Point of View

Alaskans deserve to have their Permanent Fund Dividends protected

This year the governor and some legislators are seeking to use Permanent Fund earnings — for the first time in history — to fund government. Before embarking down that path, Alaskans deserve to have their Permanent Fund Dividends protected, and the only way to do that now is to enshrine the PFD in the constitution.

Next time, don’t forget the emergency bag

For several years I have had an emergency bag. You know, the kind for impending natural disasters, gloves, flashlight all the stuff you think you may need in such an event. It’s morphed over the years; the kids have grown up moved on and hopefully have their own bags now. I used to recheck it every now and then, but that hasn’t happened in several years. However, I know exactly where it is and that it has what I will need in it.

We, too, can change the culture of sexual harassment.

The current national spotlight on the prevalence and insidiousness of sexual harassment is a welcome paradigm shift in our culture. Even though I have worked for 36 years in a field traditionally dominated by men, I myself never experienced egregious levels of misconduct. In fact, my welcome to the legal community in Homer in 1984 as a young, naïve female attorney was respectful and supportive, thanks in great part to the open mindedness of Homer’s attorneys, judges and court staff. I hope I didn’t take their support for granted.

Picture us loving life — together

I do the most writing at night. Head on the pillow. Brain swarming with thoughts. My jaw tightens and — rather than rest, the restless thoughts crowd in. So I start writing in my mind, putting the thoughts in place. Explaining them to myself. Practicing the explanation to others. This one in particular keeps me up at night.

Divest The Permanent Fund

Organizations around the world are divesting from fossil fuels, and a lot of the talk is about the moral imperative to do so in the face of climate change. But at this point it may also make financial sense. The Permanent Fund has been losing money on fossil fuel investments, and it is reasonable to expect they’ll lose money even faster in the future.

In Homer, it’s neighbor helping neighbor to ensure everyone has healthcare

In the midst of a busy season, another deadline looms as open enrollment for the 2018 Health Insurance Marketplace ends Dec. 15. The open enrollment period is the time for folks to choose their health insurance coverage for 2018. This year, Alaskans have five plan options available on the marketplace.

City should include public in HERC conversations

Changes are once again in the wind for the old Homer Middle School, fondly known as the HERC. This time, there’s conversations among some City Council members to sell the land and building. The HERC (Homer Education &Recreation Complex) sits on a 4.3-acre chunk of prime Homer real estate on the corner of the Sterling Bypass and Pioneer Avenue which some consider to be the “gateway” into Homer.

Commending Walker on Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team

Tourists and Alaskans alike know that my hometown, Homer, sits at the end of the Kenai Peninsula, overlooking Kachemak Bay. But they may not be familiar with a small cove across the bay that’s been in my family since the 1940’s. I have grown up in this magical place, drinking fresh spring water, swimming in the lagoon, and walking across the only pure sand beach in the area.

Permanent fund should be protected

Missing in the town hall presentations by the director from governor’s office and our local legislator was equal time for alternative ways to match programs with revenues. Many economic experts oppose the idea of taking PFDs as bad for the economy. The first dividend was $1,000. This year that has the purchasing power which $400 did in 1982. This month, the Permanent Fund Board has told Alaskans that the Fund will be reduced by half in 20 years because the legislature has stopped inflation proofing. The investment officials also said that the proposed POMV (percent of market value) would take too much and also cause the Fund to lose.

New school start times have hidden costs

I am part of a family of five with three children ages 12, 10 and 6 all enrolled in Homer public schools. A Homer alum myself, I attended schools here K-12, went to college and graduate school then returned to Homer. I am well versed as both a student and now a parent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. For years the public school system in Homer has run fairly smooth but the staggered school times that the KPBSD board has implemented this fall are coming at a great expense to the families, community and likely children’s safety while travelling to and from school.

Saints

He was holding a wrench and a rag. From across the road, I watched him wipe his forehead with his short sleeve. But, really, what I was staring at was the motorbike he was working on. It was a humid afternoon in the mountains of Luzon, more than a 15-hour bus ride from Manila, and I was on my own again, with no idea how to find my hostel. The jeepney — an American jeep from World War II refashioned as a form of public transportation in the Philippines — that was headed my way wasn’t leaving for another couple of hours; or, in the Filipino time I was beginning to understand, for five or six more hours. If ever.

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