Point of View

‘Lodge down the street’ helps community

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 am writing to make you aware of some things that are going on in the Homer area that you and your neighbors may know nothing about. Something that makes Homer a better place in which to live and raise a family. It is that Elks Lodge down the street that goes, for the most part, unnoticed.

The Homer Elks Lodge is one of approximately 2,000 across the United States and 17 in Alaska. The Homer lodge has 267 members who have among other goals: doing good deeds within the Homer and lower peninsula communities.

Jan. 22 marks 40th year of Roe v. Wade decision

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anuary 22 commemorates the 40th anniversary of a notorious decision passed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. Roe vs. Wade was followed by Doe vs. Bolton, allowing abortions to be legally performed at any stage of a pregnancy. 

 

There will be a demonstration march in Washington, D.C., with more than 250,000 people joining in the annual March for Life on Jan. 22. The mainstream media will probably offer little or no coverage of this event.

Focus Pocus: Don’t let people say you don’t care if you don’t support this cause or that one

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t’s all about the salmon, it’s all about saving the environment, or it’s all about equality. Pick an issue and you’ll find a concerted effort at work to convince you that if you’re not in support of an issue, new law or ordinance, then you don’t care about something. Salmon today, perhaps children tomorrow.  

Are you ready to start something big this year?

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anuary is the perfect time to start something good, something fun, something that will have a positive impact on your life, on   another’s life and on the community.  January is a great time to start something big by becoming a Big Brother, Big Sister or a Big Couple. 

You’re probably thinking “I don’t know what we’d do.” Well, do you like fishing, woodworking, building things, boating, kayaking, skiing, baking, gardening, going to garage sales, hiking, riding bikes, walking on the beach, ice skating, flying kites? 

Politicians make government look dysfunctional

I’d like to thank Clancy Hughes for sharing with us his look around the corner in last week’s paper. The future he had us peer into, if we should go off the fiscal cliff, was, to say the least, disturbing, but essential to view. What a moment as we slip into the Christmas season with politicians playing this horrible game of chicken with our economic and political future. 

Depreciation: It’s a red herring in debate over sales tax on food

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uring this ongoing debate about
raising food taxes, our city council keeps bringing up the issue of adequate funding for the city’s depreciation reserve accounts. In my opinion it is horribly distorted and here’s why. The entire purpose of a reserve account for equipment and facilities is to fund future repairs and replacement. Homer also has a multi-million dollar reserve account for operations and salaries if tax revenue should drop suddenly. Up until a few years ago we didn’t have a whole lot in these accounts. 

Borough stealing land from citizens

In 1996, the Kenai Peninsula Borough began to take control of private land from property owners, with no compensation to the owner. Then in 2008 and again in 2011, the Kenai Peninsula Borough took more land from private property owners.

Since 1996 the borough has created local ordinances to legitimize their taking from more than 4,000 parcels of private property. Most property owners were unaware their property was taken until well after the fact.

Here’s where we’re headed if we go over Cliff

December 11, 2029, New San Franbaha, CA — Entitlement caused the thing. 

Back in 2012, before the Cliff, entitlement was only a campaign whipping boy of the Reds. The trouble was that entitlement was also the state of mind among the wealthy; it was almost a uniform belief among the rich that they must hoard their hard-earned wealth at all cost — even at the cost of the Republic. 

Proposal is like stealing from poor at Christmas

Three years ago 60 percent of Homer voters rejected a winter-time sales tax increase on groceries. The whole idea was that the working poor would have one place to spend their money where the city government didn't have its hand out.
Prior to that ballot question, in the fall of 2009, the city attorney was asked his opinion about the legality of the city council ending the food tax exemption "even if the public voted to keep it." In his written letter to the council, he said that according to the Superior Court of Alaska it's not certain whether or not it would be legal.

Enough is enough

By the age of 13, 53 percent of American girls are "unhappy with their bodies." This grows to 78 percent by the time girls reach seventeen (Women's Media Center).
Where does this come from? Is it instinctual, genetic? Do we wake up one morning and just decide to fear the muscle and baby fat that keeps us alive, and despise our once desired curves?

Working together, we can reduce our costs, impact on environment

Over the last several years I have quietly followed the debate over bringing natural gas to Homer and the more recently proposed Natural Gas Distribution System Special Assessment District. I have read and listened to many comments, attended the “City Neighborhood” meetings, and done some research to become more informed. I feel it is time to weigh in.

Tidal power, not natural gas line, would better serve Homer, state

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fter much thought, I have decided to register my objection to the City’s Natural Gas Distribution System Special Assessment District.  Based on strong scientific evidence regarding the impacts of burning fossil fuels on climate change and ocean acidification, I believe that investing in a natural gas distribution system is the wrong type of energy infrastructure for the city to be investing in now.  

If you want to object you do have to file your vote of objection with the city by Jan. 25, 2013, or your vote automatically counts as a non-objection.

Loss sparks mission to raise pancreatic cancer awareness

As I contemplate this season of giving thanks, I realize how much I have to be thankful for. I live in a wonderful community with some of the most generous and giving people I’ve ever been associated with. I have wonderful kids and grandkids who fill my days with joy and friends who continue to lift me up.

November also is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. In May of 2010, my husband Jim Cooper was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer and he lost his battle in January of 2011. 

Wanted: You on a nonprofit board

At a recent Homer Council on the Arts meeting we were planning our annual meeting which takes place each January. At that meeting HCOA presents a slate of proposed board members for the members to approve.  As we talked, it became clear that it is time to begin a search for new board members.

For nonprofit organizations, board members are critical to planning,  providing new energy, setting policy, giving direction and helping to accomplish the mission of the organization.

A cyclist pleads: Come on, community, work with me

I ride my bicycle year-round. In the winter, I layer up for my ride despite the snow or the cold for many reasons, but mainly because it is good for me, I enjoy it, and it is one way that I choose to reduce my mark on this planet.

We all know that driving in the winter is more dangerous and so is cycling. Cycling in the winter could be less dangerous, though, if drivers would do two very simple things: slow down when approaching a cyclist and pass with ample space between.

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