Letters to the editor

Thank you, tutors

As Kachemak Bay Campus’s academic year wraps up, its Adult Basic Education Program would like to extend a special and heartfelt thanks to community members who have shared their time and energy as tutors in our program. These dedicated volunteers provided many hours of individual instruction in math, literacy, writing and English as a foreign language.

Hats off to Lolita Brache, Marie Dorr, Judy Gonsalves, Suzanne Haines, Jinky Handy, Carla Harman, Kathy Hill, Lauren Jerew, Ruby Nofziger, Susan Plumhoff, Connor Schmidt, Patrick Speranza, Laura Veith and Rosemarie Welz for your extra special efforts and the support you have given our students.

We would also like to shout out a special thank you to the ASEA Kachemak Bay Chapter, the Emblem Club of Homer, Rotary Club Downtown and the Rotary Club of Homer—Kachemak Bay for their generous support of our GED students by providing financial assistance enabling them to take the GED exam. This support can make a life-changing difference for a person ready for employment or job training who would otherwise be unable to pay for the tests and move forward toward better employment.

Adult Education adds a great deal of value to our communities. People who continue their education subsequently experience higher levels of health, increased income, more job opportunities, increased involvement with their own children’s education and much more.

Michelle Waclawski

KBC-KPC Adult Basic Education Coordinator

Thanks to those who made Cowboy Cabaret a success

To everyone who saddled up and came down to the 11th annual Cowboy Cabaret at Alice’s Champagne Palace we would like to extend a hardy thank you.

Master of Ceremonies, Cowboy Mark Marette, entertained the crowd and was a great auctioneer.

Thanks to the Homer Ukulele Society for the wonderful entertainment and the others who braved the stage to spin a tale or sing a song.

A Huge thanks to Homer’s Equestrians and community businesses, for the many auction donations which helps keep our monetary trough full for the Cottonwood Horse Park.

A big thanks to board members Tim Quinn, Renee Eidem, Jackie Eisenberg and Sarah Roberts for wrangling the shindig.

A big cowgirl thanks to Alice’s Champagne Palace for the great venue.

Happy Trails,

Roberta Highland

President,

Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association

Thank you to Artists in Schools program

Homer Flex students would like to thank the Artist In Schools program, Bunnell Street Art Gallery, and Taz Tally for a week of photography.

During this week Taz taught us about the elements of photography such as lines, contrast, and complexity. He showed us his professional photos of nature as examples.

We were able to take our own pictures using what we learned from Taz.

Each student was able to spend time editing and creating their own pictures.

We are grateful for this opportunity and for Taz for teaching us.

Colten Morris

Homer Flex Student

It’s time to speak up about proposed Southern Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area boundary move

The KPB Assembly is considering a ballot initiative to move the north boundary of the Southern Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area to south of Ninilchik. Only residents in the central peninsula hospital service area and the departing residents will get to vote on this.

This boundary move would leave the Ninilchik Clinic without the support of SPH, which currently provides OB/GYN clinics, pre-natal, well-baby visits, ultrasound clinics and tele-radiology.

Moving the boundary risks leaving the clinic without support and resources of a larger medical center. SPH cannot legally offer assistance or have any healthcare presence outside its boundaries. However, Ninilchik residents will remain obligated for bond debt assumed while they were in the south service area, scheduled for payoff in 2032.

The sponsor of the ordinance claims this is fair because “it can be safely assumed that the vast majority of the people living in the Ninilchik area routinely use CPH instead of SPH.”

However, the data does not support this claim. Ninilchik residents had more than 1,400 total patient interactions with SPH in 2017.

Regardless, a service area tax isn’t a user fee, it is for “operational and capital support of medical facilities and programs for the service area.”

It is to ensure that healthcare exists. (Think school tax here).

Some might wonder why central’s mill rate is lower than south’s. Central’s service area is comprised of 38,000 residents, as compared to south’s 14,000. South has more senior residents who are exempt from paying property tax.

The majority of central’s patients are privately insured. The southern peninsula is the fastest aging population of the borough, and has higher poverty rates. Medicare and Medicaid provide payment for around 65 percent of SPH patients.

A service area fund cannot be sustained if voters outside the area determine the boundaries. Are boundaries up for renegotiation every election? Does the borough really want to see LESS resources going into healthcare?

Ask the assembly to vote no on Ordinance 2018-16. Testify at the public hearing on Tuesday May 1 at the Homer Annex or e-comment on the borough website.

Keri-Ann C. Baker

Outgoing Chair

South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board

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