It’s difficult to sort out the problems at the end of the Homer Spit, on the jack-up rig Endeavour. One big international drilling manager, Archer Drilling, is allegedly terminated for lack of performance by another international oil-gas concern. Archer is based in Oklahoma City while Buccaneer’s American offices are in Houston. Local plumbers, pipe-fitters and welders living in Homer remain unpaid. Now Houston steps in and assures the community the bills will be paid.
Now that I have experienced Homer’s Share the Spirit season up close, it’s always a challenge to write of it in my capacity as a news reporter. I often feel inadequate to the task. In giving the facts and details, I won’t be able, for instance, to talk about the scale of the truly miraculous event it is, which so many people orchestrate together. Or that, receiving its gifts, it leaves lingering good feelings many years later. Or that its light truly illuminated a dark time in my own life.
Three years ago just weeks before Christmas, my 11-year-old son Lance and I lost our home to a fire in the middle of the night. Most of our belongings either burned or were ruined by smoke damage. We walked away while firefighters still battled the blaze after midnight. Lance wore a pair of pajamas he would be wearing for two days. I had been up trying to coax my Christmas tree to stand upright, and so walked out in day clothes.
A tool kit is circulating around Homer that ought to be useful for parents, educators and anyone trying to relate to today’s teens. It’s not a standard tool kit – no screw drivers or hammers, but it does contain tools useful for understanding and nurturing teens.
Written by Linda Chamberlain, the tool kit is being distributed by the R.E.C. Room, a place for youth education and recreation. Chamberlain is an epidemiologist specializing in childhood exposure to violence and brain development and she is known for her ability to translate science into practical information with diverse audiences. She is in the forefront on topics that research is only now fully piecing together about the human brain, healing from trauma and adolescent brain development. Homer is lucky to have an expert of her standing on call in the community.
The idea of setting aside a day to focus on volunteering is a matter of individual preference. Homer Community Food Pantry volunteers make it Monday. Others set aside portions of their Saturday to fill in at the bake sale table for fundraising or lead a scouting event. Each year, on the Martin Luther King holiday, [...]
It remains to be seen if Republican and Democrat affiliates in the Alaska Legislature can keep to the people’s business first as they jostle for important committee seats and push political agendas. On the Kenai Peninsula, we again have Rep. Mike Chenault as President of the Alaska House, but lose Sen. Gary Stevens in our [...]
For the most part, Wednesday post-election day is one we can celebrate and release a long-held sigh. It allows us a look back from the standpoint of knowing, finally, how the votes settled out. This was no doubt a vibrant presidential election year. On a state level, the dialogue was robust with 59 legislators up [...]
The Homer City Council stands at the beginning of a discussion about removing the sales tax holiday that lasts from Oct. 1 to May 31 each year since 2009. The rationale expressed by sponsor Bryan Zak is that the estimated $700,000 in revenue could be added back into the budget to spend on necessary city business. Zak isn’t alone in this sentiment around the council table.
The idea carries noble intentions when it comes to filling a long vacant police-fire dispatch position. The vacancy means an important gap in Homer’s emergency response ability. Another good cause might be seen in granting city employees a 1 percent rise in the Cost of Living Allowance after several years of no COLA. Rising health care premiums mixed with higher inflation mean these hard working employees are falling backward on the pay scale. Then too, the notion of giving $50,000 to the Homer Senior Center is a great cause. Homer hasn’t made regular contributions to its senior center, while most municipalities in Alaska support their pioneers in established budget line-items.
We enter week nine of entertaining the Endeavour jackup rig as an uneasy guest at the end of the Homer Spit. Tonight, Buccaneer Alaska officials will meet with Homer and area residents for the first time to answer questions and make plans known. In light of the recent showing of the documentary“Alaska: Time and Technology,” [...]
The group who assembles at MAPP of the Southern Kenai Peninsula meetings is striking for its diversity. Professionals from public health, Seldovia Village Tribe and the hospital are joined with the director of the Kachemak Bay Campus, the director of the Homer Foundation, even a City of Homer representative. Islands and Ocean Visitor Center biologists [...]
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to revise a halibut catch share plan that opens the door to a one-halibut limit for sportfishing charters in southcentral Alaska. Remember the loud outcry from local sport fishing charters last spring? NOAA’s top official, Jane Lubchenco spent more than an hour in Homer listening as person-after-person bent her ear on why the decision would be unfair.
Essentially, the council’s recommendation, made Friday, divides Alaska’s halibut quota between charter and commercial fishermen. It’s a decision that pits those two important sectors against one another, and for that we are very sorry.
Of course, the council functions primarily as an advisory council, with no actual power to implement policy. But it’s on its way to the decision makers – the International Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service.