Letters – May 8

Win a Harley

For their seventh-annual Harley Davidson motorcycle raffle, the Kachemak Bay Lions members are requesting that communities help raising much-needed funds by buying a raffle ticket.
Only 399 tickets will be sold. They can be purchased for $100 during business hours at several locations around town, including Scruggs’s Automotive and Homer Insurance Center. You can also find Lions members selling tickets for the next several months at the Homer Farmer’s Market, Spenard Builders Supply, Kachemak Gear Shed and the Kenai Peninsula State Fair. In fact, you can buy tickets wherever you see the shiny new Harley Davidson Deluxe.
To increase the odds of raffle participants winning something, every 50th ticket drawn wins a prize valued at least $100. With the money raised from last year’s raffle, we funded $5,000 to eye exams and glasses for the needy, $1,550 to numerous youth sport groups and local school programs, $2,000 for college scholarships, $6,400 for the Thanksgiving Food Basket program and $531 for the Long-Term Care Center Christmas gift program.
The Lions also donated $2,100 to support other local nonprofits, including Share the Spirit, Relay For Life, Salvation Army, Hospice of Homer and the Pratt Museum. As you can see, the money goes to so many worthy causes. We hope you can find it in your heart to support the Lions Club in this worthy cause.
The drawing will be held at AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse and Tavern on Aug. 24, starting at 7 p.m. AJ’s will have a live band starting at 9 p.m., so I encourage everyone to buy a ticket and come on out to enjoy good food, drinks and watch the show. And maybe you will be the lucky winner of a brand new Harley Davidson Deluxe.
Tary Youngblood
Kachemak Bay Lions
Harley Davidson Raffle Chairman

Parnell’s trip highlights SB 21 failures 

Gov. Sean Parnell’s trip to Norway and the United Kingdom unwittingly confirmed criticisms of SB 21.  Yesterday, Parnell tweeted “UK is seeing results of tax reform, billions in new investment and jobs,” and put out a press release touting his visit to Norway and Great Britain. Unlike the Parnell giveaway, Great Britain only offers development incentives for new oil, not existing legacy fields.  Norway charges oil companies higher prices to extract oil and has built a larger Permanent Fund than Alaska’s in less time. 
Norway and Great Britain illustrate why the oil giveaway is bad for Alaska, said Mike Wenstrup, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party. Parnell ignored the Norway model of saving oil revenue and the British model of focusing incentives on new oil production.
Norway reaps 78 percents of profits from oil production. Before SB 21 passed, Alaska received approximately 68-72 percent of profits based on recent oil prices; now we receive less.
By charging oil companies more for the privilege of oil extraction, Norway has built a $700 billion Permanent Fund in less time than it took Alaska to create a $46 billion Permanent Fund. In addition, Norway invests directly in new oil exploration.  Democratic senators proposed such direct investment with SB 50, and Senator French offered an amendment to SB 21 which would have established it.  Senate Republicans rejected these proposals in favor of money-for-nothing giveaways for existing oil from legacy fields.
Following his recent trip, Parnell claimed Alaska should emulate Great Britain’s oil price structure. In fact, Great Britain only cut prices paid by oil companies for new oil.  Under the British system, companies must apply for the credit and explain how they are increasing production. In contrast, oil companies get money for doing nothing under SB 21, which not only lacks incentives for new oil but also gives away money even if oil companies produce less of it.
Parnell’s press release touting European oil pricing systems can be read at (http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=6462)
Zack Fields
Communications Director
Alaska Democratic Party

Girls Hockey thank you

On behalf of the Homer Hockey Association, I would like to thank the Compass Rose Foundation and the Homer Foundation for providing funds for the Girls Hockey Camp that took place at the beginning of April. Because of this funding, along with the generosity of Homer’s youth hockey players, we were able to provide not only free ice time for many girls, but also gear to participate comfortably and safely in a short hockey camp.
The camp consisted of four sessions, where the girls learned the basics of skating, the basics of hockey, and got the chance to play some cross ice hockey games. Thanks to Coach Chris Owen, they all had a great time. We are hoping to provide a similar camp for girls in the fall.
Thank you for helping provide these opportunities for the youth in our community.
Karen Weston
Member, HHA

Jubilee success marks 26 years

Jubilee 2013, presented by the Homer Council on the Arts, marked 26 years of celebrating young artists. As usual, this year’s show was a great success, thanks to the efforts of many: a great audience, talented young people, dedicated teachers, parents and dedicated volunteers.
A very special thank you goes out to this year’s Jubilee sponsors: Ponderosa Child Care, Alaska U.S.A. Federal Credit Union and VBS Heating. Proceeds from the show go to support the H.C.O.A. Summer Youth Scholarship Program. 
Jubilee is truly an inclusive show that benefits not only the performers and their audience, but also provides funding for the scholarship. It is so rewarding to see these young artists of all ages and backgrounds share their talents, feel good about themselves and grow from year to year. Thank you all. Remember to watch for Jubilee 2014, which will be held April 25, 2014.
Diane Borgman
Jubilee Artistic Director

