Letters to the Editor

Thank you for recognizing trail maintenance

We are excited to thank the Homer Foundation, specifically the Youth Advisory Committee, for choosing Homer Trails Alliance as a recipient of $916 for a new Stihl Brusher for clearing brush and grasses on our local trails. “The YAC has a strong youth voice philosophy and determines its own program goals for each grant cycle.”

This grant was made at the recommendation of the Community Grants Committee, the YAC Fund, a Restricted fund, managed by the Homer Foundation.

The students recognize the importance of trail maintenance for the safety of all hikers and in particular the challenges facing kids hiking in overgrown areas that reduce the visibility of the trail and the wildlife that also use the trails.

Thank you to all the donors that make the YAC grants possible!

Sandy Cronland

President, Homer Trails Alliance

Thank you for supporting Homer’s Japan sister city connection

Teshio in Hokkaido, Japan, has been Homer’s sister city since 1982. I have been helping with the sister city project since 2019 as a liaison and an interpreter. I have been working for the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage as an interpreter as well.

I started to teach Japanese language, arts and music in the after-school program at Paul Banks and West Homer Elementary Schools since 2022. Now I have private students from second grade through adults. Alaska Japanese Club was invited to city council meetings each year to greet to the public, council members and Mayor Ken Castner. Students speak in Japanese when they greet to the council. Mayor Ken Caster has been supporting us since we started to have the club. Last October when we were invited to the city council meeting, we shared the information, which Alaska Japanese Club are planning to perform Taiko drumming for the 40th Anniversary of the relationship between Teshio, Hokkaido in Japan and City of Homer in the United States.

Each year we have had different activities and projects such as online classes with Taishi High school, Hyogo Prefecture and Teshio Junior High School in Hokkaido in Japan as well as exchange cards’ activities, a pottery project and a tea party. This past spring, we performed playing different instruments and singing in Japanese a song called “Sakura Sakura,” which means cherry blossoms. The concert was held at Homer High School Mariner Theater and hosted by West Homer. We included some students from HYSOC.

This year, we made 30 cardboard Taiko drums and Japanese wooden drum sticks called bachi. Alaska Japanese Club participated in the Winter Carnival Parade last past weekend. We have lots of supporters to help us with our float, uniforms, decorations and rehearsals for our drumming performance and greeting in Japanese. Our club won a prize for Best Performing Arts this year.

The art project is about the exchanges between Homer Elementary School children and Japanese students through online class sessions. Peace-themed drawn and painted banners illustrate a friendship without boundaries created by Homer Elementary School students to our sister city. The work consists of photos and text, also explaining the process of making the Taiko drums scheduled to be used at the anniversary event this year.

Megumi Beams

Sister City liaison/interpreter

Japanese International Exchange coordinator/instructor

Right of way vacation OK, with provisions

I support the vacation of the B Street right of way south of Bay Avenue with the following conditions: that Doyon dedicate a 12-foot-wide pedestrian and bicycle trail easement from Bay Avenue to the Homer Spit Road; that Doyon dedicate a drainage easement south from Bay Avenue; that the trail design be approved by the city engineer; and that Doyon build and maintain the trail.

We have an opportunity to provide legal pedestrian and bicycle access from Bay Avenue to the Homer Spit Bike Trail. The existing well-established path from Bay Avenue turns left from the ROW and trespasses across the Doyon property to Homer Spit Road. Making a legal connection here completes a user-friendly bicycle and pedestrian trail from the end of the Spit to downtown Homer without having to navigate much of vehicle-congested Ocean Drive.

Creating a legal dedicated public access between Bay Avenue and the Homer Spit Road provides an access superior to the current illegal trespass path that will go away when Doyon develops its property. For many, many years, I frequently used this ROW and trespass path to get to the Spit bike trail, until a previous owner of the Doyon property put a chain across it at the property line. I would love to walk this way again.

There is no legal requirement to provide “superior or equal access” to other properties when those properties already have better access. Vacating this ROW does not adversely affect access to any property. The ROW runs south to the north property line of parcel 18101027, which is owned by the Alaska State Aviation Division. The ROW does not extend to Kachemak Bay or to the city property between the Aviation Division parcel and the beach. The Aviation Division parcel has better access from the Homer Spit Road, which it abuts. The slope is too steep to build a road within this ROW to the Aviation Division property. Two Doyon parcels have excellent access from Homer Spit Road and the third has excellent access from Bay Avenue. There are no other affected properties.

