Letters

Letters

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 stymie 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

Walker showed backbone

I just read John McCain’s book “The Restless Wave.” A quote from his book is, “There’s more that unites than divides Americans.” What unites Alaskans is the quality of life here. But what is the quality of life if you must choose between food or medicine or you live in fear of becoming a crime victim?

Gov. Walker has tried to address Alaska’s problems without much legislative support. Remember how many times the legislature was called back into extended session costing the State Treasury millions of scarce dollars?

I will vote for Bill Walker because he has shown a strong backbone and made unpopular, but necessary decisions, like reducing the permanent fund dividend. That’s something the Senate Republican Majority should have done but lacked the courage to make such an unpopular decision in an election year, all the while refusing to consider new revenue sources like a state income tax.

All other 49 states have a state-wide sales tax and/or an income tax. In 2015 the Rasmuson Foundation, the University of Alaska, the Anchorage Institute of Economic and Social Research and others all supported a State Income Tax as a way out of the current fiscal crisis.

Governor Walker implemented a pay raise for Alaska State Troopers to stem the problem of expensive trooper turnover to other states with higher salaries and defined benefits. This is one example of directly addressing a specific high cost item in the state budget.

If quality of life issues are important to you Bill Walker is the logical choice for Alaska’s next governor.

Michael McCarthy

Hospice thanks City of Homer Fund

Hospice of Homer wishes to thank the City of Homer Fund for their generous 2018 grant. This grant will support Hospice of Homer’s three main programs: direct volunteer-care, medical equipment loan, and bereavement support. Our volunteer program provides in-home care and companionship to more than 40 housebound and end-of-life clients per month. Our medical equipment loan program allows clients to remain comfortable in their homes by supplying hospital beds, toilet seat risers, walkers, wheelchairs, incontinence supplies, shower benches, and lift chairs. Our bereavement program supports more than 20 clients and their families each month, through direct-mail, grief-related information and through one-on-one counseling and support groups.

Hospice of Homer programs are an important part of Homer’s network of non-profits that help members of our community in difficult times. Our services are available to the public free of charge.

The City of Homer Fund grant will go a long way toward helping Hospice of Homer support the members of our community who are facing illness and end-of-life. We are grateful to be selected as a recipient for this award.

Jessica Golden, Executive Director,

Hospice of Homer

Farmers Market thanks supporters

The Homer Farmers Market welcomes all growers of farm, garden, and greenhouse produce to participate in a weekly market. The Homer Farmers Market was established in 2000 to aid in the development of a sustainable local agricultural community for the benefit of the greater community of the Kachemak Bay area.

The Alaska Farmers Market Association with parent organization Cook Inletkeeper received a 2017 USDA FMPP Grant to promote connectivity and collaboration amongst Alaska’s farmers markets. The Homer Farmers Market has received $1,150 from that grant to support our local market. With this funding our market produced a variety of marketing and advertising materials, helping our market grow and increasing economic opportunity for our vendors.

The market was also presented with a City of Homer Grant through the Homer Foundation. This grant provided funding provided the market with operation funds which were used to support our EBT/SNAP Program, a program that doubles QUEST (formally known as food stamps) benefits for recipients. Our market supports a more equitable food system and this is a small way we can help contribute to greater food security. Funds were used to pay for staff time and materials. Our doubling funding was provided by a very loving anonymous couple, who also share these values.

This year marked our first ever sponsorship of some key features of the market. The Kids Activities was sponsored by Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware, with Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies conducting the weekly activities. Chef at the Market was partially funded by the awesome folks with the Homer Garden Club.

The Homer Farmers Market also sends a very special thank you to the entire Homer community for supporting our local farmers market. As a vibrant and integral piece of our local community and its economy, the Homer Farmers Market supports farmers, cottage food producers, local crafters, education, and so much more.

Thank you for your supporting Alaska’s farmers markets and growers.

