I myself do not normally make a practice of writing letters to the editor, but I feel, that this subject should be addressed. The subject that I am talking about is the constant and never ending abundance of trash on the Homer Spit trail.
I go for a daily walk on the Spit with my daughter and have been doing so for a few years now, knowing that the beauty of Kachemak Bay and the fresh air are good for my health and well being. Over the years we have noticed that there has been a lot of garbage on the side of the road and along the trail on our walk, not to mention more and more piles of doggie doo. I find the piles of doggie doo baffling since there are doggie bags posted at the head of the Spit walking trail for all our dog lover’s and most important dog owners to use when walking their dog. I try to do what I can and make an effort of collecting the trash along the trail on my morning walks, but I refuse to pick up the doggie doo. That, I feel is the responsibility of the dog’s owner who should know better and be prepared since the trail they are using is a public trail. If for some reason they find that they have forgotten to grab a doggie poo bag, then they could at least push it off the sidewalk so others won’t have the potential of stepping in it. I have on occasion grabbed a couple doggie bags myself when I find that I have forgotten to bring a plastic trash bag to use to pick up trash when we walk in the mornings. I think it would be nice if others did too, because together we can make a difference. We have a lovely spit walk and it would be nice to keep it that way. Plus the tourist will soon be here and wouldn’t it be nice to hear them say what a beautiful place we have instead of “Oh my, how trashy.”
When an abuser can beat their significant other, sending them to the emergency room for a bill of approximately $2,000, and the abuser gets to plead to a charge of disorderly conduct and given a $5 fine, there is something wrong with our judicial system. Now, I can understand why so many abuse victims choose not to seek legal help in the situations they find themselves in. Where is the justice in that?
The Homer Boys & Girls Club for the last several years has struggled to maintain their current location in the HERC building. The club has dealt with short term renewals on the lease which is currently set to expire Dec. 31.
After recent council meetings with no solution to the building’s future in sight as well as declining club membership, and low enrollment in summer programs, the Kenai Peninsula Boy & Girls Club Board has come to the difficult decision of not re-opening after the end of the school year.
A community group recently met to discuss the merits of a service area for the Homer area which would house multiple non-profits and community recreation in the HERC building, but the timeline for getting the proposal on the ballot is too short. The committee continues to explore options for the 2014 ballot year.
The Kenai Peninsula Boys & Girls Club board have appointed a task force to explore alternative sites for the Boy and Girls Club in Homer for a potential re-opening in the future. This group will be working with the school district as a potential partner to once again offer the Club’s program in Homer.
The Board recognizes and appreciates the efforts of the citizens of Homer to keep this valuable program available for the youth of Homer. The City of Homer has been very generous over the years offering an affordable lease to the Club while absorbing very high quality and maintenance costs. Businesses and individuals in Homer stepped up to the plate two years ago with donations to assist with keeping the doors open. Unfortunately, with an average of only 20 children per day, the Homer Club continues to operate in the red. Having a Boys & Girls Club in Homer continues to be a priority and we’re looking forward to the task force finding a home for the Club in the future.
Ryan Runseth, president
Boys & Girls Club Kenai Peninsula board of directors
On behalf of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center we want to say how deeply appreciative we are to be a part of this Homer community who went above and beyond to participate in this year’s Clean-Up Day event. I must say, waking up to see the snow made me have my doubts, but with the help of so many volunteers, we were barbecuing in the snow in no time! It was great to see the amount of dedication and discipline we received from the younger Homer generation and the determined HOWL participants. They understand the importance of keeping our community clean, and I’ve been told some of them have continued cleaning up Homer even tho the event itself has passed.
With everyone’s help, we were able to clean up areas on East End Road, Ocean Drive, Kachemak Drive, Pennock Street, East Hill Road, Skyline Drive, West Hill Road, Bay Crest Hill, Sabrina, Rochelle, and many more!
This year’s Clean-up Day would not have been possible without the generous donations of our amazing local community businesses. These donors include Sundog Consultants, Kachemak Bay Rotary, The Grog Shop, Homer Bookstore, Tech Connect & RadioShack, Cosmic Kitchen, Homer’s Jean’s, Captain Patties Fish House, Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware, Loopy Lupine, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Spenard Builders Supply, South Peninsula Hospital, Franco and Caroline Venuti, Lion’s Club, Alaska Waste, Jackie and Clay Norvell, AJ’s Old Town Steakhouse, The Homer News, Sourdough Express, Fat Olives, Icicle Seafoods, Dibble Creek Rock LTD, Homer Real Estate, Save U More, Nomar, Safeway and Moore & Moore. If you see any of these people be sure to give them a big thank you.
Hot Dogs were provided by Kachemak Bay Lions, who also generously donated four bikes and helmets for kids who 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, and Moore & Moore Services donated dumpsters, recycling containers and delivery of both.
Again the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center would like to give a big thank you to everyone who was involved in making this year’s Clean-Up Day such an inspiring event!
Visitor Center Manager
Homer Chamber of Commerce
On behalf of the students and staff, I would like once again to thank Mr. and Mrs. Dave Schroer for their generosity in supporting Homer Middle School’s activities programs.
