Letters to the Editor

Grant made Mariner Way program possible

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to David and Mary Schroer, as well as the Homer Foundation, for their generous $3,000 grant. This grant has played a crucial role in fostering a positive culture at Homer High School and has been instrumental in the growth of our cheer program. Thanks to this funding, we were able to implement the “Mariner Way” positive student referral program, benefiting over 100 students.

Through the “Mariner Way” program, students have been recognized and rewarded for their outstanding acts of kindness and compassion. These include standing up for fellow students who face bullying, offering assistance without being asked, referring troubled students to adults for help, including intensive needs students in various activities, and going above and beyond to enhance the overall atmosphere at HHS. In addition, we have rewarded students for their involvement in initiatives such as Green Dot, and have provided prizes for events like Poetry Out Loud and the President’s PE Challenge.

Homer High School is profoundly grateful for the opportunity to implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports through the support of this grant. It can be challenging to find meaningful ways to promote positive behavior among high school students, but thanks to the generosity of David and Mary Schroer, this has become a reality.

Douglas Waclawski

Thanks to the Homer Foundation

I am writing to thank the Homer Foundation for awarding me the Homer Community Science Scholarship. I will use this scholarship to study biology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. My career plans are still undecided, but whatever it will be this scholarship will help me discover and pursue my dreams. Thank you again for the generous and thoughtful gift.

Seamus McDonough

Thank you, Homer Foundation and the Opportunity Fund

Summer@HPL 2023 Reading and Learning Program began June 1, thanks to a $4990 Quick Grant that Friends of the Homer Public Library received from the Homer Foundation. We are especially grateful to the Opportunity Fund for providing this grant funding. The national theme this year is Find Your Voice!, and the Homer Public Library has planned over 30+ free events to inspire families to read and learn together. The Summer Reading Challenge and Activities will run from June 1 – July 31 and include: the Find Your Voice! Summer Reading Program Kickoff with crafts, games and Storytime; Comic Drawing with Lee Post; Outdoor Adventures and Stories with the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies; Youth Chess Club; Midsummer Magic; Youth Book Clubs; ASL for Kids; Youth Writers Club; Leap into Science; Family Karaoke; several stories on the Story Walk Trail and more. Some programs require registration, so be sure to check out the website for the full lineup of events. It is not to late to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge or attend any number of exciting activities starting soon! Learn more and register for the Summer Reading Challenge at https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library/summer-hpl-2023

Thank you again to the Homer Foundation for supporting reading and learning through the Find Your Voice! Summer@HPL program!

Cheryl Illg

Friends of the Homer Public Library Coordinator

Dear Drew Scalzi Maritime Memorial and Kachemak Medical Group Scholarship Committees,

Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to further my education at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Without these amazing scholarships I would not have been able to pursue a degree in pharmacy which has long been a dream of mine. After I finish school I plan to come back and provide my services to the community I love. Again, thank you so much for these scholarships.

Cody Blossom

Thanks for making Summer STEAM camp possible

Project GRAD’s STEAM Team students of Razdolna, Voznesenka, K-Selo & Ninilchik would like to thank all of the generous donors who made our final SUMMER STEAM camp possible. Students were able to go on four incredible trips: across the bay for a great day exploring tide pool creatures & a forest hike; an art & outdoor activity day at West Homer Elementary; swimming at Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center with Park & Picnic fun at Karen Hornaday; a trip to Seldovia to meet and create art with local artist, Valisa Higman and hike the Otter Bahn Trail with naturalists Cindy Mom and Conrad Field.

A very special thank you to the hospitable Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies who has been a wonderful partner throughout the years. Additionally, the trip was possible because of the great parent volunteers (too many to list!) and M/V Discovery crew, Mako’s Water Taxi, First Student & District buses, Jane Beck, Bethany Miller, Kate Mulder, Custodial crew at WHE, Seldovia Otter Community Center, and Matt Steffy. Every child had a successful trip and was able to learn about marine invertebrates, forest succession, Scrimshaw, learn new games and meet friends. The staff, parents and students are incredibly grateful for supporting us with this opportunity for “hands-on” learning.

STEAM Team was funded through the 21st Century Community Learning Center program. PGKP was awarded funding for five years, and those five years come to a close on June 30, 2023. Thank you for granting us the opportunity!


Shellie Worsfold, Alexis Smith, Cody Davidson, Renee Veldman, Karina Marette & the STEAM Team students

Goodbye to Saintly Bill

Lovely memorial for Billy Choate in a big room full of friends relating uplifts they received from Captain Billy Choate in his 75 years here. Many reminders how, around Alaska, people did as much of their own work as they could. Locals built their own homes, boats, shops harbors and docks. Big boats were careened on beaches.

The Bessie M that Billy commanded was careened on the beach below Alaska Seafoods by Jim Wickersham and we spent quite a bit of time spatching the bottom and placing new skegs. We dug a hole in the beach and a raft to float in it to keep working as the tide came in.

The Mosses built their big boat in Peterson Bay. At their own dock, in their own shop. Yep, able folks did it for themselves. Billy introduced me to John Waterman, who befriended him, but now an elder, needed help fixing living quarters on Pioneer Avenue. While we did that, John told us that in 1942, he was fresh out of the Navy and off Kodiak. He landed on a Homer beach and soon pitched in helping other volunteers build the Homer Civic Dock. Financed by locals; merchants and fishermen, without subsidies.

Not a concern, just a wonder what docks in an upsized harbor will cost everybody. Bill Choate and his like who still live among us would have paid for their own expansions.

Good bye to our friend Billy, and let the examples he set inspire more such generosity.

Larry Smith