Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Jan. 6, 2022.

Letters to the Editor

Foundation support for softball appreciated

Dear editor,

With the arrival of spring just around the corner, the Homer High Mariner Softball team would, once again, like to thank the Homer Foundation’s David and Mary Schroer Fund for the ongoing, multi-year support of our program. Their grant has been used in the past for safety equipment, such as new batting helmets and injury prevention with pylo bands for the entire team, but this year they have helped us move into completely new territory.

Given the logistics of winter training, the Schroer Fund has now enabled us to train with Virtual Reality. With a blizzard raging outdoors, our batters will be able to visualize a variety of pitchers — recognizing strikes, judging movement pitches and even taking batting practice.

Thanks again to the Schroer Fund and the many other community supporters that keep this successful sports program going.

Bill Bell, head coach

Cross-Country ski support appreciated

Many thanks from the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club to the City of Homer and the Homer Foundation for financial support in 2021. The $2,000 grant helped our group of volunteers maintain 50 miles of cross-country ski trails open to the public in three separate locations — Lookout Mountain, Baycrest and McNeil.

Supported by more than 800 dues-paying members in the local community, KNSC partners with local schools to host after-school programs, ski team workouts, Borough-wide races and two popular programs, one for kids and one for adults. The Junior Nordic Program provides low-cost ski rentals to help local kids ages 5 to 12 get outside and learn to ski. This winter there are a record number of 175 kids in Junior Nordic. For adults, the Homer Nordic Program is providing ski lessons and training to around 40 folks.

A lot of volunteer effort is required to maintain these trails and programs, and the fleet of snowmachines, tracked ATVs, grooming machines, mowers, rollers and other equipment needed for this work. KNSC is proud to lead this effort, and very much appreciates support from the City and the Homer Foundation.

Sincerely,

Peter Crimp, KNSC Board Member

Homer will participate in Jan. 6 vigils

A year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Homer will be sending a message that voters decide the outcome of elections.

Jan. 6 was a violent and deadly attack against all Americans – against our country, our democracy and our freedom as voters to choose the leaders that represent us so that we have a government of, by, and for the people.

A faction of elected officials turned their backs on America by inciting armed right-wing militants to attack our Capitol and then tried to block an investigation to cover up their role in this deadly violence.

So this Jan. 6, exactly one year later, Americans across race, place, party and background are holding candlelight vigils to say: In America, the voters decide the outcome of elections. The promise of democracy is not a partisan issue, but a calling that unites us as Americans. To prevent this kind of attack from happening again, our elected leaders must pass urgent voting rights legislation that will protect this country from anti-democratic forces who are continuing their efforts to destroy it.

Our event in Homer is one of more than 150 events that will take place across the country, including in the U.S. Capitol.

Join us on from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wisdom, Knowledge, Friendship, & Love Park (face masks are recommended), so we can prevent another attack, realize the promise of democracy for all of us — no matter our color, zip code, or income — and all have an equal say in the decisions that shape our daily lives and futures.

Hal Shepherd, Unitarian Universalists of Homer

Fireworks were … Fantastic!

Is it just me, or does the Fireworks Fantastical just get more fun every year? It has fast become an annual highlight for me and my family. Thank you to the 119 funders who contributed more than $15,000 toward the New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Thank you to the 40-plus volunteers who helped set up, park spectators, light fireworks and clean up later in 25 knot winds.

Thank you to the city of Homer and the Homer Chamber of Commerce for providing the backing necessary to put on this event each year. Thank you to Captain’s Coffee for the hot drinks and snacks and to Weisser Homes for the thousands of glow sticks handed out to kids.

Thank you to the Homer News, KBBI, and Peninsula Radio for helping us get the word out. (We’ve never spent a penny on advertising.) Thank you God for the great weather. And thank you fireworks for being so fantastic!

See you next year.

Aaron Weisser

Kizzia and Larson offered years of service to Homer Foundation

I would like to extend a sincere “thank you” to Tom Kizzia and Flo Larson for their many years of dedication and hard work as Trustees of the Homer Foundation, and to learn of the many programs and new projects that they both helped shepherd to completion.

As long time Alaskans, but relative newcomers to Homer, it didn’t take long for my wife and me to notice what a vibrant and diverse place this is, and to discover how many of its citizens share in their willingness to help make this community a better place for everyone through volunteering with our numerous nonprofits, supporting activities and scholarship programs for our kids and young adults, and just helping when people are in need.

Thanks, Tom and Flo. I hope the Homer Foundation can find folks of your caliber to fill your seats on its board. There are a lot here who I know would be great.

Ken Taylor

China Poot sockeye and Tutka Bay

I worked for Cook Inlet Aquaculture, mainly collecting data and handling fish at the Bear Creek Weir in Seward. On one of my first assignments in 1989, we flew to Big River across Cook Inlet to collect sockeye salmon eggs and return them to the Trail Lake hatchery to re-establish the sockeye fishery in Resurrection Bay. The egg take required one float plane with people and gear, enough to set up a weir, collect eggs, camp for several days and return the eggs for incubation at the Trail Lake hatchery.

As a result, there has been a successful commercial and sport sockeye fishery in Resurrection Bay for almost three decades. It is possible to continue the China Poot sockeye fishery without the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery – with very few minor modifications.

State of Alaska stocks fish all over the state.

Sockeye salmon are not incubated in the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery. The China Poot sockeye fishery was successful in the years 2004-2011 when the CIAA suspended operations at Tutka Bay.

Don’t set a precedent by carving protected land out of Kachemak Bay State Park, and possibly other state parks.

Kevin Walker

Thankful for the Homer Foundation and the Jack and Mary Lentfer Fund

As 2022 begins, the Friends of the Homer Public Library wishes to thank many in the community, but especially the Homer Foundation, for all of their financial support last year. Funding, provided through the Homer Foundation’s Quick Grant and the Jack and Mary Lentfer Fund, made it possible for six different artists to visit virtually through the Artists in Their Residence program. These artists and published illustrators, who visited from their home studios, helped promote the Homer Public Library’s summer reading program, literacy and creativity.

In addition, we received the Homer Foundation’s People’s Choice Award as selected by Duffy Clarke and the Homer Board of Trustees, which enhanced our Storywalk Trail and the Little Makers Program in collaboration with Sprout.

We celebrate the Homer Foundation and how much it gives to our community.

Cheryl Illg, Coordinator, Friends of the Homer Public Library

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