Letters to the Editor

How did government license become a property right?

In the Alaska government’s gift of a multi-million dollar salmon resource to a handful of resident and nonresident commercial fishermen, they made a small number of resident and nonresident fishermen very wealthy people, and at the expense of thousands of Alaskans who, as a result, were denied their constitutional right of access to a common resource, guaranteed and provided for in the 8th Amendment to Alaska’s Constitution, Section J.

The goal of the California entry commissioners brought into the State of Alaska by the legislature was to invoke an entry program that would reduce the number of gear units in the state’s salmon fishery. At that time, hundreds of old timers had retired from the state salmon fishery, but when it was discovered that there was a property right attached to the permits, hundreds of these fishermen opted not to retire. but rather applied and qualified for salmon entry permits statewide. So rather than reducing the effort on salmon, the effort was increased by several hundred units of fishing gear in all districts of the state, thus defeating the whole purpose of the limited entry program’s reduction efforts.

Thousands of Alaskans may recall having salmon, halibut, scallops and prawns several times per week as a healthy diet for their families, but as a result of limited entry and quota shares in the above said species, I personally know of no working family that can afford $18 to $27 per pound fish for dinner at night for their families.

In my 60-plus years in Alaska’s fishery I recall red salmon I was paid 75 cents each for. In the 1960s in Kodiak I sold King Crab at the dock for 8 cents per pound and by the 1980s the governments of the U.S. and Canada gave a multi-billion dollar halibut fishery to a handful of elitist vessel owners in Seattle and Vancouver B.C., most of whom are now millionaires.

So I find myself asking, when was it that a government license became a property right in a capitalist nation?

So much for the good intentions of the Eighth Amendment of Alaska’s Constitution.

John A. Anderson, Kenai

Thanks for border fundraiser help

Many, many, many thanks to those who turned out for the July 11 You-Can-Make-A-Difference-At-The-Border fundraiser. It was both enlightening and empowering hearing from those who have seen with their own eyes what’s going on at our nation’s southern border.

It also was a humbling experience. It’s amazing what can be done in an hour of eating tacos, drinking beers and talking about how we can be instruments of change. The event raised a little more than $1,000 to help people at the border with promises of more from those unable to attend.

A special thanks to Don and Sherry Stead of Grace Ridge Brewing and Joe Miller of Brick Mouse who donated $1 for every pint and taco sold Thursday night.

The donations will be divided evenly among three projects:

• Hygiene kits, which are being distributed to “transition centers” along the southern border by the United Methodist Committee on Relief, or UMCOR. Monetary donations or donations for the kits themselves can be dropped by Homer United Methodist Church or Grace Ridge Brewing.

• Altruist Relief Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by Homer resident Lucas Wilcox. Wilcox and a team of volunteers spent several months feeding migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, earlier this year. ARK plans to return to help along the border in the spring of 2020. For more information or to donate, go to altruistrelief.org.

• Casa Alitas, a program run by Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona. The program provides care and short-term shelter to migrant families who have left their homes to escape violence and poverty. Homer residents Dr. Hal Smith and Susan McLane have volunteered at Casa Alitas and shared their experience Thursday night. For more information or to donate, go to www.ccs-soaz.org.

We will get together at 6 p.m. Monday, July 29, at Grace Ridge Brewing, 3388 B Street, off Ocean Drive, to put together hygiene kits. Everyone is welcome.

Thank you, again, for your support. If you need more information, please give us a call.

Lori Evans (907-399-7767), Sherry Stead (907-399-5200), and McKibben Jackinsky (907-299-4926)

AVTEC bound student grateful for scholarships

Dear Homer Scholarship Committee,

I am sincerely honored to have been selected as the recipient of the Drew Scalzi Scholarship and the Heather Pancratz Scholarships. I would like to thank you for your generosity, which has made paying for AVTEC much easier. Every penny that has been donated will make a world of a difference.

As I complete my education at AVTEC, I am very thankful for these generous gifts. Because of your scholarships, I will be able to one day come back to the peninsula and build a business.

Thank you again for your thoughtful and generous gift.


Michael Trail

Who thinks Medicaid is a handout?

Who voted for Dunleavy? Who are these people that don’t think our tax dollars, mY tax dollars, that I’ve been paying since my first full time job at the age of 16, should be used to fix my broken, painful teeth? Who thinks Medicaid is somehow a handout and not a hard earned financial net for the very people who are paying for it?

