Letters – July 4

Who’s spying on Katmai?

Our guide and guests visiting the South Hallo Bay area on the Shelikof Strait coast of Katmai National Park today, June 27 observed an IR/motion/timer triggered digital capture spy type camera hidden in the driftwood along the beach area. This particular camera appears to be capturing an area encompassing the beach area at the intersection point of Department of Natural Resources and park-managed public owned lands where visitors walk, rest and sometimes camp for the night.
There were no park rangers on the ground in this entire Hallo Bay area and have not been for some time. There were, however, this day, June 27, about 70-80 visitors in the area, 8-10 aircraft, two large vessels, two small skiffs and four primitive campsites as this is a very popular area for visitors to access from Homer, Kodiak, Kenai, King Salmon, Anchorage and Iliamna, to name a few.
There was no visible owner identification on or near this camera and very likely others located on both, DNR and national park public lands? 
A park visitor and clients with us became very agitated when the hidden spy camera was mentioned to them resulting in their request to avoid the area indicating to us this is a common method of the Paparazzi who will go to great lengths in attempt to photograph celebrities in work or play and in compromising positions.
I am requesting that the national park system and State of Alaska law enforcement people look into this matter immediately and remove this equipment and the person(s) responsible for it as such things could be potentially very damaging to the Alaska visitor’s perceptions, experience and expectations when visiting our Alaska National Parks and public lands and the adjacent communities that serve them.
Clint Hlebechuk
Alaska’s Hallo Bay Bear Camp

Open letter to Commissioner Campbell

There is loads of interest in “your” reaction to the management of the bleak king salmon return statewide. Right now, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is taking heat on the management of king salmon subsistence fishing in Bristol Bay, and now the king salmon management of the world renown Kenai River is in the public’s eye.
Anchorage, the Mat-Su Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula hold well over half the population of the entire state of Alaska, and we want our king salmon protected.
Our local residents are on board with sport fishing restrictions, sport fishing understands there is a problem to be solved. However, allowing the commercial set net fishery to harvest even one king salmon headed to the Kenai River or Kasilof River is flagrant miss-management.
You have the solutions in your toolbox to manage this problem if you choose to use them. Allowing the drift fleet to fish for sockeye salmon appears to be one solution to reduce the by-catching kings and allow for over-escapement of sockeye salmon. The drift fleet does not catch/hurt the king fishery to the extent the set net fishery does.   
Your management team in Cook Inlet needs an overhaul, or you’re going to get gray hair at their expense. They are not helping you one bit in bringing good information to the table for you to make valuable decisions.
I’m disgusted with “commercial biologist” you have in place for Cook Inlet, Jeff Fox. He has consistently made bad decisions to appease the commercial fishery and needs to be removed from the position he holds.
Check yourself; Mr. Fox’s management of the department, when he arrived, how was the king fishery, for the years he has been in place, how is the king fishery? YOU will need to have him on a short leash, and question any decision he makes with your own eyes, to make reasonable management decisions for this fishery.
Just this week I was reading a statement made by the Cook Inlet Set Netters association. Their take on the downfall of the king salmon is “over-escapement.” Are you kidding me! What a ludicrous statement….and this is who you are listening to? I understand there is a bigger picture for what is affecting our king salmon statewide and in Upper Cook Inlet. However, what I also understand, once these fish leave the wide blue ocean and head to our bays and rivers
We (being ADF&G and all Alaskans) need to make a difference for those king salmon that return.
Bruce R. Morgan

One fantastic, inspiring concert

If you didn’t make it to the Buffy Sainte Marie concert at the Down East Saloon last Friday and Saturday for its first two-day music festival, you missed a hot shot of energy Homer Hamlet received from the Lady herself. Buffy Saint Marie is an extremely spirited icon in the music world, but she’s much more than that.
Homer was graced by her presence. Her 71-year old energy has not diminished in time but it only got better. I know, I was there in the beginning of her talent, and couldn’t believe my ears then either.
As we humans struggle to find our footing in this fast approaching brave new world, we need leaders like Buffy Sainte Marie who are willing to be angels for the fallen and guiding lights to the next stage of life. This was her first trip to Alaska, but with all the love she received from Homer, I’m certain it won’t be her last.
Buffy is Canadian by birth, Cree Indian, and one of a kind. I heard through the grapevine the next Canadian to play on the new stage might just be, another one of a kind, Neil Young. Miracles do happen in Homer.
Thanks to Kathy and Marlene of the Down East Saloon and all their efforts to please the people of Homer as well as to make Buffy feel right at home. It was a great success!
Thanks to Milo Matthews for his great inspirational find by talking Buffy Sainte Marie into doing a show in Homer in the first place. Thanks to all the musicians and dancers who contributed to the first true and permanent open air concert stage in Homer (far too many musicians to mention here). Can’t wait to see who’s next on the Down East stage.
Maka Fairman

