Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

Remembering a gentleman

I was saddened by the news of Bob Letson’s death by COVID-19. I worked with Bob when he was a board member at the Homer Chamber of Commerce. I will always remember him as a gentleman, and a gentle man.

Jim Lavrakas

Wear a mask

Everywhere you look in our town, there are signs saying wear a mask.

For a good reason. Alaska has soaring COVID-19 numbers. Rep. Sarah Vance was requested twice to wear a mask and twice she refused when she went to vote at our voting precinct. She endangered our hard working poll workers and anyone else present. This is reckless behavior.

I have a suggestion for Sarah: If it is so hard for you to wear a mask, then just hang out only in your own house.

But, for heavens sake, wear one around town. Most people in this town do not want themselves or loved ones to get very sick or die.

Thank you,

Carole Hamik, worried wife, mother and grandmother and caring community member

Thanks for CARES grant

On behalf of the students and staff at Fireweed Academy, I would like to thank the City of Homer for granting funds from the CARES Act Grant to its rented facility. Earlier in the school year, Fireweed had proactively built two outdoor learning spaces for its students and staff, but was still in need of improving the air quality within its K-2 building.

Thankfully, the City of Homer approved our request for assistance to secure CARES Act funding to purchase a HEPA air filtration system. Now, thanks to all of the city employees that were involved, we will have an air filtration system in place to provide an additional mitigation factor against COVID-19 transmission. Your help and professionalism is greatly appreciated.

Todd Hindman, Principal, Fireweed Academy

Time to be thankful

I am very thankful for the community in which I live.

I would like to thank the businesses that have been providing curb pick up during the pandemic — businesses like Save U More, Ulmer’s, Wagon Wheel and The Bagel Shop, for example, including the city’s Homer Public Library pick up service.

I am also thankful to health care workers. Words to thank them, however, seem so inadequate right now as this pandemic worsens and their jobs grow increasingly more difficult and dangerous every day.

Lani Raymond

Why I like masks

I can’t believe people wouldn’t want to wear masks. The mask has become the best thing since sliced bread. I like it because it eliminates a lot of my prep work before I leave my house. By wearing a mask, I don’t have to brush my teeth or shave. Really all I have to do is warm up my truck, find some mittens and my hat, and off I go. And at my age this is a good thing, especially since I am now battling the hair that grows in places where I never thought hair could grow. And for the younger people, any embarrassing acne near your mouth and nose is no longer a problem. You don’t have to spend time covering up your zits and making sure your smile is on right.

I feel good because I am doing my part in keeping others safe. And for the people who don’t want to wear a mask because they don’t like to be told what to do, I assume you aren’t married or have a significant other, because that is what relationships are all about. Plus, when I see you in the store I seem to focus on your face and wonder why you are being so selfish. Of course, I assume you only really care about yourself.

Of course, if you choose not to wear a mask, please don’t complain about businesses being shut down or schools being closed. Even though you think it doesn’t matter, it does. It’s not always about you—it’s about all of us.

Alex Koplin

An open letter to my friend John

We saw each other in passing at Safeway last week. I was glad to see you, as I always am, but was distressed to see that you weren’t wearing a mask. At Safeway, they have large signs indicating that a mask is required. Obviously, that rule is not being enforced, and that onus is on their corporate leadership. We all have to eat, but do we really need to put put our health and safety at risk just to buy groceries?

But I digress; this letter is less about them and more about you. Someday, maybe you can explain to me why you feel it’s OK for you to put me at risk. I’m sure you feel fine; you looked fine. But unless you were tested that day and just got your results back, you don’t know if you’re positive or not. An hour ago, my neighbor, who’s having his first grandbaby and was planning to leave the state to be part of that miracle, got his preflight test results back, and yeah, he tested positive. Asymptomatic of course, but positive. So he’s grounded, at the very least.

More Americans have died since March from this virus than died during the 10 years we were in Vietnam — four times more. Over the weekend, DHSS identified 34 new cases on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. Thirty-four, including 22 In Homer.

I love you, John, and have always respected you, even if we haven’t always agreed about everything. But this, this brazen disregard for your friends and neighbors, this baffles me. We were young, once, and bulletproof, when we worked together at the cannery all those decades ago, but we’re not quite as young and robust today as we once were.

I don’t know what your reasoning is for not wearing a mask, old friend, but I’m asking you now, if you can’t come up with any other reason to put up with the brief annoyance of a mask while shopping (and I haven’t met anyone who actually enjoys wearing a mask, but we’ve put up with greater inconveniences, haven’t we?), then, please, for old time’s sake, do it for me. Do your best to keep me safe, as I do my best to keep you safe. Please.

My warmest regards to you and your family for the holidays. Take care, buddy.

Ken Landfield