Letters – Sept. 19

Our kids are what they eat

I’m happy to hear that schools are improving their menus. However, I’m wondering if it includes eliminating GMOs from their diets? Genetically Modified Organisms (note that they are not called foods, because they aren’t) are a random combination of plant and animal, or virus, and the body does not recognize them as food.  
In fact, they twist the mind/body, and scientific articles report that they actually trigger cancers and cause infertility in lab animals by the third generation. They are not food, but organisms that pretend to be food. But our bodies know the difference.  
Until we wake up to what’s happening to our food supply, how can we make healthy meals for our children? The school lunch program needs to be organic only to truly be safe for our kids. No GMOs — ever. Europe won’t allow them over there, and if Homer wants to ban something, banning GMOs from our schools would be a great start.
Let’s not pretend we’re making better choices for our kids, let’s really make better choices for them. Organic school lunches – it’s time.
Mary Miner

Paper or plastic? Let’s vote

I’d like to commend the Mayor (Jim Hornaday) for vetoing the plastic bag ordinance.
As several previous letter writers have pointed out, any issue of this magnitude that can adversely impact so many Homer citizens and small businesses should be put on a ballot so the residents of the city can vote on it, not unilaterally imposed on them by four members of the Homer City Council who may not have had all of the information they really needed to make a wise decision.
The vetoed ordinance was poorly thought out, and did not take into account many things, including the potential impacts on summer visitors, what happens to paper bags disposed of in landfills and the repeated use of unwashed, bacteria-laden cloth bags on grocery store conveyor belts. (see the Health Canada web site).
Given that the ordinance was nothing more than an attempt at social engineering, (something that seems to be happening more and more in our country lately), I now have a clear picture of who I’ll be voting for the upcoming city election.
Dave Roseneau

Cissna to speak at college

Are you disappointed at the thought of Don Young continuing as our Congressman in the U.S. House?  If so, please join Sharon Cissna, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives this Thursday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the University of Alaska, Kachemak Bay Campus, room 201-202 for a community forum. Cissna wants to hear your views on your community and government.
Sharon Cissna became famous last year by refusing the TSA pat-down and therefore was barred from flying to Juneau to represent her constituents in Anchorage. She proceeded to go to the legislative sessions by automobile and ferry. Cissna has served for 14 years in State Legislature, concentrating on obtaining excellent health benefits and education for the citizens of Alaska; particularly victims of domestic violence and children.  
Amy Bollenbach

The future of Alaska tourism?

So when was the last time you heard a tourist say, “let’s go see the strip mine this year?” I just can’t see Mom and Dad standing on the edge of a filthy abyss telling their kids, “Yes siree kids, millions of salmon spawned here at one time, but it’s all gone now in the name of making a few individuals rich. So put your gas masks back on and we’ll go back to our hotel for some farm fresh genetically engineered salmon.”
I really don’t think millions of people would come to our beautiful state and spend lots of money for that. It just doesn’t bring a warm fuzzy image for a trip of a lifetime.
Then, there are all the wildlife, residents and Alaska Natives who have relied on the salmon for food and subsistence since the beginning of time as we know it.
So the issue of coal mining — or any mining for that matter — versus salmon, is an absolute no-brainer. I would ask Gov. Parnell to once and for all put a stop to it. You were elected to as governor of the state to put the interests of all the people before the interests of the rich corporations … weren’t you?
Buck D. Curry

Thanks for making ‘Bigs’ happen

A huge thank you to the David and Mary Schroer Fund, a donor-advised fund of The Homer Foundation, for their donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Because of their generosity, we have been able to continue our media campaign to recruit more Big Brothers and Big Sisters for the children who are patiently waiting for a Big.
Susan Kirn, Community director,
Big Brothers Big Sisters

