Friday, March 27, 2009

Business Briefs

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Is there a business or business person who has gone above and beyond your expectations? We want to know why!

Children of all ages come to the Circus
Last week was Auntie Hufana's 96th birthday and she wanted to go to the Circus. So when the son of the world renowned Ringling Brothers ring master Count Nicholas, Tuffy Nicholas cried out the welcome his father made famous, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all ages," it was appropriate indeed for Auntie's birthday. "She had a ball," her niece told the Dispatch, "She uuhhed and aahhed and said that's pretty high up there," as did so many who turned out for the two show only performance of the International All-Star Circus at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Fighting Kid's Cancer St. Balderick's reaches $30K and counting
There are a lot more bald heads, runny noses, and warm hearts walking around the Central Peninsula this week, as more than 50 volunteers went bald for the cause of fighting childhood cancer and participated in the 3rd annual St. Balderick's Foundation event to raise money for childhood cancer research. Men, women and children bravely volunteered to have their heads shaved in exchange for donations so that one day cures can be found and childhood cancer becomes a disease of the past. A couple of years ago Blair Martin of the Diamond M Ranch says he was looking a bit shaggy when he heard about the St. Balderick's event and Locks for Love and decided he'd go hippy for the cause, "I didn't want to just cut the hair off and throw it away so I figured in a couple of years it might raise more and be of use to someone who had lost their hair due to cancer," said Martin. By the time Blair went on stage to be sheared he had raised nearly $1,000 for the cause and yielded four nice braids of hair to be donated to Locks of Love.

Last Sunday a friend of mine called me and announced that Mt. Redoubt was about to erupt. He suggested that I might want to call the newspaper and tell them and be the first one to tell them. I had just arrived home from church and had also noticed the cloud of steam hovering over the mountain and my family and I determined it was steam and not a cloud. Did I call the paper or anyone about steam over the mountain? No because I am sure if Mt. Redoubts actually erupts someone else will see it and the media will respond.

Peninsula Construction Academy graduates donate new shed to F.A.D.
The first of the coming graduation season took place last week at Skyview High School when the Kenai Peninsula Construction Academy graduated a class of Plumbers, Electricians, Welders, and Carpenters. Bob Hammer is the past president of the Alaska Home Builders Association, vice president of the Kenai Peninsula Builders Assoc. and one of the founders and instructors of the Kenai Peninsula Construction Academy (KPCA). According to Hammer the KPCA recruits, trains, and places young people and adults into construction industry jobs. Offering one component for high school students, and another for adult learners, all participants receive hands-on training by experts and members of the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association. "Labor market data shows that more than 1,000 construction workers are needed in Alaska each year for several years to meet construction job growth and to replace retiring workers. When a natural gas pipeline is built, thousands of additional construction workers will be needed," said Hammer.

Alaska's Shamrock City celebrates St. Paddy's Day
For 18 years Soldotna has been pushing an early spring with their annual St. Patrick's Day Parade thanks to the City's patron leprechaun Michael Sweeney. "It was a perfect parade this year," Sweeney told the Dispatch, "The weather was great, not sloppy and just cold enough to keep the cars clean. The first year we had the old fire truck in the parade and a couple of pick-ups and that was about it, but this year the Clarion told me they gave out over 950 papers with our Sweeney's logo on the wrapper so I figure we had over a thousand watching or participating this year," added Sweeney.

Banquet sheds light on hunger
I would like to thank the students of Dr. Christine Gehrett's Kenai Peninsula College ethics class for hosting a successful hunger banquet March 7. It was an educational opportunity to learn about hunger issues, not only from around the world, but also right here on the Kenai Peninsula.

Program to collect funds for school earns top grade
Cook Inlet Academy would like to thank Safeway for its participation in the eScrip program. During 2008, CIA earned more than $2,700 in contributions from this program.

Borough money could be better spent
The borough needs to quit wasting our money to fund organizations such as EDD. It has shown no proven worth to us. It's comprised of a group of self-serving individuals who suckle at the public breast.

Athletes different than they used to be
Congratulations to our No. 1 athlete in the world, Lance Mackey.

Problem with the rezone
Pertaining to the rezone, the Kenai Municipal Code 14.20.115, limited commercial zone, states in the first line "intent." The limited commercial zone is established to provide transition areas between commercial and residential districts.

A view on smoking
Having recently visited our daughter in Soldotna, my wife and I enjoyed the evening at Mykel's, but after a few minutes in the smoking-allowed establishments, we decided it was best to stay at the house.

Snow removal or snow blockage?
You would think the snow removal equipment in Alaska was here to help us when needed. Not always true. This past week after the 4- to 5-inch wet snow that fell in Sterling, I was at the Sterling Senior Center after the snowplow came by to remove the snow on the two adjacent streets that run perpendicular to the Sterling Highway beside the center.

