Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Possibly eternal gratitude

I would like to express my appreciation to all the folks that have been willing to brave the perilous journey from Anchorage in order to walk around our stores unmasked. Initial results from the local antibody testing show that there has not yet been any significant number of presymptomatic, asymptomatic or recovered residents in our town.

This means that the concept of “herd immunity” is not an option for our safety. Instead we must either remain isolated and wait for a vaccine, trust that medicines will be developed and be effective, or know that we will eventually be exposed to the virus. The hope is that a slow, gradual exposure through masking and distancing will avoid overwhelming surges and “herd culling.”

Please continue to do your part to keep that drastic scenario from happening by protecting your neighbors and they will do the same for you.

Bill Bell

HEA System Delivery Charge is a flimflam

To continue our search for understanding, re. the back page article in the February 2020 Homer Electric Association Kilowatt Courier. The fifth paragraph deals with the System Delivery Charge (SDC), calling it a “fairer cost recovery.” A picture always helps (see right).

The legend for this figure is the bell shape is the distribution curve of electrical consumption, kilowatt hours are plotted on the X-axis, members (meters) are plotted on the Y-axis. The cross-hatched area beneath the X-axis represents the customer charge. The small blot in the lower left-hand corner is the SDC. Note that with a two-line rate schedule, both the blot and the cross-hatched area would disappear, yielding a clean bell.

An under-user’s perspective follows. In October 2010, the HEA manager and minions corrupted the system and a public official, the Attorney General, for the express purpose of getting the SDC into the rate schedule. The SDC is the sale of imaginary kilowatt hours. It is my contention that the sale of imaginary kilowatt hours is blatantly fraudulent. Thus, we have the situation of the manager et al. corrupting the system so they could perpetrate this fraud. It’s been perpetuated for 10 years and they conspire to keep it going.

HEA is running a fine, delicate flimflam out the back door, selling imaginary kilowatt hours to under users, a deft heft. Enough for now.


Tom Maloney

Time to rescind health mandates

A month or so ago Mayor Ken Castner stated that the coronavirus threat was “really scary!” Based upon media reports of impending doom, I agreed. And so, apparently, did Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Out of fear for Alaskan’s lives he imposed severe restrictions on business and group social activities in order to flatten the curve and delay until later the full health implications of the virus.

So here we are, two months later, and the virus has not had even remotely the deleterious community health effect many of us had feared, and there’s no indication that it will in the future, either. Hospital beds designated for coronavirus patients sit empty and we now have enough knowledge and understanding of the virus to keep them mostly that way.

But what’s the cost to society of maintaining this high-keyed restrictive posture? That’s the million-dollar question, and it can’t be answered without considering some “rational” numbers to balance out our fear factor. In the preceding two months approximately 540 Alaskans have died from typical terminal health conditions such as cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer; nine have died from COVID-19. Indications are that those nine were mostly older and suffered from one or more comorbidities of a potential life-threatening nature.

I think it’s time to accelerate rescinding the state-mandated restrictions, consistent with the health system’s capability to adequately respond to additional COVID19 “pop-up” hospitalizations.

Larry Slone

Time to find out if Gov. Kemp is right

Many people believe that the most important thing is safety. Safety is important, but so is our livelihoods and our country’s economy. We’ve been on safety since at least March 1 and now I think it is time to find out if Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is right. I believe he is.

Ray Dawson

Be counted in the 2020 census

Census results shape the future of our communities, as census data informs how $675 billion a year in federal funds are distributed in Alaska for health clinics, road repair, education, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years.

Our Kenai Peninsula Borough communities are lagging in filling out the census: Kenai 41.8%, Soldotna 44.6%, Homer 31.0%, and Seward at a dismal 20.9%, and Seldovia at 10.5%.

The census is easy to fill out for self-response online, by phone, or by mail.

Online: 2020CENSUS.GOV

Phone: English and Spanish Language hours of operation: Customer Service Representatives are available every day from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Eastern time (3 a.m. to 11 p.m. Alaska time) on the following phone lines:

• English (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-330-2020

• Spanish (for 50 states and Washington, D.C.): 844-468-2020

• English (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-418-2020

• Spanish (for Puerto Rico residents): 844-426-2020

• TDD (Telephone Display Device): 844-467-2020

All other 59 language phone numbers can be found at https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html

Language Help can be found at: https://2020census.gov/en/languages.html

Steps are already being taken to reactivate field offices beginning June 1 in preparation for the resumption of field data collection operations as quickly as possible following June 1 for in-person census collection.

Online, phone and mailed self-responses continue throughout the data collection process.

The revised schedule due to COVID-19 is March 12 – Oct. 31. For more information, call the Census Public Information Office at 301-763-3030 or email pio@census.gov.

Be Counted. Please fill out the census.


Cathleen Rolph, Central Kenai Peninsula League of Women Voters

How to counter pandemic stress

Dear Homer Community,

In light of the COVID-19 restrictions, I would like to offer several methods to counter the stress and anxiety of our situation. With all that is happening, we need to recognize and address the adverse effects on our emotional and mental well-being.

