politicians serving in any office in our country these days. It is a difficult, challenging time for politicians. More than ever I think we are in need of intelligent, honest, courageous leadership at all levels from Homer City Council to the U.S. President. I encourage people to vote, and participate.

This is a great country. I come from a family with 300 years in America (150 of those in the South). I have lived in Alaska since 1963. As an American and Alaskan, I am concerned about these current times. The politics here and everywhere are polarized, making decision making difficult. Also, Alaska faces challenges as we face lower oil income. Nationally, our leadership at the top needs change; it is divisive, and not forward looking. Our leadership seems to promote divisiveness at every turn. Trump needs to go. Our politics need to become less polarized, less partisan and promote people working together.

I grew up in Anchorage in the 1960s-1970s where people pitched in to do things regardless of what group they were in, whether it was church, political party, race or other. There were problems, but we didn’t have the divisiveness we do now. We were proud to be Alaskans who got things done. The Anchorage I grew up in was a small city of about 50,000. Although small, we were a community who built a state, and rebuilt after the 1964 earthquake. So, now is not a time to go backwards. I urge everyone to vote and participate. Vote for leaders with intelligence, honesty and courage. Let’s work together.

Charles E. Barnwell

Franz is wrong on Stand for Salmon

I appreciate Charlie Franz’s opinion on the Stand for Salmon Initiative published on the Homer News website, but he’s just plain wrong on several fronts.

First, the Stand for Salmon website has had the link to Ballot Measure 1 posted from the beginning. Go to www.standforsalmon.org/get-the-facts.

Next, the ballot initiative sets out common-sense, scientific standards for protecting our wild salmon. Under current law, the state need only find there’s “proper protection” for our salmon when green-lighting a project, and the term “proper protection” is undefined. And because there’s no public notice or comment on fish habitat permits today, Alaskans are completely cut-out of these backroom decisions. That makes no sense.

Finally, it’s important to connect the dots, and to see the bigger picture of what’s going on here. Recall the ballot measure to overturn our oil tax bill (Senate Bill 21) in 2014. SB 21 only passed the Senate because two ConocoPhillips employees voted for it. All the big oil and gas corporations bankrolled the SB 21 fight against oil tax reform, and they narrowly won. Then we had to pay these companies such exorbitant profits and tax credits – such as the billion dollar tax credit the Legislature approved this year – that our dividends got cut to pay for basic services.

According to a recent analysis, a family of four lost more than $15,000 in their PFD the past 3 years due to excess corporate profits and tax credits. Not surprisingly, these very same corporations — British Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and others — are fighting our right to protect out salmon under the Stand for Salmon Ballot Measure 1. Why? Because these giant corporations know, plain and simple, they can reap higher profits by cutting corners on salmon habitat protections.

So, don’t be fooled by the multi-million dollar ad campaign flooding our airwaves and internet. Vote “Yes for Salmon” on Ballot Measure 1.

Mako Haggerty

KBBI would like to say a big thank you to this awesome and supportive community for participating in our 0.5 K brew-to-brew last Saturday. Not only was it a great time, we raised funds for our local public radio station and perpetuated KBBI’s mission of community engagement. We’d like to thank:

The Mile Marker Stations: sustainable wares, GCI and Kachemak Bay Conservation Society. The Donut Sponsor: The Classic Cook. The Donut Location Donor: Homer Saw & Ccycle. The VIP Transport Sponsor: Homer Trolley and Tours. The Generous Local Breweries: Grace Ridge Brewing and Homer Brewing Company.

Many thanks also go to the Homer News, Lakeshore Glass and Spit Sisters for providing parking. Thanks also to Moore and Moore Services for Port-A-Potties. Thank you Wagon Wheel and Lakeshore Drive Residents for letting us trample through your front yard. Thank You Jeff Szarzi for the beer steins.

Thank you City of Homer Planning and Police for helping permit, equip and provide safety measures!

And last but definitely not least: Thank you KBBI Staff, Board members and family members for volunteering to run the event.

Cheers to you.

