Letters to the Editor

Alaska needs strong university

I recently graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. I’m so thankful that the perfect college experience for me was available right here in Homer at the Kachemak Bay Campus (KBC) of Kenai Peninsula College.

It all began eight and a half years ago when I was a “homeschooler,” and took one of KBC’s basic math courses to brush up my skills for the GED exam. Jan Peyton and Lolita Brache helped me with the GED process, and mentioned KBC had college courses I could enroll in afterwards. In my first semester, I took Fundamentals of Biology with Dr. Debbie Tobin, and her enthusiastic teaching made me fall in love with biology. I knew right away that would be my major, even though a lot of math would be required, which I dreaded. I made it through though, with the help of the very patient Associate Professor Sara Reinert and numerous tutors.

My course work was a combination of classes at KBC and distance learning (live video conference and online), with two years of additional upper-level courses on campus in Anchorage. I also had fantastic opportunities for hands-on learning through KBC’s “Semester by the Bay” program’s upper-level marine science courses, a U.S. Fish &Wildlife internship, and a research technician job through UAA with a veterinary pathologist. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience!

I intend to work in Alaska and am grateful to KBC’s wonderful faculty and staff — and to the people of this community and the Kenai Peninsula who value and support education. It’s all of you who made it possible for me to prepare for a career in my home state.

Unfortunately, as state funds have been cut for Alaska’s university system, tuition and fees have increased. This makes it harder for students like me to afford college.

I hope that our Alaska legislature will not make more cuts to funding for higher education in Alaska. We need a strong university system, which must include community campuses, so that more people who want to live and work in Alaska are able to continue education and training after high school. For people like me — and there are many of us — what is really our only chance to do this can be — and must be — our first and best choice.

Rachael Rooney

Great run, many thanks

Thank you to Kachemak Bay Running Club for hosting the annual Spit Run 10K along with the inaugural Cosmic Hamlet Half Marathon. The half marathon was a great addition to this fun event. The volunteers were friendly, supportive, and plentiful. Thanks to all those cheerful volunteers who spent a beautiful Saturday morning helping others. I’m looking forward to an even bigger crowd of runners and walkers next year!

Ashley Van Hemert

Businesses back run

The Homer Runners and the Kachemak Bay Running Club would like to thank all the runners who enjoyed the sunshine on our Spit Run. We would also like to thank the many businesses who supported us. It would not have been as much fun without you.

The Homer Spit supports the Run. Thank you to the following businesses for their generosity: Land’s End Hotel; eateries — Finn’s Pizza, Carmen’s Gelatos, La Baleine Restaurant, Spit Licks Ice Cream, and Boardwalk Fish and Chips; charter companies — Central Charters, Homer Ocean Charters, Inlet Charters Across Alaska Adventures, and North Country Charters; adventure companies —Mako’s Water Taxi and True North Kayak Adventures; gift shops — Caroline’s Handmade Gifts, Better Sweater, Little Otters Kidz Korner and Twitter Peaks Handcrafts.

Old Town and Lake Street support the Homer Spit Run. Thank you to the following businesses for their generosity: Vida’s Thai Restaurant, Old Inlet Bookstore and Two Sisters Bakery.

Ocean Drive supports the Homer Spit Run. Thank you to the following businesses for their generosity: Homer Saw and Cycle, Homer Farmers Market, Sweet Berries, Wagon Wheel Trading Post, Homer Brewing Company, Grace Ridge Brewing, Jakalof Oysters and Alaska Botanical Herbs and Teas.

Downtown Homer supports the Homer Spit Run. Thank you to the following businesses for their generosity: stores — Homer’s Jeans, The Homer Bookstore, Alaska Boats and Permits Inc., Alaska Center for Coastal Studies; NOMAR; Haas &Spigelmyer, Heston Chiropractic Clinic and The Classic Cook; eateries — Latitude 59; The Cool Juicy Bus; Mike’s; Cosmic Kitchen; K-Bay Coffee and Captain’s Coffee.

