Letters to the editor

YAC awards grants

The Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of our annual YAC grants that support fun and healthy activities for youth in our community: Popeye Wrestling Club and Wrestle Like A Girl for the Girls Wrestling Camp, and South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services for Summer Special Activities.

We appreciate our donors who have confidence in our ability to make thoughtful decisions. Thank you to Dave and Beth Schroer, Shirley Fedora, the donors to the Ashley J. Logan fund, and to Robert and Melon Purcell, who established the Sheldon Youth to Youth Fund to help support YAC’s efforts.

The generosity of these individuals, as well as the support of the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees and staff, enabled YAC to distribute a total of $3,000 this year.

Respectfully,

Cecilia Fitzpatrick, Madeline Kozloski,

and Bethany Engebretsen, on behalf of the Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee

West Homer students thankful

to Outdoor Camp donors

Fourth grade students at West Homer Elementary would like to thank all of the generous donors who made our 37th Annual Outdoor Education Camp possible. Students were able to go on a two night, three-3 day trip across the bay for a very reasonable and affordable cost. A very special thank you to the hospitable McBride family who so graciously let students, parents and staff stay at their Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge during the trip.

Additionally, the trip was possible because of the great volunteers (too many to list) and naturalists: Conrad Field, Katie Gavenius, Misha Klassen, Seth Spencer, Catie Bursch, Dana Nelson and Lyn Maslow. Every student had a successful trip and was able to learn about marine invertebrates, mammals, forest succession, geology, and the tides of Kachemak Bay. The teachers, parents and students of the 4th grade West Homer class are incredibly grateful for providing students with this incredible opportunity for “hands-on” learning.

Sincerely,

Shellie Worsfold, Katie Bynagle, Jessica Bertram and the 4th Grade Students, West Homer Elementary

City grants help hockey

The Kevin Bell Arena and the Homer Hockey Association are grateful for the City of Homer Grants Program administered by the Homer Foundation. We recently received a general operating grant for this calendar year. The money our city spends on non-profit organizations is some of the most efficient uses of our city resources.

Recreation is an activity where people can establish commonality, acceptance, and respect for each other’s differences while sharing in their similar passion. When we use our city’s resources on recreation, we help to bridge our differences and create an opportunity to appreciate each other more. In addition to the health and social benefits of recreation, the Kevin Bell Arena brings over two thousand visitors a winter to Homer.

Our organization provides a full complement, multi-purpose ice rink that allows for recreational opportunity from September to April. We have attracted a community that includes hockey players, figure skaters, recreational skaters, broomballers, and curlers. We see people coming together to clean and maintain our facility, coach our kids and adults, and organize our tournaments. These folks come from all walks of life and span the diverse population that helps to make Homer such as special place.

Charlie Stewart, President,

Kevin Bell Arena/Homer Hockey Association

Thanks to Center for DeStig series

Sprout Family Services would like to give a special thanks to The Center for presenting our community with the DeStig Cinema Series. We were honored to partner in sharing the movie “Wonder” and hope this special event continues to grow. Looking forward to the line-up of great movies, free to the public, next year.

Sincerely,

Jillian Lush, Executive Director of Sprout

BP Teacher of Excellence award represents strong school community

I am writing this letter as a thank you to the Homer Community. I was recently selected as a BP Teacher of Excellence and I feel so strongly that this award is really a representation of the solid school of Paul Banks Elementary, my colleagues and mentors past and present, great parents who invest time and energy into their children and the school, and most importantly the students who came to school each day every ready to learn how to love school and embrace “growing” and caring. As I watch many of my past students graduate the past few years, I am tickled to see how far they have come since their first years at Paul Banks. To the parents of my past students, thank you for trusting me to be a part of their lives. To parents just starting with their students at Paul Banks, you are so lucky. The staff, including each and every person, is top notch. Everyone is working so hard to do what is best for kids and turn them into confident, caring, creative, problem solvers who are ready to tackle whatever comes at them … and even with a smile.

I feel so lucky to have raised my daughter here in Homer. Without the “village” surrounding her, she would not be where she is today. The adult mentors that have taken her under their wings over the years are countless. I know she will do great out in the “big world” thanks to your years of guidance and support. What a great community.

I also want to thank the talented athletes and fellow coaches that I have worked with over the last 28 years coaching basketball and soccer in this community. You have taught me so many skills about teaching and mentoring others. It makes me so proud to now teach many of your children and watch you be outstanding parents. And even if I can’t teach them because you are not in Homer, I get updates and pictures and see your big smiles together and know you are doing a great job raising the next generation.

Wendy Todd

Solve state fiscal situation by reimposing state income tax

The gist of Alaska’s budget woes is two pronged in nature (1) Alaska’s legislature( i.e., politicians ) reneged on statewide school bonds that were promised, with education funding cut entirely too deep, and (2) The hundreds of millions given to the oil companies out of the taxpayers’ pockets every year, even before Alaskans could cash their PFD checks. As Gov. Jay Hammond said, “Removing the state income tax will come back to haunt us.” Also education advocates complain that too deep of cuts to the school systems statewide will cut teachersin the states classrooms.

The solution to prong number 1 is, even with education funding being cut to the point wherein qualified teachers and administrative jobs are let go, if the school districts would take the tens of millions of dollars spent that have been and are now being spent on non-classroom, non-educational, after-school extracurricular sports activities and put it into the classroom in the form of highly skilled teachers and teaching aids for the benefit of the majority of students, who are not athletically inclined, and routinely denied their fair share of these funds for decades.

Solution to prong number 2: reimpose the state income tax that will include thousands of non-resident fishermen, construction wrokers, miners and oil company workers who collectively take millions of Alaska’s dollars to the lower 48 states to support their communities, businesses, schools and governments.

I worked the Cook Inlet and the North Slope in the 1960s and paid school tax, earthquake tax and state taxes. and the oil companies explored, drilled and produced oil years before tax credits were even a gleam in Alaska’s alleged legislators’ jaundiced eyes.

John A. Anderson, Kenai

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