Letters

Grateful for rescue

I don’t know the words to thank the many people who generously gave their time and all-out effort to help rescue me on Saturday, March 10. I would especially like to thank the Snomads, Don Fell, Maritime Helicopters and the Jones Family. I know that there were many people involved in the rescue, and many of you I have never met. To all these I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

John always told me about the wonderful network of people in this community. Now that I experienced it first hand, I know that he was correct.

Deborah Coila

Sportsmanship lives

On Monday, March 5, I had the opportunity to see a championship game between Best Western and Bayweld. I was invited to go with one of the player’s family and saw that I had a friend on each team. My family’s team won a very close game, and I was rewarded with the fine ball handling from both teams.

I was amazed at the show of friendship from both sides: high fives, hugs, etc. — and this being a very physical game. Every player was courteous and displayed a lot of heart and effort. I did recognize one player being a high school referee and a Homer Police officer.

Well done to all of the players and to the Etzwiler family for their support and participation.

Jack Eisaman

Blind leading the blind

Homer City Code 2.72.030(d) provides that the Homer Advisory Planning Commission shall be required to “Promote public interest in and understanding of the master plan and of general regulations with regard to planning and zoning.” Ironically, the Commission seems to be unaware that the City of Homer has no planning authority and that updating the Homer Comprehensive Plan is therefore solely the duty of the Kenai Peninsula borough as mandated by AS 29.40.010(a). KPB 21.01.025 provides that cities in the borough requesting extensive comprehensive plan amendments may recommend to the borough a change to the city comprehensive plan, but there is a vast difference between merely recommending a change to the Homer Comprehensive Plan and submitting the 2018 Homer Comprehensive Plan Update for borough approval as a fait accompli.

AS 29.40.010(b) provides that the borough may delegate any of its powers and duties to a city and years ago it delegated zoning powers to the City of Homer after they were duly requested. In May of 1990, the borough enacted Ordinance 90-31 delegating authority to the City of Kenai to enact land use amendments to its comprehensive plan. In light of its longstanding illegal practice of crafting/updating its own comprehensive plan, one has to wonder why the City of Homer has never requested that the borough delegate planning powers to it. Unless/until planning powers are formally delegated to the City of Homer by the borough, the city should stop wasting taxpayer dollars updating its toothless Comprehensive Plan and let it be.

Frank Griswold

Responding to rehab letter

I would like to address Kellen Davenport’s March 8, letter to the editor.

Kellen writes:

“If nobody at rehab knows what Sarah is complaining about in regards to the former director, how can they erroneously ignore (for lack of a better word) her complaints or greivances? It’s formulating the situation from her point of view into a one way street where only she and a couple others who have spoken with her and have similar feelings (still unknown to other staff members) are saying the general rehab staff ignore her complaints, but there is no actual knowledge of them.”

Here, is what I actually said at the Feb. 28 meeting, “I became aware of a concentrated effort by members of my former department to highlight positive attributes of my former department director, without consideration for opposing viewpoints that would paint this individual in a less than favorable light.”

What I did not say, at any point in time, is that general rehab staff ignore, or erroneously ignore, my complaints.

I did not see Kellen Davenport at the Feb. 28 meeting. So why, then, his public show of curiosity? Kellen has my direct contact information available, yet he has not followed up with me despite my attempt to contact him to initiate dialogue that could assuage his inexplicable sudden desire to know the root of my grievances.

Kellen’s response to my public comment at the Feb. 28 meeting lacks the appearance of genuine concern. His response may be more of a show of proving to others where his support lies and he may be not acting out of genuine curiosity. He may also be serving as a conduit for someone else to maintain a facade of respect.

Sarah Bollwitt

Buyback proposal is wrong headed

In reference to the Pacific Fishing article in the Feb. 18, 2018, Alaska Notebook, “Buyback Proposal”:

Sen. Peter Micciche’s proeposed buyback bill is not only wrong headed, at $260,000 for a permit, but would in effect place the cost of millions on the backs of Alaskan taxpayers, at astonishingly artificially, inflated high prices, well above present market trends of $80,000 to $200,000 depending upon the production records of a particular site.

Let’s recall that the original cost of these permits were in the area of $60 per permit when limited entry created a privileged class. The cost of any buyback program should be born by those who stand to benefit the most financially, i.e., the remaining setnetters as well as the drift fleet whose quotas and income would increase dramatically as a result. Of course, many of those who are asked to sell out for the quoted, pittance, do not have a golden parachute like Sen.Micciche, an inlet drift permit. No conflict here.

The Bering Sea Crab fleet, as well as many Canadians in the fishery buyback programs, paid the cost of these permits by allowing the state to take so much per pound of fish landed to pay off the debt. To force the Alaska taxpayers statewide to enrich other fishermen in the Inlet’s salmon fishery smacks of fascism, violates taxation without representation, statutes, and breaches Alaska’s Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

John A. Anderson

Kenai

Hospice serves SPH patients

Hospice of Homer is an invaluable resource to our community, and I would specifically like to thank them for their service to our patients here at South Peninsula Hospital.

