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Monday, February 21, 2011

Different kind of death panel
Sarah Palin was right to warn us about death panels, but not the kind she imagined. In fact, a death panel is meeting in Washington right now -- the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed and Medicare and Medicaid are scaled back, people are going to die. Of course, nobody's going to hear about these deaths -- the whole process won't be as in-your-face as a Palin-style death panel convening at 2:30 p.m. in the hospital basement -- but the results will be just as sure.

KPC gives back to the Peninsula
Borough Mayor Dave Carey thinks that non-departmental organizations like Kenai Peninsula College shouldn't be funded by borough taxes because they just "take take take, and they never give anything back to the Borough." KPC has been included in this group. Really? He doesn't think KPC gives back to the borough?

Soldotna looks at animal control
The next logical step to the revamping of Soldotna's animal control ordinance came at Wednesday's meeting when the Soldotna City Council agreed unanimously to a revised list of the fines and fees imposed on violators.

Charter operators seek help
Concerns about NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service's new program limiting halibut charter operations in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska have aired recently on radio and television and in newspapers. Charter Operators of Alaska, an organization leading the protest against the regulation, isn't ready to stop there.

Photo: Clear Skies

Pebble next target for EPA Environmental Justice unit?
The Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 office has a list, and it's already been checked twice.

Assembly takes wishes to Juneau
There was a lot of trash talk when members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly traveled to the state capital last week. With reconfiguration of the Homer Baling-Landfill Facility the borough's No. 1 priority, expiration of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation permit in February 2013 and need to transform it to a transfer site was the topic of the week.

Kenai council talks bees, trees
Bees and trees were up for discussion at Kenai's City Council meeting this week.

Looking for personal space: Personal-use fishery participants represent growing segment of users
Editor's note: This is the final part in a three-part series leading up to the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting on Upper Cook Inlet finfish issues that starts today. The purpose of the series is to examine the three distinct user groups, the people that constitute them, and what issues matter to them the most.

Saying Sorry: For Anchor Point residents, justice is more than jail time
When 21-year-old Chaunce Hoxie was arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced for breaking into more than two dozen residences throughout the Anchor Point area, an interesting phenomenon began to unfold in the town of just under 2,000. The very people whose homes Hoxie had burglarized did not clamor to have the proverbial book thrown at the errant son of their friends, but instead became the ones urging for his early release from jail.

Kenai talks rate increases
At a work session last week, members of Kenai's city council discussed water and sewer rate increases proposed by a consulting firm hired to study the city's water and sewer rates.

Gas line could be boost for Homer
Calling the Anchor Point-Homer natural gas line the biggest economic development he's seen in his tenure, Homer City Manager Walt Wrede gave an update on the project Tuesday at the luncheon meeting of the Homer Chamber of Commerce. The city's sixth-highest ranked project on the 2011-2016 Capital Improvement Project list, Homer and the Kenai Peninsula Borough are seeking $10 million to extend an 8-inch natural gas distribution line from Chapman School in Anchor Point to Homer and on to Kachemak City. Enstar would build the line. If built, the gas line would:

Sandra Jo (Sam) Brown
Former Peninsula resident Sandra Jo (Sam) Brown died Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, in Yuma, Ariz,. after a battle with cancer. She was 52.

Marian Maxine Burger
Washington and recent Alaska resident Marian Maxine Burger died Tuesday, February 15, 2011 due to natural causes at her son's home in Kasilof. She was 91.

Board process not always pretty, but it is public
Time to make sure those flotation devices are within easy reach.

Community

Births

Bling envy
I love writing this column especially because sometimes I get so much feedback from those convinced that there is a certain philosophical skew to my writings.

Around the Peninsula

Mount Marathon Race accepting applications

Around the Peninsula

Kids' car seat checks offered

Native Youth Leaders visit Juneau
The Kenai Peninsula Native Youth Leaders visited state capital in Juneau earlier this month. The group was in Juneau to participate in Close-Up events and get a better understanding of the Alaska legislative process. The Kenai Peninsula Native Youth Leaders, previously named the Kenai Peninsula Native Youth Council, is a student group formed in 2010 that is designed to enhance leadership opportunities, career awareness and Native student contacts across the state.

Valley controls Skyview: Panthers girls, boys lose NLC contests to Colony, Palmer
The Colony girls and boys basketball teams swept host Skyview on senior night on Friday in Northern Lights Conference action.

SoHi girls nab 4th straight title: Bree Mucha joins sister Kailey as Region III champion
Soldotna junior Bree Mucha finally got the coming-out party she wanted. Homer junior Andre Lovett led a cast of overachievers to their highest point yet.

Stars sweep Bears
Julie Litchfield said she felt pressure. Fortunately for the Soldotna girls basketball team, she didn't buckle under it.

CIA girls, boys take Seldovia Tourney
The Cook Inlet Academy basketball teams finished 3-0 at the Seldovia Tournament as each took home titles.

Homer Flex generates goals, growth and gardening
For hands-on learning projects, few offer quite so direct an example of reaping the rewards of work and learning as gardening. That's especially true at Homer Flex School, where the standards-based curriculum is particularly geared toward germinating goals, monitoring growth and achieving a bounty of results.

Search and rescue a matter of equations
Search and rescue missions for the U.S. Coast Guard are all about quick math, equations and decision-making, a sixth-grade math class learned Friday.

Around the District

School board to meet

Verbatim: A lesson from sports: Hard work can be its own reward
I've never really been a star athlete, I don't win blue ribbons, and my name is never in the sports section in the paper. To be honest, my athletic skills run just this side of mediocre.

New approach: neurofeedback; School tries computer program to help students with disorders
JUNEAU (AP) -- If you look at many common issues people can have -- such as anxiety, nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder and substance abuse -- they all lead back to one place: the brain.

Around Campus: Students react to mayor's proposed funding cut
According to KRC Student Union President Shauna Thornton, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dave Carey should expect to hear from the entire student body about his proposal to cut KPC funding mandated by voters in 1990.

Bears, Alaska split
PALMER -- In just a year, the Kenai River Brown Bears have shown remarkable improvement and nothing shows that better than the Bears' season series with the Alaska Avalanche.

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