Point of View

Are we better prepared for big Cook Inlet spill?

Crude oil tankers and non crude fuel barges transit Cook Inlet all year round, and no one is prepared for a “worse case” scenario oil spill in Cook Inlet.

Subsequent to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, laws have been written, organizations created, and 25 years worth of meetings and stacks of paper and studies have gathered on shelves.

Are we “readier for a spill” than we were in 1989? Yes. But not much readier.

Flat tax better proposal than so-called ‘Fair Tax’

(Editor’s Note: The following Point of View was submitted in response to one about the Fair Tax that ran in the Homer News Aug. 28.) 

The “Fair Tax,” FT, is a fraud —  it is more wealth  redistribution, and a financial scam. In their own words, FT proponents proudly advertise that it is more progressive (more welfare). 

Do the math: SB 21 isn’t good for Alaskans

I taught math. I wasn’t good in math, but you want a teacher for whom math isn’t obvious. The textbook helped kids identify what they didn’t know. Then they asked other kids. They got points for asking, but big points for explanations. If they asked me, I’d explain ways I’d seen work for dozens of kids. Sometimes I’d get that look, that they didn’t understand how numbers worked.  After this last election, let’s try the math again.  

Walker, Mallott unite to better serve Alaska

On Nov. 8, 1955, Bob Bartlett addressed the Alaska Constitutional Convention in a speech titled, “Meeting the Challenge.” In asking the delegates to set aside their partisan concerns, he recognized the divergent interests and backgrounds that had assembled for the great task. 

Bartlett aptly stated: “Here, in this element of compromise, is the very essence of the democratic process.”  

Fairness: matter of opinion

The fairness of gas line assessments is a personal perspective. Recently Doug Van Patten wrote a reasonable opinion piece about his heartburn with the issue and he is not alone. Neither is Ken Castner who prevailed in court regarding condo assessment. 

When it comes to paying for city services most everyone has a personal opinion about the fairness of it. As chairman of the natural gas commission when the city organized it 5 years ago I have a slightly different take on the fairness of personal opinion.

Truth about vaccines not told

On Aug. 24, I learned about the breaking news regarding a major Centers for Disease Control coverup, perhaps the biggest and most devastating to come to light since the Tuskegee syphilis experiment conducted between 1932 and 1972. 

Today, myself and other mothers speaking out against our nation’s preposterous and insidious childhood vaccination schedule are shaking our heads in amazement that we’ve lived to see the day the world is shown undeniable proof of harm from the CDC itself. 

FairTax’s most important benefit: freedom

Arecent headline for a Homer News letter to the editor  caught my attention — “National sales tax wrong for Alaska.” The author was Mike Wenstrup, chair, Alaska Democratic Party. His purpose was to counter Mead Treadwell’s endorsement of a national sales tax which is known as the FairTax. To be expected, Mr. Wenstrup ignored some very important truths.  

Youth Advisory Committee nurtured attitude, habit of thinking outwardly

During my freshman year at Homer High School a youth-run group was formed. Its focus turned outward, to the needs of our community, at a time in our lives when self-absorption ruled.

The Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee, or YAC, provided support to organizations that served youth in healthy, affordable and easily accessible activities. There were 10 of us the first year, spanning middle through high school.

Condo owners not only group treated unfairly in gas line assessments

Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet ruled favorably on behalf of business condo owner Ken Castner; the rest of us Homer property owners need to pay attention to the repercussions. The condo owners have a legitimate beef, if you compare their gas line assessments to those of apartment owners. 

But no worries, there is plenty of beef to go around. The problem is that if the condo owners are let off the hook, someone has to pick up their tab. And fellow property owners, that means you and me. 

SB 21 is flawed: Alaska can do better

The referendum to repeal Alaska’s new oil tax legislation gives citizens the power to decide what is good for Alaska. It challenges us to make a simple choice about a complex issue where facts are scarce and arguments are many. 

But arguments without facts are opinions, and opinions are based on assumptions and motives that are not always visible. To be useful, opinions require trust as a substitute for facts. So what do we know? How can we decide? And who can we trust?

Vote ‘yes’ on one: Alaskans foolish to give away state’s resources for so little gain

Ballot Measure 1 is a divisive and complex issue.   Much confusion has been generated and I’ve been asked by many friends, “How am I supposed to vote?”  It’s really not for me to tell you how to vote, but I’m glad to tell you how I’m going to vote.

I’m going to vote “yes,” and I hope you will consider doing the same, though many of my colleagues and people I greatly respect don’t agree. I think this vote is going to be a squeaker either way. That’s why it is so important you exercise your civic right to vote, however you decide. 

Time to fix income tax system with fair tax plan

An issue that deserves our attention has recently surfaced in the debates between the Republican Party candidates who hope to unseat Sen. Mark Begich in the Nov. 4 general election. That issue is the 100-year-old income tax system which can only be described as a ridiculous, complex and intrusive mess. It is burdensome to tax filer, destructive to the economy and custom designed to invite political motivated abuse and corruption. It is broken beyond repair and the time has come to correct a 100-year-old mistake.

Who owns the sun? Or the fish?

It’s time for a little perspective.

A man once bought a block of land. On it, he built nice house, but nothing special. He invested in that house and built a family around it and gradually rebuilt the walls and windows, replaced the carpets, made general upgrades. He made those upgrades for the sake of his family and to hopefully one day get a return for the time and money he invested.

Creating safer community, one bystander at a time

“I was waiting for a bus in Philadelphia along with about a dozen others. There was this altercation happening, and all of us there at the bus stop chose to ignore it, including me. I realize looking back on it that collectively, we had created a culture of doing nothing.”

Sue Rennolds told this story during a Green Dot class and it still sticks with me. The familiar feeling of helplessness, hesitancy and mutual discomfort. I’ve been there. It’s called the bystander effect.

Vote Yes: Some answers on Ballot Measure 1

The governor has the ability to veto any bill he does not think is in the best interest of the state. The people also have the veto through a difficult petition and election process as seen in Ballot Measure 1. Although we would default to the prior tax system, ACES, a citizen “veto” of Senate Bill 21 does not create a new tax or prevent acceptable oil tax reform.

 

Q – Should Alaskans want less competition for our oil?

Area’s assembly members argue for, against bed tax

Editor’s Note: The Homer News asked Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members Bill Smith, who represents Homer on the assembly, and Mako Haggerty, who represents the rest of the southern peninsula, to share their views on a proposed bed tax. An ordinance that would put such a tax before voters in the October municipal election will get a second hearing before the assembly on July 22.

 

Proposal is way to restructure how we pay to attract visitors

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