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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Having what you need to do with you if an accident happens
The folks at Driven Auto Body want you to be prepared in the event you or a loved one is involved in an automobile accident, so they are giving away a free accident report check list that you can keep in your car should an accident occur. "The purpose of the form is to assist drivers in our community that become involved in an accident, whether its with a moose or another vehicle, to relieve the stress of an accident by giving them a convenient check list or form to complete. Many times we have customers come in with information scratched on scraps of paper, theatre tickets or whatever they might find at the time. So as a public service, we've created an accident report form. It is made out of heavy card stock paper that's easy to write on, and you just leave in your glove box along with other information. Hopefully you'll never need it, but if you ever do, you don't have to stress to remember all the things you're supposed to do at the time. Just fill in the blanks and you'll have all the information you'll need for your insurance company," said Driven Auto Body Manager Ray Gonzalez.

Outdoors
As a young man in Wisconsin, I awoke one morning and decided to jump on my snow machine and do some riding. I slipped on all of my cold weather gear, which included a very warm Arctic Cat snow machine suit, mittens, and my helmet. I started my snow machine and was off, despite the snow being so dry and fluffy it made visibility very poor. Despite having at least one road in site all the time, I never saw one vehicle or another snow machine that day.

Industry Outlook Forum packs Challenger Learning Center
On the 14th & 15th of January, the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District (KPEDD) and the Kenai Peninsula Chapter of the Alliance hosted an Industrial Outlook Forum titled: "Looking Forward to the Next Decade." According to KPEDD executive director John Torgerson, the purpose of the forum was to offer an opportunity to a variety of speakers and topics, some 45 in all, to discuss the economic outlook for municipalities, Borough and State with regards to oil, gas, mining, gas pipeline projects, and overviews by Native Corporations with impacts on the Kenai Peninsula. "The two day event was open to Borough residents at no cost. It included economic overviews from the University of Alaska ISER program and Department of Labor, the borough and city mayors, with updates from the Governor's office, U.S. Senator offices, Congressman Young's state director, as well as the president of the state Senate, and speaker of the state House of Representatives.

Job Shadow goes to Russia
Back in 2005, the City of Kenai entered into a sister city agreement with the Russian city of Bolshoi Common, for mutual community benefits. At a recent Kenai Chamber of Commerce meeting, Sal Mattero of Reality Check Consulting reported on his trip with Dee Gaddis of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District to Vladivostok, Russia. According to Mattero, their visas for Bolshoi Common were revoked early last year, so they arranged to meet with city officials in Vladivostok. "We had gone back there to talk with them about a new business incubator similar to the EDD program we have here in Kenai. Then we were asked to go back in 2008 to review their program, and that was when we introduced them to the Job Shadow concept which they became very interested in," said Mattero.

Let the Games begin
The 34th Annual Peninsula Winter Games (PWG) are coming this Saturday, January 30th to the Soldotna Sports Center. A full day of family activities gets underway at 11:00am according to January Yaeger, project coordinator for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. "It's all about the kids! We'll have ice bowling again along with the return of the kick sleds for kids, snow machine rides, plus all the indoor activities like face painting, the Monopoly tournament, and something for everyone. Of course none this could happen if it wasn't for our major sponsor, ConocoPhillips," said Yeager. Since the Winter Games were first conceived by Sterling missionary Al York, they have been a broad-based community event designed to get families involved with traditional Alaskan activities.

Begich missing the mark
Having read Mark Begich's self laudatory mea culpa concerning his yes vote for the Senate health bill, I am more concerned than ever about his mental status. Begich is either completely detached from reality or he is as smarmy and oily as his picture implies.

Kenai council acted appropriately
I find the recent (Jan. 11) "Voices of the Peninsula" very unsettling. In question is an action taken by the Kenai City Council at their Jan. 6 meeting where a vote was taken to not allow public comment on a certain issue at that time. The former councilmen who penned the op-ed do the citizens of this community a huge disservice by taking one part of the meeting to make their case that the council did not listen to the public.

Blood bank closure does not appear to have been prudent
The management of the Blood Bank of Alaska has decided to close our Kenai Peninsula branch. The last day of operation was Jan. 16.

