Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Parading the green in Soldotna for St. Patrick's Day...
St. Patrick's Day is always a great day for the Irish and everyone else who enjoys shamrocks and drinking green beverages.

Outdoors with John Perkovich
It had been close to 40 years since I last put on a pair of snowshoes and ventured out across the snow. The last time I put snowshoes on was as a young man in Wisconsin while I was hunting fox. Oh how well I remember that day you see besides Wisconsin also having a lot of snow it is also the dairy state. And part of dairy farms is the many fences that are also found throughout the farming countryside. You're not going to crawl through a 4 or 5-wire fence with 3 to 4 ft. snowshoes strapped to your feet so that means either you find a gate or climb over the top. So if you're fortunate enough to find a fairly low spot that you can crawl over easily you're in luck. However if you get one snowshoe over the fence and now have one on each side of the fence and the snow suddenly settles under one snowshoe or bothyou can be in a predicament that I think we men may understand a little more easily than the girls out there. Sometimes you will break through the four to six inch crust on the snowdrifts exposing soft fluffy snow underneath that basically will support no weight at all. Often times we wore wool pants that are not really easy to untangle from sharp barbwire prongs that are embedded in hopefully only your pants!

W.O.W. Extreme makeovers aid local cancer patients...
Kathy Lopeman, an oncologist at Central Peninsula General Hospital, has been taking the Polar Bear plunge in Seward to benefit the American Cancer for the last eight years.

A decade of Village Fairs equals healthier/safer community
Ten years ago a group of individuals interested in building a healthier community decided to organize a fair that would feature all the health care opportunities available to local residents here on the Peninsula. "It became evident to us that there was a lot more available in our local area than people were aware of, so awareness became our original goal and of course now it's the Village Fair, Safe Kids Fair, and Health Fair all in one. It's marvelous to get together and check out what's happening within our lives and what's available in our local community to make our lives better," said Jane Stein, one of the original organizers.

Kenai River Guide offers Costa Rica fishing adventures
As some anglers await the breaking of the ice and the first salmon runs on the Kenai River, other fishers are joining Captain Mel Erickson, Soldotna Kenai River guide, in Costa Rica for a Central American fishing adventure.

Time for borough residents to stand up against politicians
Ouch. The "conservative" borough politicians just stuck the knife in a little deeper. They threw us a bone with a small increase in residential exemption, immediately erasing any tax relief with a whopping 15 percent increase in assessments. Very clever. I was heartened to hear Mayor Bagley endorse a $150,000 cap on seniors' exemptions. I prefer a cap at $50,000 (more than twice what us legitimate year-round citizens get) with an arbitration board empowered to increase that cap to protect the truly needy. The other wealthy seniors can and should pay their fair share.

Kenai chamber appreciates U.S., Alaska flag donations
On behalf of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and myself, a big thank you to the American Legion for the generous donation of two new flags for the chamber cabin, one Alaska flag and one U.S. flag.

Senior games a golden event thanks to all who helped out
Congratulations to all the medal winners in the second annual Kenai Peninsula Senior Olympic Games. A huge thank you to Central Peninsula Mall Merchant's Association, Hooligan's Lodge, Alaska Lanes Family Bowling Center; the Alaska National Guard Armory in Kenai for hosting the games; and the Soldotna Sports Center for use of their equipment. Another big thank you to the Peninsula Clarion, as well as KSRM, KWJG and KBAY radio stations for their great coverage. Special thanks to Marty Hanson, Glen Martin, Eric Yarns, Ken Losser, Mary Bondurant, Mary Lou Diamond, Mickey Endsley, Loretta Cook and the many volunteers who worked tirelessly for the success of the games, as well as all the prize donors and Scentsations, GNC, Martin Mines, Gingers's and Alaska Hair Lines. Thanks to the wonderful entertainers Silver Belles, Golden Girls and Na Maun Olu Hula troupe. Again, thank you all.

Participants, helpers made Halo 2 tournament a success
I would like to thank all the players and spectators who turned out for the Halo 2 Tournament held at the Aspen Hotel March 11 and 12. I was somewhat apprehensive to bring together such a wide range of ages and attitudes. However, the cooperation and respect shown to myself, other players, and hotel staff (with a few exceptions) was very encouraging.

Sterling
Hi, neighbors. Thanks to Tom Hodel who came and talked to the seniors at the Sterling Senior Center last week. He discussed medications and over-the-counter remedies.

Kasilof
Greetings from Kasilof. It's official — Spring has arrived. As Jedi Yoda would say: "Never mind that all is still and mostly brown. Pay no attention to puddles and dust, it's think of green, you must."

Nikiski
Good morning. Something to think about: "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." Colin L. Powell.

Soldotna
Hi. Sounds like not everyone is aware of the Bridges move. No, I'm not talking about the bridge in town but the organization, Bridges Community Resource Network Inc.

Cooper Landing
Good morning. Kenai Lake Baptist Church is hosting an Easter breakfast for the community at the community hall on Bean Creek Road at 8 a.m. Easter morning.

Kenai
Hello, neighbors. Wow, when Mother Nature starts shaking her apron, she really shakes it. Seems like two weeks ago we were having to deal with blowing snow whenever a car passed us on the road and wearing cleats on our shoes to get around on the ice.

Ninilchik
Hi, neighbors. The Iditarod is over, the high school basketball championship tournament is history, the calendar says it is spring and students are on spring break. From here on out, things will escalate toward the busiest time of year.

United Way names Herford director
A born and raised Californian, Tina Herford's family and friends never thought she would make it here.

