Sandhill cranes return for another breeding season

The distinctive clarion call of sandhill cranes will soon echo around the skies of Homer as we welcome their arrival to begin another breeding season. Some cranes begin nesting shortly after arrival, while others may display elaborate pair bonding rituals and dances waiting up to a month to begin nesting.
Kachemak Crane Watch and the International Crane Foundation will be completing the final year of their three-year sandhill crane nesting ecology study.

Marine conservation council thanks Sen. Micciche for by-catch support

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is applauding Sen. Peter Micciche and other co-sponsors and members of the Alaska Senate for passing Senate Resolution 5.
The resolution encourages fishery managers to lower limits on Chinook by-catch in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and supports increased coverage by fishery observers to obtain accurate estimates on by-catch. It passed with 18 yeas and no opposition.

Early learning years lend much to celebrate

Best Beginnings-Homer invites you to join us in celebrating the Week of the Young Child, “Early Years Are Learning Years,” April 14-20.
The Week of the Young Child is celebrated nationwide, and Homer is proud to show our support for young children and the important people in their lives. This special week will be filled with fun activities honoring families with young children. The activities are all designed with families in mind to help promote the idea that early learning is very important in helping children succeed throughout life.

Depreciation: The city’s biggest myth

During this ongoing debate about raising food taxes our Homer City Council keeps bringing up the issue of adequate funding for the city’s depreciation reserve accounts. In my opinion it is horribly distorted and here’s why. The entire purpose of a reserve account for equipment and facilities is to fund future repairs and replacement. Homer also has a multi-million dollar reserve account for operations and salaries if tax revenue should drop suddenly. Up until a few years ago we didn’t have a whole lot in these accounts.
But a movement spread across the country amongst municipal accountants who determined that cities should provide more of their own money instead of counting on the state and federal government.

Protect salmon, as well as due process

Upon learning of ordinance 2011-12, Anadromous Streams, and its widespread implications on the rights of private property owners, I e-mailed Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman Smith and asked a few questions.
• 1. Why were property owners not informed of the impending ordinance prior to its passage?
• 2. Did you know property owners would not be informed?
• 3. Why would there be no notice required when written notice is required for almost any change that a citizen would make such as a lot split or vacation of a lot line, let alone a major ordinance that massively impacts the rights of private property owners?
Assemblyman Smith’s reply included the phrase, “silly questions.”

Eroding rights gave rise to commission

“No future without forgiveness,” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Citizens of Alaska Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission in Homer has many cultures: homesteaders, fishing families, Russian Old Believers, farmers, gardeners, cooks, hunters, gatherers, builders, back to the landrs, drinkers at bars, writers, painters, musicians, international and Alaskan visitors, birdwatchers, smokers, retirees, Celtic clans, church families, retired military, families educating their young, law enforcement, civil service, mental disability sufferers and care-givers, medical patients and providers.
We all contribute to Homer’s strong economy and vibrant community capable of miracles like the Homer Playground Project. What brings us together?

Facebook: The anti-social network

By Gregory L. Jantz 
Social media sites like Facebook connect users with old friends, new acquaintances and everyone in between. However, studies are revealing an inverse link with online connections and deeper, face-to-face relationships. Norwegian researchers recently developed a test for networking sites, called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, which likens inordinate amounts of time […]

Pebble mine worth the bread

Spencer Knutsen We’ve lived here for 10 months and really like Homer. I see so many anti-Pebble Mine stickers, and I also see people complaining about the rising cost of fuel, sales tax, property tax and utilities hike. I come from a small community in Bristol Bay, and fished the Nushagak for more than 20 […]

Keep Bristol Bay ‘off-limits’ to mine waste

Izetta Chambers I was dismayed and frankly, disgusted at the recent Supreme Court decision that would allow the Kensington gold mine to dump industrial waste into a freshwater lake. Those of us who depend upon the salmon fishery are frustrated that the Clean Water Act could be subverted in such a way.My family and I […]

Murkowski warns against healthcare reform based on Medicare model

Americans are looking to Congress and the White House to see whether lawmakers and the president will deliver on their promises to reform our healthcare system. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) – which is considering comprehensive healthcare reform legislation – I am committed to working with both […]

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