Letters to the Editor

Thank you for supporting maritime students

I would like to thank the Homer Foundation and the Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship committee for awarding me this year’s scholarship. I will use it to further my education while attending Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. I am honored to receive this scholarship as a lifelong fisherman. Your continued support of maritime students is greatly appreciated.

Hannah Stonorov

The benefits of education are priceless

If anyone doubts the necessity of properly and significantly funding public education, the last issue of the Homer News should subdue those doubts.

The articles covering Homer High School, Flex School (Kenai Peninsula Borough public schools), and Kachemak Bay Campus (our local campus of the University of Alaska state system) graduations were absolutely gratifying!

All our teachers and the aides, subs, para-professionals, professors, administrators, staff and volunteers should be very proud. You work hard, you invest with your students. You seek to bring out the best in them. Encouraged, these students worked hard. From youth to senior and all in between, K-12 and continuing education is the key, the bridge, to a better future.

This legislative session ended with only a small increase to education and no promise for it continuing in next fiscal years. Well, there is always another election to better elect legislators who will not let schools and the students they proudly provide to our community, down.

Therese Lewandowski

Grateful for scholarship

Thank you Homer Foundation for graciously awarding me the Health Care Providers Scholarship. This award will support my continued medical studies at the University of Washington School of Medicine. I feel fortunate to have been raised in a generous and supportive community like our own.

Courtney Stage

Thank you for supporting young scholars

I would like to give thanks to the Homer Foundation for their generosity towards local students. I am very grateful to have received the Homer Community Science Scholarship from the Homer Community Science Fund and the Beluga Tail Non-Fiction Writing Scholarship from the Tin Roof Fund. This funding will assist me in attending university for neuroscience and pursuing a career in scientific research. I am so lucky to live in a community that values altruism so highly, and I hope the Homer Foundation can continue to support young scholars for years to come.

Thank you to the Kenai Peninsula Masons! I am so grateful to have received a 2023 Kenai Peninsula Masonic Scholarship for my pursuit of higher education. The organization’s generosity towards local youth is highly appreciated!

I would like to give a big thank you to Hilcorp for their Future Leaders of America Scholarship! It is wonderful that the organization gives back to their service areas by supporting local youth. I would highly recommend future seniors in the Homer Area apply to this scholarship. Thank you Hilcorp!

I would like to thank McNeil Canyon Elementary for its scholarship designated for graduating McNeil alumni. McNeil is such a wonderful school and this is exemplified in its scholarship program. Once a dragon, always a dragon!

Thank you to the Homer Electric Association for their Sandra Ghormley Academic Excellence Scholarship! I am so grateful to have been chosen to receive this award and hope HEA can continue to support youth in its service area for years to come!

Bristol Johnson

100 Men Project will help Homer Drawdown achieve its goals

Thank you to the Gary Thomas 100 Men Project for choosing Homer Drawdown as the recipient of their quarterly nonprofit donation. Homer Drawdown is a decentralized, community effort to mitigate the climate crisis at the local level.

We choose yearly community projects that help mitigate climate change and also help make Homer a better place to live. This year’s project is focused on improving non-motorized transportation in and around Homer. The money from 100 Men Homer will help us achieve our goals for this project, and will help solidify Homer Drawdown as a perpetual organization that will continue choosing community projects for years to come.

The Gary Thomas 100 Men Project, also known as 100 Men Homer, is a platform honoring the philanthropic legacy of Gary Thomas, and provides a simple way to give back to the community. Members donate $100 at each quarterly meeting to the winning project, voted on by the attending members. If you would like to join this project, email 100menhomer@gmail.com.

We at Homer Drawdown were honored to receive these funds and will use them as effectively as possible toward the achieving goals of our community projects. Currently we’re working to improve trails and non-motorized infrastructure, increase bike and pedestrian safety, shift behavior to make biking and walking more normal and accepted, and we’re promoting future improvements by helping influence policy.

If you would like to get involved with or learn more about Homer Drawdown, go to HomerDrawdown.info.

Dale Banks, Homer Drawdown Steering Committee Member

Shorebird fest soars once again

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the 31st Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival May 3-7!

This year was a huge success with over 735 participants from throughout Alaska and the United States. From walks, talks, boat tours, viewing stations, photography, Junior and Teen Birder activities, art, and more, visitors of all ages to Homer had so many activities.

Thank you to our program leaders and speakers who we could not do this without their bird and local knowledge. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes preparing scopes, paperwork, installing signs, folding shirts, keeping track of birds, working as door attendants, carrying scopes, and more. Over 52 volunteers and over 225 hours were donated by local volunteers.

Thank you to our local tour operators, vendors, donors, sponsors and businesses who participate with the festival. KBBI provided great coverage of the bird calling contest and that audio story continues to spread far and wide!

Thank you to our keynote speaker Diego Calderon-Franco, author Julia Zarankin, and festival artist Mattie Squire. We look forward to everyone’s participation next year!

Lora Haller, Melanie Dufour, and the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Committee