Monday, March 10, 2008

Push made to establish Jay Hammond refuge
We write this letter in the hope you can find a few minutes to help us move ahead with establishing the Jay Hammond State Game Refuge. There have been many heart-warming ideas for honoring former Gov. Jay Hammond since his untimely passing in 2005, leaving us survivors to go on with some of his lifework.

Photo feature: He shoots ...
Ryan Fusaro, a sophomore at Kenai Central High School, shoots his puck toward the goal at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility behind KCHS on Sunday afternoon. Ryan, who plays center for the KCHS varsity hockey team, practices twice a week with his friend, fellow sophomore Jake Cheek, not shown, who plays defense.

Going bald for good cause
Marcus Yamada, 7, and Max Dye, 9, are pals. The boys spent their early childhood playing together at the same day care. Every Saturday for the past three years, they got together to bowl. So when doctors diagnosed Marcus with a rare form of leukemia two weeks ago, Max decided to help his friend by shaving his head.

Library friends get good news
The newly elected president of "Friends of the Library" in Kenai was greeted with two bits of good news at last week's Kenai City Council meeting.

Kenai town meeting set
The Kenai Peninsula Borough assessor has called for a town hall meeting with Kenai business owners and residents to explain methods and mandates and the reason for recent hikes in property assessments.

Supplemental budget includes peninsula projects
When the Alaska Senate passed a supplemental budget package Thursday restoring more than $54 million in general fund capital spending vetoed by Gov. Sarah Palin last year, they included several projects here on the Kenai Peninsula.

Student considered for merit scholarship
When Jedidiah Schlung was a sophomore in high school, he lived in Nikolski in the Aleutian Islands.

New location for Serenity House?
Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. directors say their alcohol and chemical dependency treatment facility, Serenity House, needs a new home.

Road under repair
Construction work along two portions of Kalifornsky Beach Road could begin once break-up load restrictions are lifted sometime around mid-May, according to the Department of Transportation.

Pebble partners donate $5 million for fisheries
ANCHORAGE The Pebble Partnership is donating $5 million to enhance fisheries and sustain local economies.

Bill to cover volunteers
Volunteers assisting Alaska State Troopers in search and rescue operations would be considered state employees and covered by workers' compensation insurance if they are injured or killed under a bill approved by the Alaska House on Tuesday.

Forrest J. 'Dick' Ellis
Longtime Soldotna resident, Forrest J. "Dick" Ellis, 76, died Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008, after a brief hospital stay at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

Why aren't VECO execs Allen, Smith in prison?
It's time for Bill Allen and Rick Smith to go to jail.

A heated conversation: Hot tubs are OK, but hot tents are another story
There's e-mails: "Dropped down to minus 10 here today, so I had to put on a face mask when I skied."

Soldotna Community News
Good Monday Soldotna. If you haven't noticed, they're back! That's right, last week I spotted two motor homes, or, as I like to call them, land yachts. Granted, they had Alaska plates, but it is only a matter of time until we have visitors from all over. It was tempting to groan about the thought of clogged roadways, congested riverbanks and crowded campgrounds, but it is a great reminder that we live in a wonderful place so wonderful that people will travel thousands of miles to come and visit.

Nikiski Community News
I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather and slow depletion of the area snow. I, myself, am excited to stroll on Nikiski beaches and in area gardens in the near future.

Sterling Community News
Editor's note: Debbie will be taking a few weeks off. Sterling community members are welcome to send their news to for inclusion in the Sterling Neighbors column.

'Free' rides come with steep price
Have you checked out the price of airline tickets lately? To say the prices have gone up over the last six months would be an understatement. In fact, rumor has it that the Surgeon General is contemplating a decree that would require a warning be posted on all airline Web sites:

Ninilchik Community News
After writing about Whitney Leman's basketball career at Eastern Oregon University, last week I found out that she was honored in a special way during the last 6.5 seconds of the season. Lady Mounties' basketball coach, Anji Weissenfluh, called Whitney to the floor so she could savor the final moments of the championship game as EOU won its fifth consecutive Cascade Conference title. Whitney had been injured with a torn achilles tendon during pre-season practice and was unable to play during the entire season. Even though she couldn't play, she traveled with the team.

The WOW factor
Ericka Reynold's first reaction when doctors diagnosed her with leukemia on Thanksgiving in 2006 was disbelief.

Kenai Community News
Editor's note: Joan is out of the area. Kenai community members are welcome to submit their news to for inclusion the Kenai Neighbors section.

Around the Peninsula
After-school clubs set Women invited to take a break Senior host open house Pop Warner to meet AARP drivers safety classes slated Women voters to meet Teen dance Friday Car seat check-ups offered Child screening set Soccer registration begins

Around the Peninsula
Speaker series returns with bear talk Labyrinth available Caregiver meetings offered Autism to be discussed Cancer fundraiser a cut above T-200 meeting set

Kasilof Community News
Dillon Henry of Irish Hills Road is a Soldotna Middle School seventh-grader who took third place among 151 contestants at the 2008 state spelling bee Feb. 29. The top two finishers qualified for the national spelling bee in Washington D.C. This was Dillon's fourth consecutive year to participate in the state bee. During previous years he represented Tustumena Elementary School.

Peninsula Reflections
Kasilof aviation history had an interesting page in 1938 with Irvin Evenson. His first plane ride started on the water when he and four other men were loaded in a plane on floats in Bootlegger's Cove, Anchorage. And it stayed on the water. The plane attempted to take off a few times but never quite made it.

Pet Photo: Best Friend
This is Joker, Faith Hays' long, long-awaited Belgian Malinois. Joker enjoys walks at the beach, just like on the day this photo was taken. Faith and Joker live in Kasilof.

Consider needs, money, size, when choosing pet
Taking a trip to a pet store or animal shelter to look for a new pet can be overwhelming.

Ninilchik girls retain PC title
Ninilchik never caved.

Nikiski misses state berth
It's not very often that the Nikiski girls basketball team is going to go 10-of-33 from the foul line. It's an equally rare occasion that the Bulldogs don't qualify for the state tournament.

CIA girls return to state
Brooke Forsi had a clear message for Nikolaevsk.

Palmer girls take state berth away from SoHi with OT win
PALMER The Palmer girls punched their ticket to the state basketball tournament with a thrilling 53-50 overtime win over the Soldotna Stars to take third place in the Northern Lights Conference tournament.

Colony girls top SoHi to advance to finals
After a brief hiatus, the Colony girls are headed back to the state tournament.

Kenai Central boys earn trip to state
PALMER An unwelcome guest from the Kenai Peninsula crashed the Matanuska-Susitna valley's Northern Lights Conference party Friday night, dancing into the school's first state tournament appearance in six years.

Sports Briefs
Hakkinen finishes 54th in pursuit Kenai River drops 2 to Ice Dogs

Roscoe and Rita (Haddock) Helleck celebrate 50 years of marriage
Roscoe "Rocky" and Rita Helleck of Sterling will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Monday, March 10, 2008. The couple was married March 10, 1958, in Ackerly, Texas.

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