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Friday, January 22, 2010

Alaska's small air carriers face mixed prospects for 2010
Facing a downturn in passengers in 2009, small Alaska air carriers project a mixed forecast in their outlook for the industry this year, attributing much of the gloom that hangs over the industry to high fuel prices.

Business Briefs

Chambers set luncheon schedules

Glenese Pettey opens new Edward Jones office in Kenai
While last year came in on the heels of one of the worst years economically since the great depression, 2010 seems to be on the mend according to Edward Jones financial advisor Glenese Pettey. "Since March of '09, it's been a blessing to see the increases made in the market. Actually there's been a 60% increase in the market ending in December of '09," said Pettey who in the fall of last year opened her new office in Kenai. "I'm very proud to be here in my new office and welcome all my clients and future clients to come by and visit us right here on Main Street across from the old court house and catty corner from the Kenai library in the Dcor building," she added.

40 Under 40 Award recipients honored by Kenai Mayor
Alaska's Top Forty Under 40 is a program created by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Journal of Commerce to recognize the state's top professionals younger than age 40, who have demonstrated professional excellence and a commitment to their community. At last week's Kenai chamber of commerce meeting, Kenai city Mayor Pat Porter congratulated fire fighter John Harris of the Kenai Fire Department, and Brendyn Shiflea, Kenai branch manger of First National Bank of Alaska, and presented them with a certificate of accomplishment from the City. "Who are the business stars of tomorrow?," asked Porter, "In it's eleventh year of recognizing the state's top professionals, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Journal of Commerce join together to answer that question. The Forty Under Forty Award recipients capture the entrepreneurial spirit and dynamism of their community. The Forty Under 40 Awards recognizes business people under the age of 40 who balance bottom line results with a desire to participate in charitable and community activities. The City of Kenai and the residents of our community are proud that Mr. John Harris and Mr. Brendyn Shiflea have been selected to receive this award. We will celebrate the accomplishments of this year's top young leaders during this annual awards celebration held at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage on January 14th," read Porter from the official certificate.

Wal-Mart sets date for Grand Opening
The new manager of the Kenai Wal-Mart store, Ferdinand Dominnique, addressed both Soldotna and Kenai Chambers of Commerce last week to announce that the new Super Center will have its grand opening March 31st. "We'll take possession of the building February 5th and you'll start to see our associates at the store from then on. And then on Wednesday, the 31st of March, we'll have the grand opening. From then on the store will be open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, closing only on Christmas day and re-opening the next morning at 6:00am," said Dominnique. According to the new store manager, everything has gone on schedule. "Roger Hickel has done a great job for us in constructing the building, and while it still may appear a bit incomplete on the exterior, the interior is just about complete and looking good," added Dominnique. "I really want to express the City's appreciation to Wal-Mart for the extra landscaping they did to beautify the appearance of the building. They went beyond what was called for and it's going to be an asset to our beautiful City," commented Kenai City Mayor Pat Porter.

Salamatof Native Association opens new headquarters
The new offices of the Salamatof Native Association hosted the first Kenai Chamber of Commerce Afterhours event last week. The Salamatof Native Assoc. has been located on Willow Street for many years, and now has moved to the end of the block across from the Kenai Fire Station after remodeling the vacant building that was a former bank location. "We'd like to thank Dan Green of G&S construction for doing such a wonderful make-over of this building. Many folks think it's a brand new building and don't even remember it ever being a bank," said Penny Carty, president and C.E.O of the Salamatof Native Assoc. (SNA, Inc.) is a Native Corporation formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971. The majority of the 138 shareholders of the corporation reside on the Kenai Peninsula. The mission of the SNA is to preserve and protect its culture and heritage, and promote pride by enriching and educating its youth for the future, according to Carty, who has been with the SNA since 1986. "We are involved with property management and resale, and have subdivisions along the Kenai River, Moose Range Meadows, Grand View Subdivision and our newest development is Cook Inlet Shores," she said.

Lurking under the ice ...: Hungry pike can feed hungry anglers this winter
Hungry predators lurking in area lakes are fair game for ice fishermen this time of year.

Photo feature
Bob Flanders christened in his new river boat with this 65-pound king he caught.

Photo feature
Kele Bottineau called catching this king salmon "an experience of a life time!"

Do you fear our government?
I agree with Mr. Gustkey's letter of Jan.15 (Lesson to be learned in U.S. history). He believes we should "be showing our youth that we, as adults, take our responsibilities seriously for the good of the community in the long run."

Are times changing?
My, my. There's a faint refreshing breeze on the peninsula amid the smell of crony-ism, back room shady deals, closed special executive sessions, and the silencing of the public's voice. Will 2010 be the year of open government, public comment, and a renewed spirit of watchfulness over the political shenanigans we saw in the year just past? I certainly hope so. Things seem to be changing. A new spirit is awakening.

