This is our borough and city
Another election already? Yes! These are our local elections — borough and city. It’s not as popular and you may think it and a bit of a yawner but this is probably the election that affects our day-to-day lives the most.
Voters will elect representation for the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly seats in their district and for Homer City Council seats.
You may also see on the ballot emergency service board seats, school district board seats and hospital service board seats. These are probably people you know, your neighbors. They are committing their time to serve on these boards and deserve our attention.
There are three borough propositions in all. Proposition One has to do with reapportionment of districts which could change our representation. We have two options: stay with the nine districts we currently have or increase to 11 districts. Both options have some district border changes. Proposition Two asks voters to approve a bond in order to do some structural maintenance on some of our school buildings. Proposition Three asks voters in the Central Emergency Service area to adopt a bond to build a new CES fire station.
Did you get the borough voting pamphlet? It’s got a cute otter picture on the front. Inside is all the election news you need — candidate photos and statements, sample ballots, district maps, where to vote, dates and deadlines. Even a quick look-through will inform you. Check out precincts and polling places of where to vote.
Early Absentee In-Person voting began Sept. 19 at Homer City Hall, at the Soldotna Prep School, at the Kenai City Clerk’s office, the Seldovia City Clerk’s office and at the Seward City Clerk’s office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oct, 4 is Election Day!
Be an informed voter and remember, all votes count and all voices matter.
Therese Lewandowski for Kenai Peninsula Votes
The October election is Tuesday, and this is my reminder to all of you to be please be sure to vote.
And to those who have not yet registered to vote in the mid terms in November, please do so — we need all of you to vote. For those who will vote for the first time, you have until Oct. 9 to register. You can do so on line at (www. elections.alaska.gov.) I urge those of you not registered, PLEASE do so, and on Nov. 8, be sure to vote. In the 1980s, when School Board members were elected borough wide, I lost twice by only a handfull of votes; sadly, it was the folks who forgot to vote. It can make a huge difference.
For our teachers, current and retired, it is important you vote regarding the Constitution. Benefits are at stake, please be sure to vote NO. Remember, it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Thanks to all of you.
Oh, and vote Tuesday
Did you know that we have a Borough/City election Oct. 4? Compared to our state elections, Borough/City elections don’t get much attention. Usual voter turnout for these elections is around 20 percent. For the Homer precincts, voter turnout for these elections’ averages around 25%. One of the best voter turnouts for Borough/City elections was in 2017, when the marijuana proposition was on the ballot. Research shows that hot button issues get the voters’ attention.
But even if there isn’t much to vote on, these smaller elections are vitally important.
This election on Oct. 4 has two different ballots: one for the City and one for the Borough. City residents vote both ballots. On the City ballot you will be voting for two city council members for a 3-year seat. There are five candidates in this race. The mayor is running unopposed. For those of us who don’t live in the city, we will only vote in the Borough election. All service area and school board races just have one person running. However, there are two ballot measures you will be voting on. Ballot Measure 1 (not to be confused with Nov. 8 Ballot Measure 1 about the Constitutional Convention question) is based on our 2022 census. Our population growth on the Kenai indicates that we can add two more districts to our Borough. If this proposition passes, we will have 11 districts instead of nine. That means that Seldovia, Nanwalek, Port Graham and Tyonek would now become District 10. They would have their own representatives for School Board and Borough Assembly. Proposition 2 deals with a bond package to help with capital improvements with our schools. You can read more about these propositions at the Borough website at https://www.kpb.us/assembly-clerk/elections/election-seats.
Don’t drill offshore
As an artist living in Seldovia, Alaska, I strongly oppose the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s 5-year plan for federal offshore oil and gas development. Having been born and raised in this area, and spending a great deal of my time exploring the land and ocean, and people’s connection to the land and ocean through my artwork, I find it hard to stomach the changes that would come with further oil and gas development in my front yard. Some of my earliest memories are of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and I worked in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. I am also a member of Seldovia’s local oil spill response team, and I know the dangers and heartbreak of oil spills. Oil’s devastating impact on our marine mammals, fisheries, and culture are well documented and well remembered. Continuing to develop oil resources is simply fueling the fire of climate change. It is time to stop compromising our wild places in our endless quest for oil, and focus on alternative energy sources.