If my tax dollars aren’t being recirculated back into our system to take care of our community, then where is this money going? Will Dunleavy have to get his teeth extracted because he can’t afford to pay for dental? If not, why not? Does he work harder than me? And therefore allowed access to these services?

I’ve worked very hard, often grueling, full-time service jobs for minimum wage for 34 years and have diligently paid my taxes … for what?

Amy Backas

Thank you Reprehensive Vance and Gov. Dunleavy

Thanks for cutting the UA system — I’m sure they are looking forward to looking for new jobs. Head Start — I’m sure the kids and parents are looking forward to staying. The Civil Air Patrol — don’t need no rescuing. The cruise ship watch dog — we know we can trust them to do what’s right. The State Arts Council — who needs art and culture? The homeless — they will get a PFD so they can take care of themselves. Alaska Legal Services — we can defend ourselves. And public broadcasting —because we all know the private sector does it better. We can’t forget the poor elderly because we know they don’t need help.

I’m sure I have left out more who want to thank you for being such great Sunday Christians and taking care of those who are in need like Jesus taught.

Dave Lewis

Protester seemed familiar

On July 11, one Alaska newspaper described protesters at the meeting of the Legislative Special Session in Wasilla: “Protests. … reached a crescendo Wednesday, with more than a dozen people swarming the gym floor and occupying legislators’ assigned seats as the lawmakers walked into the room.”

Having watched television news that same evening, I witnessed a wild-eyed, fist-pumping demonstrator declare loudly his adamant objection to current gubernatorial efforts intended to curtail the expansion of Alaska State Government.

I searched my memory. Where had I seen this individual before?

I finally realized — I had never seen him before. I also realized, however, that we had been previously introduced.

“… He had won victory over himself.”

“He loved Big Brother.”

Jack Polster

Library grateful for Elks food grant

Summer@HPL brings families together to celebrate reading and learning all summer long. This year we’ll host more than 70 programs that are free to attend. Many of the events and recommended book displays focus on space and the theme Universe of Stories, but people are also talking about the Food for Kids and Teens program which the library is offering in partnership with the Homer Community Food Pantry.

This new-to-the-library initiative provides bags of shelf-stable food for kids and teens to pick up near the entrance to the library. Why is the library offering food for kids and teens? While our mission continues to focus on literacy, learning and free access to information, we recognize that hunger and food insecurity can have a negative impact on learning. Kids and teens have access to food most days during the school year, but summers can be tough. The library is well suited to distribute the youth-friendly food provided by the Food Pantry and will do so six days a week until school begins in August.

The library is also able to offer snacks at all of its programs for kids, teens and families again this year, thanks to a generous donation from the Homer Elks and a grant they received from the National Elks Foundation. Research tells us that offering food to all who attend a program reduces stigma about being hungry and gives more kids access to food. Kids and teens will be well fed as they create, design, build, write and read together this summer at the library. As part of the grant, Elks purchased backpacks that we will use to distribute both food and book prizes at the Reach for the Stars Ice Cream Celebration. Thank you to the Elks for their contribution to Summer@HPL.

Claudia Haines, Youth Services Librarian

Homer Public Library

Please don’t protest at KBC

In the midst of all of the budget uncertainty, I’d like let the community of Homer know that the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) is open for business this Fall 2019. That being said, I’d like to remind the community of Homer of the role of KPC. We are a public educational institution that provides for-credit and non-credit courses and workshops to help our students reach their educational and skills development goals. We are NOT in the business of supporting individual political opinions or ideals. While we do support people’s constitutional rights to protest and free speech, we ask that you do not do so on KBC grounds. I know that the budget cuts have impassioned many locals, but we ask that you allow us to keep our local campus as a safe, non-political entity that supports our students and not personal opinions or messages. Finally, I’d like to thank all of the locals that reached out to the legislature on behalf of the university. This is a difficult time for all of us and we appreciate all of you that contribute to our campus, college, and community.

Reid Brewer, Director, Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College

Full PFD to fire Sarah

With the governor’s vetoes, which are fully supported by our rep Rep. Sarah Vance, I pledge every penny of my PFD over $1,000 to see her unemployed in 2020 as she proposes to do to thousands of Alaskans with her vision of selfish partisan politics.

There must be a way of getting the ball rolling early to help get someone in office who is generally concerned about the future of true Alaskans.

Will someone with the knowledge to do so please start a political action committee to start with her and then the governor two years later?

You will have my support.

Richard Frost