Their contribution of $2,500 goes a long way in helping Homer Middle School offer quality athletic programs for our students. This year’s donations enables the teams to purchase warmup suits to be used by our sports teams.
Thank you for giving our students the opportunity to play sports and to compete at the middle school level.
David Larson, principal
The Kachemak Bay Birders would like to thank the following list of donors for providing wonderful prizes for our Big Spit PLUS Challenge birding event at the Shorebird Festival: Bay Excursions, Gary Lyon, Kachemak Crane Watch, Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, Captain’s Coffee, Cosmic Kitchen, Two Sisters, Don Jose’s and Fat Olives.
For this event, teams of birders identified and recorded as many species of birds as they could find during the specified two and a half days during the Festival. This year either all members of the teams were under 18 or all team members were from a family. Teams worked hard and birded beaches, the Bay, and forested, grassy and town areas, and each team submitted a diversified list of the birds they found – we are happy to report that the checklist with the highest number of species was 104!
Our birding group encourages all birders, especially young birders and families of birders, to enjoy the wonderful influx of birds now and birds and birding all year long. We sincerely thank our donors for helping to make our event possible.
Kachemak Bay Birders
Thanks to everyone who attended our 29th annual quilt show last weekend. We had great attendance and lots of appreciation for our works of art. Again this year we participated in the Shorebird Challenge, an opportunity to create wallhangings depicting shorebirds around Kachemak Bay. Janet Bacher’s “Day at the Beach” was voted first place; Ingeborg Rathke’s “Stopover During Migration” was voted second place in the challenge; and “Cranes” by Bette Seaman took third place.
Voting by attendees at the quilt show determined all our awards. The Best of Show award winner was Alice Krivitsky’s bed runner, a Judy Niemeyer pattern. Bed quilt winners were first place: Kathy Pankratz’ “Wonky Block” quilt; Pat Melone’s Judy Niemeyer pattern with matching pillowslips was voted in second place; and third place went to Pam Young’s flannel baby quilt, a crazy quilt with embroidery.
Attendee votes for wallhangings selected first place: Beth Christensen’s “Ocean;” second place was won by Neline VanDyke for her free-form quilted blue quilt with orange center; and Glenda Rosenbalm’s “Family Heritage” wallhanging won third place.
In the “Other” category, which included wearable art, table runners, or anything that was not a bed quilt or wallhanging, viewer votes awarded first place to Enid Keyes for her “Autumn” table topper; second place was also awarded to Enid Keyes for her “Little Runner Dreaming of Spring;” Laveda Youngblood won third place for her “Beautiful Teacups” tablecloth.
Special thanks again this year from Kachemak Bay Quilters to Merry Gregg at Ulmers and Neline VanDyke at Sewciable Quilts for their continued support of our quilt show.
Kachemak Bay Quilters
It was a great honor to be part of the Brahms Requiem under the baton of Mark Robinson with members of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra and Peninsula soloists Kyle Schneider and Audra Faris .
Thanks to our pianists Julie Ann Smith in Homer and Maria Allison in Kenai for being the incredible pianists supporting choral rehearsals in small detail or with the full piano accompaniment for rehearsals on and off since September. Managing all the logistics leading up to the performances was the amazing Laura Norton.
Thanks also to the Homer Foundation for their financial support; to Homer High Scbool and Kenai High for performance space and KBBI/KDLL, KGTL/K-Wave, The Homer Tribune, the News and the Redoubt Reporter for getting the word out.
Special thanks to you, our audience. We are so fortunate to have the artists who can help create this experience and audiences who want to be a part of it.
Lance and Barb Petersen
for Pier One Theatre
Fireweed Academy held a fantastic May Day Celebration on May 4 (despite the snow!) led by the efforts of Fireweed students, teachers and families and supported by local businesses, Homer musicians and many more.
A huge thank you to all who participated! Fireweed students led crafts, activities and May Day dancing. Many parents and friends helped plan and bring the celebration to life. Thank you to the businesses and individuals who contributed amazing desserts for the Dessert Challenge. Thank you to Ma and Pa Kettle Corn and Fireweed families for donating healthy and delicious snacks. We enjoyed the Homer Ukelele group, incredible Marimba by the Tamba! Hadzi group and Gabi Husmann’s May Day songs.
Thank you to teachers and staff for your creativity and investment over and beyond the classroom. And to all who donated to the Student Activities Fund or bought a raffle ticket or put money in the donation jars at whatever level you were able. Together we raised nearly $5000 that will enrich our children’s education next year through field trips, Artist in Schools and other student projects. But more importantly, we came together to celebrate our school, our community and our children.
Such a joy to see our garden grow and share the day with you all!
