Letters to the Editor – September 25

The Ban(e) of the plastic bag
Is it so horrible, really, to be inconvenienced by something that does so much good?
I walk to work every day. While on my pleasant stroll, I often come across garbage, (which affects me like a festering sty). I cannot help but pick it up. In the recent past, that piece of eyesore was a plastic bag. Of course, if I pick up a bag, I have to fill it, right?
So, I spent a lot of time picking up trash.
What an epiphany when I realized the bags I used to scurry into the ditches for, have nearly disappeared on my stretch of the road.
Certainly, there are still plenty of plastic bottles and cans for me to fill my hands with. However, the vision of a bag flying gently and ever so freely straight into Kachemak Bay, has dimmed. It is good.
I know there are plenty more bags available to millions of people around the world, and around our peninsula, but I do see the tiny difference. Oh yes, and when I drive to Soldotna I do see lots of “false gulls” in trees: trash bags are hung everywhere.
So when I go into Safeway, and have forgotten my bags in the car, I do not say someone has done me a disservice. I don’t blame the city council. I simply do one of two things, either run out and get them, or just have the bagger put the groceries back into my cart. I can fill my own bags once I get to the car.
Awkward? Perhaps, but it’s a learning curve, and I’ll get it. I am definitely voting to keep the bag ban intact.
Bobbie Paulino

Alliance to talk about Cook Inlet fisheries
The Alaska Salmon Alliance is leading an initiative to expand discussion about Cook Inlet salmon fisheries.
Long known for its divisive nature and the conflict between user groups, the Cook Inlet salmon harvest is both an economic and cultural engine for the Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet watershed.
Founded in 2012 by a group of concerned fish processors, the Alaska Salmon Alliance aims to transcend the different user groups and gear types of Cook Inlet fisheries by emphasizing the points of consensus and shared interest in conserving salmon and ensuring sustainable fisheries for generations to come.
Arni Thomson, executive director for the ASA, said the group’s efforts are geared toward building an inclusive community of informed resource users through trust, accurate information and promotion of science and cooperation. He said the group has had some really positive feedback from the greater Cook Inlet fishing community and are looking to include any and all fishermen and women who are interested in hearing new ideas and new voices. They are looking for solutions.
As part of their ongoing efforts to find cooperation and consensus in the fishing community, the Alaska Salmon Alliance will host an open house forum on Sept. 26 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Cook Inlet Aquaculture building. The building is located at 40610 Kalifornsky Beach Road in Kenai, near the intersection with Bridge Access Road.
The event is free, and all fishermen from all user groups and gear types are welcome to attend. The event is being coordinated by ASA’s community outreach and myself.
The open house is designed to be a neutral atmosphere where fishermen will be asked to identify problems in the fishery and come up with new approaches to thinking about them and solving them. The event will be facilitated and all are welcome, but the open house will not be business as usual.
We aren’t interested in rehashing old prejudices or assigning blame.  This is an opportunity for fishermen to participate and shape a new dialogue, meet other like-minded folks and move away from this fight everyone is tired of having.
People interested in attending the open house can visit the ASA’s Facebook page for more information, or email hharrison.green@gmail.com with questions.
Hannah Harrison
Education Specialist, ASA

I agree, mostly …
I couldn’t agree more with the title of last week’s opinion from Mike McBride in the Homer Tribune titled, “Research First and then Vote.”
I do take a little different view, based on my research and my years on both the school board and assembly. What follows are my personal views.
Regarding the $50,000 exemption: that will shift the tax. The 2/10ths Mr. McBride says is required to make up the borough loss, only applies to the general government portion, it does not include the service areas.    For South Peninsula residents, the combined mill increase needed, just to keep revenues the same, would be more than half a mill. For KESA, it would be .16 mills. South Peninsula Hospital .11 mills, Road Service Area .06,  and the General Government .19 . That’s a total 52.
On the Eastern Peninsula, Bear Creek Service Area and the Flood Service Area would see an increase of .81 mills. Keep in mind, the increase will affect all real properties, raw land, business, rental and other commercial properties. They will see a significant tax increase. The property tax exemption increase only applies to residences, not businesses, and only to qualifying residents. It is a tax shift.
Mr. McBride feels there will be adequate growth to more than offset the losses.  I do not believe there will be adequate increase to cover, especially for the service areas that must allow for increased costs as well.  This is an issue each voter must weigh.
About the bond issue. I very, very strongly support this. The borough has close to a  billion dollars invested in buildings and school buildings. That investment must be protected.
Just as you and I protect our investments in our homes, so too, must the borough act. There is a limit to the maintenance that can be done on a yearly basis, likewise with our homes. I believe it is the Borough’s obligation to the public, who helped pay for these buildings.
And, don’t I wish, when I replace a 40-year-old roof, that someone would pay 70 percent  of it? Mr. McBride suggests the legislature could not fund it. The fact that the  legislature must appropriate the funds each year is true, but they are obligated to do so every year.
The permanent fund dividend is “subject to appropriation.” It is a constitutional provision. The Alaska Legislature authorizes the debt reimbursement program and qualifications in statute. The projects included on the bond have all been approved by the Department of Education, as they have statutory oversight. I have known this program since 1982, and can say that the Legislature has never failed to fund the debt reimbursement program.
Not only will passage of this bond proposition result in replacing some roofs that are more than 40 years old, but with additional insulation and more modern products, it is estimated the borough will save $250,000 in heating costs. To me, this is responsible stewardship of the borough facility assets.   And we only pay 30 percent  of it. Please vote yes on ballot Proposition 2.
Milli Martin

