Letters to the Editor

Think about place in the world

It’s your world view that’s important. What’s your place in this world? Are you here to trash and abuse your environment? Not care about who or what you’re hurting? If so, ultimately you will hurt yourself, because what goes around, comes around. What you do comes back to you … cause and effect … karma … do unto others what you would have others do unto you. If your religion or philosophy doesn’t teach you that, it’s a sham.

Lela Ryterski

Vote yes on Prop A

One of the good things about plastic is it doesn’t readily break down, and one of the bad things about plastic is it doesn’t readily break down. We in the United States use about 100 billion single-use plastic bags a year. Even if these bags all made it to the landfill, it would take up a lot of space and 500-1,000 years for them to decompose — no one really knows because they are not biodegradable. Many single-use bags never make it to the landfill. They escape and become roadside trash or, even worse and all too common, make it into our waterways and end up in the ocean.

Whales and sea turtles can easily mistake a floating bag for a tasty jellyfish. Once ingested, these bags cause impaction in the digestive system, which is frequently fatal. Just this past spring, a young gray whale died during its migration back to Alaska. An examination of its digestive system revealed it was impacted with plastic.

Over time, plastic bags do break apart physically into smaller and smaller pieces, which are then mistaken for plankton by seabirds, fish, and other marine organisms. Once again, these bits of plastic are not digestible and are frequently fatal.

Plastic bags are currently banned in over 40 counties – Bangladesh being the first – and in eight states and more than 100 cities in the USA, including Anchorage, Bethel, Cordova, Soldotna, and Wasilla.

Now is the time! I strongly urge you to vote “yes” on Proposition A on Oct. 1.

Dan Boone

Keep balance on city council

The current city council has worked well together on promoting and developing issues of relevance to Homer such as infrastructure, safety and the well-being of its residents. Those items are the meat and potatoes of the council’s work. What keeps it from spinning off into less structurally justified social proposals such as the Pride and Sanctuary City Resolutions of recent years is its balanced composition — three conservatives vs. three liberals. Because of our non-voting mayor, proposed social gambits face the burden of attracting the support of one of the others to achieve a 4-2 majority.

My concern is that electing either of the city council challengers, Storm Hansen-Cavasos or Joey Evensen, would break that fine balance. Although both seem bright, eager, motivated and well-grounded in Homer activities, neither seems well-versed in how the structure of local government defines and limits council actions. But that deficit can be overcome with an adequate commitment of time and energy, which they both appear to possess.

Of greater concern is that they appear to be committed toward social liberalism. The election of just one, achieving the 4-2 majority, would almost certainly — intentionally or not — reintroduce an era of contentious and divisive social experimentation inappropriate for local government.

Larry Slone

Prop A offers better bag options

I am supporting Prop. A on the City of Homer ballot because I believe we have better bag options than a 2.5-mil plastic bag. These bags can be handy, but although the plastic doesn’t decompose, it does break down into tiny bits that are entering the food chain and can be found in the seafood we consume. We don’t know what the long term effects these tiny bits of plastic will have on shellfish, salmon, halibut or us but it can’t be good.

I believe choosing to reduce the use of the thinnest plastic bags will be good for everyone. I am working hard to remember to bring my reusable bags whenever I shop. I believe we can each be part of the solution by taking small steps to reduce the use of plastics and at the same time help our economy, the environment and our health. Please vote “Yes” on Proposition A.


Lynn Takeoka Spence

Vote for Evensen, Hansen-Cavasos

Next week, Homer has a chance to breathe fresh air into the Homer City Council. I mean no disrespect to gray hairs. I am one. But two candidates among the four running are of a younger generation, and they bring with them progressive perspectives on critical issues facing the city.

Is it time for change? I think so. I am casting my votes for Joey Evensen and Storm Hansen-Cavasos. I urge you to do likewise. The future is too important.


