Letters to the Editor

Don’t be a hick

I object to Vance’s HB52, which gives away the heart of Kachemak Bay State park (Tutka Lagoon) to a private interest (Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association – CIAA). In essence, this two-paragraph bill gives 14 seiners the lagoon to lay wanton waste to in an attempt to make a failing humpy hatchery successful.

Most people know:

Humpies (pink salmon) area low value fish. They are so low value that there is no fish processing plant in Cook Inlet that will take them. They must be taken to Kodiak or Seward to be processed, or they are ground up and spit back into the Inlet.

Tourism is the largest employer of Alaskans. The grandeur of Alaska draws people here. One in three of them will return. Most state parks in Alaska would be national parks if they were in any other state, and Kachemak Bay State Park is an easily-accessible jewel.

The troubled hatchery relies on fish tax paid by all fishermen to benefit a few. They have rung up $17 million in unpaid loans, only turning a profit in two of the last 31 years. We all know loans must be paid.

One hundred twenty million pink salmon in Tutka lagoon, which you can wade at low tide, is too many. The death and excrement that goes along with releasing this many fry is not good for the environment.

The people of this state own the park. To trade a lagoon in the heart of the park for a parking lot 23 miles away (that the state of Alaska already owns) is not a trade, and far from a fair trade.

This is like a West Virginia coal company saying, “We’ll give you your back yard if you let us have your front yard.” Except there, the coal company actually owned the land.

And here, the people own the land, both parcels.

Don’t be a hick,

Gordy Vernon

Alaska’s Kachemak Currents is worth the read

For those who enjoyed hearing Daisy Lee Bitter’s Kachemak Currents over the years, she has finished her book, and it is a beauty. The pictures she included are wonderful, as are the stories of what is so special about Kachemak Bay. The book deserves to be on a coffee table for visitors to enjoy. It is available at the Center for Coastal Studies and from Amazon. She intends for the proceeds to go to the Center for Coastal Studies, KBBI and the Foundations Marine and Coastal Education Fund.

The book is titled “Alaska’s Kachemak Currents.” It is very special, and I promise you will love it.


Milli Martin

Ensuring the right to vote is in country’s best interest

In response to Charles Franz’s observations on the “Fight for Democracy,” I’d opine that Mr. Franz exhorts a highly political view intended to alienate voters against each other. The article he references does NOT loosen all requirements to the point that “…there would be no possibility of ensuring the integrity of our elections” – a grandiose statement that is false on it’s face. Pointing to a report that says “…widespread absentee voting makes voter fraud more likely…” is cherry picking at its finest.

The Freedom to Vote Act incorporates basic voting standards that would apply across the nation. States would be able to refine these elements as they see fit, in compliance with the Constitution. For a complete review of the act, visit https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/freedom-vote-act.

Mr. Franz flatly states that “…automatic voter registration combined with unrestricted absentee voting clearly sets the stage for fraud.” In Colorado, voting has been done by mail in ballots in all elections since 2013. Mr. Franz’s observation that “widespread absentee voting makes voter fraud more likely” is without validation and appears intended to spread fear and distrust.

This bill would require all 50 states and D.C. to have a uniform approach to voting. Among the points of the Freedom to Vote Act are making Election Day a national holiday, automatic voter registration (Alaska does this when you apply for a PFD), same day voting registration, online voting registration, early voting guaranteed for two weeks, including nights and weekends, no excuse absentee voting, and reforming campaign finance.

It’s in the best interests of the country to ensure every citizen has the right to vote, as guaranteed by the Constitution, not to try to restrict their freedom to do so. I believe that Mr. Franz adheres to the latter position.

Joe Hannigan

COVID-19 apology in Denmark

Dear Editor,

Last week one of Denmark’s largest newspapers published a huge apology for their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years. Among the things they apologized for, they were sorry that they didn’t question the government’s data and conclusions about COVID-19 before publishing them. They said they should have asked more questions about how public health officials were tabulating data and called into question the true extent of this disease. They admitted that they failed in their role as an independent monitor of power and instead became a mouthpiece of power. Their honesty is refreshing. It would be nice to see an American newspaper with the same degree of candor.

On a different topic, for those on the left wanting to censor views different from their own, it bears repeating that never have those advocating for censorship been on the right side of history. If you don’t like to read opinions that differ from yours, then don’t read them, but you lose the opportunity for discourse. One thing you should think about is although you may consider everyone in Homer as “fellow travelers,” many of your friends and neighbors are secretly grateful for a conservative voice in our liberal town. They tell me so every week.


Greg Sarber