Letters

No ‘On the Wing’ this year

Due to an unfortunate loss of venue, there will be no “On the Wing” celebrating birds and spring through poetry and song this year. Thank you to everyone who made this Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival event so successful in the past.

My apologies to those of you who were looking forward to the concert this year, both attending and participating. We will be back next year with our humble endeavor at raising funds for the Shorebird Education Fund.

Meanwhile, go see birds. On May 6 I was fortunate to see thousands of Western sandpipers (with some dowagers and dunlins among them) spreading their golden swirls of magic along Mud Bay in front of our amazed and lucky eyes.

Sunrise Sjoeberg

Former shelter director gives thanks

To my friends and acquaintances in Homer:

Thank you for all your cards, letters, thoughts, words of support and donations. The donations helped pay some of my bills and co-pays while I am in recovery.

I miss Homer and its pets and think of all you frequently.

With much gratitude,

Sherry Bess, Animal Shelter, retired

City-Homer Foundation partnership supports arts

We thank the City of Homer for partnering with the Homer Foundation to provide the City of Homer Grants program. It’s an investment in Homer’s health on many levels. Bunnell Street Arts Center is proud to nurture Homer’s creative ecosystem with art programs for all ages. We deeply appreciate your leadership as Homer’s elected officials.

Arts &Economic Prosperity 5, a 2017 study by Americans for the Arts about the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy, documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015 — $63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences.

This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments, a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations by entities like the City of Homer Grants Program through The Homer Foundation. This study puts to rest a misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, communities are investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue and is the cornerstone of tourism. We agree that locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business.

I am pleased that Homer is among the communities nationally that invest in arts and culture as a renewable, sustainable Alaska resource. Join us at Bunnell for exhibits, lectures, performances and workshops celebrating Alaskan talent and encouraging arts achievement. We are thrilled to showcase more than 60 artists in the Plate Project, Bunnell’s annual membership appeal and a showcase exhibit of Artist in Schools on May 18 at 5 p.m. A short membership meeting at 6 p.m., with a potluck reception open to all, is followed by a concert with Tyler Langham and Friends at 7:30 p.m.

Asia Freeman

Bunnell Street Arts Center

Flex students appreciate PE support

Students and staff at Homer Flex have worked hard over the years to construct a physical education class to better educate students on the importance of wellness. We would not have been able to accomplish these things without the help of the Alaska Alternative Schools Grant. The Alaska Alternative Schools Grant funded our physical education program and we would like to thank them immensely. We would also like to thank the Kevin Bell Arena, the SPARC, the Bay Club and Glacier View Baptist Church for letting the students of Flex learn and practice physical wellness within their facilities. Without the help of these organizations and their patrons, Homer Flex would not be able to provide real world health and wellness education to their students.

Kalah Cuddy

Homer Flex School

YAC awards grants

The Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of our annual YAC grants that support fun and healthy activities for youth: Friends of the Homer Public Library for the Summer Reading and Learning Program, and South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services for Summer Therapeutic Activities for youth.

We appreciate our donors, who have confidence in our ability to make thoughtful decisions. Thank you to Shirley Fedora and Bill Palmer, the donors to the Ashley J. Logan fund, and to Robert and Melon Purcell, who established the Sheldon Youth to Youth Fund to help support YAC’s efforts.

The generosity of these individuals, as well as the support of the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees and staff, enabled YAC to distribute a total of $3,000.00 this year.

Respectfully,

Olivia Glasman, on behalf of the Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee

Local birders clean up

Members of the Kachemak Bay Birders (KBB) spent a Saturday morning (April 28) cleaning up monofilament fishing line from the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit. The cleanup was part of the KBB “Year of the Bird” initiative.

Fourteen grocery size bags of monofilament were collected. Fishing line is a major source of bird entanglement and when used for nest material is a major threat to entanglement of chicks. Entanglement can result in injury or death to wildlife.

When fishing at the lagoon, please use the monofilament line collection bin located at the lagoon. For your assorted nonrecyclable trash there is a trash can provided. Remember, Mother Earth is not a trash can.

Thanks to the 14 local concerned birders who helped with the cleanup.

To learn more about local birding and “The Year of the Bird,” check out the Kachemak Bay Birders web site at www.kachemakbaybirders.org.

Michelle Michaud

HANDs support nonprofits

Did you know that the nonprofit sector has a significant, positive economic impact in the Homer Area?

Around 25 percent of our community’s workforce is employed by a nonprofit, and those employers bring millions of new dollars into our area every year.

Recently the nonprofit directors in town started meeting monthly, primarily to meet and socialize with colleagues for peer-support, but also to brainstorm ways to work more effectively. Our group is called Homer Area Nonprofit Directors — HANDs. Combining resources to bring mutually beneficial trainings to Homer was a good place to start.

In April HANDs provided and participated in an Advocacy, Economics and Innovation Seminar to explore the nonprofit economic impact in Alaska and the United States and the role of advocacy for our own agency’s mission and for the sector as a whole. A bonus was a session about innovation, where we learned about creating and fostering a culture of learning for our organizations. We explored ways to take our strategic plan into action, tools for innovation and how to invite more engagement from our team and beyond.

Our instructors were Laurie Wolf and Mike Walsh from The Foraker Group; Foraker donated half of the travel and services, which brought the expense within a manageable range. The Pratt Museum and the Kenai Peninsula College - Kachemak Bay Campus provided space at no cost. The Homer Foundation funded a grant to cover the remaining Foraker costs.

