State operations need reductions, not Permanent Fund revenue

The benefits of the Alaska Permanent Fund shared equally have had a very positive effect. Because of the dividend program income disparity in Alaska is the lowest of any state. It provides for many low income and working class families and we have achieved a higher degree of social justice because of it. It is projected to produce $4 billion annually in four years if we protect it.
The political value of the dividend lies is also in how it protects the fund from which it comes, from wasteful legislative spending. Without the dividend program the constituency that protects the fund is reduced and fund profits can be taken for building any development, which legislators imagine. A bond issue for the $50 billion gasline? No sweat! The bonds can be paid off with fund earnings. Ports? Dams? Bridges? Here we go again.

Seaton’s win in recent election was no ‘sweep’

Interesting news article in last week’s wrapper: “Seaton sweeps primary.” Really? Let’s see, of those who voted, 46.6 percent selected Seaton, which means 53.4 percent (the majority) did not.
So, theoretically, had either Cox or Wythe been the only other choice, Seaton would have lost his bid. Which would have been a good thing for Alaska. So, no, he did not “sweep” the primary.
I did appreciate the attempt to put a positive spin on the turnout; highest in state. At 18.5 percent, it is still a dismal number — and a reflection of apathy. Those who did not participate in their civic duty have zero to say as our state slides into oblivion.

What will the city do when the bill comes in?

There are several issues that the city has to deal with. The first issue of course is the overwhelming budget deficit that we’re going be facing in a couple years.
This deficit is one that is in the making. The city has done some creative financing by a shifting of revenue from the HARP fund (accelerated roads and trails fund) taking this 1 mil property tax and applying it to the general fund. This was done a year ago and it is in place for a period of three years, so two years from now the general fund will need $1 million a year to replace the HARP revenues when they go back to the accelerated roads program.

Senior Citizen Property Tax exemption proposal benefits both seniors and public

The opinion in the Aug. 11 issue of the Homer Tribune by Pete Zuyus is one I found disconcerting. I feel compelled to offer a different opinion, concerning the Senior Citizen Property Tax exemption. And yes, I am a senior, and qualify, and have, both the 100 percent exemption that existed between 1986 and the $300,000 exemption as of 2007.
When Stan Thompson was mayor, he feared for the homesteaders who still owned their homestead lands, and wanting to protect them, he offered to the voters the option of the 100 percent exemption for residents aged 65 and older. That was a huge blessing for many, and brought many new seniors to the peninsula.

Tribal court leaders discuss banishment, baggage checks

In some villages, tribal courts have banished offenders for bootlegging and domestic violence. In others, tribal courts are conducting searches of passengers on incoming flights to stop the flow of alcohol and other drugs.
In a three-day conference this week on tribal court development, speakers mentioned these and other enforcement steps as examples of how tribal court operations are taking shape in Alaska, including some steps that would not be permitted under state and federal laws.

The Alaska summer of a terrier who befriended a horse and challenged whales

Our little white dog Posy found her calling this summer when she began defending us from whales.
Humpback whales have kept people entertained all around Kachemak Bay this summer. At our cabin near the head of the bay they show up some days as if they are swimming a circular route and our beach is a regular stop.
This has happened a couple of times before over the years, but not often. In past years, we might be playing cards after dinner when the sharp “whoosh” of an exhaling humpback sends chairs flying back and we run down to the beach. When whales depart, we have to figure out whose turn it was in the game.
Now there is a new way of knowing whales are around. Posy goes bananas.

Salmon Day a reminder of an important way of life

I am Janie Standifer and I am 17 years old. I am from Tyonek, a village of 200 people right across the Inlet from Anchorage. We are Dena’ina Athabascan. Since I was little I watched my aunties and uncles cut fish. I helped prepare it for the smokehouse and for dinner. When I grew a little older I started cutting fish and pulling up nets with my family on the Chuitna River. Every summer I help with all this work, and it makes me happy because I know the salmon are returning home and we’ll have fresh fish for dinner.
I’m excited to celebrate the first annual Alaska Wild Salmon Day on Aug. 10 with Alaskans across the state, because every day is wild salmon day for me — and now that can be shared. Our salmon should be celebrated, and protected.

On ’Stalking the Bogeyman’

To those who may have avoided attending the Homer production of the David Holthouse/UAA performance of his courageous work, “Stalking the Bogeyman,” out of fear that the dark and uncomfortable subject of childhood sexual abuse would prove overwhelmingly disturbing, here are my own thoughts after attending the performance last night.
Both the play, and the article from which the work developed into a dramatic production, deal most explicitly with David’s 30-­year struggle to cope with the resentment, fear and hatred which the long­-held secret of the violation held upon him and to explore aloud its impact upon his life. David’s own psychological and spiritual maturity eventually allowed him to release himself from the power which the long-­gone perpetrator of the violence held over his imagination and spiritual development, This, it seems to me, is the central message of his writing.

Thank you for the memories, I’ll shall return

I’d like to congratulate Michael Hawfield, Beth Graber and Elaine Grabowski on their impending retirements — and thank you for your years of service to so many people on the south Kenai Peninsula.
Having recently retired, I know you’ll enjoy your newfound freedom, my friends.
Now that the dust has settled, I’d like to thank everyone who attended my retirement party at Alice’s on April 15. It was wonderful to see so many good friends gathered for the last hurrah.

Homer Public Library on raising a reader

Welcome to Raising a Reader! Each month, this column will feature information to help you include everyday literacy in your family’s daily routine, supporting your young readers. Here are a few tips for raising a reader by reading, talking, playing, singing and writing with your child. Early Literacy Tip: Music and, in particular, singing are […]

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