I just read Bob Shavelson piece on we Alaskans losing our democracy (Homer Tribune, July 9).
He is right to a certain degree. However, I don’t think he goes far enough with his comments. I think we are hurting ourselves. We continue to elect the lap dogs of corporate sponsorship. It is a well known fact that the oil companies have encouraged its people to run for office. They then in turn make the laws and rules that best suite the corporations. Just look at where Parnell worked before he became governor.
Then there is our own Sen. Micciche, he still works for the oil company. Of course, he says there is no conflict of interest.
So, I say you are right on Bob – but lets stop electing these people. As you indicated, they and their appointees do not have our best interest at heart.
This is a reminder to the residents of Homer of the upcoming city council meeting to be held on Monday, July 28 at 6 p.m. Condo owners and other property owners interested in hearing the city manager’s report on the Homer Natural Gas Line and recommendations on the method of assessing condos should plan to attend.
The only recommendation that the council should back is one that will treat lots that contain condominiums, the same as every other lot in the city, and charge just one assessment. To back any other plan would be to violate Judge Hugelet’s order and will open the floodgates for lawsuits against the city of Homer, city council members and the city manager.
Let’s not waste taxpayers’ money fighting in court over something that has already been settled in court by a judge. I urge our city council members to read the court order and act to ensure that the city of Homer is compliant with Judge Hugelet’s order.
On July 28, the Homer City Council will meet and City Manager Walt Wrede will present his recommendations regarding natural gas line assessing of condominiums. It feels to this writer that our city manager and city council view condo owners as “rich” and thus they should pay more of the assessment. OK, then why did the city and city council not base the assessments on property valuations? They had those figures in front of them. Could it be that would put the city at odds with every property owner and absolutely no two assessments would be the same? But, it would be fair.
Folks, this assessment is built into the ordinance and long after the city has been totally reimbursed for the pipeline costs, the assessment will continue to be assessed when new properties are subdivided – thus providing a steady income stream to our city. That’s good. However, the same legal controversy will continue to be there and the city’s legal costs will continue. Homer does not need this.
The state has not done an audit on the oil company’s since 2007. The governor does not want to have the state do an audit because it would expose the fact that the free billions of dollars he is giving away is all going out of state. None of it will be spent in Alaska.
The money the oil companies are spending now in the oil fields was planned a number of years ago and has nothing to do with the free give away of the state’s billions of dollars to them. The governor is doing the smoke and mirrors thing, the empty hoop dance on this and so far it is working. The governor will be richly rewarded by the oil companies after he is out of office with a cushy high paid job. Sohe will be personally out on top with this while we will be stuck for years paying income and sales taxes to make up for the loss of income to the state’s budget. The next thing to go will be the dividend check.
Some call the governor Captain Zero, but when he gets that high paid job from the oil companies after he is out of office, who will be Captain Zero then?
If a 100,000 barrels of oil was increased through the pipe line of which projections say that is not going to happen, it would take to the year 2040 before the state would break even. By then the oil fields will be playing out. The oil companies will not give the state free eight billion dollars to help us out when they leave and we will be in an economic desperation by then. The door is swing only one way on this. The state should take that money and develop the oil fields that the oil companies are not developing like Norway does.
That way the state would get all of the money and the free billions of dollars would then in fact be used for developing the oil fields.
Long ago, not far away, I grew up in a very small town. Our home was five miles from town center on the main highway. We rarely heard police, ambulance or fire sirens, but when we did, the urgency caught our breath. Someone we knew was in trouble and needed help.
The town where we live now is bigger and busier. Many of the people we don’t know. Yet when I hear an emergency siren I stop what I’m doing for a moment and realize someone’s in trouble and needs help.
Too many times this year, not just in summer, my husband and I have witnessed vehicles that won’t pull over when emergency vehicles with sirens and flashing lights need clear passage. Even to the point that the emergency responders are blaring and blaring their horns, and drivers going both directions continue driving along.
How fortunate these people must be to have never ridden in an ambulance, never watched a neighbor’s house burn to the ground in the middle of the night, never come upon a tragic or fatal accident. For if they, or their loved ones, had once experienced an emergency, I am sure they would put their chores aside for a moment, pull over immediately, so responders have an open road. With a thought to those in need. Thanking their lucky stars this time it isn’t their need.
The Homer Cycling Club would like to thank the Department of Transportation, and their receptivity to the advice provided by the City of Homer, for the improvements being made to the Sterling Bypass Highway. Improving the shoulders on these routes will provide a much safer riding situation for cyclists. On Ocean Drive, the crown of the road will be shifted and the width now given to the bike lane shoulder will be split between both sides of the road. This will provide more room for cyclists to ride with traffic.
Riding with traffic and following the same signs and signals as motor vehicles is a much safer approach when traveling quickly on a bike.
HCC would like to encourage motorists to use extra caution and care around cyclists and pedestrians while construction is underway. Please do not crowd cyclists, but rather slow down and wait until you can pass with three feet of clearance. Remember, cyclists are allowed in the road and are not legally obligated to use bike paths. They may even “take the lane” (i.e. occupy the entire lane) when it is necessary to avoid obstructions, debris, parked cars or to move into a turn lane or through lane. Cyclists that are moving quickly and riding in the street should behave more like vehicles, while slower moving cyclists and those using the recreation path should behave more like pedestrians. Homer Cycling Club thanks drivers who give cyclists extra space, and reminds all user groups to be attentive and prudent, make eye contact, and be courteous to others as we all share Homer’s roads.
Homer Cycling Club
It is with much sadness that we announce the closure of Kachemak Kids Early Learning Center as of July 31. We would like to express our deep appreciation to the families who have entrusted their children to us, to the wonderful staff who worked so hard, to past board members, agencies and community members who have supported us over the past eight years.
Kachemak Kids was organized in response to the need for high quality early child care in Homer. The founders envisioned a parent cooperative, child-centered program which would provide high quality early education as well as full day child care for working parents. We consistently worked to provide open-ended learning through exploration, creativity, arts and music as well as foster a sense of community among the parents.
Unfortunately, over the years, we have struggled to find a balance between charging tuition that is manageable for a working family, while earning enough to be able to pay professional wages for professional educators. We have also found it very difficult to hire staff with the credentials required by state child care licensing. Ultimately, these difficulties have resulted in the need to close the center. We are saddened to have to close the doors and will miss working with the staff, families, community and of course the children that made Kachemak Kids so special. We regret the difficulties our closure will cause. We urge community members to support other providers in their work and to assist local early learning organizations in their efforts to bring our children the best in early childhood education.
Kachemak Kids Early Learning Center
Board of directors
For years I have been putting off taking the harbor tour presented by the Pratt Museum. I finally decided to do it. By far it was the best decision I made that day. Linda was my tour guide and she knows her stuff. She regaled me with stories about the origins of Homer and the harbor.
The Pratt should be proud of this tour; and a special thanks to Don Rhonda for making this happen. Please take the time to learn more about our hometown and to recognize the accomplishments of the people that live and lived here- and continue to make Homer a very special place.
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