Free exercise — with a smile

Well, I know some people have been missing some really awesome music shows at the Down East Saloon. Last night, the Denali Cooks (Alaska’s finest) played for four hours to a dancing crowd. Even though they could have easily played until 4 a.m., their precious time was up at midnight, and they had to leave. With many requests, they played another half hour.
They get little rest before the next commitment, the following day in Girdwood or wherever they go. People were still coming in the door at 12:30 a.m., only to hear and dance to the few remaining songs from the live performance.
What a show! Music shows are great all by themselves, but music groups that make your feet tap and your body move with nonstop rhythm is what we all want and need for the winter. It’s free exercise with a smile, and you can fall down in glorious exhaustion.
A fun time was had by all, and I would like to thank Kathy and Marlene for making it possible, once again. They support so much good entertainment in Homer and, I hear they’ve just started.
We’re all looking forward to the music surprises in store for us this winter. I still can’t get over Buffy Sainte-Marie being here this summer. She is truly an icon in the entertainment world. I overheard her say she was ‘totally honored by Homer’s warm and receptive response to her show’ this summer.
It’s been a solid wall of music and dancing, and I hope the music never stops. I might even lose some weight.
Maka Fairman

Stand for truth, justice and reconciliation

You are cordially invited to attend the next meeting of the Citizens of Alaska Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Our meeting will be held at Homer City Hall, upstairs conference room at 6 p.m. Thursday, with potluck snacks and $1 to cover room charge. We are in the “Truth” stage of our work. Thus, we invite your stories — both commendations and complaints — about your contact with Homer Police and Alaska State Troopers. We hope to obtain a balanced picture of contacts between citizens and police.
Capt. Andy Greenstreet of the Alaska State Troopers attended our June meeting, listened intently to citizens and gave us the commendations and complaints form of the State of Alaska Office of Professional Standards. He urged citizens to use the form and give the Office of Professional Standards a chance to investigate. He said that it was not the complaint, but how the accused officer handles the complaint that reveals character. We are grateful to Capt. Greenstreet for his insightful participation.
Homer Police Chief Mark Robl attended our June meeting, and similarly urged citizens to use the Homer Police complaint form and give the process a chance. Chief Robl had previously told us that a person who complains in writing to him comes under his protection. Citizens of Alaska told Chief Robl they felt intimidated when they visit the Homer Police Station to make a complaint. Chief Robl said he receives one or two written complaints a year, and that he will be interested to see, after a year of this commission’s work, if these numbers change.   
Since this commission began to meet, Alaskans have been sharing verbal commendations and complaints with us. Increasingly, we are amassing a written file. We are in phone contact with offices in Homer, Kenai, Anchorage (the FBI), and the US  Department of Justice in Washington.  If you have a commendation or complaint, you may contact us by phone at 235-2952, or by e-mail at truthjusticereconciliation@gmail.com.
We can mail you a form, or you may obtain forms from Homer Police and Alaska State Trooper posts. You are cordially invited to attend our Thursday meeting. It promises to be interesting.
Lindianne Sarno, Secretary,
Citizens of Alaska Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission

Sprouting gratitude

Sprout would like to thank Forget-me-not Flowers and Gifts for generously offering us their space for our fundraising event last Friday. We would also like to thank Colleen James for donating her time, energy and the last of her peonies to our fundraiser. We are always humbled by the generosity of the community and thank all for their part in helping Sprout in our vision that all children achieve their full potentials.
Jill Lush, executive director,

