Point of View

It’s time to build trust about cannabis

Alas, state regulators have wrapped up the marijuana regulation-making process and the regulations are now heading to the Department of Law for review. From there Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot will review them and sign or not sign them into law. 

Now, local communities are working out their local cannabis ordinances, zoning, etc. 

Something I am finding in many communities, including Homer, is a general distrust and fear of the cannabis industry. 

Cook Inletkeeper celebrates 20 years of accomplishments

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wenty years ago, a group of concerned Alaskans decided enough was enough. They were fed-up with toxic pollution in Cook Inlet, so they brought Clean Water Act claims against the oil and gas corporations for more than 4,200 illegal dumping violations. And they won. 

Then, they formed Cook Inletkeeper as part of the settlement. Today, Inletkeeper celebrates our 20th anniversary, and we’re proud and humbled by the countless members and supporters who have made our work possible.  

Sustaining our living and dying in Homer: a Thanksgiving reflection

A few weeks ago, I found myself trapped for 12 days in a hospital in Seattle, receiving “top-notch care” for an emergency complication of late-stage breast cancer, longing only to get home. The doctors in Seattle were nervous to release me to “the middle of nowhere.” Everything in me desired Homer, despite what I knew of November with its slick roads and snow-rain cycle. Despite our relatively small hospital. Despite the lack of, technically, a “medical hospice” or official palliative care program.

Vision, hard work, money create great place to live

I was 5 the first time I flew to Alaska by myself to visit my dad. We drove the impossibly long road to Homer, and when we arrived I was sure we were in the wrong place. 

In my absence a real grocery store had been built, roads were paved, and everything seemed somehow bigger. Every summer thereafter I would hold my breath coming into Homer and scan for the changes winter brought: homes blooming across the hillside, new businesses along Pioneer, landmark businesses like Proctors and Uminskies retired, and more fresh pavement. 

With not much effort, you can recycle

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 believe more people would recycle if they knew how easy it can be. I have written some short articles that will be published in the paper in the next few weeks that will tell what and how to recycle, where recyclable items can be taken, what new items can be recycled now (including some changes the borough has made recently), and some practical tips for making the process easier.  

Rural hospitals at risk

Many rural American hospitals are struggling to keep their doors open in the face of rising costs. Fifty-eight have closed since 2010 and many more may follow if the pharmaceutical industry gets its way and dismantles a little-known federal drug discount program called 340B.

Legislators pull together, remove middleman from Alaska’s future

Last week was historic for Alaska. Thanks to our state legislators, we took a significant step toward controlling our own destiny. 

The Legislature held about two weeks of hearings to examine my proposal to buy out TransCanada’s interest, then almost unanimously approved my request to exercise our option to take over Alaska’s share of the gas pipeline project. 

Nothing like enjoying dawn of new day with canine pal

I’m one of those offbeat types who enjoys the early morning hours where the eastern sky has yet to develop its personality and merely glows with a muted silver patina.

It gives me time to have my first cup of fresh ground coffee before stepping out on the deck to inhale the scintillating breath of the ocean’s morning air and let out our psycho dogs to rediscover everything that they excitedly detected the previous day and then promptly forgot about. It’s as if they start their life all over again every time they touch down on the dew-laden grass.

People’s voice needs representation

Some years ago as I stood in the national archives building and read from the original copy of our Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, I could not help but reflect on Lincoln’s closing words in his Gettysburg address ”...and that government of  the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Leadership means viable solutions

I first ran for Homer City Council more than three years ago, because I wanted to put a simple idea to the test — Could an elected official be someone I could trust and respect and still get re-elected? Can a politician be transparent, clear on his position, approach each issue with regard for evidence rather than preconception? Can people tolerate or even appreciate issued-based discourse?

Can Benghazi committee shed light on U.S. violence?

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oday, the House Select Committee on Benghazi is going to convene again, after 30 congressional committee hearings that have been held on the rampage in Benghazi, Libya, that left our ambassador and four other Americans dead in 2012. When the final report on Benghazi is completed, sometime in 2016, it will be the longest congressional investigation in U.S. history.

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