Letters – May 9

Update on Homer surfbirds

On Thursday, I submitted a report where I said that I saw no surfbirds on the Homer harbor jetty, even though I saw at least 150 there the day before. Last Friday was another turnabout.  I was at the harbor about an hour and a half after high tide and a large flock of shorebirds landed on the outside jetty.  I counted about 350 surfbirds, 64 Dunlin, and one Black Turnstone. It was truly amazing. 
Wanting to get some good photos of this, I walked past the security fence and went out on the Deep Water Dock about 25 feet where I had a great view of the birds.  After spending about 10 minutes getting some good shots, this official-looking guy comes up to me and says that if I stay there I’m going to jail.  I thought, hmmm, then I would be able to add jail bird to my list.  But, not wanting this for a lifer, I decided to leave, trying to explain to this guy about all the surfers I was looking at.  He just looked and saw the Coast Guard ship in line with where I was aiming my digiscope.  I thought this was one of those situations where explanation just makes things worse, so I quickly left. But I got some good shots, I mean photos. 
Moving on, I headed down the Homer Spit and saw four Pacific Golden-Plovers by the small parking space at Louie’s Lagoon.  The sun was just right, and I got some good photos of a nearby female. Two flocks of about 20 birds flew by which I think were also Pacific Golden-Plovers. 
From there I went to the Green Timbers parking area and saw 10 Pacific Golden-Plovers foraging in the high grass.  At tideline was a mixed flock of about 180 Western sandpipers, a couple Dunlin, and 16 Black-bellied Plovers. 
By the time I got to Mud Bay, it was about three hours after high tide and all the shorebirds were way out there. There was a large flock of about 1,500 that I assume were Western Sandpipers.  I got an e-mail from Aaron Lang who was at Mud Bay before high tide. He estimated there were 1,800 Westerns and 150 Dunlin.  In addition, he had 15 Short-billed dowitchers, six Whimberl, one Marbled Godwit, one Semipalmated Plover , and 20 Lease Sandpipers. He also saw about 1,000 Surfbirds fly down the Homer Spit. 
Saturday, we have scheduled monitoring. Should be a great day if you can stay out of jail.
George Matz

It takes a community

The Homer Playground Project slogan is, “It takes a community to build a great playground.”
Taken a step further, I would say, “Show me a great park system, and I’ll show you a great community.” Homer has that potential. You can show the greatness of Homer as a community by being part of building a new playground at Karen Hornaday Park the week of May 20. Sign up now to volunteer – www.homerplaygroundproject.org
Jack Wiles

Flourishing artist programs

Picture a perpetual Artist in Residence Program, enhancing community creativity and vibrancy for Alaskan artists and the community of Homer with artists talks, exhibitions and workshops. It’s gaining momentum! Bunnell Street Arts Center is pleased that our Artist in Residence Program has grown, thanks to Homer Foundation’s grant of $2,000 in 2011, with support from the Jensen Fund. This program brightened Homer for two long, dark winter months. In January, Alaskan mixed media artist, Sandy Gillespie, enlivened our main gallery with a body of work in progress for exhibition at Alaska State Museum. She also instructed a workshops on combining visual art and writing for adults as well as a two-week Artist in Schools unit at West Homer Elementary. In March, local artists of all ages enjoyed Seattle-based graphic novelist, Jim Woodring as he discussed and embellished his Homer Sketchbook and provided presentations and workshops on cartooning for youth. We have big goals and a lot of room to grow our Artist in Residence Program. Special thanks to Homer Foundation for fueling the vision this winter.
Asia Freeman
Executive/artistic director
Bunnell Street Arts Center

Ron Paul asserts individual rights

I was privileged to be a delegate for Ron Paul at the Republican convention in Anchorage last week. In the Constitutional Rights committee, I’m pleased to report, there was a lot of freedom and liberty being spoken. We would have abolished corporate personhood, thrown out the Transportation Security Agency, reinforced rights against unlawful search and seizure, reinforced Posse Comitatus, made industrial hemp legal, among other big issues. One should have guessed, the rooted controlling members would find a strategic way to avoid confronting these issues and keep them from coming to the main floor by running out of time when they got to our committee.
I proposed, to clarify certain matters, that the legal definition of the word “person” shall be: A living, individual, human being of flesh and blood.
Rev.Richard Olson

