Story last updated at 12:46 p.m. Thursday, September 19, 2002

Homer has much to offer
It is said that "Homer is a small drinking village with a fishing problem." Nothing is farther from the truth. Homer is an interesting, intriguing and vital growing community. Its people are gracious, talented, knowledgeable and well educated, albeit also a bit myopic.

With the diminishing income from forest and sea, a tourist Mecca we soon shall be. The Bypass will become the direct route to the Spit, through town and out. We must alter this plan at once, ASAP, now.

The purpose of a community financed primarily by tourist trade is to capture -- purse seine -- this interest to our benefit. We need courtesy within our businesses, easy and off parking, lovely places to stay, eat and play. Most of all we need a central business to hold their attention.

The Town Square project is a great step in this direction. Couple this with the growth of the programs to be offered by the Pratt Museum, Old Town, the Fish and Wildlife Center and the Visitors Center draw guests along the Bypass.

Therefore, a parking area, accessible to all, could be served by a jitney service, running on a schedule, supported by the businesses with a fee (or minimal fee) to deliver guests to the Town Center, participating business, the museum, Old Town and sporting and parking areas. An additional service could become a direct route from the town central area to the Spit and Land's End.

The expanding programs to be offered by the Pratt Museum are in response to the community need and enhances our ability to encourage visitors to linger at will. This means there is a need for an increased footprint for the Pratt Museum and its grounds. The increased interest of the community drives the programs, exhibits and acquisitions for these projects. It is also necessary that community aid finance the developments of these projects.

The bottom line is this: the longer tourists stay, the more they spend, the more our gain. Our goal is to keep the tourists here longer than they have planned.

Frederica Hall, president, Patrons of the Pratt Society