Dear President Obama
You have not succeeded in answering all of my questions. In fact, you have not completely answered any of them. The answers you gave, however, do serve to raise a whole new set of questions about problems created by your answers to my questions.
In some ways, I am as confused as you are. But, I believe my confusion is on a higher plane and about far more important matters.
Charles D. Graham
A tisket, a tasket — a Thanksgiving Basket
A short note to remind everyone we will set up the store on Friday night, about 6:30 p.m. at the Methodist Church. We will put baskets together around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Everyone is welcome to come and help.
If you still want to contribute financially, make checks out to: Kachemak Bay Lions, P.O. Box 1824, Homer, Alaska, 99603. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up so far. Everyone is appreciated.
Fran Van Sandt and Amy Shumaker
Co-Chairmen/ Kachemak Bay Lions’
Community Thanksgiving Basket Program
Homer Methodist helps Homer’s kids
On behalf of the Students in Transition Program, I would like to give a tremendous thanks to the Homer Methodist Church. They have been incredible in their support of filling in the gaps that can’t be filled through the program.
Pastor Lisa Talbott, Sherry Stead and the congregation truly work hard to fill the unmet needs of our students and families. Thanks to them, many students have had necessities donated, purchased and gifted to them by the kind folks at Homer Methodist Church.
The Students in Transition Program is for students and families not living in permanent housing. Please call 235-8130 for more information.
Students in Transition Program
Stellar start for Girls on the Run
Anyone who has tried to argue that Homer doesn’t support young people would have to contest with the 80-plus runners and walkers who turned out on a drizzly Saturday for the Homer Girls on the Run 5K Fun Run/Walk. Despite the gray skies, the day couldn’t have been brighter!
Thank you to everyone who came out to cheer on all eight Girls on the Run participants and the Kachemak Selo running team. The variety of runners and walkers was astounding, and the enthusiasm was as buoyant as the balloons. You all really made a small group of courageous girls feel special. Through registration fees and contributions, enough money was raised to provide eight full scholarships for future seasons.
A successful program starts with dedicated individuals. Very sincere thanks to coaches and volunteers who donated a total of 209 hours toward making the pilot season of Homer Girls on the Run an unforgettable experience. For the eight young girls who came twice a week after school for 10 weeks, the confidence, life skills and connections gained will continue long after the season ends.
West Homer Elementary generously provided space for the girls to practice. The Homer Methodist Church was the perfect venue for our 5K. Thanks to Safeway, McDonalds, Kachemak Bay Running Club and Women’s Nordic for your support.
And, without the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Homer Rotary Clubs partnerships, this program wouldn’t have gotten past the starting line.
Girls on the Run is a curriculum designed to boost self-esteem and promote emotional and physical health in third-fifth-grade girls. It is implemented by Haven House, with support from the Girls on the Run Southcentral Alaska Council. If you would like information about how to get involved in the next season of Girls on the Run, please email Tara Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Romberg and Tara Schmidt
Haven House Prevention Team
Hats off to Artists in School
In the past week, hundreds of kids and community members gathered to celebrate Artist in Schools at five different sites almost simultaneously. Five units concluded with a sharing activity for the school community that showcased what the kids learned.
Razdolna celebrated the study of metalsmithing with Art Koeninger; Fireweed Academy celebrated storytelling with Jack Dalton; Homer High School celebrated music, performance and dance with Eddie Wood; Flex High School celebrated improvisational theater with Martty Zeller; West Homer Elementary celebrated how dance and theater can elucidate science, math, history and literature with Alison Marshall. Please join me in thanking these teaching artists who invest generously in our youth’s education.
These programs are possible due to the commitment of teachers, who — as in-school coordinators — facilitate the lesson-planning, communication and coordination with the teaching artists for a successful residency.
Hats off to Jenny Sorensen, Deb Schmidt, Gordon Pitzman, Karen Wessel and Judy Gonsalvez, as well as the school administrators who support their recognition of the arts’ power to integrate learning on multiple levels.
Homer’s biennial Teaching Artist Academy also took place last weekend. Special thanks to Carol Swartz and the Kachemak Bay Campus for hosting this exciting opportunity for professional development for teachers and artists.
By offering continuing educational credit for this course, we attracted teachers, who — in turn — added immeasurably to the depth of inquiry around lesson-planning and the arts, networking for artists and sense of welcome artists feel to teach in our schools.
I thank Kenai Peninsula District Art Specialist Debbie Harris for designing and leading this workshop with me, and Alaska State Council on the Arts for a workshop grant that helped make this opportunity affordable to locals. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. By working in concert, we strengthen our community and support for our youth.
I look forward to a spring semester as exciting as this fall, with more artist units at local schools. As long as funds are available, schools like Paul Banks, Chapman, Nikolaevsk, Seldovia, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Vosnesenka and Kachemak Selo will also benefit from the program.
It is a privilege to work with these organizations and individuals, teachers and artists as the local presenter of Artist in Schools with support from Jazzline, Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Rasmuson and Alaska USA.
Artist in motion moves West Homer
For two weeks, students and staff at West Homer Elementary used their bodies to show symmetry and asymmetry, obtuse angles and equilateral triangles; They practiced respectful space and coming to neutral. They enacted landforms, forces of erosion, a Revolutionary timeline, persuasive arguing and electrical circuits — to name a few.
