Letters to the editor

Pebble Mine claims are a fairy tale

Listening to Pebble Mine representatives say the fish won’t be impacted, the water won’t be impacted by this mega-mine, one audience member called it a fairy tale. I agree

“Fish and water are the number one priority for us,” said the Pebble Mine representatives. That is more than a fairy tale, it’s a lie. A mining corporation’s number one priority is to make profits and pay their investors and stockholders. I asked, “How many tons of ore do you have to process to get one ounce of gold?”

The Pebble Mine representatives looked very uncomfortable and pretended not to know this number. The first thing a gold miner does when staking a claim is sample the ore, have it assayed, discover the percentage of gold in the ore, and calculate the ratio of tons of ore to ounces of gold. Every mining company knows this exact number.

These people were embarrassed to say the actual number of tons of ore they must move to yield an ounce of precious metal, for that would reveal the colossal stupidity of this mining venture. I suspect that the tons of ore that must be processed to yield one ounce of gold is in the three figures. For the love of God, show some wisdom: leave the ore in the ground and abandon this greedy and destructive project.

Lindianne Sarno

Fireweed appreciates Frescoes support

Fireweed Academy would like to thank all of the supporters of its Frescoes instrumental music program for getting behind Homer’s newest youth music ensemble. Frescoes provides violin instruction to students in kindergarten through second grades, with the goal of helping these young people become better learners—and better citizens. A grant from the Willow and JEMCO Funds of the Homer Foundation provided early support for Frescoes, enabling us to purchase enough violins so that each of our students had an instrument in his or her size. Our students could barely contain their excitement when they got to use these real violins for the first time, after preparing for months with cardboard violins. All are welcome to join Fireweed’s May Day festivities on Saturday, May 4 from noon to 3 at Little Fireweed (813 East End Road) to enjoy food, activities, games, and entertainment including an informal performance by Fireweed Frescoes students.

Miranda Weiss

Cellphone return appreciated

Saturday, my cell phone was found and turned in to the police station. Thank you, Hal Spence.

John Hendrix

Come on!

My fellow Alaskans, can we get real, for just a moment? You are blaming Gov. Dunleavy for our budget woes? Seriously?

He had nothing to do with the fact that oil prices declined, or that we had a governor who, for four years, refused to deal with our excessive spending, but instead wasted our money on his pet project, the boondoggle gas line, or that we had an irresponsible House that just couldn’t say no to any special interest but instead wasted their efforts in Juneau trying to wring more out of us through taxation and taking more of our dividend.

We should be celebrating a governor willing to streamline spending to a sustainable level. Come on, enough already. Anyone can see we cannot sustain these spending levels. We have burned through $14 billion of our reserve account in four years, leaving $2 billion. The last governor stole $2 billion from our dividend. This hurt our economy in devastating ways, exacerbating the downturn in our economic picture brought about by dishonest representation, mismanagement and over spending.

Unemployment continues to rise, wages are stagnate, and potential growth stymied by a House run by dishonest thieves. Here I am referring to representatives who lied to their constituents about their true beliefs and affiliations, and the stealing of our PFDs. Contrary to the notion we can tax our way out of this, just do the math. Never has there been a successful effort to tax into prosperity. The more wealth confiscation through taxation, the worse our economy will get.

The only short-term solution is to balance the budget spending to current revenues. Then start looking at our natural resources to increase those revenues. Anything else is a (waste) of time and only takes us closer to the brink of collapse.

Come on!

Duane Christensen

Be tsunami informed

I read recently about tsunami preparedness events this week in Homer — March 24-30, 2019. I wanted to share some tsunami information that I found on the UAF earthquake website: https://earthquake.alaska.edu/new-perspective-seismic-hazards-shumagin-gap.

Geologists have discovered the existence of “splay-faults,” including one in the “Shumagin Gap,” an area of an overdue tectonic-shift that could produce a 9.0-plus quake, which are similar to those which caused the tragic massive tsunami in Tohuku, Japan in 2011, following the 9.2 quake. The increased danger of these structures is that, unlike the recent 7.9 quake near Kodiak, last year (January 23, 2018), which was a horizontal (side-to-side) fault shift that may not displace much sea, the splay fault, which is like a small section of a broken dinner plate, can displace massive amounts of sea-water, like a giant undersea door-hinge lifting upwards. This is what happened in the tragic Tohuku, Japan 9.2 quake in 2011.

