Point of View

Oil prices should not dictate Alaska's oil spill prevention

Among the many lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez oil spill was that it was almost inevitable.

“Success bred complacency; complacency bred neglect; neglect increased the risk— until the right combination of errors finally led to an accident of disastrous proportions,” according to the State of Alaska Oil Spill Commission in 1990.

Permanent Fund helps all Alaskans

The benefits of the Permanent Fund shared equally have had a very positive effect. Because of the dividend program, income disparity in Alaska is the lowest of any state. It provides for many low-income and workingclass families. and we have achieved a higher degree of social justice because of it. It is projected to produce $4 billion annually in four years if we protect it.

Legislators should not run from fire

As governor, I enjoy shaking a lot of hands. But one handshake in particular stuck with me. At the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport last winter, as passengers streamed off the flight from Fairbanks, one man turned around and walked toward me.

“I want to shake your hand,” he said. “When there’s a fire, most people run from it. I’m glad we have a governor who runs toward the fire.”

Communication pivotal to building community

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 indi- vidual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, envi- ronmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.

I am a beekeeper. I love the dynamics of these tiny social creatures. Really they aren’t that different from humans in many ways. They like sweets and like to dance, for instance. What’s not to like?

University of Alaska is rising to occasion

There was a time in Alaska when leadership was seized by those who had inexhaustible enthusiasm and strong motivation to address the challenges faced by our state. Today, our leaders face demands – financial, social and educational – that are daunting. Now, more than ever, is the time for Alaskans to step up and join together to address our state’s challenges and seize our opportunities.

Assembly service area vote could affect Ninilchik Health Clinic

A Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly vote on July 25 could eliminate my ability to work at the Ninilchik clinic.

Many of you have been hearing in the local news this week about the proposal coming up for vote at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting on Monday, July 25, to move the Central Peninsula Hospital service area line further south.

What many local resident aren’t aware of is the direct and severe impact that this proposal may have on the availability of medical services in Ninilchik.

Legislature must approve a fiscal plan

It’s time to solve our fiscal problem. The price of inaction is too high.

As the Legislature nears the end of the constitutional 120-day session, I am gravely concerned about the possible outcome.

Our state is in a difficult fiscal position. Due mainly to world oil prices and our over-dependence on oil, we have only about one-fifth of the revenue we need to balance the budget. And that’s after several years of budget cuts and almost no capital investment.  

Governor introduces marine sanctuary bill

Editor’s Note: This month marks the 40th anniversary of the jack-up rig George Ferris being “stuck firmly in 82 feet of clay just off the Homer Spit,” as the Homer News reported it on May 13, 1976. The incident proved to be the catalyst for the state to buy back oil leases that had been sold in Kachemak Bay. In this three-part series, Loren Flagg gives details of the Kachemak Bay oil lease sale and how the bay eventually was designated a Critical Habitat Area.

Hammond chooses fish over oil in bay

Editor’s Note: This month marks the 40th anniversary of the jack-up rig George Ferris being “stuck firmly in 82 feet of clay just off the Homer Spit,” as the Homer News reported it on May 13, 1976. The incident proved to be the catalyst for the state to buy back oil leases that had been sold in Kachemak Bay. In this three-part series, Loren Flagg gives details of the Kachemak Bay oil lease sale and how the bay eventually was designated a Critical Habitat Area.

George Ferris incident helped save bay

Editor’s Note: This month marks the 40th anniversary of the jack-up rig George Ferris being “stuck firmly in 82 feet of clay just off the Homer Spit,” as the Homer News reported it on May 13, 1976. The incident proved to be the catalyst for the state to buy back oil leases that had been sold in Kachemak Bay. In this three-part series, Loren Flagg gives details of the Kachemak Bay oil lease sale and how the bay eventually was designated a Critical Habitat Area.

Do our conversations matter? Yes!

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.  

Homer Foundation pays it forward by giving $2.5 million in 25 years

Walking with 25 kids over to the Pratt Museum the other day in the sun, I was feeling grateful that I got to go along as a parent chaperone.

Fifth-graders with spring fever were skipping ahead of me along the dusty sidewalk, 10- and 11-year-olds without any coats on an Alaska spring day. I was reminded of how amazing it is that we can walk from school to our great museum for a fun, easy and totally educational field trip.  Lucky kids! Our community supports this, and it adds to our kids’ sense of place and quality of life.

PFD legislative history: Created in wisdom, subverted in folly

Alaska citizens are about to be written out as owners of the Alaska Permanent Fund. The Permanent Fund Dividend currently defines you as a shareholder in this massive investment fund. In fact, many of us have been share-holders for 34 years now. The earnings of the Permanent Fund have historically been used only to pay dividends, inflation-proof the fund and cover dividend program costs, but that is about to change. 

Recycling electronics: Gateway to greener economy

The ability to recycle electronics helps families, businesses, governments, tribes and non-profits make responsible waste disposal decisions. It also puts our dollars to work supporting green jobs and re-using precious metals instead of mining for new ones.

When we talk about creating a greener economy in America, thoughts often go toward creating more sustainable energy sources like wind, solar, and tidal power.  Often overlooked is another aspect of being green — what to do with all the current waste we already produce?

The reality of addiction

Sarah was only 10 when she first began using drugs. Born into a family of abusive addicts she had started with pills mostly, downers, and then coke, meth, xanax. By the time she was a teen, Sarah had become an avid user of narcotics. After being arrested following a high that brought her near death, she was put in a boot camp for troubled teenagers. The staff at this camp would yell and force Sarah to participate in extensive physical activities, then withhold food if she failed.

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