Letters

Recall part of democratic process

The recall is NOT about being unkind; hate versus love. It’s about holding three council members, Donna Adherold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds, accountable for their actions. They used their positions at the city as a platform for their political activism; this is unethical and breaks their oath of office. They attempted to defy federal laws, and deceive and divide the people of Homer. Resolution 17-019, if passed, would have made Homer a “sanctuary city,” which advocates illegal immigration. Regardless of the revision, it does not hide their true intentions.

These council members colluded to introduce the “sanctuary city” resolution, as evidenced by emails and social media (SM) postings. David Lewis is quoted in the Homer Tribune stating, “What the petition is based on isn’t true. We did not write or post it on social media or share it.” However, a social media post to a fellow Progressive contradicts his statement by openly admitting that “…putting the 1st draft on SM was not our best move.”

Catriona Reynolds previously contacted the group “Mijente,” which is an online political home for immigrant and U.S. born Latino and Chicano people, by city email. In the body of the email, she states, “I am ready to introduce a resolution that Homer, Alaska, is a sanctuary city. Do you have any templates for wording that I can use?”

There has been an outpouring of negativity toward Homer on social media, which has resulted in a loss of business revenue for some within our community.

We hold our elected officials to a higher standard and expect them to do their job impartially, fairly, honestly, and for the good of all the people, not just a selected few. Voters are entitled to recall elected officials, it’s part of our democratic process.

Jill Hockema

Pandora’s box opened in Homer

Reference the recall controversy, I view the Homer community as being like Pandora’s box, stuffed-full of diverse and often-contentious humans. Fortunately, there’s normally enough respect and civil behavior between the various factions to keep a lid on the box, maintaining an uneasy truce.

Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds, however, felt obligated to pry open the lid to set free the self-diagnosed victims (LBGT, Trump-haters) of lack of universal love. The result — the sudden release of built-up pressure from suppressed anger and resentment by the other factions within the box — apparently stunned the three. They quickly back-pedaled while struggling, unsuccessfully, to re-secure the lid. Meanwhile, its corrosive contents continue bubbling furiously down the sides of the box, staining the hand-crafted finish.

Of course the three council members properly regret the resulting mess, but maintain that they had every right to fiddle with the lid.

And because the contending parties won’t go quietly back into the box, the situation is rapidly morphing into a legal slugfest. The lawyers have been called in, and the recall issues, currently, seem to revolve around two legal points: First, should the three council members be expected to always perform their duties in an “impartial” or “neutral” manner? I say no; they are low-level, citizen-politicians, not Supreme Court justices. As political persons they have to be accorded some flexibility in their response to constituent input.

Secondly, did they engage in misconduct by using their “councilman/woman” title in their preliminary emails, thus misrepresenting themselves by suggesting they spoke for the entire council? I know they didn’t, they know they didn’t, but you may not know that.

So, upon further reflection, I agree with the city’s position, that this particular issue is for the voters to determine via the recall, which is as much a part of the democratic process as was the initial election of the three council members.

Larry Slone

City best served by diverse council

It’s a challenge to sound positive when one is urging folks to “Vote No.” In the case of the recall ballot though, voting “no” is saying “yes.” It is saying “yes” to the right of city council members to develop and present a resolution, to listen to public input and to vote as they believe best. It is a very personal “yes” for me, because if these three are recalled from serving on the council, my voice in city government will be quelled. Their right to free speech as city council members is my right to be represented.

As a community planning director and assembly member, I learned that communities move forward in tackling challenging issues when all sides of an issue are represented on the city council — conservative, progressive and moderate.

If you watch a successful community prosper through difficult times, you’ll see that their appointed and elected leaders ably move between these labels depending on the issue. That’s why partisan politics aren’t useful at the local level. Flexibility, adaptability and stability are. All perspectives need to be at the table and it needs to be a safe place for open minds to generate and debate ideas.

Please, let’s join together out of mutual respect for one another as neighbors and citizens of the community we love. Let’s say “yes” to a strong and diverse Homer City Council by voting “no” on June 13.

Kathryn Carssow

Own up to what you say

No, We, the People, will not be silenced. If you are so proud of your right to free speech, why are you trying to take away someone else’s right. Why don’t you have the guts to put your name or organization on your mailing? Show your pride by owning up to what you say.