Students and staff moved their bodies in ways that resulted in laughter, as well as problem-solving, all under the exciting tutelage of our recent Dance and Creative Movement Artist-in-School, Alison Marshall.
Alison impressed us with her skilled expertise, energy and flexibility during her time at WHE. She, in turn, was impressed with our students’ focus and engagement, a flexible and supportive staff and the delicious variety and quality of Homer restaurants.
A big thank you goes to the Bunnell B&B, Best Western Bidarka and Ocean Shores Motel for their generous donations of lodging. We appreciate and thank Asia Freeman with the Bunnell Street Arts Center, and its sponsors: the Alaska State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Rasmuson Foundation, Jazzline and Alaska USA.
We also thank our hard-working WHE PTO for their fundraising, which enables us to host an Artist in Residence every year.
Staff and students at WHE were fortunate to have Alison as our Artist-in-Residence this year, and we look forward to continuing to integrate “movement” in our instructional endeavors.
AIS Coordinator 2013-14
West Homer Elementary School Staff
This letter is for ALL who travel the Sterling Highway through Anchor Point.
The Anchor Point Volunteer Fire Department is on Milo Fritz Road which intersects the Sterling Highway. My husband and I have lived in Anchor Point for 12 years, and we can see and hear when an emergency vehicle is coming out onto the highway with lights flashing and sirens blaring. It appalls us that the traffic on Sterling Highway fails to yield to let the emergency vehicles out.
It not only creates a hazard, it also delays the response time.
Nancy and Dick Finney
Time to deny free ride to oil
I had the opportunity while vacationing and visiting Homer, Alaska to read a story in the Homer Tribune by Les Gara, Point of View, dated July 3, 2013. I found that story interesting to say the least and the story is so true. This is happening all over the United States. Whereas, the people are so unaware that there are groups of think tanks manipulating their state representatives into unethical behavior of giving the public’s money to oil companies or corporations. Now, those corporations are people and maybe it is time to tax those people, not give them a free ride. No more corporations’ write off, no more deductions. In as much, to the Alaskan people believing that these manufactured problems are just happening and believing that they are falling out of the sky, they are not. The real story is about the greatest propaganda war in modern history against the American people.
In support of shared resources
The recent efforts by the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance Inc. (AFCA Inc.) to push for a ballot initiative that would effectively eliminate set gillnetting from Cook Inlet are deeply concerning to me. As a person engaged in Cook Inlet fisheries, I recognize and respect the contributions of my fellow fishermen and women, whether they be economic, cultural, or social. Setnetters, just like most Cook Inlet fishers, are members of my community. They are our neighbors, they are business owners, and they are important harvesters of salmon. It would seem that we are experiencing a period of low abundance with our king salmon. Why that is, I don’t think anyone can be certain. However, making the rash call for the elimination of an entire fishing group is not an appropriate response. With all the talk about this ballot initiative, one piece of the group’s original press release really struck me. The AFCA Inc. and Kenai River Sportfishing Association are going to be holding a “kick off party” in celebration of this effort to eliminate the livelihoods and fishing participation of more than 400 families on the Kenai Peninsula. I am appalled by this party and the message it sends. Further, I am shocked at the suggested “corporate donation” of $1000 – imagine what true conservation efforts these funds could be supporting! This party is blatantly disrespectful to setnetters and all Alaskans who think we can share our fish resources, as is the ballot initiative itself. My fellow Alaskans, I implore you to please spend your evening and money more appropriately. As for me, I wouldn’t attend or spend a Penney at a party like that.
Alaska Salmon Alliance
Recovering form Bush-Reagan
“Corporations are not people, money is not free speech and fascists are not conservatives.”
For over thirty years the U.S. has been subjected to the Bush-Reagan hard-core fascist criminal, secret police state plutocracy. Alaska voted for hard-core fascists Don Young, Frank Murkowski and the fascist criminal Ted Stevens. Over the last several years Alaska and the U.S. have begun to recover and try to return to a legitimate democracy.
Don Young’s (Major Disaster to Gov. Parnell’s Captain Zero) fascist allies in the Tea Party have advocated for tax cuts for billionaires and corporations, while cutting food for the poor (SNAP or food stamps in the Agriculture Bill) and trying to derail healthcare reform. The details of the fascist plutocracy can be seen in two good movies: “Heist: Who stole the American Dream?” and “Inequality for All.” For links to these movies, details of my 30 years as a political prisoner of the Bush-Reagan hard-core, fascist, criminal, secret police state plutocracy, and my campaign to replace Young, go to http://sites.google.com/site/vondersaar
Water break sign for change
The recent water main break in Homer (“Water main break shuts off water in town,” November 5, 2013) should suggest a need to rethink the status quo. Change, including more competition with how the area’s water systems are managed, must be put into place now to prevent order taxpayers and rate-payers from paying exorbitant utility bills and huge liabilities in future. A recent study by the National Taxpayers Union found that nearly a half trillion dollars in government expenditures could be saved over the next 40 years through the adoption of open procurement for pipe materials and better asset management. The Mayors Water Council of the U.S. Conference of mayors has also supported these proposals. Public officials here and in communities across the nation should strive for water politics that deliver the highest possible level of accountability to taxpayers and rate-payers.
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