The public has until Oct. 6 to weigh in. I urge you to join me in asking the administration to permanently withdraw Lower Cook Inlet from federal oil and gas leasing by signing the petition at inletkeeper.org/5YP or submitting public comment at inletkeeper.org/5YPComment.
Valisa Higman, Seldovia
Explaining the cello breaks on KBBI
My compliments to cartoonist Michael O’Meara for his art on Sept. 22. I chuckled when I saw it, with a hint of resignation. Thanks for listening to KBBI, Michael! The surprise cello breaks are part of a silence detecting system, to cover us when things break.
The system also emails us, prompting us to scurry to our laptops to find the issue. The cascade of failures we experienced last week had us scurrying more than usual and left us puzzling over the cause, the errors coming from a variety of sources and causing multiple failures. It was a game of whack-a-mole I’d like to not play regularly. All indications pointed towards a network switch failing.
We’d ordered replacement switches last year which, thanks to a supply chain backlog, arrived last month. We were setting them up on the workbench so we pressed them into service on Tuesday. Six days later with no errors feels like actual progress. Thanks to my hard-working staff for their diligence and for being on call so frequently to keep us on air.
This is a great time to call attention to our Fall Fund Drive next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8 and ask for your support so we can continue to improve and grow with our listeners. KBBI is a public radio station, supported in a very large part by listener contributions and underwriting from local businesses. It’s thanks to our listeners that we have the resources we need, professional, full-time staff to run operations at the station (and solve network issues as they arise), and have modern equipment to broadcast with. With your continued support we will strive for fewer cello breaks, less scurrying, and more of the regularly scheduled programming you love.
With much gratitude,
Josh Krohn, General Manager, KBBI
Qanon accusations are sick
Everyone has heard of Qanon and their ridiculous accusation of liberals killing children and drinking their blood. How sick is this?
Could it be that they, like extreme right wing fascists, commit their crimes and attempt to cover up by blaming Democrats of their foul, sick corruption?
I believe this may be true. How else could they dream up these accusations?
Something else to think about: Christian fascists try to invade a gay establishment and urge the sheriff to put bullets in the head of these gay people.
How Christian is this?
These are more reasons to vote blue to maintain your lifestyle and preserve our democracy.
What is this one-finger salute to Trump by the MAGA maggots? I have had a one-finger salute for him since 2016.
Rewrite our Constitution? – NO
Residents love Alaska for more than our weather. The freedoms and liberty guaranteed in our State Constitution are more explicit than in other state constitutions. Only 11 states have similar expanded rights of privacy. Now some people want to change that freedom to what is your private life and freedom in your home. The right of privacy enables a person to decide what medical treatment to get or not. That right of privacy is also the basis for personal use of marijuana in your home as explained by the Alaska Supreme Court in the case Ravin v. Alaska. That right was placed in our constitution as people viewed the abuses of government intrusion into personal lives during the times of MaCarthy U.S. Senate hearings and wanted to make sure it did not happen here!
A big problem is a convention has the power to change all provisions and all changes can be rolled into a single voter proposal, hiding undesirable changes under the cover of a popular one. We have been spared this “roll everything together” problem because our Constitution has a “single subject rule.” Article 2 Section 13 states “Every bill shall be confined to one subject…” We have escaped the worst effects of the “omnibus bill” challenge that afflicts many states and the federal government. Not only are unpopular issues hidden, but votes by legislators are less accountable to constituents because of claims they voted to support a different issue included in the omnibus package. Our constitutional convention would be the ultimate omnibus bill.
Let’s not risk creating problems for ourselves. Vote NO on #1 in November on an unnecessary and costly Constitutional Convention.
Murkowski supports bird conservation
From king eiders to American three-toed woodpeckers and willow ptarmigans, Alaska is home to diverse bird life. As Chair of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, recognized the importance of birds, supporting a funding boost in migratory bird conservation in the 116th Congress. In the current, 117th Congress Sen. Murkowski obtained $750,000 for an Invasive Species Early Detection Rapid Response Strike Team in southcentral Alaska. Combined, these efforts advance bird conservation in Alaska, protecting the state’s heritage and biodiversity.
