Letters

Letters

Seaton wrong person for Juneau

After reading the letters this past week, I am conflicted on which to respond to: the nonsensical hyperbole of Bob Shavelson or the confusion of Martha Ellen Anderson.

I shall attempt to respond to the Seaton letter, as Bob’s is so ludicrous reasonable folks will determine that for themselves. Concerning Mr. Seaton, I don’t know whether the writer is misinformed or uninformed, but the facts are easy to discover.

Mr. Seaton is absolutely the wrong person to send to Juneau, for the sake of this state’s future. He has mislead the voters on his political allegiance ever since he was first elected to the House. He demonstrated this last election cycle by running as a Republican and, the day after the election, joined with Stutes and LeDoux in switching to the Democrat team to give the Dems control, clearly predetermined before election day. This move has been disastrous for Alaskans financially.

Last year they kept the legislature in session almost the entire year, burning through $3 million plus just in per-diem, at a time when we are in a $2.5 billion deficit. All in an attempt to implement a state income tax which would have driven the final nail in our coffin. He supported Mr. Walker stealing our PFD for three years in a row, which was unnecessary and foolish. He supports the governor’s wasteful efforts to build a gasline; yet another boondoggle in a long string of such. We are paying a guy in Texas $750,000 per year to “market” this gasline that is not built, that is intended to bring to market natural gas that we don’t own, to sell to untrustworthy customers (China). What could possibly go wrong? We have spent well over $ 1 billion on this pipe dream, with nothing to show for it.

The one thing Walker did good was to veto an expenditure of $500,000 out of last year’s budget that was put in by Seaton to study vitamin D. If you want info on vitamin D, Google it.

Vote Vance to preserve the PFD, for a sound economic future, a true stateswoman we can trust.

Duane Christensen

Remember Exxon Valdez decision

I am concerned with the upcoming confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court and I have a few questions for the voters in our lovely community.

Do you, a citizen of the United States, think it is not important who is placed on the Supreme Court? Have you noticed that when conservative judges vote on big money issues vs. the citizens of the U.S., that Big Money tends to win at unprecedented rates? Do you remember the findings of the U.S. vs. Exxon in the Exxon Valdez debacle? Did they find on the side of the citizens negatively affected by that drunk captain? Did you receive the monies you lost because of that oil spill? Did the pennies on the dollar you received redeem the losses you incurred?

Should Kavanaugh really be confirmed when only a minimal amount of his documents has been given to our Senate to enable them to make an educated decision concerning his confirmation? Do you still think it is not important to care who is appointed a lifetime tenure to the United States Supreme Court?

Please become a voice in this process. Call Senator Lisa Murkowski at 202-224-6665 to tell her of your concerns.

Kim Burrows

Bear viewing needs restraint

People from around the globe are in awe of the natural beauty of Kachemak Bay and the activities that provide them an intimate look into Alaska. The many visitors I spoke with this summer came from places where the natural world no longer exists or is compartmentalized into small parks and zoos. Those pressures that have destroyed entire ecosystems Outside are a clear and present danger in Homer and Alaska.

The bear viewing industry is one example. I made the decision to partake in a bear viewing experience and while my guide was professional and ethical, there are others who have managed to turn this once quiet, unobtrusive viewing experience into something resembling an amusement park. One particular guide has an airboat which is located at the entrance of Lake Clark National Park. Imagine the scene where groups of people are photographing bears catching fish while the noise from the airboat pierces your ears with such horrendous noise that you have to cover your ears to protect them. The airboat traveled closer to the bears as the tide changed, intruding on their space. People would get off of the boat to get as close to the bears as possible. Lack of concern for others who pay a significant amount of money to view bears undisturbed and the need to protect the bears from human intrusion has been lost.

I urge local, state and federal agencies to do more to address the pressures being exerted by the bear viewing industry. I support the work of ethical bear viewing guides who understand that minimizing the impact will result in a better experience for both the bears and tourists and encourage them to work together to establish guidelines for safe and ethical bear viewing practices.

Patricia Cue

What’s up with teacher negotiations?

I have been surprised at the lack of coverage in the media regarding the negotiations between the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and their employees, both certified and support staff. Am I the only one wondering how negotiations are going? We have been informed in the news regarding the Anchorage School District employees; they are working without a current contract … well so are the employees of the KPBSD, but they do not have a current contract.

If anyone has any information and would like to share it, I believe the taxpayers and citizens of the Peninsula have a right to know how negotiations are moving forward.

Education has always been extremely important to me, as a retired employee of 26 years with the District and now someone incredibly precious to me is being educated in the Homer schools…our grandson. The KPBSD has always been able to pride itself on employing the greatest teachers and support staff in the state.

I hope both sides are bargaining in good faith and the outcome will be fair to all. As a result, the KPBSD can retain the “best” in the state. The children of the Kenai deserve no less.

