Homer Opinion

Adult Talks Event at Homer High School

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 use, how can we as parents, teachers, and community members make a difference? My response to this question is “education and social connection.”

HHS students write on issues

Over the course of the past three weeks, the students, who I have the pleasure of working with every day, in my freshmen language arts classes have been studying opinion/editorial writing as part of our argument writing unit. They have been reading example editorials, scouring news sites, researching data from government and educational institutions, reading others’ stories, talking with friends and family, reflecting upon their own experiences and much more in order to craft short — never have students sought to write more! — editorials about issues they care about. Each topic is their own. Their voices are their own. And, as I was reminded, as I am every day and every year, their voices are powerful, thoughtful, and insightful. Their voices matter.

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.

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