Monday, February 13, 2006

Reader: Why are teachers first to be laid off?
I just read the article in today’s paper (Clarion Feb. 8) stating that we are going to lose up to 100 teachers. I know that other readers and I do not have all of the facts about the borough budget, but it seems that the first thing that government cuts in bad times is education. Isn’t there anything else that the borough runs other than education (ie. maintenance and administration).

State of health care approaching Third World conditions
I think that Debra Hansen (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 1) and I are very near to being on the same page. Have you ever thought about the jobs that are being eliminated in this country for the last 20 or more years — every one is $15 an hour and up and every job being created is $10 or less. All the businesses of any size will only allow a person to work 30 hours or less so they don’t have to provide any benefits. Yes they have them to buy but who can afford them? In the low income housing field, the workers a lot of times can’t qualify because they make just a few dollars too much.

Reader: Borough shouldn’t always get its ‘Way’
I received notice from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission of a proposed name change for a through way off Echo Lake Road. There have been a lot of these name changes over the past few years and I have paid little attention to them. This one caught my attention: the Borough wants to change the name of Kaye Way to Kaye Road.

Buses shouldn’t be exempt from seat belt law
Governor Murkowski passed the mandatory seat belt law yet I called his representative and they said the public school buses are exempt. My kids ride the public school bus and they told me about the crowded conditions, there is usually three to a seat, they are all falling off their seats whenever they make a turn. I have also seen the gruesome videos of school buses involved in accidents, the children are not safe behind the large seats the system says is safe. I hope we can enforce the seat belt law, also include Laid Law so our children are not able to get launched out of their seats in harms way. Please help save our children, lets not wait and learn this the hard way.

Mayors agree to lend help
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams and his counterparts from the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough signed a mutual-aid agreement Wednesday in Anchorage, each promising their municipality’s help to the others in case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Mayor sounds Games’ budget alarm
The mayor of Soldotna sounded the Arctic Winter Games funding alarm at the regular meeting of the city council Wednesday.

Trip down memory gravel strip
At a local history presentation in Kasilof on Thursday night, almost as much of the history presented walked in on its own two feet as was displayed in the slide show.

New trick?
Alaska sled dogs are undeniably amazing athletes and an ongoing research project is indicating that these dogs may not just be elite, but completely distinctive.

Ferry furvor
Angered at Washington state federal legislators’ support for efforts to block oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rep. Kurt Olson (R-Kenai) has filed a resolution calling on the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to terminate ferry service to Washington ports.

Florists say they are cut out for the rush
By some estimates, more than 156 million roses will be sold today, and roses only make up half of cut flowers during Valentine’s Day.

Splitting hairs
Kasilof’s Jay Hakkinen was one more made shot away from a bronze medal and two more away from a gold medal Saturday in the men’s 20-kilometer biathlon at the Turin Olympics.

Curt Duane Morris
Longtime Nikiski resident Curt Duane Morris died Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006, of a rare lung and heart disease at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 58.

Helen F. Chenault
Nikiski resident Helen F. Chenault died Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2006, in Bullhead City, Ariz., from emphysema. She was 68.

Learning to love being ignored: Left-leaning Hollywood may not be such a bad thing for conservatives
So “Brokeback Mountain” just finished a one-week run at the Kambe Theater in Kenai, a week after replacing “Syriana.” With two Oscar hopefuls exiting — replaced by no less a picture than “Curious George” — the time seems right for a bit of movie talk.

Prepare for crash while peninsula economy is strong
With last year’s dreary news that Cook Inlet natural gas reserves are dwindling, Agrium may close and dropping enrollment could cause even more teachers to be laid off, it’s easy to take a glass-half-empty view of the Kenai Peninsula’s economy.

Inlet at risk of oil spill: Inlet navigational safety needs to move into the 21st century
Cook Inlet fishermen, businesses, and residents can breathe a collective sigh of relief the grounded tanker Seabulk Pride did not spill its nearly 5 million gallons of oil products into the region’s rich and productive fish habitat. Two things saved Cook Inlet from a near-disaster: the Seabulk Pride’s double hull, which protected it from damage, and a competent response effort by the spill responders who re-floated the tanker.

· Alice Lee and Jeffrey Bitterich of Nikiski announce the birth of their daughter, Cadance Renee Bitterich, at 3:39 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital. She weighed 7 pounds, 11.5 ounces and measured 20 inches.

Community News
Class of 1996 seeks members Soldotna Elks table tennis results

Community Schools
Mushroom identification Honeybees, beekeeping Ab blast core workshop Tissue paper note cards Success in school though arts Advanced directives Beginning Excel

Peninsula People
Area students make dean’s list Baldwin graduates Carpenter graduates Hansen joins Army

Around the Peninsula
Social Security reps to visit area Senior housing committee to meet Byway corridor workshops set Nikiski seniors board meeting planned

Around the Peninsula
Women voters meet Women invited to take a break Fish and Game to hold elections Foster care, adoption workshop slated Dinner fundraiser set Junior Miss application deadline looms Frontier community to host open house Clothing donations sought

Learning to Love
Joe Reinhardt and his girlfriend Kelly Simpson were visiting Seattle and enjoying an uncommon 11 days of rain-free weather. One evening, they decided to ride to the top of the city’s Space Needle. Joe was ready to propose to Kelly, but hadn’t planned on proposing that night. As they looked out over the city lights, the thought crossed his mind and stuck. High atop a lovely city during a lovely vacation would be a great time to propose, he thought.

Love on the Kenai
Fixup scheme gone awry leads to love Woman whips up recipe for romance Sand dune sets scene for fledgling relationship Central peninsula home to ‘twitter-paited’ love Letters from sea lead to marriage on beach Activities, love for kids, God keep couple happy Husband digs up creative proposal Mexico a special place Pen pals turn into marriage partners Wife offers poetic recollection of marriage

My best friend
Simba loves moose when they visit and always lets her owner, Carole Medina of Kenai, know if they are in the yard.

Battling the elements
The weather was a problem even before the Region III Cross Country Skiing Championships got under way Friday in Homer. And it didn’t get much better for the racers once they got there.

Sports Brief
Soldotna’s Monica Hutchison and Michaela Hutchison won titles Saturday at the United States Girls Wrestling Association Alaska State Championships Open on Saturday in Sitka.

Ninilchik girls win their own tournament
The Ninilchik girls high school basketball team defeated Yakutat 43-40 to win the Ninilchik Invitational Tournament Saturday. The Wolverines completed the tournament with a 3-0 record.

Senior Activities
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Sports Brief
Kasilof’s Lance Mackey was in third place Sunday night is his attempt to defend his title in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Sports Brief
Team Alaska has announced the teams for boys and girls basketball and for biathlon to compete in the upcoming Arctic Winter Games.

Kasilof’s Mackey ready to defend his crown at Yukon Quest
Lance Mackey, 2005 Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race champion, left the starting chute on the Chena River in Fairbanks on Saturday in an attempt to defend his title in the 23rd running of the Quest — billed as the toughest sled dog race in the world.

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