The American Bird Conservancy Action Fund applauds Sen. Murkowski’s efforts, and encourages her to continue advancing bird conservation in Alaska and beyond.
Steve Holmer, Vice President of Policy, American Bird Conservancy Action Fund
Huge Thanks in supporting Voznesenka Cougar Coders!
The Positive Behavioral and Intervention Support team at Voznesenka school would like to thank Fritz Creek General Store and Coop’s coffee for supporting our secondary students with donated quarterly raffle prizes of gift cards for drinks and pizza. Our students and staff greatly appreciate these donations.
Thank you Fritz Creek General Store and Coop’s coffee.
Lisa Nordstrom, coordinator, for the Positive Behavioral and Intervention Support team, Voznesenka K-12 School
Thanksgiving Basket program returns
Well here I am again. Doesn’t seem possible that another year has slipped by but here we are!
Are you looking for an easy way to help out people in need and to support a wonderful community service project? I have just the place for you to do just that.
Kachemak Bay Lions is again the coordinator for the Thanksgiving Basket Program. This program relies heavily on community support.
Can you help? Any amount is appreciated. Spending each year changes with the cost of food but we generally spend around $9,000 so as you can see, any amount given will help us to succeed.
We usually give out around 200 baskets and are planning for that many again this year. Please send your donation to Kachemak Bay Lions, P.O. Box 1824, Homer, Alakska 99603. You are all wonderful and very much appreciated.
Thank you and I give many THANKS for you.
Fran Van Sandt, Finance Chairman for Kachemak Bay Lions Club
I’m voting for Sarah Vance to represent us in the legislature because she listens to her constituents, has a good set of values and a strong moral compass. Sarah has worked for financial sensibility in state spending; election integrity; criminal justice reform; and keeping Alaska the kind of place where we want to live and see families thrive.
I hope you will join me in sending Sarah back to Juneau so she can continue the excellent work she has done.
More COVID-19 vax news
For the curious, here are two more revealing news stories about COVID-19 vaccinations in young people you won’t see on CNN or MSNBC. First, the country of Denmark has halted all COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals under the age of 50. No shots or boosters are permitted now for those below 50 unless you are in a high-risk group and have a doctor’s recommendation. One interpretation you could make from this change is that the Danish National Health Authority has recognized — without saying it directly — that for younger people COVID-19 is not a deadly disease and these vaccinations have some risks.
Here in America, a new study confirms what doctors from Denmark could be seeing. This study was written by nine doctors from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and other major universities, and reviews the risk vs. benefit of mRNA vaccines for those under 40 years of age. The study has shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is up to 98 times more harmful than catching the disease for this age group. Even worse, it appears that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has intentionally provided false information regarding their tracking of adverse reactions to the vaccines, making it difficult for us to evaluate the actual risk vs. benefit of this shot. At this point, otherwise healthy young people still considering the COVID-19 mRNA shots may wish to reevaluate that decision and the doctor that recommended it.
Alaska needs realignment
Should there be a Constitutional Convention? Aside from the usual culprits – Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, right-to-life, environmental concerns, educational overhaul, etc. — I believe there’s an overlooked element of crucial future importance. It’s this: Alaska and its municipalities can no longer afford to be solely bastions of conservative stability; there are too many centrifugal forces threatening to tear American society apart. In response to the 24/7 deluge of threatening news at all levels, whether of COVID-19, inflation, cataclysmic climatic events, nuclear brinkmanship, environmental degradation, drug abuse, school shooters, or splinter groups demands, the individual is being psychically overwhelmed. Our old social institutions are dissolving, hence we are psychologically left adrift in a fragmenting society, incessantly distracted by trivia, feted and entertained by media, and saturated with non-stop divisive political propaganda.
