Students, educators need support of creative communities to thrive

Across the state, children are heading back to school in coming weeks as summer draws to a close. Crisp outfits and school supplies are turning up all over the place, and youth are savoring their last few days to sleep in before structure returns to at least part of their lives.
And while parents are by-and-large breathing a sigh of relief at the end of summer vacation, teachers are already back in the classroom, readying themselves for another year. Educators are an extraordinary bunch of folks. Spend a few hours in a classroom, whether it’s the chaos of kindergarten, the awkward transition of middle school or the opinionated halls of high school and imagine that as your daily existence and most of us would go screaming in the opposite direction. But educators actually enjoy trying to hold the attention of 20-plus youth day in and day out, and for that, I for one am deeply grateful.

Separation of church and state allows all to be represented

Spend as much time as any journalist does at public meetings and you will get a very real sense of how commonplace it is to see heads bowed and prayers spoken. And while most public entities, be they cities, boroughs or states, say they have an open-door policy to invocations from any group or belief, statistically, those invocations are most often given with reference to a Christian god.
That open-door policy was tested at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly this month when a woman from the national group The Satanic Temple read an invocation ending with “Hail Satan.” That didn’t go over very well with quite a few folks and protests, organized praying sessions outside the borough building and lots and lots of public testimony followed. The backlash became pointed and personal. It blurred the lines between religion and politics long after everyone went home.

We’re thrilled to bring news to Homer

Five years ago this month, my wife, Kiana Peacock, and I bought three weekly community newspapers from Alaska Newspapers Inc. For us, it was a way to give back to the communities and people that helped us become who we are.
Getting into the newspaper business was a natural progression of my business background and her ability to tell stories. One of the first people we hired was talented editor from Homer, Carey Restino. She has made sure our papers have thrived over the past five years, hiring equally talented reporters while staying connected and writing for the Homer Tribune.

Watch out: Primary elections can sneak up on you without warning

Summer in Alaska is sort of like entering an all-you-can eat buffet, except the restaurant is always just about to close. Alaskans work hard and play hard in ever-so-short summer, and often, all that activity causes us to lose track of some all-important dates. One of those dates is coming up next Tuesday, when voters head to the ballot booths and make choices about their candidates.
No, you didn’t miss a couple months by mistake. It’s not October yet, or even November. But next Tuesday is still an important day, because it’s the day of our primary election, when we select our candidate of choice if more than one candidate files for election in any given part. And in many cases, the primary election is the actual election because there is no candidate from the other party. In those cases, whoever you select as the Republican, Democratic or Independent Party candidates is, in fact, headed to Juneau to represent you during a pretty critical time in Alaska’s history.

Women may need extra steps on the road to financial security

International Women’s Day is observed on March 8. Around the world, thousands of events will honor women’s achievements. Yet, women still face challenges in many areas of life – such as their financial situations. So if you’re a woman, you may want to use this occasion to consider steps you can take to help move toward your important financial goals, such as a comfortable retirement.

City needs to discuss marijuana

Several weeks ago, councilman Beau Burgess encouraged the Homer City Council to “inform themselves” about marijuana legislation, and the mayor offered that she would like to see an open-house style discussion about the initiative and a local option. But since then? Crickets. All of the chatter about an estimated $23 million dollar industry has come […]

No shortage of good company for Thanksgiving

No snow, and lots of sunshine; a combination that sounds more like a day of summer in Alaska, rather than late November. Nonetheless, the holidays are upon us and in no time Christmas music will fill your ears. Homer will come alive with red and green lights on homes while residents inside wait for a […]

The time of year that binds Homer

It doesn’t seem so long ago that the town of Homer was bustling with a sense of purpose. Summer is a time to tend to all those unfinished projects, cater to the needs of tourists and just enjoy the outdoors.
Now that the days have darkened and we settle into the long winter, we can shift our focus to other tasks and pleasures.
This time of year — between the end of summer and the holiday season — is a magical time of twinkling lights, blustering winds, occasional snow storms and an overwhelming sense of good will and giving.

‘Strategic doing’ what it means

Recently, the Homer City Council met for seven long hours to “make a game plan for all the plans.” During the meeting, special guests introduced the planning approach of “Strategic Doing” a method of long-term planning that — unlike traditional strategic planning — revisits plans in increments of days, rather than years.
I couldn’t be more excited.
Granted, I am young and learning much about Homer and how city politics play out both in the meeting chambers and outside in our everyday life. But, I know one thing for certain: Homer is growing and change is coming. Being receptive, and heck, just being ready for change is something many communities struggle to do. Given the tradition and ingrained lifestyle of Alaskans and the growing number of our aging population, resistance to change is a fairly threatening reality for our small town.

Your vote is your voice

With the Royals and Giants heading into the final stretch of World Series Baseball this week, it’s easy to get lost in the all the hype — and the money. Loyal fans from both Kansas City and San Francisco have spent a fortune on tickets, T-shirts and just about anything else they can slap a team logo on. Crowds have filled both stadiums to near-capacity for every game, and there are millions procured from advertisers who want their commercials broadcast during the big games.
The excitement, passion and general frenzy many American fans have for their teams is often unprecedented — (with the possible exception of European soccer.)

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