Propositions on the Oct. 1 ballot will give voters plenty of opportunity to show what they really think about government. Friend or foe? Those who think government has become a big, unwieldy, unthinking machine likely will show that by:
•Voting “yes” to repeal Homer’s plastic bag ban.
•Voting “yes” to increase the borough’s residential property tax exemption from $20,000 to $50,000.
•Voting “no” on the school bond issue.
•Voting “no” to repeal term limits.
With the Homer City Council approving its 2014 capital improvement projects priority list and four campaigns for two city council seats getting underway, we’re reminded of a book we read a few years ago, “Thirteen Ways to Kill Your Community.” It was written by Doug Griffiths, a rural Western Canada legislator, and Kelly Clemmer, a Canadian journalist.
Thank you, Judge Murphy, for saying enough time has passed in the case of two brothers charged with sexual assault at a teen-age drinking party last September. More than a year has passed since that incident grieved and outraged a community.
As the Labor Day holiday approaches, work is on our mind. Did you know that younger baby boomers (born between 1957 and 1964) held an average of 11.3 jobs from the ages 18 to 46? That trend now seems to be the norm.
Mark you calendar now: Oct. 1 is the date for the municipal election.
If you aren’t registered to vote, you have until Sept. 1, 30 days prior to the election, to do so.
All elections are important, and this one is no exception. In addition to filling two seats on the Homer City Council (there are four candidates running), voters on the southern Kenai Peninsula also will fill a school board seat and several borough service area seats. Candidates for those seats are running unopposed.
We don’t have to wait until ‘some day’ to end violence in community
What does it take to change the culture?
When you think about it, not much. In one lifetime, a person is likely to see lots of culture shifts. We change our music, our fashion, our words.
Since coming to work at the Homer News more than seven years ago, Adam Bauer has held the official titles of “webmaster” and “new media director.” Unofficially, Bauer endeared himself to his News colleagues as the paper’s jack of all trades.
Here’s a brain teaser for you. Which of the following doesn’t belong in the group:
1. A citizen group petitions for the repeal of Senate Bill 21, which changed how oil industry taxes are figured.
2. Opponents of Homer’s plastic bag ban gather enough signatures to put a repeal of the ban before voters on the October ballot.
3. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly considers whether to overturn term limits imposed by a citizen initiative in 2007 and reaffirmed by voters, again through the initiative process, in 2009.
Next Thursday Homer will be the host of the Governor’s Picnic when Alaska’s 10th governor, Sean Parnell visits, so it seems appropriate this Sunday that we pause and remember Alaska’s fourth governor, Jay Hammond, who served from 1974 to 1982. The Alaska Legislature in its wisdom designated July 21 Jay Hammond Day. In signing the proclamation, Parnell said he encouraged “Alaskans to remember his service to our state and honor his memory on his birthday.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — The Declaration of Independence
The recent debate over a Kenai Peninsula Borough ordinance designed to protect salmon habitat might give one of two impressions:
1. If you believe in the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, you don’t favor protecting salmon.
2. If you favor protecting salmon, you don’t believe in the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.
As they’ve been outside playing this summer, friends Beatrix Strobel and Thea Person, both age 7, have noticed a common phenomenon: Lots of cars going really fast.
“I almost got run over by a car,” said Thea.
“It’s really hard to ride your bike,” said Beatrix.
The two decided to do something about the fast cars in the Bayview Court neighborhood where they frequently play. They made a sign to remind motorists to watch out for them — and other kids.
After a winter that seemed to never end, Alaskans are ready to enjoy the sunshine. In the warm beauty of the season, it’s easy to forget that summer carries its own perils.
The dangers of winter’s cold, dark, ice and snow are replaced by long days that often are filled with too much activity and not enough sleep. Drier weather conditions mean that carelessness with a campfire can lead to a wildfire. Warmer temperatures and sunshine can lull us into a sense of complacency about potential dangers on the water or in the woods.
The world has changed.
In the 21st century — after the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, and more recently, after the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombings — what once may have passed as an acceptable high-school prank is no longer even remotely funny, if it ever was.
Last week our colleagues at the Peninsula Clarion ran the above photo with the headline “That time of year.” The photo showed traffic backed up for more than a mile on a stretch of the Kenai Spur Highway that connects Kenai and Soldotna.
We hate to admit it, but the reason for the pileup stumped us for a minute. It’s too early to see traffic backed up like that, we thought. No three-day weekend in sight. The fish aren’t in, yet. And it’s still a little early for summer visitors to slow traffic to a standstill while they photograph a moose.
The annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival has come of age. If it was a young adult, this year’s 21st festival would be celebrating full legal rights. As one of Homer’s many weekend events that draw visitors to town, the shorebird festival ranks up there with Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
Shorebird stands out, though, as the first big event of the season. We northerners, desperate for any sign of spring, have come to see the return of the shorebirds and the festival as welcome relief to the long winter, especially this winter.
Sometimes the problems of this world seem so huge it feels pointless to try and do anything about them. “Being part of the solution” often sounds like a feel-good phrase and actions to match it appear largely symbolic.
But, so what?
A Kenai River guide has provided inspiration to do what you can about whatever problem pulls your heartstrings. For Greg Brush of Soldotna, the issue is weak Kenai River king runs. Fishing is Brush’s passion. He’s built his livelihood as a fulltime Kenai River guide.
Last year as the merits of natural gas coming to Homer were discussed, there were a couple of recurring questions: Why aren't we talking about renewable energy? Wouldn't an investment in renewable energy be better for residents and the planet?
Next time you’re tempted to whine about how much you pay in taxes, you might reconsider with this information: “Tax Freedom Day” for Alaskans falls on Saturday this year. For most Americans, the date is April 18. And for the unlucky folks who live in Connecticut the day doesn’t arrive until May 13.
Remember that old ’60s slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby”?
It implied that women were making progress when it came to equal rights with their male counterparts, that life for the female gender was getting better.
A new study released Tuesday indicates Alaska still has a long way to go when it comes to women and their well-being.