Thursday, January 20, 2011

Business Briefs

Chambers set schedules

Employment uptick expected
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development expects overall employment to increase slightly this year, with some industries growing, some dipping slightly and some, like construction, remaining flat.

Feeling the "Pain" in "PainT" Winter Art Exhibit opens at KVCC
The Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center reception debut of their Winter Art Exhibition entitled, "PainT" was well attended and equally well received. "I have to admit most of the time with impressionistic art I don't get it. I just don't see what the artist is trying to say. But I'm so excited tonight because I look at the piece called 'Breaking Up' and I get it - I see and can feel the pain that comes when any relationship breaks up and I know what the artist is saying. I love the show." commented one visitor. It was a response that was music to the ears of artist Don Decker, who is the curator for the Winter Art Exhibit. The title of the show "PainT" or "PAINt" depicted with a splashed letter T according to Decker, is an exhibition of works by five contemporary Alaska painters with the unifying element being the inherent struggle necessary to complete a work of art.

All new to serve You! Duke's Transmission Auto & Tire Repair
Even as a Kenai Kardinal graduate back in 1984, Duke Harcastle has had a dream of having his own automotive repair shop. It grew even stronger when he left Kenai to go to college in Austin, Texas. "I helped put my wife through nursing school in Texas, and then returned home keeping the dream alive of someday having my own shop," says Duke. His wife Dawn calls Duke's new facility a "Mini-Miracle." "Like all miracles that happen, people are always involved with making them happen. And I call this place a mini-miracle because my husband was doing some work for Clint Hall, of Hall Quality Builders, who was impressed with his work and Duke shared his dream of having his own shop someday, and basically Mr. Hall said "Let's make it happen." and here it is and he's our miracle worker," said Dawn.

Kaladi's donates first day of 2011 to Stitches of Love
Both of the Kaladi Brothers Coffee houses located in Soldotna got the New Year off to a warm start for some peninsula residents, and not just by brewing up a favorite hot beverage. It's been a long-standing Kaladi tradition to donate the proceeds and labor costs from the first day of the year to an Alaskan charity or service organization. This year the Kaladi baristas chose Stitches of Love, a loosely knit organization that makes quilts for children going into foster care. In referencing the Stitches of Love organization, club member Sharon Hale said, "We don't have a president, we are just a group of women that get together hopefully once a month on our own time to make quilts so that every child that goes into foster care here on the Peninsula gets a new quilt of their very own that is theirs to keep forever. We were really excited when Kaladi's called us. It's unusual for people to come to us, we're usually out begging, asking, or selling things to raise funds to buy the materials necessary to make the quilts so it was a very pleasant surprise," said Sharon Hale. Hale estimates Stitches of Love has made some 500 quilts and distributed them mainly on the central peninsula but have also sent quilts to Homer and Seward.

"Rondy" at Peninsula Trapping & Snaring Supply
Trappers and those interested in the legendary Alaskan way of life are rendezvousing at Joe Dilley's Peninsula Trapping & Snaring Supply on Forest Lane in Sterling. As a sportfishing guide by summer and trapper by winter, Joe Dilley has lived the archetypal Alaskan lifestyle for nearly 40 years. Joe grew up in Alaska and started his trapping supply shop a couple years ago. "I've been trapping here on the Kenai for 36 years and I'm happy to be able to help out the trapping community in this way. I'm here and enjoy sharing what I've learned about the sport. Everyone is welcome to come by and visit, there are usually several trappers here at any given time who are always willing to share their stories and ideas on how to be successful, it's a pretty tight-knit group." says Dilley. Joe's daughter Shay is a junior at SoHi, and has learned the skill of hand crafting snares. "It's takes a lot of practice and work to get it right, but we make a great product here." said Shay. "I wasn't really into it when I was younger, but the older I get the more I realize that there's not a lot to do in Alaska if you don't get involved with outdoor sports, other than sit inside and eat and watch TV and this is a whole lot more fun than that. When you're out there on a trap line and realizing that you're not just watching this in a movie and the animals your trapping could kill you in less than a minute, it's really pretty exciting."

