Tuesday, January 12, 2010

During my many outdoor adventures throughout the United States I have always been amazed how each group of people adapted to the many different parts of the country that they live in. The food on their tables often times was simply the food that was available at the time. For example, I once skinned out a rattlesnake in Texas because someone wanted to eat it. I also know that among the Mexican people there they have a craving for armadillo.

Chevron's $10K means 20 for Food Bank Building to Nourish campaign
Regardless of the challenges that Chevron's operations in the Cook Inlet faced in 2009, the company and its employees are starting the New Year by investing in the community where they live and work. At the first Kenai Chamber of Commerce meeting for 2010 Chris Myers, Chevron's Cook Inlet operations manager presented Linda Swarner, Kenai Peninsula Food Bank executive director, and Sal Mattero, Food Bank board of directors, with a check for $10,000 dollars. "We certainly had our challenges in 2009, the volcano had us shut in for three and a half months, and no production means no revenue, but the Chevron way was to wipe the sweat off our brows and go back to work which we did this fall and got production back on line. Things are coming around and we're optimistic and hoping that this will be a good year," Myers told the Kenai Chamber. "Chevron recognizes that these are tough economic times and these are not the times that you hold back because these are the times the needs are the greatest and I'm proud to be part of a company that is willing to do that," added Myers.

Congressman Young opens new Kenai Office
Congressman Don Young reopened his district office in Kenai last week and greeted many constituents at a reception at the office's new location in the Benco Building in Kenai. Staffing the office is Bonnie Golden, a 25 year resident of the Peninsula. Bonnie will serve as a liaison between Kenai residents and federal agencies. "She'll do a great job for the folks here on the Peninsula, she has real world experience and will make a good liaison to me in D.C.," said Young. In looking to the new decade Young says that Alaska needs to recapture the initiative in developing its resources and building new value added industry, "Alaska should be the power center of the world. If you think about the tidal power we have here, the wind power, the hydro- power, the geothermal power, and the hydrocarbon resources we have here in the form of gas, oil, and coal, it's the largest energy resource in the United States of America and we need to take the initiative in developing these resources because the economy of any strong nation is based upon their ability to develop their resources, or to manufacture products for export like China, where they import raw resources and export finished products, but we're doing neither. You can't recover from an economic recession or have a good, strong economy by borrowing dollars, you have to produce natural resources and products from those resources to reclaim that economy and a sound future," Young said.

Deals you can trust at Midway Auto Sales & Rentals
Kristina Goolsby grew up in Slovakia, formerly part of the U.S.S.R. A country located next to Ukraine and between Poland and Hungry, "Our culture is similar, but our language is different," says Kristina who came to the U.S. six years ago and in July, 2007 moved to the Peninsula with her husband Arthur to open Midway Auto Sales and Rentals on the Kenai Spur Highway next to Kenai Auto. "My husband's uncle has been in the auto business for over 20 years and my husband felt there was a good opportunity here to specialize in the price range of automobiles that our competition doesn't carry, so we opened Midway Auto to provide affordable, previously owned cars, at the lowest possible prices," Kristina told the Dispatch. The Goolsby's now have two children Tierra and Phoenix who were almost born right along with their new business, "Especially Tierra, I almost gave birth to her in the car," laughed Kristina.

KPEDD & The Alliance host Industry Outlook Forum
"Looking Forward to the Next Decade," is the theme of this week's Industry Outlook Forum sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District (KPEDD) and the Kenai Chapter of The Alliance. "We have forty five speakers signed up for the two day conference that includes the President of the State Senate Gary Stevens, Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, folks from the Governor's office, and representatives from every major industry on the Peninsula, plus major economists that will set the stage for what the future of Kenai Peninsula has in store, so it should be a pretty exciting forum. We've asked the presenters from government and industry leaders to tell us what they have planned for the next decade So we can compile this information into a planning document that will give us direction on how we can meet the needs," said KPEDD Executive Director John Torgerson. "We partnered with the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance who felt as we did that this event needed to available to the public free of charge, so the Kenai Chapter president Bob Favretto went to work raising funds from their membership to make that possible. We had limited space and only 168 seats available at the Challenger Learning Center, and they filled up fast but thanks to all the sponsors we were able to arrange it at no cost to the public," added Torgerson.