Hockey team scores support

On behalf of Homer Hockey Association, we’d like to say thank you to this generous community. HHA held our most successful raffle yet this winter and we sincerely appreciate all of you who supported the hockey players and Kevin Bell Arena by purchasing raffle tickets.
We’d especially like to recognize Homer Saw and Cycle and the Save-U-More Deli for generously donating prizes for top selling players.  We are grateful for the businesses that kindly offered space for teams to sell tickets; including Ulmer’s, Spenard Builder’s Supply, Safeway, and Save-U-More. 
Finally, thank you to the parents, managers, coaches and family members who put in tireless volunteer hours to make hockey a positive, healthy activity for so many players. 
Karyn Noyes, Nyla Lightcap, Heidi Stage, and Kim Duggar
HHA raffle committee

Wonderful Week of the Young Child

The week to celebrate young children in Homer (April 22 -28) flew by with a flurry of fun events for young kids. Many people contributed to making it a successful week, many organizations hosted special events, some agencies highlighted the great things they do for young children on a regular basis, and numerous individuals volunteered to share their talents. What a wonderful community we have. The list is just too long to name each individually, but we thank you all for caring about kids.
The week’ events culminated on April 28 when a dynamic group of Homer citizens met to talk about families, parenting and young children. An exciting, positive conversation led to visioning an even better place for young children to grow up. Again, many people helped make this “Community Cafe” a success: Thanks to the Christian Community Church and Kachemak Kids Early Learning Center for the space and child care providers. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch of sandwiches donated by Subway, beautiful salads and desserts by Two Sisters Bakery and coffee from Captains.
Our facilitator, Charlie Johansen-Adams helped us make the most of our time together. Finally, Jenny Martin deserves a special big thank you for all the work she did. The Week of the Young Child and community cafe were sponsored by Families First: A Best Beginnings Partnership which includes Sprout’s “Strengthening Families” project.
There will be more opportunities in the near future to get involved in projects that make Homer the wonderful town that it is. Remember to save the date: May 18 for the upcoming MAPP meeting where we will hear how those community working groups are progressing and help set the path for moving forward.

Lolita Brache and Bonnie Betley,
Co-chairs for Families First

Project Grad gains critical support 

Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula would like to acknowledge and thank the Homer Foundation’s Choices for Teens Fund for its generous support of our 2012 Middle School-High School Bridge Program. 
These funds will allow students from seven rural Kenai Peninsula schools to gather in Homer and participate in a variety of activities aimed at developing a broad base of support for students at a critical time in their lives. 
We are grateful to the Homer Foundation and the work they do to reinforce the sense of community we are all fortunate to have in Homer. 
Mike Petersen,
Executive director

Happy trails with cowboys, girls

The Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association gives a huge thank you to all the cowboys and cowgirls who made our 5th Annual Cowboy Cabaret a wonderful success. Alice’s Champagne Palace served a great Chuck Wagon Supper; the Dessert Auction & Silent Auction brought in much need funds for our $30,000 annual payment. As usual the generosity of the business and private donors was awesome.
We couldn’t have done it without Cowboy Mark Marette, Emcee Extraordinaire and exceptional poet. Tim Quinn’s music experience; Jackie Eisenberg, Cindy Birkhimer, Chris Day, Sandy Arndt, Renee Eidem, Katie Matthews, and Lynn Patton’s work on the silent auction; Jeanie Fabich’s help collecting the money; and the list goes on to all who helped to bring KBEA’s biggest fund raiser of the year together.
We especially enjoyed the Homer Ukulele Society’s renditions of favorite Western music. Of course it couldn’t be a Cabaret without the incredible poets and musicians. These funds go to the purchase of the land for beautiful Cottonwood Horse Park at 1.7 mile East End Road. Join us for our annual Memorial Day Celebration of horses and riders on May 28.
Happy trails!
Roberta Highland, president
Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association

A little clean-up pride

I first want to say how proud I am to be part of a community that participated so well in Clean Up Day this past Saturday! It was a phenomenal success! I am proud to say we brought in a whopping 1,338 bags of trash, nearly twice as much as last year. Some 239 of those bags were recyclable materials, which is nearly three times as much as last year.
It was great to see the amount of people, adults and especially kids who were out picking up trash at various places around town.
As with every year, not only was there great participation in cleaning Homer but we got an amazing amount of donations from local businesses and people alike to show their appreciation for those who were out cleaning.
We had over $3,000 worth of donations! My heart is warmed with the generosity of the people in Homer. Those donors include many Homer businesses.
Hot dogs were provided by Kachemak Bay Lions, who also generously donated four bikes for kids that were participating in Clean Up Day.
Kachemak Bay Rotary volunteers manned the dumpsters and volunteer Dale Banks of Loopy Lupine Distribution organized and manned the recycling operation with his volunteers. Alaska Waste, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Homer Landfill, and Moore & Moore Services donated dumpsters, recycling containers and delivery of both.
Again, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved in making this years Clean Up Day a huge success!
Nyla Lightcap
Clean Up Day coordinator

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Posted by on May 9th, 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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