Share the Spirt update

Dear community members;

If you are in need of assistance providing for your household this holiday season, please visit a local human service agency where you or a member of your household receive assistance. Or, speak with your pastor; they will provide you with a Share the Spirit Application and sign it for our verification. Next, drop the completed application in the collection box at Wells Fargo (this is only a drop off spot, not a place to pick up an application or to ask the staff for assistance). Then wait patiently for a confirmation notice to come by mail. That notice will tell you when and where to pick up your household’s food or food and gift basket.

For all members of the community who would like to be involved in this area wide project, listed here are events and dates so that you can be involved in this year’s program:

1) The annual Spaghetti Feed will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Homer Elks Lodge. Volunteers are needed and may leave their name & number at 235-7466, to get on the schedule. Everyone is encouraged to have lunch or dinner with us and enjoy the wonderful local entertainment, food and community spirit.

2) Gift trees are scattered around town. Simply choose one or more of the paper ornaments off a tree, follow the printed instructions (with special attention to the return dates), buy the requested gift and return it wrapped and tagged to the tree. Trees are located at Kachemak Gear Shed, Ulmer’s, Homer’s Jeans, Homer Bookstore, the banks and, new this year, Captain’s Chest Toys and Flying Wheel Coffee & Gift at the Homer Airport.

3) Muscles and trucks will be needed at Safeway to transport the bulk food to Homer High School at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18.

4) Basket packing and gift wrapping will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the high school commons, Friday, Dec. 21. Remember: “many hands make light work.”

5) Hams, turkeys and other types of meat can be dropped off at the high school that same day.

6) Or … much needed monetary donations may be dropped off at Wells Fargo Bank or mailed to P.O.Box 3218, Homer, AK 99603.

Share the Spirit wishes you all the best. We thank you each for your participation, and ask that you always remember to Share the Spirit.

Kelly Glidden, co-chair, basket program; Shari Daugherty, Basket Program advisor; Jayne Locklar president; Jonathan Adams, co-chair, Share the Spirit

Pay attention

Did anyone miss the symbolism of the earthquake occurring simultaneously with last week’s Homer News announcement of Hilcorp’s local seismic testing?

Jo Going

Find a quiet center for Christmas

There’s a wonderful hymn/song called “Come and Find the Quiet Center.” As the pace picks up nearing Christmas, this message speaks volumes. What goes hand-in-hand with it is a quiet, indoor, meditative labyrinth walk, followed by Compline (a short evening worship service). This is offered at 6:30 p.m. every Saturday evening in December leading up to Christmas, at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church on 619 Sterling Highway. Please consider this your invitation. It is truly the most wonderful way to come and find the quiet center.

Nell Gustafson

Silent hero

One of our own is going to have a birthday. This Dec. 20 she will be celebrate her life in Alaska. She came to Alaska in 1974, having been offered a position at the Alaska Native Hospital in Anchorage. Her job was floor nurse, and very quickly became the friend of patient and peer alike.

Her Anchorage residency provided her the opportunity to become the Anchorage Director of the Alaska Nursing Association too be followed by a position with Alaska Methodist University as a continuing educational instructor, then too a position at UAA in continuing education. She became familiar to the Alaska health care industry as a dedicated Care Giver and friend.

One evening in I believe it was 1975/76 she was shooting “touch and go’s” at Merrill Field in her plane, a Maule M-4, when the Control Tower came on and said: “2013 U (uniform).” She came back with “Roger Tower.” The tower then said, “2013 U you have just made the 1,000,000th landing at Merrill Field.”

In 1978 she mover to Homer, and not having a job spent a period of time writing Continuing Education Home Study Classes for an Oregon firm which was providing home study courses to nurses. She also spent some time as a school nurse. Her desire for education prompted her to seek additional schooling herself. She completed a masters in education, a masters in public health, and a masters in the UAA nurse practitioner program.

She was the face of Alaska Public Health in Homer for more than 25 years, and during that tenure brought public health and education to four Old Believer Villages, and dozens of Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, and Western Alaska Native villages. Serving rural Alaska she not only met the needs for health care, but went beyond the norms, identifying not before recognized health conditions so rare that they were only know to exist in two other places in the world. She brought to Homer the Public Health Fair, gathering the medical community for the first three years as facilitator, then turning it over to the Kachemak Bay Rotary, who have carried it forward to the annual event it is today.

After retiring from Public Health she was unable to relax and started a private practice as a nurse practitioner. So as you see her and her truck load of supplies en route to serve her fellow Alaskans, wish her a happy birthday. If you haven’t figured out who I am talking about, it is Donna Fenske, health care giver extraordinaire.

John Fenske

Seaton, Galvin aren’t Democrats

People may not be aware of the change that has occurred in the Democratic Party. People who are not Democrats can run under the party’s umbrella as an Independent or Non-partisan. The party is opening up to be more inclusive.

Paul Seaton ran as a Non-partisan and Alyse Galvin ran as an Independent.

Neither are Democrats, but they were the most popular candidates so the Democrats ran them. The party has the mechanism in place to do so. Both were in control of their own campaigns and raised funds independently.

Paul Seaton left the Republican Party, but did not become a Democrat. As we know from years of service, he’s an intelligent, pragmatic, reasonable person willing to compromise, working across party lines, to reach the best solutions for the people. He called himself Non-partisan. The Democrats allowed him to run on their ticket.

