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.
Homer’s teens appear to be having an especially hard time in light of recent events in our community. Our hearts and support go out to those struggling with the problems that come with growing into an adult such as disappointment in friendships, family and social structures. Although we have all been there, let’s take a […]
The visit last week from Buccaneer Energy officials came at an unfortuitous time. A second giant storm blew in 50 knot winds. Rivers of rain fell out of the sky, prompting the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor to declare the peninsula a flooded disaster area. Even guest Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell couldn’t make it in. The […]
The Homer Public Library holds a book and plant sale Sept. 29. They are currently accepting donations of both books and plants, as a fundraiser for Friends of the Library. This raises a question of interest to us: Will the book sale be the beneficiary of people who switched from the real hard or soft-bound paper version of a book to a Nook, Kindle or iPad? Will books donated by the box loads be all the more plentiful because of the cultural switch?
That could be good and bad news. Good, because it could make for a more profitable fundraiser for the Friends of the Library – if there’s a grand turn out in both supply and demand for accumulating more books on the part of folks spending their money. I know I’ll be there to haul out my own deep stack. But do you perceive the irony?
According to way too many critics, the book in its hard and soft bound forms are doomed. What might this mean for libraries? Not necessarily doom, because people aren’t going to quit reading. They’ll go to the library to load new and ancient volumes on their Kindles. It was the Friends of the Library who raised the funds to buy the Kindles currently available for patrons to check out, no doubt funded in part from people selling off their books.
A new walking-biking trail along Kachemak Drive is a dream for a growing number of people in Homer who are advocating for it to be built. A number of roadways are hazardous, with barely enough room for cars to pass one another in pockets on East End Road and places like Kachemak Drive. Pedestrians slog along, trying to find a place to walk where they aren’t in the roadway. In places, that is an impossible task.
Add to this bike riders who want to commute from East End Road to areas along Kachemak Drive, and you’ve got yet another problem. Since the area is industrial marine, with the Homer Boat Yard traffic doing its seasonal business, the traffic on that road often involves trailering boats, even airplanes. Now you have walkers, bikers, big moving vehicles and regular traffic co-mingling.
Buccaneer Alaska’s plans to drill for oil and gas on a gravel pit in the grazing lands out East End Road hit families in the area hard last week. Reading of it in the newspaper was the first time many of them came to hear of it. We know this isn’t good public policy, to […]