Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Dec. 10, 2020.

Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

Dear Editor,

I read with interest and sadness about the current efforts to encourage shoppers to buy locally. In the past I have tried to get as much of what I need from local merchants as possible. I look forward to doing that again.

I will not support local merchants who don’t care if I live or die. That is what they say to me when I see signs that say, “masks must be worn” but have no enforcement policy. In our major stores I saw from 20% to 50% of the customers walking around with no mask.

I say “I saw,” as there are only a few stores in Homer that I will enter now — those are the ones that vigorously enforce mandatory mask policies. If I can’t get what I need in one of those stores, then I order it online.

I have an absolute right to spend my money wherever I want to. I will continue to send it to Seattle, Chicago, Omaha and elsewhere as long as local merchants disregard my rights to a healthy shopping environment.

Roy Wilson

Homer people know how to help each other

My kindest regards to all those Homer drivers who stopped along

Ben Walters Lane to offer help for this old lady

stranded in the snow, when the blizzard dumped

on Homer in early December.

Of course I knew it was almost time to get new snow tires,

but I procrastinated just a little longer, and didn’t

realize bare tires will not move a small Suburu

either forward or backward.

Some good neighbors worked to dig snow away

from my ever-sinking car.

Other drivers offered to go for a rope and pull me back

on the slightly elevated road.

But the strongest helper bodily pushed my car by hand from behind

while ordering me to work through my gears.

A young girl riding shotgun with her friendly mother

looked out the window and asked, “but why is she

stuck in the snow?”

Why indeed? You can be sure I won’t back into

a ditch during future snow storms.

How very lucky I am to live in a town like Homer

where people I don’t even know have got my back.

Thank you to all and may your winter be joyous.

Diana Conway (77 years stupid)

Masking is patriotic

To the person wearing a mask in the grocery store: I see you. And I see someone who is strong, because you’re protecting the weak and the frail. I see someone kind, because you care how your actions affect others. I see someone smart, who understands science and evidence and who acts accordingly. But most of all, I see a patriot.

I see an American doing their part to protect and defend our beautiful town, state and nation. I see you and I thank you for being willing to endure this tiniest of discomforts to help keep COVID-19 rates low in Homer.

Thank you. We truly are all in this together.

Jessica Golden

Leadership necessary

I feel compelled to respond to Greg Sarber’s letter to the editor, Dec. 3.

In my opinion, how many votes Sarah Vance received is irrelevant to her not wearing a mask.

What I expect from Sarah Vance is good leadership. Our COVID-19 cases are escalating and she is not being careful protecting people’s lives.

Sincerely,

Carole Hamik

Like hell I will! Moderation is for wimps

Thoughtful Point-of-View last week by Pamela Brodie arguing for a reduction in divisive political rhetoric and seeking the promotion of apparent moderate politicians such as Lisa Murkowski. Nice thought, but I can’t agree while there are active democratic policy proposals directly threatening the republic.

They include:

1. Congressional effort to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with ideologically friendly additional justices. Each new administration would likely desire to continue court-packing to promote their own policies. Where would it stop?

2. Neutering the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Although I support screening for disqualifying conditions such as a history of violence or demonstrated mental instability, I oppose unjustified broad-based restrictions, effectively neutering the amendment. The 2nd Amendment’s primary historical purpose was to function as a state militia, to counter any federal attempt to seize complete power by force such as Democrats believed was possible from Trump.

3. Abolishing the Electoral College. The constitutional founders knew that direct democracy, where everyone simply votes their pocketbook, is itself a threat to national stability. They established the Electoral College as a filtering device. It was also a prerequisite for the smaller state’s agreeing to the federal union in 1787, assuring them that their interests in national affairs wouldn’t be consumed by the larger states. Is it an efficient process? No, but pork-barrelling is the price paid for representative government.

4. Encouraging mass migration. Historically immigrants initially formed self-protective enclaves (Irish, Italian, Poles, etc.) But, in order to advance their welfare, they willingly adapted themselves into American culture and society where, over time, many of them were absorbed into the vast western states where unskilled manual labor was at a premium. That’s no longer the case. Now, it seems, many immigrant groups have unrealistic media-induced expectations of immediate opportunities, benefits and wealth without a commensurate personal effort.

