Safe wildlife trails
I just drove from South Dakota to Alaska and I wanted to bring attention to the fact that Lower 48 is so built up that the only places left for wild animals are in the parks and protected areas.
As their own habitat degrades, either from climatic changes or fragmentation, the animals start to seek other places and leave these protected areas, inevitably encountering and clashing with human habitat. As I traveled, I saw that there are simply no travel corridors for these animals to migrate to places where they might have better survival as their own habitat changes.
As the U.S. population rises, animal corridors will be needed to maintain healthy animal numbers. This is something to think about if you are a hunter or a fisherman. A good example of future thinking is Central Park in New York: when it was conceived, it was thought to be a silly idea, “there was plenty of green all around” and now, it is inconceivable to raze it.
If you are interested in learning more about green corridors, go to www.greencorridors.org.
Protect salmon streams
We’re concerned about the recent flood of brochures by a Chicago-based organization, the National Association of Realtors, one of the wealthiest special interest groups in the nation. According to this mailer we are asked to oppose salmon habitat protections in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. But opposing protection of these vital common resources doesn’t make sense, especially coming from an organization out of Chicago, where the Chicago River is nearly dead. What does this group know of healthy streams and habitats and how important these are to property owners and those who depend on healthy waters? It obviously doesn’t know that healthy streams and rivers enhance property values, not degrade them (as they maintain in their brochure). Everyone using the waters and everyone living along the waters has a deep abiding interest in insuring their protection.
This isn’t an issue of individual rights versus community rights, as has been said, because these are one and the same. Our private individual rights (and property values) are protected when community acts to protect a common resource, the rivers and streams along which our properties lie.
We Alaskans love our salmon and the salmon need healthy habitats to thrive. Only Alaskans know deep in their hearts the value of all this and only Alaskans can work this out.
On June 18 this debate will continue in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly when it takes testimony on efforts to repeal the 50-foot salmon protection areas now in place for our salmon streams and lakes. Please support retention of this important protection measure by either testifying in person or sending a quick note to the borough clerk’s office (email@example.com) to voice your views to the assembly.
Mike Hawfield and Beth Graber
Park trails cleaned
Every year our annual Trails Day gets better. This year was no exception. In fact it was exceptional. Kachemak Bay State Parks has an awesome fan base and many showed up Saturday to help clear the trails and celebrate national trails day.
There were a total of 79 volunteers, trail crew, past crew and State Park VIPs. The Saddle Trail, Sadie Knob, and the ski trail were cleared. Glacier Spit was cleaned up of marine debris. Taz Tally and Ed Berg guided an enthusiastic group from Glacier Spit to the Grewingk Glacier Lake.
Homer Ocean Charters, Ashore Water Taxi, True North Adventures, Bay Excursions and Mako’s Water Taxi provided transportation across the Bay.
Even the weather cooperated. Thanks to all.
Support your State Parks.
Mako Haggerty, president
Friends of Kachemak Bay State Parks
Bayview park improving
Best Beginnings Homer would like to thank the Ashley J. Logan Fund of the Homer Foundation for their support in funding our Bayview Park Planning Project. This grant will allow our Playspaces workgroup to coordinate a design/work party for Bayview Park this summer.
Our group has “adopted” Bayview, and we have worked with the City of Homer/Public Works to do yearly repairs and add a few fun pieces of equipment each year. (A slide, boulders, stepping logs and an adaptive swing for children with disabilities).
At our work party this summer, a representative from Corvus Design will be on-hand to gather community feedback and develop a master plan that will be completed over several years. This plan will include ADA and ground-cover upgrades, as well as incorporating a few new pieces of equipment that are appropriate for young children. We welcome the community to attend the work party to share their ideas and help out while we do some routine maintenance as well. Stay tuned for the time and date.
Playspaces Work Group leader
Best Beginnings Homer
I would like to thank two organizations for their contributions to supporting the graduates of 2013. The Homer Community Science Scholarship Fund at the Homer Foundation and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 16 scholarship are just two of many scholarships these organizations gave out. Both gave scholarship opportunities to the entire class and I am honored to have been one of many selected for these generous grants. The science scholarship is especially meaningful as I plan on studying health and exercise science at Pacific University in the fall.
Thanks again for your support.
Theatre goer grateful
I am writing to thank Homer for supporting the co-presentation by Pier One and the Bunnell Street Arts Center of Niicugni (nee-choog-ne) by Emily Johnson/ Catalyst at Pier One Theatre the last weekend in May.
Niicugni worked beautifully at Pier One, transforming the space into a hallowed hall of glowing lanterns, haunting melodies and magical fish-dancer storytellers, drawing inspiration from Emily’s Yu’pik roots. Special thanks to the Homerites who volunteered to take the stage for a few mysterious moments of Niicugni.
An extraordinary amount of foundation funding made it possible for us to present Niicugni in Homer. We flew up a company of six, provided lodging, per diem and a modest honorarium.
If not for private foundation funding from several sources, the $10-$15 tickets would have been closer to $100 per person.
The presentation of Niicugni was made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Niicugni was also made possible with funding by Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, and is administered, under contract, by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Support was also provided by WESTAF in the form of a TourWest grant.
Last, but not least, I thank the City of Homer for supporting the Arts in Homer, including Pier One Theatre and Bunnell Street Arts Center.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
Caring about our planet
Thank you so much to the incredible community of Homer for your support of our project C.A.M.P., (Caring About My Planet.)
Thank you to Brenda Dolma for endless training and support, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Haven House and Jessica Lawmaster, Downtown Rotary, Red Mountain Marine, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Linda Rourke, Linda Chamberlain, State Farm, Emblem Club, Lions Club, Shari Ellison and Sue Christiansen and Gordie Vernon and Boss Hoggz.
We had an amazing time at C.A.M.P., and were able to create a wonderful opportunity for the youth in our community. Thank you all for your work and partnerships. You were a crucial part of our team.
The C.A.M.P. Crew,
Katherine Dolma and Taylor Ellison
Many thanks for generous scholarships
This year I was chosen to receive both the Constance Benston Music scholarship and the Youth Summer Fine Arts scholarship by the Homer Council on the Arts. The awards support music education for young people around the community, and I would like to thank HCOA and the Homer Foundation for the honor of these generous gifts. I play a lot of music around town, and I really appreciate the support that I get from HCOA, and the Homer community. It’s great to have such energetic dancers at marimba performances, and have people enjoy the Brahm’s Requiem so much. I couldn’t think of a better community to be a part of as a young musician. I get so much opportunity to be creative, and generous scholarships like the ones I was awarded are truly amazing. I would like to thank HCOA, the Homer Foundation, and the entire town for supporting me in my artistic endeavours.
United Way thanks
On behalf of Hospice of Homer, I want to thank the Kenai Peninsula United Way for their recent generous allocation. We are pleased with the United Way’s level of support this year, as well as in the past.
Thanks also to all the volunteers involved in the United Way process, including the board of directors and the allocation committee. Anyone who has ever served on a board or a committee knows how much dedication and time it takes.
In addition, Hospice would like to thank all the United Way contributors, especially those who designated their monies go to Hospice of Homer.
As a volunteer hospice organization, donations are extremely important. They allow Hospice to continue providing quality supportive services to residents of the southern Kenai Peninsula as they experience a life-threatening illness or the transition process of dying.
Hospice of Homer appreciates the support provided through the Kenai Peninsula United Way.
Darlene M Hilderbrand
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