The ROW immediately south of the left turn to the Doyon property is brushy, moderately sloping, and has no trail on it. It can be scrambled up and down, but it is not a popular route to anywhere.

Let’s support legal public access trails in Homer and approve this ROW vacation with appropriate binding conditions. This trade of public ROW for a strategic legal trail connector is a fair and equitable deal for everyone.

Mary Griswold


Successful holiday programs

Share the Spirit would like to thank everyone who contributed to our successful 2023 Holiday Program. You are the reason we have been able to continue this program for 31 years. Whether you made a monetary donation, a donation in kind or a donation of time, your generosity makes it possible for this organization to continue to provide for households in our area. This year, as the demographics of our community shifted somewhat the number remained relatively stable, and with your help, the community provided Christmas Baskets to 273 families, including, 299 children and teens, 843 family members, including many households with disabled individuals, senior citizens or veterans.

With the onset of a New Year, we ask that you remember to donate money, food and time to any or all of the agencies in our community that help households in need year around, such as the Homer Community Food Pantry, Anchor Point Food Pantry, Flex School Food Closet and the new Food Pantry in Ninilchik!

Please call one or all of them and ask how you can help.

Currently, we are asking everyone in our community to think about taking over the Annual Spaghetti Feed.

This is our main fundraising event each December and needs a dedicated coordinator or group to take it on.

We all love the Spaghetti Feed and don’t want to give up this local tradition but need help to continue with the project. Please think it over and contact us at PO Box 3218, Homer, AK, 99603 if you are interested.

We thank all who volunteered for this year’s feed, those who lined up volunteers, supplied ingredients, cooked, cleaned, served, delivered or entertained us, please know that each of you are greatly appreciated.

Speaking of the Spaghetti Feed the “Cookie” ladies were outstanding again this year, and we love all of you, whether you baked 1 dozen cookies or 20 dozen cookies, you are the BEST!

And of course, we ask that you please, always remember to Share the Spirit.

Shari Daugherty

Basket Advisor, Share the Spirit

Thank you for donation to Homer hockey

I am writing to express my gratitude for the efforts and generosity of the 100+ Women Who Care-Homer group on behalf of the Homer Hockey Association. Their work truly makes a significant impact, and I am thrilled to share the news that our organization has been awarded their quarterly donation.

Their support for the Keep It Cool! campaign for condenser replacement at the Kevin Bell Arena will allow us to further our mission and provide valuable opportunities for our community members. We recognize the importance of teamwork and collaboration, and their donation exemplifies the power of collective action.

Our community is fortunate to have people who are willing to champion a cause and make a positive difference. We appreciate the work of the 100+ Women Who Care-Homer and their investment in wholesome recreation for all.

Mike Barth

HHA/KBA president

Schadenfreude — the ‘Golden Rule’ no longer pertains

Schadenfreude is briefly described as deriving happiness from someone else’s pain or failure. Who hasn’t thrilled just a bit when a rival is taken down a peg, or when a self-righteous hypocrite is exposed? I think most of us felt some satisfaction (if not outright cheering) upon former U.S. House Rep. George Santos’ expulsion.

It seems schadenfreude has assumed frontal lobe status in our political behavior.

The question is: Has the quality of current politicians and supporting media given rise to the approval of such an attitude or have we generally, as a society, become callous and unkind to the point that it is spilling over into our basic comportment?

In football (on either side of the pond) it’s called unsportsmanlike conduct or taunting and is met with a hefty penalty. More than one on a single contestant can result in expulsion from the game. Why is it, then, in matters of national concern, such conduct is not only condoned but admired and elevated?

Cal Schmidt


Thanks for donation to library

The Anchor Point Public Library would like to thank the Homer Foundation’s Opportunity Fund for their generous donation of $10,350. With this grant we were able to replace our aging computers with new, up-to-date machines. We greatly appreciate the donors who made this needed upgrade possible.

Mary Perry

Anchor Point Public Library