Larry Slone

Identify with love

It seems people have a great need to belong or identify with something. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We have families, churches, writing and crafting groups, social service groups. And political groups. Alaska is undoubtedly a Republican state, has been since I’ve lived here these 39 years. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, except it is these days. I suspect many voted straight party regardless of the merits of the candidate, maybe even without researching what they or opposing parties stood for, fact-checking the many ads. They had to vote their party including all its dirty thuggery.

Party before people? It seems so as not only did this state reelect an 87-year-old who most likely falls asleep at his desk most days, it also voted in several radically extremist Republicans, including a new legislator who pedals Qanon conspiracies reflecting a strange lack of intelligence and competence. Sarah Vance ran on and promises continuously to support a full Permanent Fund Dividend and no taxes. What else?

Her debate with Kelly Cooper mediated by the Chamber was impressive for both candidates. They actually agreed on a lot until discussing COVID-19 and vaccines. Kelly is admired and highly respected by all her Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly fellow members where she served our communities for three years, politically neutral/non-partisan vowing to work with both sides. Vance won because she is a Republican, pure and simple.

Many are afraid of socialism. Do we like our Social Security? Did we like the less then 1% cost of living allowance this year? Do we want to keep Medicare and Medicaid? How about public education? Aren’t those socialist policies? I read that part of the “less government” Republican platform includes privatizing education and slowly eliminating Social Security, with no health care plan. What about being afraid of an autocracy or dictatorship? If I had a family member who lied, cheated the family out of money, thought of no one but themselves and bullied everyone around, they would not be welcome in my home.

On behalf of myself and everyone else who has lost a loved one to COVID-19, I say not wearing a mask as a statement of your liberty is nothing short of pathetic and a grave error. I saw a bumper sticker that said “let ‘em hate.” What does that mean? We need love, people.

Therese Lewandowski

Sand v. brine

This is regarding the brine salt water solution being sprayed on the roads. It’s definetly not good for our vehicles. Has there been any research on the damage it will do to the wildlife, plants and water systems? I realize there is a budget crunch. What cost will this be in the future? Rusty vehicles, sickened wildlife, etc. Don’t forget your pets are walking on this stuff, too. it won’t be good. Salt is more beneficial and safer for drivers, too.

Cynder Navrot, Anchor Point

Dear Editor,

During my usual Sunday afternoon chat on the phone to my daughter in Texas, we came up with an idea we both agreed on. We are both so tired of the people who do not believe COVID-19 is a pandemic and refuse to wear masks and still gather in large groups. We have a solution.

If you get COVID-19, hopefully it is a mild case and you can deal with it at home as many do with your own remedies. But if you get really sick and need a hospital or, heaven forbid, a ventilator, you can get help from doctors and nurses who are over run with patients already. You will only get help if they are not busy. If you did not wear a mask, you caused your own situation and how many more do you infect if you only had mild symptoms?

Why should they be looked after by doctors and nurses that put themselves in danger every day taking care of others? They see too much misery already. It is not fair.

Let the word get out ASAP: “No mask, no care.” Then this mess may come to a fast conclusion.

If you can not obey the rules, no help to fix you.

I wear my mask. I want to see my friends and relatives. If at all possible, stay in your own bubble.

Lorraine Haas

A Thanksgiving thank you

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving we discovered our basement laundry room was flooded with sewage. We immediately quit using toilets and any drains. It was late and the water level seemed to be holding steady. On Thanksgiving Eayrs Plumbing was contacted and we were told nothing could be done before Friday.

Friday morning we discovered our neighbor’s sewer alarm was also activated which meant there was a problem with the sewer line on Kachemak Drive. I called Public Works and got a recording saying it was a four-day holiday. I contacted the Homer Police Department and dispatch contacted the on-call Public Works Duty person. Shortly after that I received a call from Mike Szocinski, the Public Works Lead Water/Waste Water Utility Technician, telling me they would be working on the problem immediately. He gave me his cell phone number to keep him informed of our status.

Mike and the crew worked until after 11 p.m. in the muddy, freezing muck and continued to work through Saturday and Sunday. The sewer line had to be cut to clear a 4-foot long grease and food blockage. Our plumbing system was functional at 4:24 p.m. Sunday. This crew worked nonstop like cheerful neighbors at a barn raising — way beyond our expectations.

We are very grateful and want to publicly thank the dedicated Public Works crew, and especially Mike Szocinski, for giving up their Thanksgiving holiday time with their families, so we could have a working sewer system. The final lesson learned: please, no grease down the sink. It plugs things up.

Mike and Cathy McCarthy

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