Point of View

Do those who oppose economic development speak for majority?

I have called Alaska home for more than 40 years. Anyone who has been here that long knows that we are a resource driven state — fish, oil, gold, coal and other minerals, timber — unless and until we tap those resources we starve and freeze in the dark. It’s the only reason we have roads and schools and so many of the services we take for granted.

It may not be a perfect system, but capitalism beats alternatives

I’ve resisted the urge to write in response to those with extreme anti-corporate leftist views that so regularly appear in our weekly paper, but this time I cannot sit by without a response to last week’s letter from Jessica Tenhoff. She states in her letter that we should “Occupy Economic Development. Occupy the Economic Development Forum. Stop the Madness Here.”
OK, so let us all do it, Jessica. How about we start with your business of yurt building in Homer?

Snowmachiners, please respect private property

Property along East Skyline Drive, from East Hill Road to half a mile past the school bus turn around and all along Ohlson Mountain Road past Lookout Mountain, is all private property. There is no public land in this area anywhere along these two roads.

Skyline landowners remind snowmachine operators that running your machine anywhere in this area is illegal and driving off the roadway constitutes trespass on private land.

While it’s not perfect, current proposal is fair assignment of water-sewer costs

The Homer Water and Sewer Rate Task Force is fast approaching its final phases. Currently it’s reviewing its rate model for an April presentation to the city council. One issue within the rate-model that remains controversial is it’s “fairness,” as applied to all users. Although the model will assuredly be tweaked in response to recent public input,  fundamentally I believe it’s a fair assignment of costs.  

Fairness in rates can be achieved through reasonable, consistent application of policy

The City Water/Sewer Rate Task Force is promoting a proposal that is not only unfair, it is unreasonable. It targets a small group that has little representation. The proposal is being pushed through to the Homer City Council level without regard for the facts and testimony, and completely ignores the elephant in the room — our water and sewer rates in Homer are exorbitant, three to four times that of other communities in the state.   

A new way forward in the Gulf of Alaska: Reduce bycatch, but protect coastal communities

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laska has some of the world’s most abundant and prosperous fisheries and a reputation for science-based management. Fisheries are the life-blood of coastal Alaska and a major driver of the state’s economy. So when it comes to managing our fisheries, it’s critical we get it right.

Let’s not undo Roe v. Wade; there are far better options

Abortion is a highly charged emotional issue, as Eileen Becker’s Jan. 17 Point of View commentary makes perfectly clear. But it’s also an issue that goes straight to the heart of our democracy. 

The Supreme Court decision 40 years ago in Roe v. Wade balances the rights of a pregnant woman, her fetus and the state. Far from being a  “notorious” decision leading us to a “culture of death,” as Becker writes, it is a reasonable position that allows individuals of widely different personal views to live peacefully together. 

‘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. 

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