Friday, February 19, 2010

Business Briefs

Chambers set luncheon schedules

Mild weather a boon for ice fishing tourney
Warm weather and low snowfall this winter is helping to make this one of the best years for ice fishing seen here a while.

Community lucky to have caring local businesses
The Holidays are a wonderful time of the year filled with love and giving of ones self to help others who are going with out. When we think of Christmas time we're supposed to think about others, although sometimes we may fail to reach out to those in need.

Proud to be an Alaskan
I have lived here in Alaska all my life and we Alaskans are much more caring for each other than I did see in the states. We don't leave each other on the side of the road -- not yet anyway. I believe that behavior and attitude toward things is why we Alaskans did not feel the financial pains that the states did. Not really, we had money Sarah Palin gave everyone $1,200 before she started her president stuff with McCain and then we got the PFDs. And not to mention that many give to the nonprofits. There are a greater number of Alaskans willing to give to help in a cause then what there appears to be in the states.

If we wait and see, it will be too late
The Pebble Partnership and its CEO John Shively continue to ask Alaska's to wait and see, to give the Pebble project time, and to let the process run its course. The recent fining of the Pebble Partnership for 45 water use violations, however, illustrates why we cannot just simply wait and see. These recent violations, and in a relatively small operation, bring to light the obvious flaws in the current process and show that it does not adequately protect Alaskan waters. Fines, after the fact, while alleviating some problems never undo contamination. These particular fines also confirm many of the concerns Alaskan's have about the Pebble Partnership's ability to safely proceed with this type of project in an area as sensitive as the Bristol Bay watershed, an area that is home to the largest run of sockeye on our planet.

Health care reform opponents have been duped
To all of you who opposed health care reform or who did nothing to support it, can't you see that we're being played for fools? The insurance companies used our premium payments to influence our legislators to oppose reform -- just ask Senator Murkowski how much she received! Then they funded TV ads to convince us that changing the system is risky. I guess it worked.

Let's not tinker with dividend program
Life is not fair. At least that is Katy Neher's belief why people who die halfway through a year should get a final PFD. Next, shall we hear from people who's loved one died at 179 days into a year? Should we change the law for them? Maybe we should just hand people a PFD upon them entering the state and then on the anniversary of that date every year. How about if a person or family leaves the state because of medical reasons or job hunting? Maybe we should send them checks also.

Gas producer looks to expand west side holding
The comment period has opened on a proposal by Anchorage-based Aurora Gas, LLC to expand the Nicolai Creek Unit on the West Side of Cook Inlet.

Mayor honors Jim Bowles: Pat Porter donates to Providence Cancer Center
Instead of traveling to Anchorage to attend the memorial for ConocoPhillips Alaska president Jim Bowles, Kenai Mayor Pat Porter is donating the $250 in would-be travel expenses to the Providence Cancer Center as a remembrance in his name.

Students taste daily grind: Conference allows area youth to experience working world
More than 90 kids from across the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District got a taste and a trial of the working world during the Career and Technical Student Organizations Conference at Kenai Central High School Thursday.

Bannock carries own philosophy
Duane Bannock rarely misses a Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting. He can usually be spotted in the back of the chambers, behind the members of the public who plan to address the assembly that evening.

Cemetery land deal reached
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday evening finally put to rest the seemingly eternal Soldotna cemetery land conveyance issue.

Eacker trial ongoing
Stabbing someone five times through the heart with a screwdriver would not likely produce geysers of blood, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy of Toni Lister's body testified Wednesday.

Photo feature: Ahhhhh!
Chip Spangler receives a massage from Dr. Evan Frisk of the Peninsula Health Center on Wednesday afternoon during a health fair at Kenai Peninsula College. In addition to various health tests, participants were able to peruse vendor booths and learn about healthy lifestyles.

A dividend we make for ourselves
The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and the City of Soldotna have recently begun a campaign to encourage residents to do business with local merchants.

Economic State of the Kenai Peninsula
In today's Peninsula Clarion you will find this year's annual section called Transitions.

Strides for safer roadways for moose (and man)
Like the gait of the long-legged ungulates they seek to keep from crashing through windshields, the Alaska Moose Federation is making great strides toward creating safer roadways around the state, including on the Kenai Peninsula.

Barrand finishes 16th in Yukon Quest
Cindy Barrand of Kasilof finished the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in 16th place, crossing the Whitehorse, Yukon, finish line at 11:21 p.m. Wednesday night.

Mushers preparing drop bags for unknown
While the Iditarod is still two weeks away, one of the first major challenges of the race has been met: drops bags are done.

Duck Stamps: Not Just For Hunters
It began in 1934. That's when our country experienced two particularly important national conservation efforts -- the creation of the Federal Duck Stamp and the rapid growth of National Wildlife Refuges into what could actually be called "a system." It is no accident that these two drives were to be found in tandem, united to make wetlands, refuges, and migrating birds more secure.

On ravens
We Alaskans tend to get blas about things. Take our ravens.

