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OPINION: Letters to the Editor

February 9th, 2017 | Staff Report Print this article   Email this article  

HOWL regrouping for 2018

HoWL (Homer Wilderness Leaders) has been empowering young leaders through outdoor education since 2009. By leading hundreds of kids on wilderness expeditions to learn leadership, stewardship and survival skills, HoWL has challenged our youth to engage with the environment, build a healthy peer community and explore this amazing place we call home, Kachemak Bay?

In addition, mountains of trash have been cleaned up, fences repaired, trails cleared, and numerous other community service projects completed through the DiRtBaG (Discount Rates to Boys and Girls) scholarship program?Youth who participate in this program earn credit for summer trips while working toward a common community service goal? HoWL reflects what many of us love most about living in Homer and why we choose to raise our families here.

Like many nonprofits in town, HoWL has faced its share of challenges? In 2015 HoWL's founder, Libby Bushell, transitioned out of the organization, and a group of dedicated volunteers stepped in to carry on her bright vision for what Homer-centered wilderness leadership could be? Then last spring, the sudden passing of HoWL's Executive Director, Rick MacBean, left the HoWL community in a state of shock and grief? The HoWL board, staff and community rallied to continue programming through the summer, but this enormous effort left HoWL depleted and near collapse.?A strengthened volunteer board of directors is now determined to carry HoWL's vision forward? The difficult decision has been made to suspend regular programming for the 2017 season and focus our energy on rebuilding the organization? We have already begun planning for a dynamic 2018 season? The dream of experiential outdoor education is alive in our vision for the future, and we invite you to join us.

It has always been the enthusiasm and support of not only the parents and kids, but our entire community, along with business leaders, that has made HoWL a vibrant force through the years. We welcome your continued support as we take up this challenge.

A heartfelt Hooooooooowwwwwwwwl to the work ahead!

The HoWL Board of Directors

Joel Cooper, President; Susannah Webster, Vice President; Kate Thompson, Secretary; Erik Niebuhr, Treasurer; Levi Kilcher; Kate Crowley; Olga von Ziegesar; Loreta Miller

Coastal Studies says

thanks for foundation grant

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS) would like to thank the city of Homer Grants Program administered through the Homer Foundation for the operational grant of unrestricted funds that we received this past year and for their support of the nonprofits in Homer?

Most non-profit organizations struggle to raise operational funds as many grantors prefer to fund projects and materials, and any operational funds that are received are extremely important to the administrative and overall functions of a nonprofit organization?

We are one of many nonprofits that offer important services to Homer residents? The local government dollars awarded by the City of Homer support our efforts to bring outdoor education programs to the community of Homer throughout the year and promote stewardship of our local resources?

Among the many ways that we try to contribute to the community, especially in the "off season" are the through conducting monthly story hour programs at the Homer Library, hosting multiple free programs at our headquarters building during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival and during the school year, producing a weekly Kachemak Currents radio broadcast on the natural history of Kachemak Bay, partnering with other local organizations such as the Homer Native Plant Society to bring evening lecture series to the public, providing monthly programs for the residents of the senior center and offering fun, engaging kid's activities at the Homer Famer's Market in the summer?

We have also conducted an annual clean-up of Kachemak Bay that involves more than 300 volunteers — many of them students in our local schools?

Through the annual CoastWalk clean-up our local volunteers typically remove more than 2,000 pounds of marine debris? Support from the city of Homer also helps us leverage funds for other grants for local projects and programs.

Operational funds are critical to "keeping the doors open" throughout the year. Thank you city of Homer for all you do to support local nonprofits that are working hard to contribute to the great quality of life we all appreciate in Homer.

Trowbridge, Executive Director

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

Thanks for Wolf Ridge Trail!

The Wolf Ridge trail has been providing some awesome skiing this winter? Thanks to the financial support from the members of the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, grooming and maintenance support by club member/volunteers, Cook Inlet Region incorporated for granting a use permit and Wise Services for snowcat grooming? The trail leaves from the McNeil Canyon Ski Trail System, at Mile 12 East End Road behind McNeil Canyon Elementary School?

Be cautious in brush-constricted locations where it overlaps with snowmachine and mushing trails? Thanks to snowmachiners for crossing perpendicular to the trail in open areas and keeping to one side where uses overlap? Snowmachine tracks on the trail can lead to some nasty spills for skiers? Dogs must be under voice control and their poop packed out from all ski club trails.?Watch for trail updates on the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club Facebook page and website? Become a member to support the great ski and snowshoe trails around Homer.?Nicky Szarzi


A big "thank you"

from your local ice rink

The Homer Hockey Association has run the Kevin Bell Arena for the last 11 years through incredible volunteer efforts, user fees, donations, and fundraisers. Every year, the HHA holds a raffle to raise important funds for our rink. Each of our members participates in the raffle and this year more than 270 people sold raffle tickets in our local area and beyond. Non-skaters and local businesses also contributed to our success. Once again, Homer Saw & Cycle donated a significant prize that was awarded to the individual who sold the most raffle tickets; this year that person sold 240 raffle tickets. The money we raise is used to keep the costs low for our broom ball, curling, figure skating, and hockey programs; it also allows us to offer a free Microbell learn to skate program. The winners of the raffle have been contacted and if you haven't heard from us, there's always next year. We would like to thank all participants for your continuing support of on-ice recreation in the Homer area.

Upcoming events are the eight team mite round-up on Feb. 24-26th and the Nomar Winter Carnival free public skate on Feb. 11. See you at the rink!

Charlie Stewart

KBA Board Member

KBBI recognizes donation

KBBI would like to recognize and appreciate a donation from the David and Mary Schroer Donor-Advised Fund at the Homer Foundation for general station operating support. Thank you David and Beth for your sustaining gift and philanthropy! Because of your commitment to KBBI AM 890 you continue to help connect and engage your community.

And thank you to all our members, sustainers and underwriters for supporting your local public radio station!

Alder Kaitlin Seaman

KBBI Development Director

Emblem Club supports GED

Imagine: you were unable to complete high school, so getting a job is difficult? But you have studied and you are now ready to pass the GED high school equivalency exam, which will open doors to jobs, vocational training and college. How exciting? But there is another barrier: you can't afford the $120 national testing fee? Luckily, the Homer Emblem Club has donated funds to be used for these fees. The Kachemak Bay Campus Adult Basic Education Program and our students would like to acknowledge and thank the Emblem Club for its generous donations that help our students successfully complete their exam—and move on toward reaching their next goals in education and employment?

Lolita Brache

ABE Program Coordinator

Kachemak Bay Campus-KPC

Murkowski's party questioned

Like a lame caribou being culled from the herd by a pack of wolves, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been singled out by the Democrats and labor unions? Their aggressive campaign to tear apart the republican majority in Congress has found willing support from Murkowski on the DeVos nomination?

Without a strong majority, government-hindered projects like ANWAR will never become reality? If this is Murkowski's goal, why is she allowed to continue calling herself a Republican? If the caribou herd is ever going to arrive in ANWAR it must remain strong and united?Anyone else remember "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"?

Mike McBride

North Kenai


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