Letters – Aug. 8

Give school buses and kids a ‘brake’

In just a matter of weeks, yellow school buses filled with children will be heading back to school. With the new school year just around the corner, First Student would like to remind everyone to stay alert, as more children will be walking to their bus stops and schools, as well as riding the bus. From school bus drivers and students, to motorists and parents, everyone in the community plays a crucial role in helping students get to school safely.
To stay safe on the way to school, students should always leave plenty of time to safely get to their bus stop. Children should walk on sidewalks where available, and avoid listening to MP3 players, talking or texting on cell phones, or playing handheld games when walking to their bus stop or waiting for their bus. Students should avoid anything that obstructs their line of sight, including hooded shirts. Also, if students have to cross the street to enter or exit their bus, they should always wait for the driver to signal it is safe to cross.
Wherever there is a school bus, there are usually children around. Motorists need to always heed the school bus stop arm. When the stop arm is activated and red lights are flashing, children are entering or exiting the bus and could be crossing the street. Motorists are required to stop until the area is clear and be alert for children.
Parents can encourage safety by reviewing school bus safety tips with their children. For tips and a video on bus safety from First Student and the National Safety Council, visit www.nsc.org/back2school.
First Student is committed to delivering safe and reliable transportation to the students of the Kenai Peninsula School District. The safety and security of the students we transport is our core value. We are pleased to be working with the Anchor Point and Homer schools, and are looking forward to a safe and successful school year.
Vicki Quance
First Student, Inc.

Catch a ride with the Lions

Kachemak Bay Lions members are requesting the community’s help raising much-needed funds by buying a raffle ticket in their sixth-annual Harley Davidson motorcycle raffle. The drawing will be held at AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse and Tavern on Aug. 25 starting at 7 p.m. Only 399 tickets are being sold, and they can be purchased for $100 during business hours at Scruggs’s Automotive, Homer Insurance Center and First National Bank Alaska.
You can also find Lions members selling tickets until the drawing at the Homer Farmer’s Market, Spenard Builders Supply, Redden Marine, Kenai Peninsula State Fair, or wherever you see the shiny new 2012 Harley Davidson Switchback. We also sell tickets at AJ’s right up until we start drawing tickets.
To increase the odds of raffle participants winning something, every 25th ticket drawn wins a prize valued at least $100. With the money raised from last year’s raffle, we funded $3,000 to eye exams and glasses for the needy, $3,300 to numerous youth sport groups and local school programs, $2,000 to the high school band, $2,000 for college scholarships, $9,000 for the Thanksgiving Food Basket program, $625 for Long Term Care Center Christmas gift program and the list goes on.
We know economic times are tough, and for a lot of people, finding an extra $100 bill to buy a raffle ticket is hard. But the money goes to so many worthy causes, we hope you can find it in your heart to support the Lions Club in this worthy cause.
AJ’s will have a live band starting at 9 p.m., so I encourage everyone to buy a ticket and come out and enjoy good food, drinks and watch the show. And maybe, you will be the lucky winner of a brand new 2012 Harley Davidson Switchback.
Lion Tary Youngblood
Harley Davidson raffle chairman

Railroad isn’t to nowhere

We Alaskans are so fortunate and should feel grateful that our fearless U.S. Representative Don Young adeptly secured $30 million annual funding for our Alaska Railroad to continue capital projects and to preserve passenger service. I was utterly insulted and felt snubbed to read that some outsiders and naysayers call our Alaska Railroad a railroad to “nowhere” and that they regard Fairbanks as “nowhere.” Aren’t you?
Coming from California, I remember hearing that many thought building the Golden Gate Bridge was considered building a bridge to nowhere. Our Alaska Pipeline was also presumed to be a pipeline to nowhere by challengers, and look at how much oil it has piped outside for the last 30 years.
Hopefully, our Alaska Railroad will expand and connect to Canada and the North America Railroad grid. That’s irrefutably not “nowhere.”
It’s awesome having Rep. Don Young expertly working for us Alaskans in Washington, D.C. Thank you, Congressman Young for keeping our Alaska Railroad going somewhere. We’re glad you’re always looking out for us Alaskans.
Phillip Clary