Businesses pitch in for fundraiser
AFS would like to thank all the wonderful businesses and members of the community who contributed to the success of our fundraising dinner and silent auction: Country Foods, Country Liquor, Fred Meyer, Safeway in Kenai, Paradisos Restaurant, Veronica's, Charlotte's, Thai Town Restaurant, McDonald's, Gourmet Garden & Market, Katina's, Arby's, Kenai Vision Center, Louie's Steak House and Seafood, Acapulco Restaurant, Don Jose's, Joe's Laundry, Mykel's, Peterkin's, Kaladi Brothers, New Peking Chinese Restaurant and Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church.

Volunteers put event's success over the top
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Elementary Forensics Committee would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the coaches, parents and volunteers, who made the 2008-09 Elementary Borough Forensics Tournament a success.

Another AIG story
Ten years ago my wife was in a terrible car wreck. Unconscious and taken to emergency, she underwent weeks of chiropractic treatment, itself resulting for a time in severe head pain. As I attempted to receive funds for another car of similar model and safety features, our insurer AIG fought me on the price of such a replacement from a local car lot.

Redoubt erupts late Friday afternoon
An eruption of Redoubt Volcano occurred at approximately 5:35 p.m. The National Weather Service reports the cloud height to be approximately 40,000 feet above sea level based on radar.

Assembly OKs funds to hire legal counsel: Action part of Nikishka Beach access dispute
For more than one year, Offshore Systems Kenai, which operates the Nikishka Dock facility, has blocked Nikiski residents' beach access via Nikishka Beach Road. With an upcoming May trial on the horizon, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is seeking outside assistance.

Legislative contingent plans town hall meeting
Local legislators still are planning to return to the central peninsula Saturday for a town-hall style meeting.

Early childhood foundation forms
Advocates for a Kenai Peninsula Early Childhood Foundation are seeking public awareness.

Highway reopens following avalanche
An avalanche that closed the Seward Highway at Mile 85 of the Seward Highway, about two miles south of Girdwood, has been cleared, according to Alaska State Troopers. The highway is now open in both directions.

Redoubt ash headed toward Homer
Ashfall from a pair of fresh eruptions from Redoubt Volcano on Thursday morning is expected to hit Homer sometime after noon.

Peninsula schools stay prepared -- and in session
Two volcanic eruptions and an ash advisory; local students must have thought for sure they were going to get the rest of Thursday off.

'We have a wide open system': Redoubt eruptions expected to continue with little warning
Sheila and James Isaac thought they'd enjoy a beautiful sunny Thursday, maybe even take advantage of the break in the weather and fly from their lodge on the west side of Cook Inlet to Soldotna for supplies.

Road workers on ash watch
Street and road maintenance personnel in the central Kenai Peninsula area, like many residents, were keeping a watchful eye on the sky for any significant ashfall from the Thursday morning eruptions of the Mount Redoubt volcano.

Fire scorches Soldotna garage
A Soldotna garage suffered an estimated $60,000 worth of damage Wednesday after an engine that was being stored in the structure came crashing to the ground, causing the gas tank to rupture and catch fire.

Redoubt erupts again
The aviation color code for Mount Redoubt volcano was raised to red again following eruptions this morning.

Show's not over just yet: Redoubt alert level downgraded, but activity continues
Don't get too comfortable.

Photo feature: Peek-a-moose
A moose, hidden from the motorists it was trying to avoid, looks to cross Bridge Access Road recently.

Peter LeMay
Kasilof resident Peter LeMay died Friday, March 20, 2009, after a short battle with cancer. He was 67.

Danielle (Adams) Gordon
Former Soldotna resident Danielle (Adams) Gordon died Monday, March 16, 2009, after an extended illness at Providence Extended Care in Anchorage. She was 31.

Winds blow favorably for peninsula
It's been a busy week for the Kenai Peninsula.

On the mend: Sled dog injured in accident recuperating
Kasilof musher Jon Little undeniably started the mushing season at an all-time low, but as winter nears its end, he has something to be thankful for as one dog injured in an accident at the end of September appears to be on the mend.

Refuge education specialist honored
Kenai Refuge environmental educator Michelle Ostrowski was honored this week as the Alaska winner of the Sense of Wonder Award sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Michelle was recognized for her skills as a teacher who has created innovative programs connecting people with wildlife and natural resources on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Remember the Exxon Valdez
One thing that hasn't been said about the Exxon Valdez oil spill is how fortunate it is that the true extent of the damage is hidden from the casual visitor -- the boaters, kayakers and passengers aboard day boats and cruise ships.

Around the Peninsula

Rummage, bake sale fundraiser slated

Around the Peninsula

Immunizations available

Young musher lives her dream
While the Iditarod gets more media attention than any other sporting event in the state, the junior version of the Last Great Race barely gets any time in the lime light.

What's Happening

Best Bets

Reviewer: Movie thriller worth a look

Art Briefs

T-shirt design contest continues

A calendar says, so to speak,

Church Briefs

Soldotna Aglow Bible Study

Learning to live on less gives new perspective
Recently my son returned home from traveling overseas.

Competitors race in Clark Bradford
Jill Garnet, Jim Arndt and Mindee Morning all won their respective races on Sunday in the Clark Bradford sled dog race, a competition run by the Peninsula Sled Dog and Racing Association.

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