Letters to the Editor

Anyone can change lives

To the Homer community who supported our recent fundraiser, thank you! We had a bake sale to support Ukraine. It was very successful and we were able to send a lot of money to the Red Cross to support the men, women and children who have been displaced by the war. Remember, anyone can change lives for the better!

Thanks again,

James Damore, fifth grader at West Homer Elementary School

Caregivers need relief

For the past two years, I have been the around-the-clock caregiver for both my husband and myself.

It started when I had two back surgeries and a couple of ankle surgeries. I had great caregivers, but then their hours were cut, and kept getting cut. In 2017, I had an ankle replacement. I was bedridden for three months — and approved for one half-hour of care a day.

My caregiver would come over for two or three hours, even though she was only getting paid for half an hour. She’d stay because she knew I couldn’t move around or do anything without help. I was so disappointed in the care system, and I was getting scared of what things will be like for me and my husband when we got older and needed more care.

Then, in 2020, my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. A few months later, he had two strokes. He was in a walker for a while, and he can’t drive anymore.

I’m now the sole caregiver for him and myself. I am exhausted most of the time because there’s nobody to give me a break. I have multiple sclerosis and just had a relapse not too long ago, and I think the stress of what we’ve been going through brought it on.

Alaska has the fastest-growing senior population in the country, and one of the highest increases of seniors with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. But we still don’t have access to quality, affordable and well-trained home care. Now is a critical time for the Alaska Legislature and the governor to invest in home care. We need you to stand with us to support seniors, people with disabilities, and children, and to help create good, respectable jobs that pay a living wage and keep Alaskans home in their own communities.

Tracy Rector

Team Fly Dough gives thanks

Team Fly Dough and the Marley family would like to thank the Homer Chamber of Commerce, the Homer Winter King Tournament Committee, all of its sponsors and volunteers for putting together the biggest and best saltwater salmon fishing event on the west coast. We are greatly humbled with an unprecedented second tournament championship! We wish all future participants the best of luck, tight lines and good sportsmanship!

Best Regards,

The Marleys

Vote McKittrick for HEA board

It’s a full-on election year, with primaries, local, State, special federal and federal elections, so get your election pencil ready.

A good start will be voting in the Homer Electric Board election first, with ballots due by next Tuesday, May 3. My choice for HEA board is Erin McKittrick; she has proven to have a science based approach to keeping rates stable while transitioning to renewable energy sources. I have noted that she also makes a big effort to answer any HEA member concerns. It’s great to have this winning combination in public service for a change.

Bill Smith

Grateful for Hospice of Homer

Hospice of Homer has operated on the Kenai Peninsula since 1985, and was started by a group of local residents who recognized the need which existed in our area, and began putting together the kind of service, in their own homes, which is now offered to surrounding areas on the Kenai Peninsula.

Hospice maintains a very active medical equipment loan program, trains volunteers to support families and individuals dealing with disastrous illness and caregiving for family members in our rural setting, provides grief counselling and support, and continually seeks to provide resources, both material, such as non-medical comfort supplies (lotions, sterile gloves, bedding protectors, and incontinence items) free of charge to the local population.

No one is turned away from access to these items, whether or not they are formally hospice clients.

Hospice of Homer is supported largely by donations from our community, as well as a variety of grant funds from various sources, and serves as a recycling center for expensive medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds, etc., all carefully maintained for safety and stability by a dedicated volunteer.

All this is done with the effort of a truly skeletal paid staff and a small army of dedicated and trained volunteers. We are very proud of the service we are able to offer our community in collaboration with other such organizations on the Kenai Peninsula and throughout Alaska. As a retired staff member and current volunteer, I urge community members to reach out to their own local organizations for more information on how to volunteer or help in some other manner. Hospice of Homer can be reached Monday through Friday at 907-235-6899 for more information.

Carol Dee