Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Beetle mitigation, Games help on borough agenda
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is considering coming to the rescue of Arctic Winter Games with a $500,000 appropriation of borough funds to the Games 2006 Host Society to cover immediate expenses of putting on the Games that start next month.

Soldotna Trustworthy Ice Fishing Derby will close February 28th...
The official kick-off to the 9th annual Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware Ice Fishing Derby was a great success as families dressed for the cold gathered to relive and experience a tradition that goes back thousands of years. Archeologists claim that decoy making (lures) and ice fishing date back to the very beginning of human history. Early native peoples of present day Alaska and Canada have left intricate examples of carved wood, bone and ivory spears, barbs and decoys - tools produced even before the Iron Age.

Slikok Creek project wins Hartvigson the President’s Environmental Youth Award
Soldotna High School junior Marit Hartvigson has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) for her Slikok Creek Stream Keepers Grate Walk project completed in 2004. Hartvigson won the 2004 Caring For The Kenai (CFK) competition with her idea to build the platform and then went on to permit, fund, and complete the project later that fall. This is the fourth time a former CFK winner has been selected to receive the prestigious PEYA award. CFK is sponsored by Agrium and Chevron through a grant to the Kenai Watershed Forum which annually awards over $16,000 worth of cash awards for students and their schools that come up with the best ideas to improve the environment or prepare for a natural disaster.

Here’s lookin’ at you Cast-ablanca
Joe Rizzo, Soldotna High School graduate, Nikiski High School teacher, and president of the Triumvirate Theatre recently addressed the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce to update them on the activities of his new theatre group, with facilities located in the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna. “I have learned that Cultural activities are good for local business,” said Rizzo who is joining forces with The Riverside House in Soldotna to present an evening of great food, hilarious theatre, and fabulous art with “Cast-ablanca,” a spoof, set on the Kenai Peninsula

Eight Great (and Often Unexpected) Ways to Lower Your Tax Bill
Want to hang on to a bit more of your hard-earned money? (Duh!) A new book from financial counselor Eric Tyson, MBA, shares some tax tips you might not have considered.

Arctic Winter Games Cauldron unveiled for first time
What’s nine feet tall, weighs 11-hundred pounds, and is made entirely of stainless steel? It’s the Arctic Winter Games cauldron. Like the Olympic torch in Torino, the cauldron flame will burn brightly throughout the Arctic Winter Games.

Outdoors
Throughout the years I spent enjoying the outdoors whether it was here in Alaska or some place in the old country (lower 48) one thing has remained consistent; it is very important to have a good sporting goods store in your area. We are very lucky to have Trustworthy Hardware in our community. Many times I find that I need certain items for some trip and it is always at the last moment that I finally realize I don’t have enough line or need some other certain item like weedless hooks.

Eater’s Digest
Oh brother does Kaladi Brothers Coffee serve a good morning mug of fresh brew. Now to begin, let me make it clear that I’m one of those people that can’t even roll out of bed if I don’t smell a fresh pot brewing in the morning, but even the high test grounds I brew at home are only a stepping stone until I can get a real cup of coffee at Kaladi’s. I could barely open my eyes or stand up straight, much less write a story at work, if it weren’t for the caffeine surging through my veins after downing one of their lattes with four shots of espresso. I take coffee seriously and Kaladi’s takes coffee just as seriously.

Relationship Experts featured in Oprah’s Magazine Come to Kenai
Relationship Experts who were featured in a recent issue of The Oprah Magazine will soon be coming to Kenai to conduct seminars. Dr. Brent Atkinson, co-founder of the Couples Research Institute in Geneva, Illinois, is at the forefront of a group of therapist/educators who are translating new findings about the brain into practical methods for improving relationships. In his article, “The Love Breakthrough” Atkinson illustrates how one couple used his methods to transform their relationship. Oprah Magazine editors claim that Atkinson’s approach “will turn your relationship around,” and describe his methods as “completely counterintuitive and wonderfully effective.”

Patriotism includes questioning officials
As I continue to read the information about the various ways my civil liberties are being removed I continue to read what others have written to know that I am not alone in wondering what I am to be left without next. When we learn that our elected officials will be left with no support because they are going to do what is right — investigate the wiretapping issue and be left with nothing from the administration, something W. and the White house said without worrying about consequences I am left to worry some more.

Volunteers were instrumental to talent show success
A very talented group of young folks recently performed at “Showin’ Off the Kids,” a lip-synching and choreography contest sponsored by Soldotna Community Schools. The participants, Kindergarten through Eighth grade, entertained the audience with their dynamic performances.

