Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New owners of Doors/Windows are no strangers to the business
For 38 years Doors/Windows on Kalifornsky Beach Rd. has become known nationally for their commercial and custom production of doors and windows. From special dimension windows for local log cabins to commercial office buildings in Seattle, Doors/Windows has earned the reputation as an outstanding manufacturer on the Kenai Peninsula. Formerly owned by Dick Swanson, Doors/Windows is continuing that reputation into the new century under the vision of partners John Straume and Kris Hill. John says after working for the Swansons for 22 years he’s excited to keep the company going and building for the future, “Dick came to Kris and I a year and a half ago and said it was time to retire and that meant either selling or closing the business down, so we formed a partnership to keep the business here and producing commercial and residential doors and windows for the future,” said Straume.

United Way pushes toward campaign goal
When something means a lot to you, you’ll go to any lengths to take care of it, but when that “something” is as big as a community, no one can do it alone. That’s where Kenai Peninsula United Way (KPUW) comes in with their annual fund raising campaign to help individuals and businesses contribute to local service agencies so that they can spend their time and resources providing the services they were created for. Last year’s 2006 KPUW campaign rose over $820,000, according to Executive Director Tina Marie Herford. “Current economic circumstances on the peninsula have made the 2007 campaign more challenging than those in previous years, but our community is so very generous. It seems as though people are digging even deeper this year to insure that we can continue to meet the needs of our peninsula communities,” said Herford.

Bruin’s persistence scores one vs. bear resistant containers
Human encounters with bears even during their hibernation season seem to becoming more common on the Kenai Peninsula according to Alaska Department of Fish & Game Wildlife Technician Larry Lewis, “We’re seeing a lot more year round problems with bears, later in the season and earlier in the season and a lot of that activity is not due to bear behavior but human behavior,” says Lewis. Readily available food sources is what Lewis believes is responsible for keeping bears out and about rather then in their dens conserving their energy reserves, “I equate available garbage to bear cocaine, they become addicted to it, it’s an easy food source and they get a lot of bang for the buck so to speak or return for their effort and so there is no reason for them to go away when the food is readily accessible.”

AK Flying Network continues giving Alaskans wings
According to statistics Alaska has six times the number of pilots per capita than anywhere else in the country. One out of every fifty-eight Alaskan residents has a pilot’s license and probably the rest wish they did. It’s been said that this rugged state has two classes of people, “Those who fly and those who don’t!” Chip Versaw and the Alaska Flying Network can take credit for making a lot of those wannabe pilots’ dreams come true. For the last 25 years Alaska Flying Network and their team of flight instructors have been giving Alaskans wings, “We’ve been teaching private, instrument and commercial pilots for all that time, it’s our primary business teaching people to learn how to fly and then renting them planes so they can fly around on their own and explore the rest of the State that isn’t accessible from our limited road system,” says Versaw. He purchased the flight school in 1999 and has been the owner and chief flight instructor ever since. Alaska Flying Network recently moved to a new location in Kenai on Willow Street next to Ron’s Rent-It Center at the rear of the Kenai airfield.

Thanks to those who made history
The Democratic Caucus made history here, as well as everywhere with more people participating than ever. Thanks and great appreciation to Mary Toutonghi, Jean Kimple, Marge Hays, Maya Chay, Tim Evans, Rob Salo, Hal Smalley, John Landua, Marge Mullen, John Williams, Patti Truesdell, Dee Hubbard, Blake Johnson, Judy Salo, Heidi Chay, Susie Smalley, Linda Griffiths, Ross Kendall, Dick Waisanen, Anne Gentry, Rosie Johnson, Jesse Burnham, Kaladi Brothers, the staff at Soldotna Sports Center, Tim Navarre and Arby's.

Fish board meeting was fair
Like Jonah, who predicted too soon the demise of Ninevah, I must admit my own auguring of doom for commercial fishers has proven premature.

Senate bill just plain wrong
Do people know that our politicians are trying to sneak a bill through that would be another invasion of our privacy?

Column strikes a note with reader
I want to say Brittany West's story is a good one (School's Verbatim column, Feb. 12).

We can use rational thought
I'm an Obama supporter, and I was so proud and overwhelmed by all the amazing people who showed up to support him at our local Democratic caucus. Many people showed up whom I never would have imagined supporting a Democrat. I won't name any names so you can continue to live harmoniously with your Republican brethren.