Howlin’ benefit concert best ever

This year’s HoWLin’ HoWL Benefit Concert was sunnier, louder, busier, tastier, and quite possibly more fun than all the other Benefit Concerts we’ve yet had. This was our fourth year hosting this event at the Yurt Village to raise money for HoWL programs, and it’s the first time I’ve gotten sunburn and eaten a nettle burger.
This year’s concert felt different than our Benefit Concerts in the past; it was more about the celebration of the day, and felt like something everyone expected, planned for and was excited to attend. It felt like a concert with a solid enough history to become an annual event. It was a day to celebrate community, and a by-product of this community: HoWL.
 Thank you to the mothers and sisters who sat or stood at the door taking people’s money, to the daughters who sold cotton candy to their friends, to the men and the boys who flipped nettle burgers and to the HoWL kids who picked those nettles this spring.
Thank you to the mom who bought and prepared all of our food, to the HoWLers who got up on stage as the emcees. (Didn’t they do a fantastic job?) Thank you to the girls who painted kids faces and the people who got their faces painted! Thank you to the mother who knew exactly where to buy a cash box and get change on a Saturday night, to the sons and daughters who showed up early and painted signs and hung them up and at the end of the night took them down.
The bands, oh what wonderful bands! How can I thank you bands enough but to promise you more nettle burgers next year and to honestly say your music is how we celebrate the sun! Thank you to the Yurt Village for always giving us a space to be. To the volunteers and businesses that spread the word and plastered our posters and our advertisements for free all over town.
And most of all, thank you to everyone who came! It was a wonderful event because of you! HoWL raised $1,800 on this day and provided an amazing evening for all. We’ll do it again next year and hope you all can come. Thank you Homer for making it all possible!
Libby B. Veasey

Generous Rieser Scholarship fills gap

I would like to thank the Homer Foundation and the donor of the Alain and Daniel Rieser Scholarship for creating and awarding me a generous $3,000 scholarship for me to study at Soka University. Soka University is a small Liberal Arts college that emphasizes a global perspective in its curriculum. I have always been very interested in diverse cultures, and at Soka, I will be able to meet with students from many other countries and study new cultures.
I am very grateful for this scholarship because it fills the gap that my family and I would not be able to pay for. Going to Soka University has been my goal throughout my senior year, and now, after being accepted, I have been awarded money that has made it financially possible for me to attend Soka. It is very fortunate that the Homer Foundation exists and there are many generous donors in Homer.
Dan Adickes

Fighting fires an act of volunteerism

To the woman standing next to me at the car wash as the Landings Street fire burned, you should be ashamed of yourself. You turned to the other lady standing there with us and made a comment about how slow the firefighters were moving. Those men and women were volunteers. They break away from their families and jobs to go help total strangers. They care enough about people like you, to volunteer their time and risk their lives. You probably couldn’t lift the amount of weight that they have to carry on their backs when they go to fight a fire. They are taught to approach cautiously because their lives are important also. I am lucky enough to be married to one of those brave, selfless men that was fighting that fire. I am proud of each and every one of those men and women that were there helping. You should be thanking them for their service instead of criticizing them. What if it was your house and they didn’t drop what they were doing and respond?
Monica Sallee

Sailing through another successful Regatta

The Homer Yacht Club completed our 16th-annual Land’s End Regatta last weekend.
The Homer Yacht Club is an educational and social organization that promotes boating safety and sailing in Kachemak Bay.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous donations that helped us put on this year’s event: Land’s End, ERA Aviation, West Marine, Redden Marine, Northern Enterprises, Safeway, Save U More, K Bay Coffee, Homer Jeans, HEA, Alaskan Yurt Rentals, True North Kayak, Nomad Shelters, Ulmer’s, Tech Connect, Jay Brant Contractors, Nomar, Coal Point Seafood, Coal Town Coffee and Tea, First National Bank, Fat Olives, Wasabi’s and Body Intuit.
We are open to anyone interested in sailing in Kachemak Bay and/or in boating safety. We are members of the Homer Chamber of Commerce, and can be found at www.homeryachtclub.org. Like us on Facebook.
Lee Dewees

Strut Your Mutt a ‘doggone’ good time

Homer Animal Friends thanks everyone who participated in our 13th annual Strut Your Mutt. 43 dogs enjoyed a day in the sun playing games, contest and walking around town. Strut Your Mutt is a fundraiser for our spay/neuter program.
A big thank you to our sponsors: Homer Veterinary Clinic, Lisa Ann’s Dog Grooming, Homer Hounds, Homer Tribune, Sundog Boarding, Quick Draw Water, PetCo. and our supporters: Coal Point Trading Company, Save-U-More, Safeway, Wagon Wheel and Ulmers. Their donations of prizes, food, water and advertising helped make this event a great success.
We especially want to thank the volunteers that made this all possible. Hope to see you all next year.
Lynn Kee
Homer Animal Friends

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Posted by on Jul 4th, 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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