Mandatory music program attendance hits sour note
Early last month the new semester started for my 7th grader at Nikiski Middle/High School. On this first day I received a five page Jr. High Choir Summary of Expectations, many of which surprised me. Did you know that the school district requires attendance at evening, weekend, and out of town performances in order to attain a passing grade? Well, right or wrong they do. This summary explains that the only valid excuse for missing a performance would be a death in the family or serious personal illness. So, make sure and tell coach you won’t be able to play on choir night or you’ll be writing a 5 page essay make-up assignment. Shouldn’t we have a choice regarding the arts and music? Many phone calls and a few sleepless nights later, it looks like I’ll be attending Jr. High Choir with the rest of you. By the way, how are we getting there?

Reader: Article gave wrong impression of PERS system
Editor’s note: While it is true a person vests in the PERS plan with five years of service, employees who entered service on or after July 1, 1996, must accrue a minimum of 10 years of credited service to have system-paid retirement medical coverage at age 60.

Volunteers, donations made for cool event
After reading the long list of volunteers that contributed to the success of the Peninsula Winter Games, we in this community are fortunate to have a wealth of individual and businesses that form the core of a great community.

Eavesdropping provides ‘security,’ but at what cost?
Regarding What others say (Clarion Feb. 16). There are no simple answers to complex questions. However, the author’s opinion simplifies the call monitoring issue rather naively and with a rather paranoid disposition.

Games not an essential use of taxpayer money
It seems there is a new version of Swine virus spreading on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s called Pork Barrel Flu. The previous administration was infected with it and the leftover members of that administration seem to have rapidly infected the new administration.

Peninsula home to budding environmental experts
Most communities in the U.S. would be proud to be the home of one President’s Environmental Youth Award winner. Truth be told, there is only one area in Alaska’s judging region to ever produce a multitude of winners: the central Kenai Peninsula.

Gravel battle grinds along
An ordinance that would require the Kenai Peninsula Borough to investigate all complaints about gravel pit operations is scheduled for the second of two public hearings at the Tuesday borough assembly meeting at 7 p.m.

Augustine ain’t no saint
Although sometimes holy by popular reference, behaviorally and officially Augustine Volcano is no saint.

Bill out to cure health care
Getting medical attention within America’s vast and diverse health care system is no guarantee that the cure will be better than the cause.

Low snow a boon, burden
Low snow depths have frustrated winter recreation enthusiasts on the Kenai Peninsula and elevated concerns about the upcoming Arctic Winter Games, but the impact of low snow depths on peninsula ecosystems has received less attention.

No Iditarod champions without vet checkups
With Iditarod a little more than two weeks away, mushers are finalizing their race strategies. While they each have their own individual game planes, nearly all agree that quality dog care is critical to their success.

Tanker grounding could have gutted inlet fishing
When a Tesoro-leased oil tanker grounded earlier this month, anxious commercial fishermen recalled devastation from oil spills past, but since have said they generally approve of how this month’s incident was handled.

Kenai in mood to improve
Residents and visitors will soon see some civic improvements that add to their Kenai experience come rain or come shine.

Ruth Ann Ernst Tauriainen
Longtime Nikiski resident Ruth Ann Ernst Tauriainen died unexpectedly Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 57.

Shannon Rae (Philbin) Parnell
Shannon Rae (Philbin) Parnell of Big Lake died Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006, at Providence Hospital with her family by her side. She was 46.

Ruth Tauriainen
North Kenai resident Ruth Tauriainen died Friday, Feb. 18, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital. She was 57.

Sharon Traughber
Nikiski resident Sharon Traughber died Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006, at her home. She was 58.

Work of heart
Work of Heart is a column devoted to spotlighting certain nonprofit organizations, the heart of area communities.

Wordsmiths

Around the Peninsula
Blood drive set to draw Wrestling club seeks members Nikiski senior housing meeting slated CPGH labyrinth available Cold climate building workshop set Tropical stories planned

Bouncing success

Skiing for ‘fun’ds

Around the Peninsula
SoHi after-grad committee to meet Marriage seminar set Cancer fundraiser slated

Sports Brief
The Seward and Nome girls as boys basketball teams split games Friday and Saturday in Nome.

SoHi’s Blossom benefits from basket in his back yard
Build it and they will come.

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Senior Activities
Homer Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Sports Briefs
Kasilof’s Lance Mackey continued to lead the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race Sunday evening.

Sports Brief
British Columbia musher Hans Gatt took the lead in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race on Monday.

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