Letters to the Editor

Keep JetSkis out of bay

Gov. Dunleavy and Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Lang: The people have spoken with passion and science to keep JetSkis out of Kachemak Bay.

If the JetSki ban still gets repealed, the state government will never hear the end of it. The vast majority of users and agency staff working and playing around Kachemak Bay are adamantly opposed to personal watercraft. Does the administration really want to go there? They have no money to enforce any regulations. They cut education and ferry services, and now set out to hurt a well-established quiet activity industry, just to cater to a small, conflicting special interest group with no argument beyond demanding access.

All people already have access to Kachemak Bay. It is the last remaining JetSki-free refuge in Alaskan marine waters. What about people’s right to find quiet in nature, and the right of marine life to be protected from 65 plus mph speed machines?

Dunleavy claims Alaska is open for business. “Quiet” is a rare, highly valuable commodity any more; why diminish this long-standing industry?

The bay already struggles. Sea star wasting disease, murre die-offs, decline of sea-lions, belugas, crab, clams, cod, halibut … We must prevent additional stress on the biodiversity of this still amazingly rich ecosystem. Letting JetSkis into Kachemak Bay goes against ADFG’s own agency’s research and findings, and its mission of responsible stewardship.

Dorla Harness

Be careful about medical district zoning

Ruth and I are out of state until May but we received mail from the Planning Department and we want to comment on the Proposed Medical District in our neighborhood. Please forward our comments to the Planning Commission.

We lived in the medical district in East Anchorage on Wesleyan Road for almost 15 years. It was zoned Residential/Office, but when we moved there our neighborhood was a residential subdivision with one side of the street 100% single family dwellings, and the other side undeveloped forest.

One year we went on vacation for two weeks and on our return the forest was gone and as development took place, to our horror, we could see that at least two office buildings were being developed. Also, about that time the 4000 square foot single family home next to us became an assisted living home.

From then on the character of our residential neighborhood changed so dramatically that we were miserable there. The office buildings were 3-story and traffic to the neighborhood increased 3-fold. (There was a 2-story building restriction in place which the builder got around by building up the ground level around three sides of the building.)

The assisted living home next door always had more vehicles parked than was legal. The noise and traffic from the people living there made it impossible to enjoy our beautifully-treed backyard. Even though we tried to be good neighbors, the owners next door were inconsiderate, so much so that my 80-year-old father, a man famous for his gentle disposition, got into a yelling argument with the owner and I had to separate them.

It was horrible. The designation of “residential/office” is the stupidest, most contrary, oxymoronic, bastardization of zoning categories that NOBODY living in a residence in one of this zones will ever be happy, or feel “at home.”

I don’t know what the solution in this case along Homer’s proposed medical district might be. But if this is an attempt to make Paul Raymond’s new surgical center align with building codes, it’s doomed to make residents in this zone unhappy with where they live, forever.

Just our thoughts.

Jim and Ruth Lavrakas

Ski team appreciates support

The Homer Mariner Ski Team, held its annual gala dinner and auction with Chef Jeff Lockwood and Nicole Arevalo on Saturday the 15th of February, it was a huge success. This is our main fundraising event and raises money for travel, supplies and grooming fees. We would like to thank everyone who came to the gala. It would not have been possible without the help of Kachemak Nordic Ski Club and our local business.

It’s a long list. Thank you to The Grog Shop, Homer Animal Friends, Makos Water Taxi, Free Spirit Wear, Homer Bookstore, Homer Saw and Cycle, Two Sisters Bakery, Jeff Szarzi Pottery, Triquetra Massage, The Art Shop Gallery, Kachemak Gear Shed, K-Bay Coffee, Homer Jeans, VBS Heating, Andrea Huyck Massage, Homer Brewing, Salmon Sisters,Grace Ridge Brewery, Alpenglow Skin Products, Taz Tally, Paul Dungan Pottery, Gregoire Construction, Boss Hogs,Beryl Air, True North Kayak Adventures, Aurora Gems, Anchorage Symphony, Alyeska Tire, Ezer Design, Saundra Hudson, Dr John Anderson and Family, Larry Cabana, The Vantrease Family.

Thank You all for your generous support.

Amy Stonorov

Project Homeless Connect was a success

On behalf of the Homer Project Homeless Connect Steering Committee, I’d like to thank all of the volunteers, vendors, service organizations, businesses and community members who gave generously of their time, talent, and treasurer. Your gifts and participation were essential to the success of the first annual Project Homeless Connect event held last month. Clients were so appreciative of the services and goods provided with such care and compassion.

The event was a total success! We had over 40 volunteers participate and eighteen vendors connect with 97 attendees of whom, 70 completed intake forms; 21 identified as homeless and 49 indicating that they were in temporary housing. Those that completed exit surveys found the event to be very helpful with all services under one roof and the many items available donated by community members, businesses and organizations such as yours.

