Letters – Mar. 21

CHIP improves health

I recently graduated from the February 2012 Homer Complete Health Improvement Project. Like my fellow classmates, during the four week course, I lost weight and my blood pressure decreased significantly. As a group of 31, our average cholesterol fell by 14 points (nearly 16 percent) and blood pressure and abnormal glucose levels are normalizing. The average weight loss was 7.86 pounds.  Some lost less than that, but a few of us lost much more. 
CHIP is a lifestyle.  No counting, nor weighing – just eating. As one of my classmates said, CHIP is not a diet. It’s a “live it.”

The next CHIP class begins on April 2. The Health Screening is on March 29. An informational (no obligation) meeting is 2 p.m. March 25 at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 210 Pioneer Avenue. Call Judith James with questions at 235-2574 or email her at homerchip@acsalaska.net.

If you have, or wish to avoid, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many cancers, and high blood pressure, CHIP is for you. In a supportive, science-based environment, learn how to be “healthy by choice and not by chance.”
I highly recommend CHIP for everyone.
Kim Burrows

Playground project needs you

What does it take to build a fantastic new playground in only eight days, using almost all volunteer labor? You!
The Homer Playground Project has made some great strides recently, including signing up a core group of “Build Captains” to be the backbone of the new playground Build Week (May 20 – May 27.) Thank you, captains! And we’re still recruiting more. Check out www.homerplaygroundproject.org. We look forward to honoring your incredible commitment to the playground in the weeks and months to come.
In addition, there are many folks to thank for their generous efforts to make the new playground a reality: Judy Foster and Fred Keller with their giant Radio Flyer Wagon, Sunny Bourgeois of Ocean House Inn, Kathy and Evan Vogl of the Mermaid Café, Peter & Erin Micciche and family, Todd Steiner of Steiner’s North Star Construction, surveyor Steve Smith, Fat Olive’s Restaurant, Safeway, Two Sisters, Tia Pietsch (creator of HoPP’s fabulous logo), Gee Denton, and many others. The new playground would still be a hazy dream without the tireless and ongoing efforts of the whole HoPP crew: Glenna Shirts, Larry Shirts, Bekah Pearson, Kara Clemens, Cheryl Illg, Mike Illg, Laura Pomeroy, Rebecca Clarke, Angie Newby, Esther Lowe, Tricia Lillibridge, Corina Hancock, Terry Mayhew, Kate Crowley, Sharon Roufa, Kristen Cook, Jared Cook, Jane Nollar, Erica Marley, Allison Gaylord, Shannon McBride-Morin, Erik Niebuhr, Amy Alderfer, Anne Marie Holen, Carmen Field, Ginger Moore, Jack Wiles, Jeanne Parker, Jonathan Walker, Joy Overson, Robert Archibald, and Tolya Stonorov.
Deb Cox and Miranda Weiss

Grateful for South Peninsula Hospital

I want to applaud the medical staff and the new orthopedic surgeon at the South Peninsula Hospital here in Homer.  I had back surgery back in January of this year.  The surgery was successful and I am nearing the end of my recovery. How awesome to have quality health care here in our community. The new renovations and additions to the hospital were as good as anywhere. The nursing staff was great.
Last summer, I was treated by a spine specialist in Anchorage and had  two cortisone shots ($8,000 each).  After the second shot, the doctor informed me I had a bad back, and would have to live with it the rest of my life.  I was inoperable. Not quite what one wants to hear. And, so, I thought a second opinion was needed.  After learning of our new addition to the medical staff here, I went in for a second opinion. Surgery was very much possible, and after recovery, I should resume a “normal” life.  And, here I am pain free, and nearly fully recovered.  I am grateful to God and the medical staff here for the excellent care I received. 
Again I applaud you all. Thank you.
Alfred Huff

