Monday, March 17, 2008

Wishful thinking isn't very realistic
I hope the Saudis increase production and oil prices will plummet. I hope the IRS will be abolished. I hope the state will abolish property taxes. I hope the federal government and the state of Alaska will abide by the Constitution. I hope the Muslims become loving and friendly. I hope the economy will enjoy free-market capitalism and competitiveness. I hope the Federal Reserve will vanish, and gold and silver will become that standard.

Reader has an old idea for government
Local government organization was much debated when the state constitution was drafted. Your previous correspondent wrote that the borough should go away and let city governments rule.

Photo feature: Welcome sight, news
The sun briefly moves behind a tree in Kenai last week. The Kenai Peninsula is currently gaining more than five minutes of daylight per day, a telltale sign that winter is nearly over.

Avalanche training offered
According to, there have been 34 avalanche-related fatalities in the United States this season, including three in Alaska.

4 killed in Kenai fire
A mother and her three children were killed Saturday when their Kenai home was engulfed in flames.

St. Patrick's Day festivities planned
Regardless of how much snow is still on the ground, the peninsula is gearing up to go green on Monday as part of celebrating a day when everyone is Irish for 24 hours: St. Patrick's Day.

Woman accused of stealing more than $53,000
Brandi M. Montague, 31, of Soldotna, made her first felony court appearance Friday after Soldotna police arrested her for allegedly stealing more than $53,000 from River City Pull Tabs on Wednesday. Police charged Montague with first degree theft, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine.

Ultra-low sulfur fuel linked to heater issues
A mysterious black gunk has been clogging fuel screens on Monitor and Toyo heaters on the lower Kenai Peninsula. Boiler systems also have been affected. Since last fall, numerous customers from Ninilchik south have been complaining loudly, as at 2 a.m. when their heater shuts down.

Change in Board of Fish makeup sought
A bill that would change the makeup of the Board of Fisheries received mixed response from Alaska fishermen on Tuesday.

Fire still under investigation
Police, firefighters and representatives from the state medical examiner's office and state fire marshal's office removed the bodies of a mother and her three children who died in a fire that consumed their home at the corner of the Kenai Spur Highway and Beaver Loop Road on Saturday.

Idea to move ADF&G office miffs mayor
The suggestion by a Wasilla legislator that the Department of Fish and Game offices in Soldotna should be moved to Anchorage has miffed Soldotna lawmakers and the mayor.

Feds can help fund business energy costs
Alaska businesses outside urban Anchorage with an earnest interest in trimming their fuel bills can recoup 25 percent of their related expenditures through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Jared Dale Hein
Kenai resident, Jared Dale Hein died unexpectedly, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008 at the Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 26.

Terry Robert Green
Former Alaska resident Terry Robert Green of Sanford, N.C., died Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 44.

Louise D. Hapeman
Kasilof resident Margaret Louise Dutton Hapeman died Thursday, March 13, 2008. She was 79.

Alta Lynn Wetzel
Kenai resident Alta Lynn (Walker) Wetzel died at home peacefully with family at her bedside on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008 in Kenai. She was 79.

Elisabeth Dorothy Wilsie Aprill
Anchor Point resident Elisabeth Dorothy Wilsie Aprill died Tuesday, March 11, 2008, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer from natural causes. She was 85.

Feeling the thrill of victory: Nothing like kicking to the finish behind a great dog team
While Lance Mackey and Jeff King dueled it out in the final days of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race last week, another exciting yet under-reported sled dog saga was unfolding just north of Fairbanks at the same time.

Time to think about our future needs
Let's face it, we're not getting any younger.

Soldotna Community News
Top of the Monday mornin' Soldotna lads and lassies. We may be seeing a lot of green today even if our yards and walkways are still in a semi-glaciated state. St. Patrick's Day is always a big hit at the Michel's home.

Nikiski Community News
Good day to all my Nikiski neighbors. I hope you enjoy St. Patrick's Day today and also the first day of spring break.

Kasilof Community News
Easter is fast heading our way. It is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Good Friday (this Friday) is on the equinox, this year.

Going all in for televised poker
Did you ever walk into a laundromat and see a bunch of people just sitting around, sorta staring into the dryers, watching the clothes spin round and round? And you sit down and watch with them after you load your own washer?

