Letters to the editor

Unlock city bathrooms

You would think the city might unlock the bathrooms that were specifically built to accommodate cruise ship visitors when the cruise ship is in town. But there I go, thinking again.

And a side note, having public bathrooms open all the time would be nice for cab drivers, delivery drivers and people doing errands around town. I know all the excuses why they’re locked and none of them are valid.

Chris Needham

Yale bound and grateful

I would like to thank the Tin Roof Fund at the Homer Foundation for their generosity in awarding me the Beluga Tail Non-Fiction Writing Scholarship. Non-fiction writing is an essential tool to practice and apply in nearly any type of work we pursue. I am excited to continue refining this skill at Yale University, where I will study Political Science and Environmental Studies. I know that non-fiction writing will be a vital asset to me as I work to achieve positive change through politics.

I would also like to thank the Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship fund at the Homer Foundation. Days away from embarking on my fifth year of commercial fishing, I am thrilled to see what this summer has in store. I am so thankful for the incredible support this community offers to those in the maritime industry, and I am excited to keep fishing in Alaska for many summers to come.

Thank you again,

Avram Salzmann

Grad night support appreciated

It is with sincere gratitude that the parents of the Homer High School 2019 graduating class thank over 100 businesses, families, and individuals who generously donated prizes, money, food and time to the “2019 After Graduation Casino Night” held at the Elks Lodge on May 22. Please view the ad in this week’s paper for a complete list of businesses.

Sixty-one students attended the event and had a great time. The love and support of the community for Homer’s youth was felt by all throughout the night, and I know they look forward to paying it forward in the future.

Special thanks to Darrell Oliver and Ken Castner for giving of their time to help parents learn the casino games and to Ken for helping at the event.


Julie McCarron and Deborah Anderson, for the 2019 Parents Graduation Committee

More to Venezuela story

Does Fox News tell you the U.S. has sanctions on Venezuela, not allowing them to sell their oil? They’re one of the largest oil producing countries in the world and it’s crippling their economy.

What Fox News says is Socialism doesn’t work — look how Venezuela is suffering. It doesn’t mention Canada or Iceland or Norway, etc.

Other accomplishments of the Trump administration: opened new coal plants, lessened pollution standards for them; selling our National forests to lumber (why not grow bamboo?); selling our national monuments to oil (why not develop solar/wind?).

If you’re for Trump you don’t believe in global warming. You either think the world is coming to an end and you want to see it so you’re going full speed ahead toward that end, or, you have the false belief that nothing that you do matters.

Lela Ryterski

Thankful for scholarship

Dear Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial Scholarship

I am extremely honored to be selected as one of the recipients of the Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial Scholarship. It means so much to me that I was chosen to share this scholarship with one of my closest friends. As I continue onto the next chapter of my life I am thankful for your for your generosity which has allowed me to continue my education to become an Elementary Teacher, while attending the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

Thank you again for your thoughtful and generous gift.


Cora Parish

Businesses support Food Pantry

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Homer Community Food Pantry board of directors, volunteers and clients, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to a few stand out businesses for their support:

To Oceanside Farms, thank you for the 100’s of pounds of potatoes you generously donate on a weekly basis. You have no idea how this gift fulfills such a basic need among our clients.

To Smokey Bay Air, thank you for your years of service, flying our food boxes to clients in the villages across the bay each month without fail. Without you, the folks in Nanwalek and Port Graham could not be served by our programs.

And a big thank you to Wells Fargo Bank who recently awarded the Food Pantry with a $5,000 grant so that we can continue, and expand our Food for Kids/Teens bag program to include West Homer Elementary in the fall, and support a summer program through the Homer Public Library and Book Mobile. Your generosity will help us fill a growing need among our youth.

So to all of you, a heartwarming thank you from all of us at the Food Pantry We are so fortunate to live in such a caring community.


Cinda Martin, Secretary,

Homer Community Food Pantry

Everybody is equal in Alaska

Dear Mr. Zac Brown,

There’s a principle we have in Alaska. Everybody is equal. It doesn’t matter who your daddy is. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. We left all that Outside.

