By Lindsey Schneider
Point of View
great untold story of Alaska’s economic success is our vibrant fishing industry, including commercial and sport fishing. If we manage these renewable resources well, then Alaskans will continue to profit from our fisheries. However, short-sighted decisions on state and federal legislation could reduce the health of our fisheries and associated economic benefits.
(Editor’s Note: Homer High School student Zoe Storey writes that she recently found herself frustrated with the teen talk of the September assault and wanted to write a fictional story that displayed a way someone could speak up for their peers in a subtle yet effective way. In the fictional story which follows, she provides a method from the Green Dot program, which trains community members how to intervene when they see violence, including using creative skills to distract people.
(Editor’s Note: April is STD Awareness Month and this week is Public Health Week.)
You might have seen the headlines — year after year Alaska is ranked
No. 1 for chlamydia. In fact, Alaska continuously ranks at or near the top when
it comes to both chlamydia and gonorrhea.
While it was instructive to read our mayor declare in these pages that Homer is open for business, the descriptive comments made by our town’s putative leader as to our economic future left this reader with many concerns.
Alaska salmon runs are increasingly threatened. Loss of habitat, poor management and uncertain food supplies are but a few reasons. Some of these things are within our control. Some are not.
That’s why we need to protect the habitat we know is vital to salmon survivorship. When you look across the globe at the decline of once-proud salmon runs — from Europe to the Pacific Northwest — the one thing we know about our limited understanding of salmon is that they need clean flowing waters and healthy streamside habitats to endure.
In 1975, right out of high school, I went to work on the pipeline for a year. I then worked my way through Harvard University in the oil field. After college, I held a number of jobs in Prudhoe from field engineer to maintenance scheduling supervisor field wide for SOHIO. These were the early days when liquor flowed and tongues were loose. We had just built the pipeline and were building out the field.
I remember first meeting Kevin Bell when I was 6 years old at the outdoor rink up at the Homer Middle School. It was after my older brother's peewee hockey practice. He introduced himself to me as "Kevin," but I had grown up knowing him as "Coach." He tried convincing my mom to let me play hockey, but there was one problem holding me back: I didn't have any equipment for the sport. It was a big problem for me, but for him, it was just another case of giving a kid some used equipment.
What Gov. Jay Hammond actually wrote may not be exactly what Sen. Peter Micciche remembered at his town meeting last Friday in Homer.
The senator said he agreed with Hammond that 66 percent of oil income belonged with government. Of course, with ACES, the escalator clause has raised the state take, reduced the industry percentage below one-third and had no affect on federal taxes. What big oil and the senator advocate is reducing the state share one or two billion a year.
I met Sen. Micciche at the Homer Town Hall meeting on March 8.
My comment to him began by saying I was impressed with his Homer News story, Feb. 28, where he met with former Alaska Sen. Vic Fisher and "… ended up having a great history lesson for about 30 minutes." I mentioned that I had seen the recent PBS special with Vic Fisher and was especially impressed when he described that the constitutional delegates were "more interested in being Alaskans than being Democrats or Republicans." I said that I hoped our current legislators could share that same focus.
I want to ask the questions that make us bristle. The goal: investigate something that makes me uncomfortable while holding a space of compassion, i.e. no judgment.
Isn't the burlesque show, which raises money for community nonprofits, just trumped up stripping? The charitable giving just a smoke screen that makes it acceptable for people to take their clothes off in public?
We were pleased to see Sen. Mark Begich's comments about the EPA's watershed assessment for Bristol Bay during his recent visit to Homer.
While many of our elected officials in Alaska and Washington, D.C., have taken an ill-informed, uncompromising stance against the watershed assessment, Sen. Begich's comments represent a rational approach in line with the vast majority of his constituents.
Last week, Dr. Allan Gee, the Homer High School principal, disallowed my daughter, Barae, from participating in the Alaska State Nordic Ski Championships because she missed more than 10 minutes of her first period class before her team traveled to Anchorage the day before the event. As a freshman parent I had not heard of this "10 minute rule" before. And neither had my daughter.
I'm thrilled. Young women are leading the way on women's rights in Homer and in the world.
Zoe Story, 17, a Homer High School student, described how gaunt versions of girls and women in fashion magazines reduce self-esteem and encourage eating disorders like anorexia. In a Homer News Point of View piece, she pledged to stop reading Glamour magazine and challenged us to do the same (Homer News, Point of View, Dec. 5).
Recent challenges to the new railroad to Port MacKenzie in Knik Arm have prompted calls to punish the public interest groups who challenged this short-sighted project. As the chief advocate for one of those groups, I think citizens should be rewarded for trying to save Alaskan tax dollars while protecting our dwindling salmon populations in Upper Cook Inlet.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
-- Albert Einstein
"In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."
-- Eric Hoffer
I have called Alaska home for more than 40 years. Anyone who has been here that long knows that we are a resource driven state — fish, oil, gold, coal and other minerals, timber — unless and until we tap those resources we starve and freeze in the dark. It’s the only reason we have roads and schools and so many of the services we take for granted.
I’ve resisted the urge to write in response to those with extreme anti-corporate leftist views that so regularly appear in our weekly paper, but this time I cannot sit by without a response to last week’s letter from Jessica Tenhoff. She states in her letter that we should “Occupy Economic Development. Occupy the Economic Development Forum. Stop the Madness Here.”
OK, so let us all do it, Jessica. How about we start with your business of yurt building in Homer?
Property along East Skyline Drive, from East Hill Road to half a mile past the school bus turn around and all along Ohlson Mountain Road past Lookout Mountain, is all private property. There is no public land in this area anywhere along these two roads.
Skyline landowners remind snowmachine operators that running your machine anywhere in this area is illegal and driving off the roadway constitutes trespass on private land.
The Homer Water and Sewer Rate Task Force is fast approaching its final phases. Currently it’s reviewing its rate model for an April presentation to the city council. One issue within the rate-model that remains controversial is it’s “fairness,” as applied to all users. Although the model will assuredly be tweaked in response to recent public input, fundamentally I believe it’s a fair assignment of costs.