On behalf of the KBBI Board of Directors and Staff: Terry Rensel, KBBI Station Manager and Alder K Seaman, KBBI Development Director

Alder Kaitlin Seaman

KBBI Development Director

HCOA arts scholarship appreciated

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to HCOA for the Summer Youth Arts Scholarship that I received. Thank you for providing a valuable learning experience for youth through your scholarship application process. I was required to submit an application, write an essay on what my art form means to me, interview in front of a panel, and perform an original dance piece. This scholarship helped make it possible for me to attend the Central Pennsylvania 5 Week Summer Youth Dance Program in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Here, I trained with over 500 students from across the United States and around the world under the guidance of distinguished instructors, including the renowned Marcia Dale Weary. This program focused on ballet technique, attention to detail, strength, stamina, flexibility, and nurturing artistic development. During my time in Pennsylvania, I gained an increased understanding and appreciation for the beautiful art of ballet, formed lasting friendships, learned important life skills, and grew as dancer and as a human. I am truly grateful for this experience.

Thank you HCOA for giving youth in our community the opportunity to explore the arts, develop their passion, and chase their dreams.


Ireland Styvar

HCOA helped with piano clinic

I would like to thank the Homer Council on the Arts for their generous support in helping me attend piano clinic this summer. With their scholarship award, I was able to extend my piano lessons a few extra weeks this spring and summer. I was able to work on a Bach song, and I was able to spend two lessons learning about music theory.

Thank you again HCOA for your scholarship program, and for your continued support of the arts here in Homer.

Lion Trejo, age 12

HCOA scholarship recipient

Volunteers make theater happen

As a newcomer to Homer theatre, I was 100 percent certain that when I auditioned for Spamalot with Pier One, I would be enjoying the show from the audience and not as a member of the cast. Much to my surprise, I made the cut, and had the honor of performing in not one but two productions this summer (Calendar Girls was the second), with a great group of kind-hearted and talented people.

I want to thank all the wonderful volunteers who make theater happen in our community. Every production is the result of a tremendous collective effort driven by the dedication of dozens of people including directors, musicians, actors, and choreographers; set, make up, costume, lighting, sound, and prop designers; house and stage managers; and concessions, ushers, and visual graphics volunteers.

Pier One’s passion for bringing high quality theatre to life in Homer is truly an inspiring and humbling thing to be a part of. I’m so glad that I got the chance to work with each of these individuals and I look forward to seeing what the 2019 season will bring.

Jessica Golden

Seaton works with community

Thank you Rep. Seaton for always showing up at community events and forums, taking calls, being accessible and giving the facts without the attacks. It is most refreshing in a political climate that is often driven by party unity and the dividing of the commons. I appreciate you as a non-partisan representative to represent and work with diverse groups of people and all parties. And l likewise notice and appreciate you wife Tina Seaton for her volunteering, care and support for the good of our community.

Candy Rohrer

Don’t be fooled

One of the most important things citizens can do is make an informed vote. That’s not always an easy task. Sometimes issues seem purposefully muddled to attract the votes of the unwary. In this Day of allegations of “Fake News”, the use of vast amounts of corporate money to sway outcomes, and frequent tactics to obscure truth, it is crucial that people take time to dig below the Headlines and understand issues that will affect our lives.

At first look, Ballot Measure 1 can be confusing. Commercials touting “Stand for Alaska”, with gill netters hauling out salmon in the background, urge us to vote No. They claim stricter standards to protect anadromous waterways are “foolish and unwise” because they will stymy development. Another commercial of a guy catching and releasing a fish ends with”salmon deserve better”. These are deceptive statements. The biggest threat to salmon is the potential degradation of their habitat by the mining, logging, and other industries that support the “Stand for Alaska” platform and don’t want new regulations. I hope people won’t be fooled by the glossy commercials and confusing rhetoric that the No side is perpetuating with their nearly 8 times greater campaign budget.

Salmon do deserve better and so do Alaskans. It would be foolish not to take measures to protect this vital resource that supports so many Alaskans in so many ways. If you think so too please go to the polls and vote “YES” on Ballot Measure 1 to Stand for Salmon.

Steve Hughes, 35 year resident of Kachemak Bay