Letter to the Editor – July 10

Music camp gratitude
During the last two weeks of June, I had the pleasure of being camp director of an incredible Homer Summer Music Camp.
Bluegrass Camps for Kids and Andrew Vait teamed up with the support of Homer Council on the Arts to teach 50 kids about bluegrass, pop/rock, music theory, vocal, dance and recording. It was such a joy to walk through the halls of West Homer Elementary and hear music, singing and laughter pouring out of every room.
There are numerous people to thank for helping in the success. Thanks to: K-Bay and Alice’s for hosting open mics and giving the students the opportunity to perform what they’d learned; Two Sisters, Fat Olives, Fritz Creek, Far Out Cafe and Cosmic Kitchen helped with food; Mike Yourkowski, Brad Faulkner and the Coyle Family helped with housing; Willy Dunne, Tim Hamilton and Steve Cornish lent us instruments.
All of the teachers were incredible, including the local talent of Tyler Langham and Colin McArthur, who taught with Andrew Vait. I know I’ll be there again next summer, and I hope to see more of our talented youth there, too. Thanks to all.
Mo Wilkinson
Director of Homer Summer Music Camps

Generosity floats CACS projects
The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies has recently been the recipient of some amazing generosity. We are so thankful for the support that has come our way to help improve our infrastructure and provide outdoor education experiences to a wide variety of people.
Last month, we were awarded $135,000 from the Murdock Charitable Trust for our Peterson Bay Field Station Dock Replacement project. This project is vital to ensuring that we can continue to offer programing at our Peterson Bay Field Station, as an encroaching sand bar has made our aging floating dock and raft system basically inoperable.
Together, grants from the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Rasmuson Foundation ($135,000), the Skagg’s Foundation ($5,000) and individual donations totaling $14,000 have raised $289,000 toward our new dock. That leaves only $40,000 to fund, and the new dock should be completed by mid-August.
You may see an octopus on the move around town soon, as the Rasmuson Foundation awarded CACS $25,000 to purchase a new van to help transport kids to and from programs ranging from the Wynn Nature Center to the Yurt on the Spit – and places in between.
CACS hopes the 12-passenger van will help alleviate some of the transportation problems identified as a barrier to quality of life and participation in programs.  Parents will be able to drop off and pick up kids at our headquarters building in town, and enjoy the benefits of “carpooling.” We hope the easy access to reliable transportation will get more kids outside this summer.
The amazing generosity of Homer’s local businesses always continues to astound us. For more than six years, Nancy Hilstrand has generously donated space on the Homer Spit for our yurt, which has been the jumping-off place for our adventures to Peterson Bay. It also acts as a place for us to offer many educational opportunities for all ages, from Little S.P.I.T.S. – a preschool story hour on Tuesdays — to our Creatures of the Dock Tours that offer an hour of amazing discovery of what lives beneath the harbor.
Earlier this summer, Mike Warburton, owner of Ocean Shores Motel, donated seven rooms to house teachers who traveled to Homer to participate in the Investigating Alaska Coastal Ecology course offered by CACS through the Anchorage School District’s Teacher Academy program.  This course provided a hands-on experience at our Field Station, where teachers got exposed to methods of enhancing the STEM curriculum through outdoor experiences.
And, last week the Homestead Restaurant hosted a wine-tasting event on our behalf. As one of many local nonprofits, CACS works hard to raise unrestricted funds to deliver programs aligned with our mission and we appreciate support of local businesses.
Beth Trowbridge
Executive Director, CACS

Fire heroes
I wish to thank the Homer Volunteer Fire Department for their prompt and measured response to our roof fire last Tuesday. Their professional handling of the situation prevented further damage, and their ability to be flexible with the owner was much appreciated.
Clearly older shake roofs are more of a hazard than we anticipated and now require earlier replacement than we planned. Thanks again for a job well done.
Phil Morris

Thoughtful Acts
I would like to thank all the people from the Ninilchik Point Set net sites, as well as Ninilchik EMTs,  for their acts of kindness, prayers and support on what was a horrible day for all families involved in the loss of our friend, Lewis Byerly.
Thanks also to all who called and texted with your thoughts and prayers. Everyone’s hearts are broken.
If you would like to send a card or something, the family address is: Byerly, 143 350th Ave. Frederk, WI 54837. Bless you all.
Gaff Adams

Young artists classes offered
Art classes for kids are ready to roll again in September at Homer Council on the Arts.
ConocoPhillips has again generously donated to the HCOA youth art program to ensure the continuation of this wonderful program. This year, HCOA will offer afterschool art classes for students 10 years and older on Mondays (two-dimensional art) and Wednesdays (three-dimensional art) starting Sept. 9, with our returning teacher, Katy Countiss. Welcome back Katy.
Younger artists can now enjoy the teaching gifts of Rosana Moyer in her studio on Heath Street.
ArtQuest is a great example of an arts program that is accessible to anyone who wants to participate because of community support. Thank you ConocoPhillips for supporting the arts in Homer.
For more information about HCOA classes, go to HomerArt.org or call 235-4288.
Gail Edgerly
Executive Director
Homer Council on the Arts

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Posted by on Jul 9th, 2013 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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