In her recent Compass editorial (May 20) “Alaska making a difference in ending cycle of violence,” Katie Tepas defends Gov. Sean Parnell’s work in the area of domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. I will not argue with her on the specifics of some of the progress that has been made in areas, such as adding Village Public Safety officers or funding forensic medical exams, but those are examples of responses for after the occurrence of violence. They do not speak to prevention. Gov. Parnell has missed some important opportunities to do more meaningful work in the area of prevention.
One very glaring and specific example is his recent decision to cut funding to the Parents as Teachers program. This program offers child-development information, parenting support, parent-child playgroups and home visits to families with young children.
Not domestic violence prevention, you think? Of course it is. When families connect to one another and to support services, they are more likely to seek help before problems turn violent.
Domestic violence occurs in families that are isolated from the community, friends and family. Domestic violence happens when the stresses of raising a family with few resources and little support leads parents to lose hope, choose self-medicating alcohol or drugs, and release their anger and frustrations upon one another instead of seeking problem-solving solutions.
Parents as Teachers is one example of a “Strengthening Families” approach to domestic violence and child abuse prevention, which builds on five protective factors to help parents nurture loving relationships within their families.
This positive and successful approach is part of the State of Alaska’s Office of Children’s Services (http://hss.state.ak.us/ocs/families/default.htm). Gov. Parnell could be doing far more to prevent domestic violence, not just react to it by supporting programs such as this one.
Chair, Families First
A Best Beginnings Partnership
As Alaskans head out into the glory of our wilderness surroundings to harvest the salmon returning to our shores, I hope they will contemplate the phenomenal complexity of nature that allows for such bounty, our wondrous good fortune to be able to take advantage of it, and hopefully feel some responsibility for stewardship.
Could any of us possibly have the hubris to think we could create such a miracle as a healthy salmon stream? What does it say about the Parnell administration that they consider it “technically feasible,” when experts not in the pocket of the mining industry emphatically disagree?
Foreign-owned PacRim’s plan to obliterate 11 miles of a pristine, productive salmon stream across Cook Inlet to sell low-grade coal to China is still on track to becoming a reality.
It will take all our voices shouting “no!” to bring this insanity to a halt. Please add yours. Visit www.chuitna.org to watch testimony from stream restoration experts, learn the specifics of the project, and write to the governor. It’s up to us.
The top-20 supporters for Mitt Romney’s campaign also fund President Obama’s: Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse Group, Morgan Stanley, Chase, Barkleys, Bank of America, Wall Street, right on down.
But this makes no sense. I mean, Mitt and Barack are of supposedly opposing political parties. Or does it make sense? This way, whoever wins, the establishment keeps control.
Same thing for the funders of war. They profit from selling weapons and reconstruction to both sides. This gives incentive to support and encourage both sides to war. This gives incentives to manufacture reasons to make war also.
Rev. Richard Olson
Totem Ocean Trailer Express is committed to giving back to our community. Their support of Project GRAD’s Summer Institute and Middle School Bridge programs helps low-income students from rural, under-served Kenai Peninsula schools learn skills needed to succeed in high school and continue successfully on to college.
In May, Project GRAD realized the benefits of its work and the generosity of its partners by congratulating 27 GRAD scholars from Nanwalek, Ninilchik, Port Graham, Razdolna and Voznesenka on their high school graduation.
Of those graduates, 16 will be continuing on to post-secondary education programs; 13 with Project GRAD scholarships. Over the years, the DanPaul Foundation has helped fund these scholarships. The foundation recognizes scholarships as an important tool that provides the means for opportunities for enrichment, growth, and personal social responsibility.
Project GRAD scholars sincerely thank Totem Ocean Trailer Express and the DanPaul Foundation for their support.
Mike Petersen, executive director
Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula
Thank you, Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee and the Ashley J. Logan and Sheldon Youth to Youth Funds. We so appreciate your support to the Children’s Program at The Center.
It may sound odd at this point in our very late spring, but we look forward to next winter’s ski season when, because of YAC’s support, we will be able to introduce cross country skiing to a number of first time elementary school skiers. Your grant for ski equipment helps us encourage kids to enjoy healthy outdoor activities and hopefully develop talents they can pursue for many years.
We’ll think of you with hearty thanks as the first snow starts to fall next winter.
Children’s program director
South Peninsula Behavioral Health Service
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