Around the Peninsula

Pool schedules announced

Around the Peninsula

Cancer support group to meet

Mucha aims for 4th straight ski title: Warm temperatures could make for challenging conditions as Region III meet hits Tsalteshi Trails
The possibility of losing a spot on the Junior Nationals team didn't stop the Region III skiing dominance of Kenai Central senior Kailey Mucha when she was a sophomore, so chances are unseasonably warm temperatures won't stop Mucha this year.

Ninilchik, CIA split 2 games
Ninilchik's girls edged out visiting Cook Inlet Academy 40-39 in overtime on Thursday.

'Wolfman' wins points for style
'The Wolfman'

What's Happening

Best Bets

'Grease' is the word
Backstage before a Kenai Performers' dress rehearsal for "Grease," director Terri Zopf-Schoessler is tweaking the "Greased Lightnin'" convertible.

Juneau crafters create wearable art
JUNEAU -- In an aim to go above and beyond the call of duty of most recyclers, several Juneau artists have taken various materials and creatively transformed them into pieces of art.

Church Briefs

Recovery meetings planned

Church holds dedication
Editors note: the following brief was submitted by Rev. Tim Tolar, who is the pastor at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Kenai.

God wants to lead us through obstacles
I like bridges.

Sun melts Hakkinen's medal pursuit: Kasilof product finishes 76th in 20-kilometer individual; Svendsen captures gold
Weather again hampered Kasilof biathlete Jay Hakkinen's pursuit of medals on Thursday at the Vancouver Winter Games.

Clarion Calls

Jeff's call: Arctic Winter Games fail to introduce new sports

A look at the leagues
There will be no Bowler's Corner written column this week. Instead, the highlights of the weekly leagues appear below:

Cook Inlet commercial fishermen must be resilient to stay afloat
Commercial fishermen live their lives by the ebb and flow of the tide, and in more ways than one. From season to season the price per pound paid for their catches waxes and wanes like the Cook Inlet waters that bring the salmon into their nets.

In-state gas demand may overtake contract
Natural gas demand for space heating and power generation over the next decade or so appear to fit comfortably within a 500 million cubic feet-per-day limit the state of Alaska has accepted for gas for Alaska communities from a gas pipeline built by TransCanada Corp., according to a study of in-state gas demand commissioned by TransCaanda.

Community anxious, excited over arrival of retailer
When the Kenai Walmart opens at the end of March, it might feel something like Fred Meyer on Black Friday. Throngs of eager shoppers may line up outside in the wee hours of March 31, eagerly waiting to bust through the doors.

Hospital initiative brings more specialists to central Kenai Peninsula
When he walks around Central Peninsula Hospital, Dr. Gregg Motonaga doesn't feel like he's in Soldotna. He feels more like he's in a big city, perhaps Boston, where he earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Commercial fishery harvest projected at 700,000 fish
For those who fish commercially on the Kenai River, this summer might be an ideal time to relocate.

Returning Kenai Peninsula graduates bring expertise, economic boost to community
The majestic beauty of the Kenai Peninsula is a lure to thousands of summer tourists, infusing the area with seasonal dollars. Finding a way to keep a year round influx of cash is a balance long sought by local leaders.

Photo feature: In their blood
For a family portrait taken several years ago, Liz Chase and her family chose to pose in their fishing gear. "The '40's look just wasn't us," Liz Chase said. Pictured are Chase's children and husband: front row, Aaron and Caleb; middle row, Hannah and Mike; and back row, Chase's husband, Brian, and Chase.

Definition of success changes with the times
It can be difficult to predict which is the most successful career path to take, but according to several degree-seeking students at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna, how you define success can help with the decision.

Gloom, bright spots in oil, gas
Crude oil production on the west side of Cook Inlet was hit with the wrong kind of boom this year, one that emanated from a belching volcano and was anything but a boom for the companies operating in the region.

After weak 2009 season, industry operators look for steadier future
Operators of Kenai Peninsula businesses that rely on summer tourist dollars are hoping to hold the line following a weak 2009 season.

Change: State's economy downshifts heading into 2010
Alaska's economy is slowly downshifting. Some of this is being driven by real reductions in dollars coming into Alaska -- fewer tourists, fewer oil wells being drilled, lower payments to fish harvesters this year -- but some of the slowdown is also being driven by psychology -- weak consumer confidence, and more caution by investors and borrowers.

More Kenai Peninsula visitors looking for natural experience
While there are no shortages of folks who come to Alaska for fishing in summer, there are also a growing number of visitors who see this state as a prime year-round destination for a more personal connection with nature.

Medical field shows potential for growth
Alaska was slightly spared the brunt of the recession that put 15.4 million Americans out of work, but no industry or occupation was spared from some form of layoffs, hiring freezes, benefit cuts and general anxiety. As such, many unemployed workers and college students are looking at where the jobs will be in the coming years.

Photo feature: Vacation with a view
The Adler family of Delray Beach, Fla., hikes along the shoreline of Grewingk Glacier Lake last July. Fish are not the only draw for tourists on the Kenai Peninsula.

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