Congress bipartisan to promote new technologies

Sometimes there’s actually encouraging news coming out of Washington.
In an effort to update America’s energy policy, and tackle some looming problems for the nation’s manufacturers, the Senate has passed new, bipartisan legislation. The bill addresses such diverse issues as cutting-edge energy technologies and America’s increasing dependence on minerals and metals sourced from overseas.
So how did all of this good news come about?

It’s time to support marijuana establishments in our community

The Kenai Peninsula Borough currently has a review process in place for the licensing of marijuana establishments. It has named the assembly as the local regulatory authority.
When a marijuana licensee provides a completed packet to the state, it will be sent to the borough government for review, first by the planning department and then by the assembly.

No sidelines in climate change fight

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans hit the streets to protest the environmental effects of more than 100 years of uncontrolled fossil-fueled industrial development. It was the first Earth Day.
What was intended to be a college campus teach-in, soon spread to every community and city across the United States. It was — and remains — the single largest secular event in history.

Dear Alaska Legislators …

As we hope you are aware, stubborn self-reliant farmers and young entrepreneurs from Homer to Sterling to Nikiski and Tyonek are producing more food for citizens of all ages, on all sides of the
political spectrum, with each passing year. At last count, Kenai Peninsula farms produced nearly $2 million in crops and livestock per year, and 34 percent of all Alaska farms producing food for direct sale to consumers were on the Kenai Peninsula.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

The world is full of ordinary people who do ordinary things for others. But when a person does ordinary things for just about everyone he knows out of kindness, generosity, and compassion, that person becomes extraordinary.
Jeff H. Wraley was one of those extraordinary people.

No more corporate welfare for Outside oil companies

“It costs more to get oil out of the ground than they are getting for the oil!”
Rep. Ben Nageak’s aide, Gary Zepp, said this to justify House Resources Committee rejection of cuts to oil company royalty, corporate income tax and production tax breaks proposed by Governor Bill Walker in House Bill 247.

Tower ordinance falls short in protecting Homer citizens

I am writing to address the tower ordinance 14-18(A)(S) currently in front of the Homer City Council. While it is a step in the right direction, it is incomplete and needs additions to fully protect Homer citizens and serve the telecommunications industry.
Some background is in order: The Federal Communications Commission estimated in 2012, that the growth of telecommunications and broadband services will require one tower for every seven people in order to meet demand for services.

Sex education works to cut STDs, unwanted pregnancies

On March 7, The New York Times reported the unplanned pregnancy rate in the United States had declined to its lowest level in the last three decades. The report is great news for some — and tragic news for others.
The newly reported rates are great news for the reproductive health community, as it shows their efforts to educate Americans about safe sex and effective birth control are yielding positive results. It also furthers the case for keeping the doors open to trusted health providers like Planned Parenthood.

Reports of sandhill crane sightings in Homer

This past February was Alaska’s warmest on record, with the past three months being 10.6 degrees above the long-term three-month average set 92 years ago. Flower bulbs are pushing up, pussy willows have been out since January, local fruit trees are blooming and sandhill cranes are here in Homer; nearly a month earlier than their usual arrival time of mid-April.

Silencing mushers will not slide

At the Iditarod checkpoint of Rohn in the 2014 race, I was amazed by the diversity of mushers: men and women, young and old, Alaska Native to Jamaican. Nearly every musher looked completely different from the next, from carbon fiber sleds to one homemade from hockey sticks, to dog teams fed on wild Alaska salmon, to mushers with sponsor logos on dog booties. I was convinced the Iditarod truly is the “Last Great Race” because of the highly self-reliant individuals who dedicate their lives to the challenge.

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