Our patients save a great deal of money and stress in getting the equipment they need by utilizing the Hospice medical equipment loan program. We are so lucky to have this service. The Hospice volunteers are so incredibly generous with their time and resources. They have helped provide rides for surgical patients on very short notice, turning what could have been a stressful situation into one of personal care and connection. They have been available to visit with our patients here in the hospital and provide companionship whenever needed, day or night. Hospice volunteers also help our patients in their homes, after they have been discharged, providing someone to talk to and help with rides and such. Don Pitcher, the Hospice Volunteer Services Coordinator, is a wealth of knowledge and is always willing to try and help us out.

We at South Peninsula Hospital use their services regularly. Hospice of Homer is a vital resource in the community. We are so very lucky to have them.

On behalf of myself, Lina LePage, LSW and the entire patient care team at SPH, thank you to the staff and volunteers of Hospice of Homer for all you do.

Amber Huestis, LSW, Social Services

South Peninsula Hospital

Because We Danced!

Recently the students of West Homer Elementary were fortunate to receive quality dance instruction from Jocelyn Shiro, our guest Artist in the School. During Jocelyn’s residency she worked tirelessly to impart skills in listening to and moving to different rhythms and styles of music. She incorporated elements of jazz dance technique and concepts of level changes, body shape formation, dance improvisation, speed variations in movement, isolated body movements, and floor work. Students enjoyed moving creatively to show expression for musical lyrics, improve technique, and work through challenges: practicing grit and resilience. The final showcase presented to parents and community members resulted in an experience filled with a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Without the support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska USA FCU, Kenai Fine Arts Guild who partner with Bunnell Street Arts Center to sponsor our Artist in the School programs these experiences wouldn’t be possible. We’d also like to thank private donors John and Rika Mouw, and Asia Freeman and Michael Welsh for their generous donations which helped make it possible.

On behalf of the students and staff of West Homer Elementary School we are truly grateful for these opportunities that broaden our experiences and enrich our lives. Thank you!

Krista Etzwiler, Artist in the Schools Coordinator

Loss of PFD

This is a major concern of mine as to using the PFD to balance the state budget. I am speaking as a layman as I know very little about state politics. I have only lived in Homer for 25 years, but several years ago I mentioned to my wife “you wait and see — the government will find a way to get the PFD funds.” It was my understanding that the PFD was set up and worded such that the state could not get the money as it belongs to the people of Alaska not the state government. Well that was about 15 years ago and guess what — they found a way.

The dipping into the PFD funds to balance the state budget is just the beginning. Making the people of Alaska pay for the budget that our leaders let get out of control because they have no paper trail of checks and balances to see who and where the money is going so they should see the trouble before it got out of control. I fear we let the government get their foot in the door. I feel that the only way for the people of Alaska to receive the money from the PFD may be to dissolve it and give it equally to the residents of Alaska. I hate to see it come to this as so many Alaskans depend on it for year end bills, a child’s saving for a college education that would not be possible otherwise, to the elderly for medication.

Again, I am no professional politician, so please forgive me if I am misunderstanding what seems to be unfolding in front of me. All this started when they began to regulate what the people received as a PFD amount and put a cap on, as of that moment we the people lost our PFD. Wouldn’t it be great if our spending got out of control and we told the government to pay for it because we could not control our spending and bail us out of our bills? I fear that dissolving the PFD may be the last ditch effort for the people of Alaska to get the money. I hope someone will help me understand if I am wrong, and I do hope that I am.

James Nelson

Homer Medical Clinic had its origins when Dr. Paul Eneboe came to town as a solo practitioner in 1967. After 18 years in the basement of the old hospital, Homer Medical was built at the current location and run as a private clinic. With the changing health care scene (avoiding comment on the benefits and blemishes) South Peninsula Hospital purchased the clinic in 2012 to facilitate the coordination of care in the community. The Borough later purchased the actual facility and quickly found we had outgrown the original space and sought community support to expand our services.

The clinic is now nearly double the size, with 5,584 square feet of new space including seven new exam rooms, a procedure room, phlebotomy draw room, and on site lab and imaging. The remodel created additional waiting areas in the clinic, a conference room, additional staff break area and additional office space, which allowed the billing office to vacate a leased building and relocate into the newly expanded main facility.

The South Peninsula Hospital Foundation generously commissioned an original piece of art from Marjorie Scholl to adorn the wall of the expanded waiting area and welcome all to the clinic, and the SPH Auxiliary will be sponsoring exterior beautification as the summer draws near.

