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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Outdoors
If I had to pick only one lure to use for all my fishing both in the winter and summer, I would pick a jig. I attended a Babe Winkelman jig fishing seminar as a young boy in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with my father and this seminar changed my fishing, or should I say my way of fishing forever. I don’t know of any fresh water fish that you can’t catch on a jig.

60,000 Visitors Guides arrive at Soldotna Visitors Center
Promoting the Kenai Peninsula as a world class travel destination is a huge effort. Last week the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce received their 2007 Visitors Guide and promptly began distribution. While the 60,000 some booklets may temporarily provide some additional insulation for the Soldotna Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce offices, long before spring temperatures arrive the majority of those guides will have found their way to interested visitors throughout the country and around the world, according to Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michelle Glaves. “Right now we’re building walls with them, but we will be mailing them free starting tomorrow to anyone that requests information about Soldotna either from our website or over the phone. The guide has complete information that anyone who is planning to visit or relocate here needs to know to plan their trip or what they’d like to do after they arrive. We also send and take them to trade shows throughout the State and the lower 48 to let people know what a great place Soldotna is to live or visit,” said Glaves.

Central Peninsula Hospital opens new Mountain Tower Wing
Just a few days into the new year last week saw an event that may prove to be one of the major happenings in all of 2007. The occasion was the official opening of the new Mountain Tower wing at Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH). A host of community officials, families and friends gathered for the official ribbon cutting by Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams and CPH Chief Executive Officer Ryan Smith. “This is certainly a great day in the new year. This particular project is one that was brought about by the voters and has been well designed and executed with construction that is just marvelous. It’s a beautiful facility, one that we are all proud of and that will be with us for a long time to come,” commented Mayor Williams.

Kenai Dental Clinic welcomes Doc Halliday
Among the legends of the Old West the names of Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and the gun fight at the OK Coral have become etched in American folk lore. Therefore, when a new Doc Halliday arrives in Kenai one naturally inquires about the parallels.

The 31st Peninsula Winter Games
In the wake of the international success of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, the Kenai Peninsula prepares for the 31st Annual Peninsula Winter Games getting under way January 20th-28th. According to Shanon Hamrick, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Tourism and Marketing Association (KPTMC) which coordinates the event, hundreds of athletes, coaches and families from throughout the State of Alaska will be visiting the Kenai Peninsula to participate in the Peninsula Winter Games. “The Peninsula Winter Games were started back in 1977 by the late Mr. Al York, a missionary and member of the Soldotna Lions Club. Mr. York recognized the need to create an event where the local children would have an opportunity to enjoy sports, games & kid oriented events during the winter season,” said Hamrick.

Inviting the homeless?
If Love INC builds a homeless shelter, the homeless will come.

Program works well for neighbors
The Nikiski Neighbors Noel Tree Program was a great benefit to 48 families — 138 children — through the presents purchased by donations given by the people, companies, and organizations of Nikiski. Nikiski Neighbors was also able to serve 82 needy families in Nikiski with Christmas food boxes.

‘Friendship’ is key word in generosity
Friendship Mission is becoming a reality because of the generosity of many churches, organizations and individuals. We thank all the people who have given to the Mission and allowed God to use them in attaining his goal of making a refuge for men who need spiritual and physical help at this time in their lives.

Eagles help mom be mother
Thank you for your financial help during the difficult times following my daughter’s automobile accident. I am a single mother, working 60 hours a week to make ends meet. When Laurie Booth slid off the highway and rolled her car, her injuries were severe, and she and I needed me to be at the hospital in Anchorage for two weeks.

Reader: Cities should merge
Sokenna: pronounced “so ken na.” The name just rolls off the tongue. The idea it represents is far more important than any name. The merger of the cities of Kenai and Soldotna is an issue whose time has come.

Community support makes holidays brighter for others
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the individuals, families, organizations and businesses that helped make our 2006 Christmas drive a success.

Eruption 1 year ago won’t be Augustine’s last
A year ago this month Kenai Peninsula residents bought extra air filters for their cars and human resource managers gave paper masks to office workers in anticipation of the volcanic ash geologists warned might rain down on them.

Soldotna signs may face 20-foot ceiling
Soldotna residents will have their first opportunity Wednesday night to provide input on proposed changes to the city’s code on freestanding signs.

Breaking: Plane crashes in inlet
A "Mayday" call sent emergency personnel scrambling to find a downed plane in Cook Inlet northwest of the FAA flight tower at Kenai Municipal Airport.

