Letters to the Editor

A letter to lawmakers on education funding

Last week, I sent the following in an email to Reps. Sarah Vance and Ben Carpenter in response to what I heard spoken on the House Floor during debate on the governor’s veto of S.B. 140. I wanted to share this publicly, and encourage *all of us* to engage in the public process as citizens. It is our right, and responsibility.

I’m writing this in response to Rep. Carpenter’s speaking on SB140 just now in the joint session. I am a parent. I am asking for increased, stable funding in our kids’ schools. Why do you and so many of your colleagues insist on calling me and my fellow Alaskan citizens a ‘lobby’ or, as I’ve heard from others, ‘the education establishment’?

Why does my voice appear to count LESS because I want my kids to have their beloved neighborhood schools funded in a stable, functional manner? I’m sorry — we have homeschooled. We have enrolled in a charter school. These options Did Not Work for my kiddos. For me as a parent. I count, too, in my civic engagement and TIME spent learning about our KPBSD budget and deficit.

I’m sorry, as I respect your time and service as a legislator. But I am so incredibly frustrated with being ‘called out’ in my voice as a parent supporting BSA funding. Disagreeing is one thing, but ignoring and undermining our voices is unfair.

Rachel Lord


A vote against education is a vote against our local economy

I sent this letter to our legislators with an image of votes received by legislators. The image notes who flipped her vote, Rep. Vance, losing us our BSA increase. Voting against education is a vote against our local economy.

Hello, esteemed legislators!

I would like to encourage you to stand by original votes and support SB140 by overturning the governor’s veto.

Please consider that the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is the second largest employer on the Kenai Peninsula. Funding from the state subsidizes the lives of professionals across the Kenai who pay sales and property taxes, who support their own healthy families, who make the Kenai a nice place to live. Losing these professionals harms the local economy; the grocery stores, the gas stations, the restaurants, Sweeny’s, Ulmer’s, all of our beloved locally owned and operated shops, who in turn employ and support other folks.

By undermining one of the largest employers on the peninsula, you are effectively hamstringing the local economy.

Also, the kids need us.

Billeen Carlson


Thanks to everyone who helped make ski race a success

I am writing to thank the many individuals who pitched in to make the 2024 Kachemak Nordic Ski Marathon a great success. The series of races was held on March 16 on courses which many locals proclaimed as having “never looked better.” The race trail meanders from Lookout Mountain to Baycrest Hill and is the product of strong efforts by Homer’s groomers. They are, in no particular order: John Miles, Mike Byerly, Bill Worsfold, Annie Worsfold, David Stutzer, Billy Day, Patrick Miller, Kyle Lints, Mark Schollenberger, Pete Alexson, Steve Panarelli, Karin Holser, Alison O’Hara, Robert Archibald, Dave Brann, Tim Blackmon, Steve Panarelli, Mark Schollenberger, Roy Wilson, Gary Scholz, Dean Kildaw and Billy Pepper.

Our 82 racers (aged 9 to 77) were treated to a variety of delights at our aid stations along the way.

Thanks go out to Lynn Maslow, Kim Sweeny, Shellie Worsfold, Suzanne Haines-Harrison, David Lewis, Diana Carbonell, Emily Garrity, Loretta Brown, Brad Casar, Yvonne Leutwyler, Jenny Edwards, Debbie Smith, Karen Murdock, Janet Fink, Tania Spurkland, Maggie Lints, Emory Miotke, Eileen Mullen, and Melissa Cloud.

The professional and smooth timing crew for the 25K and 42K races was made up of Evenn Moore, Sue Gordon, Timothy Schmidt, Tara Schmidt, Heike Merkel and led by Jan Spurkland. The 13K race was timed by Ruth Dickerson and Dave Kaufman. Registration was handled by the expert Christine Anderson, who had Gloria Mumm, Katy Edens, Emily Lints, Susan Jackson and Vincent Bernard working with her.

Sonja Corazza made food for the volunteers. Maggie Kao performed the gear shuttle. And Kim Fine was gracious enough to shuttle skiers from the end back to the start for their cars after the race.

We would like to thank our safety team — Carl Burton on road crossing, Rich and Rick Corazza on snowmachine safety, Randy Weist of the Homer Rope Tow standing by with a rescue sled and Emily from KESA standing by with a snowbulance. Our sweeper team of Heather Renner, Emily Lints and Lindsay Wolter kept everything organized. Molly Brann and Jenny Edwards made a variety of signs to keep racers safe. We had no injuries and a lot of smiles.

