Back-to-school help appreciated

Thank you to all those wonderful people who helped 106 children, clients of the Homer Community Food Pantry, start their school year on a positive note. The students began school with new Backpacks, filled with supplies. Thank you so much for helping these students start the school year on a very positive note.

This is the 12th year that the Omicrom Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma has organized the “Back to School Backpack Project.” The success of this project could only happen because of community support and collaborative efforts with local service groups and churches.

A big thank you to all those that repeatedly filled the donation container at Ulmer’s True Value. Special thanks to all the local service groups that continue with their support. Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club,Kachemak Bay Lions Club, the Homer Emblem Club, and the Rotary Club of downtown Homer. Thank you to the caring members of

the Faith Lutheran Church, Christian Community Church, Homer United Methodist Church, and Glacier View Baptist Church, who continue to stuff the collection boxes with Backpacks and supplies.

A big thank you also to those that came and helped assemble the Backpacks from the Rotary and Lions Club, also West Homer Elementary for use of the space for packing the packs, and Barb Veek for the use of her Van to the transport the Backpacks.

Thank you again for making a difference in a child’s education. Your generosity demonstrates a commitment to helping children succeed in school.

Ceil Manchester, Delta Kappa Gamma Omicron Chapter

Thanks for Homer Foundation help

On behalf of Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic (KBFPC) and the R.E.C. Room (a Youth Resource & Enrichment Co-op), I want to thank the City of Homer for its support of area nonprofits in 2018. KBFPC received a Homer Foundation – City of Homer grant for $3,185 which provided valuable general operating support. In addition, I thank the Homer Foundation for administering this important program.

City support of nonprofits is prudent use of tax payer money; it ensures that safety-net services continue for the most vulnerable in our community and improves the health and well-being of community members across all demographics. Non-profits employ approximately 25 percent of our workforce (2017 data) and the relatively small financial infusion from the City is key to generating millions in revenues that provide essential services and impact the entire economic sector in the City.

The City of Homer grant leverages resources from other funders while helping us keep our doors open to everyone in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. It’s especially appreciated now, as we experience reductions in federal and state funding. Thanks to this grant and other generous support from our community, we provided quality reproductive health care services – including: screenings for breast and cervical cancer, birth control consultation and supplies, infertility and preconception counseling, pregnancy testing, and STD/STI testing and treatment – for approximately 1,000 men and women every year.

Youth in Homer rely on the R.E.C. Room as a safe and welcoming place to meet with friends after school and get connected with other local resources. Over 900 teens have participated in our youth education programs and healthy alternative activities, including school-based, peer-led health education, in 11 area schools (three schools in the City).

Community commitment and support make our work possible. Our thanks, again, to the City of Homer, the Homer Foundation, and all our community partners who support KBFPC to serve as a trusted source of up-to-date, accurate and affordable reproductive health care and education since 1983.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Lou Kelsey, KBFPC Board President

Gratitude for Homer Foundation, True North Adventures help

A huge note of gratitude for the support from the David and Mary Schroer fund, a donor advised fund of the Homer Foundation, and True North Adventures for their donations to Big Brothers Big Sisters in support of our current Homer matches. As a result of this generosity, we were able to offer our current local matches a hiking day trip across the bay into Kachemak Bay State Park this summer. The David and Mary Schroer Fund within Homer Foundation provided the initial match support grant and True North adventures donated the remaining amount to cover the entire cost of their True North water taxi to transport all 13 of us across the bay to spend the day together. Homer’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program is not currently making new matches, but this was an amazing opportunity to connect and support the ones that still exist in our community. Thank you so much for the generosity of True North Adventures and Homer Foundation.

Trish Herrmann

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Career information offered to hundreds of KPBSD students

Homer High School appreciates everyone who participated in the career events on Oct. 16, 2018. The day included both a field trip to the district’s college/career fair with over 30 colleges and career booths set up at Kenai Central High School. On that day, there were a variety of career guest speakers visiting Homer High School. From secretaries excusing students, to paraprofessionals lending a hand, to teacher chaperones on the buses, to guest speakers spending their precious time in classes, from teachers adjusting curriculum and guiding visitors, and, of course, our administrators who support these efforts — the HHS counseling staff thanks you.

Homer High School guest speakers for the day were Marie McCarty and several conservation teams, South Peninsula Hospital with physical therapy technicians, Lieutenant Ryan Browning of the Homer Police Department, representatives of South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services, Job Center personnel, Nancy Bishop, fishermen and maritime experts, Marvin Peters and Craig Forest, Alaska House Rep. Paul Seaton, and Homer News journalist Megan Pacer.

Other organizations involved with the activities were the Kenai Peninsula School District staff, who produced the fair, and the Homer Rotary Club members, especially Read Dunn, who helped organize and supply the HHS guest speakers.

Thank you all for creating a meaningful day for Homer High School students. For future career events, call the HHS counseling department.

