Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March is normally the month that I start thinking about warmer weather and putting away my winter toys and start thinking about summer activities. It is also the time to start your garden plants and dig out the grow lights or putting up those new birdhouses. If you’re slow at some projects like me you even have to build them yet too. Thoughts of fresh water fishing always hit me about this time each year as well. It is also when I start thinking about moving my chickens back outside and ordering the meat birds. I get thinking about using all that grease and stuff my wife has been saving up for me for bear baiting. Soon the spring bear season will be upon us.

U.S. Senators and dignitaries visit Peninsula...
The Kenai Peninsula may have had more visits over the last few weeks from National, International, and State dignitaries than at any other period in its history. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski led the parade with a pre-Arctic Winter Games visit to the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, “It’s great to be home in Alaska, being away is the hardest part of the job,” said Murkowski. The Senator briefed the Chamber on current federal issues such as education and energy, then went to meet with students at Redoubt Elementary School where she took time to answer questions and read one of her favorite stories, “Getting with the kids and getting them excited about reading and answering their questions about government and civics and having them relate to what we do is one of the best parts of my job,” added Murkowski. When asked if she was the President’s daughter, she replied no and explained that she was the Governor’s daughter and that while the President was the chief executive for the nation, the Governor was the chief executive for the State of Alaska.

Winners of the Arctic Winter Games international quilt challenge
When Pat Reese of Robin Place Fabrics in Soldotna learned the Kenai Peninsula had won the bid to host the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, she thought it would be in keeping with the cultural spirit of the Games to issue a challenge to art quilters of the north to create a piece around the “Release the Spirit Within” theme of the Games. Last summer Reese issued the call and over twenty quilters from the circumpolar north responded with entries. “We had a wonderful response to the call, and some fabulous entries,” said Reese, who sponsored the prize money for the competition.

2005 CFK winner selected for National Prudential Spirit of Community Award
It was announced last week that 2005 Caring for the Kenai winner Hannah Watkins, a junior at Kenai Central High School has been named the winner of the 2006 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

Timing at Homer airport not well thought out at all
We are breathless with outrage.

Games visitor says Kenai treatment ‘outstanding’
I was one of the many people who came to your area for the Arctic Winter Games.

Government should be held accountable
We desperately need to rein in the wildly flying government. We must demand accountability and a strict adherence to the law.

Reasons behind clinic building opposition questioned
The Clarion’s recent article (March 8) concerning Central Peninsula General Hospital and its board not contributing to the Central Peninsula Health Centers planned clinic building stirs me to respond.

Coach says thank to all — including the moose
The people of the Kenai Peninsula surely must be inundated with notes of thanks from around the polar world for the spectacular job you did last week. We felt so sincerely welcomed wherever we went.

Reader comments on state of world today
Every day the news seems to get worse, more outrage over violations at the Cuban concentration camp ran by the U.S. military, global warming is progressing at an alarming rate, big oil companies and now the telecommunications industry are growing larger and larger with it seems no checks and balances from the government — the people we have “elected” and whom are supposed to protect us from such demonic groups of persons, the ones who are all about greed and power.

Law would shed light on traffic
Thanks to Rep. Jim Elkins, R-Ketchikan, for coming up with a very good bill (House Bill 470, which requires drivers to use their headlights from Sept. 16 through April 30). Many times I have met or had cars come up behind me in the hours of dawn or dusk without headlights on and they could not be seen, causing people to either turn in front of or pull out in front of them. This would be a great new law, one with some purpose to it. My car has sensors on it to turn the lights on in low light conditions which many of the newer cars have and they are great. Another new law.

Senators’ stance applauded
For thousands of years, Alaska’s Bristol Bay fishery has not only helped sustain hundreds of Alaska Native generations, but also has contributed billions of dollars to our state and national economy. Thousands of fishermen like my father continue to fish there every summer, but now this fishery is in more danger than it has ever been.

CES fees to rise
Fees charged to patients for ambulance rides and other emergency services in the central Kenai Peninsula are about to go up.

Buses collide; 9 sent to hospital
Nine students were taken to the hospital Tuesday, after two Laidlaw school buses collided on Redoubt Avenue and Sterling Street near Soldotna Middle School.

Bluff work starts
What mammals, fish and birds use the area near the Kenai bluffs?

Back to school after Games
Thanks to the generally good behavior of visiting Arctic Winter Games guests and volunteerism from the community, schools in the central Kenai Peninsula were back in session as usual Monday.

Games bring injuries, but nothing peninsula agencies can’t handle
Despite a large influx of athletes arriving from all over the arctic world to engage in strenuous sports for six days, local emergency responders could exhale a sigh of relief at the end of the Arctic Winter Games.

Scientists go with the flow
Although hovering at color code orange, recent changes on Augustine Island reveal that the nature and not just degree of volcanic activity determine the hazards.

Demonstrators plan advocacy rally for disabled
Some of the issues are new, many are old issues still ongoing, but nonetheless, dozens of people who assist the disabled will be rallying in Soldotna again this year in hopes of having their voices heard in Juneau.

Fish fight no day at the beach
The recent creation of a subsistence seat on the Kenai-Soldotna Alaska Department of Fish and Game Advisory Committee was followed by an outpouring of public support for a proposal to reopen beaches to personal-use setnet fishing. But early efforts have been hampered by unresponsive officials, said Tim O’Brien, who was voted to fill the advisory committee’s subsistence seat in February.

Catherine ‘Katy’ Louise (McFarland) Feulner
Former Kenai Peninsula resident Catherine “Katy” Louise (McFarland) Feulner died Saturday, March 11, 2006, in Apache Junction, Ariz. She was 79.

Legacy should be shared: Jesse Lee Home restoration would protect Seward history
It is a humbling moment, when elders point out the intrinsic value in that which you have never considered. Dr. James Simpson did that for me last week. He had flown up from Oregon to attend a meeting of the Friends of Jesse Lee Home. Long flight for a two-hour meeting, even if it is to organize an effort to restore Alaska’s most endangered historic building.

Around the Peninsula
Women voters to meet SoHi to host parent night Band concerts set to play First aid classes available SoHi after-prom committee to meet Fundraiser dinner slated CPHC seeks members

Around the Peninsula
Women invited to take a break Flight instructors meeting set Herb growing class set to sprout AFS dinner scheduled Bazaar tables available Agility class planned for pooches

Sports Brief
Four area skiers helped Alaska to a second-place finish at the Junior Olympics in Houghton, Mich., from March 6 to Saturday. The Junior Olympics showcase the country’s best cross-country skiers, ages 14 to 19.

Winning Essay
The following D.A.R.E essay was selected as Best in Class at Redoubt Elementary School.

Around the District
Students of the Month announced Free health screenings set Scholarships available Aurora Borealis Charter Connections Cook Inlet Academy Grace Lutheran IDEA Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High School Redoubt Elementary Ridgeway Montessori Preschool Sears Elementary Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Parental support means letting teens make their own mistakes
Teens have to choose every day what decisions they are going to make and how these decisions might affect them and the people around them.

Late-starting semester classes offer something for everyone
There are four, one-credit short courses in March at the Kenai River Campus.

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The Next Level
Hakkinen takes 25th in pursuit, 18th in relay Leman, Matson make nationals Lansing makes college golf team

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