Because of the ocean depths in Kachemak Bay, the tsunami dangers may be less in Homer than other nearby areas. But, there are other factors such as undersea landslides, and the recent massive meteor explosion over the Bering Sea on Dec. 18, 2018. It’s a good idea to “sea” valid warning signs, even Jesus said in the Bible, such as the 9.2 Easter Friday quake, on March 27, 1964.

Harold Bartko

Pebble presentation was patronizing

Pebble Partnership’s recent presentation reminded of a fairy tale where all ends well. The Bristol Bay Watershed and salmon population can coexist with large-scale mining in joyful symbiosis forever. The PowerPoint was slick, the pictures elegantly deceptive. Were we being patronized, even lied to, by seasoned practitioners of corporate deception?

Absent was serious consideration of effects on wildlife in the site area and around the barge facility at Amakdedori Beach. The bears at the McNeil River Bear Sanctuary wouldn’t even notice. Local climate considerations? No problem – have those presenting experienced the waves and weather at Amakdedori between fall and spring? No mention of what the site would look like After the “hole” was dug – we saw only a picture of the untrammeled land as it looks now.

The message was, “Here is what we are going to do; you can’t stop us;” and that said with a subtext of condescension. “We may be here, but don’t tell us what you think.” Questioners venturing opinions were cut off by the Mayor of Homer: questions only; not listening was the protocol. The presenters embodied an attitude that Pebble is not interested in hearing the public.

EPA has already considered this kind of project in this area in a published assessment. It concluded that the Bristol Bay Watershed would be adversely affected in the short and long term by this 20 year “dig, destroy, depart” operation. There is hard science to support a no-action decision by the ACOE despite Pebble’s mantra that fish and waste can coexist.

What about the police presence in the room? Why? Is that symptomatic about the disposition of these representatives of imported capital who suggest that a 1 mile-deep, 2-mile-wide scar on the face of the earth will be good for us all?

Respectfully submitted,

Wallace W. (Chip) Mills, Halibut Cove

Methodists denounce racist graffiti

We are shocked and saddened by the hate-filled messages spray painted on the walls of Wasabi’s Bistro. We denounce this and all racial hatred and are alarmed as followers of Christ that the name of God was invoked in this act.

Please clearly understand that those responsible for this deed do not act under, stand for, or speak for God, or any congregation or organization that follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Any act done in secret under the cover of darkness that spreads hate and intends to hurt is never, ever of God.

We pray for our friends of all colors who suffer from the effects of racism in our community and encourage everyone to do the hard work of self-reflection to determine your own complicity in interpersonal and institutional racism. We offer special prayers of healing for those who vandalized the building, that the depth of hurt and woundedness that is festering in them causing this hateful behavior will be healed.

We stand with Wasabi’s owners, managers, employees and patrons, and share their sadness and pain. We surround them with our love and support, and hold them in our prayers. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all God’s precious children.

We welcome the opportunity to partner in dialogue with any organization or person who wishes to make our community a safer, more welcoming place for all people. We are committed to loving our neighbors as ourselves. All of them.

Peace,

Rev. Lisa Talbott (pastor), Karin Sonnen (Church Council Chair), and the people of Homer United Methodist Church

An Epic Success

The Homer Cycling Club would like to thank several volunteers, businesses and organizations for making this year’s Homer Epic a success. The Homer Epic is a 50 or 100-kilometer running, biking or skiing endurance race on winter trails through the Caribou Hills. 43 racers competed in the Epic this year and travelled to Homer from as far away as Italy for the annual human-powered challenge. We would especially like to thank Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers, Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, and Snowmads for maintaining great winter trails and sharing them with us for the race. The Homer Epic is a major fundraiser for the Homer Cycling Club. Volunteers, donors and supporters to the 2019 Homer Epic included:

Volunteers: Aaron Christ, Ruth Dickerson, Louie Dupree, Lance Haggerty, Patrick Houlihan, Pat Irwin, Chris Jacobson, Josh Kastelle, Jeff Lee, Kris Nichols, Andrew Peter, Derek Reynolds, Marc Romano, Tadgh Scholz, Stephanie Schmit, Parker Sorensen, Kevin Walker, Claire Waxman and Tom Young.

Donors: The Bagel Shop, Cycle Logical, Fritz Creek Store, Grace Ridge Brewing, Homer Saw and Cycle, and Marie Herdegen – Morning Wind Pottery.

Supporters: Alaska TrailBully, Beluga Lake Lodge, Cook Inlet Region, Inc., Freddie’s Roadhouse, Kachemak Emergency Services, KPB School District – McNeil Canyon Elementary School, Ninilchik Natives Association, Inc. and Wise Service LLC.

Chuck Lindsay

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