Letters – April 11

The bigger picture of natural gas in Homer

Fossil fuel energy is a global market and prices will be determined by supply and demand, not what is good for Homer. Our supplier, Enstar, is owned through a Michigan-based holding company, owned by a Wall Street equity firm whose senior partner is a senior partner at Morgan Stanley. Will they make decisions based upon what’s best for Homer?
Natural gas extraction has a high percentage of probability for contaminating water tables. From every drill site seeping “just a little” to total destruction of an area’s water supply. The natural gas industry has a track record, to date, that shows profit is far more important than the environment or its customers financial well being. Based upon 2010 rate of consumption, an 11-year supply of gas is currently proved. The rest (decades) is speculative.
Currently, operators need $8-9 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) to break even. The  price this week is $2.089 (something will have to change for the industry to be profitable, hmmm extraction technology or price?).
A number of gas companies have applied for gas export applications with the federal government, which will account for approximately 19 percent, or almost one-fifth of total U.S. gas consumption today. If approved, this will impact domestic supply with studies showing the more gas we export, the higher prices go domestically (Read item no. 1, ie. energy is a global market. Is there a possibility of even more companies filing applications?).
I would like to see someone step up and guarantee decades of cheap natural gas with no environmental mishaps. Then convince me that we human beings (a group that has historically been reactive on just about everything) will suddenly become proactive and put alternative and sustainable sources into place while the cheap natural gas is flowing.
Kevin Kreitz

Making the respectful choice

I want to thank the thousands of Alaskans who participated in Choose Respect rallies and marches last week; thank you for speaking out and standing up against domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse.

The First Lady and I are especially grateful to the amazing hosts and communities for their hospitality extended to members of my administration. We are rebuilding the importance of the traditions of respect, and by doing so we will end the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault. Together, we will create a stronger, healthier Alaska.
Gov. Sean Parnell

First amendment rights

I feel compelled to publicly add my voice to the “Rush Limbaugh controversy.” I found the reasoning of Dave Becker’s March 28 opinion to be rather interesting. He starts his piece with an admission of Limbaugh’s “crass and inappropriate” comments, but summarily dismisses the issue because he “apologized” and goes on to admonish other “Left Wing operatives” for their comments about female politicians and social commentators. Are we supposed to think that what he said is OK because other people say bad things, too? Let’s stick to the issue of Limbaugh and not divert anyone’s attention from who is fully responsible for the foul name calling that took place.
I do not question Limbaugh’s First Amendment right to say what he wants. My question is: should we support his platform to say it? Limbaugh’s comments served no productive purpose. They were base and disgusting. Expressing his desire to see a video of Ms. Fluke having sex because he felt he “paid for it,” because he’s a citizen, and may require health insurance carriers to pay for birth control? You tell me. Is that the kind of language that promotes civil discourse?
Ms. Fluke was simply exercising her rights under the constitution to testify before a governing body. She is not a politician or a social commentator who chooses to put herself in the limelight every day for political or financial gain.
I sponsored a petition recently which simply said, “We, the undersigned, want to keep Homer’s airways free of hateful, prejudiced, incendiary language. We are asking KGTL to remove Rush Limbaugh from your programming.” It was signed by almost 200 people. I assure you that no “left wing political activists” contacted me or are using my name to promote any political agenda. I started the grassroots, local petition because I feel strongly about the rise in disrespectful, hateful discourse in this country. Sorry, Mr. Becker, but I am not party to a conspiracy.
Speaking out against vile and disgusting discourse does not make someone a “left wing operative.” I think our Founding Fathers would agree.
Maureen Moore

Pick and clicking generously

The filing period for the Alaska Permanent Fund closed on March 31. We have already learned that over 23,000 Alaskans pledged $2.2 million through Pick.Click.Give. in 2012.  This represents an increase of nearly 50 percent over last year’s total. 
The PFD charitable check-off program has grown each year and is really starting to have an impact on the nonprofit sector.  Locally, fourteen organizations, including the Homer Foundation, garnered $49,350 through Pick.Click.Give.  These organizations enrich our community in many ways, from feeding our hungry to feeding our souls. Thanks to the Pick.Click.Give. program for providing a safe and easy way to support the causes that we care about in our communities, and thanks to the 66 individual who chose to support the Homer Foundation.  We won’t know who any of these generous donors are until PFD checks are mailed in October.  Until then, thanks to everyone who participated.
Joy Steward,
The Homer Foundation executive director

‘Into the Woods’ with appreciation

It takes a community to put on a high school musical with 94 students.  “Into the Woods” was the latest of many powerful Broadway musicals over the years. 
Dr. Allen Gee, Doug Waclawski and the Homer High School staff gave their support to the musical team as they give their support to all the sports teams and extracurricular activities.
Thank you, teachers.  Thank you, coaches, for graciously releasing students for the last two weeks of daily and nightly rehearsals, just as students are released for your away games. 
Parents were hugely supportive of their students’ crazy schedule: rehearsing until after 9 p.m., (have to be picked up); still have homework, and getting up early to get back to school to do it again.  Parents also donated food for rehearsal and performance breaks for two weeks under the leadership of Kira Stuart; and helped with costumes, make-up, hair,  props, set building, ushering, monitoring back stage, etc. (and really, it’s fun.) 
Kira received generous, yummy  donations from local restaurants for the 12 days of feeding the cast.  Thank you especially Two Sisters, Fritz Creek General Store, Fat Olives, Cosmic Kitchen, Don Jose’s, AJ’s Old Town Tavern, Save-U-More, Safeway and Subway.
Finally, there were the 94 singers, who have been developing their voices and their experience in music (from middle school to Swing Choir solos).  They applied what they have learned vocally, to include dancing and acting and group performance. To back them up, JulieAnn Smith was the phenomenal rehearsal accompanist and keyboardist (J) for the wonderful 18-piece orchestra in the pit.
Thank you, Homer, for being the town where our high school musicals always receive support and attendance.
Barbara Petersen for Pier One Theatre and the Homer High School Choir program

