Friday, January 21, 2011

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.

Business Briefs

Chambers set schedules

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.

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.

Leave Chuitna as it is
The men an women relegated to deliberation over the Chuitna strip mine are ultimately seated with a decision in the absolute: voting in favor of the strip mine will likely perpetuate a precedent of allowing mining in salmon streams, and denial will likely instigate a diametrically opposed response, a movement to hold salmon streams as sacrosanct, rather than destroyable commodities. From a pragmatic perspective, we must weigh the economic and sociological effects of either decision.

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.

An air of coal dust and dead fish
I smell a stinky fish decomposing somewhere. I think it is at the Department of Natural Resources.

Legacy vs. a lump of coal
The relatively short term gains offered by the proposed mining operation across Cook Inlet is a poor deal. Recreation on the Kenai Peninsula can only grow. Please don't trade our legacy for a lump of coal.

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.

Man killed in snowmachine-car collision
A Soldotna man riding a snowmachine was killed Wednesday evening when he was struck from behind by a car at the intersection of Brown's Lake Road and Seclusion Street, off of Rabbit Run Road.

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.

Kenai does business: Council renews city manager contract
Kenai's City Council discussed outsourcing ambulance collections, an ordinance that would change the process for appointing people to the city's boards and commissions and the city manager's contract at Wednesday's meeting.

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.

Mentoring for tomorrow: Boys & Girls Club program pairs local youth with adults
Librarian Sharon Hale has been mentoring 10-year-old River Kitchens ("spelled just like the regular kitchen") since November, when the Soldotna branch of the Boys & Girls Club launched a mentoring program for certain kids already involved in the after-school organization.

Marian Elizabeth Long
Longtime Soldotna resident, Marian Elizabeth Long, 85, died Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, at Heritage Place, in Soldotna.

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.

Let's fund 'performance' scholarships this time around
Among the proposals Gov. Sean Parnell outlined in his State of the State speech this week was an idea that sounds just as good this year as when he first proposed it last year -- performance-based scholarships for post-secondary education.

Refuge Notebook: 111th Annual Christmas Bird Count: Soldotna results
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an early-winter continental bird census where volunteers count and identify to species all birds they see or hear within a 15-mile diameter count circle, within a 24-hour period, during the designated December 14 to January 5 period. Annually, there are approximately 60,000 participants counting in over 2,000 count circles throughout North America.

An Outdoor View: Fish wars and politics
Whenever the subject of fisheries management comes up, odds are good that someone will say, "Politics should be kept out of fisheries management."

Perils of Polly: Accompanied by heat, rain and fear on the road to Costa Rica
Editor's note: Polly Crawford was a reporter and associate editor of The Peninsula Clarion from 1985-1988, when she wrote "Perils of Polly." She also wrote a series of "Peril" columns in 1998 about her Australian adventures. Her perils continue in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Around the Peninsula

School holds winter carnival

Around the Peninsula

Fish and Game advisory board meets

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

Voices of Religion: Find out about Heaven by joining a church that believes in Jesus
I encounter people often who think that by being a good person they will go to heaven when they die. What qualifies as a good person seems to be entirely subjective and arbitrary and I haven't met anyone who has felt disqualified. It is sort of an entitlement mentality when it comes to heaven. We all seem to feel as if we deserve to go there.

Church Briefs

Community worship coming up

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

Eagles sweep
Seldovia forward Sarah O'Leary ran off the court with a bloody nose late in the third quarter. The Cook Inlet Academy girls basketball team ran away with the game well before that.

Sports Brief: Hakkinen returns to World Cup
Kasilof biathlete Jay Hakkinen returned to the World Cup with an 81st-place finish in Thursday's 10-kilometer sprint in Antholz, Italy.

Tough evening of hockey
The Palmer hockey team defeated Kenai Central 4-3 on Thursday in Northstar Conference action at the Soldotna Sports Center.

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