Letters to the Editor

School unions send message to district

An open letter to the communities of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District,

As the presidents of the Kenai Peninsula Education Association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association we are proud members of our communities, parents of KPBSD students, and educators. We want the best for our children just like you want the best for yours. We would like to thank you for the overwhelming support we’ve received from parents and community members.

In our tight knit communities we develop relationships with the teachers and support staff who make our schools great. We take comfort in the fact that our younger children will get to follow in the footsteps of their older siblings and learn from the same educators. This is possible because the Kenai Peninsula is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.

Since we began bargaining there has been a single focus; make healthcare affordable so that our communities stop losing excellent educators. Ensuring all students have access to a great education starts with our ability to make competitive offers to high quality educators who want to join and remain in our communities.

Every action we take is rooted in a commitment to provide the best possible education to every student in the district. As community members we want this because we know strong public schools attract business and other professionals.

Thank you for your ongoing support. If you’d like to get engaged further please check out the KPBS Parents for Quality Education Facebook group.

Sincerely,

David Brighton, KPEA President;

Ann McCabe, KPESA President

Share the Spirit at PFD time

Dear Editor and Neighbor in Need;

For our neighbors in need; we hope that you have been able put aside a bit of money from your spring and summer labors to take care of your household’s needs and that you are planning to budget a bit from your Permanent Fund Dividend to use for the holidays. However, if your household will still be in need, information about the holiday Food Basket program will be available soon. We will start accepting applications after Thanksgiving and basket giveaway will be around winter solstice.

For all the members of the community that have supported this program over the years:

We send this letter as a reminder that the PFD will soon fill our pockets; we are asking that you consider putting aside a portion to donate to the Holiday program, providing Christmas Baskets for needy members of our community. As in, the past, monetary donations can be deposited at Wells Fargo Bank or mailed to P.O., Box 3218, Homer Alaska 99603, and we thank you.

There will be many opportunitiesfor members of the community to get involved in this worthy project, and in the coming issues of this paper, we promise to detail these options for you. Today we are looking for helpers for the Spaghetti Feed, our annual fund raising event. If any group, family of individual is willing to work on this project, call Share the Spirit at 235-7466 and leave us a message and a good call back number.

In a perfect world no one would be in need, but as we all know, the world is not yet perfect. We hope you will join us to make this small effort at improving it for us all. Share the Spirit wishes you the best , and we will reach out to the community again in the days to come. Until then … Remember to Share the Spirit.

Kelly Glidden and Shari Daugherty, co-chairs, Basket Program; Jayne Locklar, President, and Jonathan Adams, Vice-President, Share the Spirit

Homer Dental Clinic shares the smiles

Over the summer South Peninsula Behaviorial Health Services worked with kids in the community to help develop multiple life skills. One of the areas we focused on was personal hygiene. We’d like to offer big, gleaming smiles of thanks to Homer Dental Clinic for providing tooth care kits for the group. The kids were super excited to receive the kits and even more excited to put their new equipment into use. Thanks for partnering with us in creating community wellness, and especially for your generosity and caring.

Rudy Multz, Children’s Program Manager,

South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services – The Center

Firefighters grateful for community support

The Kachemak Emergency Services team gives a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who has supported us during the recent wildland fires. The outpouring from the greater Homer Community has been amazing.

The food for the firefighters and support personnel has kept us all going, not only physically and mentally, but has touched our hearts in knowing the community is behind us.

After the Kachemak Emergency Service Area (KESA), Alaska State Forestry, and Anchor Point firefighter’s initial attack at the North Fork Fire, the support from the Homer Volunteer Fire Department and the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Services engines and tankers was invaluable. They worked tirelessly to supply water to the Forestry Firefighters working in rough and difficult terrain. This support allowed KESA Firefighters to shift their focus to fighting the Caribou Lake Fire.

Thanks to the Alaska Division of Forestry. As always, it’s great to seamlessly work together during these major events.

Thanks to the Alaska State Troopers and Homer Police Department who had our back to keep us all safe.

Our thanks also to the public, local restaurants, and businesses which organized and provided food, drinks and snacks for local firefighters, the smoke jumpers, hotshots, and others working on the fire line. Food donations poured in from Fat Olives, Safeway, Spenard Builders Supply, The Duncan House, The Bagel Shop … and the list goes on.

South Peninsula Power Sports, Homer Saw and Cycle, and the Honda Shop all quickly made repairs to our firefighting side-by-side wheeler units being used to fight the Caribou Lake Fire.

We offer our appreciation to the public who offered their cabins at Caribou Lake for firefighters to get rest and shelter as needed.

Thanks to the local news media, including the proactive messaging of KBBI and the Homer News, who were all great in helping to get important information to the Public regarding the fires, evacuation ”Ready-Set-Go” status, smoke conditions, and safety information.

I wish I could list everyone that helped. I apologize for not knowing every contributor, but I was a little busy. I think however, I can sum it all up by just saying, “Thank you to all in Homer and the surrounding area.”

