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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Games gear is going ... going ...
Time is running out for those who have not yet purchased their Arctic Winter Games memorabilia.

Outdoors
Predator animals have been harassing man since the beginning of time by stealing their various birds, pets, and livestock of all kinds. Starting with some of the smallest like a weasel on up to the biggest one on the list the bear these predators have often times found an easy meal right in peoples yards. Few animals have much chance against a bear but there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your livestock against certain other ones.

A grand day for the Irish
It wasn't the warmest day in the 15 year history of the Soldotna St. Patrick's Day parade, but it wasn't the coldest either, as those dedicated to the wearing of the green and the flinging of candy to children paraded in grand style down the Spur highway from Bailey's Furniture store to the 'Y' in Soldotna.

Spring has sprung at Trinity Greenhouse
While the Kenai River remains choked with ice and snow continues to cover last year’s lawn and gardens, Ron Sexton at Trinity Greenhouse on K-Beach Rd. has orchids blooming, tomato plants budding and waterfalls babbling. For the last 28 years Ron and his brother Dan and their families have been able to experience the more traditional things of spring such as flowers and vegetable planting regardless of their global location. The early springs of the last few years have some folks a little anxious to trade their snow shovels for garden spades, but Ron says this year isn’t really any later than usual, “Breakup seems to have been a little early the last few years, but this year is probably more normal for Alaska. The rule of thumb for setting plants outside in ground here never changes, it’s Memorial Day weekend. You might get lucky some years, but others can nail you real hard even when the ground is warm and workable. I recommend putting plants into 4 inch pots from their 6-pack starting’s which will allow the root system to develop and then put your plants out after they have been hardened off and it’s not as cold as even the first part of June can be,” said Sexton.

“Class On!” KPC hosts first Kenai River Guide Academy...
At a Board of Fish meeting back in 2002 board member Larry Engel challenged Kenai River Guides to come up with a way of stabilizing the guide industry on the Kenai River, “At that time 50% of the Kenai River guides were failing to last more than 5 years and every year an average of 50 to 75 new Kenai River guides were being licensed some who may have never seen the River before,” said Steve McClure, president of the Kenai River Professional Guide Association (KRPGA). The challenge according to McClure was to come up with a way to deal with the social issues before they became Board of Fish issues.

Church youth group plans trip to help rebuild New Orleans
In the wake of hurricane Katrina last year, Alaskans were among the first to step up with a variety of assistance to those displaced and suffering from the storm. That spirit continues as a youth group from the North Star Methodist Church in Nikiski has changed their summer plans to be able to assist the ongoing effort to aid victims, “We had talked about going on a mission trip to Mexico, but then after the hurricane hit the kids decided that it would be more significant to stay home and make a difference here in the United States instead of going to a foreign country, so we had a redirection of our plans,” said Pastor Laura Skiba. The group will be networking with an international organization known as Group Work Camps which specializes is sending groups for clean up efforts around the world and particularly in the U.S. “We’ll be working through them so that our housing and food and effective direction will be done through them, and will send us to where we will be most needed,” said Skiba.

Games’ athlete village was impressive feat
Schools are clearly the heart of every community, and Kenai proved this yet again during the Arctic Winter Games. Our family traveled to the Games to cheer on our two children and their teamates. We were astounded by the scope of the Games, and the volunteer effort required. We were particularly

Alaska should produce own oil
The legislature is reviewing the Governor’s proposed Production Profits Tax to determine if it is in the public’s best interest. Citizens are asked to speak out and focus on the oil tax, but most of us know little about it, other than brief news bites. The devil is in the details. I recall that President Carter imposed a 70 percent Windfall Profits Tax in the 1970’s after gasoline prices went from less than 50 cents per gallon to over a dollar, and that not one oil company ever paid a dime of tax on their windfall profits. The exemptions and loopholes were so many that President Reagan later allowed them to sell their excess deductions to other companies who needed a tax shelter. How can we be sure that this new bill won’t do the same?

Bush should be censured
Let’s censure Bush for his promoting completely unjustifiable snooping into the private lives of americans. This man is truly unbelievable!

