Letters

Letters

Thanksgiving basket deadlines

Hello again, just wanted everyone to know that the Thanksgiving basket applications are now available. There will be someone at the Food Pantry from 1-3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5. and 12. The cut off for submitting applications will be Nov. 14.

Forms can also be found at First National Bank of Alaska and Anchor Point Food Pantry. Ninilchik will find theirs with Jane Smith at the Senior Center. If you have any questions, please call and leave a message at 235-8761 and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Again to all you wonderful citizens of Homer, if you would like to donate, it would be greatly appreciated. Please send your checks to Kachemak Bay Lions, P.O. Box 1824 Homer, AK 99603

Yours in service for more service,

Fran Van Sandt, Chairman

Kachemak Bay Lions Thanksgiving Basket Program

Support Seaton

It was fun to share a passionate gathering Saturday, Oct. 20, with State Rep. Paul Seaton and political newcomer Sarah Vance, in our well-packed Homer Library.

Sarah, you said your favorite book is the Bible. Me, too. I have observed Paul Seaton and his steady supportive wife Tina; their church leadership is helpful and constant, whether it is a voting year or not. I found myself chuckling, however, that Paul’s favorite childhood book was Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” With others throwing twisted darts at his expert leadership, he must deal daily with “Where the Wild Things Are.” He thrives; solving tough problems is his unique gift.

Yes, we want more of that deep personal caring that casteth out fear. Let’s tap into that deep caring Ssource, and support the services that help? The “good old days” were not always so good. My brother Stan Thompson tells of a time when he was magistrate, before he was Borough Mayor; they had no jail and they housed a beligerant drunk in a dry well to keep him and the community safe. I choose our secure jail. Our children need understanding of the great ideas that strengthen us, to avoid the destructive quick fixes that do us in.

Rep. Seaton has studied our state’s challenges. Speak to him; he will listen and act. We need his courage, his depth studies, his unique gift of critical thinking. It would be a tragedy to throw away our devoted statesman.

When I was young, we looked to elders for wisdom because they had observed life for so long. Am I an elder? I graduated from Seldovia High School in 1947.

Martha Ellen Anderson

Galvin supports Alaska values

Alyse Galvin is the only Congressional candidate who will represent the values shared by all Alaskans. Her campaign began with grass roots organizers and she has not taken money from corporations. In fact, her ability to raise over $1 million from supporters speaks to how she has captured the hopes and dreams of thousands of Alaskans who support her as a strong and independent candidate.

Her opponent,t Don Young, has done little to improve the lives of Alaskans. When compared with other states, Alaska is ranked No. 44 out of 50 by a US News and World Report analysis. Alaska ranksNo. 28 in healthcare, No. 40 in education and No. 50 in crime and corrections.

Under Young’s watch, the US deficit is now $21 trillion for the first time ever. Over 10,000 immigrant children have been separated from their parents and are now in detention centers. Young supports an administration that has turned its back on our allies, comforted our enemies and reduced America’s standing among world leaders. Alaskans and Americans deserve better. Alaskans deserve a Representative who will work to bring positive changes to our state and country. Please support and vote Alyse Galvin for Congress.

Patricia Cue

Support Seaton

I have to believe that other District 31 voters want the same things I do when it comes to representation in the State House. I want a representative who respects my intelligence and appeals to my better nature. I want a representative who will tell me the facts and help me understand the hard decisions we need to make, not pacify me with empty promises, pie-in-the-sky ideas, and rhetoric. I want a representative who cares about the future of this state and the futures of my child and grandchild.

I want a representative who doesn’t think I am so selfish that I would want to line my pockets with the highest PFD even if it will drain the fund dry. I want a representative who will take action to truly protect the Permanent Fund for my child and grandchild. I want a representative who fights for funding our education system so my grandchild is part of a generation of Alaskans prepared to face a daunting future. I want a representative who has integrity and always takes the high road in a campaign, treating his opponent with dignity and respect even when his opponent doesn’t extend the same to him.

I want a representative who is above party tribalism and will work with colleagues of all persuasions to solve our state’s problems. I want a representative who respects and believes in the electorate. For 16 years District 31 has had that representative. His name is Paul Seaton.

