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.
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.
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.
Somehow our local young people need to find the energy and time to understand and say “no” — to the spending habits of city government. It’s become like an adolescent boy that never grows up. It will just keep eating everything and ballooning and then start whining and blaming you when the food is gone.
Generally Homer city government hums along quietly in the background. The library buzzes with activity six days a week, the Homer Education and Recreation Complex (HERC) livens evenings with pickle ball, when you need a policeman he’s there.
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.
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.
Over the years, I have been asked why Homer Physical Therapy supports Homer Council on the Arts. Most people assume it’s due to a personal interest in the arts — a hobby or hidden talent — but Homer Physical Therapy’s support of HCOA comes down to one word: inclusion.
enai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre has proposed the possibility of merging the hospitals on the peninsula. Perhaps this is what needs to be done. I’m not sure.
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.
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’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.
Last month I had a bitter-sweet experience, but mostly, it was beautiful. Buffeted by wind and rain kicked up by a mid-September storm, I took part in the gathering of over 200 friends and neighbors at Mavis Muller’s 12th annual Burning Basket celebration.
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.”
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?
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.
Homer’s eastern neighbor, Kachemak City, is a bit of an enigma to many folks at our end of the Kenai Peninsula. It is a tiny, irregularly shaped city with one-tenth the population of Homer. It doesn’t even have its own zip code.
What it does have, though, is a long history, longer by three years than Homer itself, and a governing philosophy that argues that the best government is less government. It is a self-sufficient, frugal community led by a mayor and city council.
I was recently reading an essay “Solitude and Leadership” by William Dersiewiez. He had delivered a speech to a plebe class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in October 2009.
ctober is National Seafood Month. This month we’re looking to spread the word to eat more Alaska seafood — it’s good for your health. Alaskans can be proud that our state and offshore federal fisheries produce more than 60 percent of the nation’s domestic seafood harvest. Alaska’s production of more than 5.5 billion pounds is more than the whole nation consumes.
Alaska seafood has a positive brand image across the nation that helps every Alaskan.
mericans are charitable souls. Everyone will agree that it feels good to help someone who truly is in need and uses the charity they receive not only to survive but also to better themselves. Many people find it difficult to give because they are not sure if their donations ever make it to the intended source.