Sincerely,

Robert Cicciarella, Chief, Kachemak Emergency Services

Backpack Project appreciates support

Thank you to all those wonderful people who helped 86 children, clients of the Homer Community Food Pantry, start their school year on a positive note. The students began school with new backpacks filled with supplies. Thank you so much for helping these students start the school year on a very positive note.

This is the 13th year that the Omicrom Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma has organized the “Back to School Backpack Project.” The success of this project could only happen because of community support and collaborative efforts with local service groups and churches.

A big thank you to all those that repeatedly filled the donation container at Ulmer’s True Value. Special thanks to all the local service groups that continue with their support: Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club, Kachemak Bay Lions Club, the Homer Emblem Club, and the Rotary Club of downtown Homer. Thank you to the caring members of the Faith Lutheran Church, Christian Community Church, Homer United Methodist Church, and Glacier View Baptist Church, who continue to stuff the collection boxes with Backpacks and supplies.

A big thank-you also to those that came and helped assemble the backpacks from the Rotary and Lions Club, also West Homer Elementary for use of the space for packing the packs, and Barb Veek for the use of her van to the transport the backpack. Thank you also to East End Mini Storage for continued support of our storage needs. Their assistance helps this project be successful on a year round basis. Thank you again for making a difference in a child’s education. Your generosity demonstrates a commitment to helping children succeed in school.

Ceil Manchester, Delta Kappa Gamma, Omicron Chapter

Wooden boaters appreciate festival support

On behalf of the Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society, we’d like to thank everyone who helped make our festival a success.

This year we focused on a great project by Dave Seaman in conjunction with the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, “Sailing Back to the Bay 2020”. Dave will be sailing his restored Bristol Bay sailing double-ender from Homer to Bristol Bay next spring.

Thanks to: Dave Seaman, KPC-Homer Campus, City of Homer, Pratt Museum, Kachemak Bay Water Trails, Down East Saloon, Salty Dawg, Rogues and Wenches, Spenard Builders Supply, Homer News, Homer Tribune, AK DNR Office of Boating Safety, USCG Auxiliary, KP School District Immigrant Program, Kate Mitchell, John Miles, Tasha and David Kudwa, Jim Lunny, Johann Willrich, Richard Jones, Mike Kennedy, McKibben Jackinsky, Melanie Dufour, Mark Brinster, Annette Koth, Sirens Seafood and Street Food. And, of course, everyone who came out to our events and to the spit and brought families, kids, and boats. Thank you.

Dave and Zelda Collett-Paule

Thank you to Better Bag donors

In 2018, the Homer City Council approved a measure placing an ordinance on the 2019 ballot asking voters if they want to prohibit retailers from providing thin (single use) plastic bags. Homer City residents will be voting on Oct. 1, 2019. Several local nonprofit organizations have formed the “Yes To Better Bags” partnership to support a Yes vote to reduce plastic pollution in our community. Partners include Kachemak Bay Conservation Society (KBCS), Cook Inletkeeper (CIK), Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS), Homer Chapter of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (HAYEA), Kachemak Advocates for Recycling (KARe), Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), and Citizens AKtion Network (CAN).

As a coastal community, the health and welfare of Kachemak Bay is critically important. The bay provides vital financial, recreational, and cultural resources for a host of users including residents, tourists, and indigenous peoples. Plastic bags contribute to global climate change and never degrade completely. Within Alaska, 19 communities no longer allow retailers to provide single use plastic bags to customers and it is time for Homer to join them. Stores in these Alaskan communities have adapted easily; positive effects include lower costs and increased revenue from selling reusable bags, with the biggest benefit being less plastic pollution. A “yes” vote on the ballot measure will help keep the land and waters surrounding Kachemak Bay pristine.

Yes To Better Bags (YTBB) will be hosting outreach events at local business in September and will give out 100% recycled bags, biodegradable stickers, and educational information; newspaper ads will also be published. This effort has been made possible thanks to generous contributions from Homer Foundation Willow Fund, NOAA Outreach and Education Grant through CACS, and partners KBCS, CIK, KARe, HAYEA, as well as private donors. Special thanks to Conrad Field for donating the beautiful art work for YTBB.

Elisa Russ , Yes To Better Bags Partnership

Vote “yes” on KPB Prop 1

I support Kenai Peninsula Borough Prop 1 for the borough to adopt a manager plan of government. This is how Homer and other cities on the Peninsula operate. The mayor becomes part of the policy-making team and a manager is hired to carry out their directives. In the case of the borough, the elected mayor would have a stronger voice at assembly meetings to carry out the voters’ wishes.

The assembly would hire the manager, based on administrative skills, not political popularity. The manager would oversee department staff and day-to-day operations of the borough to efficiently implement the decisions of the elected officials. The manager plan of government provides a better balance of skills required for policy development and its implementation.

Mary Griswold

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