Homer’s citizens and visitors encompass a wide spectrum of beach users: dog walkers, quiet seekers, coal collectors, off-road vehicle drivers, kayakers, paddle boarders, fat-tire bikers, picnickers, wave-watchers, painters, tide-poolers, birders, educational and recreational class attendees, and the many other user groups I likely forgot.
Point of View
he Kachemak Bay Science Conference held last week in Homer was a valuable opportunity for those who attended to gain perspective in scientific endeavors that effect all of us in a very local way.
Many experts gave presentations on everything from phytoplankton to elodea to marine vertebrates. I attended part of the conference, but was particularly interested in the presentation given regarding East Side Cook Inlet Razor Clam Stock and Fishery Assessment.
Tens of thousands of people came to Selma, Ala., this week to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, remembering the march 50 years ago in the struggle for voting rights.
I was one of them.
Editor’s Note: MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships) is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family, and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.
(Editor’s Note: The following recently was presented as Kachemak Bay Birders’ testimony to the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission and submitted as a Point of View piece.)
The Kachemak Bay Birders appreciates the recognition that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission is giving to ongoing user problems at Bishop’s Beach and Beluga Slough. These problems impact the quality of these sites as well as the enjoyment and safety of the many area residents and visitors that use Bishop’s Beach and Beluga Slough.
The good news is that the University of Alaska Anchorage Department of Music offers high quality degree programs that are meeting the employment and artistic needs of Alaska. The faculty are outstanding performers, scholars, and teachers. All three of our degree programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, and our undergraduate degree to prepare music teachers is considered a model program nationally.
About five years ago, I moved back to my hometown. I wasn’t exactly sure why, or how it was going to work. I hadn’t quite reconciled my adolescent memories of leaving Homer with the persistent and growing feeling that I needed to go back, needed Kachemak Bay and its beaches and its people. I just went.
I like my political leaders to be one-quarter aspirational and three-quarters grounded in reality. Mayors, like business leaders, need to look out for good opportunities, adapt to changing environments and set the course with long-range planning. Mostly we ask them to be predictable, conservative in a sense and follow reasonable plans.
The Latin name for the hemp plant is cannabis. Hemp is the English word.
Originally I was going to call this piece “why I’ve fallen in love with Homer,” but it’s more than that. In my three and a half years of living here, I’ve been up the Kenai Peninsula and as far down the head of the bay as Kachemak Selo. I know I will never be able to see all of the spectacular beauty of the Kenai.
Be still, my beating heart! I’m sitting at the table in the house at the lake. The sunlight is shading the mountains pink and gray and the stillness of frozen swamps and a soft crackle from the woodstove makes me want to freeze this moment as well.
I love this place.
I love its subtle isolation — a couple hours from town but miles from Internet or phone signals.
I love its cozy crowded nights with friends out for the weekend.
The well known phrase “knowledge is power” is an appropriate one to apply to cardiac disease and its preventable risk factors. The Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics reported that in 2011 the leading cause of death on the southern Kenai Peninsula was heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is also the leading cause of death in the United States.
It is with deep gratitude that I have submitted my letter of resignation to the board of directors for Homer Council on the Arts, effective June 30, 2015.
Opportunity is the operative word of the HCOA mission: providing opportunities for everyone in the community to experience and participate in the arts. And opportunity is what HCOA has so graciously offered me. I have learned so much, grown so much, and discovered the art of administration. I want to thank the HCOA board and the people of Homer for embracing me with warm and welcoming arms.
Editor’s Note: MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships) is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family, and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Alaska is one of the most productive commercial fishing economies on the planet. More than five billion pounds of seafood were pulled from the waters surrounding Alaska in 2012. This world-class catch generated $1.7 billion in Alaska ex-vessel value and earned Alaska the title of top U.S. seafood producer. We provide more than 55 percent of U.S. domestic seafood production. That’s nearly four times more seafood than the next largest seafood producing state.
Wikipedia defines philanthropy as the “love of humanity” in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing “what it is to be human” on the part of both the benefactor (by identifying and exercising their values in giving and volunteering) and the beneficiary (by receiving the gift).
It was probably the shortest job in the business. Marine pilot Captain Donal Ryan took the M/V Midnight Sun out of its anchorage off the tip of the Homer Spit to the pilot station near the green navigational buoy. From getting out of his car in the parking lot near the Salty Dawg to getting back in, the whole operation took only an hour. Ryan boarded the 839-foot vessel and ascended 10 flights of stairs to the bridge.
A recent study out of Princeton University found we no longer live in a democracy. According to the authors, “[t]he central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.” And an important component of this transformation is the rising incidence of secrecy.
As you are out and about during this unusual winter, a clipboard-wielding stranger might approach you and ask if you want to save king salmon. Don’t be fooled. The petition being peddled by professional signature collectors throughout the state won’t save Alaska’s iconic king salmon. In fact, it will hurt our great salmon runs and result in smaller harvests for everyone except a small group of Kenai River sportfishing guides, lodges and private landowners.
KBBI’s annual outdoor music festival Concert on the Lawn (COTL) turned 35 this past summer. The concert began as a one day thank you event to Homer following KBBI’s annual summer membership drive. A couple of flatbed trailers off Main Street, some microphones and speakers, Gary Thomas’ spaghetti and the show was on.