Point of View

Free to choose: Will voters choose freedom on Oct. 1?

The water was tranquil, with hardly a ripple as far as the eye could see. 

Dad had gone around the corner in the boat while the rest of us stayed on the long gray gravel beach. He returned a short while later with the floating dock from our cabin in tow. He anchored it off shore about 20 feet. From it, my brother and cousins and I could use it as a diving platform into the icy clear waters.

What others say:

Here, in the Juneau Empire newsroom, we all remember where we were 12 years ago when the World Trade Center was attacked.

Some were trudging across a college campus, only to find their classes empty and classmates huddled around television screens. Others were roused early out of bed, then off to work having to cover the incident in their own newsrooms. Many remember the exact moments of that day, what clothes they wore, how information unfolded and how the images on the television looked more like Hollywood fantasy than reality.

City needs to know residents value community recreation, want home and support for it

Did you notice? The city’s wish list has a gaping hole. For the last four years a Homer Education and Recreational Center has made it onto Homer’s Capital Improvements Projects list. Where is it this year? What are we doing about this? 

When speaking to Homer City Council members and city employees, they somewhat agree. Their response is that they have not heard from the people of Homer, the citizens who live here. 

Dear Alaska and Homer

We almost moved out of Alaska. This would make us part of “The Leavers.” You know, the super close friends that become like family. They move away and take a gigantic piece of your heart with them. The ones you think of during dark February nights, the ones you wish you could join across the bay for a hike, the ones you miss. 

We question The Leavers. Was it the winter? Too hard to make a living? Aging family? Some reasons we understand, others we judge. Winter — ha, learn to ski. 

Governor needs to do right by Alaska’s salmon habitat

Last week, the Parnell Administration ruled a wild salmon stream in Cook Inlet was “suitable” for large-scale coal strip mining.

You read that right. In response to a petition from local Alaskans looking to protect salmon habitat from the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine, the Parnell Administration said “no.” This wasn’t an attempt to stop the coal mine; it simply asked the governor to prevent mining through salmon streams. For most Alaskans, that’s a no-brainer.

You can help write next chapter in Pratt’s story

I am honored to be a member of the board of directors and part of the exciting work we are doing to write the next chapter in the Pratt Museum’s story. I want to share this exciting work with you today.

Imagine a dedicated gathering space to share stories and learn from each other.

Imagine a place where a person in a wheelchair will find no barriers.

What’s more offensive: stench or Kennedy’s yard?

I’ve lived in Homer for more than a quarter century. I have seen a lot of changes, but I still love the view that opens up if you’re driving down Baycrest Hill on a sunny day. I can’t reasonably explain how much I actually do love it. Together with the glorious feeling of awe I usually experience a faint and subtle sense of pride.  I don’t want to deny it. I feel proud that I live in this beautiful place, that so many people come visit in the summer. 

Immigration reform solution includes teeth, brains, heart

In the shadows of the Chugach, the Anchorage neighborhood of Mountain View is a bustling community that boasts the most diverse census tract in the entire United States of America, according to recent research.

Walking down the street or entering a restaurant, you encounter a wide range of Alaskans speaking dozens of different languages. It’s our own 907 “melting pot,” and there are dozens of such areas around our state where the wide range of backgrounds can be seen through our clothes, food and dialects.

Council sidetracks Wooden Boat Society’s plans

Referring to the June 24 Homer City Council meeting and resolution 13-068(A) Amending the Land Allocation Plan to Make the Southwestern Two-thirds Portion of Lot 2, Tract 1-A Fishing Hole Subdivision Available for Lease: Homer’s water-based community feels betrayed and disappointed at the result of this meeting. 

The council sidetracked the Wooden Boat Society’s long-standing application to lease a 100-foot-by-100-foot headquarters site on the Pier One Lot.

To speak up is to step up

As we celebrate Independence Day this year, let’s take a close look at what keeps us independent: the Constituion of the United States of America.  

The First Amendment has been on my mind of late. At the last Homer City Council meeting you may have heard Mayor Beth Wythe take you to task if you’ve been critical of your elected officials.  

“If you’re so concerned, step up. There are two seats open every year,” she said.

Let’s scrap the income tax, IRS now with Fair Tax bill

You may have noticed there’s a scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has acknowledged the targeting of conservative groups applying for IRS Code 501(c) status. This strikes at the heart of the freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. Regardless of political leanings, certainly we can agree that the 

misuse of such a powerful and feared bureaucracy is unacceptable. To paraphrase Shakespeare: Something is rotten on the Potomac.  

Homer inspires musical composition

When I lived in Homer, my teachers, mentors and friends knew me as a pianist. Since leaving Homer, I became increasingly interested in composition, and when I discovered the vibrant world of new classical music in New York, I resolved to make composing my life’s work. 

I got a master’s degree in composition from the Juilliard School, and since then I’ve been creating music for orchestras, small ensembles, choirs and electronics, working on numerous freelance projects to support myself. 

Extreme weather could be catalyst for change

Hearing what Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to dump into New York over the next 10 years to fortify it from the ever increasing threat of another superstorm made me wonder: Do you think the sight of BMWs and Mercedes and Lexus vehicles floating down Wall Street last fall in the midst of superstorm Sandy made for a holy floating car-Batman moment among Wall Street’s math wizards, as it seems to have for the mayor?

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