Tuesday, January 17, 2006

AWG organizers make contingency plans to cover lack of white stuff
Since the week before Christmas, snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula has been light. With the Arctic Winter Games 2006 less than two months away, a question arises.

Rascal the AWG mascot calls for bunk buddies...
With about six weeks before the beginning of the 2006 Kenai Peninsula Arctic Winter Games and the arrival of some 1,900 athletes, even Rascal the AWG mascot is being employed to be sure no details are left undone. Details such as the assembly of the 1,000 bunk beds at the various athlete villages, bus drivers, special guest hosts, and a myriad of other opportunities for volunteers to participate in during the Games.

Efforts underway for a Wildlife & Birding Trail on the Kenai Peninsula
After returning from his first visit to Alaska in 1899, geographer Henry Gannett cautioned, “If you are old, go by all means, but if you are young, stay away.... The scenery of Alaska is so much grander than anything else of the kind in the world ... it is not well to dull one’s capacity for such enjoyment by seeing the finest first.” Since that time the primary reason for people of all ages to come to Alaska has not been for gold or the world’s largest sport fish, but to share Gannett’s awe of the Alaskan scenery.

Udelhoven Oilfield System Services ships their first modules made in Nikiski...
It was a proud day last week for Udelhoven Oilfield System Services employees as they put the finishing touches on their first two modules to be fabricated in Nikiski. The two production separator units will soon be on their way to drill sites at the Alpine production unit on the North Slope. The outcome of a complex process that started back in July of last year according to Udelhoven project manager Milt Allen, “It’s a long process, first you have to get pre-qualified by the customer to bid on this type of fabrication, then a strenuous bid process, followed by a final review before the award. In the past many of these types of modules have been built in Anchorage, but now companies want to take advantage of the work force available here on the North Road and we have become as competitive as Anchorage,” said Allen.

Outdoors
I spent a lot of time in the past week visiting with friends at the local hospital. Friends that I have known for several years here in Alaska and the kind of people who have made the time I have spent here in Alaska a whole lot more special. Both are senior citizens and the type of people who really appreciate everything you do for them. If you drop them off a package or two of fish or moose they almost make the thank you part a ceremony.

Eater’s Digest
Eureka! Eating at Sal’s Klondike Diner is like finding breakfast gold and whether a cheechako or a sourdough, this busy Soldotna eatery has something for everyone.

Fred Meyers gives J.A. program a $1K boost...
Junior Achievement of the Kenai Peninsula recently received a major contribution from Fred Meyer’s in Soldotna. “As part of our grand opening for our newly completed remodeled store here, we decided that there would be no better way to show the community how much we appreciated their patience and regular patronage during our construction than to select five local non-profit organizations to contribute to. I chose J.A. because I have supported them in my position along with my management staff for a number of years and I was aware that they didn’t have a local budget to fall back on so we knew they would appreciate some funds that they could use locally without having to make requests from Anchorage,” explained Ron Delaney, Fred Meyer’s store director.

Moose hunt took group effort
4-H, the youth development arm of the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for partnering to make the Dec. 17 cultural moose hunt possible. The hunt is a program that allows young people to experience harvesting a moose.

Animal feeding prohibition would ensure safer viewing
I am writing in support of the proposals to add bald eagles, deer and elk to the list of animals prohibited to feed. 185,000 people came to Alaska last year for the purpose of viewing wildlife. This number is expected to double in the near future. Ninety percent of Alaskans also enjoy viewing wildlife. Therefore, Alaska needs to develop a wildlife viewing policy. Preventing another Timothy Tredwell incident and the press it received should be incentive enough. Baiting wild animals is unpredictable and dangerous for the animal and humans, particularly in urban areas.

Headline led to amusing misconception
The headline “Turkey fights to contain bird flu” on page A-7 of your Jan. 11 edition was a shocker. Here, just a few months after my family and I enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, comes the news that turkeys are now being used in the international effort to combat bird flu.

Cemetery should be put to a vote
I believe putting a cemetery between our schools, next to a river and directly in the middle of a residential area is irresponsible and just plain wrong. The Borough has no business giving away revenue-generating land for less than 25 percent of what the land is worth, especially during these dire financial times.

Cemetery would help former mayor live and rest in peace
As a former Mayor of Soldotna I would like to say that it is the intent of my family and me to return to Soldotna in the near future.

Neighbors should reach farther
Thank you Sharon Baldwin for your letter in Friday’s paper. Just exactly what I was thinking. Like you I have missed the Neighbors section and eagerly looked forward to its return. I delight in reading the different perspectives and styles from each person and each area. It is what makes them unique, and that has been taken away. As an Assembly person, it is my way to keeping informed of communities I don’t often get to. And it was invaluable. I commend the writers, they are wonderful. I would urge you to let their individuality shine through again.

Ski season glides along with support
The Soldotna Middle School Ski Team is practicing daily on the Tsalteshi Ski Trails. We have about 37 skiers out this year and are looking forward to learning classic and skate technique.