Loss of 60th vote a good thing
Thank God the Democrats lost their super majority. Now the Republicans have no excuse to set with their arms crossed and blame everything on Democrats. They have done absolutely nothing in one year, when we were fallng off a cliff financially and couldn't even see the bottom. I don't think this country has ever seen so many high paid blubberers under one roof. All excuses are now gone. It doesn't matter what party they're in, it's time they go back to work and do something good for the people.

Military suicides a result of poor leadership
The amount of military suicides in both men and women has been increasing. Well "duh" -- the brains in Washington keeps sending the same people back into same terrifying situation time and again. Very few people have any comprehension of what it would be like to live in a country where any person you meet or get close to could be carrying a bomb to blow you up, or someone down the street has a gun pointed at your head. They may be launching missiles while you are trying to sleep and you don't know if it is aimed in your direction; I always thought the National Guard was to protect our states and borders, not be the fighting force of the United States.

Unfortunate situation: Sewage problem bubbles to the surface in trailer park
Mike Lewis's trailer was sitting atop a pile of human waste. He and his family discovered that the hard way.

Borough mayor's chief of staff resigns
Hugh Chumley, the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor's chief of staff, submitted his resignation Friday. Chumley's resignation will take effect Feb. 19.

Curriculum audit on tap: External reviewers will look for KPBSD shortcomings
Administrators at the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District want to know if they actually teach what they preach.

Keep the lights on: HEA unveils plan for future power generation
Homer Electric Association is proposing to pump up their natural gas fired power production on the Kenai Peninsula, though a spokesperson for the company says it likely won't result in a lowering of rates.

Assembly opts not to reconsider ordinance excusing Chumley
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly opted on Tuesday evening not to reconsider an ordinance that would have authorized the sole source purchase of vehicle maintenance equipment from Chumley's Inc. in addition to waiving the requirement to file a "Notice of Intent to do Business" form.

It's all coming together for Tustumena 200
The term "perfect storm" is often used when a series of events go wrong, but for the first time in a number of years the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race is experiencing a perfect storm of things going right.

Climate pact stalls; discussion ongoing
The Kenai City Council chose not to sign the global climate change compact on Wednesday night but intends to further the discussion of climate change issues.

Photo feature: Blowin' off steam
Mount Redoubt releases a cloud of steam Wednesday afternoon. The Alaska Volcano Observatory still has the mountain at color code green and alert level normal.

Railbelt utilities inching near consensus on power building plan
Alaska's six Railbelt utilities are inching toward final agreement on forming a jointly owned entity to finance and operate new generation and transmission facilities, but several thorny issues need to be resolved before state officials, and ultimately the Legislature, sign off on the plan.

Simeon Chunak
Seward resident Simeon Chunak, 47, died, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, at Seward Mountain Haven.

Francis Daniel 'Danny' Prior
Longtime Kenai resident, Mr. Francis Daniel "Danny" Prior, 72, died Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna with his family by his side.

HEA plan looks like a winner for peninsula
Homer Electric Association this week announced plans it has in the works to produce power for its members when its contract with Chugach Electric runs out at the end of 2013.

Gone to the dogs
This year's Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race has a diverse field, and while many spectators will be eager to watch for the veteran mushers, it's important to not lose sight that even the big name mushers were once wide-eyed rookies, much like 20-year-old Shaynee Seipke will be in this T-200.

Christmas counters tally 1,309 birds
On Christmas Day in 1900, a small group of people inspired by ornithologist Frank Chapman started an alternative to the holiday tradition know as the Christmas "side hunt," where teams of hunters competed to see who could shoot the most birds and other wildlife in the course of the day. A viable conservation ethic was starting to gain traction around the beginning of the 20th century, and many conservationists were alarmed by North America's steeply declining bird populations.

Cheer for champions and challengers
As this year's running of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race takes place, many will turn out to witness the event, and I hope that spectators will cheer for more than just the established champions.

Eat more salmon
While fishing in my freezer recently, I noticed some sockeye salmon lurking. I hadn't eaten salmon for a while, so I pulled out a package for dinner.

Around the Peninsula

Cribbage tournament returns

Around the Peninsula

Winter ball canceled

KayHi boys stop Stars
Soldotna's boys built a 33-21 lead by halftime, but Ketchikan scored 48 second-half points to SoHi's 23 to earn a 69-56, come-from-behind victory in the first round of the Alaska Prep Shootout at Dimond High School on Thursday.

An epic of Biblical proportions
'The Book of Eli'

Art Briefs

Call for submissions

What's Happening

Best Bets

A Stale Tale
Old Mother Hubbard

Question: Where is God in all the rubble of Haiti?
Q. Where is God in all the rubble of Haiti?

Church Briefs

Recovery meetings planned

Elite players are busy players: 4 Brown Bears play in Top Prospects event, now face weekend games
Four of the Kenai River Brown Bears top players found out firsthand that there's no rest for the best.

Clarion Calls

Jeff's call: Stunning sweep

Liedes, Leggett, Coty capture city tourney titles
The results are in for the 50th annual city tournament. Total scores include handicap unless noted, and divisions are separated by averages. Division I is for averages 158 and above; Division II is for averages 121 to 157 and Division III is for averages 120 and below.

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