Mainstream and social media are bombarding us with information, not all of which is accurate, which is why it is essential to limit our exposure to the continual onslaught of sensationalism. While it may be tempting to stay always updated, the constant stress this causes is not healthy.

Social distancing does not mean social isolation. It is possible to keep our distance while still enjoying the natural splendor surrounding us, and using the various technological platforms to stay in touch with loved ones, family, and friends can have a significant impact on our well-being.

Another useful method is directing our focus. It is easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of the situation, so being mindful of that tendency and countering it by focusing on the positive is essential to maintaining a healthy mindset. Focus is especially important when dealing with problems we have no control over. Focusing on what we can control rather than what we cannot, can significantly reduce our stress and anxiety.

Stress, Positive Emotion, and Coping: Lastly, meditation, prayer or mindfulness can help the mind and body relax and focus. Research has shown that doing so, even briefly, can release stress and anxiety and have immediate benefits.

By limiting the negative information we subject ourselves to, staying in touch with those important to us, focusing on the positive and things within our control, and taking the time to be mindful, we can reduce the effects of chronic stress and anxiety.


Tobin J. Greywolf, student, Kachemak Bay Campus-UAA

Special times – special thanks

The Homer Hockey Association, which operates the Kevin Bell Arena, would like to thank the City of Homer Grants Program for providing the funding that allowed the Homer Foundation to include our organization in its support efforts this year.

Like everyone, our members have had to make hard choices in this challenging spring. We joined the local effort to keep our community safe by canceling two tournaments and closing the rink prematurely. Not only did this impact our budget, but it prevented us from fully celebrating the successes of our programs and skaters this year. One of these successes was the Homer High School Mariner Hockey team capturing their first Alaska State Championship.

We feel fortunate to be included in the City of Homer Grants Program disbursements. The support the the Homer Foundation disperses, on the grants program behalf. throughout our community helps to magnify the efforts of all the volunteers and staff of the many non-profit organizations that we are lucky to have in Homer.

We look forward to our traditional opening in the fall and hope to see you all, happy and healthy, on the ice next year.

Sincere thanks,

Charlie Stewart for the Homer Hockey Association/Kevin Bell Arena Board of Directors

Celebrate Mrs. McLean’s career

Paul Banks Parents and Alumni,

This year marks the 31st and final year of Jeri McLean being a classroom teacher at Paul Banks Elementary. She has made a difference in many lives around Homer. Please help us celebrate her illustrious career by sending a funny note or “Classic Jeri” story.

As many of you know, this school year has not ended the way we planned. Teachers have had to adjust their instruction to be entirely online. Mrs. McLean dove head first into using this new instructional platform. She has continued to deliver instruction and meaningful interaction with her students on a daily basis. Her presence at Paul Banks is going to be greatly missed.

Please send your notes to: Paul Banks Elementary, %Mrs. McLean Celebration, 1340 East End Road, Homer, AK 99603.

Or email them to epederson@kpbsd.org.

Thank you,

Eric Pederson, Principal, Paul Banks Elementary School

Show some love by wearing a mask

(To the tune of the song “Love is in the Air”)

Love is in the air, every sight and every sound,

Germs are in the air everywhere we look around.

And I don’t know why some folks are foolish,

I can’t see why some aren’t wise,

But these’s something that I must believe in

When it comes to the corona virus

Love is in the air in the hearts of everyone

But love includes protecting our neighbors and loved ones.

So there’s something that we can all do

To slow the spread of this new disease

Wear a face mask and keep your distance

When you’re outside your home with your friends.

I don’t want what you might have

You don’t want what I might have

Oh no, oh no, oh no

Love is in the air with the rising of the sun

This pandemic we have now is a pain for everyone

And I don’t know if you are deluded

I don’t know if you see the facts

That thousands are already dying

Leaving loved ones bereft and downcast

Oh no, oh no, oh no.

I don’t like face masks and distancing

Any more than liberty groups do

but if we can all do this small act

There’ll be many less deaths in the queue.

Let’s keep love in the air

Love in the air, love in the air!

Please don’t let Homer become another statistic as a highly infected town and please try to go the extra mile of wisdom by disregarding your constitutional rights to assemble in close contact for just a little while. We can all stay 6 feet apart and still have fun together, can’t we? Please?

Randi Iverson, Sadie Cove

In this figure, the bell shape is the distribution curve of electrical consumption, kilowatt hours are plotted on the X-axis, members (meters) are plotted on the Y-axis. The cross-hatched area beneath the X-axis represents the customer charge. The small blot in the lower left-hand corner is the SDC. (Graph by Tom Maloney)

In this figure, the bell shape is the distribution curve of electrical consumption, kilowatt hours are plotted on the X-axis, members (meters) are plotted on the Y-axis. The cross-hatched area beneath the X-axis represents the customer charge. The small blot in the lower left-hand corner is the SDC. (Graph by Tom Maloney)

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