Tight Lines: 'It's a real fun thing': Avid anglers try their luck on area's frozen lakes
Matluna Christensen grew up fishing for smelt through the ice of the Ugashik River on the Alaska Peninsula. Those were good times, fond memories from her childhood in rural Alaska.

Preserving America's Pie Heritage

Pie Day

What about eradicating the hate?
I listened carefully to the President's sincere plea to Americans to cease from the hurtful rhetoric and rancor of our present society and to live up to the best of who we are and what we can be. Throughout the day I heard the pleas of politicians who called for the same thing, and even the news programs were asking that we tone down or eliminate the malicious speech.

Refuting Kent State assertion
This letter is in response to the opinion column by Matt Towery in the Peninsula Clarion on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011.

Mining will destroy lives built around salmon
I have to voice my opinion because this is such a huge issue. My family and I eat our Alaskan wild salmon several times a week. We dip net and fish right here on the Kenai and then process several hundred pounds of fish every year.

Say 'No' to mining at Chuitna, Pebble
We cannot allow the coal and other mining industries to damage our fishing industry. We export fish and fish need clean, undamaged habitat to survive. It has been proven the world over, time and time again, that the coal and other mining industries cannot mine without causing catastrophic damage to the environment -- all environments they're in, whichever environment they are in, ours included. No matter what they say, it hasn't been done and won't be done here now.

Residents oppose coal mining in Beluga
We are writing in opposition to the Chuina Coal Mine. We have lived in Beluga for 37 years and have enjoyed hunting and fishing there. We do not believe that the coal field should be put in.

Coal project draws fire: Outspoken crowd critical of Chuitna mining plan
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources held a public hearing Wednesday evening at the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai regarding a petition to declare the salmon streams within the Chuitna Watershed unsuitable for surface coal mining.

Dems push back on oil tax changes
Democratic legislators told the press just before the start of the 27th Alaska Legislature they'll oppose calls by Gov. Sean Parnell and others to lower the state's oil tax rates.

As chair, Young plans to examine BIA funding
Opening up resources, cutting bureaucracy and defending contracting privileges for Alaska Native companies are among the priorities for U.S. Rep. Don Young as he wields a chairman's gavel for the first time since his party lost the majority in 2006.

HEA joins railbelt energy cooperative
Homer Electric Association announced this week that it is part of a cooperative energy association with four other railbelt utilities.

Taking care: Sometimes it's the caregiver who needs support
About a year ago, Vicki Vinzant's dad started forgetting things. He quit tinkering with cars, stopped playing the accordion, and became increasingly confused, violent, and disoriented. When Vicki mentioned having to go pick up her kids one day while visiting, he responded with sincere incredulity, "What kids?"

Voices of Alaska: Path to future remains open
Since the election I have been asked repeatedly about my intentions for the future. My answer is that the outcome of a single election does not alter my passion to advocate for the best interests of Alaskans.

Around the Peninsula

Fish and Game advisory board meets

Around the Peninsula

Habitat for Humanity opens 2011 applications

Reeling It In: Thyme for the 'Season of the Witch'
"Season of the Witch"

Art Briefs

Call for metal and wood artists

"Rarefied Light" now appearing at Gary Freeburg Gallery, KPC
Visitors to the Gary Freeburg Gallery at Kenai Peninsula College this month will enter a room packed with photos. Some images might be familiar Alaska scenes, while others were obviously taken outside the state. Every image is the creation of an Alaska photographer -- and many are the work of Peninsula photographers.

What's Happening

Best Bets

Poet's Corner

Natal Streams

Kenai boys, SoHi girls notch NLC wins
The opponent's star sat on the bench to end the game. The Soldotna girls basketball team called on its own star to win the game.

KCHS linebacker hopes for college shot
When Numi Ilalio Jr. first saw the outside linebacker, the high school football coach had one thought.

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