Maybe you came for the view, but there’s something bigger than that. It keeps us through the cold dreary winters — it’s winter that levels the playing field. Up here it’s character that counts. The help you can be, the neighbor you are. You have demonstrated yourself to be a real “jerk.”

So we’d suggest if being an aristocrat is important to you, go back to Georgia or South Carolina and buy a big swath there, fence it in, get some rottweilers, build a plantation house. My guess is you already have several. We have two words for you, “Go home!”

If you’re going to be in this state, act like an Alaskan. We let people we don’t even know hunt on our property. They’re not a threat or a nuisance. This state is big enough for all of us.

Except you. P.S. Equality is a little like electricity: if you believe in it you can get it.

Gordy Vernon

Anatomy of a fisheries disaster

I called the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in May last year to ask if they would open Cook Inlet’s gill nets on Kenai sockeyes again before verifying run strength. They said “yes,” even though it might cause a total closures for all user groups if the run is weak. Optimism June gill netting is like driving fast in a parking lot: eventually you’re going to cause an accident. They claimed reduced effort might impact different parts of a run, thus causing a change in run timing. They claimed run timing changes would be worse than excessive gill netting.

They opened up most of Cook Inlets commercial gill nets around June 25 and killed about half a million Kenai sockeyes. That full blast effort pushed Kenai kings into a stock of concern, which caused emergency order closures resulting in “The 2018 Fisheries Disaster.” So was this a natural or man-made disaster?

A weak run of sockeyes got a strong gill net effort, making a bad situation even worst. The ADF&G is tasked to prevent fisheries problems, not make them into disasters, right? The ADF”&Gis so fearful of changing run timings they are willing to destroy the run instead?

Both run timing changes and fishery disasters could be eliminated if sockeye effort in June were directly linked to escapement like in July. Pre-season high-June guessing risks overharvest while low guessing risks underharvest, so why make a guess at all? Directly linking June effort to escapement like in July would eliminate the guessing. June sockeyes could be managed like July but aren’t because of “a lack of June data.”

Escapement data collection speeds have dramatically increased recently, thus allowing us to now manage both June and July the same, so why aren’t we?

Don Johnson, Soldotna

Herrick family appreciates VFW support for celebration of life

Our thanks to the Anchor Point VFW for hosting the celebration of life for John B. Herrick on April 18. We appreciate all the work they put into it and all the friends and guests that came to remember John.

Joan Herrick

Thanks for Green Dot training support at Homer High School

I would like to thank the David & Mary Schroer Fund from the Homer Foundation for supporting Homer High School’s initiative to reduce bullying and to provide positive behavior supports. With these funds we were able to put 40 students through a day long Green Dot training. We were also able to fund supplies and prizes for our monthly school-wide Green Dot activities and challenges and were able to start a positive referral system.

This year we were able to honor over 30 students who went above and beyond when it came to working hard, helping people in need or taking initiative to help make HHS a better place the learn. This initiative seems to be working, since both parents and students think we have improved when it comes to bullying and that HHS is a safe place based on end-of year surveys. Thanks for supporting HHS.


Douglas Waclawski, Principal ,

Homer High School

UAF bound and thankful

I am so grateful to be the recipient of The Homer Foundation’s Fish and Wildlife Scholarship. It will help me pursue my goal of protecting Alaska’s natural resources, as I will put it towards Wildlife Biology and Conservation studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

I would like to thank Homer resident Steve Albert, who so generously created the scholarship. I truly appreciate the objectives of this scholarship, as I couldn’t find any other scholarships specific to this area of study. The management and protection of our wildlife is so important and I am so grateful that this scholarship exists, not only for myself, but also for any student that comes after me.

Because of this award, I will be able to explore many more opportunities to further my education. I hope to return to Homer with the knowledge and skills to maintain the natural beauty of our home.

Dexter Lowe