Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Trail access should be protected

I own a cabin in Homer and I hike the section line that would be affected by the the Dorothy Drive right of way vacation. I understand the concerns of the residents who desire the vacation. I support a solution that addresses their concerns as long as staff finding 17) on page 50 of the Aug. 13, 2018, Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission meeting packet is addressed. Staff finding 17. reads as follows:

“17. Equal or better access to the public section line easement and the 20-foot pedestrian easement has not been provided.”

Access to trails is a tremendous asset to a community and its members. Trails contribute to the quality of life that makes communities like Homer special and desirable as a place to live and visit. There is a solution that will address the neighbors’ concern for safety and maintain or improve the quality of the trail system in the greater Homer area. I encourage the Kenai Borough Planning Commission to reject the proposed ROW vacation and request that the neighbors and trail users work together to craft a solution that improves upon the current situation for both sides.

I applaud Willy Dunne, Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly member, for encouraging interested parties to work together to create the best result possible for our community.

Harry Brod

Mariner to be appreciates Scalzi scholarship

I want to express my deepest thanks to the Drew Scalzi Memorial Foundation and the Homer Foundation for their generous scholarship allowing me the join the class of 2022 at the California Maritime Academy. I will be studying marine transportation and hope to join the ranks of many great mariners before me.

I would also like to thank the community of fishermen and maritime workers who have set such an inspiring example to me to live up to. The opportunity to serve this industry and learn its crafts is extremely exciting for me. Homer will always be my home and I will be forever grateful for my time here. Thank you again to the members of the Homer Foundation for devoting efforts to the continuing education of Homer youth.

Sincerely,

Charles Rohr

Use your right to vote on Tuesday

In the United States, every election (except for the president and vice president) is by direct vote. Every registered American has the right to a vote, and every vote counts. In District 7 here in Alaska in 2008, Mike Kelly won by four votes out of 5,024 cast; in the 2012 Iowa Republican presidential caucus, Rick Santorum won by 34 votes, out of over 121,000 cast; and in Ohio, as of this writing, almost a week after the election, the Republican primary contest for governor is still too close to call. Every vote counts.

I’m a voter registrar, so I’ve been making it my business to get people to register to vote. In this state, it’s really not that hard to get registered to vote. The challenge is to get registered voters to the polling stations. So, why vote? Because who represents us, whether it be on city council, borough assembly, state legislature or in Congress, matters, and directly affects you and me. Because it’s our duty as citizens. Because not everyone everywhere has the privilege. Because if we don’t vote, we give up the right to complain. And, because every vote counts.

In Alaska, one may vote by absentee ballot by mail or electronically, or in person on Election Day or earlier.

The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The municipal election is Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Mark your calendars.

Because every vote counts.

Ken Landfield

Kenai Peninsula Votes

More Ritzy Gala thanks

The Pratt Museum held its Ritzy Garden Gala on July 28 to celebrate 50 years of community, stewardship, and outreach. The Museum is especially grateful to the following businesses and individuals for their role in creating a successful fundraiser: Across the Bay Tent and Breakfast, Ageya Wilderness Education Center, AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse & Tavern Restaurant, Alaska Homestead Peonies, Alaska SeaLife Center, Alaska Training Room, Alibi Bar & Cafe, Anchorage Concert Association, Art Shop Gallery, Ashore Water Taxi, Bagel Shop, Bonita Banks, Bear Creek Winery & Lodging, Beluga Lake Lodge, Black Jaxxs, Boss Hogz, Bunnell Street Arts Center, Johnny Bushell, Café Cups, Captain Pattie’s, Matt Clarke, Clinic of Chiropractic Health, Coal Town Coffee & Tea, Cook Inletkeeper, Cosmic Kitchen, Cycle Logical, Fat Olives, Finn’s Pizza, Flagship Creamery, Fresh Catch Café, Grace Ridge Brewing, Grog Shop,

Mako Haggerty, Harbor Grill, Suraj Holzworth, Homer Bookstore, Homer Brewing Company, Homer Cycling Club, Homer Hockey Association, Homer Inn & Spa, Homer Saw & Cycle, Homer Theater, Icicle Seafoods, Inua, Jakalof Bay Oyster Company, Jars of Clay, Kachemak Bay Campus, Kachemak Gear Shed, Kachemak Shellfish Growers Co-Op, Little Dipper Designs, Little Mermaid, Major Marine Tours, Mako’s Water Taxi, Bob & Helen Morris, NOMAR, Jackie Norvell, Willy Nye & Sue Arseneau, Jan O’Meara, Portside Coffee, Ramiro’s, Red Bird Kitchen, Tom Reed, Safeway, Salmon Sisters, Salty Dawg Saloon, Sea Lion Gallery, Seafoods of Alaska, Paul Seaton, Serendipity Event Rentals, Snug Harbor Seafoods, Spit City Slickers, Spit Licks, Station 12, Joy Steward, The Classic Cook, True North, Two Sisters Bakery, Vida’s Thai, Wagon Wheel, Christina Whiting, Wild Bistro Honey; (Volunteers) Autumn Carlson, Gwennie Chatfield, Zoe Cramer, Melanie Dufour, Laura Edwards, Clark Fair, Asia Freeman, Betty Hunter, Ed Marsh, Mila Martushev, Dalena McKay, Liz Morphis, Jenny Olson, Jan O’Meara, Catriona Reynolds, Kathy Segal, Jon Sharp, Heidi Stage, Gary Thomas, Laura Walls, Michael Walsh.

Sincerely,

Laurie Stuart, Pratt Museum Director

Thanks for Veterans Picnic support

Thank you to all who participated in the Veterans Appreciation Picnic.

