Point of View

Education, normalization, and meaningful connection safeguard kids

Clients of all ages often infer that substance experimentation is a normal developmental process. Or that genetics predispose a person to addiction. The desire for social connection and the natural process of curiosity are certainly common influences, as are family history and genetics. But considering the many factors involved in early substance misuse, how can we as parents, teachers and community members make a difference?

Pebble Mine is a welfare queen

The Pebble Mine is a welfare queen, unable to support itself. The Pebble Mine will gobble taxpayer handouts faster and more voraciously than10,000 food stamp recipients or 10,000 Medicaid beneficiaries. Ambler Mine and the Donlin Gold Mine are the same. These massive open pit mines have proven that they cannot stand on their own two feet, like other sound businesses. They cannot take responsibility for their operation. If you believe in free markets then you must be appalled by modern metals mines, which reap massive private profit while socializing the risk.

Alaska residents need real legislation to access a truly open Internet

Legislative maneuvers in Congress and in Juneau to promote net neutrality ignore a simple truth: They will not permanently protect a free and open Internet and will continue to leave too many Alaskans on the wrong side of the digital divide. Rather than spending time on gimmicks that have little chance of becoming reality, those who support an open Internet should urge Congress to develop a comprehensive bill that levels the Internet playing field and expands access for all Americans.

April 8-14 is National Library Week, when American’s celebrate one of the most public of public goods, the library. Homer is fortunate to have a lot to celebrate.

Safe oil transportation in Prince William Sound: Are we really so far apart? Musings from a retired tug engineer

If you’ve ever owned horses, you probably know that cleaning the barn first thing in the morning is good for the soul. I use that time to think. Recently, before going out to take care of my four-legged friends, I started pondering the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council’s recent resolution, the response from industry, and had a good shovel session to sift through it all.

A Community Response to an Opioid Epidemic

The conversations began in 2015 with a public lecture at Kachemak Bay Campus called “Heroin Hits Homer: The Facts about Heroin.” This panel of local subject matter experts featured discussions about the impact of heroin on our community. One panelist was Dr. Sarah Spencer, D.O., a local physician who is board certified in addiction medicine. Dr. Spencer currently provides medication assisted treatment for substance use disorders at Ninilchik Traditional Council Community Clinic.

Hands On Love

February, the love month, celebrates Valentine’s Day the 14th and February 17th Kindness Day. This article will be published after the fact. Even after both days, it seems this message can apply 365 days of the year. At least we all might try this, and perhaps many in Homer do this as a matter of fact, such has been my experience on several occasion.

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.

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