EcoChristianity: Environmental responsibility meets biblical teachings
From the Garden of Eden to Noah's assembling of animals on the ark, there are no shortage of biblical references to caring for the environment, and as society takes steps to become more green, so too are the religiously devout.

Wanted
As of Sunday, law enforcement is still seeking the arrest of Eric Allen Graham, 35, of Kenai, on four outstanding warrants on charges of burglary, misconduct controlled substance, criminal mischief and assault. Related family member, Ricardo Diaz Jr,, 47, of California, is also wanted on a charge of misconduct controlled substance second degree with a bail amount of $75,000. Both wanted subjects may be together.

Welding accident kills 1
A 29-year-old Homer man, whose wife is pregnant, died after the bucket of a front-end loader crushed him last week.

King wins T-200
Denali Park musher Jeff King never stopped looking over his shoulder during this year's Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race, though his nearest competitors were nowhere in sight.

Partnership forms for fish issues: Groups find strength in numbers to address myriad of habitat problems on peninsula
Increased population growth, unregulated development, habitat fragmentation, degraded water quality, loss of water quantity and climate change -- there are a myriad of problems threatening fish habitat on the Kenai Peninsula.

Technology to make climate science visual
Instructors at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai are hoping to engage students and the community in climate science using flashy digital displays.

Economic rebound predicted this year
Alaska's economy should begin to see improvement later this year, top economic watchers told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce earlier this month.

Juneau's famous black wolf's absence a mystery
JUNEAU -- Plenty of catastrophes can befall a wolf: icy stream crossings, a nasty spat with a bear, a fall in a crevasse, even other wolves.

PFD to pay for gas line?: Rep. Chenault seeks voter input about pipeline costs
JUNEAU -- Should Alaska use earnings generated from a multibillion-dollar investment account, built off oil riches, to help fund construction of an in-state gas pipeline?

Byron L. Bondurant
Former Soldotna resident Byron L. Bondurant, 84, died at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010, at The Friendship Village of Columbus, Ohio.

Josiah James Tholberg
Homer resident Mr. Josiah James Tholberg, 29, died Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, from a work related accident.

Senator sets ambitious agenda
I marked my first year as a senator on January 6. With an international recession, two wars and a growing national debt, the past year has been one of the busiest in congressional history.

Around the Peninsula

Community school classes announced

Best Friends
Robert and Debbie McCree of Kasilof, said. "Minnie is a 20-month-old female Shih-Tzu. She gets the paper every morning, rings bells to go outside and is a certified Pet Partner. She loves people and other dogs, playing in the snow, long walks on the beach, rocks, chasing rabbits, and sun bathing on the deck. She especially enjoys her role as a Pet Partner. She is a sweet, gentle little soul and is loved by all who meet her."

Nikiski, CIA cagers score sweeps
The Nikiski girls basketball team improved to 6-6 overall this season by defeating visiting Ninilchik 43-40 on Monday in nonconference action.

What cancer cannot do -- break my family
Cancer. My mind, then 12-years-old, could not comprehend the disease. I understood by the look on Mom's face that I should be scared, but exactly why I wasn't sure. I cried that night from fear of the unknown -- not from fear of her dying.

KPC health fair scheduled
The student health clinic at the Kenai River Campus is sponsoring the fourth annual public health fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 17 in the McLane Commons.

Lego wizards
The Nikiski "Narwhals" Lego League team participated in a statewide Lego League Robotics tournament at Dimond High School in Anchorage on Jan. 16. With 49 teams from around the state participating, the Nikiski team of students from both Nikiski North Star Elementary and Nikiski Middle/High School were awarded second place in overall teamwork. Coach Brian Bailey said, "Numerous judges mentioned they'd heard great things about the Nikiski team from other judges, and came to meet and specifically talk to them in person about their team and Lego League experience." Teamwork is one of four main areas emphasized at Lego League tournaments. The teamwork awards recognize those teams that show excellent problem-solving, responsibility in team members' goals, gracious professionalism, confidence and enthusiasm. The Nikiski Narwhals team included Nikiski Middle/High students -- Hannah Halliday, Laura Hufford, Brady Malston & Nikiski North Star students -- Sam Tauriainen, Ireland Gillies, Ross Halliday, Hannalyn Ohlsen and Autumn Walters and coach Brian Bailey.

Around the District

School board to meet

Sports Briefs

Nikiski boys varsity tops ACS

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