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?
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.
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.
There are better options to bed tax
Look at those mountains! Looks at that sunset! Looks at all those boats! Look at that sea otter! Overheard cries of joy, while I walk and work on the Homer Spit this summer. Perhaps only we visitors and newcomers can truly enjoy a magical mystical place like Homer, oblivious to the recent political infighting.
Dipnetters: Remember where China Poot reds come from
Let’s talk about the political elephant in the room:
An ad in Editor & Publisher magazine in the summer of 1976 changed my life. It read something like this:
Homer City Council shows support
Remember when First Lady Nancy Reagan came up with “just say no,” a chant meant to steer children away from the nightmare of a drug-addicted life? Its simplicity and hoped-for-power made it spread like wildfire. Thousands of “Just Say No” clubs sprang up. The Girl Scouts of the United States of America and the Coalition of Parents for a Drug-Free Youth helped broadcast the message. Britain and Australia gave it an international reach.
Alaska could use a lottery
Alaska does not need a state income tax, nor a statewide sales tax, nor a school tax! But it could use a “volunteer tax,” otherwise known as a lottery. The state of New Jersey is doing wonders with its lottery.
So, why not Alaska?
With the Russian-Trump investigation of the 2016 election, why not an investigation into the payment of $35,000,000 by the Russians to the Clinton Foundation?
The answer might be explosive, even nuclear. Is it true?
The streets are swept. School is out. Sunset is past 11 p.m. and the Homer Farmers Market is open. It must be summer.
Last month community members from all over the Southern Kenai Peninsula came together to discuss Alaska’s struggle with opioid addiction, and to find ways to come together as a community to respond to this epidemic in a constructive way. The road to recovery is not simple. What is clear is that strong and healthy connections within the community, coupled with institutional support for individuals in recovery, are key to decreasing rates of opioid use and addiction.
To recall or not to recall. That is the question all city voters must ask themselves on June 13th.
In 2014 I was elected to City Council from of a field of four candidates and received 597 votes; I was humbled by this show of confidence in my abilities and have worked hard to represent those who voted for me, along with the entire community.
I encourage you to vote NO at the special election on June 13. The allegations of misconduct against David Lewis, Catriona Reynolds and me in the recall petition and ballot are false. Sponsoring resolutions brought forth by Homer citizens, allowing the resolutions to be heard at a council meeting, and voting on them is an important role of city council. It is appropriate conduct, not misconduct.
This recall process has undoubtedly been a bumpy road. We knew it would be filled with challenges. Is recalling Aderhold, Lewis, and Reynolds worth risking friendships and social connections? The answer, is apparently, “yes.” Why? Because honesty matters.
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.
With a new year upon us, we mark a new season of Pick.Click.Give., the charitable check-off program that allows all Alaska Permanent Fund filers to give back to causes that they care most about. It is hard to find an easier way to pay it forward.
Note: I wrote this Opinion Piece two weeks ago. At that time I had been instructed to submit