Proposition 4 a fair change to property taxes

A year ago, when I was running for the District 9 seat on our Borough Assembly, I was asked many times about my position on the senior property tax exemption. I explained that I support a senior tax exemption and that, if elected, I would be involved in a comprehensive review of the Borough tax code which could include changes to the current exemptions.

Vote yes to support public services

I’m going to try and keep this positive, but I must say that I’m mildly annoyed, and very perplexed, about the lack of support the three people running for Homer City Council have for the Homer Police Department in denying them the opportunity to move out of a cramped and deteriorated building and into a properly sized and designed facility.

Excited for fish, rivers and residents of Alaska

In a recent ruling by the ninth circuit court of appeals, the court ruled that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has been, and is required to develop a fishery management plan for Cook Inlet. I see this as a huge win for the fish that migrate into Cook Inlet.
In the past — since back sometime in the 1980s — the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been tasked with this chore. The criteria for doing so were meant to include the 10 national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Proposition 2 best serves residents’ health care needs

You have many decisions to make in the upcoming regular election on Oct. 4. Proposition 2 is one that actually saves you money while improving healthcare for the service area.
Proposition 2 asks voters of the South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area for permission for the Kenai Peninsula Borough to borrow up to $4.8 million in general obligation bonds for purposes of improvements to the hospital’s operating rooms and an expansion at Homer Medical Center.

German visitor learns much from participating in burning basket

I am visiting Homer from Berlin, Germany to participate in the Burning Basket Project. I found lead artist Mavis Muller on the WWOOF website looking for an assistant for her project. After reading her profile, I thought, “yeah, sounds like a good Alaska experience; I want to be part of it.” And that was how I came to Homer five weeks ago.
At this time, I had no idea what the burning basket is about and what our work will look like. So, we started with talking about the intention of it as a celebration and the vision for this big basket.

Remembering Saulitis with impermanent art

The 13th-annual enactment of the Burning Basket community interactive, impermanent art experience shined its glowing fiery light once again.
The large, intricately woven basket and walking labyrinth were created by people of all ages who donated hundreds of hours to gather materials and to build the impressive installations. I deeply appreciate and thank you one and all for sharing your time, skill, passion, support, creativity and imagination.

Questions about HEA deregulation election

Providing electric service to Homer Electric Association members is not a simple job. That is one reason HEA is currently regulated. Before voting on deregulation of HEA, members should fully understand the impact.
HEA claims that deregulation of the utility can be reversed if members are unhappy. This is try, it’s just not a simple process. Rules for an election to re-regulate are found in Alaska statute AS 442.05.712, section g provides: “The board of directors of a cooperative shall call an election upon receipt of a valid petition from subscribers or members. A petition shall be considered valid if it is signed by not less than the number of subscribers or members equal to 10 percent of the first 5,000 subscribers or members in excess of 5,000. An election under this section may only be held once every two years.”

School district seeks to stay afloat in a sea of economic challenges

Some people believe the school year is a marathon, but I liken it to a 400-meter run — the toughest race to run. We have precious hours, minutes and seconds with students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Our nearly 8,800 students with diverse backgrounds and learning needs require parents, support staff, teachers and administrators to maintain focus, while moving briskly to meet their varied needs. We do this to keep students on track to achieve success and a meaningful high school diploma. In a few short months, several hundred students will walk across a stage to receive a diploma, and head into their future beyond K-12 education. It seems like a long race, but it happens fast.

Fiscal plan must strengthen Permanent Fund

Although I am in agreement with many of Gov. Bill Walker’s proposals to balance Alaska’s budget, I do not agree with his plan to restructure the Permanent Fund and to cap the Permanent Fund dividend to help balance the budget. I believe the Permanent Fund and the dividend must remain permanent and unaltered for the benefit of all Alaskans, both now and in the future.
There has been much discussion regarding Alaska’s worsening fiscal woes, precipitated mainly by the drop in oil prices and declining production. But much responsibility for our huge deficit must be laid at the feet of government, which historically has encouraged bloated spending while refusing to address the growing budget with proactive cost containment or revenue-enhancing measures.

Working together to prevent suicide

Next week is National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 5 – 11. World Suicide Prevention Day is Sept. 10.
Alaska has a high rate of suicide. In 2014, according to the CDC, our state was ranked second in the nation for death by suicide. In that same year, Alaska was rated the highest in the nation for youth ages 15-24, to die by suicide.

Like us on Facebook