Just a thought on the recent recall effort of the Homer City Council members that is now resulting in a special election. I have read both sides of the issue and wanted to chime in. It’s interesting that myself looking at the email chain and somebody on the differing side of the issue have such a wide divide. To me, it shows that there was a personal motive for this initially being brought up.
Whether you are in favor of the state income tax or not, you should be aware of what appears to be a “bait and switch” by the elected proponents in state government.
They sold us a simple small percentage of fed tax bill, and delivered us a bill that is not fair to all Alaskans. They did not have the current proposal published during elections last fall.
I don’t like to be duped and deceived, and it is more upsetting that it comes from someone I respect and have supported in the past.
My wife, Faith, and I created three children. As they grew, they occasionally objected to our parental authority. (Especially in their teenage years.) As good parents, we never allowed such behavior. They would fully understand we are the parents and they are the child. They were pulled back to their natural place, as children, listening to their parents.
We, the people of Alaska, created our government. The people are the parents and government is the child. Today, the government in Juneau has stood up and opposed our parental authority.
The staff and especially the K-2 students of Fireweed Academy would like to thank Bunnell Street Arts Center and the Alaska State Council on the Arts for continuing to fund the Artist in Schools program. Courtesy of this program, local ceramicist Jeff Szarzi spent a week at Little Fireweed, presenting an interactive “Myths and Legends in Clay” program with our younger students. The kids spent time interacting with Jeff and each other as they explored the ever changing world of clay, creating pinch pots and pendants and experiencing a Raku firing on the playground.
This past Wednesday a group of high school kids and a group of elementary kids got together to have fun practicing soccer skills, and to support a fellow teammate and neighbor, all “Kickin’ it for Hoxie.” (See photo on page 17.) Thanks to a flexible and willing crew, 92 elementary kids participated in the fundraiser for Hoxie Parks, and the mini-camp exemplified the best of what positive things our small town can do when called on to contribute. The event was hosted and supported by Homer Parks and Recreation and Homer High School.
We’d like to thank everyone in Homer for the support we have received since our son Hoxie was diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks ago. It’s not easy being away from home while he receives treatment in Seattle but hearing of all the wonderful activities and events you have all held for him keeps some smiles on our faces.
The South Peninsula Haven House Board of Directors and staff would like to thank the community of Homer and surrounding area for your generosity in helping make our annual “Women of Distinction” event an overwhelming success. You truly opened up your hearts and generously parted with your hard-earned cash — through the gentle encouragement of Gary Thomas, our auctioneer extraordinaire.
Those in attendance helped us celebrate, and honor the contributions of Kelly Cooper, Lyn Maslow, Casey Marsh, and Donna and Bernie Gareau.
Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club invites you to apply for a mini grant that we are offering to a few local entities. These are for local projects that will benefit the community and or its children, and will range in amounts up to $1,000, depending on the scope of the project, value to the greater Homer area and availability of funds.
We are especially interested in projects where our members can also be involved.
Please email Milli Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org for application forms.
I’m greatly disappointed that the effort to recall city council members is proceeding to a vote. Recall is an extreme act, meant for removing from office before the end of a term an official for “misconduct in office, incompetence, or failure to perform prescribed duties.”
The Alaska Dispatch News ran a survey this past winter to find out how Alaskans felt about climate change. Here is what they discovered: 24 percent of Alaskans worry “a great deal” about climate change, 26 percent worry “not at all” and the rest of the respondents fell almost equally into the “worry some” and “don’t worry much” camps. This timely poll helps inform Kachemak Bay Conservation Society’s Alaskans Know Climate Change education campaign.
I want to express my deepest appreciation and respect for the commitment and hard work our three Homer City Council members, Catriona Reynolds, Donna Aderhold and Dave Lewis have given this community. I have worked with each of them over the years in circumstances both in and outside their council positions and have always regarded their efforts highly.
I want to express my appreciation for the often thankless work that is done to benefit our community by city employees and elected officials, in particular the three council members who are currently under attack for having brought forward a resolution to reaffirm Homer’s commitment to tolerance, inclusivity, and safety for everyone. Although an early draft of the resolution produced controversy, I believe the final draft would have spoken well for Homer.
Within any group of people there will be differing opinions. The people that volunteer to be city council members ideally will represent all of the people in our community. This would include not only those who oppose Resolution 17-019, but also, all of those citizens who were in favor of the resolution, as well.
I find it disappointing, to say the least, that a recall effort has begun against Homer City Council members Catriona Reynolds, Donna Aderhold and David Lewis. They have done nothing to merit such action or disrespect. Some may have disagreed with the aim of the inclusion resolution or the resolution concerning the pipeline, but bringing to the table matters constituents have urged the council to consider is precisely what representative government requires.
It is time for us to all talk about the Elephant in the Room. The giant pink, 10,000-pound elephant that is truly responsible for the chain of events leading up to this profoundly sad recall effort of three council members in Homer.
The elephant, my friends, is Donald J. Trump.
Homer is a microcosm — a mirror — of what is happening all across this country. A nation divided to an extent that I cannot recall ever before in my 58 years. This new Administration has polarized us in a way that is truly unprecedented.
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As a 62 year old, lifelong Alaskan, I have rarely witnessed as much dysfunction in a legislative session as occurred in 2016. The inability of our elected representatives to craft a budget with even a glimpse of sustainability for the future was appalling. It made Vecogate pale in comparison.
I have worked with the Homer City Council, with city commissions, and with various city staff people over the last five years around practical challenges like Old Town and Pioneer Avenue revitalization, trails and sidewalks to schools. I believe every sitting council person, then and now, cares deeply about our community. Each represents a different Homer viewpoint. A council is designed to have different voices, and to be stronger as a result. They must work with each other, even when — especially when — viewpoints are different.
We are neighbors. We might have different beliefs, interests, concerns, struggles, lifestyles. We might practice a different faith or none at all. We might be from a different social group, a different income bracket, a different age group, but we are neighbors. As your neighbor I will do my best to not let these differences affect my ability to listen, respect, tolerate, share and support you when and where I can. I will try to do this even in the most difficult times, because that is what good neighbors do.
Mr. Lewis, Ms. Reynolds and Ms. Aderhold are wonderful people. They would help out anyone in a jam. This idea of a recall is just throwing salt on an open wound. These are troubled times. We are not united. But to attempt a petition for a recall is adding to the divide. Let’s talk it out. Agree to disagree, but let’s work together to continue our journey with peace in our hearts. Move forward Homer, because in the end, that is what we all really want.