Letters – March 20

Bad legislation out the door

Senate Bill 26 is terrible public policy that drastically alters the sale, exchange, permitting and use of state lands/water. It passed the House under its sister bill, HB77. Obviously, the governor has this on the fast track.
Why, one might ask?
Approximately 223,205 people (US Census 2010), or one-third of the total state population, live in unorganized places all across the state. How will this legislation impact their lifestyle and/or livelihoods? Has this been studied? 
Does city, borough or tribal governments have a role in the appeal process? It doesn’t seem so.
Are any decisions throughout the appeal process resolved at the local government level before going to the Department of Natural Resources commissioner, or in some cases the director? SB 26 gives much, too much, authority to one person: the commissioner of the DNR.
To appeal the commissioner’s decision is futile. One must appeal to the same commissioner who wrote the first decision. The commissioner of DNR is not even required to reply in writing.

SB26 and HB77 show an absence of fair appeal, no public impact study and a minimal public comment opportunity. This combination makes for bad legislation.
To add insult to injury, the accompanying fiscal notes say it won’t cost anything. That is unbelievable.
Contact your senator before it becomes the law of the land. Get the word out. Let them know we want smarter public policy. We don’t need sloppy, lazy legislation again.
Tara Jollie, retired director
Division of Community and Regional Affairs

Get your cookie on

Girl Scout cookies are here. Hopefully you have had a chance to stock up; but if not, there are still a few weeks left of the cookie sale.
Remember that buying Girl Scout cookies is more than just handing over money for a box. Your purchase helps teach Girl Scouts a lifetime of skills. She gains the experience of running her own cookie business, working with others and earns money for her troop and the Girl Scout program at local, state and national levels.
The Kachemak Bay Service Unit would like to thank Julie Davis, ERA Station Manager, and ERA Aviation for allowing us to have this year’s cookies delivered to their station and to the staff at ERA Aviation Freight and UPS for helping to unload 845 cases of cookies.
Thanks also to the local stores and businesses supporting Girl Scouts by hosting booth sales at your location. Thanks Homer and Anchor Point. We appreciate the community support. Cookies will be on sale until March 31.
Beth Trowbridge
Assistant Service Unit Manager
Kachemak Bay Service Unit

Thought provoking lecture

I would like to sincerely thank the Friends of the Homer Public Library for bringing Tim O’Brien to Homer and highlighting his book, “The Things They Carried,” through the Big Read.
O’Brien spoke last Friday night at Mariner Theatre, a free event with an award-winning, engaging, thoughtful and thought-provoking writer. I was deeply moved by his stories, his intention of testimony and finding ways through story to share not only events and places, but feeling and emotion.
The truth is not black-and-white. It can’t be nicely summed up in a 250-page book, or in a post on the Internet, or even through a letter to the editor. Instead, the truth is a brilliantly shifting and gray thing that is full of ambiguity. This, to me, was an incredibly timely message that I was thankful to hear and have the opportunity to reflect upon.
Many, many thanks to the Friends and to the staff at the Homer Public Library for all that you do to bring us in touch with ideas and stories from not only local authors, but also from a larger world beyond ourselves here at the End of the Road.
Rachel Lord

Help along the way

I want to thank the many people who helped with the benefit for me. It was unexpected, but greatly appreciated.
First off, I want to thank the Veterans of Foreign Wars for having the benefit in their building, as well as the many people who donated their time to help put the benefit together. Thanks for all the donations for the auction, to anyone who was able to make it, and, last but not least, the 8-Mile Band.
I appreciate all my family and friends, whether they were able to make it or not. These are the people who have helped me through this journey and will help me to continue to push forward. Thank you for giving me the strength to continue to move forward.
Dawn Drake
 

