Wednesday, February 9, 2011

35th Peninsula Winter Games super success
Unlike summer outdoor festivals and activities, the Peninsula Winter Games (PWG) has never depended upon the weather to have a great turn out. The recent event hosted by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce proved this fact once again. Thirty five years ago the games were created by Sterling missionary Al York for Alaskan families who live here year round to experience the fun of outdoor winter activities on the Peninsula. Since that time, the event has experienced everything from clear -20F degree days to temperatures registering 40F above zero and rain showers, but what has remained constant at each at the PWG are the trills, spills, and super smiles on the faces of the kids having fun. "It's always been and will always be about the kids," says Michelle Glaves, executive director of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, which now coordinates the PWG. "It was a great day that included the Native Youth Olympics Friday through Sunday that brought kids from all over the state to participate, then Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center we had over 3,000 people turn out. For lunch the kids consumed over 1,100 corn dogs. Then for dinner Carol Martin and John Torgerson barbequed up a hundred twenty-some pounds of locally grown organic beef from the Diamond M Ranch donated by Matti's Farm, to go along with the spaghetti which was simply fabulous," she said.

Soldotna Police start new Drug Drop-Off program
To better help protect the community, the Soldotna Police Department has initiated a program which allows Soldotna area residents to bring unused prescription drugs to the police station for safe disposal. "Sometime patients suffer drug reactions which make it impossible for them to use an entire prescription, or maybe they just don't need as many pills as they received." says Soldotna Chief of Police John Lucking. "Keeping the drugs creates a danger to children in the home, especially if the drugs are narcotics, but disposing of them improperly can also create a serious environmental problem. We are encouraging people to bring the drugs to the police station so that we can be sure that they are disposed of properly."

St. Elias's "Moose Juice" named #1 in Alaska
Things really do get better with age, just ask Zack Henry the owner of the Soldotna-based St. Elias Brewing Company. Last year Henry crafted a barley wine he called "Moose Juice" and entered it into the Great Alaskan Beer & Barley Wine Festival in Anchorage. Now in its 16th year, the annual competition drew over 200 brews from 50 regional brewers. This level of competition makes the 2nd Place overall placement and "Best Alaskan Entry" recognition even more rewarding according to Henry. "Our entry was a barley wine we made about two years ago and put in some oak bourbon barrels that we had obtained. We aged it for a year in those barrels and then entered it in last year's competition, and it didn't even make it into the second round of judging. We decided to hold off five gallons and re-enter it in this year's festival and ended up taking 2nd overall and #1 in Alaska." Henry said.

Popular Iditarod musher Dee Dee Jonrowe wins Tusty 200
After placing third in last year's Tustumena 200 and being the last to start this year's T-200, the always-popular Dee Dee Jonrowe of Willow, Alaska claimed her first Tusty 200 Championship after 19 hours and 7 minutes on the trail. Just 8 minutes back from Jonrowe was Cim Smyth, a past T-200 champion musher from Big Lake, Alaska who actually was gaining ground at the end of the race despite the warm temperatures.

Bake Someone Happy with Chocolate

By the numbers: Chocolate for your Valentine

Oppose Board of Game's community hunt programs
On March 4, in Wasilla, the Board of Game (BOG) will begin deliberating on proposed hunting regulations.

Is primary just a state-funded poll?
Bills are being born in Juneau to allow voter intent. Even though only the person placing the vote can really ever know this, and its not likely we'll see an election like this again in our life time.

Too much to ask a kiss before paying?
The Mustang Ranch in Nevada is a well known establishment whose services are best left unaddressed in this article. However, later on I will get back to this establishment.

Questioning truth in the media
It is extremely alarming to me that the people who run the T.V. stations, the radio, the magazines and the newspapers of the United States will not and cannot publish the truth about anything.

Roadside clearing upsets homeowners
DOT of Alaska has exposed the homeowners of Ninilchik to the elements of this cold winter and without any notice to any of us so we could plant trees or put up fences. The state has hired a company to not only cut but grind up all the branches and trees so none of us can use the remains of the trees for fuel that we have planted and nurtured for the last 20 years. We are the state of Alaska and the people that take care of the right of way work for us. So how can we be left in the cold by our state? And to grind up a moose salad next to the road so they get hit and left in the ditch! If that's not wanton waste when so many people need food.

Charter captains battle regs
Monday night, the wind was howling and snow was falling, but Capt. Steve Smith of Captain Steve's Fishing Lodge was thinking about catching halibut.

Fugitive arraigned on porn charges
After evading authorities for nearly a year, a Soldotna man was arraigned in Superior Court Tuesday on charges of felony possession of child pornography.

Afraid of pipe dreams: Lawmakers consider asking for confidential briefing
Alaska legislators say they're frustrated with lack of progress by TransCanada Corp. in securing shipping contracts for a planned $40 billion-plus Alaska natural gas pipeline, and some are arguing for terminating the state's contract with the pipeline company, under which Alaska is paying a $500 million subsidy to the project.

Photo: Going deep

AGIA opponents say they're not out to kill pipeline project
Sponsors of a bill which would change the terms of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act's attempt to develop a natural gas pipeline denied they were trying to undermine the state's multi-year, $500 million attempt to get approval for a natural gas pipeline.

The bird's the thing: Local, visiting birders share their stories, strategies at inaugural winter festival
Most people wouldn't spend $3,600 to briefly visit with a friend or family member, and a hardcore birder probably wouldn't either. What they would do is plunk down that cash to see a single bird -- to check a certain avian critter off of their "life list," a compilation of species they have personally sighted during their lifetime.

Alaska LNG plant closing
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Corp. plan to shut down the Kenai liquefied natural gas plant in Alaska after more than 40 years in operation.

Missing woman indicted in shooting
A Kenai grand jury last Friday indicted an Anchor Point woman for first-degree attempted murder.

Patrick T. McCabe
Longtime Soldotna resident,Patrick T. McCabe, 61, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, at his home in Soldotna with his family by his side.

Randy Neuschwander
Sterling resident Randy Ray Neuschwander, 57, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, at Central Peninsula Hospital, in Soldotna.

Sandra Lynn Johnson
Longtime Sterling resident Sandra Lynn (Minnamon) Johnson died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, at home with family by her side after a 2-year battle with cervical cancer. She was 45.

Around the Peninsula

Choirs stampede Kenai High

Around the Peninsula

Deadline for Teacher nominations looms

Sports Brief: NSC all-conference team released
The North Star all-conference team was released at the end of the NSC tournament on Saturday in Palmer. The team is as follows:

Sports Brief: Kenai hosts Valentine Invitational
The Peninsula Piranhas Swim Team hosted the Valentine Invitational on Saturday. The winners of the event follow:

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