Thank you to Steiner’s Northstar Construction for your flexibility, commitment and professionalism on this project. Thank you to Mayor Navarre for seeing the need and championing the project. Thank you to Scott Curtin, KPB Project Manager, and the SPH Engineering Team for connecting all the pieces with Borough. And thank you to the community for your continued support of expanding access to quality care in the community.

I hope you can join us this Friday, March 30, from 5:30-7:30pm to take a tour, connect socially with your provider team, meet Joseph Woodin, the new CEO of South Peninsula Hospital, and enjoy food and fun with friends old and new.

On behalf of the entire Homer Medical Center team,

William Bell, MD

Medical Director

Homer Medical Center / SPH

Thank You To Homer Rotary Club and Homer Marine Trades Association

Iwould like to thank the Homer Rotary Club and the Homer Marine Trades Association for each choosing me as their 2017 scholarship recipient. Prior to to attending KPC for the welding technology program, I applied for both of these scholarships.

To the Rotary Club, I would like to thank all64 of the members for considering me. All of you keep the Homer community healthy, and that was most certainly shown when I as a college student got financial aid from your club.

To the HMTA, I would like to thank all the members for considering me also. Growing up fishing in Alaska, I support this organization wholeheartedly.

After i graduate this late spring, I plan to go back and fish on my boat in the PWS area. Between fishing Iplan to do a little welding as a side job. When I come back to Homer, I would like to find a seasonal welding job.

Maksim Kuzmin

Address mental illness laws, not gun laws

Raising the age for purchase of firearms is the Trump way of doing an end run around facing reality in regard to reducing mass killinsg. Any high school student knows that by moving into slums of any city in the U.S. one can purchase any type of firearm he or she desires for a few hundred dollars or less U.S. currency.

It is clear by the past decades record that passing new gun laws is a fruitless effort on the part of our politicians and the results of said have only brought the numbers to a higher level. Rather than a new law we must amend an old law to get results needed to bring the numbers of dead down consistently, and that law is the one that protects members of the American Medical Assocation from lawsuits for refusal to state anything that has to do with patients suffering mental disorders of any type. Known as the Doctor Patient Privlege law, an amendment to this law would mandate that psycotherapists, psychiatrists, sociologists, as well as psychologists (clinical or consulting ) who determine after time with patient, conclude said patient is a danger to himself and/or others, is to immediately contact the FBI and inform said agency of his or her findings. This amendment to said statute of the Privacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution would affect less than one-fifth of 1 percent of the citizens of the U.S.

So what would you legislators do to save the lives of one of your own, a police officer, or most importantly, to keep our children alive ?

John A. Anderson

Kenai

This weekend, Big Brothers Big Sisters hosted our annual Bowl for Kids Sake celebration. Big thank you’s go out to the Homer community for coming together to make this year’s fundraiser such a huge success! More than 100 community members, businesses and organizations made donations of financial and in-kind support, donated to our fundraising bowlers and gave their time to helping at the event. Congratulations to our top individual fundraiser, Laura Upp and our top team fundraisers, AJ’s Kharacters. While the statewide program is undergoing changes and the Homer office will be closing this spring, BBBS will continue to provide support to our 28 existing Big and Little youth matches and all funds raised during Bowl for Kids Sake will help to sustain these matches until the youth leave or graduate from the program. Thanks Homer for your years of supporting Homer’s youth mentoring program. If you have questions on the changes to the local program, please call Heather Harris, CEO BBBS Alaska at 907-433-4622.

Christina Whiting, Bowl for Kids Sake, Coordinator

A prayer to start the day:

Good things happen when you least expect them. Be blessed.

May the energy that rises the sun, creates heat from the fire, makes a flower bloom, lights the stars, and keeps my heart beating…may that miraculous goodness, order, and power…work in me to accomplish good. I am thankful for this day.

I am thankful for being able to see and to hear this morning.

I am thankful for the oh so many blessings I experience in this life. I am thankful for the ability to forgive.

I forgive myself today for everything I have done, said or thought that was not of highest good.

Let me start this day with a new attitude and gratitude.

Let me make the best of each and every moment

Empower me to clear my mind so that I can listen and follow divine guidance from within.

Let my life shine with non judgment towards myself and others.

Let me trust this inner power when presented with challenges.

Let me respond well and claim the assistance of the oneness of all life when I’m pushed beyond my limits.

Let me know and experience this miraculous power for good intimately.

Let it change me.

May we know there is no problem, circumstance, or situation that is too big to give over to this amazing power for resolution.

I release any issues, negative circumstances, or energy blocks and trust miraculous healing to occur.

May the oneness of all life and the power of good within and around me nourish and comfort me, keep me safe from all danger and harm.

Bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help others, Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. May I be a light to those that can’t find their way, are stuck,or misunderstood.

Blessings on the people I know, my friends and family members. May there be peace, love and joy in their homes; May their needs be met without impairment.

In the name of those who live this truth and all those who have modeled it before us. Empower us to be our best selves. Amen!

John Fenske

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