Time to step up to the plate

Last month, we wrote about the motion before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council that would cap the Chinook bycatch in the non-pollock trawl fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska.
Well, since then, the Council at their February meeting in Portland decided to wait until June, or perhaps even October to vote on a final action. The Council staff and NFMS need more time to analyze the data to report to the Council. The Alaska Marine Conservation Council has been tracking this action and it is time to get involved.
We have met with representatives of the charter sector and the commercial sector, and there is agreement that both would benefit from a reduction of waste both of Chinook salmon and halibut in the GOA.
So, what we would like to do is facilitate a co-authored opinion piece that would voice our collective outrage at wasting Chinook salmon and halibut, especially when stocks are in a low-abundance cycle.
If you might be interested in stepping up and being part of this effort, please call. I am easy to find in the book, or contact the Alaska Marine Conservation Council at their web site, www.akmarine.org for more information on how you might best comment on this issue.
In Homer, there will be sign-on sheets posted around town this week. You could at least add your name if you feel this is important that the Council imposes a cap that reflects a meaningful reduction in bycatch in all trawl fisheries in the GOA and the Bering Sea.
Checking the NMFS website this week, I found that one boat in the GOA had caught more than 540 Chinook salmon in just two deliveries on Feb. 16 and 23, for a fishery that pays about six cents a pound.
Pete Wedin

WWOOFers benefit life in Homer

Every spring, young people called WWOOFers flock to Homer to work in our greenhouses and high tunnels, gardens and homesteads. Whether you call it Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or Willing Workers on Organic Farms, WWOOFing is a worldwide movement.
For the cost of fare to Alaska and some gear, enterprising young people offer their labor on farms and homesteads in return for food and shelter.  Alaska WWOOFers are lucky; they often fish and kayak, hike and ski with their hosts.  
WWOOF hosts share wisdom, while WWOOFers share time, energy and youthful enthusiasm.
On WWOOF websites, WWOOF hosts describe their farm, current projects, duties expected of WWOOFers and philosophy. Potential WWOOFers post their profile, picture, skills and references from WWOOF hosts on the organization’s website, www.wwoofusa.org is.
When a WWOOFer inquires, “Is there a WWOOF position open at your farm,” a successful WWOOF host qualifies potential WWOOFers carefully by e-mailing a list of questions: How is your work ethic? What physical skills and farm experience do you have? What is your education? Are you strong? Can you use a shovel? What are your principles? Do you get along with your family and friends? Do you drink or use drugs? Why are you interested in our farm? How do you plan to get here?
Some outstanding WWOOFers have answered such questions satisfactorily and come to Homer. There is a sizable movement to Homer every summer of energetic, diligent young people. Some WWOOFers have chosen to find work and stay.  
This movement could offset Homer’s sizable retired population, contribute to Homer’s economy, as well as Homer’s food security.
Homeranians might devote some thought to what young folks see and experience when they land in Homer. Like all young folk, they wonder: Is this place good and beautiful and healthy? Is this where I want to settle down and raise a family?
As Kenai Peninsula Borough Asssemblyman Mako Haggerty pointed out, Homer used to have young people coming up for the fishing industry. They stayed and contributed valuable energy to Homer. Every community needs an immigrant class to stay vital and healthy. WWOOFers are our new immigrant class. 
Lindianne Sarno

The right to bear arms

What is the true purpose of the second amendment? I’ve read more than 100 well-documented and purposely recorded quotations by at least 15 of our major founding fathers explaining exactly what they meant. They meant in no uncertain terms that all the citizenry, all common people, should be fully armed and know how to use firearms.
The main reason being as a last defense against rogue government (including domestic) for the preservation of liberty. Take some time and look some up. They were ever so clear exactly what they meant. Google “founding fathers, quotes, guns or arms.” The greatest cause of unnatural death in history and throughout history is government. And that’s by the millions — not just school shootings.
Disarmament starts out innocently enough with good-seeming reasons. First there’s registration and restriction, then felony charges for noncompliance. Then comes confiscation, oppression, mass murder, tyranny, loss of freedom and injustice. It’s happened time and time again through history. 
The second amendment is the fourth branch of government and the teeth that has kept our nation strong. Support HB69 in Alaska.
Rev. Richard Olson

Thank you Homer businesses

The parent committee at Homer Head Start Preschool would like to give a big thank you to contributing businesses that donated to our February Fundraiser. We appreciate your support with every donation given.
Homer Head Start
Parent committee

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Posted by on Mar 20th, 2013 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.

1 Response for “Letters – March 20”

  1. picpic says:

    House Bill 26 a sad day for Alaskans and they don’t even realize what they are giving up.

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