What’s home rule

Going to a home rule form of city governance carries several hurdles of “if’s” to cross before Homer will see change – if any is at all to come – to its way of doing things. First, a majority of voters would need to say “yes” on the ballot to the question: “Shall a charter […]

Just keep voting – one round down, two to go

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday’s election, Alaskans should try not to give into feelings of futility if their ballots don’t meet with popular vote agreement.
The primary election was only round one among three sets of voting decisions this fall that will mean changes ahead — one way or another. This year’s primary won’t unseat or seat any politicians just yet, but it is the elimination round.
For that, we can be truly grateful.
One big elimination from public noise is the whole business of “Vote Yes,” which really means voting no – let’s not keep SB21 as a matter of law. Or “Vote No,” meaning yes, let’s keep SB21 as a matter of law.

Good for Mayor Navarre

Extra revenue for promoting tourism on the Kenai Peninsula is almost always a welcome sight. But when it came to imposing a bed tax to achieve that extra cash flow, a poorly thought-out plan might have become a reality. Local businesses in Homer made their case loud and clear in several public forums showing how […]

Letters – June 25

Regarding natural gasline assessments In January, Superior Court Judge Huguelet stated: “The city’s assessment with respect to condominium owners is “arbitrary and unreasonable”. He ordered the City of Homer to correct Ordinance 13-02. Everyone thought the legal battle was over. However, several of us have approached the City and been told the City considers the […]

Homer youth represent community strength

I went to the Colors of Homer show at Kbay Caffe on Friday for a lot of reasons. I wanted to absorb some community art, be supportive of young voices, and give my little sister a chance to see some of her slightly older contemporaries braving the stage. All of those things met my expectations. Check, check and check.
What I didn’t expect was to be completely bowled over by the skill and strength of the teenagers who shared their art with Friday’s audience. There’s no other way to say it — those kids killed it. But it was more than their raw skills that still had me grinning after the show.

Is the city living beyond its means?

Usually reserved for vexed parents and their young children, Homer has been redefining the phrase “potty talk” as of late. And no, that doesn’t mean there’s been more four letter words at City Council meetings. We’re talking about bathrooms – the ones perched on either end of Pioneer Avenue, as well as down on the Spit – to be exact.
They’re very nice, with heated floors, and some say they are even necessary. Like a watch or a belt. Accessories are great, and maybe even useful. However, when your primary need is to know what time it is, do you really need to get it from a Rolex? Or will that neon green watch you got in sixth grade, that remains dutifully indestructible, work just as well?
The same question can be posed about the $200,000 — each — restrooms that now offer a very basic function at a very high price in Homer’s downtown. Does the expenditure match the service? And better yet, does it match a message of belt-tightening and conservative financial decisions residents have been hearing from their city?

Drawing the south line

I don’t envy the decision makers deliberating at the Upper Cook Inlet Finfish Board of Fisheries meeting this month. They’re tasked with choices that do and will affect the economy and sustainability of our natural resources for years to come, and everyone is watching.
While much public discussion has focused on the decisions surrounding dwindling King salmon in the Kenai River, there is another issue that Homer fishermen are and should be watching closely. Those are the proposals that would close or restrict Cook Inlet’s commercial drift fishery, limiting boats to comparatively narrow corridors outside the Kenai and Kasilof rivers for much of the season.
The proposals were put forth by fishing groups in the Mat-Su Borough that are concerned about suffering stocks in northern Cook Inlet habitats, particularly coho salmon that feed that area’s sport and personal use fisheries. They aim to reduce interception of northern fish by central district drifters.

Thanksgiving: More than just food

When Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast in 1621 – often considered the “First Thanksgiving” – there were more than a few overwhelming  obstacles the early dinner guests had to overcome: The pilgrims had just recently spent 66 days and 2,750 miles on a crowded Mayflower voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. […]

Just saying ‘thanks’

Vernon J. Baker received the Medal of Honor for his heroic service during World War II. He died in 2010, and his picture is on display at the Pentagon. Baker’s words about the impact of war on the lives of those who serve are carefully inscribed below his photo: “War is the most regrettable proving […]

Let them get back to work

An anonymous person squeezed an appeal into the weather report, saying “Please pay us.” The federal employee did it using the first column of letters down the page of a report warning about a coming storm expected to sweep from Bristol Bay to Cook Inlet.

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