One mistake does not a terrorist make

There is a long-standing tradition of senior pranks in high school, but how do you teach teens the difference between a funny joke and a felony? The line between harmless prank and criminal activity is a fine one.
I seriously doubt anyone will tell you the decision made by two Homer High School teens last month to use a coffee can, an eraser and a few wires to questionably resemble some sort of incendiary device and leave it in the school stairwell as a prank was a good idea.
Was it harmless? Not entirely. No one was hurt, but students and teachers may have lost some valuable education time — even if it is during the final weeks of the school year. And, who’s to say if the “prank” had any kind of lasting psychological effect on those at the receiving end of it?

Sunshine, moon beams and moose calves

This certainly was a Memorial Day weekend to remember. After one of the coldest springs in memory, Homer was rewarded with a long weekend filled with sunshine during the day and a full moon rising over the Kenai Mountains at night projecting a moon beam across Kachemak Bay. It also seemed cow moose chose this […]

A weekend to remember

Each year, we look forward to Memorial Day Weekend, especially in Homer. Traditionally, it’s a time to plant our flowers, start our gardens and let our sore eyes soak in the warm blue sky and the new, comforting green of the deciduous trees.
We may have to wait a few more weeks before summer makes its way to Homer due to the unseasonably cold weather we’ve been having. But we know it will eventually come. And in spite of the cold, many will still barbecue, go fishing and enjoy the outdoors on this legal holiday; as well we should. But let’s remember why we have this federal holiday.
Memorial Day is a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered and commemorated. It is also the day that red poppies are worn on lapels and the American flag flies proudly on doorsteps.

Go on vacation, in your backyard

With Homer smelling a little sweeter now than it did just a few weeks ago, it’s a sure sign that summer is just around the corner – despite the cold weather, snow flurries, hail and rain.
I think of summer here as if I was on vacation. After all, it lasts about the same length of time – maybe 2-3 weeks. And, while it’s certainly easy to take all Homer has to offer for granted, what if you decided to wake up everyday and think, “I’m on vacation.” You might just find yourself enjoying the Cosmic Hamlet summer to its fullest.

Shorebirds, motherhood: What don’t they have in common?

The annual Kachemak Bay Shore Bird Festival arrives along with Mother’s Day, a coincidental pairing of events that somehow ought to go together. Just as winter is walking away – not fast enough this particular spring – in comes a season of the migrations. Our visitors have endured lengthy flights from thousands of miles. Their […]

Murkowski veteran series worth a look

Sen. Lisa Murkowski features veterans each month as part of a veteran’s history project. This month she featured Homer resident Jim VanOss who hitchhiked to Alaska, helped build the pipeline and raised bison. It’s an interesting project to focus on individuals from across the eras and different wars. Today’s veterans are coming home to an uncertain future, wounded in ways that aren’t soon to heal. By sharing stories across the generations, we can all benefit from new insights and hopefully, find new ways to be supportive of returning veterans.

A lonely profession made social

Each year with spring comes the annual Alaska Press Club Conference, a three-day affair for attending workshops and meeting with other news people from around the state. Along with refresher courses on enterprising journalism, there’s new material to absorb. It brings a chance to make new friends and share talks with older editions of reporters who once worked with me on other newspapers around Alaska.

Time to assess legislative damage

It’s a rare year when the Alaska Legislature finishes on time in 90 days, without plans for a special session. The two previous years saw legislators slip into overtime when Gov. Parnell called them back to look at his unpopular oil tax credit bill. This time, should it be a surprise that a (mostly) obedient Legislature gets to go home on time?
The dust needs to settle from what got kicked up on the Senate and House floors. It will take us a few days, maybe months, to fully understand what’s up and what’s down in terms of the 73 bills passed. But from the position of post-session relief, here’s a short list:

Who are the “friends” of SB 21?

After the thousands of Alaskans who turned out at the Backbone Rallies around the state Thursday, it’s especially hard to understand how Senate Bill 21 meets the regard of so many friends in the Alaska Legislature. This rings true so far not only in its actual provisions but the many amendments Velcroed to it.

Sales tax on ecommerce worth debate

How to make web-based commerce equal to other transactions is a conundrum that evades solution in many industries. Book stores – paying property taxes and what-not – go out of business while Internet giants like prosper. Online publications aren’t the only businesses who have yet to crack the code for making the service equal […]

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