Debbie Turkington

Vote Lewis for mayor

I’m so glad David Lewis is running for City Mayor! I’ve known David for many years, and he is remarkably qualified for this position.

David served on the City Council for nine years. During this time, he worked on many important ordinances and other City issues and served on the Harbor Improvement Task Force and the Large Vessel Haul-out Commission.

In addition, David has a broad knowledge base and a wide range of life experiences. He was a teacher for over twenty years in the bush and here in Homer. He worked at the college here with the Youth Job Training Program for eleven years.

One of David’s greatest strengths is his skill in getting along with people. He listens and really welcomes input; he takes suggestions and is skilled in the process of working together to accomplish a goal. Overall, people feel he wants to understand their viewpoint and that he genuinely cares about what they present to him for consideration. And, I could add: David has a great sense of humor when needed!

Besides his experience working on the City Council, his wide-range of skills, and his ability to work with people very effectively, the most important characteristic our mayor should have is a clear vision for the future of Homer. What do we want Homer to look like for our grandkids and great-grand kids later on? David sees a Homer that has a sound economic base, responsible development, many good jobs, sustainability, and safe healthy citizens.

I believe that is an excellent vision combined with excellent qualifications and the means to make that vision possible.

Lani Raymond

Dunne is best choice for assembly

The election for the KPB District 9-South Peninsula Assembly seat will be Tuesday, Oct. 2. I am supporting current Assembly member Willy Dunne and I urge voters to do the same. Willy has voted for issues that are important to me including full funding for schools and balancing the KPB budget. Willy is a passionate outdoors enthusiast. His work on community trails projects includes Resolutions promoting Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, Tsalteshi Trails, Snomads and the Homer Outdoor Wilderness Leaders. While other members of the Assembly attempted to reduce the boundaries of the South Peninsula Hospital Services Area, Willy worked on compromise legislation to allow voters an opportunity to modify the boundaries without negatively impacting hospital finances. He works tirelessly to represent his constituents and I have on numerous occasions contacted him with concerns regarding road service and safety issues and strengthening fish habitat rules. Willy is a 31 year resident of the Borough and understands the importance of protecting and enhancing the quality of life on the South Peninsula. Please vote for Willy Dunne.

Patricia Cue

Castner is good but Lewis is better

I have two friends who are running for mayor. Both have demonstrated their commitment to make our city better. Either could be a notable mayor. I encourage everyone to read their candidate statements on the City of Homer website because they are distinctly different candidates and their statements give a glimpse of what each thinks is important for us to know.

I am supporting Dave Lewis because I believe his experience on the city council including work on port and harbor issues puts him in a great position to be our mayor right now. I believe he can represent the city well as it proceeds with harbor expansion plans and working to keep our city a desirable place to live and vacation.

I agree with Ken that consensus is desirable, but unlike Ken I think it seems sensible on a six-member council for the mayor to vote. In many cases the splits we have seen are philosophical about what cities should address or how development should happen. Sometimes a decision needs to be madeand I am more comfortable having a mayor willing to weigh in as a yes or no vote instead of allowing all split votes to fail. Unlike Ken, I like mayoral proclamations. For me it has been enlightening to see and hear about some of the great people and work being done in our community and I like it that the city takes a bit of time to recognize these people, organizations, and social issues. I have heard quite a few proclamations and this recognition brings people to the meetings. It is one way the city is connecting to the people who live, work and volunteer here and brings attention to the great work being done and the problems we still face.

Local elections are often overlooked by voters but I encourage everyone to learn about our friends and neighbors who are candidates and exercise your right to vote.

Lynn Takeoka Spence

Castner is best of two good candidates

The upcoming mayoral election in Homer presents us with the pleasant opportunity to choose between two quality candidates. It is pleasant because I think either man would perform the job well, but difficult because we can only choose one.

I am writing to endorse candidate Ken Casner. I believe he will bring the positive, energetic, respectful, leadership our City Council needs now. Ken has given so much of his time, effort and energy to various groups in Homer. These vary in interest from the Homer Foundation to Nutcracker Productions. Although the groups vary, they share in common the desire to make Homer a better place to live. Ken’s goal is always to make Homer a positive environment for all it’s citizens.

Having worked with Ken for many years I can testify to his fairness, and desire to do the right thing. We haven’t always agreed, but he has always been an excellent listener, and always taken time to explain his views. When our discussions have concluded, I’ve always felt heard, respected and ready to move on. Plus he always has a good joke.

Thank you for your time. Please listen to what Ken has to say, and then I think you will vote for him, too.

Michael McKinney

Vote Aderhold for council

When I contemplate who to vote for, I look for signs of how each candidate moves in the world, what choices he or she has made personally, professionally and politically in life, what each believes it means to be human, and what others say about that person. I also look at who is saying what.