Hal Spence

Vote ‘yes’ on Prop. A

On the Oct. 1 ballot this year, the City of Homer has the opportunity, once again, to limit the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags in the community. This ordinance is being brought to a local vote by our City Council in response to community interest and concern. By voting Yes on Proposition A to prohibit single-use (≤ 2.25 ml) plastic bag use locally, we join over 20 other Alaska communities in taking simple, practical action to reduce plastic pollution in our areas. This includes Soldotna and Anchorage, where many of us from the Homer area occasionally, or even regularly, shop.

Plastic pollution has become a major issue in the ocean environment and the Alaska coastline is becoming inundated, particularly on catchment-oriented segments of the shore. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade but break down into microplastics that disperse widely, absorb toxins, and continue to move through and pollute the marine environment, including the fishery resources we consume. The Homer economy relies strongly on the health of our marine ecosystem, both locally and regionally; consequently it behooves us to take steps to protect that ecosystem and the natural resources it supports.

Considering that up to 80% of plastic pollution enters the ocean from land, it’s a simple thing for our community to reduce the amount of plastic that we contribute locally. By prohibiting the availability of single-use plastic bags in our community, we are each taking action to keep the land and waterways clean and reduce the risks from plastic pollution in our beautiful bay.

Please vote “yes” on Homer Proposition A on October 1st this year. It’s the right thing to do for the health of the ocean and all that depends on it. Thank you. Early voting is underway at City Hall, if that suits your schedule better.

Laurie Daniels

Bookstore supports Prop. A

We encourage folks to vote yes on ban of the single use plastic bags. For people wondering how businesses are feeling about this, The Homer Bookstore supports banning single use plastic bags (SUP bags). The awareness has been raised considerably, and for the most part, our customers don’t routinely ask for bags, or they bring in their own. We also have the boomerang bags supplied by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and the local Girl Scouts. We think with 19 other Alaskan communities and many entire states and countries no longer allowing SUP bags, it’s time for Homer to consider this again. There are many small, re-usable bags available which hold up for years. It is a habit that may take getting used to at first, but with time, it gets easier to remember to bring one.

Homer is a fishing community and a community where many visitors visit because of our beautiful accessible beaches, ocean, and wildlife. Doesn’t it make sense to protect that which is so valuable? It will take years of efforts to clean up the ocean and beaches already of all the plastic litter — why add more? We understand many people do reuse their plastic bags, we do also, but according to research, the average SUP bag is used for 12 minutes. Or, if you bag something heavy or with sharp corners, it may get used for 12 seconds before it rips and is then garbage. Additionally, this plastic previously was recyclable in Homer, and in Anchorage, but no longer is. They go into the landfill now, if they don’t blow into the trees and ocean first.

Thank you,

Sue Post, Jenny Stroyeck, and Lee Post, The Homer Bookstore

Jenny Stroyeck is the wife of Homer News editor Michael Armstrong.

Comment on trail issue by Friday

I am writing concerning the trail from Skyline Drive down to the bottom of Bear Canyon that is referred to as “the Mary Lane trail.” There is a debate and many misunderstandings concerning this natural access from the high country to the lowlands. This trail was an old game trail and was further established by the early homesteaders to travel to town.

I have lived in Homer since 1971. Through the years I have ridden horses, hiked and skied from the beach to the high country all along the Homer bench. In fact my home is on an old trail skirting McNeil canyon. Many times storm winds have fallen trees blocking my driveway and I have been very grateful to have another way to get my family out to the road. I believe all the old trails are very important for the safety and the health of the community. Over the years new residents have bought land and blocked old trails but alternative routes have been established. Closing these trails for good is a big mistake.

The debate now is about closing a dedicated public pedestrian easement established to replace part of the old Mary Lane trail years ago. I understand that the residents who built their homes near the public easement want privacy but the Homer residents should not have to give up this important access up the Homer bench. I encourage the residents to design an alternate trail that skirts their homes but still provides public access. Public comment is open until Sept. 30. Submit comments to the Department of Natural Resources at joseph.poydack@alaska.gov.