East End Road Businesses support the Homer Spit Run. Thank you to these businesses: Cycle Logical and The Bagel Shop.

Andy Haas, president

Kachemak bay Running Club

Scholarship encourages artist

I would like to thank the Homer Foundation and Ptarmigan Arts Gallery for awarding me $250 from the Ptarmigan Arts Visual Arts Scholarship. I am very honored to have been even considered for this award, and the opportunity to present my creations and goals with my possible art career in front of the board members of Ptarmigan Arts was truly a blessing.

I am very thankful that the board members and Homer Foundation both want to support my artistic pursuit and lifelong goal of becoming a successful artist. I will be spending my scholarship money on many different kinds of art supplies, and the generous amount gifted to me will certainly help put myself in a professional direction, with quality tools, papers, paints, etc.

I could not be more happy with what came of this experience and I know that next year I will be entering again, with another year’s worth of experience under my belt.

Koby Etzwiler

Homer supports LARP group

I would like to send out my heartfelt thank-you to the community of Homer for their support of the local LARP (live-action, role-playing) group, the Shire of IceFire Bay. We recently held a three-day camping event for the group and the challenges of feeding, housing, and coordinating the event at a cost our youths could afford are daunting.

A huge thank-you goes out to Save U More, Safeway, Two Sisters, the Grog Shop (Chai!) and last but not least, the Ageya Wilderness Center, that generously donated much of their facility for our use. Thank you very much on behalf of all our members.

Just remember, if the zombie apocalypse happens tomorrow, we have well-trained people on hand.

In gratitude,

Samantha Cunningham

Music, art bring us together

Homer Council on the Arts wants to extend a huge “thank you” to the Homer Ukulele Group Society for honoring us with sweet sentiment and songs at out fundraiser on Friday night. It is refreshing to witness how music and art can bring us together, add lightness to our lives, and celebrate our connections.

Peggy Paver, executive director

Homer Council on the Arts

Scholarships help pursue dream

My name is Annali Metz and my lifelong dream of attending medical school is moving forward, thanks to generous educational scholarships like these. Since being named one of the recipients of the Oilers Baseball Booster Club Scholarship, Kachemak Bay Rotary Club Scholarship, Homer Community Science Scholarship, Health Care Providers Scholarship, Kenai Borough Employees Association Scholarship and the Kachemak Bay Lions Club Scholarship, my dream is becoming a reality at the University of Alaska Anchorage Medical School.

With the total of $4,750 in scholarships, it gives me an opportunity to earn skills that will serve the medical community following graduation. I’d like to thank each of these organizations personally for their generosity: Without scholarship patrons willing to support medical education, students such as myself would be unable to pursue advanced health care degrees.

These scholarships will help me earn credentials in Neonatal Nursing, which requires special training and coursework. My passion for medicine is matched only by my love for children, so my decision to specialize in pediatrics comes from the heart.

Once again, thank you for the vote of confidence by awarding me these scholarships. I am committed to my education and to the health care field, and one step closer to becoming a nurse, thanks to the continued generosity and the Oilers Baseball Booster Club Scholarship, Kachemak Bay Rotary Club Scholarship, Homer Community Science Scholarship, Health Care Providers Scholarship, Kenai Borough Employees Association Scholarship and the Kachemak Bay Lions Club Scholarship.

Annali Metz

Homer High School Graduate 2017

Scholarship appreciated

Dear Scalzi Family and Homer Foundation:

Thank you for choosing me as one of the recipients for the Drew Scalzi Memorial Scholarship. I know that there were many other students just as qualified from which to choose.

I very much appreciate this scholarship. It means a lot to me and my family, seeing as we are connected to the ocean and the community surrounding those jobs just as Drew was.

I am thankful for the support of my family, the Homer community, and the fishing community in supporting me. I plan on using the scholarship to attend Oregon State University to study environmental engineering. I am honored to be a recipient of this award, and I hope that in return I will be worthy enough to help spread generosity and a love for all things natural as I venture through the next chapter of my life.

Malina Fellows

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