New trade pact will give corporations power to define our laws

An obscure and controversial trade bill negotiated by the Obama Administration and pending in Congress poses a direct threat to our democracy and to Alaska’s sovereignty. Unfortunately, our two Senators – Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan – recently voted to “fast track” the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before anyone knows what’s in it.

Letters – July 15

At what cost? In response to the Tribune’s article about the Homer City Council considering putting up a gate on Bishop’s Beach: It irks me that a handful of “do-gooders” may result in loss of liberty to others.  I have frequented the Homer beaches for nearly 40 years. I don’t recall ever even once having […]

What does it take?

We have waited to write this letter until we heard from the State Medical Examiner and knew the cause of Devin’s death. There have been numerous rumors floating around which is unfair, but human in nature. Devin died of “Cardiac Dysrhythmia of unclear etiology.” The toxicology report only showed signs of the presence of caffeine.

Our new reality: Doing more with less

July marks the beginning of fiscal year 2016; a chance for a new beginning and a fresh start for addressing Alaska’s economic future.
On June 29, I signed into law the budget bills passed by the legislature. For fiscal year 2016, we will spend $1 billion less than we spent last year. This is a 19 percent overall reduction with an average 13.5 percent cut to executive branch agencies, and cuts of more than 30 percent in the Department of Commerce and the Governor’s Office. Even with these reductions, we still have to draw $2.7 billion from savings to make up for state revenue losses caused by low oil prices.

Letters – July 8

KBBI reached out — community responded I’d like to share a positive story about people coming together to support services they consider very important in their lives and communities. Year-round, KBBI public radio provides news, community information, music and — most importantly — timely and accurate information during times of crisis and disaster. Providing these […]

Do it for the money, do it for the jobs

According to a recent study, Alaska is either in a recession or on the brink of one. It’s time for non-partisan solutions, not time to play Russian roulette with the economy. Alaska will lose 4,000 jobs across the economy by September.
Blocking a vote on a Medicaid Expansion bill that’s passed in Democratic and Republican states — that would create 4,000 Alaska jobs — isn’t smart politics. The public supports it across party lines. But Republican legislative leaders decided to block this bill from House and Senate floor votes during 140 days of legislative session and special sessions.

Homer folks get second chance to ‘e-cycle’ electronics

If you live in the Homer-area, pull out any old electronics you forgot to recycle back in April!
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Department is teaming up with Total Reclaim, with support from Cook Inletkeeper, to collect electronics this Saturday, July 11 at the Homer Transfer Station from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This is a pilot effort, held in conjunction with their quarterly hazardous waste day.

Letters – July 1

Grant helps overcome limitations On behalf of the Rotary Club of Homer Downtown, I want to thank Jane Little and the Homer Foundation for the generous grant that allowed our small club to send two students to this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp in Wasilla. RYLA has been called a life-changer for the young […]

Alaska’s resource management is failing in Cook Inlet

Alaska has the best resource management system in the world.” If you’ve been here a while, you’ve heard that statement in some form or another. But in Cook Inlet, it’s increasingly hard to believe we’re managing our resources in a sustainable fashion. In the 1970s, Kachemak Bay was thick with shrimp, and king and tanner crab, but those populations crashed and have never come back.
While oceanic regime shifts – specifically, temperature – probably played a leading role moving Kachemak Bay from a habitat more conducive for fin fish, like halibut, pollock, and cod, than shellfish, the harvest pressure just before the shrimp and crab populations crashed was significant.

Would a mountain by any other name be appropriate?

We know it’s not McKinley, but is Denali the right name for our mountain?
Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan have created a bill to change Mount McKinley to Mount Denali. It has been Mount McKinley since 1896, when a miner successfully pushed for the mountain to be named after then President William McKinley of Ohio.
Renaming geographic features from their original indigenous names is an act of colonialism: it’s a topographic way of saying “we own you.”

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