Michael O'Meara's cartoon for the Nov. 5, 2020, issue.

Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

City appreciated for keeping HERC open

Thanks to Homer Community Recreation, the City of Homer and the Homer City Council for keeping the HERC open for recreational purposes. As a 72-year-old resident, and an avid Pickleball player, I appreciate the opportunity for safe, indoor activities. As one who’s also concerned with COVID-19 cases in our community, I appreciate the extra steps the City has taken to keep us safe while playing indoors — the additional commercial fans, hand sanitizers and outlined protocols.

Janie Leask

Editor’s note: This letter was written before the City of Homer closed the HERC on Oct. 29 because of a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Great Misnomer

On Oct. 17, an African American man was attacked by radical extremists. He was peacefully demonstrating in the streets of San Francisco when several white individuals assaulted him, knocking out several of his teeth and permanently destroying his dental health. They called him the n-word while they did it, a classic sign of racial hatred.

That man was Philip Anderson, and while the media may have conditioned you to expect he was attacked by one of the white supremacist militias they keep fear mongering about, he himself was a Trump supporter — and the racists attacking him were aligned with antifa.

Members of antifa will often claim that membership in antifa does not exist, that is just an action you take against fascists. While antifa does take hostile actions against fascists in the United States on the rare occasions they show up (the KKK and the Aryan brotherhood have around 2,000 and 15,000 total members each according to the FBI), the overwhelming majority of those they take action against are not racists or fascists.

According to people who call themselves antifa, fascism is essentially anything to the right of American liberalism. It is the belief that borders should exist. It is opposition to socialized healthcare. It is the belief that all humans of all races and sexes are equal, so we should not penalize people of one race or sex to benefit people of another. It is the belief that all people should be allowed to speak their minds, that no idea is illegal and that no man or woman should be silenced for saying something that the groups disagrees with.

In short, anti-fascist is a misnomer. They do not oppose fascism — they oppose a representative republic. They oppose freedom of speech and expression, they oppose American culture, and they will commit acts of evil against those who stand in their way and they will express vital racism against those who dare stray from the set racial stereotypes they lay on minorities like Mr. Anderson.

Antifa is not anti-fascist — it is anti-American.

Robert Martin

Anchor Point seniors appreciate Homer Foundation

The Anchor Point Senior Citizens Inc. (APSCI) has been working hard to keep our seniors and residents connected during this time of pandemic. Every day APSCI touches base with community members to assess needs and work hard to find solutions. Since the full closures in March, APSCI has provided thousands of pounds of fresh fish, produce, fruit, and more to the community at no charge every week and the kitchen has been busy with providing takeout meals.

APSCI would like to publicly express our thanks and appreciation to the Homer Foundation for their generous financial support. We are particularly thankful that the Homer Foundation has reached out to support APSCI as a neighboring agency of Anchor Point. Networking draws our communities closer and with cohesiveness comes a greater sense of security and support. The Homer Foundation has routinely checked on our agency, to ensure that we may continue to provide many services to the community of Anchor Point. For this we are grateful.

The Homer Foundation has also contributed to our fundraising efforts towards converting to natural gas. This conversion will save us thousands of dollars in heating bills over the years. This conversion to natural gas has been a discussion in our organization for quite some time and we are now on step to accomplish this. Even the pandemic setbacks will not deter APSCI from moving toward sustainability.

We are very appreciative of the support from the Homer Foundation and the community.

Sincerely,

Cindy Burns, Anchor Point Senior Center

Homer Foundation supports Bunnell

Bunnell Street Arts Center sparks artistic inquiry, innovation and equity to strengthen the physical, social and economic fabric of Alaska. We are grateful for an Immediate Response Grant this year from the Homer Foundation, empowering us to do this work. A $2,500 grant from Homer Foundation enabled us to promptly replace one of our computers. Bunnell strives to be a responsive organization that supports artists and connects isolated audiences even in times of pandemic. We aim for weekly newsletters and multiple social media publications.

In addition to producing these posts, the media computer also streamlines marketing/media/design and inventory management. It archives the documentation of all Bunnell events, and manages all art inventory of the 70+ artists in Bunnell’s retail gallery. This computer has supported one of four staff members at Bunnell Street Arts Center. With all the online demands of Bunnell operations made more intense by the pandemic, we needed this computer to maintain earned revenue through Bunnell’s online store, promote programs including Zoom artist talks, weekly conversations and online workshops.

Thankfully, with support from Homer Foundation, we promptly replaced this computer and proceeded with operations almost seamlessly. We are all fortunate for the ways Homer Foundation strengthens our community, connecting visionary donors with non-profits so we can achieve our missions, especially in times of pandemic.

Sincerely,

Asia Freeman, Artistic Director, Bunnell Street Arts Center

Value quiet in nature

The Value of Quiet. How critical is it for our well being to be linked at times with freedom from the constant, never ceasing barrage of Manmade sounds? How shocking is it to have these moments of silence shattered?

The importance of natural sound, free from made noise, has been a recurring theme throughout the 7-year rewrite of the Kachemak Bay State Parks Management Plan that is nearing its draft release with intent to adopt by the current administration.