Thanks for scholarship
As I play volleyball this season, I know that my success on the court is not without the support of so many in this community. I would really like to thank my coaches Beth Trowbridge and Pam Rugloski for coaching me last volleyball season and for nominating me for the 2013 Alice Witte Memorial Volleyball Scholarship. I especially want to thank Joy Steward and The Homer Foundation for offering me this scholarship and an opportunity of a lifetime.
I used the scholarship money to go to the Marv Dunphy Volleyball Camp at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. I was so honored that I was chosen and that I was given this opportunity to play volleyball with some of the best girls in the nation. This camp was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life. I was able to compete with the best of the best, while also being coached by the best of the best.
There was much I took away from the five-day camp, but also so much I will never be able to duplicate. I was fortunate to study under Marv. Dunphy, Pepperdine University’s head men’s volleyball coach, coach of the 1988 Men’s volleyball Olympic Gold medalist team, and member of the Volleyball Hall of Fame.
My other coaches included Dan Ahiers, assistant coach at Seattle University and Jonathan Winder, a four-time All-American from Pepperdine University. Three-time Olympian Heather Bown coached as well.
I got to experience this remarkable opportunity with my teammate, Zoia Basargin. We were given the chance to play outside all-day long in the beautiful California sunshine at one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. I know we both feel so blessed to have participated in this outstanding camp and are so thankful to everyone who made it possible. It was an experience neither of us will ever forget.
Larsen Fellows
Recipient, 2013 Alice Witte Memorial Volleyball Scholarship

Thanks for benches
Thank you Spenard Builders Supply for donating lumber to Paul Banks Elementary to build benches for the staff, parents and students of our school.
Eric Benson
On behalf of the Paul Banks Peanuts

Remember to Share the Spirit
Fall is here, and as winter approaches, the USCG and Share the Spirit are once again teaming up for the wood-cutting campaign.
Members of the Coast Guard provide the labor, cutting and delivering wood, while all proceeds raised from selling the wood are collected by Share the Spirit and used for the Holiday Basket Program.
We are writing today to get the word out for those looking to purchase wood, as well as those who may have timber they want cut and removed. Program Coordinator, Mike Jones would like to hear from you, and can be reached at 299-1077.
The members of this group do a quick and neat job, so contact Mike if you either want to schedule a delivery or would like a few trees taken off your property.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the Coast Guard crew. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.
Kelly Glidden, President-Co-Chair
Shari Daugherty, Basket Co-Chair

New playground equipment rocks
We, the West Homer Student Council, would like to thank the PTO, Church on the Rock, and all of the other supporters that donated money to help us get new playground equipment installed this summer.
Everyone on the playground loves it and more kids are staying active playing on it. We really like the spinning umbrella ride because you have to work together even if you don’t know the other people on it.
Our playground equipment is really fun and we’ll take care of it so it will last a very long time.
Mya Betts
WHE Student Council

Hospice of Homer says thank you
I am writing on behalf of Hospice of Homer to thank Homer Self Storage, East End Mini Storage, Bay Avenue Storage and Woodworth Electric (donation in memory of Bethany Woodworth) for their generous support of the Hospice of Homer Medical Equipment Loan Program.
Most community members are aware that the Hospice of Homer End of Life Program provides support to individuals and families who are dealing with end-stage illness or the transition of dying. Many community members know Hospice provides support to frail and isolated individuals through the HOH Volunteer Visitor Program. But a large percentage of the community does not know about the Hospice Medical Equipment Loan Program. If you borrowed one of the 1,109 pieces of equipment Hospice loaned last year, you are fully aware that the program meets a real, tangible human need and is free of charge, as are all Hospice of Homer services.
People are always surprised and delighted that Hospice has such a large array of medical equipment (bedside commodes, hospital beds, walkers, chair lifts, wheelchairs, etc.) for loan, and that they can use the equipment for a long as they need it. Many times the first contact Hospice has with a family whose loved one is dying is through the Equipment Loan Program. This initial contact allows staff to meet an immediate need, begin to build trust with the family and start the process of establishing a relationship that will support the family through their loss.
Because Hospice of Homer is a small nonprofit, generous community and business support is essential. Thanks again to Woodworth Electric, Homer Self Storage, East End Mini Storage and Bay Avenue Storage for their support.
If you would like details about the services Hospice provides, would like to become an HOH volunteer or want to make a donation to Hospice, please stop by the office, 910 East End Road Suite 2 or give us a call at 235-6899.
Darlene Hilderbrand
Executive director

Kachemak Bay Lions invite community
The Kachemak Bay Lions are seeking civic-minded men and women to join them in making a difference in the community. The club is hosting an information session on Oct. 2 for people who want to learn more about the club and its work.
Our club gives members an opportunity to advance worthy causes, serve with friends and become leaders in the community. This club means a lot to our Lions, but it means so much more to the people we serve.
An information session will be held 6 p.m. Oct. 2, at the Homer Senior Center, 3935 Svedlund Ave. We encourage the public to come out and learn more about the club’s work. We want to share the great things we’re doing in the community and let others know how they can help.
The Lions’ motto is “We Serve,” and the Kachemak Bay Lions has lived up to it. For 35 years, the club has aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened the local community through hands-on service and humanitarian projects.
To learn more about the information session, the Kachemak Bay Lions or its service projects, contact Membership Chairman Karrie A. Youngblood at 226-2086 or President Tary Youngblood at 299-2201.
Tari and Karrie Youngblood

Contact the writer
Posted by on Sep 24th, 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.

Comments are closed

Like us on Facebook