Editorial

Library sparks lifelong love of learning in children by introducing opportunities

During a recent visit to the Homer Public Library, a Paul Banks kindergarten class took over the children’s room. Many in the group were already familiar with the space thanks to storytimes and regular visits with family members to check out books or DVDs. For others, this visit was not just fun, but also a vital introduction to the many opportunities that the library offers.

Cross-sector collaboration blooms

Winter is upon us and we would like to take a moment to celebrate the efforts of the Pioneer Avenue Revitalization Task Force, businesses and property owners, the City of Homer, artists, gardeners and community partners.

This cross-sector partnership has met since January to engage Homer’s arts, recreation and agricultural sectors to strengthen the economic, social and physical fabric of our historic​ ​downtown corridor.

Just vote 'Yes'

There’s a proverb that says: “The first person to speak always seems right until someone comes and questions him.”

That’s how it feels the discussions on the propositions before voters on Tuesday have gone. On both sides of almost every question, valid points have been made.

Community Health Needs Assessment: a reflection of our values

Editor’s Note: MAPP, Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to im-prove our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.

 

One way to improve health of community: connecting our youth to more adults

Editor’s Note: MAPP,  Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.  

Editorial: If we don’t change, we may lose very thing we want to save

One of the great debates — or should we say vigorous discussions — shaping up for 2016 is that of health care on the local, state and national level.

On one point most of us agree: Something’s got to be done. Escalating costs are not sustainable.

On the best way to solve the myriad of problems associated with health care — including high costs — there’s plenty of room for disagreement and different diagnoses of what ails the industry.

Medicaid expansion: It’s time

Last week, I sent a letter to the Legislative Budget & Audit (LB&A) Committee, giving members the required 45-day notice of my intention to accept additional federal and Mental Health Trust Fund Authority funds to expand Medicaid. Before signing the letter, I met with the LB&A chair to explain my intentions.

Council needs to fix condo assessments, move to other things

While the Homer City Council’s desire to be “uniform and fair” when it comes to assessments for natural gas is admirable, that desire begs the question: Fair to whom?

More than a year ago, Jan. 6, 2014, Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet ruled that the way the city chose to assess condominiums for natural gas was not fair. He called it “arbitrary and unreasonable.”

Public should play role in city manager selection process

As the Homer City Council proceeds with the difficult job of finding a new city manager, it should resolve to make the selection process as open as possible and involve the public as much as possible. In fact, there’s no reason there should be any secrecy surrounding the hiring of a new manager. This position arguably is the most powerful within the city, and residents have a vested interest in being both informed about those who apply and being a part of the selection process.

Do voters know what’s on Tuesday’s ballot?

If you don’t have Tuesday, Aug. 19, marked on your calendar as a big day, you’ve been spending too much time fishing; you’ve been out of state for too long; or you never read a newspaper, listen to the radio or TV, or browse the Internet. Two big things are happening next Tuesday:

1.It’s the unofficial end of summer with the start of most schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. (Some schools got under way last week.)

Nonprofit Needs

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the monthly “Pay It Forward” column, the Homer News is printing a list of needs provided by some of Homer’s nonprofits.

The Kenai Peninsula Fair is looking for old tires to turn into flower beds, volunteers to help with exhibit check-in on Aug. 15 and interior doors for the main building. We also need a laptop computer.  

Contact: Lara McGinnis, 907-567-3670

 

Aug. 19 primary important; get ready for it now

Not only does summer in Alaska go by at lightning speed, but with most Alaskans trying to cram a year’s worth of work and outdoor fun into 15 weeks, give or take a week or two, it’s understandable if things get dropped or forgotten.

Here’s one thing all Alaskans need to put on their list as too important to miss: the Aug. 19 primary election.

Welcome, shorebirders

This weekend Homer welcomes birders from all over to the 22nd annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. The festival reminds us all of why Homer is a great place to live, work and play. Longtime shorebird speaker Buz Scher got it right when he said the festival has “gotten bigger and better and more organized.”  While birds are the focus, this weekend also is a jump start on the tourist season, with many Spit and downtown businesses reopening for the season. On Wednesday, the first cruise ship of the season also arrives.

More respect could reduce government role as public nanny

In general, we think less means better when it comes to government. At its best, government should do what citizens can’t do without some help from government. As much as possible, however, government should stay out of the way — except in key areas like public safety, education and roads — those things citizens can’t provide on their own.

Lately, though, we’ve been reconsidering our views on government and are left pondering this horrific thought: Maybe citizens really do need a nanny.

Non-Profit Needs

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the monthly “Pay It Forward” column, the Homer News is printing a list of needs provided by some of Homer’s nonprofits.
Haven House
Food for shelter (unopened, please)
Toiletries, personal hygiene supplies
Female volunteers to help with
summer gardening
Volunteers for interior painting
Contact: Jessica Lawmaster, 235-7712
 
Big Brothers & Big Sisters
Volunteers to be Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Leadership Council Members

50 years ago, Homer saw opportunities following disaster

From the Homer News 

April 1, 1964

Homer and the entire state of Alaska have suffered a disaster the magnitude of which has seldom been known in the world. We must all remember that in the first confusion that many exaggerations and false rumors are bound to be spread. We’re not discounting the terrible effects of this tragedy; however, let us stop for a moment and think of the possible good that can come from this.

Council must be hard of hearing

The Homer City Council needs to come up with a new song and dance. While it may be hard for some of them to believe, residents are tired of hearing the same old refrain, which is always a version of: “If you want ____________ (fill in the blank with what’s on your wish list for the city to accomplish), are you willing to do away with seasonal sales tax exemption on nonprepared food items?”

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