The afterparty was held in a new space this year — the beautiful Homer Seaplane Base. Bernadette Arsenault, Kenny Daher and Emily Lints helped out at the party.

Businesses were incredibly generous in supporting this event. We would like to thank South Peninsula Hospital, Uncle Herb’s, Homer Saw and Cycle, Cyclelogical, Twitter Creek Gardens, the Harbinson Homestead, Save U More, Healing Hands Massage, Homer Seaplane Base, Ski Vaan, True North Kayak Adventures, Kachemak Gear Shed, Grace Ridge Brewing, Two Sisters Bakery and Homers Jeans.

Megan Corazza, marathon coordinator

Kachemak Nordic Ski Club

Burden of new harbor regulations

My name is Amy Stonorov my husband and I have been fishing out of Homer for over 20 years. We now own a commercial fishing boat that is moored and operates out of Homer for nine months of the year. The remaining three months we operate in Prince William Sound. The fees we pay to the Homer Port and Harbor are an expected and constant significant expense to our fishing operation. I would like to address the Homer Port and Harbor’s untimely decision to revise the Port of Homer Tariff No. 1 to remove the fee waiver for work skiffs. This change specifically targets fisherman, and is untimely as the commercial fishing industry in Alaska is facing the worst downturn in decades. Additionally, the Homer Harbor has the highest daily moorage fees per foot in comparable ports.

As I referenced above, we pay a significant fee for the yearly rate for our slip. This fee is expected for the convenience of operating out of Homer for nine months in the year: However, it is only for the convenience of the dock space. This does not include electricity, parking or crane fees. Ultimately adding another fee this year is extremely tone deaf of the commission, and demonstrates a lack of consideration for the circumstances of fisherman.

As a large boat owner, our operation will not actually be affected by this change as we have the capability to carry our work skiff on the deck of our boat. I am writing this to address the situation of others within the Homer fleet for which this would be unsafe or impossible. For most of the Homer fleet this alteration to tariff No. 1 will be a tiresome inconvenience as they will have to wait to launch their skiffs, and do any maintenance on land with only a quick check in the water before they leave to ports that do not charge for working skiffs, hoping everything checks out. The part of our Homer fleet I’m most concerned about is the lower Cook Inlet seiners. They must return to the Home Harbor frequently, most of these vessels do not have the capability to carry their working skiffs on deck, and this new policy would be a hard felt financial burden on them. I am hopeful that the commission will rethink the implementation of this revision for this year.

The commission has certainly captured the attention of the fleet; perhaps this is a time to come together to find a better solution to generate funds for the port that does not unfairly and untimely target the commercial fishing fleet of Homer.

Amy Stonorov


Dear Editor,

I read Homer legislator Sarah Vance’s recent ADN opinion piece on the Alaska House bill to “strengthen grand juries.” I have just two words in response, and it is synonymous with “cow flop.” Throughout her 630-word statement she never got to her point, always hiding the intent of the amendments to House Bill 67 in the kind of double-speak and obfuscation for which she is infamous.

Her real effort in supporting the change in how grand juries work is in the hidden meaning of a “vision of a citizen-driven mechanism.” This law would allow the kind of crazy citizen-initiated grand jury that recently put retired Homer judge Margaret Murphy through the wringer. And for no good reason other than a vendetta against her.

Read the ADN story from Jan. 9 (https://www.adn.com/2024/01/08/state-court-hears-arguments-to-dismiss-rare-grand-jury-indictment-against-retired-judge/) and it will become clear what kind of nightmare this change to the workings of Alaska grand juries would start.

Jim Lavrakas


Thank You Homer Foundation

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Homer Animal Friends, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Homer Foundation for their generous grant of $5,000 toward our March 12 spay and neuter clinic held at the Homer Veterinary Clinic. Jointly we were able to have 13 dogs spayed or neutered, which directly impacted 10 families and 27 people, which included one senior citizen and two veterans.

The cost of spaying or neutering pets in recent years has become cost prohibitive for many members of our community, so grants or donations to Homer Animal Friends can make such a huge impact on individuals and the community at large.

Again, thank you Homer Foundation!

Debbie Dauphinais

HAF President