Adele Person Groning
The congregation of St. Augustines’ Episcopal Church wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to all those who took time to visit and care for a member of our parish at South Peninsula Hospital. In the early hours of Wednesday, May 8, Gillian Munn lost her battle with cancer. Gillian was an important part of our family of faith and when she was taken back to SPH late last week, many of us feared that our Gillian would not be returning home. The outlook was not good. The congregation formed a 24-hour vigil at her bedside. We felt strongly that Gillian had not entered this world alone, and we were determined that she would not leave it alone either. What amazed us was the number of visitors from outside our parish who responded to Gillian’s bedside. Gillian was actively involved in our parish, as well as the Homer Animal Friends and the Homer Animal Shelter. She had so many friends who visited, but unfortunately, we were unable to keep a complete list. With that in mind, we extend our personal thanks to all those who were able to stop by to visit with Gillian during those final days. She knew you were there and each of you were a great comfort to her!
In closing, this letter would not be complete without extending our heartfelt appreciation to the nursing staff at SPH. We could not have asked for or imagined a higher quality of care for Gillian. Always caring, always attentive, they did everything they could to ease the transition as Gillian approached the end of her life. In so doing, they provided strength to us during those final hours.
These health care professionals are an amazing group, which is often overlooked and at times not truly appreciated. The people of Homer need to understand just how fortunate our community is to have each of them with us.
Greg Guy, Sr. Warden,
St Augustines’ Episcopal Church
The Kachemak Celtic Club is looking for artist and food vendors interested in becoming a vendor at the 3rd Annual Scottish Highland Games in Homer, July 6 at Karen Hornaday Park.
If interested please contact Jewels at 907-235-2876 or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Vendor applications can be found online at: kachemakbaycelticclub.com Application deadline is June 20.
The Kachemak bay Celtic Club is a non profit organization in Homer under the Kachemak Bay Scottish Club.
Thank you to Save-U-More for the generous donation of rewards for the Adopt-a –Library Program at the West Homer Elementary Library. The students work hard all year keeping a section of their choice clean and organized. The students are honored that Save-U-More supports them and this program.
West Homer Elementary Librarian
Just wanted to publically thank the Homer Mariners softball team and their coaching staff for coming to Sitka recently and participating in our early season tournament. Both the adults and students were delightful representatives of your community and they play softball very well. We like to think of them as great competitors and good friends.
Coach Bob Potrzuski, players, and staff
On April 27, Homer held its 21st Annual Safe Kids Fair. This year we had a new group of volunteers that deserve a huge thank you. Sara Conyers headed up a group of women who stepped in at the last minute to provide a hot lunch at an incredible price.
With less than two weeks notice, Sara was able to recruit volunteers and organizations that donated all the food. A huge thank you goes out to Homer Farmers Market, Coal Point Trading Co. and Save-U-More for your generous donations. I would also like to say thank you to the Kyra Wagner, Jennifer Dickson, Susan Houlihan, Dawn Schneider and Marsha Rouggly for working the food booth.
Thanks the efforts of this group, over 100 hot lunches of a salmon burger or cod chowder, veggie sticks and water were provided. The food choices were all healthy and locally grown. The entirety of the proceeds were donated to the Safe Kids Fund which underwrites the $5 bike helmets offered every year at the fair.
Thanks again for taking time out of your busy lives to do more!
Meredith Morphew, RN
Community Health Educator
South Peninsula Hospital
Homer Council on the Arts is very excited to be offering week long art camps this summer. Many families are familiar with the Bluegrass Camp for Kids (BGCK) that has been offered in Homer for many years. This year, HCOA is collaborating with BGCK as well as our very own Homer grown Andrew Vait, to offer the Homer Summer Music Camp. Andrew is now a professional musician with the band “Eternal Fair”, and would like to give back to Homer what he is so grateful to have received growing up here: musical opportunity. He will bring a more contemporary component to the camp extending the diversity of offerings to include bluegrass, folk, old-time, rock, pop, soul/R&B, and blues. The first week (June 17-21) will be Bluegrass Camp for Kids, and the Pop/Rock camp for intermediate level youth musicians. Week #2 (June 24-27) will be Pop/Rock camp for adults and advanced level youth. There will also be evening events, open mic nights and performances. HCOA has received a very generous grant from the Homer Foundation with support from the Jessica Stevens Memorial Fund and the Tin Roof Fund in order to make this camp offering possible and more accessible to our youth.
In August (12th-16th), the Roustabout Circus returns to Homer to offer the second year of Circus Arts Camp for youth ages 6-18. Morgan Langham and Daniel Sloan performed with the Chautaugua Circus when they came through Homer two summers ago. They will teach skills from trapeze and acrobatics to juggling and clowning of all kinds. And then perform for the public at the end of the week. And again, thanks to the Homer Foundation for not only their support for the arts but their mentoring of our youth with the experience and responsibility of philanthropy. The Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee chose to fund Circus Arts Camp with funding support from YAC’s generous donors and the Ashely J. Logan and Sheldon Youth to Youth Funds.
In addition to our thank you to the Homer Foundation, HCOA would also like to thank Wells Fargo for their generous support for the our summer programming this year. These funds and your support through membership and participation make these opportunities possible. For more information please come visit HCOA at 355 W Pioneer, or call 235-4288, or visit www.HomerArt.org.
Gail Edgerly, executive director
Homer Council on the Arts
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