Robbi Mixon, Director, Homer Farmers Market

Grace Ridge supports HAF

Our Homer Animal Friends tagline is “Find a Friend For Life.” We’ve certainly found wonderful friends in Grace Ridge Brewing. On Sept. 1, HAF received a generous donation from Don and Sherry Stead. Thanks to Grace Ridge and to all of the animal lovers who stopped in, had a beer and left dollars in the tip jar that was dedicated to us for the month of August. We would also like to thank Grace Ridge for sponsoring our Sunday afternoon Yappy Hour – we had several lovely Sundays that allowed us to sit, sip, and talk dog on their patio. Good times for dogs and people, alike.

For those who may not be aware – Grace Ridge Brewing donates all of the tips earned in a given month to a different nonprofit in our community.

On another note – don’t miss our Pet First Aid Seminar scheduled for Oct. 14. You can purchase tickets for this event at the HAF Store located on Main Street.

Darlene Hilderbrand and Pat Moss, HAF Board members

Flex loves DocFest

The Documentary Film Fest of 2018 at the Homer Theatre was an amazing opportunity for the Homer Flex Community. The Theatre allowed Flex students to attend the festival, and throughout our viewing of the documentaries, we encountered a wide variety of topics and events that challenged us to think critically. Flex greatly appreciates this annual opportunity to learn and expand our view of the world.

Truly,

Colten Lee Morris-Dye

Power to the 99 percent

I read in an Anchorage Daily News commentary that the plague of homelessness, including regular folk that made some bad decisions, is the fault of the poor themselves. Across the page I read that two-thirds of our population couldn’t come up with $500 cash to cover an emergency expense. The homeless are not to blame for this condition of debt servitude.

Inequality is being addressed by socialist democrats. They are reacting to socio-economic decay. Deep angst over social change stems from the deification of capitalism by the masters of assets.

Instead of liberating us from the grind, though, technology is being used to exploit humanity. Popular sentiment is weighing in more about alternatives to this system of struggling indebtedness. Power to the 99 percent, smilingly.

Tod Tenhoff

Share the Spirit season starts

Here’s hoping you have had a successful year and that you have been able put aside a bit of your earnings to take care of your household’s needs for the holiday season. If that has not yet been possible, please plan now to hold a bit of your PFD in reserves for the holidays and if none of that will be possible, watch this space over the next few months for information on how to apply for a Share the Spirit Holiday basket.

For all the members of our community please consider this letter as a reminder that the PFD is days away and we ask that you plan to put a bit aside to donate to this Holiday program. With this type of help, we have been providing Christmas Baskets for needy neighbors for 26 years. Donations may be dropped off at Wells Fargo Bank or mailed to PO Box 3218 Homer.

There will be many ways for all members of the community to be involved in this area wide project and in the upcoming issues of this paper; we will detail these options for you.

Our immediate need (again) is an organizer for the Spaghetti Feed our Annual fund raising event, which is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11. If any group, family of individual were willing to take on this project, we would be appreciative. If interested please call Share the Spirit at 235-7466 and leave a message; we will call you back,

In a perfect world, no one will be in need, but we know we do not live in that world, rather in one where our neighbors still need our help….

Share the Spirit wishes you all the best. We will reach out to the community again in the days to come; until then…

Remember to Share the Spirit.

Kelly Glidden, co-chair, Basket Program; Shari Daugherty, advisor, Basket Program; Jayne Locklar, President, and Jonathan Adams, vice-president and co-chair, Share the Spirit.

Don’t forget Lions basket program

Greeting to all of the wonderful people of Homer. It is that time of year again when I start sending out my plea for donations for the Thanksgiving Basket program. Hopefully each of you got a PFD and will be willing to share part of it with this much needed program. If you can give a donation, please send your check to: Kachemak Bay Lions P.O. Box 1824 Homer, Alaska 99603. You are also welcome to donate turkeys or any other food items that would help feed a family at Thanksgiving. We will be again serving Homer, Anchor Point and Ninilchik, and expect to exceed what we did last year. There were 230 baskets given out and we served well over 600 people. You can all be proud of any part you played in this.

