Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stronger laws needed to protect salmon
I was at the hearing about strip mining the Chuitna. I did not speak, and I've been trying since to find words to express my anguish and sense of urgency. The image that keeps coming to me is metaphorical. Imagine a world in which some people have the power to use body parts of other living individuals for their own profit. "Say! I'll bet we could sell some lung tissue for big bucks in Timbuktu! There's a healthy body! She doesn't need all her lung tissue! Let's take that! She'll get over it!"

To those who oppose the health bill
Instead of wasting time and money on the same old arguments, why don't you come up with some practical "tweaks" that would cure what problems you deem the current bill has? The Republican party was in control for eight years and could not come up with even a basic starting point. Before you get too vehement about erasing the whole thing, please take the time to do a study on the good this plan has so far accomplished. Many of you tend to lose touch with the fact our country still has a lot of rural areas with few or no close health services, and employment opportunities for steady incomes. Communications are not all that great out of the urban areas either.

Another voice opposing coal mine
Our government representatives should not buy the coal mine sales pitch. The people don't trust the permit process. Hold our leaders accountable to the will of the people. Sacrificing our natural renewable resources for dirty coal is not in the best interest of the people, or vital habitat. At the recent public meeting, our borough mayor didn't even stay to hear many of the people who traveled so far in snowy weather testify. Clearly he didn't like what he was hearing. Let the permit process go through? Theater only. We want some leadership on this.

An enjoyable project to work on
I would like to publicly extend a huge thank you to the great folks at Nordaq for hiring my company to provide trucking services for the ice road they are building to the Shadura #1 well site. Every person I have had the pleasure of dealing with at this company has been top notch. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the crew at Peak Oilfield, who have been so great to work along side of. Professionals, one and all. I have also been fortunate to work with several local businesses in the effort to find suitable quantities of snow to truck to the project. Thanks to the folks at Weatherford, Ocean Beauty, Qwick Construction, and the management at the Nikiski Recreation Center. There have been many others, including several local churches, that have offered to allow me to take snow from their property. Perhaps as the project continues we may still be able to take you up on those offers.

Ready to run: Teams, trails ready for Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race
Before the Peninsula Winter Games start in earnest, the Soldotna Sports Center will be filled with athletes this afternoon.

Cost of retirement system draws concern in Juneau
Alaska is sitting pretty financially, with oil revenue flowing in and billions of dollars in ready cash available.

Smoking, drinking banned around play areas
It is now illegal to smoke or drink alcohol within 50 feet of any city playground equipment or skate/bike park, thanks to the passage of an ordinance by the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday evening.

Soldotna adopts Envision 2030, approves capital plan
n After years of fine-tuning, the City of Soldotna's comprehensive Envision 2030 plan was finally adopted at Wednesday night's city council meeting.

Mary Alice Backstrom
Longtime Sterling resident Mary Alice Backstrom, 59, died Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, at her home in Sterling.

Perfect time for the Peninsula Winter Games
"There's nothing to do. I'm bored."

Kenai Birding Festival: a great winter 'first'
What season do you consider the best time to try something new? I always think of the endless possibilities of summer. It wasn't until this past December that I started seriously checking out the winter pursuits available here on the Kenai Peninsula.

My part of Sterling is experiencing a "high" in the scarcity-abundance cycle of snowshoe hares. On a recent walk in new-fallen snow, I was amazed by how many tracks hares had made in a single night.

Perils of Polly: Zipping around in 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

New reasons to get fit

A timeless question: Whose side am I on?
It is a natural human tendency to choose up sides. Super Bowl is almost upon us and even if your favorite team didn't make it, chances are you'll choose a side and root for them to win as if they've always been the love of your life. You did it last year and the year before. If you lived 150 years ago, your choice would have been far more consequential.

Church Briefs

Community worship coming up

Kardinals shut out Mariners: Kenai faces Soldotna tonight in pivotal game for NSC seeding
Keegen Remsen insisted he did nothing special. His performance said otherwise.

Kenai sweeps Seward
Kai Risung hit a go-ahead shot from the baseline with four seconds remaining and the Kenai Central boys basketball team earned a 51-50 win over Seward in an endowment game Thursday night at Kenai Middle School.

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