Make Old Town friendlier for pedestrians

Old Town’s got it going on. We are the Gateway to Bishop’s Beach, one of the best and most accessible beaches on the peninsula. Composed of twenty two businesses and organizations, Old Town offers great food, live music, tasty mead, exciting art and even sticky buns! According to TripAdvisor, Maura’s Cafe and Deli Catessen, The Mermaid Café and Two Sister’s Bakery shuffle around each other as the top three rated restaurants in all of Homer! For all its dynamism Old Town, has become a sparkly gem to locals and travelers, and we are in immediate need of traffic-calming, pedestrian improvements and parking amenities.
Currently there is one speed limit sign in Old Town, 25, and it faces exiting Bishop’s Beach traffic. There is one cross walk in Old Town. There are no designated walking paths along existing roads, but there are four existing walking trails which connect to them. There is a trolly stop which delivers tourists from the Spit to Bunnell Ave, but without even a crosswalk to get them off the curb, foot traffic becomes chaotic, unorganized and dangerous.
Led by Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Old Town Creative Placemaking efforts, the Old Town Neighbors have met at Bunnell to address these concerns. Collaborative discussions between Old Town neighbors, City Planning and Public Works have helped to form these exciting one-year goals for East Bunnell and Beluga Place:
• Lower the speed limit to 15, add speed signage to Old Town entries
• Install seasonal speed bumps on East Bunnell and Beluga Place
• Widen pavement on East Bunnell Avenue and Beluga Place pavement and shift of traffic lines to allow for pedestrian/bike path on the south and west side of the streets, respectively
• Add three cross walks and appropriate signage for pedestrians and bikers
• Pave and mark parking spaces at Bishop’s Beach
These goals are vital to long term Old Town safety, functionality and beautification. We want to prime this space for park developments, public art and lasting local vibrancy. I am thrilled that Old Town is embracing this collaborative process, which undoubtedly will bring tremendous value to all users.
Please contact Brianna Allen, brianna@bunnellstreetgallery.org, to share collaborative ideas and to pledge support to this collaborative effort.
Brianna M. Allen

Free tax-preparation offered

The AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are a special group of people who are dedicated to giving their time and expertise to provide a free income tax preparation service for the citizens of Homer year after year.
This year, our volunteers e-filed more than 160 returns, with a total refund amount of approximately $137,000. The Earned Income Credit Tax was more than $22,000 and the estimated tax preparation fees saved taxpayers more than $30,000. There were 92 citizens in the Homer area, age 60 or older, who were served by Tax-Aide volunteers.
These volunteers are the people that make the AARP Tax-Aide Program the great success that it has become. To all AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, I want to personally thank you for the commitment and dedication you give to the program. The time and attention you give to each Alaskan in the preparation of their tax return is truly amazing.
It is a pleasure and an honor to work with and know these volunteers. Thank you for the great job you do.
Jan Watson,
Alaska State Coordinator
AARP Tax-Aide Program

Micciche let us down

Last Friday, our legislative delegation held a town hall meeting at Homer Council chambers. This was a well-attended event, and Rep. Seaton and Sen. Micciche fielded many questions from constituents.
One of the issues on the table was SB21, the “Oil Tax Giveaway.” SB21, recently enacted, gives a billion dollars a year away to oil companies in Alaska. The hope of those that support this is that the machinery will be fired up and that the pipeline will fill. There is no language in the legislation that ties the tax break to new production, which is why many call it a giveaway. This is a bad business deal for Alaskans, who will be faced with unnecessary austerity in future budgets. 
A billion dollars a year is a lot of money that should be used for roads, education and programs benefitting Alaskans. Instead, we will be tightening our belts unnecessarily. The families and former staffers of Governors Hickel and Hammond believe this giveaway is contrary to the “owner state” concept, and adamantly oppose it because there is no linkage to guaranteed production. A petition is circulating that would push the concept to the ballot for public review. Rep. Seaton and Sen. Micciche both voted in favor of this unnecessary austerity.
At the town hall meeting, I admonished Sen. Micciche for his vote to relax wastewater standards for the cruise ship industry. He argued with me, saying that he had not voted to do this. Here are the facts: on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, Senator Micciche joined with the majority to enact HB80. The headline in the Anchorage Daily News following the vote reads, “Rollback of Cruiseship Wastewater Rules Approved by Alaska Senate.”
The article states that, “The Alaska Senate on Tuesday approved a Parnell Administration measure to roll back cruise ship wastewater standards that were approved by voters in 2006.” Senator Micciche may have misremembered his position on this, because he denied voting for dirty water in public last Friday.
In my personal opinion, relaxing wastewater standards in any Alaska waterway is contrary to the pride that Alaskans have in healthy, wild fisheries; contrary to the scientific concept that clean water is necessary for fish survival and regeneration; and contrary to good economics with regard to tourism and commercial fisheries. 
I do appreciate that Rep. Seaton voted against HB80 and in favor of clean water.
Frank Mullen

Meeting of math minds

The eighth-annual Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Middle School Math Meet, a joint effort between the Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College and Homer Middle School, offered a challenging math experience to 90 students from nine district schools on April 26.
Deep gratitude goes to our prize donors. We thank Homer Electric Association for its $200 donation, Peninsula Internal Medicine for a $150 donation, and engineer David Thomas for his donation of a beautiful graphing calculator. These generous donors allowed us to purchase many great door prizes for thrilled recipients and the overall prize winners.
A huge thanks to judges Beth Graber, Karen Weston, Duncan Wanamaker, Eric Fenger, Rosemary Fitzpatrick; proctors Elise Boyer, Vicki Lowe, Teague Vanek, Michelle Waclawski; hospitality volunteers Susan Bunting and Betsy Vanek, and all the parents who donated morning snacks for all the mathletes.
A big thank you also to the students who helped set up, take down, and participate in the meet. The commitment to excellence in math by students, staff, and the Homer Middle community makes this meet a satisfying and worthwhile experience for all.
Suzanne Haines and Sara Reinert
Coordinators, Middle School Math Meet

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Posted by on May 8th, 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.

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