Homer, a quaint little fishing village with a plastic bag problem?
It never ceases to amaze me what Homer City Council will come up with next, having lived in the community for 20-something years. The Council’s inability to stay focused on the real problems and needs of the city and fairly represent all the people, not just special interests, has earned them their cosmic reputation, although the responsibility for this lies with the citizens of the city who don’t or won’t become involved and let these officials be voted into office.
The really sad part of the story is that some of the ordinances that they enact affect the lives and businesses of the 10,000 people who live from the end of East End Road to Anchor Point. I would hope that the Council would reconsider the bag issue and put it on the October ballot and let the 5,000 voters they are supposed to represent, not four council members, decide the fate for those who live, work, and shop in the City of Homer.
Today, I read with disgust and laughter the new city ordinance against plastic shopping bags. This is one of the most ludicrous things I think our city has done. Did they take the following issues into consideration?
1. Sanitation: E coli dripping from a meat package into a cloth bag, then into the car and into other groceries.
2. People who don’t have a car and have to walk to the store. How will they get their groceries home without handles? I suspect there will be an increase in the disappearance of shopping carts.
3. Decreased “convenience” sales. Let’s say I’m driving home and think, “Oh, I need to pickup a couple of things at the store,” however, I don’t have my cloth bags with me. I’m not going to hand-carry my three or four items from the store, which means I will most likely drive on by and not buy anything.
4. An exterminator told me that bugs and insects thrive on paper bags and the glue that holds them together. Nice thought, huh? Bugs in your house?
5. Slow lines at the counter. If people have to bag their own items, how long will it take the person in front of you to finish before you get to the cashier?
I feel a bit of empathy for our local stores. This ordinance forces them to decrease customer service and tremendously inconveniences their customers. Sometimes, I feel the City of Homer disregards the needs and desires of its citizens. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Banning plastic bags under the guise of protecting the environment is a poorly thought out measure that is like using a thimbleful of water to fight a forest fire. No alternatives were provided. No community education was enacted. This is irresponsible, dangerous, and undemocratic leadership at its finest. Did our city council really think this all the way through? Perhaps they have forgotten that they were elected to represent all the people, not just the special interest few. Let’s put this to a citywide vote and give it more discussion.
Marianne and Bill Schlegelmilch
I applaud the wish of the Homer City Council to reduce waste and pollution, but am very disappointed by the Council’s methods.
It’s an unfortunate truth that many plastic bags – of many types – end up in the landfill, the ocean and strewn across the land instead of being recycled. So does plastic drink bottles, fishing line, etc. Why target plastic shopping bags, but not plastic drink bottles, fishing line and the innumerable other plastics that end up as litter or in landfills? Hmm? Why not educate and encourage shoppers to recycle? Why not offer customers reusable, eco-friendly bags, at cost, to encourage the use of them?
The ordinance banning plastic bags affects the entire community – vendors and shoppers, locals and visitors – and has valid pros and cons. As a Homer resident, homeowner and taxpayer, it distresses me that our council members do not think enough of their constituents to let them make a decision of this magnitude.
This ordinance has merit, but is not something that should be decided by six people. Government should be by the people, for the people. The decision to ban plastic shopping bags is something the citizens of Homer should decide – not the council. Do the right thing; repeal Ordinance 12-36(A) and let the voters make this decision.
Even with the busy summer months, the generosity of our community continues to be displayed at the Homer Community Food Pantry. We have been blessed with generous donations of frozen fish and phenomenal vegetables from local gardeners who planted a row or two of vegetables for us.
Thanks go to St. Augustine Episcopal Church, Homer United Methodist Church, Community Garden, Chamber of Commerce and Saturday Market. It’s a beautiful thing watching the kind and generous people in our community give to others.
We are most grateful for the generous financial gift from the Jane Little Family Endowment Fund for their support of our efforts to help others. Also, the Community Chest Fund administered by the Homer Foundation continues to enable us to offer relief help to young families struggling with their bills. We are thankful for the privilege of being a bridge between our community’s generous spirit and those in need.
Haven Church produced a Christian Concert Aug. 11 and donated their proceeds of $1,200 to their local food pantry. We have such great neighbors.
This past week since school has started, Delta Kappa Gamma has passed out school supplies to our local and Anchor Point students for the sixth year. They helped 90 students.
A client wrote us a note that sums up this benevolent gesture.
“I was at the pantry in line on Monday the day before school started. All of the children there were so happy to get new supplies for school including backpacks. One young girl was in tears she was so thrilled. I cried just watching her.”
It’s true that “kindness” is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Many thanks, Homer, from our “all volunteer army,” who want you to know, “every dime, every dollar” of support goes to those in need of help.
Diana Jeska and the HCFP board
To keep the national debt and looming entitlement shortages from threatening the availability of funds for defense and other necessities, we should tell our elected officials and candidates they can prevent this —- and win elections — if they adopt such deficit reduction measures as those proposed by Senators Coburn and/or Lieberman, and/or the already passed House budget. The latter is expected to bring in surpluses and start paying down the debt by 2040.
Until then, however, our defenses and other necessities are vulnerable to any changes in foreign investor sentiment. Moreover, having debt over 90 percent of GDP is bad for economic growth. Thus they should try to pay off the debt sooner.
The U.S. might, for a shorter term, take lease of a 20 percent interest in rainforest land — or make an installment sale — for partnering with experts to show landowners how to harvest the rainforests many times more profitably (and sustainably.)
This is discussed by the authors of www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm. The experts, of course, could take a similar lease or sale amount. Perhaps we can demonstrate this first with American rainforests, such as in Hawaii.
(As for subsistence farmers, a practice called Inga alley cropping is discussed at www.rainforetsaver.org. Regarding the cutting down of trees for firewood, an organization known as Solar Cookers International obviates such need for perhaps $5 a person for five years. For any of the world’s lumber companies needing assistance in learning sound practices of selectivity without clear-cutting, we could make that knowledge available for a fee.)
On behalf of our 160 youth members, more than 100 adult members and the many other people in the community who enjoy activities at the Kevin Bell Arena, I want to thank the Homer City Council, Mayor Hornaday, and the people of Homer for their generous contribution of $10,567 to the Homer Hockey Association to replace defunct batteries in our electric-powered Zamboni.
The Kevin Bell Arena is a terrific community asset, providing wholesome recreation for people of all ages, ranging from hockey to broomball to recreational skating. The rink and its activities not only add to our quality of life here in Homer, but also bring many guests to Homer from September through March, helping drive economic activity right here in town.
Thank you for helping us provide the community with another fabulous winter of on-ice recreation. Hockey registration is Sept. 8 at the rink from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Come on down to join a team and see the Zamboni in its natural habitat.
President Steve Delehanty
Homer Hockey Association
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