Letters to the Editor

Scholarship help appreciated

I would like to publicly thank the family of Damon Dorr and the Homer Emblem Club for awarding me the Damon Dorr Memorial Scholarship and supporting the youth of Homer. I know this is a very special scholarship, and I am honored to be recognized in Damon Dorr’s name.

Thank you for supporting me in my higher education.

Jessica Sonnen

We are all in this together? Really?

As I read the heartfelt and all-too-familiar letter to grandchildren from Susan Ratcliffe Wilson and her husband encouraging grandchildren and their parents to get vaccinated, I also noted Greg Sarber’s “There they go again” letter on the same page. The cartoon showing a salmon spawning COVID eggs was a not-so-subtle warning that festivals can have the potential of spreading the virus much like the start of the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota (a proven spreader last year).

So, where are we? Three vaccines have been developed offered free. What is better — they work! They are safe! There is enough to vaccinate ages 12 and up. It keeps you out of the hospital and from dying of COVID.

That’s the good news!

Also, masking has been proven to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID.

The bad news is that people are not taking advantage of the vaccines, nor are many of them using masks. Misinformation has been a big reason, for this as well as lack of trust among some groups of people. Some governors (most already vaccinated) are discouraging and in fact forbidding mandatory masking in vulnerable places such as schools where those under 12 can’t get a vaccine yet.

In the meantime, the virus is mutating into variants which are learning to transfer more quickly and are more potent. Viruses will continue to mutate until we stop providing them hosts (that’s why we vaccinate). Yup, Greg! There we go again! Why? Because we as a nation are not getting vaccinated enough to stop it. The virus is not the same as it was either, hence the need to mask even if vaccinated. Even the vaccinated can carry the virus and pass it on to others. That’s new. New variants result in new strategies to address them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does its best to keep up with this.

Solution for now – Get vaccinated and wear a mask. Capeesh?

Michael E. Murray

Taking the long view on protecting the Tongass

When the last Tongass old-growth is gone, another earth and a heaven must pass until there can be another one

John A. Anderson, Kenai

Grateful for scholarship

I’d like to express my most sincere thanks to the Homer Foundation for generously awarding me the Ptarmigan Arts Visual Scholarship. I will use this scholarship to help fund my education at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, where I plan to study business with a health management focus, as well as pursuing the visual arts as much as I can with a minor in ceramics.

The Homer Foundation and Ptarmigan Arts are such important parts of our community, and I am honored to accept this award.

Ella Blanton-Yourkowski