Yes, our intellect has incredible capability to resolve problems and positively benefit mankind. With proper international cooperation every human on earth could be adequately fed and housed. Yet when confronted with our deep-rooted human fears, with our archaic instincts of insularity, suspicion and jealousy, our intellect is helpless. It’s simply not possible on our current trajectory to overcome our pervasive social differences and perspectives which are leading to the current prevalence of narrow-minded political polarization. This widening disconnect between our technical capability and our temperament spells disaster. But I see no way out without a massive realignment, a maturing, of Alaska minds, with such a process – whatever it might be – established formally in the Constitution as future guiding policy.
Girl Scouts grateful
We are Girl Scouts Troop 258. The Girl Scout travel fund donated us money to go to Encampment. Encampment is a camp for Girl Scouts all over Alaska. We get together and participate in an assortment of activities. We participated in helping the younger girls with plant identification activities, paracord bracelets, and tie dye.
We just want to thank the Girl Scout travel fund for helping us make this opportunity possible.
Evalyn Trejo for Troop 258
HCOA appreciates Willow Fund support
Homer Council on the Arts would like to thank the donor advised Willow Fund of the Homer Foundation for supporting final installation of a new ceramic studio at HCOA. These funds allowed for purchase of supplies and materials, as well as the installation of shelving and counters. We couldn’t have done this without a dedicated group of volunteers and this grant support! Thank you! We look forward to hosting ceramic classes at HCOA soon!
Scott Bartlett, Executive Director, Homer Council on the Arts
Fall Book and Plant Sale a success
Tremendous thanks to the generous folks who donated books and plants for our Fall Book and Plant Sale. Because of your support, many readers and plant lovers left the library very happy.
Thank you also to all the amazing volunteers who helped set up, run, and clean up at sale’s end! Your hard work and good company made the sale fun and successful.
Keep in mind that good used books continue to be available for sale throughout the year, and due to continued interest, FHPL will be selling a few select plants as well. Find the Use Book Sale shelves and Plants for Sale, on the above counter, as you walk down the ramp leading to the Fireplace Reading Lounge.
The community’s ongoing support of our library helps make it the wonderful place we know it to be. Stay tuned for the Spring Book and Plant Sale coming in April!
Cheryl Illg, Friends of the Homer Public Library (FHPL) Coordinator and FHLP Board Members
We appreciate all you do for our community!
More appreciation for Homer Foundation
Homer Trails Alliance would like to acknowledge and deeply thank the Martha H. Briscoe Environmental Science and Conservation Fund and the Opportunity Fund of the Homer Foundation for their generous $5,000 grant funding our “mud to wood project” for the Homestead Trail. Their funds are helping us build boardwalks in swampy and wet areas of the Homestead Trail. We are beginning to implement the project through these persistent rains, and we guarantee that these slimy areas will be more pleasant for all those enjoying the outdoors and hiking in years ahead.
As a new non-profit in Homer committed to stewarding a robust trail system in the northern Kachemak Bay area, the Homer Foundation’s support is vital as we move forward making Homer trails more user-friendly, well-marked and well maintained. HTA is moving ahead with plans for more trails, more access and walkability in Homer and our surrounding areas. We encourage all those interested in walking and trails to participate and join us in this effort. We could not do what we do without community backing, and again, our profound thanks to The Homer Foundation.
Kim Smith, Homer Trails Alliance
An individual wrote on Sept. 22 questioning my source of information about COVID-19 cited in recent letters. I’m happy to share sources. For the report that the United Kingdom will no longer allow COVID-19 vaccinations for those under 12, the source was an article in the English newspaper, “The Guardian.” They quoted the UK Health Security Agency. For the report that Denmark will no longer offer COVID-19 vaccinations to those under 50, the source is a document published by the Danish National Health Authority. Both are agencies of their respective governments, a fact that may give the data credibility to many in Homer. Anyone wanting links to the stories can contact the Homer News to get the citations I provided.
For the individual that raised this issue, thank you for starting a dialog. If your intention is to make an argument supporting mRNA vaccines, I suggest you set aside both personal attacks and questioning sources and focus your arguments on the main issue; are these experimental vaccines safe as currently recommended by the CDC? I don’t think they are and have given data supporting that view. I look forward to exchanging thoughts with you on this matter.