Point of View

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?

S

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.

Cannabis conflict: Can we find truth?

Shall Homer City Council ban commercial cannabis cultivation, testing, processing, and sales from Homer? 

City council members Heath Smith, Bryan Zak, Donna Aderhold and Gus Van Dyke voted to introduce Ordinance 16-06 to ban commercial cannabis. As a director of the Kachemak Cannabis Coalition, I interviewed these councilors, looking for common ground. We did find common ground:  We agree (1) that Homer is fundamentally divided about cannabis and (2) that the two sides are working from two different sets of facts. 

What's next for Supreme Court

Someone once noted “a man is like a novel: until the very last page, you don’t know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth reading.”

Speaking of which, President Obama will go a long way in redeeming his performance as resident if he picks former Harvard law professor Sen. Elizabeth Warren as his nominee for the Supreme Court. She’s from the hard scrabble side of the tracks.

Some always oppose positive change

The Homer Playground Project got started when a group of people — mostly mothers (some with children in tow), a couple of city staff people, and a few folks dedicated to recreation in the Homer community — met at the playground in Karen Hornaday Park in late spring 2011. At the time, yellow CAUTION tape surrounded a number of pieces of play equipment. The tire swing — made out of a steel-belted radial — was so worn it could draw blood. 

And other parts of the playground looked like a mess. 

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