Kathryn Carssow

Seaton takes the high road

Editor and Citizens, in a few weeks we will decide who will represent us in Juneau. I have been receiving those “Elect Me” cards in my mailbox. What I notice is that Mr. Paul Seaton’s cards speak of what he has tried to accomplish and what he will work on if re-elected. Never has he mentioned the opposition party, or dissed his opponent. Ms. Vance’s card states no program, but spends the entire card bad mouthing Rep. Seaton. This is typical of Republican party hacks. Ever since Newt Gingrich their policy has been to attack, attack, attack the opposition. Meanwhile, once elected they say one thing and then do the exact opposite; they refuse to even consider anything proposed by the Democrats, thus the Party of “No.”

If you are paying attention at all you will realize that their entire program consists of making the rich richer, the military built up beyond any reasonable so-called defensive posture. Spending $350 million dollars for one fighter jet, while cutting food stamps, medical care and any other program which might benefit the less well off among us. Did I hear Sen. Mitch McConnell come out and say that we had to cut out all those expensive “entitlement” programs in order to balance the budget they, themselves busted with their massive tax cuts? The Republicans no longer feel they have to hide their intentions to bankrupt this nation. I think we, the voters have to pay a lot more attention to the people we elect to represent us in government. This requires us to think for ourselves, which, it seems to me a lot of my fellow citizens have lost the ability to do. The first step would be to send Congressman for Life into a well deserved retirement, and get a fresh voice in Congress. That is all.

George Trudeau, Anchor Point

Don’t believe grim billboards

Alaska’s roads are wallpapered with grim “No on 1” billboards. Don’t be fooled. Outside corporations touting misguided projects that disregard Alaska’s unique renewable natural resources have paved the road with signs to intimidate you. They know the vast majority of Alaskans value our salmon and would be devastated if those wild runs were rendered extinct, but they want you to think you’re alone in loving this. Look at who is paying for those signs. It is not Alaskans. It is Outside interests.

Don’t listen to those who want to rip off the face of Alaska for their own quick profit. “No on 1” is Yes to Pebble Mine and other reckless projects that disrespect this place and its natural abundance.

Our wild systems are the source of thousands of jobs in fishing, tourism and support industries. They must be given legal weight. We can not allow non-Alaskan profiteers to decimate what is most powerful and unique about our state.

“Yes on 1” means wild salmon for now and for the future. “Yes on 1” means our renewable resources have a voice at the table. “Yes on 1” means clear standards to maintain the balance. “Yes on 1” means championing what defines and distinguishes us as a state and as a people.

Vote “Yes” for Salmon and for Alaska.

Carol Ford, Homer and Nikiski

Paul Seaton Cares About Our Safety

Paul Seaton knows public safety is important to every one of us. Some misinformation about SB91 is being used against Paul Seaton. While it is true he supported the principles of SB91, there were serious problems in how it was implemented. Now, with adequate staff in place and the three new bills in effect, he supports SB91.

Some history: SB91, a Senate bill introduced by Peter Micciche (R) from Kenai, was passed because there were two major problems in the Alaska criminal justice system. First, recidivism was over 66 percent within three years—the highest of any state. Second, 40 percent of all people in jail had not been convicted of anything. Unable to post bail, they were just kept in prison waiting the 8-9 months it took for their case to be heard. Both these issues cost the State of Alaska a huge amount of money.

Unfortunately, SB91 came into effect before the State had time to hire and train staff to supervise people who were released; parole officers were swamped with huge caseloads and there were no new pretrial bail supervisors (and, this occurred during a state-wide opioid crisis). Now, with adequate staff in place and the three new bills in effect, (SB54, SB55 and HB312), problems with SB91 have been corrected: for example, no more automatic release, violations of release are now a crime, bail supervisors are in place, and there is better use of electronic monitoring.

Paul Seaton cares about the safety of our citizens. He worked to correct the problems with SB91 and believes SB91 is an important factor necessary to make Alaska safe for all of us.

Lani Raymond

A state representative for all citizens

The southern peninsula is made up of a politically diverse and savvy population. We are outspoken on issues and I love that about our part of this great state. It has been difficult to wade through the negative ads — some are distortions and some are downright lies. Before you go to the ballot box on election day, I ask you to research the facts for yourself.

For example, consider the mailer we received regarding Rep. Seaton’s proposal to cut $50 million in funding to our schools. Distortion alert. He was not proposing to reduce funding to schools. He suggested cutting $50 million from the governor’s budget of $116 million to boroughs for a program that helps pay for construction bonds. Paul Seaton has been the strongest of advocates for early and forward funding for education. That mailer also says Paul said no to a proposal to cut $14,000 from legislator expense payments. Not true. In fact, Paul’s committee didn’t have the authority to act on this and sent the proposal to the joint bipartisan Legislative Council, where it belonged.

