Letters to the Editor

Support HB 302

As a father of two boys and two girls and proud of it I am all for House Bill 302. Ponder this thought on how many future geniuses, doctors, surgeons, inventors, engineers and countless others have been lost to abortions. Any one person may have the ability to affect thousands of people in the future.

It seems that the father and more importantly the unborn child has no say. I feel that it is a simple matter. A woman who does not want a child should take personal responsibility for her actions. Either use contraceptives or do not have sex.

Capt. Jay Wright, Anchor Point

End idea of money as ‘free speech’

I want to bring attention to concerned citizens regarding some legislation that is under consideration right now in our Alaska Legislature. It has to do with taking back our ability to pass campaign finance laws and to assure that residents of our state have a fair voice in decisions that affect their lives by keeping the balance of power in check.

In the House it is HJR 24 and the matching resolution in the Senate is SJR 16. They will add the voice of Alaskans to a growing effort to change the US Constitution to end the notion that money is a form of “free speech” and that somehow artificial entities such as corporations, both profit and non as well as unions, have equal rights to those of natural persons.

These notions have been a large factor in the erosion of our democracy in this past decade. In fact, the USA has been downgraded as an exemplary Democracy by the world. I know I am tired of the endless pleas for money every election cycle. More money increases the likelihood of more corruption, not more democracy.

There are many immediate issues taking up the legislators’ time and attention for sure, but these resolutions can be easily passed, and require NO funding to implement. We thank the sponsors for boldly introducing them and encourage passage to lend Alaska’s voice to changes needed.

Respectfully Submitted by,

Beverly Churchill

Ski trail courtesies

Please don’t walk or snow machine on groomed ski trails. Your footprints and machine tracks can result in some nasty falls for skiers, especially on hills, not to mention frustrate volunteer groomers and increase grooming costs. If you must walk on a ski trail, keep to the side of the trail and stay on the side opposite the set tracks. Snow machiners, thanks for crossing ski trails perpendicularly rather than traveling down them wherever possible. Snow shoers, walk next to the trail or keep to the side of ski trails without tracks.

Remember, no dogs on Sunset Loop trail or the Lookout Mountain trails, and one dog per person on all other trails. Your dog must be on a leash on McNeil Canyon School property and at Eveline State Park. Dogs must be controlled on the remainder of the area’s groomed ski trails. Don’t forget to pack out your dog’s poop.

Thanks and ski you out there,

Nicky Szarzi, Volunteer, Kachemak Nordic Ski Club

Robertson not a keeper

Thin skin: A troublesome attribute in either a leader or a City Manager. Shake the hook on this one and keep fishing.

Patrick McNary

Are you like Schindler?

When I saw “Schindler’s List,” it solidified my perspective of life on this earth. Life is a game. It is the “Game of Love.”

Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, risked death each time he tried to save over a thousand people. As a businessman, his first reaction to Hitler was to take advantage of an opportunity. He was a rich man wanting to make even more money.

But when he sees a little girl in a red coat walking to her death, his heart is pricked with the needle of unconditional love. His experience of this love drives him to try and save as many people as possible.

Red coat moments occur around us every day. How often do we notice them? How many did Schindler miss before he understood their significance? Before he realized that he was a member, not only of the human species, but also of the human family?

Once his eyes opened to this reality, he started seeing red coats on everyone around him. Because everyone wears a red coat and deserves unconditional love.

What conditions were in place when Schindler created his list? What was he risking to unconditionally love those around him? People that were not his family. People that were not even part of his own tribe. What are the conditions impacting your list?

When one’s conscience has been opened to the feeling of pure love, there is no hesitation or thought about risk when another is in need.

Schlindler was presented with a ring engraved by those he saved which said “Whosoever saves one life saves the world entire.” In valuing each and every human life, we save humanity.

We’re all playing the game of love on this earth. We all have our to-do list as we move through today’s big game.

What’s on yours?

Karalee Bechtol

Pandemic is ‘rainy day’ for Permanent Fund

How swiftly the wheel can turn. Larry Smith’s recent proposals for enhancing the Permanent Fund are now, alas, hopelessly obsolete. The sudden emergence of a perfect storm just hit us. The COVID-19 emergency is just beginning to ramp up. It will be with us throughout most of the summer and, in conjunction with the collapse — again — of the nation’s financial house-of-cards and subsequent low oil prices, Alaska’s financial melt-down will last much longer.

Therefore, the PFD will become an absolutely crucial future source of income for the many thousands of laid-off workers remaining in Alaska. Likewise, instituting a state income tax will now be impossible. I foresee it requiring several very difficult years for Alaska — and the country — to adequately recover financially. The PF follows the market; it won’t be growing again anytime soon. But the budget must be balanced. Some would say that this is the proverbial “rainy day” for which the Fund was designed.

Larry Slone

Stop the spread of COVID-19

Friends and neighbors, we find ourselves in a bit of what we would prefer to be a Hollywood movie rather than a real life drama.

It is important we listen and learn from trusted sources on what stands before us. If COVID-19 isn’t already here it will be. There is no need to panic or over stress. This will pass. How well we are able to endure it will hinge on the community coming together — at a distance.

Let’s do our part to mitigate what this virus is capable of. Please follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and any state or local restrictions.

Put the spread to bed!

Heath Smith

Climate Pandemic

There are many parallels to the current pandemic and the threats that climate change poses, yet the responses have been so vastly different. Things like food shortage, economic instability, travel complications, disease, reduced consumption, hoarding of goods, the suffering of the sick, poor and displaced — all of these things will be and already are consequences of climate change. Yet there has been nowhere near the rapid response and serious concern for human-caused climate change.

Up until now, I assumed that people wouldn’t take climate change seriously until it impacted them personally. But that has not been the case with this pandemic. So many people who have not been directly impacted are making drastic life changes to counter the potential risk. They trust the scientific professionals that have raised the alarm, and heed the provided advice, even at the expense of their daily life activities. This is exactly the widespread response we need to address climate change.

Climate change is not just an environmental issue, it’s an economic and humanitarian issue. It threatens all and more that COVID-19 does, to humans and animal kind alike. I have a great fear for what will surely be lost in the face of it, just as I fear for the lives of the vulnerable during this outbreak. Yet I hold a great hope that humans will rise to the challenge. It is inevitable that we do, because everything we love and care for is at stake.

Kim McNett

Large PFD ignores what past leaders intended

The recent essay by Larry Smith in the March 11 issue of the Homer News hits the nail on the head regarding the financial aspects of Alaska as they pertain to the Permanent Fun, and oil and gas revenues. Larry nicely summarizes the Hammond legacy of the PFD and thinking at that time. As one who was raised in Alaska, voted for Jay Hammond, and paid income taxes, I wholeheartedly agree that we need to at the least overturn the oil industry tax credits to bring in more revenue to a state that very much needs it. I think the state is far too generous in our approach to the oil and gas industry. My father was an oil and gas geologist who worked in the late ‘50s to ‘60s in Cook Inlet and the North Slope, and he was not in favor of generous subsidies to the industry. The other big elephant in the room is the PFD giveaway. It is nice to get this gift every year, but it is not a wise public policy. I think it makes people want everything for free.

We built a fine university and a robust ferry system. Now we want to cut the ferry system and the university so severely, so we can have a PFD giveaway? It is not courageous on the part of the governor and supporters to argue for a large, or any, PFD. It is irresponsible, and ignores what our past leaders were trying to.

Charles Barnwell

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