If you wish to help with the putting together of the baskets, please contact me at 235-8761 and leave a message. There is room for everyone to help and even if you don’t call, you are welcome to come and work. Friday, Nov. 16 we will need trucks at the stores to pick up food and people to help set up at the Methodist Church at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 is packing day and we start at 8:30 a.m. There will be more letters later on with more instructions so keep watching and thank you so much for your service.

Yours in service,

Fran Van Sandt, Chairman

Kachemak Bay Lions

Community Food Basket Program

Lewis thankful for support

To all who voted on 10-2 thank you and to those who voted for me even a bigger thank you.

I especially want to thank Bill Smith, Barb & Bob Howard, Bill and Shelly, Hal and Lyn Spence, Ron and Ann Keffer, Paul and Tina Seaton, Kate Finn, Caroline and Franco Venuti, Robert Archibald, Vivian Finlay & Clyde Boyer, Helen Gustafson, Suzan and Brian, Rika and John Mouw and finally Mark Hottman. Thank you all for your support; it meant a great deal to me. Lastly a special thanks to Ron Keffer and Jack Cushing for all the work that you did.

David G. Lewis

Begich is obvious choice for governor

Mark Begich has two opponents for governor. When I look at all three, Begich leads out in all the ways that matter to me. Begich stands strongly for the things I care most about: environment, education, women’s rights, human rights, and sustainable Alaskan jobs and ways of life.

Mark Begich is the only candidate who supports a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. As a woman, I find that obvious, but neither of the other candidates supports that. Both feel those are decisions best left to government.

Mark Begich is the only candidate who supports the fishing industry and our Alaska way of life. When temporary interests threaten their very survival, Mark Begich stands up for Alaskan’s legal voice to protect wild salmon and those jobs and life-ways that depend on them. What kind of Alaskan does not value salmon and the vast community they support?

Mark Begich has spent a lifetime working to strengthen communities throughout Alaska, championing subsistence rights, strong cultural heritage, good public education, sustainable jobs, health, wellness, and mail delivery in all parts of our state.

The choice is obvious. Mark Begich for Alaska.

Sincerely,

Carol Ford

Republican party off the mark no. 3

Nobody likes paying taxes. Alaskans have been blessed with oil wealth that has allowed us to repeal the income tax we had 40 years ago (yes we used to have one) and every resident has benefitted from our low tax policy. The Permanent Fund has been a meaningful stimulant to local economies all across the state and especially meaningful to lower income families and children.

The Republican Party has taken a page from the populist playbook and accused Paul Seaton of trying to “steal” everyone’s Permanent Fund dividend. Nothing could be further from the truth. Paul Seaton recognizes that in order to have government function you need sufficient revenues (with the exception of the Feds).

The legislature has done what is politically possible to cut the budget. Without other revenue sources, it is only a matter of time before the Permanent Fund itself will be in jeopardy. A modest income tax, based on one’s federal return would be a cost effective way to generate additional revenues. Children and retired folks with limited income would not be greatly affected.

In addition a significant amount of wage money leaves the state in the pockets of relatively highly paid non-residents in the petroleum and other industries. These wages go untaxed in Alaska, leaving behind under funded local infrastructure used by all of us.

None of us like taxes, yet all of us should realize the local and state services that we need must be paid for. Paul Seaton’s proposal on the income tax is the right position for fiscal responsibility which in the end is the job of the Legislature and benefits all Alaskans.

Philemon D. Morris. Former Mayor of Kachemak City

‘No on 1’ proponents are misleading about claims

When I spoke to the person at the “No on 1” table at the State Fair, he gave me a copy of Ballot Measure 1. I actually read it. I found that the proposition gives the Commissioner of Fish and Game, who is appointed by the Governor, stricter guidelines on how to protect the fish and their habitat. Right now the only requirement to receive a permit is that the project provides for “proper protection” which is open to interpretation and lobbying influences.

The concern that anyone can shut down your piped-in water to your house with any complaint is far-fetched. The “dark money” pushing for the mine in Bristol Bay is trying to mislead the public. Nothing in the proposition suggests that can happen because of Proposition 1.

