Letters to the Editor

Dogs in public places

The City of Homer Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture Advisory Commission (PARCAC) welcomes Sidney Flora, appointed Sept. 13 by the Homer City Council, as its latest youth commissioner. While September brings with it the official beginning of autumn and the promise of another winter, COVID-19 restrictions and protocols are not stopping members of the public from enjoying recreational opportunities in the city’s parks and on its trails. It is worth reminding many of those enthusiasts of outdoor public spaces of their responsibility to control their dogs.

Each year the city receives numerous complaints about dog owners failing to leash or otherwise control their animals, leading to confrontations with people or other dogs. City code states that all dogs dwelling within city limits must be properly licensed and vaccinated against rabies. A dog may leave its owner’s property (and become “at large”) under the control of a competent individual. Dogs that damage the property of other people may be impounded; dogs that cause physical harm to other people may be destroyed.

In order to assist dog owners in controlling their pets, PARCAC, with assistance from the Friends of the Homer Animal Shelter, is beginning the process of instituting a lend-a-leash campaign, featuring free leashes that dog owners may use and return. This pilot program will begin soon at Bishop’s Beach and, if successful, will spread to other high-use areas throughout the city. PARCAC has also set aside funds for signage that will explain the program and provide a “docking” area for the leashes.

Clark Fair, Commissioner, on behalf of the Parks Art Recreation & Culture Advisory Commission (PARCAC)

Be an American hero:

wear a mask

Re: “Face masks cripple kids Psychologically,” Sept. 16 issue.

Mr. Tenhoff alleges that masks in school are crippling our kids by covering their faces while at school. I, along with millions of others, wore every type of mask one could imagine: Halloween, Lone Ranger, Zorro, Spiderman and many wrestling heroes.

Even if Mr. Tenhoff were correct, to a degree, what little psychological damage that might occur during school hours would be nothing compared to the damage done to a child struggling to breathe through a ventilator in an ICU ward.

Science tell us that most children survive COVID-19, but begin to experience organ failure shortly thereafter and on into adulthood for years.

I am sure the American heroes aformentioned would tell our school children, “Wear your masks, sociallly distance when possible and get vaccinated when eligible to do so.”

John A. Anderson, Kenai

Dying to make a statement

Americans cherish their freedom, liberty, rights, and privileges. I get it, having served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War to protect those values. We are also a nation that helps each other when in need. Now is a moment we need to put partisan politics aside and fight this pandemic together.

Each day that COVID-19 is allowed to rampage through Alaska, the nation and the world is another day closer to a possible mutation that may target infants as a host. Are people really willing to sacrifice their children and grandchildren for the sake of not wearing a mask or getting vaccinated?

My father watched two younger brothers die as infants during the 1918 pandemic. There was no vaccine available then.

As a child, I watched my neighborhood friends become stricken with polio and end up in iron lungs when they lost the ability to breathe without assistance. Some were paralyzed for life. There was no vaccine available then.

When first responders receive a page from dispatch describing a child in distress, with life threatening problems, the adrenaline level spikes. All attention and resources are focused on assisting that child’s survival. Hopefully, the day will never come that our hospitals are filled with children on ventilators. Vaccines are available to minimize that risk.

The delta variant is bad. The next variant may be worse.

Doug Van Patten

Darwin Award

In response to “Party in the Pool,” Sept. 23 issue:

The Darwin Award should be given to anyone who has such little regard for intelligence that they find it necessary to politicize a deadly virus. COVID-19 doesn’t care what your political views are and neither do the health care providers who work so hard to save the lives of those who become ill (predominantly the unvaccinated).

If we can set aside politics and simply look at the COVID-19 virus for what it is — a serious illness that has caused death and debilitation — then it would seem reasonable that we would want to do everything in our power to protect our family and friends, regardless of their political persuasions, from becoming sick.

Let’s all work together to remove the political “genes” that seem to be lowering the IQ on both sides of the COVID-19 issue. Only then can we truly love our neighbors as ourselves and protect everyone’s individual right to choose for themselves. For myself, I choose to be vaccinated and wear a mask to protect my loved ones and those whose paths I cross when I am out in public. It is not my right to jeopardize another’s health.

And by the way, I happen to be a Republican and COVID-19 doesn’t care!

Peggy Moore

We can do better

There is so much to unpack in the Point of View Submission from Sept. 23 by Mr. Sarber. As members of the Homer Jewish community, we are appalled at the writer’s implication that attempts to manage the COVID-19 health crisis are “totalitarianism” and are likely to lead to “putting yellow stars on the clothing of the unvaccinated like they did to Jews in Germany in 1939.”

The analogy is not original, nor is it accurate. It has been circulating among politicians and others for at least a year. This casual anti-Semitism uses the murder of our family members to score political points. It is reckless and dangerous and nourishes hate rather than freedom.

COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus that can be unknowingly passed from people who don’t know they are sick to people who become terribly sick and even die. Masking and vaccination requirements are aimed at reducing the amount of virus circulating in our communities, thereby reducing the harm to others and the burden on our health care system. In contrast, making Jews wear yellow stars was aimed at facilitating the eventual extermination of the Jews. These are NOT the same thing — not even close.

Make no mistake, the majority of our population has been vaccinated for decades for a variety of illnesses due to vaccine mandates to protect public health and prevent suffering. That was never totalitarianism and it is not today. The Point of View author joins a long line of people using hate and fear to rile people up. In these times of anxiety and uncertainty, we don’t need that. We need words of solace and understanding that will help us make our community whole again.

Elise Boyer, Janet Fink, Alex Koplin, Tim Steinberg, Lyn Maslow, Cindy Koplin and Evelyn Taber

The first domino falls

Dear Editor,

The results of the Arizona forensic audit were just released and as usual, MSNBCNN misreported what was found. The most important finding was that over 57,734 fraudulent ballots were counted that were either duplicate, fake, or of nonresidents, and should never have been counted in the first place. Biden supposedly won Arizona by 10,457 votes. The number of fake ballots is more than five times that needed to flip the election results.

Looking at it in another way. Let’s say I give you 10 apples. You recount them and still have 10 apples. You try to eat them and find that two are plastic, one is wax, and one is glass. You never really had 10 apples; you only have six real apples and four fake ones. That is the difference between a recount and an audit, and that is what just happened in Arizona. Based on this audit, Trump won that state and its electoral votes. The Arizona Senate may decertify its election results.

It gets even worse for Democrats. Audits are currently underway in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Wisconsin has committed to do an audit. If fraud is found, there are enough electoral votes in these states to change the presidential election. We have never had a presidential election overturned before, but if you are caught stealing from Tiffany’s, you don’t get to keep the diamonds. Buckle up, this could get interesting.


Greg Sarber

Border is too open

Twelve-thousand Haitians released into the country and more on the way. I’m sure they’ll be a great addition to our society, and an additional draw on our tax dollars and hospitals and educational system (which is already a disaster). And the Haitians are just a part of our wide open southern border, drugs, criminals and who knows what are coming across.

Why in the world have we allowed this senile old man to become the leader of our country.

Ray Dawson

Vote for Tupper, Daugharty

The upcoming election for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and school board seats are important, and I urge all to please be sure to vote. In the past, only less then 25% of the registered voters actually voted, and that is sad. I hope we will do better this year.

The District 9 Assembly Seat is one of particular interest to me, as I was privileged to serve on it for nine years. (This was before term limits.) I followed Drew Scalzi, who did outstanding work during his tenure, initiating the first Gravel Pit Ordinance, not at all popular with those folks, but desperately needed to protect homeowners nearby. I was able to update it during my tenure.

Mako Haggarty and Willy Dunne have followed and both have done an outstanding job of representing those of us in District 9, surrounding the city of Homer and up to Anchor Point. I believe Mike Tupper will follow in their footsteps, as he is very well qualified, has been active in the community and will continue the good work of Mako and Willy.

School Board is another interest, since I was allowed to serve in the 1980s. The education for our children is vital, and I believe Tim Daugharty will do a great job representing the Southern Peninsula.

Thanks for listening.

Milli Martin

Book and Plant Sale was a success — thank you!

The Friends of the Homer Library (FHL) would like to thank everyone who helped create a successful Fall Book and Plant Sale! That includes the people who donated books and plants; the volunteers who helped set up, organize books, cashier or sort and clean up; and of course the folks who purchased books and plants or became a new FHL member. A special thank you to Tom Goode, who has devoted thousands of hours over the last three decades to thoughtfully sorting and boxing donated books for the Book and Plant Sale as well as the ongoing Used Books shelves.

As usual, everyone left happy, with a stack of bargain priced books in one hand and a beautiful plant or two in the other. Homer is such a generous community – and we still read books! Thank you!

Cheryl Illg, Coordinator, Friends of the Homer Public Library

Unvaccinated choose to spread virus

Dear Editor,

My husband, age 79, who was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 last February, has just tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This means that he is one of the approximately 5% of “breakthrough” cases. This also means that he contacted the virus from someone who was infected.

It is extremely upsetting to know that almost 60% of the people on the Kenai Peninsula have chosen not to be vaccinated and therefore have chosen not to protect others from infections, and have chosen to continue to allow the virus to spread. We don’t eat in restaurants, or shop in stores — except for essential groceries — and we typically only socialize with vaccinated people outside. But our precautions are apparently useless when the majority of people are not vaccinated.

The virus will remain strong and will spread because people have decided they do not need to be respectful of others in their community. I am aware that some people cannot receive the vaccination, but those are few. Please, please be considerate of others and do what the medical community has been urging us all to do — get vaccinated.

Vivian Finlay