Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kenai Chamber starts New Year with community awards
As the Kenai Chamber of Commerce looks forward to an exciting new year with great hopes for the future, it celebrated the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that were essential in making 2005 a great year at their annual awards banquet. Local community members and dignitaries gathered at the Challenger Learning Center to honor those selected for the traditional awards. Kenai Borough Mayor John Williams challenged the Chamber to work with City in the coming year to create a unique image for the City of Kenai that would cause Alaskans and people through out the country to make Kenai a destination for business and recreation.

Eater’s Digest
For how few restaurants there are on the Kenai Peninsula, we are fortunate to have several that offer exquisite Asian cuisine, and one more has been added to that list with the opening of Nikko Garden Buffet.

On Thursday the 20th of January 2006 I drove several of my sons classmates to Sport Lake where they had an ice fishing, and skating field trip. January 20th is also the birthday celebration for some guy who was born in the lower 48 clear back in 1955. This guy grew up fishing and hunting at an early age in the upper Midwest. Any ideas? Gee thanks fellow readers...it was I John Perkovich! Ok so we don’t have a John Perkovich day! Anyway back to the story for this week!

Senator Stevens AWG event great success
Friday the 13th was a great night as the count down continued for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games to be held on the Kenai Peninsula this March. In the face of volcanic eruptions, snow storms, fog banks, closed airports, and a full moon, the fundraiser for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games hosted by U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, was a “smashing success!” according to Bill Popp, revenue development chairman for the Host Society. “Over 200 people attended the event, the entire audience came to its feet to cheer on Senator Stevens as he promised to continue to fight for Alaska and the opening of ANWR,” said Popp.

Fishing for ice in Alaska
Six years ago Jerome Near, Norm Blakely and the Soldotna Rotary Club changed the meaning of ice fishing in Alaska. The idea was to add a new attraction to the Peninsula Winter Games which were started some 30 years ago by missionaries Al and Bernice York of Sterling. York’s idea was to have a community event to break up the long Alaskan winters and get kids and their families outdoors for some winter fun. Near and Blakely thought an ice carving competition would be in keeping with the theme and also generate some new interest in the Peninsula’s premier winter event, so they went about harvesting ice the first year from Arc Lake next to the Peninsula land fill. With a chain saw, some logging pews, and the help of a tow truck they managed to bring a new meaning to ice fishing in Alaska. Necessity being the mother of invention, Near says it became apparent that some innovations in the ice fishing process were indeed necessary. The following year Near had created the first Jerome Ice-cutting-mobile, a rig that mounted a chain saw on a steel jig and allowed for straight cuts with much less effort, “You just push it along like a baby buggy, and it cuts about 10 feet every 20 seconds,” said Near.

Success breeds success for BP GTL plant in Nikiski
Underscoring the theme that “Success breeds success,” BP Gas to Liquids operations manager Paul Jacobson told the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance at their monthly luncheon meeting last week that the GTL plant which was originally planned to be dismantled in 2005, would remain in operation throughout 2006 and maybe beyond. “We’re convincing people that there really is so much we can learn in running the plant reliably and that was one of our challenges this year was to demonstrate that and in our last two months of operations we’ve only been down for two days while successfully operating for a month on either side so having 60 straight days of successful operation really gives confidence to our management that we can generate even more success and that creates purpose for us to continue,” said Jacobson.

Reader invites critic to ACT meetings
Joseph Ross must be a politician since he adheres to the idea that all the citizenry are too stupid to pay attention (Clarion, Jan. 6).

Reader keeps eye on Williams
In the last election, Borough Mayor John Williams ran as a nonpartisan candidate.

Fishing derby could combat pike problem
I read today in the (Anchorage Daily News) about the Pike in Scout Lake eating all the juvenile trout and salmon. Scout Lake will not be stocked because of this. Soon, the Pike will take out many other lakes if not checked.

Don’t fix what isn’t broken
I agree with the writer in Friday’s edition about the new Neighbors column. Bring back the former format. That is what tells us the goings on of the peninsula. Like it’s been said, “if it’s not broke, why fix it?”

Reader turns tables on adventurous eater
To address Patrice Kohl’s article (Jan. 15). My nine dogs have asked me to invite Patrice to our house. They would love to have her for dinner.

