Letters to the Editor

Water is life

Yesterday evening a call came from Defend Bristol Bay. The lovely voice on the other end asked if I would call Sen. Dan Sullivan and ask he request EPA to veto Pebble Mine. “Yes.”

Next moment she links me to Mr. Sullivan’s voice mail in Washington, D.C. His greeting tells me he loves to hear from Alaskans.

So I say, “Our wild sockeye salmon are too precious to put in harm’s way. There are numerous mining disasters around the world that have taken out fisheries, river systems, villages, hundreds of indigenous people, devastating eco-systems, wild life, birds, and critters of all kinds that have been evolving for millions of years. … People come to Alaska because Alaska reminds them of how the world used to be.”

This early abnormally hot summer a huge fuel tank ruptured, spilling 20,000 tons of diesel in Norilsk North Siberia, (Russia) contaminating rivers flowing into Lake Pyasino and headed towards Arctic Ocean’s Kara Sea. Preliminary assessment blamed melting permafrost.

The last coat fired plant in Norway was just flooded out by an unusually hot summer, resulting in melting the glacier above and flooding the coal plant, never to open again.

Who is water? What is life? Let’s make water a corporation with rights. Head waters will make a great CEO.

There has never been a mining disaster cleaned up. No habitat restored back to pristine conditions.

Carol King would say, “I feel the earth move under my feet. I see the tailings dam come tumbling down.”

Conservation is humanity caring about the future.

Speak out for sockeye salmon, water, life.

Water is life.

Sarah LaQue

Thanks to Save-U-More for COVID safety

We would very much like to thank Mr. Valentine Caspaar, owner of Save-U-More, for instituting the mandatory mask policy at his store and for his letter to the Homer News several weeks ago explaining the policy and his reasoning. He is willing to lose business to protect his workers and shoppers at his store. This was a brave step in a town where some belligerent people not only refuse this simple step to avoid infecting others with a serious disease, but also harangue those employees who try to enforce this policy.

What can these people be thinking? The science has shown that if a strict mask policy and physical distancing were universal then the virus could be largely controlled in the U.S. by fall. Mr. Caspaar has done his part, and since significant minorities of Homer citizens refuse to wear masks, it is now up to the other commercial establishments to follow his example in order to keep their employees as well as the citizens in our town safe.

Susan McLane and Hal Smith, M.D.

Thanks for making HPL@2020 a success

Dear Editor,

The Homer Public Library would like to thank Homer families, the Homer Foundation, the Friends of the Library, the Homer Emblem Club, the Homer Food Pantry, and the Homer Bookstore for a successful Summer@HPL 2020. With their support, we were able to provide storytimes, Activity to Go kits, virtual programs, a LEGO Contest, the StoryWalk, forever books through B.O.B. the bookmobile, Grab and Go food bags for kids and teens, and the annual reading challenge – all at no cost. Homer continues to be a community that supports reading and learning for young people all year round.

We would also like to thank the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and KBBI for partnerships that helped us offer these accessible learning experiences for youth. Alongside many community organizations, we aimed to create a web of opportunities for families navigating the Pandemic and all that it entails. Summer@HPL youth made live comics, learned to code with Javascript, built with LEGOs, joined in for storytime, learned American Sign Language, explored new ideas and skills at home, and read a lot! There were many “I did it!” moments and even a few laughs along the way.

Look out for the many young readers around town who will be showing off their cool Summer@HPL prize t-shirts in the coming weeks. Be sure to tell them congratulations on their accomplishments!


Claudia Haines, Youth Services Librarian, Homer Public Library

Cox doesn’t understand fisheries

If you are active or interested in Alaska fisheries, I suggest you read John Cox’s Point of View piece called “Remodeling Alaska’s Fishing Industry” in the Aug. 12 Homer News. John Cox is a candidate for Senate District P seat. While he feels a need to propose improvements to Alaska fishery management, he appears to have little understanding of the topic. To be fair, Mr. Cox admits that he “didn’t study in wildlife biology, nor possess a fish and wildlife management degree,” but I would have hoped that he would have talked to knowledgeable fishermen or fishery managers before formulating and publishing his “proposals.”

Constituents expect a clear message from candidates for a state senate seat. His ideas are a vague word-salad of misunderstood fishery concepts and rudimentary suggestions that don’t address the real complexity of Alaska salmon management. Although one of his “proposals” is to ensure salmon escapement, that has been the basic harvest strategy used to manage salmon in Alaska for 40-plus years. His misguided concern over “the spike of nitrogen released into the water” by spawning salmon is embarrassing.

Perhaps the thorniest issue in Alaska fishery management is allocation of the resource among competing users, which he fails to mention at all. If fishery management is important to you, I urge you to support a candidate who is knowledgeable about Alaska fisheries, knows what he is talking about, and can articulate his ideas — clearly not Mr. Cox.

Scott Meyer

Grace Ridge supports hockey

Grace Ridge Brewing Company once again contributes to Homer Hockey Association. Don and Sherry Stead not only make great beer and hard seltzer, but make all who stop in, well, this year, stop on the porch, welcome and “at home.” They support the Homer Community through exhibits by local artists, and each month tips collected are donated to one of Homer’s nonprofits. Homer Hockey Association is “small town hockey” but we could say we are “big heart” hockey because of businesses like Grace Ridge.

On behalf of all our members and users of the Kevin Bell Arena, thank you.

Melanie Dufour, Homer Hockey Association Board Member

No change at the library

To the Homer Community,

Homer has always had a free, fine library. Since July Homer has a fine-free library.

That’s right, you no longer need to bring pockets of quarters to pay fines, duck into the stacks when staff passes if you didn’t, wish you could take out a book but resort to speed reading because your check-out privilege has been suspended due to unpaid fines. We have an excellent staff that works hard to meet everyone’s needs, and there’s no need to sour that fine-freeling for dimes.

We still ask that you take your obligation to return books seriously. And if you’re not making progress, please return the book. If you lose a book you still need to pay for it. But we’re not going to tell a preschooler she can’t check out picture books because she hasn’t paid overdue fines or have some senior slide through a stop sign on a snowy day because he was trying to return a book before it was overdue. We do take donations for living fine-free, but fines are so out.

Once COVID passes we hope you’ll duck in. Till then you can use computers or browse the stacks by reserving a slot. Call 235-3180 to reserve a time. (Times are 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. Please wash your hands and wear a mask.)

Gordy Vernon, for the Library Advisory Board