Bigger issues in Kenai

Regarding the May 18 article “Council mulls Lawton Acres”:

All this hoopla over a contaminated piece of property. So much angst over a strip of trees.

Are there not more important things for us to be concerned about in our fair city?

Consider: current costs for living in our fair city — $90-plus a month for water and sewer. It does not matter if you water your lawn, wash your cars, power wash your house — or not. If you do — and your neighbor does not — matters little. We each pay the same. Meanwhile, the city hires summer folks to till, plant – and water – the field of flowers and various parks and corner planters around town. (And let us not forget the fountain in the park.)

But the water issue is a mere annoyance. There are bigger problems in our town.

Consider: transportation needs in our city. We do not have a bus system (although at least one has been tried over the years I’ve lived here). A taxi ride from center of town to the hospital in Soldotna can run to nearly $30 one way. CARTS tokens for that same ride would be at least 3. There is a group of folks working on the issue. Can you consider joining them and sharing your expertise to come up with solutions?

Consider homelessness in our fair city. Do you think because you don’t see the tent cities they don’t exist? Check in with law enforcement. They’ll give you the honest scoop. We have a shelter for women and their children who have been victimized by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. We have a faith-based shelter for homeless men — no children allowed. We have a transitional living facility for women who are homeless. The tribe helps with housing for their member families. All have limits. We have a Homeless Coalition you might consider giving some time to help.

Consider drug use/abuse in our community. Recent legislative acts have lessened jail time for offenses and often offenders are back out on the street in less time than it takes for law enforcement to turn in paperwork. Meanwhile agencies that offer treatment often have long waiting lists or other barriers to treatment. City-wide clean-up days often turn up used needles and other items related to drug use. Meanwhile there is a sober house for men and a sober house for women. Have you put feet to the ground and/or money in the bank to help in eradicating the problem/find solutions? Have you talked with your legislators?

Consider domestic/interpersonal violence in the area. Have you turned a blind eye toward this? Have you spoken up for the victims and their children? Are you more outraged at the plight of animal abuse than you are of human abuse? Where is your outrage? Do you coddle the perpetrators of these abuses? Or do you take a stand and say “No more!” “It is enough!” “Take responsibility for your actions and change your behavior.” Do you offer support for our law enforcement officers, our prosecutors and court system and the local shelter? Consider support for our forensic nurses who aid victims of sexual assault. Have you volunteered lately?

Or …

Yes, fight your battles with the city over a strip of contaminated land. But, please, remember there are much bigger issues in this city we call home.