Legislature wraps up after multiple sessions

Greetings from Homer after the end of the multi-session 1st year of the 29th Legislature.
The full legislature passed the budget on June 11 which was, dollar wise, identical to the House budget sent to the Senate before termination notices were sent June 1 to about 10,000 state workers. Intent language was added to the final version to say the labor union 2.5 percent COLA increase was only intended for the 2017 contract year, would not be the starting basis for future contract negotiations, and suggesting zero wage increases in the coming budgets.

Learn not to burn

You wouldn’t know it — gauging from this week’s spate of cooler (normal) Alaska air — but it was hot out there last week. Too hot.
Sure, everyone enjoys a summer of sunshine and tropical temperatures. You don’t get many opportunities to stroll barefoot on a warm sidewalk in Homer, Alaska, and locals have a tendency to sit up and take notice when even the tourists start donning short sleeves.
It’s no coincidence, however, that this warmer summer of 2015 also brought massive wildfires to almost every part of all the state. So far, the Card Street fire east of Sterling has scorched some 7,352 acres, destroying homes and cabins in its way.

Letters – June 24

Homer invests in its own people Homer has always been a community that prides itself in investing in its children. Its citizens and local businesses provide numerous opportunities to set young people up for success. One of the ways Homer works collectively to do this is by investing in education. Every year, several businesses and […]

Letters – June 17

Tillion maritime tradition continues I would like to thank the Homer Foundation and the Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship Fund for awarding me one of its scholarships. I greatly appreciate the support and plan to attend the California Maritime Academy in the fall to get my degree in marine transportation. I look forward to coming […]

Homer Prevention Project practices Positive Community Norms

“Most Homer High and Homer Flex students don’t drink in a typical month,” says a “Just the Facts” message; a positive community norms campaign run by the Homer Prevention Project. This statistic — along with “78 percent of Homer area adults drink two or fewer drinks on the nights they do consume alcohol,” have papered the town over the past year. They appear on flyers, coffee cups, information cards and in ads on the radio and in print.
Here’s why:

War is not a game: it’s time for the Navy to evolve

It was 78 degrees in Homer Tuesday. Used to be that two straight days of sun here and you busted out the paint and did up the house. Teenage girls on Bishop’s Beach in bikinis! It is warm. Too warm.
The warm oceans spell trouble for fishermen. NOAA Fisheries scientists are watching a persistent expanse of exceptionally warm water stretching from Baja through the Gulf of Alaska and extending north into the Bering Sea.
Called “The Blob,” the five-degree, warmer-than-normal water could send reverberations through the marine food web. The Blob appeared about a year ago, and the longer it lingers, the greater potential it has to affect ocean life from jellyfish to salmon. Scientists blame it for mass die-offs of starfish, sea lions and Pacific seabirds. And those are just the effects we can see.

Letters – June 10

Cruelty begets cruelty The severe mauling of a 7-year-old Unalakleet girl by a chained dog last month is a horrific example of the devastation that can result when dogs are left chained up 24/7 like old bicycles. Life on a chain is no life at all for dogs. It deprives these social pack animals of everything […]

Homer Prevention Project introduces Youth Resource Guide

On June 11, the Homer Prevention Project will officially launch the Youth Resource Guide as a comprehensive list of activities and businesses in Homer and the youth-specific services they offer. Created for and by teens, YRG will be an online “living document for youth.”
Making its debut in time for summer, YRG will be useful to more than teens. With categories like ‘restaurants,’ ‘outdoors,’ and ‘shopping,’ as well as individual pages for each business listing hours and location, people visiting or new to town can use YRG as an easy way to learn what’s around Homer and where to find it.

Every halibut counts

Having worked in Alaska’s fisheries for 40 years, I was surprised to learn only recently that about half of all halibut caught by sport fishermen are released. Anglers let them go because they are too small, too big, would exceed the size or bag limits, or they just enjoy catch-and-release fishing.
Most halibut survive release, but improper handling can injure or even kill a halibut.

Letters – June 3

Stand Down event serves 200 Alaska vets The military veteran event held in Homer this past weekend was a great success, with approximately 200 veterans and many family members attending. I would like to thank the veterans who attended, supported the event and shared their extraordinary military experiences with us. I salute each of you. […]

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