The Southern Kenai Peninsula Veterans Appreciation Picnic was held Sunday, Aug. 12, hosted by the American Legion Unit 16 Auxiliary. Approximately 130 veterans and family members including active duty U.S. Coast Guard members and their families attended. The rain held out for the entire event and a good time was had by all.

Thank you to Andre Drake and the 8 Mile Band for the great music. Debbie McCarthy provided information from the VA Clinic and Ron Engebretson from Red Diamond Veterans Services in Soldotna was also on hand. Jennifer Henley accompanied by her husband Eric provided Honor Flight information and applications.

A special thank you goes out to the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) who manned the grills for the barbecue and the volunteers who prepared the potato salad, baked beans and ribs. I had an amazing kitchen staff of volunteers who set up and served the food and kept the dessert table full of delicious items generously donated by Auxiliary members.

The picnic ran smoothly thanks to the help of the ladies who helped out before the picnic including contacting the local businesses, setting up for the picnic and cleaning up at the end. I could not have done it without you.

Thank you to our local businesses who really showed their support for our Veterans by providing door prizes/donations for this event including: Alibi Bar & Café, Alyeska Tire & Auto Service, American Legion Post 18, Art Shop Gallery, Bear Creek Winery, Blue Urchin, Boat Yard Café, Boss Hogz, Captain Patties, Caroline’s, Cosmic Kitchen, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Finn’s Pizza, Fish Connection, Grace Ridge Brewery, Homer Bookstore, Homer Brewing, Homer Community Recreation, Homer Fish Processing, Homer Jeans, Homer News, Homer Shores, Kharacters, Kachemak-Gear Shed, Lisa Ann’s Grooming, Major Marine Tours, Mako’s Water Taxi, McNeil’s Meats, Napa Auto Parts, Nomar, Northern Enterprises Boat Yard Inc., Otter Room Bar & Grill, Safeway, Save-U-More, Scotts Family Pharmacy, Scruggs, Skiff Chicks Custom Designs, Spenard Builder’s Supply, The Grog Shop, Tire Town LLC, Two Sisters, Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware, Wasabi’s Bistro and Wild Honey Bistro.

We look forward to next year’s picnic and hope to see even more Veterans at this fun filled event.

Sincerely,

Debbie Brahm, Veterans Picnic Chairman

Food Pantry appreciates Community Chest donations

On behalf of the Board of Directors, clients and volunteers of the Homer Community Food Pantry, I’d like to offer our sincere appreciation for the generosity of the Homer Foundation through the Community Chest.

Each month we make a request to the Community Chest for assistance for those less fortunate, and without fail, the Community Chest responds. Last year total donations exceeded $16,000 and with that over 750 different households were served throughout the year. The Community Chest donations account for 15 percent of the Food Pantry’s annual income and fund a variety of client services such as utility bills, emergency housing, firewood, gas, laundry, showers and prescriptions; things you may not expect a food pantry to assist with and yet we do because of the Homer Foundation.

I offer our heartfelt thanks for keeping this Community Chest alive.

Cinda Martin, Secretary

Homer Community Food Pantry

Inhumane hunting methods should be banned

The Department of the Interior National Park Service will allow inhumane hunting methods to ensue on hibernating bears, wolves and their young. Allowing these hunting methods to ensue will affect the economic growth of Alaska, deplete the wildlife and alter the ecosystem.

A statewide poll showed that 71 percent of Alaska voters strongly support the elimination of these cruel hunting practices. Wildlife is what generates tourism in Alaska. Wildlife watchers outnumber hunters by nearly five to one in Alaska and spend five times more than hunters. In 2017, tourists generated $2 billion dollars which supported the local economy and thousands of jobs.

A study reported in Scientific American has shown culling native carnivores to protect animals such as moose and caribou does not translate to a balance in the ecosystem but actually causes more harm. In comparison, a female bear protecting her young is no different than a human protecting hers. We all have a unique purpose for being here. The wildlife that remains in Alaska is part of what makes it the last frontier, which is the exact reason people go to Alaska — to experience something they cannot experience anywhere else. The Department of the Interior is still taking public comments at this time.

Nicole Rojas, Willow Springs, Illinois

Higher education should adhere to highest standards

With recent employee suspensions at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an investigation being led by the Perkins Coie law firm, it is clear UAF needs to clean house and address misconduct. Higher education must adhere to the highest standards. I would know.

During my 14 years in higher education at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey, I worked with international students, in recruitment, and public relations. I supervised student interns, mentoring them as they progressed. At each level, I endeavored to guide, support and encourage them to be their best. “Lead by example” was and continues to be my mantra.

Unfortunately, my ethics were not shared by the leadership. In 2012, college President Peter F. Burnham, who had retired from a 20-year tenure after corruption allegations, was convicted of felony official misconduct and theft, resulting in prison.

Howard Birdsall, longtime chairman of the college Board of Trustees, was convicted of making illegal political contributions via a scheme involving his employees, at the now defunct Birdsall Services Group. He was also sent to prison.

As the criminal investigation ensued, I realized what was really going on and I told the truth. Despite threats and intimidation, I refused to back down. My determination and integrity led to their convictions.

I was recently asked how I would describe myself. My response, “integrity.” My character was tested and I stood firm. My integrity stands with the UAF students, faculty, and staff who have been wronged, and I encourage them to stand strong through the investigation and tell the truth. In Congress, I will always fight for Alaskans and do what is right.

Carol “Kitty” Hafner, Elder, South Dakota

Nonresident Democratic Party candidate for Alaska U.S. Representative and Retired NEA Union Member Higher Education Administrator

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