Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Peppers angelo
1/4 cup olive oil

Chili rellenos
6 Poblano peppers, grilled and peeled (directions follow)

Fresh peppers are smokin' hot
The dramatic taste and stunning color of fresh peppers is exciting. We enjoy peppers roasted, grilled, baked or sauted, and we particularly like them stuffed.

Stove top roasted peppers
Place peppers on a stovetop non-stick griddle over medium heat. Turning several times with tongs, allow peppers to blacken and blister. Immediately place peppers in a paper bag and allow peppers to steam for 10 to 15 minutes to loosen skin. With your fingers (use gloves if peppers are spicy hot), pull off skins.

Italian-style stuffed cubanelle peppers
12 medium Cubannelle peppers, washed

Scholarship program worth funding
Several years ago, the University of Alaska Coalition of Student Leaders (the Coalition), which consists of representatives of each University of Alaska student government office state-wide, drafted a piece of legislation to provide for the financial needs of students who are not eligible for private scholarships, those who do not qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, and for those that the Pell Grant does not provide sufficient funding.

Begich not representing people of Alaska
In response to Senator Begich's letter in "Voices of Alaska" he managed to pat himself on the back for voting for Democratic Party agenda items including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) and the Senate's health care bill. Voted for these even though the majority of people in the country and in Alaska didn't want them. Voted for them because he "owes" his position to the Democratic Party. His letter was nothing more than the rhetoric of the Democratic Party.

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.

Alaska gas prices 'ridiculous'
We recently drove from Seattle to LasVegas in a truck driving through parts of Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada. The highest gas price was Hawthorne Nevada at $3.06 a gallon and the cheapest was $2.69 in LasVegas. We took the back route through Susanville, California, through Reno, and saw very little traffic. Most small towns were at $2.90 per gallon and most major stops and truck stops were $2.80. I got back yesterday and Anchorage was $3.57 and Soldotna at $3.87. I guess that pretty well explains how we are getting gouged by Tesoro. Call your legislators; this is ridiculous.

Should sick day policy be of concern?
I was listening to the Assembly meeting last night and heard the nurse talk about the policy at the hospital where workers are coming in sick. Today I had to go collect my daughter from school because she had developed a fever. I was thinking about the nurses who need their jobs. What if their children are sick so they have to call in? Then suppose the nurse catches it or on another occasion slips and breaks a leg? It doesn't take long for sick days to pile up, and it's no one's fault. In this time of economic uncertainty, no one should have to choose between going to work sick or being fired. I would imagine such decisions place great stress on the hospital workers.

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.

Former prep star returns to face charges
Anthony J. Griglione returned Tuesday to the Kenai Peninsula to face charges stemming from an alleged robbery plot.

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.

Carey to trim pay to top aides: Mayor says fiscal policy back in focus
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dave Carey announced Tuesday that he would be lowering the salaries of the top two positions in his administration.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Photo feature: Goal setting
Bradley Kishbaugh, right, a goalie for the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association PeeWee B squad, gets some tips from Brad Fusaro, a member of the Kenai River Brown Bears Junior A hockey team, during a KPHA practice Tuesday at the ConocoPhillips/City of Kenai Multipurpose Facility in Kenai.

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.

Glenn Orland Jennison
Longtime Alaskan Glenn Orland Jennison died Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010 at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna from complications of ALS. He was 81.

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

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.

Ninilchik, Seward cagers earn sweeps
Ninilchik's boys basketball team pulled out a 47-46 victory over host Nikolaevsk on Tuesday.

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