Letters to the Editor

HCOA keeps the music alive

We’d like to thank the Homer Council on the Arts for making their gallery space available at a modest fee as a practice studio for our marimba group, Shamwari. The larger space and new ventilation system allowed us to gather safely while following distancing and masking protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Making music as an ensemble brings us happiness and stress relief, and we are glad to have been able to continue.

Practicing at HCOA felt like being back home. When we started learning to play the marimbas in 2002, we used the community marimbas owned by JuJuba that were stored at HCOA and practiced in the gallery space. HCOA has been a longtime supporter of the marimba community and their continued support has helped us grow as musicians.

We hope to see you June 5 at HCOA’s Mary Epperson Day celebration where we will be performing for the first time since 2019.

Jenny Stroyeck, for Shamwari Marimba

Support House Resolution 8

Dear Editor,

As a child, I lived with poverty for more than a decade. As a ward of Washington State, I was at times homeless, other times hungry. With help from many sources, I was able to earn college and law degrees before practicing law in 1978. As CEO of the Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. (RurAL CAP), the only Community Action Agency in Alaska, I support our mission to empower low-income Alaskans through advocacy, education, affordable housing and direct services that respect our unique values and cultures.

Representatives Tarr, Foster and Hopkins have introduced House Resolution 8 calling for the creation of a House Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity which directly addresses the poverty crisis in Alaska and fosters necessary dialogue between the public and legislature.

Approximately 80,000 Alaskans live with poverty, and another 70,000 Alaskans benefit from programs providing resources to lift them out. COVID-19 has revealed economic vulnerabilities that were not anticipated when the War on Poverty began in the 1960s. Our state needs a new dialogue for finding modern solutions.

Please support the legislation and help start this conversation.


Patrick M. Anderson, CEO, RurAL CAP

Do face masks stop COVID-19?

Dear Editor,

Many people are firm in their conviction that wearing a face mask saves lives. They base this belief on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Centrol, the World Health Organization and Dr. Anthony Fauci. They say that this information is based on the best science available. I respect their beliefs and will not try to convince them otherwise.

However, for those that are still open-minded about what protection face masks actually provide, there is a remarkable new paper that was recently released by the National Center for Biotechnological Information, which is part of the National Institute of Health. Yes, the same NIH that Fauci works for. This paper essentially blows up the entire mask argument. It concludes that masks have no measurable benefit in preventing COVID-19 virus transmission between humans and cause significant adverse health side effects.

Yes, you read that correctly, this paper from the NIH says that face masks do not prevent virus transmission between humans. You can read the document at this link and make up your own mind https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/. Should you agree with the conclusions in this paper, it probably makes you incredibly angry.

We may have all been given false information by the political/medical establishment. Yes, the COVID-19 virus causes a disease that is deadly for some, but masks appear to be of no benefit in prevention. Mask mandates appear to not be based on science; it looks like they were based on bureaucratic guesswork. Read the paper to see how they got to their conclusions, but do not kill the messenger. As Dr. Fauci always says, you must follow the science.


Greg Sarber