Point of View

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.

Senate should move ahead on Supreme Court nomination

Editor’s Note: Freshmen students in Sean Campbell’s class at Homer High School have been writing opinion pieces. The Homer News plans to publish several over the next few weeks. Here’s a sample.

Antonin Scalia’s death has already turned purely political.


Mere hours after Scalia’s death was confirmed on Feb. 13, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke out and said, “This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” 

Recovering addicts need encouragement

Last week I shared my concern about the rising use of heroin and other opioids in our community, and how we can do more to prevent the onset of their use. This installment addresses the need to understand and support treatment for those persons already dependent on or addicted to these substances. 

My previous use of terms like opioids and opiates may have caused unneeded confusion. To correct that and to further today’s discussion about treatment I cite this definition of opioid, from the National Institute of Health:  

Do we like where we're going?


ome have come to describe, in the Middle East, a mindset of absolute intolerance they call Islamo-fascists, but never did I think I’d see come to pass the capture of the moral imagination of so many in our country by what can only be described as Republic-cono Fascist, particularly and ironically by those very same folk who like to throw the term Islamo-fascist around. 

Supreme Court should protect contraceptive coverage for all

Two years after the Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that closely held for-profit companies do not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement if the company’s owners have moral or religious objections, this important health benefit is going back to the High Court. 

Helicopter landings in K-Bay state park should be restricted

Norse Flight Inc., an Anchorage-based company, has applied for a permit for an unspecified (unlimited) number of landings at 11 different sites in Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park from May through September. 

Allowing more permits for commercial helicopter landings in the Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park (The Park) is a bad idea. Period.  The Park is a unique and magnificent place. The Alaska Division of Natural Resources website describes the Park as follows:

Can we make it so ‘all’ have loving, supportive network?

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.  


I usually don’t like using strong words like “always” and “never” and “everything” or “nothing,” but sometimes I just can’t help it.  Like right now.

Cannabis: Cutting edge of civil liberties

We Alaskans have statutory and constitutional language available to determine whether cannabis social clubs are lawful. The “Act to tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana” begins:  “In the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, and to enhance individual freedom, the people of the state of Alaska find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older.”  

During the month of love, let’s consider giving family, friends gift of a good death

February, the shortest month of the year, follows January, and has 95 holidays, some bizarre and others we hold dear. Groundhog Day (in Alaska marmots are the substitute), President’s Day, Valentine’s Day when love gets honored with everything from flowers to far away trips. Super Bowl Sunday happened Feb. 7, Mardi Gras/ Fat was Tuesday, Feb. 9. Ash Wednesday and Chinese New Year dates vary. These are the more common holidays. 

Education associations offer compromise; district should get out of insurance business

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the two education associations have been bargaining for over a year. The associations have made numerous attempts to compromise and meet the district’s demands and we look forward to the district meeting us in the middle, where we have already moved in good faith. 

Homer’s food pantry sees 18 percent increase in need for its services

Over the past 25 years the Homer Community Food Pantry has provided food to those in need. Only with Homer’s generous donations of food, money and volunteer hours can we help those seeking our services. Together, we are a bridge, sharing resources to address hunger and basic needs as we form a  local helping network. Meeting these needs can be consuming in time and personnel but our efforts are very practical and concrete.


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