Cathy Henry

Literature, art come to life

During April 20 to April 27, Little Fireweed students were fortunate to have Debbie Piper share her experience integrating art and literature, with not only the students, but as professional development for the teachers. We studied textured paper-making techniques and then immersed the entire school in a morning of creating our paper. We explored various art prints to read pictures taking us through the creative process to develop a collage scene.

After adding the characters, students then crafted a story and shared this whole process with their parents in a celebration that showcased a community of artists and writers. Theodore Roosevelt, the Conservation President, was an inspiration to our final theme celebration making Teddy Bear collages and inviting our teddy bears to tea. Thank you, Debbie Piper, and wonderful parent volunteers for helping literature and art come to life.

Mo Wilkinson, Betsy Vanek and Kim Fine

Little Fireweed Academy Teachers

Students make connections

I would like to thank Henry Reiske and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, through the help of the Zero Waste Initiative, for making the effort to teach Razdolna middle school students about One Use Plastics (plastics that we only use once, then throw away) and the effects of those plastics on fish and our ocean.

With the help of the Zero Waste Initiative, we were able to find the beauty in our beaches by going tide pooling, then off to the harbor to see the current management of human impact, and how each student can help by disposing of waste responsibly.

Razdolna School is a part of a state wide Sea Grant, and with school wide curriculum integration, art projects (thank you, Debbie Harris), and guest speakers (Joey Kraszeski J) we are able to connect the abstract to the concrete. With this in mind, Razdolna middle school students understand that littering is a choice, and that choice has consequences. Thank you, again, for helping our children realize they are our future and we’d all like it to be clean.

Laura Murphy

Razdolna School

Thanks for a good first year

Grace Ridge Brewing wants to thank the community for one year of successful business in Homer. We are very appreciative for all of our local supporters as well as our visiting beer drinkers. We have been honored by our welcome into Alaska’s brewing community and have enjoyed the enthusiasm and encouragement from other brewers.

Here’s to more great years brewing and sharing!

Don, Sherry and Scott Stead

Food pantry says thanks

On behalf of the Homer Community Food Pantry board of directors, volunteers and clients, I would like to thank the city of Homer and Homer Foundation for their ongoing generous support of our organization. We recently received $4,620 from the 2017 City of Homer Grants Program which is administered by the Homer Foundation. With this grant we are able to continue our efforts to feed an average of 1,400 individuals each month, provide emergency food boxes at all times, provide weekly snacks to the area schools; provide weekly deliveries to shut-ins, the disabled and the elderly as well as offer assistance for emergency cases for shelter, utilities, fuel, and prescriptions.

I would also like to thank the community members at large for all of their food donations through recent food drives held during the “Clean Up and Clean Out” event sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club as well as the “Stamp Out Hunger” program sponsored by the U.S. Post Office. Through those drives alone we collected more than 115 pounds of frozen meat and fish and 370 pounds of dry and canned goods. Thank you, everyone; we are truly blessed to live in a community of such caring and giving individuals.

Cinda Martin, secretary

Homer Community Food Pantry

Sorting it out, getting a grip

The current Bandjax Short Report is: HEA members are grousing, grumbling and disgruntled. Akin to the Lorax, who spoke for the trees, Bandjax is here to speak for the under users since they’re too shy to speak for themselves.

He’ll be gone when they’re gone. Until then, there will be monthly short reports. When Bandjax is gone we can exercise whole control and I’d like to introduce one possible feature called the Monthly Financial Short Report Pictorial. The picture will be of a bell on the right and a canister vacuum cleaner on the left. The bell (distribution curve) describes our consumption. The very act of billing can generate this curve, thus a monthly report. Within the bell are listed:

• Number of members (meters)

• Price per kilowatt hour

• Total number of kilowatt hours sold

• Total income

Outside the bell, on the right is a description of the three part blended rate.

The vacuum cleaner represents electrical generation, transmission and business office expenses. In the vacuum cleaner the utility will present its tabulation and total. I stumbled unto this when trying to sort it all out and get some kind of grip. There are four things to sort:

• HEA membership

• HEA utility

• HEA utility subsidiary

• HEA commercial and industrial customers

So, the bell shape curve describes us consumers and as owners we can demand that the utility present this information in this manner, on this time schedule. Enough for now, thanks for your attention.

Tom Maloney

“the third complainant”

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