Homer Opinion

Enough

These are the names of children and adults killed in mass shootings and stabbings at schools and universities in the United States going back to the Bethel Regional School shooting, Feb. 19, 1997:

Disaster Preparedness: Is your family ready for the next disaster?

Last week, many of us faced the scare of a lifetime: a midnight wake-up call from a powerful earthquake that triggered a tsunami warning and evacuation for many coastal communities. Homer rallied together in the middle of the night to ensure that all residents looking to evacuate and seek shelter were safe. Emergency responders, volunteers and many others worked to assist those that needed emergency evacuation. Many people tuned into KBBI for hours anxiously waiting for news of an “all clear” and that everyone could safely return to their homes.

Where there’s a will there’s a way

I suspect that each of us have thought about how we can make our lives more meaningful. Do we find a greater purpose in serving others? Helping abused children? Getting involved in politics? Inspiring youth to play sports or get involved in art or theater? Saving salmon habitat? Building community? Often, the value we hope to impart on the world from our lives is focused on only our lifetime. But human lifetimes are but a blip on the radar. If you can effect change while you’re alive, imagine what you could do if you had more time.

Women’s March: Together we rise

Marches are fun. They are great exercise, a fun community social activity, and on Jan. 20 in Homer, we are planning a celebration march for the anniversary of our huge Women’s March last January which included at least 800 participants here. Some of our folks were young, some old (actually some very young and some very old), some with disabilities, men and women, rich and not-so-rich, different faiths, different ethnicities, but all of us were part of our wonderful Homer community.

Which side are you on?

A few days ago, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists descended on Charlottesville, Va., to rally for hate. They came carrying torches and assault rifles. One of them used an automobile as a weapon, and now 34 peaceful protestors have been injured and one woman is dead. Amidst the confusion of that day, a helicopter crash also claimed the lives of two police officers.

Is Hydropower Good for Fish?

Hydropower has been gaining popularity in the United States and around the world recently because it is considered a relatively clean, renewable and low carbon producing energy source. And, according to the Alaska Energy Authority, it can even, benefit fish. According to AEA, its proposal to divert water from the West Fork Upper Battle Creek drainage in order to supplement the power generating capacity for the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project near the Fox River Flats estuary on the east end of Kachemak Bay would actually be good for fish. (Homer News, July 20, 2017). This claim is, apparently, based on the presumption that “too much” water during the summer months limits salmon fry and juvenile productivity and creates faster currents that can flush younger fish downstream where they may be vulnerable to predation or higher salinity conditions. Such conclusions, however, beg the obvious question that, if the fish in Battle Creek are in such bad shape from the natural condition which have existed for thousands of years, how have they survived there for that same amount of time?

Vibe of Farmers Market pays forward all summer long

I was raised in a home in the distant suburbs of Philadelphia, Pa., where the summer harvest of our modest garden plot and neighboring fruit trees kept the canner on the stove from July through September. The floor to ceiling shelves in our dirt floor basement bloomed with the color of the canned harvest that would see us through a chilly Pennsylvania winter. My favorite jar was the one filled with grape juice made from the vines that clung to the arbor just outside the garage. But the tomato juice, stewed tomatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, beets, corn and sauerkraut were just as welcome to the palate. Though we had no fruit trees of our own, the neighbors were very generous with sharing. Added to the mix of jars of color in the basement were the peaches, pears, and cherries, as well as the rich, chocolate color of the apple butter.

Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing

Assessments are a key tool in most fields. In some industries they are provided through do-well/do-better meetings, in others through critical feedback loops, and, in mine, through teacher evaluations and student report cards. In order to be effective assessments use rubrics to assess key data points, frequently against objective standards, on behavior, knowledge, and performance. Six months into his presidency Donald Trump has come up short on all counts.

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