Tuesday, February 7, 2006

30th Peninsula Winter Games, “Best ever!”
It’s been 30 years since a retired log cabin, dog sled building, missionary in Sterling by the name of Al York started a community winter event to get kids and their families out of their houses to enjoy some traditional Alaskan winter outdoor activities. York called the event the Peninsula Winter Games and they have been growing ever since and now include a week of non-stop activities that include both indoor and outdoor fun. Even though the Peninsula Winter Games have grown to include professional dog mushing, ice carving, table tennis, indoor soccer, and a huge fireworks display, the event has maintained its original purpose as envisioned by York and his wife Bernice, “It’s about the Kids!”

Kids of the Kenai...Caring For The Kenai...
For 16 years high school students on the Kenai Peninsula have been challenged to create a proposal to improve our environment or better prepare for a natural disaster. The community partnership program is called Caring For The Kenai (CFK) and is made possible through a grant from Agrium and Chevron Alaska to the Kenai Watershed Forum. With a matching $5,000 grant from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association the CFK program divides $10,000 cash between participating high schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Last year Ninilchik students earned nearly $2,000 for their science and language arts departments from their entries and this year they are hoping to do even better.

Eater’s Digest
With the Valentine’s holiday just days away, I though this week I would review a favorite place for many couples looking for an elegant dining experience - Mykel’s restaurant in Soldotna.

Several times in my ice fishing adventures I have observed muskrats swimming under the ice and on a few occasions saw them swimming in the hole or attempt to climb out on the ice by you. Last Saturday I took my children to the Trustworthy Derby Grand opening at Sport Lake. It was not a very nice day as the wind was extremely cold making fishing out on the ice not very pleasant without a shelter and some time of heater.

Volunteer registration for Arctic Winter Games closes...More than 2,700 sign up...
The Kenai Peninsula Arctic Winter Games 2006 Host Society says they have officially exceeded their targeted goal of 2,700 registered volunteers. “We closed it off this morning. I am so impressed the way the people across the Kenai Peninsula came forward these last few weeks to insure that we would have the volunteer power it’s going to take to make these Games great. It’s truly a tribute to the community. The next step is to get each of the volunteers through the background check process, assign them to their respective activities or events and get them trained,” said AWG general manager Tim Dillon last week.

Local Dentist travels to Jamaica for international aid program...
On a cold winter day think Jamaica and the sounds of Harry Belafonte and Calypso romance spring to mind. Thoughts of sunny beaches and tropical breezes would encourage most anyone to volunteer for duty to the island. However, Jamaica long considered the Cultural Capital of the Caribbean is also the capital of despair and deep rooted poverty in Central America. So when local Dr. John Miley DDS volunteered his skills to work at a free dental clinic in Jamaica the Soldotna Rotary Club decided it would be a good international project to sponsor his trip.

Tsalteshi trails is welcome mat for visitors
Nice coverage and story on the SoHi Invite (Clarion, Jan. 29). I always enjoy going to the Peninsula for ski meets. The Tsalteshi trails are just great and the people in the community are always so friendly!

Too young to be helped?
I’ve got a question that I don’t know if it would be best answered with a poll or survey of some kind. I recently went out to the college around 2:15 and on my way out, ran into traffic coming from the elementary school. A little Asian girl was walking on the side of the road, barely out of the way of traffic with fresh powder down and everything, and she couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 years old.

Reader discovers cost of living in ‘dangerous’ Alaska
Simply have to share this one. I just booked a round trip flight to Seattle. That is a 3 1/2 hour flight (one way) and runs around $600. The rest of my trip is an 11 hour flight (one way) and costs $977. When I asked the Alaska Airlines clerk about the peculiar difference in price, I was told that it was so dangerous to fly to Alaska, and that pilots have to have special training to come here.

Reader: Poll question only serves to divide neighbors
What did the Clarion hope to accomplish by posing its sensationally provocative question about Intelligent Design? The poll results in (the Jan. 31) paper illustrate the only possible outcome of such an ill-advised inquiry: Quips like “riddled with lies,” “masquerading as science,” “If you don’t like this country, leave,” “If your religious faith is so weak,” and more accomplish nothing, solve no problems, answer no questions and serve only to pit neighbor against neighbor.

Government workers should follow fast food service example
Lorena Whitaker’s piece “The Customer is Always Right” (Verbatim, Clarion, Feb. 1) was most excellent.

Coretta Scott King’s determination admirable
About 15 years ago, while changing planes at what was then known as The William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, I was on an escalator going up from the cavernous underground rail system that connects the various terminals. As I ascended to Terminal A, a woman wearing a bright green coat brushed past me racing up the moving staircase. When I alighted at the top, I saw the woman’s face. It was Coretta Scott King, who by then had been the widow of slain Civil Rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr. for some 20 years. She looked tired, but purposeful. Like someone with a role thrust upon her that she didn’t particularly want, but was determined to carry out. ...