The Kachemak Bay State Park Citizens Advisory Board (KBSPCAB) has yet to make a clear response to the issue. This Nov. 10 meeting intends to address this through discussion and a proposed resolution.

The Meeting for the KBSPCAB will be a call in telephone meeting. The meeting is for Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m. The call in number is 1-907-202-7104, then type in 778847665# to join the meeting. Phones with a mute feature are a definite plus to reduce background noise.

This is a resolution aimed to define the value of the natural soundscape in Parks. This resolution also outlines some of the major issues with the particular Noise issues surrounding helicopter tour operations as well as mitigation and management strategy options. Now is the opportunity to be heard.

The resolution can be found at kbaysoundscape.org. Click on the resolution tab to see the document, read supporting and informative articles on sound / helicopters in Park Lands and also to put in comments. While comments on the website will be made available to board members and Parks staff, calling in during the meeting is more direct and you will be able to hear the discussion and have an opportunity to comment officially.

For kbaysoundscape.org. this is the beginning. Over this next period of time this website has the goal of cataloging and capturing sound of Kachemak Bay, the Park lands and the broader Lower Cook Inlet region with pictures and video of natural spaces without human made noise. To create podcasts about the natural and cultural history of our area, the life stories of local ecological knowledge of long term area residents is also a project goal, The objective is to help bring awareness to our community about the importance of our natural soundscape and to celebrate sound as an important dimension of protecting the wildness of our home.

Thankyou,

Jeffrey Lee, board member, Kachemak Bay State Park Citizens Advisory Board

World Arts Fest support appreciated

The dust has settled from our first virtual Alaska World Art Festival and we’ve come up for air to say how grateful we are to all of the folks who helped make the festival possible. Our core team included finance manager Linda Gorman, graphics/marketing/web developer Debi Bodett, Zoom technician Cathy Stingley, and me.

Our stunning literary program could not have happened without coordination by Nancy Lord and support from the Atwood Foundation. 100 performers and presenters representing more than 20 countries brought art and culture to our virtual stage this year. Our Alaskan audiences were joined by attendees from across the globe.

We are thankful for the support of our major art-loving donors and sponsors: Land’s End Resort, the Homer Foundation (Opportunity Fund), Homer Art & Frame Co, Halibut Cove Live, AK CARES, the Atwood Foundation, KBBI Radio, the Homer Chamber of Commerce, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

I am fortunate to live in a loving and generous community that embraces making global connections through culture and the arts a reality.

Thank you,

Sally Oberstein, Producer of the Alaska World Arts Festival

Alaska Chess appreciates city support

Alaska Chess would like to thank the City of Homer for its kind grant in helping us teach chess during trying times. As a result of their assistance, we can give parents the tools to help teach their children. If your child would like a free chess board, or would like to learn chess online for free, please contact Andy Haas at yatra@ak.net.

Andy Haas, for Alaska Chess

Friends of the Homer Library thank for support

The Friends of the Homer Library would like to sincerely thank the City of Homer, Kachemak City, the Alaska Humanities Forum, and the Homer Foundation for its help this year. Their great kindness has upgraded our friendly bookmobile and has helped the library retool its programs to better serve us.

Andy Haas, for the Friends of the Homer Public Library

Bunnell is grateful for keeping resiliency through arts

As we strive to stay safe, nonprofits source strength in our community. We recognize the City of Homer’s vital contribution to Homer’s nonprofit sector every year. Although it’s small a fraction of our annual budgets, city support leverages investments by individuals, foundations and other granting agencies. A recent and powerful example: Rasmuson Foundation has approved the City of Homer’s application for the Matching Arts and Cultural Grant Program. The city will receive $50,000 from the Foundation and will be responsible for divvying it up equitably between the eligible organizations. These opportunities would be lost without the City of Homer’s vision. We are extremely grateful to the City of Homer Grants Program through The Homer Foundation.

The arts and culture sector builds resilience. Andrea Noble, Executive Director of Alaska State Council on the Arts, reminds us, “As we adapt to the impact of almost 10 months of pandemic life, the arts are even more integral to Alaska’s resilience and recovery strategies in communities that are thinking about livability, wellness, safety, and our cultural and economic future.”

This truth reverberates across our nation. Americans for the Arts surveys show 81% believe the arts are a “positive experience in the world,” 73% believe the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 69% believe the arts “lift me beyond everyday experiences.”

We cultivate resilience through creative adaptations. Listen to our podcast, initiated with the pandemic in March, at bunnellarts.org/inspiration-and-adaptation. Browse our online gallery at www.bunnellarts.org, or stop by to see what artists are making. We open six days a week to mask-wearing visitors. On Monday and Tuesday Bunnell is open to individuals by appointment, particularly vulnerable individuals who wish to experience art in a safe environment. Wednesday through Saturday, Bunnell is open to the general public, 11 a.m to 5 p.m.

Sincerely,

Asia Freeman, Artistic Director; Adele Person, Executive Director; Bunnell Street Arts Center

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