Gia Baker

Put utility lines underground

While driving from my home in Kenai to Soldotna a few months ago I, noticed the new wooden powerline poles being put in place beside the older wooden powerline poles. It was at this time that I recalled reading in my history class in Douglas, Alaska in 1950, that it was 1861 that Chief Justice Steven J. Field sent the first telegraph wire to President Lincoln in Washington, D.C.

The same type of powerline poles used in 1862 are still being used today by American power and communication companies, wreaking havoc and death in American Communities with each and every natural disaster that takes place in the U.S.

Hovv much longer will the federal government allow these greedy, multi-billion dollar power and communication companies to bring death and destruction upon the American people before legislating a bill that mandates that all power and communication lines be buried underground?

John A. Anderson, Kenai

More Homer Foundation thanks

Thank you to the Homer Foundation and to the Board of Directors of The Educator Professional Development Fund for honoring my application to pursue a developing project of Restorative Practices in our local schools. Schools across the country are implementing restorative practices into their discipline programs. This is a significantly more effective means of reaching students and keeping them in school in order for learning and growth to occur on a consistent and steady basis. “Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision-making.” (Ted Wachtel, International Institute for Restorative Practices, Founder.)

The recognition of my vision and efforts by accepting and awarding this scholarship to me brings the implications of my ongoing training to life. The honor of being one of the first recipients of the scholarship, gives to me encouragement, enthusiasm and strength in knowing the Homer Foundation believes in this project as much as I do.

I am working in coordination with Ingrid Harrad and Chris Brown of Flex High School who have piloted Restorative Practices over the past year with great success. I have a professional learning network at West Homer Elementary who includes; Ginny Espenshade, Steve Panarelli, Amy Sundheim and Principal Eric Waltenbaugh. It is our intention that Restorative Practices will have significant positive impacts for our classrooms, our schools, our district and our community.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Becky Paul, West Homer Elementary

Thanks for documentary film support

The R.E.C. Room hosted a public showing of the documentary, “The Mask You Live In,” last Thursday evening at the Homer Theatre. Much gratitude to everyone who came to this event. This film looks deeply into the social constructs of what our society says it means to be a man. At times the film is tough to watch. Young boys are up against a lot when they’re told to be tougher, stand taller, “man up,” don’t cry, be in charge. The film analyzed how these messages like this can be harmful to positive youth development. It also looked at how we, as adults, can all support young people by spending time with them as nonjudgmental and compassionate mentors. Try to listen more, talk less. To Kurt Leffler, Brian Partridge, Avram Salzman, Cameron Segura, and Billy Choate: a big thank you for sharing your time and thoughts on the panel discussion following the video. Cheers to Kyla Dammann, R.E.C. Room Coordinator, for hosting and organizing the event. And thank you to parent, friend and community member Susie Malone for mobilizing this event to happen.

Some things we can all practice doing to support the positive development of our young men: Tell boys you love them, tell boys they’re good enough, raise children the same regardless of gender.


Anna Meredith, Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic R.E.C. Room

Empty Bowl needs bowls

The Homer Community Food Pantry is having The Empty Bowl fund raiser this Friday, Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Homer Methodist Church. This year we are short bowls. If you have a local artist bowl and would like to donate it, bring it in. If you have a bowl from your around-the-world travels, bring it. If you have a bowl from a well loved relative, this is not re-gifting, this is feeding the hungry. Got a funky chicken bowl, a quality funky chicken bowl? Bring it!.You may drop them off Thursday night or bring them Friday to the event. The soup will be hot and ready; we look forward to seeing you.

Thank you,

Sherry Stead, HCFP Board Member

Halloween One-Way was a success

The Mountainview and Bayview neighborhood has been Homer trick-or-treat central for over 40 plus years. For some, it is hands-down the best holiday town party ever. Others turn their lights out and graciously wait it out. After all, i’ts one thing if 40 neighborhood kids knock at your door. It’s another when there are 400.

This year, we held the sixth “Halloween One-Way” where Mountainview and Bayview became one-way streets from 5-8 p.m. Huge thank you to Poppy Benson who organizes the One-Way traffic volunteers. It takes at least 12 volunteers to help direct and calm traffic. Jeanne Walker, Jenny Martin, Ruth Dickerson, Marilyn Sigman, Francie Roberts, Art Sowls, Becky Paul, Maynard Smith, Kathy Smith, Lindsay Martin, Eddie Vraspir, Bernie Person, Bob Shavelson all took shifts.

The Homer Volunteer Fire Department brought two rigs and a number of firefighters. Big thank you to HVFD’s Dan Miotke particularly, who talked to nearly every car that rolled through the Main Street intersection. Another huge thank you to Lt. Ryan Browning of the Homer Police Department who grew up in this neighborhood and remembers just as many kids trick-or-treating here in the 1990s.

This year, the neighborhood was so pleased to receive bags of candy from the team at Story Real Estate. Thank you so much for this effort and to those who donated to the candy drive. It was much appreciated. The biggest thanks of all goes to neighborhood residents who carry on this tradition. The dinosaurs and ninjas, rainbow unicorns and walking pineapples (and their parents) appreciate you so much.

Adele Person