Point of View

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. 

Alaskans should resign themselves to ‘ice wars’

have spent the better part of my Alaskan winters trying to outsmart ice. Ice has become my personal obsession. I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve spent trying to figure out how to keep ice from creeping, seeping and expanding into places I don’t want it to go. After a lifetime of struggle trying to win the ice wars, I have come to this conclusion: Ice has a mind and a life of its own. 

For healthier community, Homer needs rec center, not bigger police, fire station

I have grown up in Homer, graduating from Homer High in 2010. I have recently heard talk about a recreation center to be built in Homer. 

I have dreamed of this day since I fell in love with basketball years ago, shooting hoops in my driveway in the frigid cold, trying to perfect my shooting stroke whilst wearing insulated gloves to keep myself from freezing, hoping that someday I would just be able to play ball in a real gym whenever I wanted.

In defense of city employees: Workers should come before money for chamber, museum, rec studies

As a card-carrying conservative who might well have taken pleasure in last week’s Homer News editorial casting a less than favorable eye on the health insurance package of city employees, I find that I do not. In fact, I see both a lack of appreciation for the pay scale of city employees and an uninformed opinion regarding public sector employment in Alaska. 

Nordic ski trails: Only skis, snowshoes during wintertime

It’s been a slow and frustrating start for Homer Nordic skiers this year. We’ve only had a couple of snowfalls, and even though the groomers have been doing their best, there’s only so much you can do before 6 inches of snow is compacted to ice. Add a week of balmy weather and a few sprinkles, and you’re almost back to bare ground.

HB 77, aka, the Silencing Alaskans Act

As a long-time Alaskan who has lived in Alaska since 1969, I will not be silenced by House Bill 77.  I firmly believe in the responsibility of citizens to engage in governmental decisions because we are part of the checks and balances on government. 

HB 77 is a corporate giveaway of citizens’ rights to participate in the permitting process under the guise of making the permitting process better.  Who will benefit? Large corporate mining companies, not citizens, not habitat and not wildlife.

Kenai River chinook need more spawning protection

In recent years we have seen a troubling pattern of near record low returns of both early and late run Kenai River chinook salmon. We believe the declines in statewide chinook fisheries are largely due to marine survival issues, however, we also feel that part of our Kenai River decline can be linked to in-river harvest patterns, fishing on middle river mainstem spawning fish throughout July, insufficient spawning area protections, selective harvest of our larger age-class fish, and multiple years of over-harvest of the population due to biased high sonar counts.

House Bill 77 would take away Alaskans’ constitutional rights

I wanted to bounce a few ideas off of you all regarding House Bill 77. Seems to me it is another attempt by the wrecking crew down there in Juneau to take away some of our 1959 Alaska state constitutional rights. Article 8 of the Alaska Constitution states that all citizens are guaranteed fish and water rights. 

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