Letters to the Editor

More needs to be done to stop murders of Alaska women

Kudos to Senator Murkowski for her leadership on two recent bills that provide resources to battle the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. We can’t continue to lead the nation in murders of women by men, more than three times the national average according to a study by the Violence Policy Center. Sadly, Alaska women are far more likely to be murdered or go missing than the national average. This is simply unacceptable.

While these statistics are shocking, they are so much more than numbers: each one is a person who is loved and missed by family and friends. My cousin, Duffy (Anesha) Murnane went missing just after noon on Oct. 17 in downtown Homer, while walking to a doctor’s appointment. We miss her, and worry about what has happened to her every single day.

When I pause for a moment, and consider how many other people continue to be devastated by news like ours, I know that our shock and grief is not enough. Alaska’s missing women’s cases should be the highest priority for law enforcement. These cases should be investigated by a state-level, specialized investigative team.

Small, community-level law enforcement is already courageously handling a gamut of issues with insufficient resources. These cases need specialized detectives with the experience and resources to find and bring perpetrators to justice. Steps like this can help us move toward the safety and justice that our daughters, sisters, cousins, and other women in our lives deserve.

Doyle Huelsman, cousin of Duffy Murnane, Newberg, Oregon

Not science fiction

As we enter a new year with the science-fiction-like number 2020, let’s consider the direction of our nation and its influence in the world. Are we more powerful this year, or weaker? Has America’s role as a nation improved or diminished? Are we achieving prosperity, peace, stability and enduring power? Or are we being bushwhacked into debt, enmity, fear and endless warfare?

Is any nation stronger when governed by a bully? Why would a truly powerful leader resort to name calling and juvenile insults? What can our allies make of such behavior? Does bullying even work, especially when used by someone strangely infuriated by personal insults? And is the elected leader in a voter-based democratic-republic somehow equivalent to that nation? Should the leader of a free nation call detractors “disloyal,” as a king or queen might do? Aren’t all those behaviors innately and simply wrong?

This might be a rich plot for science fiction, but the significance of America’s power is real – enormously important across the globe. We are a beacon of light. How can we assert moral leadership when led by someone who shows, daily, a stunning lack of morality? Let’s ponder these questions in 2020.

Jean Anderson, Fairbanks

Bergs appreciate support during search for daughter

We would like to thank all our good friends who have been bringing us meals for the last three months since our daughter Anesha “Duffy” Murnane disappeared.

This has truly been the worst three months of our lives; Vietnam, cancer, and deaths of our parents and siblings notwithstanding. On the other hand, we have been overwhelmed with the love and support of our many friends in the Homer community, especially the MealTrain providers. Our days are mostly filled with Duffy search-related activities and mind-numbing grief, and having ready-to-eat dinners delivered to our door really lightens our load.

Our friends are using the website MealTrain.com to schedule meal deliveries. This service was new to us, but 10,000 meals per day are generated through this website. It is used mostly by people having babies, hospital stays, and military deployments, but it is the perfect fit for us during this difficult period. The food is great, but we especially appreciate the expression of love that comes with the meal. It means a lot to us that the cook has taken has taken the time and trouble to make an extra meal that night and bring it to us.

Thank you, dear friends.

Ed and Sara Berg

Oysters and OPUS

If there was ever a question about whether delicious Kachemak Bay oysters and generous support of youth ensemble music in Homer go well together, you can put that concern to rest. Friends and fans of Homer OPUS and Jakolof Bay Oyster Company turned out in fine form to enjoy good company and great oysters on behalf of Homer’s own youth ensemble music programs: Paul Banks Preludes, Fireweed Frescoes, and the Homer Youth String Orchestra Club (HYSOC).

Generosity was the crowning feature of the event as Margo and Frank Reveil of Jakolof Bay Oyster Co. shucked oysters for an enthusiastic crowd of bivalve lovers in exchange for a donation to Homer OPUS, the umbrella organization that supports and delivers these school and community based music programs in Homer that serve over 200 kids. Steve McCasland and Karen Berger of Homer Brewing Company graciously hosted the festive event.

Homer OPUS thanks Margo and Frank, Karen and Steve and the generous folks of Homer for their encouraging support on behalf of its music initiative for our children.

Kim Fine, for Homer OPUS

Tax Outside workers — and ourselves

Alaska Chamber of Commerce radio ads report 35% of Alaskas jobs are oil related. This is obviously a promotion from Juneau to vote Against the “Alaskas fair and equitable share.”

What the ads do not advertise is that the majority of those jobs are filled by non-residents. They might buy a few beers at the airport before getting on the plane back to their home state, but contribute nothing more to the Alaska economy.

Twenty-five percent of wages earned in Alaska are by non residents, who pay income tax to their home state on wages earned in Alaska. Eighty-million dollars per year could be deposited in Alaska’s general fund instead of the home state of these carpetbaggers.

If only we were all willing to contribute.

Richard Frost

Dog leashes required on McNeil School grounds

Some owners are not monitoring their dog’s activities around McNeil Canyon School, and dog poop is being left in the parking lot and near school doorways where it gets tracked into the school. Therefore, dogs must be leashed until they leave the school grounds about 100 yards up the McNeil Trails from the trailhead to where the overhead powerline crosses the trail.

Once off school grounds, dogs must be under at least voice control on the ski trails so they don’t interfere with skiers or other dogs, and owners must pick up their dog’s poop. There are courtesy poop bags at the trailhead, but you are still responsible for your dog’s poop even if the bag supply is out.

Kachemak Nordic Ski Club will be working toward a no-leash option with a trailhead off school property for skiers with dogs.


Pete Swanson, McNeil Canyon School Principal; Nicky Szarzi, Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, McNeil Ski Trails Committee

Soleimani killing a grave start for 2020

Such a shame that the Iranian man and his group got bombed outside the Iraqi airport.

Tensions are high. There will be blood. Our young are now being sent into harm’s way, by the thousands.

Isn’t this a repeat of the invasion of Iraq itself? Four-thousand five-hundred of our young died there, with countless wounded, mental damage, all upon false pretenses.

What a grave start for 2020, America.

Tod Tenhoff