I start, of course, with what I, myself, value. For me, that is finding the deep meaning of things: humans, the Earth, the balance and beauty in both and between the two. I try to serve whatever maintains and nourishes that balance and health. I think of the big picture: past, present and future. Because if government is anything good, it is the gathering of all the best impulses of humankind and society to serve that balance by using resources, laws and dialogue with each other and with the natural world to shape the society for the good of all — well into the future. That’s the kind of person I look for when I vote.

That’s why I’m voting for Donna Aderhold. She cares, she thinks, she listens, she holds the big picture in mind. She has spent her life doing all those things: her careful science, her open mind, her listening ear, her caring attention to detail and to those in need, and her walking and bike-riding work ethic. On the council she has sponsored clear-eyed, organized and practical solutions to enhance life in Homer. What I know about Donna resonates with the things I care about, and the hope I have for Homer’s future in this inimitable place. I need government on all levels to be taking the big picture into account, working with facts, intelligence and compassion. Donna Aderhold does that.

Carol Ford

HCOA arts scholarship appreciated

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to HCOA for the Summer Youth Arts Scholarship that I received. Thank you for providing a valuable learning experience for youth through your scholarship application process. I was required to submit an application, write an essay on what my art form means to me, interview in front of a panel, and perform an original dance piece. This scholarship helped make it possible for me to attend the Central Pennsylvania 5 Week Summer Youth Dance Program in Carlisle, PA.

Here, I trained with over 500 students from across the United States and around the world under the guidance of distinguished instructors, including the renowned Marcia Dale Weary. This program focused on ballet technique, attention to detail, strength, stamina, flexibility, and nurturing artistic development. During my time in Pennsylvania, I gained an increased understanding and appreciation for the beautiful art of ballet, formed lasting friendships, learned important life skills, and grew as dancer and as a human. I am truly grateful for this experience.

Thank you HCOA for giving youth in our community the opportunity to explore the arts, develop their passion, and chase their dreams.

Sincerely,

Ireland Styvar

Franz is wrong on Stand for Salmon opposition

I appreciate Charlie Franz’s opinion on the Stand for Salmon Initiative published on the Homer News website, but he’s just plain wrong on several fronts.

First, the Stand for Salmon website has had the link to Ballot Measure 1 posted from the beginning. Go to www.standforsalmon.org/get-the-facts.

Next, the ballot initiative sets out common-sense, scientific standards for protecting our wild salmon. Under current law, the state need only find there’s “proper protection” for our salmon when green-lighting a project, and the term “proper protection” is undefined. And because there’s no public notice or comment on fish habitat permits today, Alaskans are completely cut-out of these backroom decisions. That makes no sense.

Finally, it’s important to connect the dots, and to see the bigger picture of what’s going on here. Recall the ballot measure to overturn our oil tax bill (Senate Bill 21) in 2014. SB 21 only passed the Senate because two ConocoPhillips employees voted for it. All the big oil and gas corporations bankrolled the SB 21 fight against oil tax reform, and they narrowly won. Then we had to pay these companies such exorbitant profits and tax credits – such as the billion dollar tax credit the Legislature approved this year – that our dividends got cut to pay for basic services.

According to a recent analysis, a family of four lost more than $15,000 in their PFD the past 3 years due to excess corporate profits and tax credits. Not surprisingly, these very same corporations — British Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and others — are fighting our right to protect out salmon under the Stand for Salmon Ballot Measure 1. Why? Because these giant corporations know, plain and simple, they can reap higher profits by cutting corners on salmon habitat protections.

So, don’t be fooled by the multi-million dollar ad campaign flooding our airwaves and internet. Vote “Yes for Salmon” on Ballot Measure 1.

Mako Haggerty

Republican Party is off the mark

Paul Seaton didn’t abandon the Republican Party; the party has strayed away from responsible politics. Many of us have been left out. Some of the issues raised by the Republican Party in the primaries (never the candidate, only the party) include restore the Permanent Fund, balance the budget, cut spending, improve law enforcement and no income tax. These sound bites are as unrealistic as they are in conflict with each other.

In a state where more than 80 percent of the government revenue comes from the oil industry, we are naturally tied to the rise and fall of this key commodity. Oil drives the state economy, not fish, not timber, not tourism nor even the military.

Let’s take “balance the budget.” Well, the Legislature has been trying to cut services for years in order to forestall using the Permanent Fund reserves or earnings. Citizen’s demands and a crumbling infrastructure have resisted such cuts. Citizens should not complain about law enforcement without providing the necessary funds for prosecutors, police and yes even public defenders.

Hypocrisy runs amuck in the political scene both local and national. Paul Seaton has taken steps to alleviate some of the state’s problems. I would suggest that the Republican Party needs to get real with a few meaningful ideas of how to fix state finances and skip the endless sound bites.

Philemon D. Morris, former mayor Kachemak City

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