Monday, January 8, 2007

Reader: Per-person, per-day tax a bad idea
The per-person, per-day tax places an unreasonable burden on businesses to collect, is difficult for taxpayers to understand, will drive some business away and will not make any additional revenue for the borough.

Small theft leads to big loss for others
I own a small tobacco shop at Robinson’s Mini Mall. Someone gained access to my shop and took a few items and money. Although I’m not happy with that, I’m most angry at the thief and cohorts for their stealing the money that my customers had put into my little soup cup to help Ericka Reynolds and her family in their great time of need. (Ericka is a sixth-grader at Kenai Middle School who has leukemia.)

Fund donations appreciated
The Soldotna Senior Citizens Center would like to thank First National Bank Alaska for its very generous donation to the center’s Endowment Trust Fund. First National Bank Alaska has been a vital partner of the trust fund since its inception 10 years ago.

Thieves make off with wisemen from Soldotna nativity scene
Two of the three Magi are traversing afar again, this time somewhere on the Kenai Peninsula.

PRISM plan a go; highway widening discussed
Anticipating the transfer of the Kenai fire training center management to the state fire marshal’s office, a health and safety training consultant from Anchorage was in town Wednesday night wooing the city council.

Job well done: 2006 strong year for employment
Fewer residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough were out of work and the overall labor pool was bigger during the first 11 months of 2006 than in the same period in 2005, according to the latest borough statistics released in late December.

Peninsula lawmakers join ethics reform bandwagon
Ethics reform and efforts to limit contributions to campaigns appear poised to become hot topics as lawmakers prepare for the 25th Legislature’s opening gavel Jan. 16.

Lawmakers busy with bills
State lawmakers are getting ready for the opening of the 25th Legislature on Jan. 16 by pre-filing a number of bills on various issues, including several sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula’s delegation.

Is there enough contract control?
Assembly member Pete Sprague, of Soldotna, has introduced an ordinance that would require assembly approval when contracts are awarded under borough purchasing rules even when the money for the contract work has already been accounted for in annual budgets.

Facility trains dogs to heal
Got a dog with a dinged-up knee, a pooch with a pulled muscle, or perhaps Fido needs to loose a few pounds?

Lee Alan Shoemaker
Soldotna resident Lee Alan Shoemaker died Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, from natural causes at the Stone Brook Inn Assisting Living Home in Soldotna. He was 64.

Howard ‘Bo’ Adams Jr.
Kasilof resident Howard “Bo” Adams Jr. died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007, at home after a lengthy illness. He was 53.

Patricia Ruth Muir
Longtime Alaska resident Patricia Ruth Muir died Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 82.

Shortsighted practices
For a long time no one responded to alarms raised over pollution in the Kenai River. The data accumulated but, with a single exception, no one responded. Some interest groups even denied there was a problem; after all, there were no dead fish. Now that pollution has reached a legal threshold requiring action, a response is beginning to be seen. So my question is: Do we, as a community, need to wait for a legal mandate to prevent local environmental problems? Most problems are predictable. Other places have experienced all the growing pains we are going through. Can we learn from them?

A universal language
My stomach started to growl as I sat in a little rural train station somewhere in the German countryside, waiting for a local train to carry me the remainder of the way to my first Army duty station years ago.

ACT, let it go
The Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers got a taste of its own medicine in the October 2006 municipal election and is finding it to be a bitter pill to swallow.

Community Briefs
Family classes offeredMoms to meetClass of 1987 seeks membersClass of ’97 plans reunionReading program continuesGroup offers help

Volunteers sought
The following non-profit organizations are seeking community members interested in leading a helping hand.

Bleeker, King plan Vegas wedding
Sarah Bleeker and Scott King, both of Portland, Maine plan to be married April 7, 2007, at the Lake Las Vegas Resort.

Planets appear on horizon, stars in the south this month
The view is toward southeast between 7 and 10 p.m. throughout January. Because of Earth’s rotation, this part of the sky moves through the south into the southwest each night all night long. Three constellations are dominating the sky: Orion the hunter, Gemini the twins, and Taurus the bull.

Peninsula People
Military academy appointments setBumgarner joins Coast Guard

Convenience stores have more than grease on the menu
I’m so hungry, I could eat a sandwich from a gas station,” said the fictional character Clark Griswold in the 1980s comedy classic “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

· Malinda and Corey Cooper of Fort Lewis, Wash. announce the birth of their daughter, Zoya Roze Cooper, at 2:49 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006, at Madigan Hospital in Fort Lewis. She weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 20 inches.

Beware the blades of death
To ski or not to ski? That is the question I was faced with a few months ago. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the inevitable pains and face-plants of hazardous winter sports, or to take arms against a sea of goading (in this case, my friends trying to talk me into skiing), and by opposing, end their harassment?

Photo Feature: Ho, ho holiday helpers
On Dec. 16, Tim Navarre, shown above, along with Donna Flug and Debbie Bussdieker were Santa’s helpers from Eagles Aerie No. 35255.

Peninsula Reflections
Longevity is coming of age for folks in Kasilof and surrounding communities. Spruce Grove Memorial Park opened in the 1950s, but for the first 10 years no one over 90 took advantage of the creekside cemetery. As the decades continued to cascade, however, the 90-something segment of society picked up steam.

Around the Peninsula
Lohuis to speak on Moose researchFirst Aid, CPR offeredWomen voters to meetPossibility of Whos to be discussedMaster gardeners think springNYO seeks competitors

Around the Peninsula
KPC orientation, registration dates setBee keepers’ meeting scheduledFundraiser for Ninilchik library scheduledAnnual wine tasting, auction to be heldReading carnival seeks vendors

Mucha wins Colony Sprints
Soldotna’s Kailey Mucha placed first in the Colony Sprints on Saturday.

Hakkinen finishes 24th in sprint
Kasilof biathlete Jay Hakkinen is rounding into form a lot quicker than the European winter is.

Newcomers help SoHi girls defeat Homer
A couple of newcomers came up big in the final period as the Soldotna girls basketball team defeated Homer 50-45 on Friday in the semifinals of the Peninsula Challenge at Skyview High School.

Wolverines defeat Kenai for crown
The South wrestling team defeated Kenai Central 53-15 on Saturday in Kenai to win the Luke Spruill Memorial Wrestling Tournament.

Kenny Lake hockey defeats Nikiski
The Kenny Lake hockey team defeated Nikiski 2-1 on Thursday in Kenny Lake.

Stars smother Bears
Games got tougher, but so too did the Stars.

Sports Briefs
Nikiski drops game to GlennallenMucha, Johnston win Colony Sprints

Kardinals win Tip-Off
Zach Beeson’s 3 in the closing minutes of the third quarter gave Kenai its first lead since the opening period.

CIA tops Wasilla Christian
The host Cook Inlet Academy girls basketball team defeated Wasilla Christian 73-32 on Friday behind 35 points from Amie Smithwick. Brooke Forsi added 17 points for the Eagles, while Melissa Moffis had 13 points. Ashlee Stringer paced Wasilla with 16 points.

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