Ninilchik Community News
Congratulations to the Ninilchik girls basketball team for winning No. 1 seed from the Peninsula Conference last Saturday. Ninilchik senior, Heidi Skjold, was tourney Most Valuable Player. The team will play its first-round game at state at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Anchorage. This is the 13th time the girls have won a district championship and it's their 16th consecutive trip to the state tournament.

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

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.

Around the Peninsula
Pingpong continues Tuneful singers sought Caregiver meetings offered Little League registration continues Spring break day camp offered Seniors plan Easter activities T-200 meeting slated Counseling association to meet Dinner, auction fundraiser planned

Meeting of the minds
Above, former Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond, (back to camera) converses with community leaders from Kenai and Soldotna on July 1, 1977, at an informal meeting in the breakroom of the Peninsula Clarion. Pictured, left to right, are Dick Morgan, unidentified woman, John Wise, Lorraine Knight, unidentified men standing and seated, Jim Fisher, Jim Payne and George Day. Left. Jay Hammond.

Bagging a milestone
They might not know your name, but there's a lot they do know about you: your favorite snacks, your favorite cut of meat, what makes your family happy or sad, if you're in good health or if someone in the family is sick, when you're planning a party or expecting company, even your date of birth.

Pet Photo: Best Friends
Cedar, a 9-year-old husky-Lab mix, was adopted by the Knotek family of Moose Pass in 1999. The family went to buy a new car and came home with a new car and new dog, according to owner Erin Knotek. Cedar's friend in the background is 3-year-old Bella, a border collie mix.

Still alive
Don't ever count coach Dan Leman and his Ninilchik Wolverines out.

Kards peak at right time
When the Kenai Central boys basketball team took the floor for most of the season, an offensive explosion was guaranteed. The big question was always which team would catch fire.

CIA faces stern test in 1st round
The Cook Inlet Academy girls will not have to face one of the best players in the state in the opening round of the Class 2A state tournament on Tuesday at Sullivan Arena. The Eagles will still have to face one of the best teams in the state when they take on defending state champion Yakutat.

Getting there is half the battle for Otters
Forget about the games.

Brown Bears finish strong
After denying 23 third-period shots and preserving a 4-2 Brown Bears' victory over Alexandria on Saturday night in the 30th and final home game of the season at the Soldotna Sports Center, Kenai River goaltender Matt Wichorek stood tall in net as the buzzer sounded and his teammates gathered around him in celebration.

Mike Flanagan turned his back to the ice, faced the crowd and unfurled his arms with a quizzical look plastered upon his face.

Sports Briefs
Hakkinen finishes 35th in pursuit Team Alaska wins Junior Olympics

Clark, Sulzer plan a Washington wedding
Former Soldotna resident Angie Clark and Stephen Sulzer of the San Juan Islands, Wash., plan to marry Monday, June 30, 2008, at Orcas Island, Wash.

Egger, Karsten announce engagement
Brooke Egger of Nashville, Tenn., and Troy Karsten of Knoxville, Tenn., plan to marry Sunday, July 20, 2008, in Nashville.

Bury, Ghormley plan nuptials
Stephanie Bury and Todd Ghormley of Rapid City, S.D., plan to marry Saturday, July 5, 2008, in Rapid City. A reception for Alaska family and friends will be held at College Heights Baptist Church in Soldotna on July 12.

Wright, Bieber marry
Sara Elaine Mary Lucille Wright and Scott William Bieber of Soldotna were married in an afternoon ceremony Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008, at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Planning the perfect bridal shower
Before she actually "gets hitched," there are a slew of parties for the bride an engagement party, a bachelorette party, and of course, the bridal shower for the bride, her female relatives and friends. Traditionally, it's up to the maid or matron of honor to plan the shower, although bridesmaids or the bride's mother often lend a hand. Planning the event can be stressful, but here are some easy steps to help you get the party planned, started and finished with style.

Penner, Johnson plan to marry
Annie Penner and Blaine Johnson of Sterling plan to marry in the summer of 2009.

Lewis, Vance marry in Las Vegas
Stephanie Lewis and Tyson Vance of Lakewood, Colo., were married Monday, Dec. 24, 2007, in Las Vegas.

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