Letters to the Editor

KBFPC appreciative of community support

Dear Editor,

Happy 2022 from all of us at Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic! As we look back over the last year, we are so appreciative of the community support for the Clinic, REC Room afterschool space, and Peer Educator program. The City of Homer grant program through the Homer Foundation provided general operating funds that helped us reorganize in 2021 and create a sustainable clinic model that will allow us to serve the reproductive healthcare needs of the community well into the future. Thank you! As a standalone nonprofit organization, these funds are critical to offering breast and cervical cancer screening, annual wellness visits, contraception, STI testing, and more on a sliding scale, including low and no-cost options; we serve everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Since our beginnings in 1983, how KBFPC supports the community of the Southern Kenai Peninsula has evolved – alongside our local partners – thanks to many dedicated employees, board members, medical providers, and volunteers. We’ve learned from your experiences and remain responsive to our community, including the need for expanded access to our medical providers, Sonja Martin Young, CNM, and Dr. Robin Holmes, five days a week for the first time in our 40-year history. We wish you all a healthy and happy new year!

Claudia Haines, CEO, Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic

Jack-booted thuggish Trumpians!

From the individual perspective Charles Barnwell was quite correct last week in stating that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, during which one person – a female Trump supporter – was killed was a national disgrace. Not physically so much, I think; we’ve had ample recent examples of rioting in public places, but rather as a brazen assault on democracy’s most vulnerable point – certification of the Presidential election. And, of course, those few militia-type individuals who covertly planned and abetted the amateur hour affair absolutely need to be charged with sedition.

From the broader perspective, though, those persons deeply offended and angered by the riot need to take a deep breath before impulsively promoting a politically-restrictive national policy that blindly stigmatizes all those who entered the Capitol as intending to overthrow the government. That’s certainly not the case, and even if it were, it’s not psychological rocket science. A doctorate in psychology isn’t required to appreciate that continued demonizing of almost half the American electorate (Trumpians) as delusional by the other half inevitably increases the future chances of a real, properly-planned and led insurrection. To preclude that frightening possibility, the vicious and divisive rhetoric – from both sides – really needs to be scaled back; it’s far more dangerous to our Constitutional Republic of 333 million citizens than the physical danger from a thousand or so jack-booted militia members parading through the streets playing soldiers.

Larry Slone

Thank you to local supportive organizations

To the Editor;

Kachemak Heritage Land Trust would like to thank the Land Trust Alliance Excellence Program, the Homer Foundation, and the Kenai Peninsula Foundation for grant funding that supports our stewardship program. Two vital elements of the work we do are acquiring land for conservation and stewarding that land once it’s under our care. The grant funds we received enabled us to organize and streamline our stewardship record-keeping, thus enabling us to meet our perpetual stewardship obligation. We look forward to continued opportunities to collaborate in the future. Thank you!

Marie McCarty, Executive Director KHLT

Hope and Gratitude

Last week I had the misfortune of testing positive for COVID-19, despite being vaccinated, boosted, very careful (apparently not careful enough), and wearing a mask. The Omicron variant is incredibly contagious. But, as with all negative experiences, there was a silver lining. I am immunocompromised and my wonderful physician at the Homer Medical Center, Dr. Christy Martinez, recommended that I take the new Pfizer anti-viral drug, Paxlovid. The only problem is that the federal government is not allowing any pharmacies in Homer to sell Paxlovid, rather they must sell the new Merck drug, which is far inferior. The only place Paxlovid was available was Walgreens in Soldotna.

My husband and I really weren’t feeling up to the drive, so my brother, Michael Armstrong and editor of the Homer News, started putting out the word and calling around to see if anyone was driving to Homer. When he called his boss, Jeff Hayden, the publisher of the Homer News and the Peninsula Clarion, to see if anyone was coming down to Homer from Soldotna, Jeff quickly said, “I’ll do it. No problem, Michael.”

I have never met Jeff. He wasn’t planning on coming to Homer that day, but he saw someone in need and just did it. When I offered to buy him lunch (when I was no longer sick), he said, “There’s no need. I just want you to get well.” I am so touched by his generosity and kindness. Other friends and family—Janet Fink, Judy Gonsalves, Linda Chamberlain, Al Breitzman, Jenny Stroyeck, and Michael Armstrong—picked up groceries, made dinners, cookies, muffins, and brought takeout. Getting COVID-19 was not a “mild” cold for me, but experiencing the generosity of spirit has filled me with hope and gratitude.

Thank you to Jeff, my friends, family, and Dr. Martinez.

Helen Armstrong

Respectfully suggesting a new soapbox

How fortunate Homer is to have a weekly newspaper, against all odds. Letters to the editor – an opportunity for citizens to express praise, gratitude and a sense of community alongside contentious issues oft requiring constructive criticism in order to relay important information.

Every five years or so, one individual who, like myself, is perhaps not locked into social media to share views, appears to decide the community surely must benefit from his weekly rantings, using the paper as a bullhorn for some grievance — the same letter in different variations. Twitter for people who don’t tweet. A soapbox for those lacking a crate.

To this most recent frequent flyer, there are plenty of outlets for constructed-narrative oppositions, places to find the recognition being sought, where information taken out of context reigns and substantial disagreement is the focus. Places where a closing salutation of “respectfully” isn’t so blatantly ironic.

Everyone is navigating burdens. So much perceived evil to “fight back against” when, in truth, what we need most are healthy ideas and freedom from fear.

Sometimes, less is more.

Ever hopeful,

Zan Greenwood

HB52 will burden local fishermen

Rep. Sarah Vance’s House Bill 52 would burden 98.5% of Cook Inlet fishermen.

It illegally authorizes exclusive right and privilege for the Tutka pink salmon hatchery to exploit Kachemak Bay State Park and critical shellfish habitat. Vance knows full well, that 590 setnet and 502 drift businesses are denied access to participate in this exclusive, privileged, inaccessible Lower Cook Inlet Tutka Hatchery fishery.

HB52 sanctions Cook Inlet Aquaculture’s (CIAA) self-serving and misappropriation of $20,000,000 in 2% Salmon Enhancement Taxes (SET). This annual tax, fleeces 1,092 Inlet businesses, wild sockeye harvest.

In exchange, for CIAA’s failing no benefit boondoggles, fishermen are bamboozled with misleading public-relations lip service, glossy annual reports, future promise, failed inaccessible hatcheries, disease and damage to wild systems and species of concern. Yet CIAA’s annual $4.5 million hatchery expense allows only 17 out of 1,109 Area H fishermen access.

Rep. Vance’s HB52 Tutka pink hatchery bail-out campaign, endorses CIAA’s delusional empire, serving as its own private ATM. This malfunctioning ATM is hemorrhaging $17,000,000 in loans to resuscitate the failed, inaccessible, diseased Tutka hatchery. This holds hostage all limited entry permits.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul, HB52 obscures misdealing’s of insolvency. Using this fiscally irresponsible bill squarely burdens 1,092 fishermen, who physically have no access and no preference for pink salmon. CIAA’s use of public trust wild fishery nurseries as an ATM machine for self-service must cease.

HB52 demands scrutiny to expose Rep Vance’s deceptive intentions on this misguided fiscally irresponsible, exclusive-comrade privilege. The Tutka Hatchery is illegal, makes other hatcheries look bad, and needs to go away.

Wes Humbyrd

Dealing with an open border

How long will we have to put up with an open southern border? Three more years? Is there nothing we can do to stop this incompetent administration from destroying our country?

Ray Dawson