Towing in the thanks

The Kachemak Ski Club would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to the Homer Theatre and ERA Aviation for their support of the Ohlson Mountain Rope Tow. Though we are overdue in expressing our appreciation, we have not forgotten how generous Robin Daugherty and the Theatre were in donating several punch cards at the Warren Miller Fundraiser, along with ERA Aviation, who donated several round trip tickets to Anchorage.
While many folks can’t wait for all the snow to melt, this is the time of year when the spring skiing gets better and better, with longer daylight hours, afternoon sunshine on the slope, and warmer temperatures. There is still a lot of snow, so remember us on Sunday afternoons, and we hope to see you on the hill!
Nell Gustafson

Good advice to follow

I was down at Two Sisters Bakery. I was taking a walk and then I stopped and looked around. There was garbage all over the place. I ran back to the bakery and got a Safeway bag and went down the road picking up garbage.
When I got back to the bakery, the Safeway bag was full to the top. My mom was so proud of me that she took my picture. Then, I got a paper bag and cleaned up around the bakery! And, I want to say that people should pick up a bag of trash a week or every day. The community is packed with litter, and I am here to help! 
Liam R. James, 8 years old

Editor’s note: Following are some of the letters we received regarding PacRim’s plans to develop the Chuitna coal deposit by surface mining the Chuita River.

Making a grave mistake

The State of Alaska fines people who divert a creek, but the State Department of Natural Resource is considering letting PacRim destroy 11 miles of a salmon stream? This decision to let a coal mining company mine through 11 miles of the Chuitna River is a sham.
There is no evidence anywhere that a  salmon stream can be reclaimed. DNR is supposed to protect our salmon streams, not sell them to the highest bidder.  
This is an incredibly shameful decision and defies the long-standing history in Alaska of carefully safeguarding our fisheries and clean water.  Shame on Gov. Parnell if he does not step up to the plate and keep his word that he would “never trade one resource for another.”
Nina Faust

Coal is nor compatible

PacRim’s plans to develop the Chuitna coal deposit by surface mining the Chuitna River, and the governor’s support of this project, is not compatible with the long-term interests of Alaska, and the people the governor represents.  Alaska represents one of the last places on earth where we can develop our resources responsibly, focusing on balanced outcomes, and provide for a unique, sustainable environment for future generations. 
Coal extraction by destroying eleven miles of a salmon stream, and the burning of this coal by foreign countries with poor environmental regulations is not something Alaska should be associated with and is simply not in Alaska’s long term interest. 
Gov. Parnell’s leadership is needed to build a state for future generations, and put the short term profits of foreign companies aside. That is what his leadership should strive for, and he is in a unique position to help Alaska build toward a sustainable future, benefiting all of the citizens of this state, not just corporations and foreign economies.
I would like the governor to take the long view, and protect our unique environment and resources.  Future generations will thank him for his insight and leadership.
Richard Kenshalo

Very concerned

I am asking you, Mr. Parnell, and your administration to do what you said you would do; never trade one resource for another. If you allow 11 miles of salmon stream to be irreversibly destroyed, what kind of precedent are we setting for the rest of Alaska’s streams?
Lets face it, we cannot, with all our human power, put together a salmon stream’s sensitive ecosystem that has been in the making for thousands of years. It is your job to protect the resources that are sacred and essential to all Alaskans. Please don’t trade a renewable resources for a short term, messing profit. We all know you know better.
No mining through salmon streams; Not now, not ever!
Tiffany Wickenhauser

Choose salmon over coal

 I wrote this letter to Gov. Sean Parnell and I want everyone to know that we Alaskans will not stand idly by and have our beautiful state sold out to the highest bidder.
I asked our governor to please choose salmon streams over coal to China. No mining through Salmon streams – not now – not ever. Testimony on March 2 before the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded PacRim’s plans to re-create a wild salmon stream are “scientifically impossible.”
 PacRim’s mining plan will destroy 11 miles of salmon streams, and the impacts will be irreversible. This is cause for Gov. Parnell to instruct DRN Commissioner Daniel Sullivan to overturn his previous ruling and declare the Chuitna River, its tributaries and riparian zones as unsuitable for surface coal mining per the petition submitted by the Chuitna Citizens Coalition.
Gov. Parnell needs to keep his promise to never trade one resource for another. Mining through salmon streams sets a dangerous precedent – no salmon stream is safe.
Sybille Castro

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Posted by on Apr 11th, 2012 and filed under Letters to the Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses for “Letters – April 11”

  1. Concerned Sourdough says:

    Liam R. James … you are the future keeper of the gate. Keep up the good work and maybe soon, adults will follow.

  2. Nina Faust says:

    Spontaneous civic responsibility! Way to go, Liam. Thanks for your efforts in keeping Homer clean and beautiful. Your efforts are a simple reminder that if we all pitch in, we can make a difference.

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