Letters to the Editor – August 28

Time to harvest the Paul Banks garden
The next two weeks will be the culmination of planting by the students of Paul Banks last spring in our school greenhouse and garden.
Volunteers watered and tended to the flowers and vegetables over the summer and now it is time for the harvest. Students will harvest carrots, sugar snap peas, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, zucchini, basil, dill and thyme to sample as a part of our “Healthy Snack” program.
Our community has been very generous from the start and continues to provide support to the school greenhouse and garden. We would like to thank Liberty Electric and B&C Raingutters for their generous contribution of construction improvements over the summer.
We would also like to thank the Homer Garden Club for their gracious invitation to sell some of our flower and plant starts at their annual plant sale last spring. Our student cashiers enjoyed being a part of the sale and took pride in the plants they had started from seeds and cared for.
Over the last two years, it has been inspiring for me personally to see the interest in gardening sparked in young minds. And it continues to flourish with each consecutive year’s plantings. Here’s to a future that’s both brighter and greener.
Vanessa Fefelov
 PTA President and Garden co-coordinator, Paul Banks Elementary School

Dr. Sayer goes the extra mile
In this case, going the extra hundreds of miles is what Dr. Paul Sayer did when he heard my wife Ann had serious health problems.
Dr. Sayer flew his plane through terrible weather conditions on Aug. 16, having to turn around several times trying to cross Cook Inlet. He flew back up to refuel in Anchorage, and then got to Kenai and drove the rest of the way by car.
Dr. Sayer did not need to do this, but he did. He did it, because he genuinely cares about the health and well-being of the people who live here. This community is incredibly fortunate to have such a skilled surgeon living and practicing near many he has helped.
Twice now, he has been there for Ann when we really needed him and we owe him our deepest respect and admiration.
Ann is recovering very well thanks to Dr. Sayer, Dr. Hahn, Dr. Jim Peterson, Chris, Cathy, Harold, RoseAnn, Priscilla, Jane, Ruth and all of the rest of the crew at South Peninsula Hospital. Thank you again Dr. Sayer.
Richard and Ann Koskovich

Thank you from VA Volunteer Services
The VAVS Picnic Committee and Homer American Legion Auxiliary would like to thank the following organizations for their donations and assistance with the veterans picnic held  Aug. 18 at the American Legion in Homer: Kachemak Bay Marines; Emblem Club, Homer; Ninilchik American Legion Auxiliary Unit 18; VFW, Anchor Point; Homer American Legion Post 16, S.A.L. and Legion Auxiliary Unit 16.
A special thank you to the Army Guard fellows for bringing their inflatable tent, obstacle course and boxing ring. That kept the kids and a few adults busy most of the afternoon. What fun!
A big thank you to the following businesses for their donation of groceries and door prizes: McNeil Canyon Meats, Safeway, Save-U-More, 3 Bears of Kenai, Bidarka Inn; Judy and Cecil, Ulmers, Carolines, Salty Girls, Eagle Vision, The Fish Connection, Coal Point, Sport Shed, Wagon Wheel, Wildberry Products, Blackberry Bog, Cosmic Kitchen, Radio Shack, Kharacters, Homer Spit Camp Grounds. Nora and Donna for getting entertainment and scouting for a door prize.
Thank you to Phyllis and Carol and husband from the Kenai VA Clinic who came and answered questions and visited with the veterans and their families. Thank you to the bands, Jim Hornaday and Mike Murray, and The 8 Mile Band.
Thanks to the Sons of the American Legion fellows who manned the barbecue grill all afternoon, put up the tent and various other duties; the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary who helped put this picnic together, baked cookies and brownies and helped in the kitchen and manned the serving line during the day; Mary for making baked beans, Ruth and Sheryl’s friend for making potato salad, Jane for the macaroni salad.
Janice and her granddaughters, as well as Helen from the Emblem Club, made yummy cookies.
Sheryl, Shannon and the Junior Auxiliary did the flag presentation and led the Pledge of Allegiance; Jan, Val, Carolyn and Sadie registered people; Jackie, Nora and Terry handled door-prize distribution. Cassie, Garrett, Allen and Colleen came in to help clean up. Spud Dillion gave extra parking space and Bill saw that the ladies from the VA were set up and the American Legion let us use their hall and grill.
To the 100-plus veterans and their families who registered, we hope you had a good time and come back next year. The committee had fun organizing the picnic. It was a beautiful day, so we had an outdoor/ indoor picnic and for those of you who didn’t make it we hope you come next year.
If I missed thanking somebody, I am sorry and we thank you also.
Darlene  Sheldon
VAVS Picnic Chairman