It is our hope that the data obtained from this event will help agencies provide increased services for those facing homelessness and ultimately develop a community shelter.

We hope that you found your participation in this event rewarding and will consider making it part of your annual community service in the future. I can’t thank you enough. It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.

Sincerely,

Cinda Martin, Steering Committee Co-Chair

More thoughts on climate change

Setting the record straight on climate change: our atmosphere is becoming cooler.

Ice extent is now increasing over the arctic region. More flooding is due to cooler air. Snow pack is breaking records worldwide.

Without CO2, we would perish. The move to sequester it is based upon lies, perpetrated by the United Nations.

The condition of earth’s atmosphere is actually in lockstep with the cycles of the sun. Like the severe cooling known as the Little Ice Age, 400 years ago, our planet will be cooling off in the coming years.

Don’t be duped, Homer humans. See the cosmic perspective. Our climate is linked to our star, NOT our emissions.

Tod Tenhoff

Duffy’s Departure

Where is Duffy?

The last anyone knows is that she suddenly disappeared while walking down Pioneer Street in broad daylight. It’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, as Winston Churchill would say. An apparent daytime abduction is a unique situation for Homer. But no one can say with absolute finality that she was abducted. And no one knows what went on in Duffy’s mind the day she disappeared; or how any prescribed drug use or abstention for treating her bi-polar situation might have affected her thoughts or motives.

However, experience teaches us that the seemingly most intractable problems in life are often resolved by the simplest of explanations — if we are willing to abandon our own mental fixations and allow our imagination to soar. Remember the one about the large truck stuck under a bridge, and after the experts had pondered long and hard on an extraction process, a young boy present suggested simply deflating the tires!

So, also, one of the greatest resources this community has is the imagination of its citizens. My imaginative example is that Duffy was picked up by a snowbird acquaintance, who dropped her off elsewhere, and that person subsequently flew down to Phoenix for the winter.

But there are literally thousands of possible explanations, any one of which could be the “ah ha!” moment that provides the key to prying open the enigma of Duffy’s disappearance.

So I encourage everyone to ponder the mystery, to stretch their imagination, to develop alternative scenarios that can then be reviewed for validity.

Larry Slone

Parade was a success

What a wonderful turnout of participants and spectators for the Winter Carnival Parade! I was so impressed to see the number of people who joined us as we helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kachemak Bay State Park.

I would like to thank the Homer News for providing full coverage of the parade, with photos that truly captured the fun festivities of the day.

Another big thank you goes out to our local sponsors, who make community events like this possible. Our sponsors for this event were Homer Truffle Co., Coastline Insurance, and Bay Realty.

I would also like to say thank you to the City of Homer, the Dept. of Public Works, the Chamber staff and all the volunteers for all their hard work to make this event a safe and enjoyable day for all.

Brad Anderson, Executive Director, Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

Hockey victory was a long time coming

Congratulations to the Homer High School hockey team for their Division II State Hockey Championship. Homer Hockey has come a long way since its humble beginnings now 50 years ago. What a way to celebrate 50 years of hockey program development. To all the kids, their coaches, and supporters in the community, congrats and thanks for this wonderful accomplishment.

Homer hockey began in 1970 on Beluga Lake as part of the annual Homer Winter Carnival. I had been asked to run the program by long -time Homer resident Spud Dillion who was on the Winter Carnival Board. After a couple years on the lake Homer High School teacher Victor Andre-Jeff used some of his own funds along with a grant from the Kenai Peninsula Borough to begin construction of an outdoor hockey rink behind the high school.

The rink was designed by Victor and built in the high school shop by teacher Don Rhonda. Support for the project was also provided by Homer High School principal Tom Maughn and a few shop students and community members who assisted with construction.

The hockey program soon developed from pick-up teams on the lake to four levels of youth hockey — from mites to bantams — and the Homer Hockey Association was formed. Victor and Don designed and built a mini Zamboni to service the outdoor rink from a garden tractor, 50 gallon drum, mop, and lawn sprinkler.

It worked like a charm and was the envy of visiting coaches from the Kenai/Soldotna area. While Victor and I were the main coaches of the program we had considerable help from others in the community including current Homer mayor Ken Castner, who helped coach the goal tenders.

It was quite a few years before an indoor rink was built on the Spit and the community and school system could support a High School hockey team. But every successful school program has its’ beginnings in youth hockey where both boys and girls learn to skate and learn to play the fastest and most exciting sport there is—ice hockey.

From humble beginnings 50 years ago Homer hockey has now come full circle and a well deserved State Hockey title has been achieved.

Congrats Homer!

Loren Flagg

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