Time to donate to food pantry

In looking back at 2011, the Homer Community Food Pantry has seen gradual changes and a continuous pattern of growth over our 20 years.  Last year, the Homer community gave 45,000 pounds of food which is awesome.  Of our total income, 11 percent comes from fundraisers, 10 percent from grants, but a whopping 79 percent comes from private contributions from our own community.  Isn’t that something.
 We see people from all walks of life get involved:  Delta Kappa Gamma with school supplies, Harvest for H.O.P.E. with vegetables and warm clothing, the Rotary Clubs, Board of Realtors, Senior Center, Alaska USA Credit Union, the schools, the churches, the Girl and Boy Scouts with both food drives and financial support.  The community’s involvement with regard for others is amazing.
For the 15th consecutive year, the Feinstein Grant will divide $1 million among hunger fighting agencies nationwide, using it to raise food and funds.  During the month of March and April, the more donations, both monetary and non-monetary that are made to the Pantry, the larger our share of the grant can be. Our community has partnered with us on the grant for 15 years now.
 Some facts about the Pantry, you might like to know. In 2011:
• We served 27,345 food boxes, purchased an average of $1,000 worth of food for our clients per month, and served three schools healthy snacks. Approximately 25 families received food boxes weekly across the Bay thanks to Homer Air and Smokey Bay Air. Our income was down 13 percent from 2010 and expenses were up 23 percent, and our emergency utilities, gas and fuel expenses were all up. We lost two board members:  Hulkia Strydom and Helene Morawitz. Soon a third, Donnie Campbell, will move.
In 2012: 
• We have seen a significant rise in families needing help with heating costs in January and February, and have helped more homeless individuals by two thirds. We have a need for a fundraising committee, as we lack volunteers to fulfill this need. Any help would be appreciated.
We are all part of the solution to hunger here.  Our “all-volunteer army” wants you to know we see this as a partnership, a collective group who care about their neighbors. Keep up the good work, Homer.
Diana Jeska and HCFP board

The ‘scary stuff’ of global warming

You’ve heard of the Gaia Theory, postulating the earth is alive; a carefully balanced and evolving living organism that creates and maintains conditions suitable to life. Basically, it’s a biological and chemical feedback system that, by actively interfacing with existing life (think genetics, photosynthesis, heat/energy transfers), gradually modifies the whole earth including the thin water, land, and air biospheres where humanity exists. It’s been compared to the human body with its many complex interconnecting systems that sustain human life. Think of how sensitive and reactive you and your body are in any form of physical (or even mental) pain, discomfort, sickness or injury. It’s difficult to believe that Earth’s complex systems aren’t equally affected.
I say this because, while doing Google Earth recently, I happened to notice a vast, Florida-sized, unusual-appearing patch of tan, looking vaguely like a monstrous road-kill, in western Brazil, (type in: Rondonia Brazil, zoom in, or: Urupa Brazil, zoom out) just north, northeast of Bolivia. It appears to be rain-forest area. The rain-forest, you may recall, supposedly is habitat for about 90 percent of earth’s biodiversity.
Check it out and see what you think. I have my own opinion, of course. But, I can tell you that I’ve recently been reading books about global warming. For a good overview I suggest googling “Donald R. Prothero on Anthropogenic Global Warming” or www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-02-08/ about one page down, just past “Monsters in America.”
Scary stuff (monsters and global warming). Not for me, so much – but for your kids.
Larry Slone

Cook Inlet needs careful watch

As a new wave of oil and gas development descends upon Cook Inlet, it’s important to recognize Cook Inlet receives considerably less scrutiny from regulators than other oil producing regions in Alaska and beyond.  Buccaneer Energy is a good example.  Buccaneer is the company using State of Alaska funds to upgrade a jack-up drill rig in Singapore before bringing it into service in Cook Inlet later this year. 
Buccaneer has already riled private property owners around the Kenai area, many of whom have refused to grant the company access to their properties for seismic work.  Just this past week, the Army Corps let Buccaneer off the hook for hundreds of violations of the Clean Water Act, after Buccaneer failed to obtain a permit for setting explosives in wetlands.  The Corps issued no fine, and an “after-the-fact” permit for the violations. 
Across the Inlet, the Christie Lee platform – where tankers load crude from the Drift River Terminal and facilities upstream – lost a massive fender needed to dock vessels.  So now, Hilcorp – the Texas independent which bought Chevron’s Cook Inlet assets last year – may very well store oil again as the base of an active volcano (recall last time Redoubt erupted, Chevron left 6 million gallons of crude teetering above our fisheries as massive lahars swept around the Drift River tank farm). 
Finally, at the docks in Nikiski, a tug helping to keep a tanker against the dock during a large tide and ice episode apparently lost power, dragging the tanker dangerously down the dock.  Quick action prevented a major casualty, but we’ve known since at least 1993 those docks are notoriously dangerous, yet we continue to operate right up to the edge of safety.  If these stories were anomalies, it would be one thing.  But they’re not; they’re business as usual in Cook Inlet.  As new exploration and development unfold in Cook Inlet, our politicians and regulators need to treat Cook Inlet like the world-class resource it is.
Bob Shavelson,
director of Advocacy,
Cook Inletkeeper 

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Posted by on Mar 21st, 2012 and filed under Letters to the Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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