Representative Seaton’s efforts to bring a fiscal plan forward during our state’s financial crisis deserve a great deal of credit. He advocates for the following: a sustainable permanent fund that will be there for our children and grandchildren, reducing the oil tax credits which contribute to our deficit, and reducing our budget to levels that existed when our state was almost half the current population.

I’ll be voting for Paul Seaton’s re-election, knowing he will continue representing all constituents, regardless of political party. I don’t expect to agree with him on every issue, but with Paul, I know his leadership, experience, integrity, and willingness to make tough decisions will bring a stable fiscal plan to the state. His efforts will give us a positive economic outlook for many years to come.

Kelly Cooper

Alaskans do contribute

Dear Paul Seaton,

The other day in Homer at the Vance-Seaton forum, you said, “If you are not paying a state income tax, you are not contributing to the state of Alaska.”

I would like to ask you Paul, if you would like to tell the widow and children of Mel Nadine, pilot of Alaska State Troopers Helo 1 that was tragically killed in the line of duty with two others in 2013, that your husband contributed nothing to the state of Alaska because your husband Mell paid no income tax.

Or how about the many others that lost their lives in the line of duty for the people of this state?

Or maybe tell Betty Snow, 93, living at Homer senior citizens that she contributed nothing to the state of Alaska either for all those years she worked on the Slope helping a new startup contractor move an operation to Deadhorse in the 1970s, or years working for a startup phone company to bring phone service to the villages of western Alaska because she no longer paid a state income tax after 1980.

Or tell to that to all the airfreight pilots that flew all night to bring you your bypass mail, and packages.

Oh, and Paul, please consider the thousands of us working in service to this state, far from home, away from our families, for decades on end. We did it while you were home in bed.

Paul Seaton, Alaskans did and do contribute. For you to say otherwise is nothing but outrageous.

This is only one great reason to vote for Sarah Vance.

Larry Zuccaro, Homer resident and contributing Alaskan

Expect more taxes, loss of PFD with Begich

The following is my opinion; I’m entitled to it just as those that disagree with me are entitled to their opinion.

If Begich is elected governor, I look for the following: the PFD is eliminated, state income tax is forthcoming (a disaster to Social Security recipients), a state sales tax is bestowed upon us, and senior citizens benefits are eliminated. If he is elected, I hope I’m wrong.

Jim Hadley, Anchor Point

Dunleavy is no friend to fishing

Dunleavy is no friend of the fishing industry. According to Laine Welch, the long-time producer and writer of Fish Radio, “As a state senator, in 2016, Dunleavy argued for legislation that would create a 12.5 percent royalty to be charged on seafood caught in the state.” This is over a 400 percent increase on the 3 percent base state fish tax. without the NMFS tax, observer fees, and local landing taxes, which can drive the current total tax near 10 percent of the gross in some boroughs. In so doing Dunleavy exhibited his complete ignorance. He is comparing the 12.5 percent royalty the oil industry pays on NET income with the taxes paid by the fishing industry on GROSS income. He is also comparing a non-renewable resource industry to a renewable resource industry. In fact, under SB21, at the $53 average price in the fiscal year that ended in June, , 95 percent of the fisherman in the state paid a higher percent taxes on gross than the oil industry paid in production taxes on their gross. Oil company maximum was 4 percent. Dunleavy is a very simple tool of big oil. Don’t be fooled by the millions in slick ads. Parnell, with Dunleavy’s help, drove the ship of state firmly on the rocks. We currently have $80 oil and we are still going broke with our savings gone. Thanks to Dunleavy and SB21 there is very little upside for the state at higher prices. Alaska has spent $14 billion from our savings and incurred $800 million in debt to the oil companies. Walker did not take your PFD, the oil companie did and applied it directly to their bottom line. Whatever your other politics, if you are in the fishing industry, Dunleavy is not the guy.

Vote for Begich. Stand For Salmon. Vote YES on 1.

Brad Faulkner

Homer Alaska

TAPS is a good example of taking time on projects

In 1968 oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay and in 1969 construction began on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. At which point Alaska Natives and environmentalists said “Whoa, hold on there, dudes.” Construction began again in 1973 after Congress passed ANCSA and there was enough engineering to satisfy the environmentalists. Oil has been running from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez since 1978, to the vast financial benefit of every Alaskan citizen and every resource company that invested in it.

In 2002 there was a 7.9 earthquake in the Denali Fault. Parts of the pipeline literally jumped from its VSMs,but not one drop of oil was spilled. Those four extra years allowed for enough design ingenuity and engineering muscle into TAPS to pay off during that quake.

