Hello Homer — Fritz Creek calling
I would like to thank Sen. Peter Micciche for sponsoring a Dec. 10 public meeting regarding House Bill 77 here in Homer.
We are fortunate he is doing so, as Governor Sean Parnell and the commissioner of Alaska Department of Natural Resources have seen fit to deny the citizens of Alaska their right to question and speak in a public arena about this bill. Article 8 of the Alaska Constitution gives water and fish rights to the public.
Our current administration would like to do away with this right by superseding it with HB77. This bill would, in effect, deny Alaska citizens from applying for water rights regarding instream flow for salmon, and reserve this right for the State of Alaska and any corporation they deem appropriate.
In fact, the State would no longer be required to notify the public of these water resource allocations or resource development schemes. No public comment would be taken on these issues. HB 77, with its powerful verbiage, would override prior laws regarding resource development under the illusion of “streamlining” the system to make it easier to get big corporations to invest in Alaska resources. But, there are no guarantees that Alaska citizens will see increased jobs.
I don’t think Wally Hickel had this in mind when he spoke of the citizens owner state. Alaska citizens must have the right to be notified and speak out about resource development issues that affect us all. Perhaps we have forgotten how to be good stewards of the land and its resources. If you gut the irreplaceable resources, you are failing in good stewardship.
Home Sweet Homer — south
Ever since moving to Alaska in the mid-60s, I have accurately proclaimed Homer as the sweetest town on planet Earth. But I have now discovered and explored Homer South.
About 25 miles below San Francisco, on the California coast, is a town and area called Half Moon Bay that is challenging my long-time perception.
Visiting Half Moon Bay with my son, I’ve attended three musical events featuring numerous great musicians. The best event so far has been the Pumpkin Festival. Bands play in five different areas for three days, rivaling KBBI’s Concert on the Lawn.
Numerous art tents featured art at least as unique as Homer’s. I’ve always thought Pier One Theatre was unrivaled, but they have a great little community theater here, too. And, I’ve discovered a senior center that serves great healthy midday meals. There are several senior housing options, both assisted and independent living.
Half Moon Bay offers great forest and beach trails, parks and excellent hostels — two of them at lighthouses. There’s a great harbor with lots of sailing and fishing boats, and they even have a regatta in San Francisco. Of course, being next door to San Francisco also provides great city advantages, including the Golden Gate Park, which is a wonderful place to spend a day.
No people can rival the great Homer population, but here, they are also very kind and helpful. And, of course, it’s warmer here. (But usually foggy in the morning.)
Salsa residency a big success
From Oct. 28 through Nov. 8, Homer High Spanish students learned salsa dance from artist-in-residence Eddie Wood. During the residency, students received lessons in dance, culture, music and the Spanish language. They learned the basic salsa step patterns, how to properly frame with a dance partner, a variety of turns and how to dance to salsa music of all tempos.
On behalf of those students, I would like to thank the Bunnell Street Arts Center, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rasmuson Foundation, Jazzline and Alaska USA for their support of and belief in the value of arts in our schools.
We offer additional gratitude to Homer High Principal Doug Waclawski for supporting the program and to artist Eddie Wood for getting us on the dance floor.
Homer High School
Girls State empowers girls in government
Thank you for sending me to the 2013 American Legion Auxiliary Girls State. It was an opportunity unlike any another. I met so many amazing girls who are the hope and security of our future.
Every girl I met had a mile-long list of achievements and credentials, but an even longer list of goals. Each incredible individual had big hopes and dreams, as well as most of the tools to achieve them. Girls State helped to complete that tool box.
Girls State gave us a voice in our government by giving us a better understanding of how it works. It was an opportunity that empowered girls by giving each of us a voice. Thank you to the American Legion Auxiliary for sponsoring this incredible program.
Film festival brings Howling good time
I’d like to HoooooooooooWL from the hills and from HoWL Headquarters to thank the hundreds of people and businesses that supported HoWL at the Homer Outdoor Film Festival.
The turnout at the Nov. 16 event at Homer High was amazing, with standing room only in the Commons. The venue was incredible. The Commons was transformed into a Himalayan basecamp, with prayer flags, rock cairns and even a (fake) fire pit to warm up your hands.
The films were equally as outstanding, with 17 short offerings by mostly local professional and amateur Alaskans. They showcased mere moments of the inspirational adventures we Alaskans embark on. The food, catered by Maura’s, Two Sisters and dozens of incredible volunteers, was scrumptious. All the platters were scraped clean by the end.
And the auction items! With more than 200 items to bid on, there was something for everyone in attendance to bring home or give as a gift. Thanks to all the local businesses that supported this auction and donated an item or a gift certificate. Thanks to all the people who came out to support HoWL, watch films, eat dinner and bid on items. And thanks especially to the volunteers who put it all together.
Next year, get ready for an even bigger and better event, as HoWL builds on this tradition and the Homer Outdoor Film Festival becomes one of Alaska’s premier film festival events. Thank you Homer, for helping HoWL grow into the thriving organization that it is.
HoWL Executive and Programs Director
Building a better basket
Another successful Thanksgiving Basket program was again concluded this year. What a wonderful town we live in.
We would like to thank everyone who came and helped both Friday night and Saturday. You all were awesome.
Thanks to Chris Story of Story Realtors, who is always willing to go the extra mile to pick up the turkeys in Kenai. Many people contributed financial support to the program, and we appreciate all the effort put into this project; right down to the $3 donation that was left in secret.
Our thanks also go to Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club, Share the Spirit, (Shari you were there for us again), the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 16, and the American Legion Post 16, Sons of the American Legion, Catholic Women’s Guild, Young Marines Det, Homer Emblem Club No. 350, as well as many members of the community.
The Methodist Church was so generous again this year by allowing us to utilize their facilities. Thank you to all.
If we left someone off our list, please forgive us. It is a very busy time of the year.
We would like to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving and be safe when traveling.
Fran Van Sandt and Amy Shumaker
Co-chairmen, Community Basket Program
Kachemak Bay Lions
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