Slow down
I have lived here my entire life and just recently, I had an experience in Old Town where I was almost run over walking across West Bunnell Street.
I looked both ways and observed a car stopped at the stop sign 70 yards away at the Main Street intersection. I believed I had enough time to cross the street as the car was stopped. However, the car accelerated to a speed that almost hit me.
The speed limit in Old Town is 25 mph and this car was probably doing the speed limit. I believe the speed limit should be reduced to a safe speed, as 25 mph is too fast.
I realize this is a process; but in the meantime folks should slow down before someone gets hurt or killed.
Steve Walli

Wrestlers say thank you
The wrestling community would like to extend our thanks to the Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee with support from YAC’s generous donors and the Ashley J. Logan and Sheldon Youth-to-Youth Funds. With their help, we were able to pay to resurface an old wrestling mat.
The resurfacing gives life back to the mat and makes it feel almost new. Currently, we have approximately 100 active wrestlers in our community who will be able to practice and compete safely.
Chris Perk

ERA saves the tour
This October, Homer Council on the Arts will  present a major production at the Mariner Theatre, in partnership with the communities of Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Quixotic will bring a crew of 16, including dancers, musicians, aerialists and a technical team, co-directed by our very own Homer-grown Mica Thomas.
This event is two years in the making, with major support coming from community members, volunteers, local businesses, National Endowment for the Arts, Era Alaska, Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Rasmuson Foundation.
School assemblies for grades 3-12 will take place Oct. 14,15 and 16; public workshops Oct. 14 and 15; and two public performances, Oct. 17 and 18.
During contract negotiations, Homer almost lost our second show and Fairbanks almost lost the tour entirely. However, thanks to the generosity of Era Alaska, we were able to negotiate transportation in Alaska that was affordable for the tour.
Era will fly the troupe of 16 from Homer to Fairbanks and back to Anchorage for one quarter the going rate. This donation was essential in order to contract the tri-city tour. And these tickets were in addition to donated round-trip tickets to anywhere in Alaska for HCOA to use for fundraising.
Thank you so much Era for your help in bringing outstanding performance art to Alaska. Your support is deeply appreciated and essential to the quality of life in Homer.
Gail Edgerly
Executive director
Homer Council on the Arts

Moved business out of Homer
It is Monday evening at Bear Creek Canyon, breezy and warm. The creek is muffled and the leaves are rustling. The saws in the wood shop have stopped.
Homer City Council members believe its going to be expensive to live in Homer. Yes indeed! The city was going to charge Nomad Shelter about $20,000 to be able to rent and work in our portable shelters at Sterling Highway and Main Street. They mandated we put in toilets for the co-workers and they had to be hooked into the sewer main.  If we didn’t hook up, we could be fined $300 a day. Composters (we are dealers for Sun Mar) are not allowed. “No composters in Homer businesses,” said the zoners.
As a yurt maker, I am quite used to the zoning resistance to lightweight and semi-permanent. It’s a life style choice that is generally discouraged. There are some people, who faced with a yurt next door, get outright ugly – thinking their property values are diminished by the neighbors lifestyle. They don’t like the aesthetic, and since they paid more for their aesthetic they feel that their opinions should have more weight. As they do. It seems the general trend down town is that Homer wants to be Boulder, Colo. in North Dakota gas fields  – so be it, that’s representative government. You won’t find me lying down at any Economic Development Forums!
Nomad Shelter is now in Kachemak City. I love it.  A clean slate to think about and vision.
We envision a bunch of like-minded producers working here in this canyon.  Living a value-added dream, making the world better with our energy and talents and products. Adding value to resources with brains and energy and profiting off that. Sustainable, upcycling and adding manufactured value carefully.  Taking care of our own waste and power as a lifestyle choice … boom-bust-boom, carry on.  What we need really is the meaning of a worthy project.
A project such as a canyon gateway of activity, self-reliance and art to a trail system stretching all the way over the bench and beyond maintained by collective effort with yurts to stay in and camp in a days hike apart.  (OK, I’m obsessed!).  Maybe zip lines for the way down! The occasional sauna dotting the creek sides…a wild corridor for play. A project to protect and sustain and provide and unite. This trail system could link for many, many miles of Alaska to give space to live very lightly and simply without much ownership and stuff if only occasionally. The commons, a pathway for living very lightly and thoughtfully? A way forgotten, and needing revision and re-visioning. We won’t be doing this alone if it is done.
Homer is putting substantial amounts of money into a sand spit of resource extraction service infrastructure.
A “commons” trail system would be a goal as a community not only for the wealthy and not only for commerce. A path around  for everyone.
These are the things that come to mind at Bear Creek after yurt work on a sunny Monday. That and gratitude as we recover again, and for the patience of the saints – you know who you are.
Jessica Tenhoff 

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Posted by on Aug 27th, 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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