Lela Ryterski

Those of us who live on the Southern Kenai Peninsula are fortunate to have Paul Seaton as our State House Representative. Regardless of whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or something else, and particularly during these times of our demanding budget problems, having a well-informed, financially experienced and proven problem-solver to represent us are at the top of our “we need” list, and Paul is that in spades. Talk to Paul for 10 minutes about our state finances and our budget challenges, and you will know you are speaking to the person who has the knowledge and experience to tackle these challenges. Paul has a proven track record of working with both Democrats and Republicans to address our state fiscal crisis. From where I sit, there don’t seem to be any easy solutions, and anyone who says there are, likely doesn’t understand the nature and severity of our financial challenges. Paul has worked effectively to simultaneously save our PFD, forward fund education and pay for critical government services while at the same time striving towards establishing a balanced budget. If you’re undecided about Paul, I encourage you to do two things: 1. Visit Pauls’s website and read his positions and what he has accomplished (www.votepaulseaton.com,) and 2. Call Paul, talk to him and ask questions about the state budget and our financial challenges (907-299-3434.) I think you’ll find Paul to be exceedingly accessible and impressively well-informed.

Taz Tally

I am so very proud and appreciative of Senator Lisa Murkowski for acting on principle rather than partisanship. She is a sharp contrast to our other senator and to Don Young, who march in lockstep with Trump’s party. Young, for far too many years has occupied our only seat on the House of Representatives. Young has embarrassed our state again and again with boorish behavior, crude and hurtful remarks. After 45 years in office, he is doing us little good these days.

Fortunately, Alyse Gavin has launched a powerful challenge to replace Young. Alyse has raised over $1 million to fund her campaign, twice as much as Young. Alyse is an Independent, Democratic party- endorsed candidate for Congress . At a time when Alaskans are experiencing soaring health care costs, hurting from a struggling economy, and frustrated by Congress’ inability to put partisanship aside, Alyse is the change in representation we need. Alyse is someone, who can work with Senator Murkowski to standup to Republican bullying and find solutions. Young called Alyse “nasty” when she held his feet to the fire about his record in public debate. That’s a compliment. We would be so fortunate to have two women representing us in Washington, D.C. who have a moral compasses, who are willing to make and act on tough decisions, who will vote their consciences. My vote goes Alyse Gaven for Congress.

Kathryn Carssow

Carssow

Thanks to everyone that joined us for Laura Day at Coop’s on Oct 6. I know everyone is constantly asked to help with donations but that’s what makes Homer my home. Our fabulous community kept us running the entire day. Laura and Ruby Touya are overwhelmed by the generosity of Homer as Laura wages her battle against breast cancer. I’d also like to thank the following businesses for their generosity as well: Bay Realty, Story Real Estate, Collins Excavation, Home Run Oil, Peninsula Surgical Clinic, Tire Town, Bear Creek Winery and Print Works. You all gave until it mattered. Thanks again!

Kelly Cooper and the Coop’s Crew

Thanks from the Kevin Bell Arena

This past year, the Kevin Bell Arena received assistance from The Compass Rose Fund and KLEPS Fund, donor advised funds of the Homer Foundation. This assistance was essential in our efforts to continue to provide a safe, maintained facility in our community. We replaced the outdated batteries in the emergency lights, replaced scoreboard lights, updated refrigerant relief valves, and purchased a floor jack capable of lifting the Zamboni for service. Operating an ice arena as a non-profit association would not be possible without the assistance of funds like these. The Kevin Bell Arena would like to thank these funds for their contributions in our effort to offer recreational opportunities for our community.

These upgrades, along with the volunteer hours to install them, mean that this community will continue to be able to enjoy recreational opportunities at the arena this winter. Please view our website, www.kevinbellarena.org, for opportunities, or better yet, come down to the arena and check out what we have to offer. See you on the ice!

Charlie Stewart, KBA/HHA President

Alaska’s salmon habitat protection laws are laughably inadequate and have been for some time. Yet, even with evidence mounting, state lawmakers chose to cover their eyes rather than risk upsetting powerful forces in the resource extraction industries by taking reasonable measures to protect fish.

