There was a 17-year moratorium on federal executions until William Barr pushed the Trump administration into reviving a string of judicial executions: 11 prisoners killed since last July.
Say out loud the names of those already executed, for they were our fellow beings: Lisa Montgomery, Christopher Vialva, Orlando Hall, Brandon Bernand.
Other prisoners are still locked up and struggling to prove their innocence, for they may have been arrested as teenagers, may never have had money for a decent lawyer, may struggle with mental illness.
In short, we can never be absolutely sure an innocent prisoner hasn’t been wrongly executed, and even executing a real killer will not bring its victim back to life.
For that reason I am pleased that in 1957 Alaska abolished capital punishment. Alaska was the first state on the West Coast of the United States to do so.
Something to be proud of.
Diana Conway, Halibut Cove
Last week’s presidential inauguration
I watched Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. The “Most Popular” President in history was inaugurated with few in attendance, behind a giant wall, guarded by thousands of soldiers. There were 25,000 National Guard troops surrounding him at the Capitol. I guess nothing says “freedom” to Joe like miles of razor wire and an army between him and the voters. It looked more like an inauguration in North Korea, or a scene from the Hunger Games.
People were even banned from the National Mall, unable to watch the inauguration from there as is custom, but they did simulate an “audience” with 200,000 American flags placed on the grass like some sort of creepy graveyard. If these things must be done to safely conduct a faux inauguration, something was very, very wrong with this election and most Americans can feel it. Questions linger and distrust grows.
A letter to South Peninsula Hospital
We would like to take this opportunity to commend and congratulate the staff of South Peninsula Hospital, the City of Homer, Homer Unified Command and the great volunteers who joined with South Peninsula Hospital to operate the COVID-19 virus vaccination clinic on Jan. 15 and 16.
The very important event, held to inoculate our senior population against the deadly novel coronavirus was excellent in planning, preparation and execution, especially during a pandemic.
Upon arrival at the site people were welcomed, directed to parking, welcomed again into the center and participated in a smooth running “well-oiled machine” to receive their vaccination.
Every staff member and volunteer were positive, uplifting and helpful as they guided seniors through the vaccination procedure.
This clinic, hosted by the South Peninsula Hospital, is an example of how a vaccination clinic should be run. Communities around the State of Alaska should take note and follow the example and model you have established.
The vaccination of our senior citizens, the most vulnerable to severe illness and death, will greatly reduce the pressure and angst experienced by other age groups.
Again, on behalf of Seniors of Alaska, Inc. and all Alaska Senior citizens, we applaud all for your commitment and service to our community. Please share this letter with your associates.
Peter T. Zuyus, Executive Director, Seniors of Alaska Inc.
Thank goodness our elected representatives are finally pursuing the things every American needs: joining the World Health Organization, the Paris Climate Accords, snuffing 11,000 Keystone Pipeline jobs, getting rid of the 1776 Commission, and impeaching Trump again.
Next, finish off those pesky First and Second Amendments.
Grateful for Homer Foundation support of ski trails
The Kachemak Nordic Ski Club would like to thank the City of Homer and the Homer Foundation for the generous support provided through a city grant.
KNSC maintains 50 miles of ski trails at three separate trail systems for more than 800 members and others in the local community. The trails attract skiers from across the Kenai Peninsula, as well as racers from around the state. KNSC also partners with local schools to host after-school programs, ski team workouts and Borough-wide races that follow COVID guidelines.
KNSC delivers two popular programs, one for adults and one for kids. The Homer Nordic Program provides regular lessons and training to more than 40 adults who are interested in increasing their fitness and honing their ski skills.The Junior Nordic Program provides low-cost ski rentals to help local kids ages 5 to 12 enjoy the outdoors while learning to ski. This winter KNSC outfitted skis to more than 110 kids of 72 families, which is an all-time record by far.
Moreover, the KNSC ski trails are a great resource for those interested in getting outdoors or boosting their health and well-being during the wintertime. Use of the KNSC ski trails has spiked significantly over the past year. Not only have snow conditions been fantastic, but the ski trails offer lots of space for physical distancing.
The continuing support of nonprofit organizations provided by the City of Homer and the Homer Foundation is important for our effort to provide healthy outdoor recreational opportunities to residents of the Homer area as well as winter and summer visitors. It is just one of the many reasons that Homer is such a great place to live and play. We encourage everyone to gear up and get outdoors to enjoy the exceptional ski trails that we maintain.
Stacey Buckelew, former Vice President, Kachemak Nordic Ski Club
Hospice is grateful to Homer Foundation
Hospice of Homer would like to thank the Willow Fund at the Homer Foundation for the recent grant. The funds were used to purchase folding aluminum ramps which are used to load large pieces of medical equipment onto a truck for delivery to members of our community in need of assistance. Additionally we purchased adjustable over-the-bed tables, raised toilet seats with handles, a safety rail set for over a toilet, and foot plates for a wheelchair. Hospice is grateful for the support of The Willow Fund and the Homer Foundation.
The Homer Foundation does a wonderful job of matching community needs with available funds. Funds like The Willow Fund enrich our community by supporting social services, the arts and the environment. Hospice could not continue to provide free of charge services without the support of our community of donors and organizations like the Homer Foundation. Hospice values our wonderful, generous community and the strength that comes from working together.
If you would like to make a financial donation to Hospice, give of your time by volunteering, or do both, please stop by the Hospice office on Pioneer Avenue so we can talk or call 907-235-6899. We’d love to share in the warm feeling that comes from neighbors helping neighbors.
Holly Dramis, Development and Finance Director, Compassion in Action — Hospice of Homer