Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Oct. 8, 2020.

Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

Keep dump salvage area

One of the good things about Homer is the local waste transfer facility. In these times of impending environmental disaster it is heartening to visit the local garbage dump to see dozens of friendly citizens sorting other people’s waste for one last time before it gets ruined and buried forever by the dozer.

Salvaging from the waste transfer facility helps minimize the amount of stuff put into the landfill and more importantly improves the carbon footprint of everything removed. Every object taken out of the dump for reuse is something that doesn’t have to be made again from raw materials. There are dozens of familiar faces up there gathering everything from firewood to gold nuggets. If you haven’t witnessed it for yourself, you won’t believe what people throw away. Some day people will learn not to be insanely wasteful, but until that day we in Homer have one last line of conservation.

Our family have fixed and put back into circulation lawn mowers, bicycles, generators, exercise equipment, weed whackers and flat screen TVs. We watch others gather copper, aluminum, brass and lead to sell for recycling. I built a greenhouse out of garbage dump lexan and lumber this spring. My husband built a sawmill out of sign posts dumped by state employees. I’ve talked to artists, gardeners, machinists, tinkerers and builders — all gathering materials for their work at the dump.

On our visit recently we saw signs announcing that the top section of the dump (where most of this activity happens) will be closed to salvage on Sept. 28. I can imagine the reasons for limiting salvage, but a more responsible and better choice would be to change things at the dump to make things easier for salvagers. Provide parking. Schedule the dozing for certain hours and don’t allow salvaging during that time. Make better signs explaining where people should dump metal, yard waste and building materials. Stop clearing the salvage tent before people have time to pick there. Stockpile recyclables such as aluminum cans instead of churning the bales into the dump site.

We should welcome and encourage the activity of salvagers at the Homer dump. Recognized or not, they are environmental heroes.

Jennifer Sonnenborn

Forced to vote for Trump

It was a common theme in tin-pot dictatorships and faux democracies of the 20th century that voters would be forced to vote for the leader in power. Soldiers would guard voting booths, populations would be intimidated and high-profile figures would be strong-armed into showing public support.

It is in a similar vein that many of us who once thought ourselves on the left, or who find fault in the current president of the United States, find ourselves as well forced to vote for a man we would prefer not to support. It is as if a metaphorical bayonet is placed against our backs, marching us towards a ballot box and ticking an X on the Republican ticket. It is not, however, Trump who will be forcing us to vote in this way.

Trump may be a womanizer with accusations to his name, but he has not been shown groping and sniffing young girls in public on numerous occasions.

Trump might see support from the far right, but when was the last time they locked down America’s streets for 100 days of riots with his full and expressed support?

Trump takes a harsh stance against China and Iran, but he is the first President since Gerald Ford to not start a new military conflict in his first term. The Obama administration, who had Biden as its second in command, brought us into seven different unjustifiable wars despite a 2008 promise to bring us out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

For many of us, who under different circumstances would gladly oppose Donald Trump in his second term, the choice is very clear. Trump may be bad, but when compared to the alternative he might as well be forged from solid gold.

Robert Martin

Pier One appreciates support

Pier One Theatre would like to thank the Homer Foundation, the Willow Fund, Ashley J. Logan Fund and the Jessica M. Stevens Memorial Fund for their support of the “2020 Alternate Universe” Summer Youth Theatre Program. The program provided free instructional videos and activity packets covering a range of topics, including an introduction to the Pier One Theatre space, warm-up exercises, a paper stage and costumed paper dolls, mask making materials, an introduction to Shakespeare and role playing, and an introduction to basic lighting concepts.

The goal was to continue to reach our youngest theatre members despite COVID-19 setbacks, give them activities that could be done at home or during family outings, and to develop instructional tools that can be used long into the future. Thanks to these funds, we were able to reach about 25 children through the course of the summer with hands on packets, many more through our online content, and keep them engaged with theatrical arts.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Norton

Say no to theocracy

Hannah Arendt, who reported on the Eichmann trial after World War II, proposed that when people can no longer tell what is true and what is fact in a society, totalitarianism is the result. That includes a theocracy. A letter in the Sept. 17 issue of the Homer News was a clear illustration of that.

The letter warns that this country should honor the “Covenant with God,” or plagues, famines, pestilences, insurrection, will be the results that will end in our enemies’ rule over us. It defines covenant as a legal, formal, binding agreement between two entities. So it would follow, would it not, that as such, there should be an official document with both entity’s signatures affixed. Whether God’s signature can be confirmed for legitimacy by handwriting analysis is open to debate since no actual such authentic signature is known to exist, thus negating the legality. Such are the requirements of The Covenant with its demands of obeisance under threat of violence — a totalitarian theological construct rooted in fear and fanaticism.

In the letter, the tribes of Israel, and the Puritans, are touted. Even George Washington is described as devout, which is arguable since he was most likely a Deist like many at that time, but he realized that the Christian religion, like today, was socially and politically necessary. Like the myths of his cherry tree truth telling, and his wearing wooden teeth, fabricated by a later biographer, so would be the fantasy of Washington kneeling and kissing the Bible to receive the Presidential oath of office.

Further fantasy in the letter was that Washington was aided by the miracles of Providence, of being shot several times, but not being injured. Deists discounted miracles, e.g. the Jefferson Bible. Being shot (as opposed to shot “at”), by definition, results in injury.

Christopher Columbus is described in the letter as a “Bible Scholar” looking for the New Promised Land of Joseph and finding the indigenous people having physical traits and beliefs with the Jewish people. Believable? Did the Taíno really look like and believe like the Jewish people? This “Bible Scholar” enslaved and sold many in the name of the Holy Trinity, tortured and murdered the remnants of the Taíno left after disease, furthering the genocide of those he thought “having similar Jewish traits and beliefs.” Gold was also the objective, which then funded Spain’s wars. Cutting off the hands of Taíno that didn’t meet the quotas was common. Read the accounts of this by a Spanish priest, Bartolomé de las Casas, in his “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.”

