Letter of the Editor – June 31

Calling Pebble’s bluff
Senator Lisa Murkowski is to be commended for recently calling the bluff of the Pebble Partnership by asking for “detailed plans and a timeline for developing Pebble Mine.”
It’s about time elected officials started recognizing the obvious.
The Pebble permitting process was to begin nearly a decade ago. However, John Shively, chief executive officer of Pebble Partnership, said “getting it right takes time.” What he really seems to be saying is not that Pebble Partnership has no plan for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on studies and lobbying, but that the stars are not yet properly aligned from a political perspective. In other words, not enough permits have been “streamlined” to grease the skids, (e.g. SB 26) so that innocuous permits are a guarantee.
In terms of rigor, Pebble’s underlying assumption seems to be that feasibility is in the eye of the beholder and, if they spend enough money they should be able to get the permits.
Here’s hoping Sen. Murkowski gets the Pebble Partnership to show its cards.
George Matz

A purveyor of poo
“A gallon of water is a gallon of water, and a gallon of poo is a gallon of poo,” so says Councilman Beau Burgess.  I applaud the profundity of our esteemed councilman.
I must confess that I am not a small business owner, and was not at the recent city council meeting to hear Councilman Burgess’ profound words for myself. However, I am compelled to ask him where his allegiance lies? On the one hand, he says he is all for the welfare of small businesses here in Homer.  His words at this last meeting, however, have me wondering where and how he intends to help local small business owners?
I ask this because I attended a meeting back in the early spring, when the council was taking testimony concerning the then-proposed gas pipeline and proposed $3,200 assessment that was to be passed on to the individual property owners within the city’s boundaries.
At that meeting, I voiced my opposition — not to the pipeline — but rather to the council’s willingness to force each property owner to monetarily support such a project. (Should we all pony up and help Buccaneer drill for gas?)
At the earlier meeting, Mr. Burgess intimated his desire to see businesses not only survive, but thrive here in our little hamlet by the sea. He even went so far as to say that the silent majority had spoken. This, even though the council did not, or would not, reveal how many people actually voted either in favor of, or not in favor of the proposed assessment. There’s the proof of his profundity once again.
Now the council is saying the cost of doing business in Homer is expensive, etc., etc. So which is it Mr. Burgess? Are you in favor of businesses surviving and thriving, or not?
Let me remind you that these businesses are the very ones that contribute time and time again to our schools and various organizations around town. They are generous beyond words; just ask any parent with a student in any sports program, or any other organization on the receiving end of their generosity.
Yes, it is expensive to do business in Homer. So, help us out Councilman Burgess. Help keep locals shopping locally.
I would also add that, for the majority of those out there who do not bother to get off the proverbial couch and vote in our citywide elections — or any election for that matter — shame on you. We get what we don’t vote for.
Joyclyn Graham
Re-evaluate oversize load permits
Once again, I felt compelled yesterday to pay an extreme price to print a piece of paper that I could have read online. The State of Alaska D.O.T. charged me $35, and all they did was provide a few sentences of standard instructions for towing an oversized boat. (Eleven inches over wide, and a 5-minute tow.)
How do they justify that?
I see no reason to demand permit money from boat owners in this town if they have proper signs on their trucks and trailers, and drive safely.
Albert Arakelian

Legion scholarships promote learning
I want to publicly thank General Buckner American Legion Auxiliary Unit 16 in Homer for the Children of Warriors National President’s Scholarship. I would also like to thank the American Legion Department of Alaska for the Aggie Parks Scholarship, “Empowering Women, Inspiring Communities.”
I plan to use these scholarships to help me pursue my educational goals at Wellesley College. The support of both the Homer and Alaska communities is deeply appreciated.
Miranda Beach

Thanks for another amazing summer @ HPL
This weekend was the culmination of the 2013 Summer @ HPL Reading Program. Hundreds of children, teens and adults took part in this summer’s myriad of programs. This year, we focused on developing consistently fun and educational programs at the library that inspired kids to create, as well as encouraging them to read more than ever before.
Our community has played a huge part in supporting the summer reading program, and we are very grateful; we couldn’t do it without all of you. We would particularly like to thank Alaska Federal Credit Union for its funding of ”Dig Into Reading,” the children’s programs, and the Clifford Jenson Fund a donor-advised fund of the Homer Foundation, for supporting Maker Mondays.
So many businesses and individuals helped with the Summer @ HPL program. Thanks to: Beau Burgess, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Fat Olives Restaurant, Frosty Bear Ice Cream, The Grog Shop, Kate Haas, The Homer Bookstore, Homer Theatre, Homer Veterinary Clinic, Homer Winter Services, Homer’s Jeans, Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center, KBBI, Land’s End Resort, Brett Merrow, Ben and Mary Parks, Homer Public Works, Paul Rauch, Douglas Dean, Ally McCarron, Timeless Toys, Two Sisters Bakery, Ulmer’s, the incredible Board of the Friends of the Homer Public Library and many others. Thank you for supporting summer reading for youth, teens and adults.
Claudia Haines and Erin Hollowell,
Homer Public Library

Either give back, or pay it forward
For the past 20-plus years, the Homer Foundation has managed the Jessica Stevens Memorial Fund with care and sensitivity. This has resulted in giving many Homer area youth opportunities to participate and learn in the area of the performing arts; opportunities they might not have had otherwise.
For 47 years, I have been engaged in natural resource exploitation in Alaska, primarily on the Kenai Peninsula. Recent successful exploration and ongoing development by Armstrong in the North Fork Unit and by Hilcorp in the Nikoleavsk Unit near Homer are yielding resource royalties. I have committed a portion of my interest in those royalties to the Homer Foundation so that they may continue their good work with local youth through the Jessica Stevens Memorial Fund.
I encourage any other individual, group or corporate entity benefiting from area resource exploitation to give back to the community through donations to the Homer Foundation.
Bill Stevens

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Posted by on Jul 30th, 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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