Agrium seeks gas proposals
Agrium submitted a request for proposals to all seven gas producers in the Cook Inlet Basin on Thursday offering a higher price for gas to continue operating its plant at half capacity.

Making waves
High winds whip waves along a beach in Kenai on Monday. Wind gusts up to 50 mph and daytime temperatures below freezing reminded peninsula residents that spring is still a couple weeks off. A National Weather Service wind advisory is in effect through this morning. In addition, a winter storm watch is in effect through Thursday morning, with forecasters predicting more wind — and possibly snow — could be on the way.

Mayor vetoes fiscal notes
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley used his veto pen Tuesday, negating an assembly measure requiring the administration to summarize the estimated economic effects of future ordinances that could be expected to have impacts on the finances of the borough or the private sector.

Area students have big, small plans for break
Spring break for Kenai Peninsula Borough schools and Kenai Peninsula College officially began Monday, and students were planning to take advantage of the week off before the final push to summer.

Games has new director
The 2006 Arctic Winter Games has a new general manager. Eagle River resident Tim Dillon was selected last week to be the new general manager for the Kenai Peninsula 2006 Arctic Winter Games, bringing more than 20 years of sports and event coordination experience with him.

Senate hears plea to replace Coast Guard's aging fleet
Despite heroic efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain its fleet of cutters and aircraft, those aging assets should be replaced, including equipment employed in search and rescue and enforcement operations in Alaska, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) official told a U.S. Senate subcommittee this week.

Spring weather: Brief fling or here to stay?
Take a walk around the neighborhood and you will find that central Kenai Peninsula residents have popped out of winter's prison to take advantage of the spring conditions. The weather has warmed enough to completely thaw major roads and allow traffic to kick up dust.

Eric (Eddie) Cooper
Former Anchor Point resident Eric "Eddie" Cooper died Friday, March 18, 2005, in Longview, Wash. He was 58.

Robert B. Blair
Former Kenai resident Robert B. Blair died Sunday, Feb. 26, 2005, at his home in Florida. He was 91.

Ed Daly
Soldotna resident Ed Daly died Sunday, March 20, 2005, at his home. He was 58.

McGwire strikes out with testimony
If former major-leaguer Mark McGwire were as evasive on the basepaths as he was Thursday before the U.S. House Government Reform Committee, he could've set the all-time stolen base record.

State retirement systems should mirror private
As legislators, the governor, labor unions and management-affiliated groups debate the various ideas put forward to solve the financial problem in the state-run retirement systems, one idea that deserves serious attention is a changing of the programs for new enrollees.

Liberty should not be sacrificed in name of security
Muslim Americans did not participate in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, yet almost half of Americans in a new poll believe their civil liberties should be sacrificed.

Community Events
Public radio fund-raiser set Childcare workshop planned Ducks Unlimited fund-raiser set AARP tax help available Autism support group to meet Head Start accepting applications LeeShore offers food program Postcards sought

Around the Peninsula
Artists and crafters sought CPHC board meeting slated Soldotna chamber to meet Subsistence fish deadline looming Child Find screening available YCC applications available

Around the Peninsula
Kenai chamber to meet Car seat inspections planned Builders association meeting slated Community Easter egg hunt set KPBBA to meet Ducks Unlimited fund-raiser set Artists, crafters sought Respite services available

Peninsula People
Stanford honored

Club News
Flyball seminar slated Lacrosse club forming Recycling fund-raiser continues DDF team to perform

Births
His grandparents are Doug and Mitzi Blossom of Clam Gulch and Joe Adolf of Nikiski. His great-grandparents are Marge Adolf and Charlie and Dorothy Diamond, all of Soldotna.

Senior Briefs
Homer senior, Friendship centers Kenai Nikiski Seward Soldotna

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Seward Soldotna Sterling

Michigan State escapes upset with late layup
MINNEAPOLIS — Rene Haynes saved top-seeded Michigan State from an embarrassingly early exit from the NCAA tournament.

LeBron's record-setting night not enough against Toronto
TORONTO — LeBron James became the youngest player to score 50 points in an NBA game, but his franchise-record 56 weren't enough to prevent the Toronto Raptors from beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-98 on Sunday.

Perry wins when Singh splashes
ORLANDO, Fla. — Kenny Perry lost a three-shot lead in three holes, but emerged the winner in the Bay Hill Invitational on Sunday when Vijay Singh hit 7-iron off the rocks and into the water on the 18th hole en route to a double bogey.

Eagles soar at state
Clinging to a one point lead, Cook Inlet Academy head basketball coach Bruce Gabriel gathered his team around him before the start of the fourth quarter in Saturday's Alaska Class 2A state championship game.

New York throttles Spurs
NEW YORK — Malik Rose knocked down a pair of 18-foot jumpers to complete a 14-0 run to start the fourth quarter, getting a measure of revenge against the team that traded him last month as the New York Knicks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 88-75 Monday night.

Summitt ties Smith for all-time wins mark
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Pat Summitt's latest milestone victory was similar to so many others in her illustrious 31-year career.

N.C. State knocks out Huskies
Hodge scored on a slashing drive through the lane with 4.3 seconds left to break a 62-all tie and send the Wolfpack past second-seeded Connecticut 65-62 Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Acrobatic rookie gets Atlanta win
HAMPTON, Ga. — Carl Edwards climbed out of his car, balanced himself on the window ledge, gave a quick glance over his shoulder to make sure all was clear, then launched into the air backward.

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