Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 7:47 PM on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

'Recycled yards' can be neat

As a longtime Homer resident, I take issue with certain statements presented at a recent city council meeting which implied that those who don't like junk in Homer are bourgeois yuppies from Outside who are trying to infringe on our Alaska rights and change Homer's time honored methods of shall we say having a "recycling yard." For every "outsider" blamed for trying to impose their aesthetic standards on our neighborhoods, there are even more "outsiders" who have come here over the years to get away from all those restrictions back home, so they can finally be free to strew their old refrigerators and junk cars all over their five acres, polluting the ground and leaving it to their heirs or taxpayers to clean up after they are gone.

This "right to litter" attitude, which has created numerous eyesores in our community and detracts from our incredible natural views, not to mention even spoiling the environment with toxic waste, has always appalled me. All it takes is a trip to more "civilized" countries to see how, with a little effort and pride and neighborly consideration, people such as the Swiss can have a chicken farm, a manure pile, farm machinery, building supplies and numerous old implements right in the middle of the town, neatly, organized, covered up, or stacked discreetly so as not to offend or pollute. I have tried to make this effort on my own farm, where I save and store many old junk items for future use.

In defense of Mr. Kennedy, I feel he has offered many of us a chance to find hard-to-find items over the years, a kind of local Northwest Auto Parts. His place looks fairly organized and not as offensive to my Swiss genes as some of the worse eyesores all up and down East End Road and in the back yards of many so-called "real" Alaskans.

Growing up on a homestead, I realize the value of recycling, saving and not wasting even one nail, but I also believe it can be done in an environmentally safe and aesthetic fashion.

Perhaps I am just too Swiss at heart, since I believe that pride in one's community can go hand in hand with frugality and practicality. Even my father, Yule Kilcher, who had quite a "used parts collection" under the trees, ended up placing a scenic conservation covenant on our 600-acre homestead, partly to restrict junk from accumulating all over the land as easily can happen over the generations.

For the record, I applaud any efforts to beautify our town, though with the understanding that some exceptions or accommodations may have to be made by all parties.

Having lived here more than 60 years, you could hardly call me one of those outside yuppies.

Mossy Kilcher