Stand for Salmon requires developers to spend more time and money in advance of building their projects, both of which they can well afford. There is an 800-mile long example running straight down the middle of Alaska across three earthquake faults and a thousand rivers and streams as a reminder of how responsible and profitable taking your time can be.

Vote yes on 1.

Dana Stabenow

Seaton cares about education

Over thirty years ago I was fortunate to have a job teaching technology at the Homer Middle School. It was a time when the Apple II was the newest computer on the market. The school district furnished us with six of them for student use. Hearing about our needs, Paul and Tina Seaton donated twenty machines to give Homer Middle its first computer lab.

I am not voting for Paul Seaton because of his obvious generosity. I am voting for him because of his longtime community support. Through the years I have seen Paul and Tina at numerous community events and fundraisers. Except during legislative sessions in Juneau, Paul is visible around the peninsula talking with people, gettIng to know what people think and representing the area he lives and cares for.

I call out today to all young adults who learned word processing on one of those incredible Apple II computers. Go vote. And vote for individuals who have proven that they care, they listen and are a visible part of the community.

John “Johnny B.” Bushell

What I Know

I know who I am going to vote for as our next governor and I know why.

I know, after observing Mark Begich meeting with 14 groups a day, advocating for legislation in the Senate, and listening to veterans as long as they cared to speak, that he is a servant leader.

I know that Begich looks beyond political labels to focus on solving problems. He was a No Labels Problem Solver in the Senate working successfully with Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders.

I know that in government experience matters. Begich has a proven record in reducing crime, supporting our well-being, and increasing economic opportunities. From Alaskan small business owners, governors, and federal agency leaders; he has cultivated relationships to support good decision-making.

I know that Begich not only talks about respect for women and diversity but lives it as seen in his devoted staff, supporters, and friends.

I know Begich has the vision and leadership to work across party lines developing a smarter budget process. It will save state employees thousands of hours and assure that legislative shenanigans cannot hold education funding hostage, discouraging the most effective resource for quality education — our teachers.

I know as an education advocate, that Mike Dunleavy is an educator who does not support public education.

I know for certain that I will be voting Mark Begich for governor with great pride and confidence. I hope you will, too.

Liz Downing

Dunleavy would not be an “education governor”

In his debate with Mark Begich on 25 October, Mike Dunleavy made an assertion that can only be described as a lie. Dunleavy frequently has said there are thousands of funded but unfilled positions in state agencies, resulting in a $200 million “slush fund.” That’s a lie. There are vacant positions, but they most definitely are not funded. (Dermot Cole covered that issue in detail in his blog on 26 October.)

Dunleavy made other assertions about education, assertions that really got the attention of current and former Alaska educators. He indicated that as governor, he would get all third graders, eighth graders, and others on grade level in reading, mathematics and the like. Even educators with limited experience know how absurd that is. His comments made me wonder how well Dunleavy had done with student achievement when he was in direct control of a school district.

Testing data for the years Dunleavy was superintendent in Northwest Arctic are accessible at the Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) web site. It’s easy to find the district reports that summarize the percentage of students who were proficient and non-proficient for any year since 2000. The test scores in question relate to the years 2000 through 2004, and maybe a bit more.

The scores show a school district that was struggling. Roughly two-thirds of students were not proficient in reading, writing, and mathematics in tested grades throughout Dunleavy’s tenure. Even if the governor could affect student achievement, Dunleavy’s own previous performance makes it clear that he is not the guy we want at the helm.

Dunleavy has shown himself to be the very opposite of a man who could be an “Education Governor.” His character does not contain the qualities we want or need in our next governor.

Ron Keffer, retired educator

Take a Day to be Well

On Saturday, November 3, 7:30 am-1:00 pm at the Homer High School Commons, the Homer community will come together for the 35th annual Rotary Heath Fair. The Fair benefits the health and welfare of the members of the Homer, Alaska community and the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area. The purpose of the fair is to set aside just one day of your life to take advantage of free and inexpensive health screenings and up-to-date information on relevant health topics. More than 70 informational booths are available to offer various demonstrations and services, including free flu shots, blood pressure, vision tests, hearing tests, diabetes risk assessment, ultra-sound leg screenings and more.

While at the Health Fair, don’t miss Nolan the Colon. Learn how YOU can prevent colon cancer.

“It’s Your Life, Take a Day to Be Well”

Bernie Griffard, President, Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay

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