Grateful for church support

I am writing to you as well as the greater Alaska community (I have lived in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau and Homer from June 1957-present) to express my attitude of gratitude first and foremost to Father’s Andrew, Joe, Roger, Charlie and now Father Bob (most recently of Iowa, now of Homer-Welcome to Alaska and Homer Father Bob). They have served me and our local community since at least January 2009.
In my case, they have helped me safeguard my soul through the difficulties of Lymphoma cancer, cancer chemical therapy (during which a vesicant called Doxorubicin, accidentally extravagated/leaked into my chest cavity under the skin and into the flesh, 23 cancer radiations, several surgeries, three of which were to remove flesh, and too many (twice per week for months) long open wound care visits by the home health care nurses here and in Anchorage.
There was a dangerous visit to the hospital, when apparently due to sepsis, I had experienced an acute case of congestive heart failure, followed by a too long inpatient stay. Most recently at SPH during a hypercalcimia event in April 2012, it was discovered a prolactinoma existed in my head area, near a gland, and now I am experiencing a chemical treatment designed to shrink the thing.
In addition to my faith community, I am thanking those who, believing they were saving my life, treated me as best they knew how. While I may be uglier than I was before, I could be dead.
I have been and am now being treated to rehabilitate my body, my soul, my mind and emotions. An authority figure in our local community recently avowed that I acted like a total jerk, in her opinion, and she was backed up by at least one board member of the concerned organization for which she seems to work; sadly, I concurred that I at least had driven inappropriately in their parking lot, I apologized, and accepted that I would not return to their place for at least six months or so.
Additionally, I was saddened when I offered (while not an excuse) my PTSD reality, and found they expressed that they did not care. Fair enough, I suppose, if they had mistakenly thought I was excusing my inappropriate action. Most of my friends, my family and some helping professionals, would suggest that both acute and chronic pain have warped my soul; I am easily provoked to anger, which I have learned is a survival response to perceived threat. Please note I am aware of the difference between an inappropriately perceived threat, and what most of my community would see as an appropriately perceived threat.
If you, as the editor, or any of our-readers-of-this-letter, believe I have behaved angrily rude toward you in the last few years, I am willing to offer my apology to you personally, and offer the testimony of my friends, that my possible rudeness to you, is more properly intended toward the stupid reality of the pain associated with cancer and misapplied cancer treatment.
I have stayed on my property, for the most part, for about three years since I have felt so vulnerable, and know my reaction to pain is to fight it or fly from it. None of us seems really prepared to experience prolonged pain like a saint; god knows I am looking for my humanity, not sainthood, thank you very much.
It seems to be true that I am capable of acting like a total jerk. I am not sure I have ever been described as a total anything, up to last Saturday, so that is something new for me to think about while continuing the sometimes painful rehabilitation of my being. Thanks for reading this far.
Scot Lewis Wheat

Homer Elders, thank you

The staff and students at West Homer Elementary would like to extend a HUGE thank you for being part of our Elders for Education Day. We know that your time in valuable and choosing to spend it reading with students is a wonderful gift.
Research shows that when children are read out loud to, they perform better in school, have longer attention spans and have better developed listening skills. Research also shows that children who read out loud to adults increase their reading fluency and have greater language development.
If you enjoyed your time and would like to become a volunteer at West Homer Elementary, please complete the volunteer screening process on the District website. Thank you.
Robyn Walls,
West Homer Elementary staff and students

Acquiring new photography skills

In Business Information Systems, we have been working with photography. Recently, the class invited two professional photographers to help us improve our photo-taking skills. Taz Tally and Christina Whiting explained composition elements in photography and shared some of their work with us. The photos we took with Taz and Christina ranged from abstract to portraits. These photos included, but weren’t limited to, plants, lockers, and the photogenic band kids. We appreciated Christina and Taz volunteering their time to teach us valuable photography skills. We will use these skills to create our school yearbook. Thank you Christina and Taz!
Ciara Cordes-Walker
Ms. Alston’s Business Info. Systems class
Homer Middle School

Hospice receives Jane Little funding

On behalf of Hospice of Homer staff, board members, volunteers and the people we serve, a heart-felt thank you to the Jane Little Family Endowment Fund for the recent, unexpected and much appropriated unrestricted funds grant. Also, thank you to the Homer Foundation for facilitating this grant and all they do for the community.
The grant from the Jane Little Family Endowment is so important to Hospice of Homer in that HOH receives very limited unrestricted funds, that is, monies that support the day-to-day operating of Hospice. In these challenging economic times unrestricted donated funds are essential in allowing us to keep our doors open so that we can continue to provide free of charge services to community members.
Specifically, the monies from the grant will be used to pay for program supplies such as materials for our volunteer training sessions, Volunteer Visitor and End of Life packets and bereavement correspondence mailings.
If you are interested in learning more about Hospice of Homer, becoming a Hospice volunteer or making a donation to HOH, please stop by the office at 910 East End Road or give us a call at 235-6899.
Darlene Hilderbrand
Compassion in Action

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Posted by on Sep 19th, 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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