Letters to the Editor

YAC supports youth hockey

Dear Editor:

The Microbell program at the Kevin Bell Arena offers any youth ages 4-6 a free opportunity to learn how to skate in a safe and encouraging environment. Thanks to grant support from the Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), we were able to purchase new helmets to keep these small skaters safe. The Kevin Bell Arena provides a complete set of loaner hockey gear so our new skaters gain skill and confidence in comfort.

We greatly appreciate this partnership with the Homer Foundation as we promote wholesome on ice recreation for all.

Sincerely, John Mink, President, Kevin Bell Arena

Listen to medical professionals, not Vance

Dear Editor,

I agree with Sarah Vance’s Point of View writing last week on exactly (and only) one point: “Your health care decisions should remain between you and your healthcare provider and not you and your politician.” She of course goes on to give advice — that treatment with unapproved drugs instead of preventative vaccines is the answer for COVID-19.

Thank you for printing a facing POV last week from an actual medical professional, Dr. Tom Hennessy, to refute Sarah Vance’s nonprofessional and frankly ridiculous anti-vaccination POV.

Vaccines are not some “experimental” novelty. We have relied on them to prevent all sorts of deadly diseases. Why do Sarah Vance and her friends now think that they are somehow dangerous and should be avoided — that we should focus on “treatments” instead of prevention?

As Dr. Hennessy makes clear, prevention is a far better alternative than ending up being sick, hospitalized and dead. I am frankly tired of all the stress we’ve put on hospitals and medical staff and the expense of caring for unvaccinated people who expect, at the public’s cost, to be treated and cured of a preventable disease. Those, like the protesters at the Central Peninsula Hospital (featured in another article in last week’s paper), who insist on unproven treatments, are dangerous and costly to us all. Failure to vaccinate and to treat with proven treatments, as Dr. Hennessy says, result in unnecessary sickness and death.

Get vaccinated! Let us return to some semblance of normal life and safety.

Nancy Lord

YouTube education?

Dear Sarah Vance,

Thank you for your letter where we got a good insight into your YouTube education. You conveniently left out that India administered 1.12 billion doses of their vaccine, and that the people over there actually wear their masks.

Has it ever occurred to you that in order to get a Ivermectin prescription against COVID-19 you may want to check in with a vet?


Konrad Schaad

Thank you, Dr. Vance

A big thank you to Dr. Vance for her very practical medical advice. We are fortunate to have a qualified medical professional serving as our representative in the Alaska State Legislature, where her expertise and insight helps to shape our social policies. If only the – what are we up to now? – 811 Alaskans, 762,000 Americans, and at least 5.1 million people world-wide that have died from COVID-19 had had this simple preventative therapy pack available in their time of need. So much tragedy could have been avoided!

Looking through my medical stash, I found most of the medications needed for my therapy pack — except, having no livestock in need of deworming and having not recently spent any time in the equatorial zones, Ivermectin. And I suspect that the tube of 40-year-old zinc that we used as sun-block when my husband and I spent prolonged periods of time climbing around on snowy mountains and glaciers is probably not the right stuff. (Yikes! Maybe it’s time to throw that tube away?)

But no problem. Everything we need to put together an up-to-date kit is probably available at our local drugstores and veterinary clinic. Who needs vaccines, anyway?

Again, thank you!

Marylou Burton

Thanks to Knights of Columbus

West Homer Elementary School would like to thank the Knights of Columbus for the donation of winter coats for students in need. We were able to distribute 10 winter coats to children in our building. We appreciate their generosity to our students.

Joni Wise, Secretary, West Homer Elementary School

Why wear masks?

Why must children wear masks in school? We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. With masks we breathe in more carbon dioxide. Our children are not spreading COVID-19. Our children communicate with each other not only with speech but with facial expression, not hidden behind masks.

Ray Dawson

Thanks for ski swap support

The Mariner ski team would like to give thanks to the wonderful participants of this year’s Homer Ski Swap. Additionally, we would like to thank Mike Illg, recreation manager, of Homer Parks & Recreation for arranging the event. Thanks to the generous donations and engagement of community members, the Mariner Skiers were pleased in providing their knowledge and service of waxing skis.

More than ever, we realize that without Homer’s enthusiastic commitment to skiing and the charity of its citizens, this place would not be the ski town it’s known to be. After seeing this year’s huge turnout, we look forward to seeing the kids, parents, community members, and numerous volunteers out there on the ski trails.

Again, the ski team wishes to thank you all so much for the support and continued involvement.


Katie Miller, Sean Bourque and Will Anderson for the Mariner Nordic Ski Team of ‘21-’22

Soil and Water Conservation District appreciates Rasmuson support

All of us down here at the Homer Soil and Water Conservation District would like to express our sincere gratitude for the support we have received in the last couple of months. We are a tiny organization that has been growing a great deal in the last few years and it was time to expand our offices from the little space next door to Natural Resources Conservation Service. For years, NRCS has been able to let us use the office next door since we partner so closely with them on projects like the high tunnel program, but they could not accommodate our growing team. Luckily with a Tier One Grant from the Rasmuson Foundation and the support of the 100 Women Who Care in Homer, we were able to upgrade the back warehouse at the old Alaska WildBerry building into a lovely set of shared offices for our staff.

You will still be able to get information and answers to many of your questions about gardening, soils and more down at our office next door to NRCS in the Frontier Building, but we also will have room to spread out, talk on the phone and for meetings in our new space behind the scenes at Wildberry. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive as we have grown and taken on more projects conserving soil and water resources in the Homer area.

Kyra Wagner

Drumming up a good time

Recently the students of West Homer Elementary were fortunate to receive quality drumming instruction from Eddie Wood, our guest Artist in the School, a performing artist who focuses on projects as a percussionist, dancer, storyteller and actor. During Eddie’s residency he worked tirelessly to impart skills in listening to and drumming different rhythms. He incorporated percussion, movement, and storytelling. The goals of the residency were to prioritize strong, positive relationships among students to support their social and emotional needs. Secondly, to teach cooperation, empathy for others, decision making skills and encourages an exchange of knowledge between the students. And last, to continue to develop concepts of grit and perseverance.

The final performance resulted in an experience filled with a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Links to the recorded performances can be found on the West Homer Elementary Facebook page.

These experiences wouldn’t be possible without the support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska USA FCU, Kenai Fine Arts Guild, Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware, and private donors who partner with Bunnell Street Arts Center to sponsor our Artist in the School programs. On behalf of the students and staff of West Homer Elementary School we are truly grateful for these experiences that broaden our horiz0ns and enrich our lives. Thank you!

Krista Etzwiler, West Homer Elementary School Art Coordinator

Eddie Wood leads a drumming class at West Homer Elementary School in early November. (Photo courtesy of West Homer Elementary School)

Eddie Wood leads a drumming class at West Homer Elementary School in early November. (Photo courtesy of West Homer Elementary School)

Students drum in a class taught by Eddie Wood at West Homer Elementary School in early November. (Photo courtesy of West Homer Elementary School)

Eddie Wood leads a drumming class at West Homer Elementary School in early November. (Photo courtesy of West Homer Elementary School)