Christmas drive helps many families
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the individuals, families, organizations, and businesses that helped make our 2009 Christmas Drive a success.

Support makes tournament possible
Soldotna High School Boys Basketball would like to thank its sponsors, supporters, parents and the players for helping to make the 19th annual 2009 Powerade/Al Howard SoHi Tip Off Tournament a huge success.

Health care reform must include single payer provision
There must be a single payer provision if one is to call the health care plan a true benefit to the American people. Anything less is likely to cause disgust, distrust, and revulsion in the general populace unlike anything witnessed in our 230 year history. Without such meaningful reform, the Democratic party will be picked apart and marginalized by the right and the left for years to come. Don't do it! Get the Kuchinich or Sanders single payer initiatives in the final bill or sign onto what will become the certain demise of the Democratic party.

Service board issue needs serious consideration
The Kenai Borough Assembly has set aside a decision for later reconsideration on whether the Mayor should appoint Service Area Board members. Excellent decision!

Clam Gulch: 1 hurt in assault; accused man commits suicide
A Clam Gulch man committed an apparent suicide on Jan. 7 after allegedly assaulting a woman with a knife, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Survey: Risky actions among youth change
Alaska's high schoolers are drinking less alcohol but instead are smoking more marijuana, according to a state report.

Parnell, staff visit: Residents pleased with attention from governor
Gov. Sean Parnell brought nearly everyone from his staff to Kenai, and most members of the public who came to the reception at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center on Monday night were pleased with attention the governor gave the area during his one-day tour.

Police search for Griglione: Football star sought on felony charges for faking robbery
Police are still searching for a former Soldotna High School football star wanted on five felony charges alleging he faked a knifepoint robbery during a prescription drug deal in Soldotna.

Famous fishing boat gets green overhaul
Under a project by SeaLand Environmental Inc., a Bradenton, Fla., company, the Time Bandit will be going green.

'That guy stole my mother's purse': Girl, 11, wrestles man over handbag, witnesses help
A 26-year-old man allegedly wrestled a purse away from an 11-year-old girl at Louie's Restaurant in Kenai on Friday evening. With assistance from other restaurant goers, Kenai Police arrested Daniel McCurdy and recovered many of the items in the bag.

High school artist has an eye for images
Rachel Lee walked by that plant in that bottle, sitting unassumingly on her family's kitchen counter, for several years before deciding to take the photograph.

Linda Kay Black
Longtime Soldotna resident Linda Kay Black died Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 61.

Fred Lewis Monroe
Kasilof resident Fred Lewis Monroe died Friday, Jan. 8, 2010, at home.

Around the Peninsula

Governor to visit Kenai

Around the Peninsula

Beekeepers to meet

Best Friend
Gary Cutsforth of Soldotna said. "I'm sending a photo of our dog, Dawson, that was taken while walking on the beach at Captain Cook Park."

Best Friend
Jan White of Sterling said, "This is Jake. Don't know the breed. He's a mix. He was rescued as a pup. He's about 4 or 5 years old now. This picture was taken a couple of years ago. He goes ape when you turn on the hose. He tries to bite the stream of water. When it is off, he tries to start it. He is owed by my son, Chris White."

KPC enrollment continues to soar
At last week's spring semester convocation, Director Gary Turner reported to staff and faculty that the upcoming semester had already broken last spring's record breaking enrollment. With another week of general registration remaining, enrollment was up 23 percent in head count and 25 percent in credit hours.

Donation center closing, but blood still needs to flow
There's a vital lifeline that exists in our local community -- it is the Blood Bank of Alaska -- and it is about to be severed. Sadly the Soldotna center of the Blood Bank of Alaska plans on closing its doors Saturday, followed by the Wasilla donor center on Jan. 22.

More high school graduates look at Alaska colleges
JUNEAU (AP) -- For high school seniors, January means more than the beginning of a new year -- it means a push for college applications.

Around the District

School board to meet

Sports Briefs

Davis takes 4th in final

King takes Copper Basin 300
Jeff King won the Copper Basin 300 on Monday with a time of 50 hours, 34 minutes.

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