Sunday officially Hammond’s Day

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.”

Protecting our constitutional rights, wild salmon runs not mutually exclusive


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.

Let’s all slow down and enjoy summer

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.

Safety all about common sense

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.

Construction defines this summer season

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.

Shorebird fest matures into spring tradition

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. 

Small changes lead to big differences

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.

Alaska has long way to go when it comes to treatment of women

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.

HomerNews.com gets high-tech renovation

This week marks a milestone in the Homer News’ almost 50-year-long history: a renovated website.

For those of us at the Homer News, the website is noteworthy for its upgraded technology. Our webmaster Adam Bauer is breathing a sigh of relief — perhaps you heard him — because for quite some time he’s been holding our website together with the tech equivalent of Duct tape and rubber bands. Our reporters are looking forward to being able to post stories and photos from the field or the comfort of their kitchen tables while still in their jammies.

Meth lab bust reminder of danger of common products

Last Saturday, some good policing by an alert Alaska State Trooper got a potentially dangerous device off our streets. After making a routine traffic stop, Wildlife Trooper David Chaffin saw what looked to be a meth lab in a car driven by a 26-year-old man. Troopers seized what they believe is a one-pot or shake-and-bake meth lab. Troopers called in a hazardous material team to safely dispose of it. Good work, troopers.

Gas line, Green Dot reasons to celebrate

In a really big way and one small way, the Homer City Council moved forward Monday to address two large problems in our town: expensive energy and violence, especially domestic and sexual violence. If successful, both actions will make Homer a stronger, better community -- a cause to celebrate on this holiday of love, St. Valentine's Day.

Citizens need to help council find creative ways to fund services

Thank you, Homer City Council.

Let’s hope this week’s discussion and council vote will preserve the seasonal sales tax exemption on nonprepared food items for good. Canning this perennial discussion is long overdue.

Like others who testified Monday night, we believe a tax on food is regressive.

But more importantly, citizens voted for this tax holiday. Council members need to listen, and they did Monday night.


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