Wear a face mask
The whole world needs to wear a mask. It does not matter if you don’t like it. We have to do it to beat the virus.
Lola Laplant, age 7
Farewell to the singing duck
The first sound I remember is the beautiful haunting melody of the long tailed duck, “ang ang ak!” echoing across the ice floes in Kachemak Bay. I was 3, and it was 1945 when I stood with my father on the lonely Mc Neil Canyon beach listening to the wind, the waves and the melancholy cries of thousands of sea ducks in the far distance.
They floated in huge, seemingly endless rafts, as far as the eye could see. They were part of the magic of the bay. Who could ever have imagined that someday their presence would be gone from our waters? That they would be regarded as inferior and therefore expendable, not even worth protecting — suitable only for target practice or crab bait and gunned down like rats for the sheer fun of it — with a bag limit for those brave enough to risk their lives in speedboats in the deadly winter waters in pursuit of helpless diving ducks.
They can’t even fly away fast like their edible cousins, the mallards. Even mallard hunters are forbidden to shoot a sitting duck. So why exactly is it OK to shoot a helpless sea duck?
I grew up subsistence gathering and hunting, with the ethic that any animal killed should be eaten or left alone, unless it’s endangering your life. Anyone killing wildlife in this day and age for any reason other than survival is giving a bad name to the hunting community. These are not real hunters. These are selfish exploiters of precious natural resources.
Sea ducks are an essential part of our ecosystem, and are vulnerable to climate change and food shortages. For eons they have chosen our ice-free protected bays as a safe wintering ground, before returning to the northern tundra to raise their young.
I am saddened and outraged that the state would even allow any killing of sea ducks, let alone this immoral, mindless “hunting” practice taking place right now across the bay. Maybe if enough people make an outcry in time, there might still be a chance for our kids to hear singing of the sea ducks echoing over our waters.
Aren’t both parties brain dead animals?
I enjoyed the cartoon in last week’s edition showing the confusion in the Republican Party. Of course, an even funnier version would have been a donkey and an elephant dragging the average taxpayer off the cliff, yelling to those at the bottom, “Move Back, she’s full of candy and will explode like a piñata when she hits the rocks!”
Fifty — that’s right, $50 trillion in debt for the 20 somethings by the time they reach 35. Ronald Reagan used to say, “Democrats spend money like drunken sailors — but that would be an insult to drunken sailors, for they spend their own money.” The donkey may be wearing a proud grin, but when the piper is paid through inflation and jobs shipped overseas, the braying will be heard round the nation — unless someone has figured out how to tax and spend our way to national prosperity, and no nation ever has to date.
I was 23 when I came to Homer 51 years ago. I think it is the greatest place in the world to live but I am worried about what is happening to our country.
It seemed like things were going so well and then came the coronavirus. Everything changed. A new administration came in and shut down construction of our southern border wall, inviting illegals and drugs into our country. They shut down much of our petroleum industry and killed thousands of jobs.
They have encircled our Capitol with a wall topped with razor wire and patrolled with National Guard troops. They have allowed teachers unions to deny our children classroom study at a terrible cost to our families and children.
They want to impeach our former president but they allow ANTIFA to burn our cities.
It’s a real bad dream and I want our government to wake up.
Thanks for city grants
The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies would like to thank the City of Homer for supporting local nonprofits through its grant program administered through the Homer Foundation. This annual support in the form of unrestricted funds helps to support the vital operations of nonprofits, especially since these types of funds are difficult to raise. This program was especially critical in 2020 as so many non-profits were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coastal studies uses City of Homer grant funds to support free and reduced price after school and community programs and our CoastWalk program. CoastWalk is conducted every fall and, even during the pandemic, we were able to clean 28 miles of beach, involve 169 volunteers and collect 860 pounds of marine debris. This program, started in 1984, is an important stewardship activity for the Homer community. In partnership with the City we were able to set up four recycling stations at key public venues (Karen Hornaday Park, Bishop’s Beach, Mariner Park and the Water Trail Pavilion by the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon). City of Homer grant funds were leveraged to help us get funding to support a summer high school intern who helped to install and monitor these recycling stations during the 2020 summer.
We thank the City of Homer for their continued support of non-profits in Homer, all contributing to the important work being done to promote a healthy ecosystem, and an engaged and connected community.
Elizabeth Trowbridge, Executive Director, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
Thanks to Homer Foundation
Kachemak Heritage Land Trust (KHLT) would like to express our gratitude to the Homer Foundation for giving grant support to our Disaster Planning and Pandemic Needs project. Grant funds were used to help KHLT increase the productivity of staff members working from home through the purchase of valuable technology and equipment. It also afforded staff and board members the opportunity to attend a virtual pandemic related training hosted by The Foraker Group in Anchorage.
For the disaster planning component some key items were added to KHLT’s kit, including fire extinguishers and first aid supplies, and KHLT’s Executive Committee has created an organizational specific disaster plan.
Thank you, Homer Foundation. We appreciate your continued support of our conservation efforts, protecting irreplaceable lands on the Kenai Peninsula for the future.
Marie McCarty, Executive Director, Kachemak Heritage Land Trust