More than 30 area leaders, including bBoard members and CEOs, joined in at least some of the sessions at no cost to their agency; some reaped the benefits by attending the entire seminar. We all gained new tools and insights that will support our community enriching work.

CEOs, executive directors and general managers of nonprofits are encouraged to join us for the next meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at The Alibi.

Appreciation and gratitude to The Homer Foundation, The Pratt Museum, KBC and the Foraker Group; thank you for supporting this opportunity.

Catriona Reynolds, HANDs instigator and executive director, Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic

Cancer strikes couple for third time

I am writing this to inform the community the the horrible disease of cancer just can’t seem to leave a local couple alone. As many longtime residents know, our friends Rick and Tanya Norvell at Orca Specialties Inc. have both fought off the scourge of cancer in the past years. Rick pummeled Stage IV recurrent Hodgkins lymphoma with a peripheral stem cell transplant in 2000 and Tanya kicked Hurthle cell carcinoma (an obstinate thyroid cancer ) to the curb in 2005 with a total thyroidectomy and a couple rounds of radiation.

Recently, while on vacation in Seattle, Tanya went in to have a spot on her sternum checked. It turned out to be nothing more than a hernia. Fortunately, if not for a CT scan they would not have found it: the CT scan showed abnormal abdominal wall thickening and a couple spots in her breast tissue they didn’t like. The results were positive for invasive ductile carcinoma. This cancer is totally unrelated to her previous cancer.

She will be seeking treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Rick will be able to be with her for surgery but will have to return to Homer to carry on the business. She will need a studio apartment during her treatments. Cards and letters can be sent to her c/o Preston and Geana Norvell, 203 West Comstock, Apt. 8, Seattle, WA 98119. You can track her progress, treatments, etc. at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tanyanorvell and donations to help them with the double living expenses and medical expenses can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/threestrikes.

Katie Swenson

Week of the Young Child a success

Week of the Young Child 2018 was a success through and through. It’s easy to equate this success to the numbers. How many people attended? How many organizations participated? How many events were held? This year, what was more overwhelming than the numbers, was the quality and intention behind each event and the unwavering support I saw from families as the participated in these early learning opportunities.

What could have been a cold and dreary hike down the Reber Trail became a wistful caravan of families enjoying each other’s company as we trekked to Hornaday Park, or let our toddler examine the workings of a waterfall. Each participating family followed the lead of their kiddos and allowed the hike and the time together to be intentional and solely about the moment. I saw those moments throughout the week.

Families encouraging their kiddos to sing and dance, get dirty, ask questions, make new friends and revel in the wonder of a world seen and felt through young eyes. Nothing articulated this intentionality more than the Elder Kinder Circle. Thanks to the graciousness of the Friendship Center and the magic that is Anna Raupp and Kate Finn, we were able to bring together those who have seen the world and those who are just beginning to get to know it. We spent time in movement and song, passing amongst each other the seeds of knowledge that only come from lives well lived and lives yearning to know more. A babe in a great grandmother’s arms, tiny fingers wrapped around hands that have experienced a lifetime of moments — these are the images that define Week of the Young Child. These are the moments that tell the story of our community.

Lisa “Red” Asselin

Homer Early Childhood Coalition

Earth Day was amazing

Kachemak Bay Conservation Society (KBCS) would like to thank everyone who attended our annual Earth Day event at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center and helped make it such an extraordinary evening. Our small conservation non-profit was heartened by everyone’s attendance, support, and participation.

We owe enormous gratitude to the Homer Youth String Orchestra Club for performing the world premier of their song Arctic Wonders and other compositions at the event. We thank Nina Faust for sharing stories, slides and films about, sadly departed, Edgar Bailey; for enlightening us about his terrific life of Alaskan conservation.

KBCS is grateful to Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware for their generous wine glass donation. We also owe thanks to Loopy Lupine, Two Sisters, Observance of Hermits bookshop, the Grog Shop, everyone who brought a potluck dish, and many others.

KBCS’ mission is to protect the environment of the Kachemak Bay region and greater Alaska by encouraging sustainable use and stewardship of natural resources through advocacy, education, information, and collaboration. We are grateful to live in a supportive community that share these values and understand the need for conservation.

Bjørn Olson, board member

Kachemak Bay Conservation Society

City Fund helps food pantry

On behalf of the Homer Community Food Pantry Board of Directors, volunteers and clients, I extend our sincere appreciation to the Homer Foundation and the City of Homer for the grant awarded from the City Fund. I cannot fully express the tremendous impact the Foundation has on our community and our clients.

The Homer Community Food Pantry provided for 759 households throughout 2017 which included 1,237 adults, 435 children, 187 senior citizens, 93 veterans and 253 disabled folks. In addition to providing groceries on a weekly basis, the Food Pantry also provides food boxes for families in need across the bay, snacks and food in bulk for the teens at Homer Flex and Homer High school, deliveries to shut-ins, disabled and the elderly as well as emergency assistance for shelter, utilities, fuel, and prescriptions.

With the generosity of The Homer Foundation, City of Homer and all of the wonderful residents of this community, we are able to do amazing things through the Food Pantry. We are truly blessed. Thank you from all of us at the Homer Community Food Pantry.

Cinda Martin, secretary

Homer Community Food Pantry

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