Friday, March 11, 2011

Business Briefs

Chambers set schedules

Teacher's trip to D.C. inspiring
Educating our children is one of the most important duties of our government. Last week, I was invited to Washington, DC,, by Sen. Mark Begich to attend an important meeting with senators and other leaders in education. I was asked to share my experiences in the classroom and to talk about how we can make education work for a state like Alaska.

Hunting permit system violates Constitution
This year alone, 337 Alaskans and their families will be denied meat and sport hunting privileges guaranteed and provided for them under the Constitution. For years, the State has breached the rights of the above-mentioned and others in order to politically show favoritism toward Alaska's wealthy big game guides and their non-resident and foreign national clients, which denies Alaska families right of access to a common resource afforded them under the eighth amendment to the Alaska Constitution. No non-resident or foreign nation should be given access to Alaska's wildlife until every Alaskan who applies for a permit is awarded one, based upon availability of the wildlife the permit is applicable to. Even the Governor has a drawer full of big game tags that he is privileged to pass out at will to visiting dignitaries and non-resident V.I.P.s. I hate to think of how many Alaskans will be forced to poach meat for their family this year because the State gave their hunting privileges to a non-resident or foreign national.

Honoring our academic achievers
Last week at Kenai Central High School the Academic Recognition Banquet was held to honor more than 130 KCHS students who are excelling academically. Specifically, the banquet recognizes those students earning a 3.5 and above on a 4.0 scale. The Academic Recognition Program was started 17 years ago when a group of parents and school staff wanted to create an outlet which rewards students for their excellence in the classroom. It has flourished since that time.

Be mindful of cultural sites
When you walk in the forest, have you ever thrown a piece of garbage in a hole? Or have you ever seen a large depression in the ground and decided to use it as a toilet? Did you ever imagine that this hole of that depression might be very valuable to the Peninsula? Well, there is a good chance that you just threw trash or did your business in a significant cultural site on the Kenai. These sites are everywhere: along the riverbanks, under bridges, at the bottom of trees and in open fields.

Catching wind of alternative energy: Legislature to consider codifying net metering regulations
Among the energy considerations in front of the Alaska State Legislature this week is a bill to codify net metering regulations instituted last summer.

Peddling now illegal in Soldotna park
Solicitation and peddling in Soldotna's Centennial and Swiftwater campgrounds are now prohibited thanks to an ordinance passed by the city council on Wednesday night.

City to raise water, sewer rates?
A water and sewer study commissioned by the City of Soldotna has concluded that utility rate increases are necessary over the next five years to meet current and projected operation and maintenance costs.

Senators contest session length limits
Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, said legislators who in 2006 backed shorter legislative sessions may have been doing so because the were "selfish" or "self-serving," and it seemed as if they were putting their own interests ahead of that of the state or the Legislature.

Redrawing the boundaries: Central Peninsula unlikely to be affected by redistricting process
Alaska's redistricting board is preparing to recreate the puzzle of Alaska's legislative districts, and preliminary estimates show that local districts shouldn't see any major changes.

Charter groups urge Parnell to address halibut limits
The Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO) and Alaska Charter Association (ACA) are pleading for the state to get more involved with the new 37-inch halibut limit for Southeast Alaska set by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).

Mayor tweaks budget pitch: KPC to be funded; bonds on the table for Homer facility
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dave Carey recently put forth some ideas that change the game for the fiscal year 2012 budget process.

Photo: Light show

Photo: Keeping an eye on things

Jeffrey J. Koelzer
Clam Gulch resident Jeffrey J. Koelzer died Sunday, March 6, 2011. He was 60.

Gary Lynn Auldridge
Nikiski resident, Gary Lynn Auldridge, 51, died Monday, March 7, 2011, on the North Slope in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Michael Scott Beauchamp
Former Kenai resident Michael Scott Beauchamp died Monday, March 7, 2011, of natural causes, in Palmer. He was 48.

How many lawmakers does it take ...
You'll recall that nearly half the Alaska Legislature -- 27 members -- took a week out of the 90-day session to attend the annual meeting of the Energy Council in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. These are the same folks who tell us they don't have enough time to get their work in Juneau done.

ACES is crippling oil industry
The State of Alaska faces a critical challenge. Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) tax regime is severely crippling Alaska's oil and gas industry. This imperils much needed jobs for Alaskans at a time when our nation's economy is the weakest it has been in decades.

Perils of Polly: Do you see a monkey
Editor's note: Polly Crawford was a reporter and associate editor of The Peninsula Clarion from 1985-1988, when she wrote "Perils of Polly." She also wrote a series of "Peril" columns in 1998 about her Australian adventures. Her perils continue in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

An Outdoor View: It's a guy thing
It's the second week of deer camp,

Nunataks and Noah's Ark
The 2007 Live Earth Concert was a worldwide rock and roll extravaganza that played out on all seven continents. The promoters ought to consider themselves darn lucky to have found a group of scientists in Antarctica who also happened to play indie rock. Their band's name, "Nunatak," introduced global audiences to a unique geologic feature found only in glaciated areas of the world including the Kenai Peninsula.

Around the Peninsula

Neighbor to Neighbor seed class scheduled

Around the Peninsula

'Waiting for Superman' showing

What's Happening

Best Bets

Reeling It In: Film has no need for adjustment
"The Adjustment Bureau"

Art Briefs

Keep the kids busy with art for spring break

Poet's Corner

Five Dollars a Gallon

Church Briefs

Overheard: Conversations by the Cross

In a world of change, faith remains a constant
In 1957, I was living in Washington State with both of my parents and in the first grade. The cost of gasoline was 15 cents a gallon and a new American car cost between $5,000 and $8,000 dollars brand new. I don't recall ever hearing the word inflation around our house until in 1960 when my mom said, "Do you see where the price of Folgers coffee went up five cents? I can't ever remember the price of coffee ever changing."

Sports Brief: Muchas compete at Junior Olympics
The Cross Country Junior Nationals, the national championships for skiers ages 15 to 20, continued Wednesday in Minneapolis with the classic mass start races. The Kenai Peninsula is being represented by Bree Mucha of Soldotna High School and Kenai Central graduate and current University of Wisconsin - Green Bay skier Kailey Mucha.

Dahlstrom's 40 saves lift Bears; Kenai River tops Wenatchee 3-1 to move 3 points from second-place tie in West
The Kenai River Brown Bears used strong goaltending and special teams to defeat the Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild 3-1 on Wednesday in North American Hockey League action at the Soldotna Sports Center.

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