Fireweed’s Yurt a community effort

On behalf of the Fireweed Academy community, I would like to acknowledge a heartfelt thanks to all the folks who were able to help with our yurt raising.
Community volunteers who were instrumental include: Brad Faulkner our ‘straw boss;’ Kevin Strong of Strong Construction for loaning out most of his scaffolding in the height of construction season; Albert Arakelian for bringing out his crane and setting the ring in place and Mike Neace for painting the floor, putting up scaffold and helping with setup.
Parent Scott Wright worked diligently to get the floor built. Fireweed parents Malcolm Gaylord, Gunnar Person, Patrick Houlihan and Erik Pullman were an awesome crew to join Brad and Lee Tenhoff from Nomad Shelter in erecting the walls and rafters, then getting the insulation and cover on. Martin Renner, Jesse Sherwood, Mindy Hunter, Laura Barton and Briea Gregory helped in the afternoon with securing everything. Thanks to Kim Fine for providing snacks and pizza.   
On probably the only sunny Saturday all summer, we were competing with Farmer’s market, the City softball tournament and the KBBI Concert on the Lawn for folks’ time and energy, so we’re especially thankful. Let it rain.
Kiki Abrahamson

Ballot Measure No. 2 makes good sense

Recall the Alaska Department of Tourism ad some years ago: “Alaska is twice the size of Texas and at low tide 2 1/2 times as big”? Well, Texas has a coastal management program as do all of the other coastal states except Alaska. A coastal management program is the only way local communities and the state can force federal agencies to consider local concerns.
What does this mean to the Alaskan voter who has to choose either yes or no for Ballot Measure 2?
It means you ought to think for yourself and think why you live in this state. Is it because of the special qualities that the Great Land affords us? If so, it means we have an obligation to protect our state from those who would do her harm. It means that intentional or not, harm can come to Alaska’s lands and waters if large corporations put profit above all other concerns. Remember the VECO scandal and the legislators that were tried and found guilty?
We would not be voting on Ballot Measure 2 if former Gov. Frank Murkowski had not caused the demise of Alaska’s Coastal Management Program that Gov. Hammond had signed into law in 1977.
Former Alaska Sen. Arliss Sturgulewski said it well in her Anchorage Daily News Compass piece July 31: “The coastal management program we had helped coordinate decision-making among various government agencies, helped identify problems and solutions, and resolved disputes before they turned into lawsuits. It made the permitting of our coastal development smarter and more efficient.” Isn’t smarter and more efficient a better form of government?
The Compass piece asked readers to see who is contributing to the Ballot Measure 2 campaigns. As of Aug. 2, this is what I found: (Source KTOO reporter Casey Kelly)
The Vote No on 2 group raised $719,000 in the two months since it was formed: Shell Oil $150,000; Alaska Miners Association $120,000; Hecla Greens Creek Mine $75,000; Council of Alaska Producers $25,000.
The Vote Yes on 2 group raised $64,000 since its inception. The largest donor is the North Slope Borough $40,000; other donors include the Bristol Bay Borough, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, and Bob Gillam from Anchorage.
The Kenai River Center in Soldotna is one example of the one stop permit review for coastal projects by a single state agency that used to be the case under the previous coastal management program. This allowed a person or a company access to all the regulatory agencies at the table at the same time, walking through issues that might arise and prevent going back through all agencies if there was a modification specific to just one agency.
Protect Alaska’s future by preventing special interests from controlling big government. Vote Yes on Ballot Measure 2.
Mike McCarthy

Farewell to man’s best friend

During my recent visit to Homer, our beloved family dog, Delaney, reached the end of her long, happy life.
I grew up in Homer, but have lived in many places – and taken my pets to many excellent veterinarians – since I moved away 17 years ago. However, never before have I seen anything approaching the remarkable compassion of Dr. Dots Sherwood, who provided exceptional care for Delaney during the final years and hours of her life. It warms my heart to know that the animals of Homer (and the people who love them) have such a remarkable veterinarian to care for them. Surely Dr. Sherwood’s compassion and skill are matched only by the most admirable among us.
As legend has it, Saint Bridget of Kildare (patron saint of Ireland) was the personification of compassion, not only offering shelter, food, and care to people in need, but healing and caring for animals of all kinds. Having witnessed Dr. Sherwood’s care and compassion, I almost feel as though I have met Saint Bridget myself.
Erin Cline

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Posted by on Aug 8th, 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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