Olga von Ziegesar

Everyone needs to vote

I’m really frustrated. I am a member of Kenai Peninsula Votes. KPV’s sole mission is to get more people to vote and we are strictly a non-partisan group. We have an election coming up for the City and the Borough on Tuesday, October 1. As I talk to people in the community about voting in the upcoming election, I realize that many potential voters don’t even know there is an election or what is on the ballots. What makes me sad, is that historically about 70% of the people don’t vote in these city and borough off year elections. But- there is no good reason NOT to vote.

What burns me is that a week after this election the same people that don’t vote will get their precious dividend. There was a Facebook post this summer that got people up in arms. Someone wrote that if you get a dividend you should have to vote. Sounds good, but it violates our democratic principles. I agree that the dividend should not be tied to voting, but you are essentially getting free money from the State. It seems like dividend recipients should at least take time and learn about the ballot issues and vote. Also, with all this uproar during the last legislative session in Juneau you would think everyone would come to the polls for this next election and all elections that follow! But people live in the moment. When issues affect them directly, they get active, but for this election people just aren’t as interested.

So, I just needed to vent. But please if you’re reading this and you care about voting-call someone that you think isn’t and tell them the importance of voting.

P.S.: If you go to our Kenai Peninsula Votes Facebook page you can watch our video about why voting is important. Peace.

Alex Koplin

World Arts Fest elevated arts

The arts has been elevated to new heights in Homer by the inaugural Alaska World Arts Festival.

As a New Zealand balladeer invited to perform at the festival, my wife and I were welcomed by supportive people who made us feel a part of this special community in a way never before experienced. The calibre of fellow performers was second to none and the variety of the unique events gave everyone options seldom available. Two highlights for me were the Fireweed Academy’s Little Fireweed children and teachers who created with me, their song for Alaska.

I believe his song will live for ever in the hearts of Homer people. The children expressed a love for Alaska in simple words that everyone can relate to. The other event was the International Showcase of the featured artists concert held at Alice’s Champagne Palace that warmed the hearts and souls of the performers and the audience, ensuring the future of this festival. Our heartfelt thanks to the festival organisers, volunteers, people and children of Homer for the best 2 weeks of our life.

Roger and Deirdre Lusby, Nelson

New Zealand

Global Fiction

On Sept. 20, high-school students demonstrated around the world just how much of an utter failure our “education” system is, and how low socialist elitism will go to advance their agenda/ideology. In their zeal to achieve total global power and force their Georgia Guidestones philosophy on the world, they will use “any means necessary,” including children, and creating an atmosphere of fear and hate between anyone who may think differently, and their agenda.

Did you listen to these young, naive, uninformed students as they spoke their irrational, nonsensical, doomsday, indoctrinated, trained rhetoric? They are blaming their parents for a fictional, non-existent crisis, marking a successful completion in the effort to divide and conquer. Make no mistake, unless this idiocy is curtailed, that blame will become hate in short order.

This has been brought about by a duplicitous media and an “education system” that has re-written history and taught nonsense from kindergarten up. The narrative has been intentional on how evil America is and was. Without knowledge of our past, we lose sight of our future, and hence be molded into whatever the powers that be desire. Those teens, at a time in their lives when they should be enthusiastic about living, are consumed with fear. The worst is, that fear is based on pseudo science, void of facts. One lie is that there is too much CO2, and is causing warming. Fact; prior to the mini-ice age, CO2 measured about 2,600 ppm; today it’s around 400 ppm. Something happened around 1200 A.D that caused global cooling. Something happened around 1600 A.D. that caused global warming. In both cases climate change happened. In neither case did humans play any role in the change. We are currently nearing the tail end of that mini-ice age. Read. Learn. Stop robbing our youth of their present.

Duane Christensen

Fine wrote great op-ed

Thanks Kim Fine for your Point of View in last week’s News. Your three-cookie tin concept of Fun, Saving and Helping Muney shows class as an educator and wisdom as a human being.

As I read your thoughts, I wished I’d had those ideas in the parenting of my children. They are basic, fundamental and profound. Thank you.

Steve Gibson