Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Nov. 19, 2020.

Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

Pier One gives thanks

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, Executive Director, Pier One Theatre Inc.

We are all in this together – let’s act on it

The presidential election is over. Now is the time to dismiss the mask wearing as a political statement for or against a party and start focusing on an existing real pandemic which is currently out of control.

Wearing a mask is a proven way to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That coupled with social distancing are the most effective means we have to slow the spread of the disease. It is not a cure, but it can save lives and prevent hospitalizations, but only if the majority of people participate.

The virus can hit all ages in a wide range of ways. Some people have gotten it multiple times so we do not know how or if people become immune to the virus. We do know it can kill or put people in the hospital for months and endure intense suffering. We know that hospitals in all states in the U.S. are being hard hit, and staff at those hospitals are being stretched to or even beyond their limits and are exhausted. They are also frustrated by the inaction of the public to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Sen. Cory Booker said that wearing a mask is an act of love for one’s fellow humans. It is saying, “I do not want you to get sick and I don’t want to get it and pass it on to someone I care about either.”

Today as I write this more than 170,000 new positive cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. Each day this week has broken a previous daily record. Let’s do our part and voluntarily all wear masks and practice distancing. We are one nation. Let’s act like one nation and work together to beat this thing.

Michael E. Murray

The election isn’t quite over yet

I read your recent editorial calling for calm and civility within our community now that Joe Biden has been declared winner of the presidential election. I say, not so fast my friend. No states have certified their votes. The Electoral College will not vote until Dec. 14. Joe Biden is certainly not president until sworn in on Jan. 20 of next year. While all these events are likely to happen resulting in a President Biden, there is still a formal process to go through.

President Trump alleges that there has been substantial voter fraud in the election, and he is within his rights to investigate the results of the vote held on Nov. 3. Supreme Court actions could nullify any fraudulent vote that may have occurred. The House of Representatives would then decide who the president will be. This has happened before in this country and this unlikely event could happen again, resulting in President Trump’s potential for reelection.

Should this remote event occur, I hope you would still call for calm and civility, especially if those on the left should take to the streets again in protest like they did in 2016. Get out the popcorn and stay tuned. This election isn’t over yet.

Greg Sarber

A mask for all seasons

Dan Sullivan, our recently reelected U. S. Senator, was respectfully asked by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio to “please wear a mask” while speaking in the Senate on Nov. 16.

Alaska’s senator refused, saying “I don’t need your instruction.”

Sen. Brown acknowledged that Senator Sullivan didn’t need his instruction, but clearly he did. He and his party have time and again expressed their disinterest in public health amidst the ongoing and escalating pandemic. Couched in dubious claims to individual freedoms, with no attendant responsibilities, Sen. Sullivan is violating the very precepts of the Constitution whose preamble promises to “promote the general Welfare … to ourselves and our Posterity.” How does his selfish and arrogant refusal to don a mask contribute to this principle?

Dan Sullivan is nothing more than a sycophant to the current administration and those who envision the demise of democracy in this country. His recent campaign, whose ads disparaged and denigrated the character of a respected lifelong Alaskan, have no place in the arena of civil and political discourse.

Dan Sullivan should be ashamed of himself. But he is not. Dan Sullivan should go back to his family’s billionaire business and leave the business of public service to those who truly believe in the promotion of democratic ideals for all Americans and proudly wear their masks to demonstrate it.

Patricia Jay

Dear Community,

Share the Spirit, as with other parts of our lives, have had to modify our program this year. This community has always stepped up when the need was vital, and this year, your support will be more essential than ever. Please understand that everything from funding to distribution to venue has changed due to the pandemic.

We are absolutely expecting an increase in need this holiday season. Based on the weekly increases at local food pantries and by watching the increase in applications for the Thanksgiving food program, we are certain that we will need to do more with less. Recently, while on a Zoom call, I was asked if Share the Spirit needed money. Foolishly, I said I thought we were going to be fine. I was wrong. Within days of that comment it became apparent that we will need all the donations we can gather to face this tumultuous year.

We cannot, in good conscience, hold our annual fundraising event, the much-loved Spaghetti Feed. Additionally, in hopes of sharing the spirit equitably, we will not have an Adopt-A-Family program. If your group, business, family or you as an individual have ever attended the feed or adopted one of our families in the past, we ask that you make a monetary donation to Share the Spirit this year, if you are able. Donations may be dropped off to the local Wells Fargo or mailed to P.O. Box 3218, Homer, AK, 99603. For our part, we have applied for grants to help cover the cost of the program, but will still need help from you, our community partners.

If you are in need, applications will be available starting Monday, Nov. 23, through many local human service agencies and some churches. Please call one where you currently receive assistance and they will help you complete the application, possibly right over the phone. If that doesn’t work for you, please stop by the Homer Community Food Pantry or the Anchor Point Food Pantry on Monday, Nov. 23, Nov. 30 or Dec. 7 during regular hours of operation and we will help you sign your household up.

Another significant change to our program this season will be that the basket distribution will not take place at the Homer High School, as it has previously. We will announce later where and when to pick up your baskets.

Share the Spirit wishes this community all the best. We will reach out again in the days to come with more information.

Please always remember to … Share the Spirit.

Kelly Glidden and Shari Daugherty, Co-Chairs, Basket Program; Jayne Locklar, President, Share the Spirit; Jonathan Adams, Vice President, Share the Spirit

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