Elections call committee’s effectiveness into question
Last Spring, the Kenai River Professional Guides Assn. (KRPGA) noted in their newsletter, regarding the Kenai/Soldotna Advisory Committee elections, “We were able to get Robert Crowell, Bill Tappan, Joe Conors and Gary Turner elected to this AC to join Mel Erickson, Joe Hardy and Jim Kuhnsman. Still they outnumber us 8-7 on most issues but hopefully at the next election that they have we can get a couple more folks on this AC so we can start to turn this thing around.”

Many hands made tournament a slam dunk
The 15th annual Cook Inlet Academy (CIA) Classic Basketball Tournament was held earlier this month and was a big hit with players and fans alike. A successful tournament has many people working hard behind the scenes to make it work and this tournament was no exception.

Mom hits son in truck
A distraught mother rushed to her son’s aid after his snowmachine pulled out in front of her pickup at Mile 16.5 on the Hope Highway on Saturday.

Missing evidence in Hester murder trial recovered
Testimony in the murder trial of a Kasilof woman was cut short today due to the discovery of new evidence. On Jan. 11, the jury in the trial listened to a recording of a 911 call in which Betsy M. Hester was heard telling 911 dispatch she had just shot her boyfriend. The recording, however, was incomplete and the location of the second half of the recording apparently unknown. On Monday it was announced the recording had been found.

Fans have plenty of time to meet T-200 mushers
As the annual Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race prepares to get under way this weekend, some fans are eagerly anticipating meeting their favorite mushers. But like any professional sporting event, there is a right time and a wrong time to chat and ask for a musher’s autograph.

Rules eased for high school students seeking college credit
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has made it easier for high school students to take college classes and receive credit toward high school graduation as well as credit toward a college degree.

Kasilof youth starts mushing career with T-200
While some people may like to slowly wade into the waters of sled dog racing, 18-year-old Tobie Hansen of Kasilof is more of a cannonball-into-the-deep-end kind of guy.

Bark beetle epidemic causes fire risk across Kachemak Bay
Portions of power lines supplying energy to the isolated communities on the south side of Kachemak Bay are virtually surrounded by dead or dying spruce suffering the effects of the bark beetle infestation that has wiped out more than a million acres of forest on the Kenai Peninsula during that past 20 years.

Photo Feature: Ice water

Reinstating revenue sharing tops priorities in legislative requests
The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s annual appeal for policy changes and capital-project financing has been sent to Juneau, where it is hoped a convergence of election-year politics and surplus oil revenue will combine to show them favor.

Maintenance shops have plans to keep vehicles running
In the event of significant ashfall from an Augustine, Redoubt, Iliamna or Spurr eruption, city, state and emergency vehicles will still run. Fire trucks, dumps trucks, police cars, state trooper cruisers, sanders, ambulances and water tankers are prepared for the task, according to officials in the area.

Ann T. McNellis
Anchor Point resident Ann T. McNellis died Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006, at South Peninsula Hospital Long Term Care in Homer. She was 83.

Voting down IFQs not without cost: Guideline harvest program would restrict halibut fishing opportunities
While Mr. (Robert) Penny is spreading accolades around to those who supported the political decision to restudy the Charter Halibut IFQ Program (in a Jan. 2 opinion column), he carefully evaded telling you, the public, the actual impact it will have beginning with the 2006 season. Because the IFQ was set aside for reconsideration, which will take from three to four years to come to a conclusion, you, Mr. and Mrs. Public, are now under the Guideline Harvest Program or GHL.

Around the Peninsula
Soccer tourney registration begins Social Security reps to visit area Long-term, estate planning seminar slated Soldotna High jazzes up desserts CPGH board meeting scheduled

Community News
Kid’s craft fair set Registration for lip synch begins Peninsula Fair quilters square off

Community Schools
Self defense Competitive volleyball Developing capable young people Rod building Digital camera basics

Heros of the Week
Mother grateful for volunteers Couple thankful for snow ‘angels’

Peninsula People
Area students make dean’s list Scholarship winners announced

Around the Peninsula
SoHi after-grad meeting set Used book sale scheduled Historical society to meet Wrestling club seeks members Used book sale scheduled

Sports Briefs
Barrow cagers top CIA East hockey team tops Homer

Hutchison’s record in Alaska is unprecedented
Every time Skyview senior Eli Hutchison has stepped on the wrestling mat in Alaska during his middle school and high school careers, he has won.

Senior Activities
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Sports Brief
Area skiers competed in Besh Cup No. 4 Sunday at Chugiak High School. The six Besh Cup series are used to choose the Junior Nationals and Arctic Winter Games teams. Seniors and masters also use the event to get in some racing.

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