Alyse Galvin was not beholden to either party. She won in the primary against the Democratic candidate so the Democrats allowed her to run on their ticket. She called herself Independent.

I can almost see there being only one party, but the big-monied corporations want their own.

Lela Ryterski

Thanks for addiction resource help

We would like to thank the community of Homer for the tremendous support last week for the REEL Recovery Film Night, the Loss, Grief & Addiction Workshop, and the various presentations we were privileged to participate in. Many thanks to Homer Family Theatre and South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services for supporting our idea to host the film, “Beautiful Boy,” at a discounted rate. Special thanks to Anette Avant of Skeletal Connections/Kenai Physical Therapy, the Homer United Methodist Church, Southern Kenai Peninsula Opioid Task Force, Dr. Sarah Spencer, Aaron Sechler, The Bearded Sister, Golden Willow Retreat, SVT Health & Wellness, Homer Flex School, Hospice of Homer and most especially to Dr. Ted Wiard and the amazing parents from the Parent-To-Parent Support Group.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank our daughter Madalyn for giving us hope during hopeless times and our daughter Megan for showing us the strength of love.

Rob and Annie Wiard

Update emergency plans

Friday’s earthquake could have been so much worse, and I’m so thankful that it was not. Not only was damage minimal, but for those that were impacted, it was great to see us all work together to help repair and rebuild. It was a true reminder that we must always be prepared for mother nature. It also showed us how truly UNprepared we in Homer are should an actual tsunami head our way.

Last year, I wrote letters to the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and local emergency offices, stating my concerns, but while polite in response, they did not address the issues. And what were those issues, you may ask?

How about the fact that while a tsunami alert is issued and everybody is urged to leave their homes and jobs, and get to high ground, and tune into their local radio station, etc. — we’ve all heard the drill blaring across each month at testing time — There is never an “all clear” issued. How are we supposed to know that the wave is not hitting? Oh yeah, the local radio station, (assuming it is still operational). Who owns radios anymore? The people with cars, oh yeah, not everybody has one of those either.

Good thing we have our cell phones, so that social media can tell us what we are supposed to know, after all the radio stations don’t seem to have any details, or they have been knocked off the air as well. Good thing the internet didn’t go down (we all know that “never” happens), and good thing the cell towers were still standing, because without all that modern technology operating at its peak performance, we were quite simply “dead in the water” — thankfully, only as an analogy and not from a true tsunami.

I will give credit to the school system which seemed to keep a level head and kept the children safe, but quite frankly I am very disappointed that we as a community have to get our emergency safety information from our little hand-held devices rather than our loud speaker system and emergency personnel. The real emergency is going to happen when panic sets in because the cell phones don’t work.

I urge the borough to step up to a more current and updated emergency plan. What is the borough’s or state’s plan if two main things actually happen: the internet goes down and cell towers go down.

Tell me: What do we do?

Jonnie Yager

Don’t strip mine the seas

This letter was inspired by the Nov. 15 “Fish Factor” by Laine Welch and the article next to that column “Fishermen fined for killing sea lions.” First I want to say that I am not anti-fishing. I am anti-strip mining the oceans where 95 percent of the oceans are over-fished, because this is solely due to pure greed. Here is what I believe happens to one’s mindset when he/she decides to become a fisher person.

They buy (go into debt) a boat, then purchase (go into debt) those pricey IFQs. Then they set out to sea having to catch as much as they possibly can in order to meet that debt load. Eventually they come to believe that because they paid all that money the ocean and its fish belong to them, so when a sea lion eats salmon, by God, those monsters are stealing my fish — bang, bang.

But they forget something important. Earth was designed so that every living thing depends for its life on other living things and those sea lions, sea otters and whales have peacefully existed with the ocean for millions of years, that is until modern man arrived, now fishing factories are stripping the food chain down to nothing. When herring season opens whole schools of herring are caught in one net set, then adding insult to injury the herring are striped of their eggs and discarded as useless.

The next step is to strip the eggs from the kelp, thus guaranteeing that school’s extinction. So what do the whales eat now? Well, since the ocean is almost barren, they follow the fishing boats (long liners) and attempt to steal back their fish because the boat has fish-finding sonar that works better than theirs.

The next complaint is those greedy over-populating sea otters eating all the sea cucumbers and geoduck clams. While the sea otter has to eat every day, I have never seen any of them catching tons of them all at once, thus emptying that area of having any at all. Note that 170 divers collected 1.7 million pounds of sea cucumbers and 700,000 pounds of geoduck clams, yet it’s the sea otter’s fault that we cannot find any of them, so — bang, bang — damn greedy sea otters.

I wonder just how many whales, sea lions, and sea otters are killed when the less savory fishermen (Note, that almost all fishermen carry a rifle on their boat) think that nobody is looking like those guys from Cordova.

I would like to suggest that all of our fisher people buy and read a copy of Farley Mowatt’s book “Sea of Slaughter” (1984 Little, Brown and Co.) which was banned in the USA when it was first published in Canada.

At the rate we’re going in strip mining the seas, it won’t be long before the sea food menu list is jellyfish.

Wishing ya’all good fishing,

George Trudeau, Anchor Point