Soldotna Post Office goes above, beyond call of duty
Kenai Peninsula College would like to publicly thank Soldotna post master Margaret Merrill and the staff at the Soldotna post office for giving the phrase “the mail must go through” real meaning to the college.

Nikiski man jailed for attempted murder
An illegal entry and attempted murder concluded with the arrest of a 29-year-old Nikiski man Sunday afternoon.

Warmer rivers may hurt fish
A study released Monday found water temperatures in the Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and Anchor River are rising, a trend that could pose problems for migrating salmon, decrease salmon egg and fry survival and make salmon at all life stages more vulnerable to disease.

Traffic to slow, Lowe’s is a go
Kenai City Council members got a crash course in engineering last week.

Nation looks in on Craig murder conspiracy trial
JUNEAU — The murder of Lauri Waterman sent shockwaves from one small Alaska village around the world.

Photo feature: Clean sweep

Bill would create a new division to combat senior fraud
An alleged fraud has apparently cost a longtime Alaska couple land and money acquired over a lifetime of work, leaving them without access to either at a time they might have hoped to enjoy their golden years.

Photo feature: Race day warm up

When disaster strikes, DMAT responds
Events like the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the tsunami of 2004 and most recently Hurricane Katrina in 2005 have demonstrated that natural or manmade disasters can be overwhelming.

Fire ruins another trailer
The third mobile home in approximately a week succumbed to flames when a torch being used to thaw frozen water pipes set fire to a trailer near Mile 90.5 of the Sterling Highway.

Planning can mitigate many flood hazards
Many of us on the Kenai Peninsula are a little more familiar with flooding than we’d like to be, as a great deal of the peninsula is designated as “flood plain.” This is no big surprise to many of you who have experienced the power of runaway water more than once. I think Noah and his ark would have been right at home here.

Community Briefs
Volunteer tutors needed Soldotna Elks table tennis results

Around the Peninsula
HEA schedules electric meter upgrades Title V11 meeting slated Bee keepers are buzzing Winter series goes to the dogs Caregiver training slated CPCS board meeting planned Grief support for teens offered Prime rib dinner fund-raiser set to go

Heroes of the Week
Woman glad for warm hand Couple grateful for fast response

Peninsula People
Peninsula PeopleAmeriCorps grads announced Area students make honor roll Davis joins Marines Presidential scholar named PWG dog-pull results announced Super swimmers shine

Senior Activities
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna

· Loralee and Lance Anderson of Kenai announce the birth of their son, Koby Harlan Anderson, at 1:02 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005 at Frontier Midwifery Services in Soldotna. He weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 21 inches.

Around the Peninsula
Clarion looking for love Exxon update to be discussed Hershberger to speak Clinic will take it to the mat Genealogical society activities planned Love stories to be shared

Assembly to dig into gravel pit issues again
Review the cross section schematics of any proposed thoroughfare or foundation on the Kenai Peninsula and somewhere there’ll be a symbol representing layers of gravel.

Borough budget gets 2nd look
The Kenai Peninsula Borough budget is getting a second look.

Sports Briefs
Homer’s Hoe-Raittio controls PSDRA event KPHA squad tops Nikiski KPHA PeeWee Tier III takes tourney Teams ready for Juniors Nationals, AWG Team Alaska tabs gymnasts Team Alaska tabs snowshoers

Sports Briefs
Colony girls cagers top Panthers Palmer girls topple Homer

Former Homer player to join Oilers
Former American Legion Twins and Homer High School catcher Jim Pollack will join the 2006 Peninsula Oilers. Pollack, a freshman, attends Palm Beach Community College and was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2005 draft. Pollack participated in the 2005 Florida All-Star game. Pollack is from Homer and has not as yet chosen a college major. Hawaii Pacific University freshman right-handed pitcher Kevin Matsumoto has returned his contract and will join the 2006 Oilers. Matsumoto was named to the 2005 High School All-State and Eastern Division Teams after his senior year in high school. The 6-footer is studying business management and resides in Kailua, Hawaii.

Soldotna skater Gleason makes charitable donation after his team defeats Kenai Central
Whether it’s Mohawks before the football playoffs, a unified hairstyle on the volleyball court or the prospect of shaving the head of the coach, hair is one of the great motivators in sports.

Kenai basketball drops 3 of 4
The Kenai girls and boys basketball teams dropped three of four games Friday and Saturday in Kodiak. The girls won 47-41 on Friday before dropping a 42-40 contest Saturday. The Kenai boys lost 52-46 on Friday and 52-49 on Saturday.

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