Is there something wrong with this picture?
OK, maybe it's just me, but does anyone else see the contradiction, dichotomy, insanity, lunacy (fill in your own term) in the facts that the U.S. Congress is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to hold hearings on baseball players (Roger Clemens being the latest) taking steroids (illegal drugs), while recording artists, advertising and television companies are making millions of dollars and giving awards (five Grammys) to openly illegal drug-addicted people (Amy Winehouse) for a song about not dealing with drug addiction?

Reader tired of Bush's behavior
Bush and Cheney have committed numerous high crimes and misdemeanors and it is time for impeachment. We, the citizens of the United States, have to show the world that we will not put up with this behavior.

GMU 15A moose numbers fall
Poor habitat, predation and vehicle collisions have caused a decline in the moose population of Game Management Unit 15A.

Stevens covers host of issues
Speaking to a roomful of Republican Party faithful in Kenai, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens on Friday linked the very purchase of Alaska from the Russians with the type of change this year's presidential candidates are advocating.

Peninsula seniors compete in variety of Olympic events
With a myriad of games to choose from, Kenai Peninsula seniors who are interested in getting out, active and social have the chance to go for the gold and reach Olympic stature today.

Slick roads cause accidents, injuries
Warmer temperatures and slicker roads made for treacherous driving conditions for Kenai Peninsula motorists over the holiday weekend. But despite road closures, avalanches and black ice, only one vehicle collision resulted in injury.

Photo feature: Sign of spring?
Warm temperatures reduce the ice sculptures at the Soldotna Sports Center to puddles Monday. The National Weather Services calls for warm temperatures through Thursday.

Love INC to pitch Kenai shelter
After a failed attempt to build a homeless shelter in Soldotna, representatives with Love In the Name of Christ plan to pitch the idea to the Kenai City Council tonight.

Wanted: Cook Inlet crude
A spokesman for Tesoro told industry support company leaders the petroleum refiner and marketer is dependent on them, and would love to see more Alaska crude oil available for processing.

LNG export extension license request sees less opposition
Opposition to ConocoPhillips' request for a liquefied natural gas export license extension is waning, according to its Nikiski LNG plant manager.

Bill would raise minimum wage
Alaskan's holding down minimum-wage jobs and struggling to make ends meet could see their paychecks grow beginning next year.

Ronald Anderson Jr.
Lifelong Alaskan Ronald Karl Anderson Jr. died Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, at home in Anchorage. He was 29.

Jared Dale Hein
Kenai resident Jared Dale Hein died Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008 at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 26.

Chicken Tagine with preserved Lemon, Green Olives and Thyme
Recipe courtesy of "Tagine," by Ghillie Basan Photography by Martin Brigdale

Dates Stuffed with Almond or Pistachio Paste
Recipe courtesy of "Arabesque, a Taste of Morocco, Turkey, & Lebanon," by Claudia Roden; published by Alfred A. Knopf

Zucchini Fritters
Recipe courtesy "Arabesque, a Taste of Morocco, Turkey, & Lebanon," by Claudia Roden; published by Alfred A. Knopf

Preserved Lemons
10 organic, unwaxed lemons

Around the Peninsula
Tesoro to be discussed Community health fair planned World travelers needed

An Oscar-worthy dinner
The 80th Academy Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, with "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" competing for Best Picture.

Cook Inlet splits with Bristol Bay
Brooke Forsi collected a game-high 21 points and Holly Kopp added 16 in leading the Cook Inlet Academy girls to a 71-34 win over visiting Bristol Bay on Tuesday night.

Sports Briefs
CIA girls edge Seward Ninilchik splits with Bristol Bay SoHi sweeps borough meet

Around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter Connections home-school IDEA home-school Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenaitze Head Start Mountain View Elementary Ninilchik School Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High School Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

High scores earn recognition
ACT and SAT scores play a role in getting students into college, and for two Kenai Peninsula Borough School District seniors, they also open the door for special recognition in Washington, D.C.

Community Health Fair slated for Wednesday: Kenai Peninsula College
The second annual community health fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday in room 107 in the Ward Building at the Kenai River Campus.

Debate fires up writer
As a student at Skyview High School, there are many academic extra-curricular activities that occur after school. My favorite among them is called Drama, Debate, and Forensics or DDF.

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