Point of View

Purpose. Care. Give. Pick. Click. Give. allows Alaskans to pay it forward

It’s the season for Pick.Click.Give., the concept that we pay it forward and give to nonprofits of choice. This act satisfies the human need to give out of one’s abundance and also supports the saying, “It’s easier to give than to receive.” It also allows nonprofits to plan next year’s budget.

That said, I suggest we consider this idea. We give because we care, and we care because a purpose fuels why we care. Allow me a personal story.

Anti-salmon, anti-democracy bill still in play

The Senate Resources Committee is holding hearings this week on House Bill 77.  HB 77 is Gov. Sean Parnell’s grab bag of anti-salmon, anti-democracy rollbacks that grants new super powers to our state government while stripping away our rights as Alaskans to protect our fish and game resources. Despite claims that recent amendments “fix the bill,”  little has improved.  

Every Alaskan who cares about salmon and democracy should speak out on HB 77.

Reserve deserves to be fully funded

As one of the original Homer community members who worked to have Kachemak Bay selected as the first National Estuarine Research Reserve in the state of Alaska, I strongly urge the Legislature to reinstate the $175,000 in funding that was deleted from the budget for the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The rigorous selection and approval process to create this preserve is a feather in Alaska’s cap. 

2014 Board of Fish meeting: Cynical synopsis by inlet drifter

The Board of Fisheries has been meeting in Anchorage recently with their focus on Upper Cook Inlet fisheries management.  I was there for most of it, as I have been for nearly 40 years.

Remember long ago when the Marlboro man advertised the benefits of smoking?  Many of you are too young for this one, but at one time in the recent past smoking was advertised as being good for you. Clearly this idea has been disproven by science.

State needs to be cautious when extending its ‘open for business’ invitiation to anyone

In Alaska, and more recently, in Homer, we frequently here the mantra we’re “open for business.”  The intent of course is to present a business-friendly face to potential investors so our community can reap the promised benefits of jobs and contracts such businesses might bring.  

But “open for business” has to mean something more than simply open to any business, because if not, we’ll attract corporations to Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay with low standards and a profit-at-any-cost mentality. And local residents ultimately will bear the cost.

Grace Notes at the End of the Road

Editor’s Note: As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Homer News has asked former “Newsies” to reminisce about their time at the newspaper and some of the top stories of the day. 

In the second such piece, Tom Kizzia, former managing editor, talks about his time at the Homer News in three separate stints — from 1975-76, 1977-78 and again briefly in 1989. 


Setting record straight: WKFL was cult, not some utopian commune

It was mentioned at a recent Homer City Council meeting that some of our young people need to know just who brother Asaiah was, and that others might forget. Brother Asaiah, a one-time member of WKFL, donated the former organization’s property to the city of Homer for a park. I believe he requested that the park be named in honor of its former owners, WKFL.  

Homer Winter Carnival: It’s all about community

While planning this year’s Homer Winter Carnival, I learned something unexpected about our community.  I feel strongly that it is important to share with all of you. 

In nearly all off my conversations with various organizations, I was told  “We have a small number of volunteers and need more members to step up.”  The second consistent statement was “We have to find new ways to fund raise, there are more people in need than ever before.” 

Public money spent on private schools will not improve education in Alaska

In his Jan. 9 Point of View article part-time resident Joe Balyeat wrote that Alaskans should amend Article 7 of the State Constitution in order to eliminate the sentence “No money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution.” 

Kenai kings face long odds, but it’s not too late

The Kenai king controversy has connected some dots for me. I was born in Alaska in 1950 and raised on the banks of the Kenai River. I have collected empirical data (“a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation”) with regard to Kenai kings and the Kenai River for 63 years. I have  witnessed the changes: the tendency over the past 40 years towards overuse, overharvest, and in-river habitat destruction. 

Morris series strangely silent on habitat issues

M

orris Communications is the Georgia-based media group that owns the Peninsula Clarion, Homer News, Juneau Empire, Alaska Journal of Commerce and numerous other media holdings in Alaska. In November, company chairman William Morris III announced a special 10-part series to help Alaskans “find the facts” about declining king salmon runs.

Job growth forecast for Alaska in ’14

The Parnell administration remains committed to growing opportunity for Alaskans. As we look ahead to 2014, our economists forecast Alaska adding 1,500 jobs — 2,400 new private sector jobs, diminished some by a decline of 900 government jobs.

Alaska added more than 1,500 jobs through the first half of 2013, and Alaska is one of just a handful of states that has recovered all of the jobs lost during the recent recession. Alaska’s unemployment rate has been below the national rate for a record 61 consecutive months as of November. 

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