Engine problems reported
Pilot and retired Alaska State Trooper Director Randy Crawford remained missing Tuesday evening, after a plane he had been flying was retrieved intact from the icy waters of Cook Inlet.

Wagoner files bill to speed up Point Thompson decision
Sen. Tom Wagoner has filed a bill aiming to expedite a resolution of ExxonMobil’s appeal of the state’s decision to deny its proposed plan for developing the Point Thompson Unit.

Plane crashes in inlet
Retired Alaska State Trooper Commander Randy Crawford, the pilot whose plane crashed into Cook Inlet on Tuesday, is regarded by many as being “a superb pilot who’s been flying a long, long time.”

Photo Feature: The sun also rises
Fog and cold temperatures distort the sun as it rises above the mouth of the Kenai River on Tuesday morning.

Breaking: Pilot in inlet crash identified
Pilot Randy Crawford remained missing at 3 p.m. Tuesday, after the plane he had been flying was retrieved intact from the icy waters of Cook Inlet.

Petro Express stores close
Petro Express gas stations and convenience stores in Soldotna and Kenai closed their doors Tuesday and will not reopen.

Forest Oil to divest Alaska-based assets
The Osprey oil platform off Nikiski is among Alaska assets being spun off by Forest Oil Corp. as it attempts to reduce its debt following its takeover of Houston Exploration Co.

Kasilof soldier in fight for PFD money
When Shad Houser enlisted in the U.S. Army at the Peninsula Center Mall recruiting station in Soldotna in 2000, he figured he would be spending time outside Alaska, but he considered this to be his home — his permanent home of record, in Army parlance.

Pfc. Alan Robert Blohm
Kenai resident U.S. Army Pfc. Alan Robert Blohm died Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, as a result of wounds sustained while serving his country in Iraq. He was 21.

Ronald E. McMillan
Longtime Alaskan and Soldotna resident Ronald E. McMillan died Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, at his home with his family by his side. He was 79.

Don’t be alarmed by mine
Many things have changed in Alaska during the last 100 years. We have fought the federal government for control of our resources. We achieved statehood. We built responsible and accountable permitting systems to protect our valuable fish and wildlife populations.

Around the Peninsula
Health classes offeredFirst aid, CPR offeredPeace and justice meeting slatedAfter-school clubs to be heldHorton coming to libraryFood bank board meeting setNYO seeks competitorsSenior center breakfast canceled

Around the Peninsula
Youth volleyball, basketball offeredIndian education committee to meetHistorical society to meetCribbage tourney continuesKenai chamber to host awards ceremonyHorton coming to libraryFood bank directors to meetArea women to take a breakMaster gardeners think springCancer fundraiser set to climbMonopoly tournaments to be heldNYO seeks competitorsSoHi after-prom committee to meetFundraiser for Ninilchik library scheduledAnnual wine tasting, auction to be heldReading carnival seeks vendorsFundraisers for cancer victim continue

NLC girls look to regain state dominance
From 1991 to 1999, the Northern Lights Conference, then called Region III, was the dominant league in Class 4A girls basketball, winning six of the nine state titles and failing to advance to a title game just once.

NLC South boys looking to make state tourney runs
Prior to this past weekend’s SoHi Tipoff, the Soldotna boys basketball team was on the minds of many people.

Program teaches suicide prevention for teens
Alarmed by the rising number of suicides among teen-agers in Alaska, schools on the Kenai Peninsula are arming their students with education and advice to battle the growing trend.

Kenai Peninsula College walk-in registration opens Thursday
The spring semester at Kenai Peninsula College begins Tuesday. KPC will hold walk-in registration from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Registration online will be available at kpc.alaska.edu until the end of walk-in registration.

Photo Feature
Kenai Peninsula College graduates listen to a commencement speaker last spring.

Around the District
Infant, preschooler screening availableYouth summit plannedNursing scholarships availableFlag poetry contest beginsConnectionsCook Inlet AcademyGrace LutheranI.D.E.A.Kaleidoscope School of Arts and ScienceKenai Central HighKenai MiddleMountain View ElementaryNikiski North Star ElementaryNikiski Middle-HighNinilchik SchoolRedoubt ElementarySears ElementarySoldotna MiddleSoldotna HighSoldotna ElementarySoldotna MontessoriSterling ElementaryTustumena Elementary

Attending a small school isn’t always easy
My high school career has been a bit of a struggle. There are only two people left in my class who started preschool with me. Over the past few years, several of my close friends have transferred to larger schools and it has been difficult emotionally and socially. My class size has decreased from 18 in my freshman year to 12 my senior year and two of the seniors are new students.

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