Fake news, fake history, fake facts. Such is the “New Promised Land.”

George Harbeson

An open letter to Sen. Sullivan

Sen. Sullivan both you and Sen. McConnell made statements in 2016 regarding the argument that “The American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.” If it was true then, it must be true now. The late Sen. John McCain wrote, “Our culture isn’t the work of one race or religion” (The Restless Wave, p. 210). I would add, nor one political party.

Sen. Sullivan, we both took the same oath to support and defend the Constitution when we joined the Marine Corps (1961 and 1993 respectively). My family tree has military volunteers going back five generations. I take great offense at the denigrating remarks that President Trump has made about Sen. John McCain and other veterans. He should have been called out for those remarks.

Sen. Sullivan, if you still honor the Marine Corps values of Generals James Mattis and Lewis (Chesty) Puller, you will get out of lock step with Sen. McConnell and put the good of the country before party politics and vote to delay the selection for a new Supreme Court Justice until after the Presidential election.

Michael McCarthy

Both candidates to blame for debate free-for-all

They say that a person’s words provide only 7% of the message — voice tone 38% and body language the remainder. I’ve reviewed the televised Trump/Biden presidential debate four times, and to help set the record straight, it was Biden who drew “first blood” by interrupting Trump. He set the pattern of contentious debate by employing personal invective (not reciprocated) calling the President a “liar,” a “fool” and a “clown,” as well as making the now-infamous “shut-up, man!” statement. But other than the shut-up statement, no one noticed, because he did it without particular emphasis as part of his quiet conversational debate style, his formal Marquess of Queensbury Rules where the process plays out according to a traditional prescribed format.

It reflects a process that almost everyone — except Donald Trump — subconsciously buys into. Trump, notably however, has no regard for stodgy tradition, except a nostalgia for 1950s America. Tradition restrains his dynamism, his aggressive confrontational style and his quick mind. He lives in the moment, and the open debate format (there were no stated rules other than the initial 2-minute uninterrupted per segment criteria) released his naturally intense, confident and forthright style for a mano-a-mano with Biden, ignoring the artificial “civilizing” presence of hapless moderator Chris Matthews.

So, both candidates share the blame for the resulting free-for-all.

Larry Slone

How is it?

How is it we live in the largest state with the most resources with the second smallest population, and we have so badly mismanaged our finances? Answer: We continue to vote in Democrats/RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) who just want to spend. And when the revenue stream cannot keep up, their answer is taxes, more taxes. Prop. 1 has already been tried, remember? No, you don’t. Thank you, Gov. Sarah Palin, for the history lesson. It was our responsibility to remember it. And yet, here we are, again. Vote no on Prop. 1 in the state election, for our future.

Our spending level has gone up every year since at least 1992, irrespective of revenue. We need folks who will stop spending like drunken sailors, who will stop lying to the voters about their ideology affiliations and who care about Alaska’s future. I keep seeing those “support our teachers” signs. Huh? No, we need to support our children. Stop throwing them, and their future, under the bus.

Stop with the nonsensical “critical race theory,” 1619 project, BLM curriculum, social/gender engineering and start teaching facts/data/science/biology and the truth about the American idea. Cut public school funding and implement vouchers/choice. Simple. Works.

Beware anyone calling themselves an “Independent.” No such critter. Just code for Leftist. Vote out folks who support the nonsensical “mail-out ballots.” More room for more fraud, taking us in the wrong direction. Vote no on Prop. 2.

Here’s an idea for budget cutting, a lesson from COVID. Our reps don’t need per-diem, just Zoom. That way, they stay where their constituents can look them in the eye, and we save money.

How is it half of Americans are eager to throw away liberty for Marxism? Answer: public schools. I lived through the 1950s/1960s when the struggle was to integrate. Now, cities are burning to segregate. Vote Trump for justice.

Duane Christensen

Full PFD = big budget cuts

I get it that promising a full 1980s formula Permanent Fund Dividend and no new taxes is the easy way to attract voters. But as Alaskans, we need to know what these candidates plan to cut and what effect that would have on people and the economy. It is a sign of incompetence to make these promises without a plan on how to pay for it.

A full PFD without new taxes will require a slew of new cuts. Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his backers in the Legislature saw no problem slashing the budgets of the University of Alaska, the Marine Highway system, health care, senior services, road services and more. They didn’t have to figure out how to provide services without money.

It is up to us to elect people who understand how budgets affect lives, that state money leverages federal money, and that as the state grows, services must also grow, and with them the state budget. All of us love checks in the mail and no taxes. But if we want to be a state that attracts large and small businesses and supports healthy families, we need a representative prepared to work to make that a reality.

Kelly Cooper has municipal legislative experience with budgets, communicates with borough residents and understands the importance of working across party lines to figure out how to make government work better. Elections are our opportunity to make changes. I encourage all voters to check out Kelly Cooper for State House from District 31.

Sincerely,

Lynn Takeoka Spence

Abbott family is grateful

We want to thank the many people who reached out to us after our brother Findlay Abbott died on Aug. 17. We appreciate the EMTs, the Homer Police, and Jane at the hospital; Jeff Lockwood for his Standing Ovations tribute; relatives who helped; and the dozens of his friends who stopped to give their condolences and tell us stories.

For those who would like to post a story, go to www.findlayabbott.website. That will take you to a site so you can sign in and add your thoughts.

Gratefully, Findlay’s five sisters:

Gretchen, Becky, Phoebe, Melissa and Meg

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