Finally fed up, more than 40,000 of us signed the Stand for Salmon initiative petition to put some balanced salmon habitat protection provisions on the November ballot. Passage of Ballot Measure 1 would require developers of major projects to adhere to reasonable restraints essential to protecting salmon streams from utter destruction.

Now, industry and their allies in the Legislature are attempting sway public opinion against the ballot measure by using highly misleading ads and editorials designed to convince us that protecting salmon means grinding Alaska’s economy to a halt. Don’t let such hyperbolic propaganda scare you. Voting against our own best interests plays right into corporate hands. They don’t care about salmon. Their only concern is protecting their profits.

Ballot Measure 1 may need fine-tuning. Complex law often does. But ask yourself: Is the Legislature likely to agree to and pass better statutes after failing for decades to even come close? That Alaska’s salmon are under mounting threat can be ignored no longer. It is up to us to protect the habitats where they spawn and rear.

Sincerely,

Hal Spence

I don’t know whether to dance for joy or cry…voter turnout was UP for the recent City/Borough election but only 33% of you had your voice heard!

What do the other 67% non voters need to motivate them to vote?

Next election-Nov 6, vote for Governor, Lt Governor, State House, US Congress! This is the major league, so choices matter!

Early voting begins October 22, 8-5, at Homer City Hall or the Borough Office across from Alices. No excuses.

Let’s get to 75% at least, so we really can say “Majority Rules”

Angie Newby,

Kenai Peninsula Votes (a nonpartisan “get out the vote” group)

Helping to clear up Stand for Salmon confusion

As the Nov. 6 ballot nears, many are confused by what Ballot Measure 1, the Stand for Salmon initiative, would really do and how it would impact residents. This is understandable considering the mixed messaging and misinformation being spread regarding who crafted it and what new procedures would be put in place. I encourage all of us to learn as much as we can, because what we are being given the opportunity to decide is too important a decision to walk into the voting booth without knowing what is fact from fiction. This will take more than just reading glossy mailers or listening to television ads, so here are a few salient details to get started with:

• It updates Title 16, the Alaska statute governing development permits in freshwater salmon habitat. This law directs the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to approve a project “unless the commissioner finds the plans and specifications insufficient for the proper protection of fish and game…” It just doesn’t say what proper protection is, so the commissioner appointed in any year makes this call. Ballot Measure 1 adds science-based parameters to Title 16, as recommended by the Board of Fish in their January 2017 letter to the legislature.

• It was not written by governors of other states or any other outside organizations.

• It divides projects into two tiers — minor and major — so that minor ones can go through quickly like they do now, but major ones receive tougher scrutiny.

• It presumes that streams in Alaska are anadromous until proven otherwise (i.e., until Fish and Game has the time and money to finish cataloging).

• It introduces public notice and opportunity for public comment on large projects (also recommended by the Board of Fish). Currently no public notice is required.

Nicole Arevalo

Republican party off the mark no. 4

Now that we are reaching the culmination of the district 31 political season on November 6, Paul Seaton stands tall as our leader of choice. Paul is smart, honest and approachable. He understands the ways of the legislature and has worked tirelessly to protect the budget and the state of the Permanent Fund from the shortsighted who prefer cash now in their pockets while leaving the difficult task of running the government budget to others. Paul has not abandoned his principles of fair and honest judgement of what is in the longterm interests of District 31. He has supported responsible government and protected the long term interests of all Permanent Fund dividend recipients.

New revenues are needed if we are to further the repair of the infrastructure and promote responsible government. That he has been the target of the Republican hierarchy is a tribute to his ability to work for the benefit of all Alaskans, Republican, Democratic and Independent alike. It behoves all voters in house district 31 to get out and vote in what may be a close and critical election.

Paul Seaton should be your choice as our representative in Juneau. In my opinion we can not afford to leave our budget issues and other pressing economic and social legislation to political expediency without the careful and experienced leadership Paul has provided. Please make sure you vote on November 6, for a candidate who will help guide the legislature through the difficult budget issues in the coming two years. Your support will be necessary and appreciated by all of us who put the welfare of the State of Alaska foremost in our considerations for the future.

Philemon D. Morris, Former Mayor of Kachemak City

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