Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I read in last week’s letters to the editor that “a lot of people believe … that the last election was stolen from us by illegal means.” It is not a question of belief, it is a question of evidence. The evidence was such that state and federal judges all over the U.S. dismissed over 50 lawsuits challenging the election or its outcome.

The evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that wearing masks prevents the spread of COVID-19. There is a new variant of coronavirus (B.1.1.7) that is much more transmissible and causes much worse illness. This type is spreading. People can “believe” that wearing a mask makes no difference, but the evidence shows otherwise.

I don’t care what people believe, but I do care that they look at the evidence.

Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson

To the editor:

I’m upset with the hateful letters I keep reading in the Homer News about our local Rep. Sarah Vance. It’s not news, just hate speech and fear mongering from people who don’t like the election results. I’m thankful there are still honest people like Sarah willing to serve in our elected jobs with the extreme division in our society knowing they will most likely be targeted.

The recent local meeting of 55 people who were comfortable together needed to be ruled according to this one letter writer’s opinion on a subject there is much disagreement on across our nation. Each individual can assess their risk in attending public gatherings and wear a mask if they choose. Our country has just witnessed a stolen election by people who want to control our lives and haven’t been able through the election process.

Now, everything you ever believed about our freedoms in this country is at risk of a puppet president issuing executive orders. Even so, out of respect for the office there’s not weekly hate letters in the news. So get over it and let Sarah Vance do the job she was elected to do. If you have any conservative values whatsoever about life and liberty, the next four years will be hard to live through.

Shirley Steenhout

Rep. Vance Demonstrates grace and class

Dear Editor,

I ‘d like to thank Captain’s Coffee for hosting the Q&A session with Rep. Sarah Vance on March 29. I would also like to thank Rep. Vance for leading the discussions so honestly. Rep. Vance merits particular recognition for the grace and patience she showed when answering the questions from one young woman. The young lady attempted to ask a series of clearly rehearsed “gotcha” questions. Part way through her questioning the young woman started to get flustered and had trouble completing her line of questions. The representative was patient, and she encouraged the woman to continue with her questions. When she finished, the representative praised the young woman for being brave and asking questions in a public forum. The representative showed remarkable grace and dignity in her responses.

Inevitably, after a meeting like this someone will write a letter to the editor complaining that the representative did not wear a face mask when out in public. Honestly, most of us in attendance did not wear masks. I think in this Easter season of grace, the vocal pro-maskers could learn something from Captain’s Coffee. This business has a sign on their door saying something to the effect that masks are not required, but arguments over the issue are not allowed. Both the masked and the maskless are equally welcomed and will not be challenged for their position.

Perhaps this is a good lesson for all of us in Homer. Accept others for the opinions they hold, especially if they are different from yours, and stop challenging people about masks, either pro or con.


Greg Sarber

Kudos to Homer Public Library

This is National Library Week. Thanks to the library staff, Homer Public Library has surely honored the millennia long tradition of libraries sustaining through difficult times. Libraries have survived being ransacked, and burnt, and through pestilence and wars. Libraries are resilient and recognized as valuable enough to community and culture, to always be re-opened. Over this last worrisome and unpredictable COVID-19 year, we’ve discovered, libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building. Wifi access has been extended to the parking lot, hard copy and digital materials have been available, and Zoom and radio events have continued. And this week the Annual Lifelong Learners celebration was held on the radio. Congratulations to Deb Lowney and Larry Dunn.

Libraries are community access safe spaces, where everyone is welcome, for free. While curbside pick-up is still available, the Library doors are now wide open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. t0 1:30 p.m. and again 3:30-5:30 p.m. Summer is almost here, and the Bookmobile is being readied for its summer rounds to begin as school ends next month. The much-loved Summer Reading Program is also being prepared and will be open for registration on May 1 with activities beginning May 24.

In the meantime, take a “stroll” down library lane at www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library, and follow the links to learn about and participate in the “Lit Lineup” for teens/adults; Help with Economic Assistance; Linked in Learning if you are in a job, life or skills transition; Mango Languages; and the fabulous “First Chapters for Kids” program.

If you or your family are curious, interested, wondering about something, ask a librarian. In our current tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with metaphorical PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) and teach us to swim.

See you there,

Kate Finn, Library Advisory Board member

Dear Editor,

For decades now the media have been bombarding the public with stories of America’s failed attempts to regulate guns. The failure here, as I see it, is not so much the regulation of guns per se, but rather the deregulation of doctor-patient privileged information.

Eighty of the mass killings in the U.S. in the past decades can be now attributed to persons previously treated, at some point in time, by a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or priest.

In the 1980s, President Reagan signed a bill into law that said in so many words, “no U.S. citizen shall be committed to a mental institution without their permission.” Instantly, every major city in the U.S. was inundated with thousands of recently released mental patients, whom I might add, were unfettered in the ability to purchase a firearm of any type.

Legislation must be now be passed that mandates that any of the above mentioned, professionally licensed to practice medicine, upon concluding after treatment that a patient is considered, by he or she, to be a possible danger either to themselves, or others in the community, must turn this information over to the proper authorities as a matter of law.

There are many gun regulations on the books in America, so I cannot see, in my mind’s eye, why there should be any delay in passing some possible, life saving regulations on to the American Medical Association and America’s church counselors.

The doctor-patient privilege, in relation to mental illness, is antiquated to say the very least, and our elected officials must drag these people kicking and screaming into the 21st century whether they like it or not.

John A. Anderson, Kenai

Dear Rep. Vance,

Thank you for holding the recent town hall meeting at Captain’s Coffee. The central location and casual maskless atmosphere works great for me. It allows me to drop in, make the rounds and get on with my business.

Also, my buddies/variants express their appreciation.


COVID-19 (Richard and Nell Gustafson)