Letters to the Editor

Thanks for water trail support

The Kachemak Bay Water Trail Committee and The Friends of Kachemak Bay Stage Park want to thank Sherri and Don Stead at Grace Ridge Brewery for their continued, generous support. Their donations have helped support summer trail maintenance in Kachemak Bay State Park, chainsaw and weed whacker training for volunteers, and wilderness first aid training as well as boat transportation for volunteers. At the brewery they often display maps of the Water Trail and Kachemak Bay State Park, post notices of activities, fundraisers and more. They are also gracious supporters of the Annual Social put on by the Water Trail Committee by providing the venue, smiling faces and pretty good beer.

Thank You Don, Sherry and the crew at the Grace Ridge Brewery.


Dave Brann and Robert Archibald, co-chairs

Water Trail Committee and board members

of Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park

Remaining vigilant after 30 years

It’s almost hard to believe it’s been more than 30 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. One reason is because the work done since then has prevented a slide back into complacency by continuing to apply the lessons learned in the immediate aftermath of the spill.

Exxon Valdez spurred both federal and state legislatures, the industry, and the public to come together to establish laws protecting sensitive resources from another spill. One of those, Alaska House Bill 567, celebrated its 30th anniversary on June 25. This law created, among other things, Alaska’s world class set of spill response regulations. Federal legislation would follow in 1990, when the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) was created. We represent 13 diverse groups from Kodiak to Anchorage including Alaska Native groups, municipal governments and public interests like fishing, tourism, aquaculture, recreation and environmental concerns. We work closely with regulators and the industry to ensure that those interests are recognized and accounted for in response planning, and to keep the public informed about issues that could potentially compromise incident response.

When it was clear the planned response to Exxon Valdez was woefully inadequate to the unprecedented scope of the spill, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation took a lead role in adapting to meet those challenges. The result was the most comprehensive suite of oil spill response strategies ever imagined. We remain committed to those laws and over the ensuing 30 years, we have worked to add strength and clarity to them.

Passage of HB 567 signaled that opposing interests could come together in relatively short order, and under great pressure, to do the right thing. That is a lesson that can never be taught enough, even after 30 years.

Shaylon Cochran, Director of Public Outreach,

Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Counci,


Educator grateful for support

I am writing to express my sincere thanks and acknowledgement for receiving the Educators Professional Development Scholarship from the Homer Foundation, and to express gratitude to the donors who made this scholarship possible. I am honored to have received this scholarship which will financially support the growth of my teaching skills in the areas of literacy and math.

The educational courses that I will be taking with the funds of this scholarship will help ensure that I am continuing to meet the needs of my students through high quality instruction.


Jennifer Olson


Sarah Vance is spreading conspiracy theories (lies). Trump did NOT win the election fair and square. The mostly Republicans on the January 6th Commission, who love America, are pointing that out very clearly. Trump tried to take over the government with a coup and kill our republic and American democracy (and Mike Pence) to become a dictator. I can’t believe so many people are falling for his lies and don’t want a free country.

Freedom of religion? Only if you’re Christian. Freedom over your own body? Ha! Freedom to read good books? Not if they tell the truth! Freedom of speech? Teetering.

Separation of church and state is so important! Look what happened in Japan and Germany during World War II because religion and government were so intertwined. It’s happening here. Take heed.

Lela Ryterski,


Vaccine Truth Revealed

A year ago, Joe Biden said that if you get vaccinated for Covid-19 you won’t catch the disease or pass it on to others and you are not going to die of Covid-19. Ironically, exactly one year later to the day, the four times vaccinated and boosted Joe Biden announced he has Covid-19. Apparently, in Biden’s case, getting vaccinated wasn’t effective at keeping him from catching this disease.

Even worse news for the vax true-believers, on Friday former White House Covid-19 director Deborah Birx admitted that she lied about the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines and knew they were never going to protect against infection, despite initially telling us otherwise. She also admitted half of Omicron deaths in 2022 were of vaccinated individuals. Also just reported in Canada, 92% of recent Covid-19 deaths there were in vaccinated individuals. Based on these facts, maybe someone should tell Anne Zink to reconsider her recommendation supporting Covid-19 vaccinations. Maybe we all should.


Greg Sarber

Let’s Keep Alaska’s Water Safe from Forever Chemicals

Ever since I was little, I have taken hikes to explore the lush forest in my backyard, not knowing what wildlife I would encounter. As I’d continue my walk down to the creek that runs through the forest, I would often find oyster shells along the banks. Everytime, the water looks so inviting that I would love to take a drink, though I never do because I’m sure it’s not safe. What many Americans don’t realize, however, is that our drinking water might not be safe either because of contamination from a class of toxic manmade chemicals called PFAS.

PFAS chemicals have been around since the 1940s and were originally used to coat nonstick cookware. They are known as “forever chemicals” because they never break down and can build up in the environment and our bodies. Exposure to PFAS is linked to cancer, immune system deficiencies, high cholesterol, low fertility, and child development issues. Two of the primary ways PFAS enter our drinking water is through the use of firefighting foams and industrial discharges. Officials have identified potentially different levels of PFAS in community’s drinking water across Alaska.

Fortunately, Congress is able to address the toxics in our taps. Specifically, Congress should phase out the use of PFAS in firefighting foams, require the EPA to stop manufacturers from dumping PFAS in our waterways, and require EPA to create drinking water regulations for PFAS. With that end in mind, last month, Environment America and U.S. PIRG, along with 80 other organizations, including Alaska’s Gustavus PFAS Action Coalition, submitted a letter to the U.S. Senate calling for legislation that protects our drinking water from PFAS. All Alaskans should seize this moment to call on our Senators to turn off the tap on toxic PFAS.

Hajrah Jalil

Rosedale, Maryland