Keeping school would help keep Cooper Landing viable
I am writing as a young resident of Cooper Landing who is planning on having children in the near future. It saddens me to hear threats of the closure of our community school, as there are many young folks here who own homes and have small children. It is this large group of young families who are fighting to keep this community viable. We own businesses, support our local economy, and pay the borough an immensely disproportionate amount of property tax, as our land is assessed at ridiculously higher values as compared to land in Sterling, Soldotna and Kenai.

Plan to stop highway deaths doesn’tt have to be expensive
There probably wlll be millions of dollars spent trying to rebuild the highway out of Anchorage. I have one suggestion: The city of Phoenix, Arizona has placed mile after mile of post and cable barricades between lanes on the freeways in their city.

Catch and release regulation needs to be let go
If we the people are to have any effect on regulations governing the use of our local fish resources it’s time to stand up. The local Kenai advisory board has been concerned with river bank erosion and the fisherman’s impact on this delicate habitat. The one thing that must be considered is the people are going to get their fish! The Kenai River Red run is a terminal fishery, in that all these fish not caught are going to spawn and die. The longer it takes a fisherman to catch their limit the longer they will be standing there.

Neighbors columns have lost appeal
I am writing in regards to the new format for the “ Neighbor’s Column” which, to be honest, I felt was lacking. The previous format included local “tid-bits” that had made for great reading. I know I’m not the only who felt this way. As a former contributor to the Neighbor’s Column, I was in the position of receiving a lot of direct reader feedback. I can’t count the number of times readers emailed or verbally told me that they greatly looked forward every week to the unique, off-beat “tid-bits” that I gathered. The new format effectively eliminates any local color and instead focuses only on profiling one person.

Games extends volunteer deadline
Arctic Winter Games organizers have extended the deadline for volunteers to sign up to Feb. 1.

Photo feature: Sunset on ice

Tax measures face scrutiny
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will attempt again Tuesday to resolve legal issues surrounding controversial revenue-generating tax measures passed last June, one of which, a sales tax increase, was rejected by voters in October.

Bill would require hospitals to release infection statistics to public
Alaska hospitals would be required to release information about cases of infection acquired by patients during hospital stays under a bill proposed by Senate Majority Leader Gary Stevens.

AWG organizers make contingency plans to cover lack of white stuff
Since the week before Christmas, snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula has been light. With the Arctic Winter Games 2006 less than two months away, a question arises.

HEA rates set to increase
In response to an increase in natural gas prices and increased business costs, Homer Electric Association customers will see higher bills starting Feb. 1. The rate increase will be roughly an additional 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour, or $16.58 more per month for a household using 650 kilowatt hours.

Assembly to consider resolution seeking earlier start to state wildfire season
When the Tracey Avenue wildfire began scorching acreage and threatening homes northeast of Homer on April 29 of last year, there were no air tankers available to help drown its rapid advance.

Board considers closing schools
The possibility of closing schools in Hope and Cooper Landing are items on the agenda of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting, slated for 7 p.m. Monday.

Some care can threaten your health
At least a third of infections acquired in U.S. hospitals are considered preventable, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Soldotna council told Games’ money OK
Thanks to Kenai Peninsula individuals and corporate representatives as well as a pledge of help from U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, the 2006 Arctic Winter Games are not facing the financial concerns they had last month.

All-Alaska gasline proposal deserves consideration with correct information
In his opinion piece of Jan. 4, Rep. Kurt Olson makes a number of omissions and factual errors regarding the Alaska Gasline Port Authority’s All-Alaska Gasline project. It is necessary that those mistakes be corrected immediately. Here are some facts regarding the All-Alaska Gasline.

Around the Peninsula
Christian center hosts power conference Wildfire protection meetings set Flight safety meeting slated CGC test scheduled AWG singer auditions planned Showin off kids applications available Safety Day presenters sought

Around the Peninsula
Cancer fundraiser meeting set New club set to stitch Parenting classes scheduled Children’s carnival slated for fun T-200 hosts volunteer orientation Wine tasting, auction slated

Peninsula People
Keating graduates police academy Barker joins Air Force Fowler rides tall Grimes joins Air Force Rahlfs elected officer Area students awarded scholarships

Photo feature: Champions

Births
· Rebecca and Eddie Beddow of Nikiski announce the birth of their son, Kalani Abraham Kuulei Beddow, at 7:21 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005, at Frontier Midwifery Services in Soldotna. He weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces. and measured 19 inches.

Sports Briefs
Homer defeats Skyview South skaters defeat Soldotna East tops Kenai Central Ninilchik sweeps Lumen

Senior Activities
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Sports Briefs
Team Alaska seeks wrestlers Team Alaska announces Inuit Games teams

Sports Briefs
Lack of snow alters skiing meets Silver Salmon host Snowball meet Hakkinen takes 68th in World Cup event Kasilof’s Mackey wins Copper Basin 300

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