Letters to the Editor

New equipment helps West Homer Elementary connect

West Homer Elementary would like to thank the Homer Elks Club for the generous $7,500 grant allowing us to upgrade our audio-visual sound system in our gym. Mahealani Coila, Michael Daniel and John Chapple of the Homer Elks Club all took on important roles behind the scenes in making this possible. Scott Fraley provided product advice and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Maintenance Department did a fabulous job working with the KPBSD IT department installing the equipment. The digital board, wireless microphones, high-quality speakers and wall mounted wireless projector provide our gym with a plug-and-play system the delivers crystal clear sound and cordless connections to a laptop or other device.

We already use it daily in our cafeteria during lunch and during PE classes to communicate with students. It gives us the capability to deliver virtual trainings to large audiences, run school events like last week’s Talent Show, school assemblies, sixth grade promotion and many more. And, any of the many outside groups that utilize our gym will have access to this system for many years to come. These types of community partnerships help benefit us all. Thank you!

Eric Waltenbaugh, West Homer Elementary Principal

Homer should keep what it has

Yes, we’ve all had the dream — the last one at the overlook that drove down into town and they shut down the road behind you, closed the door to newcomers! A dream that conflicts with the American dream — you can live where you want.

When people ask me what I do in Homer I tell them the truth: “Like half of Homer I work elsewhere to live here.”

So instead of chasing federal money to bring more people here to build a harbor that will bring more people here, I think we should do the opposite — say, “No, I like this town as it is” and limit its growth.

The number of people can be controlled by limiting number of construction permits for new houses. Property values would soar, dwellings in the city limits would be upgraded, Anchor Point and Kachemak City would boom.

Harbor growth cannot be regulated after it’s built and the upkeep costs are beyond taxpayer’s control. (Anchorage is asking for $2,200,000,000 to rehab its harbor, Kodiak is asking for $40,000,000 to solve its deficiencies). A limit to growth ordinance would allow simple tweaking of numbers or codes. A harbor after it’s built brings semis hauling containers through towns, traffic lights, cruise ships disgorging gawkers and the natives “find themselves” selling T-shirts instead of practicing craftsmanship carpentry.

Homer is beautiful place to live. Enough people know that already. No need to turn it into a nightmare. You can have your dream and control it too. Let Whittier and Seward sponsor rats, invasive species, Walmarts, Jack-in-the Boxes … While Homer keeps the halibut, the homey restaurants, craft homes and the galleries …

Homer doesn’t need to sign onto a cancerous economic growth to pay for a harbor. We just need to keep what we have.

Gordy Vernon