Woman pleads for aid for the homeless
Kenai Peninsula residents, wake up. There is a real need for a shelter just for women, women who don’t have kids and aren’t battered.

Founders intended all to worship as they wished
I agree 100 percent with the opinions expressed on the Opinion page of your newspaper entitled “Tired of taxing litigation” by Phil Hermanek ( March 19). I further agree with the author that we should all get behind House Bill HR 2679.

Games crew worked hard
The Games are over and most of the supplies and equipment has been returned to where it belonged or to where it has been donated.

Opening ANWR will serve future generations
While I understand the concern many have regarding the preservation of ANWR I want to please ask that some who make broad sweeping comments such as “the will of the people” (Letters to the Editor, March 22) to remember there are quite a few of us on the other side of the “fence” whom you do not represent.

Young women’s conference serves up etiquette
Speakers, singers and instructors convened at the Solid Rock Bible Camp in Soldotna to teach self-esteem, self-presentation and etiquette to young women on Saturday.

Group seeks national status for peninsula road corridor
Well-known for spectacular vistas and a history important to the development of Alaska, the transportation corridor along Turnagain Arm and through the Kenai Mountains is nearing a significant federal designation.

Board revved up over motors
A proposal to raise outboard horsepower limits on the Kenai River from 35 to 50 is gaining momentum. Proponents of 50 hp motors on the river say they won’t rock the boat — or at least not as much as the current 35 hp motors.

Warning: Tsunami is only a test
A test of state and federal tsunami alert systems planned for Wednesday will use a live warning code rather than a test code, which officials warn could be misinterpreted by television viewers who have the sound turned down, a spokesperson with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this week.

Tax rate holds in ’07 budget
A property tax mill rate increase will not be necessary to balance the fiscal year 2007 budget to be presented to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly next month, Borough Mayor John Williams said this week.

Challenger Center struggling with funding issues
It was about 10:30 a.m. and Kalifornsky Beach Elementary school students on a mission to rendezvous with a comet and collect data had an emergency on their hands. They were running out of oxygen, fast. Alarms urgently buzzed and students bustled between valves and computer monitors. But with the help of K-Beach students back at mission control on Earth, the ship’s student astronaut crew restored oxygen to their space vessel and narrowly escaped disaster.

City may opt out of PERS for hires
When the state Public Employees Retirement System and Teachers’ Retirement System switch from a traditional pension program to a defined contribution plan in July, some may consider opting out.

Time again to beware of bears
As the days grow longer, the snow melts and the temperature rises, large, densely furred creatures begin to stir from their winter slumber.

Darwin James Meili
Anchorage resident Darwin James Meili died Tuesday, March 21, 2006, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 79.

State Constitution is clear: Legislature, governor must negotiate to get most for our resources
Alaskans deserve an atmosphere of trust in government. But broken promises, averted eyes from ethical lapses, booted-out conscientious state employees, and things like the Governor’s jet are the much ballyhooed issues that illustrate the disconnect between established politicians and the rest of us. Hopefully though, as we consider the most important economic issues facing Alaska in decades, may these aforementioned reminders of things amiss share ink so we can debate additional issues that are also of utmost importance. As obstinate as the jet purchase is, oil taxes and secret gasline deals must be a focus now.

Hero of the Week
Hats off to the good Samaritan who pulled my daughter’s Astro van from the ditch along South Miller Loop just off the Spur March 19.

Community briefs
Performance, auction to benefit boy Mystery luncheon fundraiser slated

Around the Peninsula
Swim lessons available Relay for Life meeting today KMS assistant principal interviews set SoHi after-grad meeting slated Autism to be discussed Bazaar tables available Fundraiser dinner slated Fair fundraiser slated

Birth
· Sara and Brandon Klobucar of Soldotna announce the birth of their daughter, Anna Renee Klobucar at 1:46 p.m. Friday, March 17, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She weighed 8 pounds, 2.5 ounces and measured 20 inches.

Around the Peninsula
Winter livestock series slated Used book sale Wednesday CPGH plans board meeting Historical society to meet Cheerleading registration looms 1964 earthquake to be discussed CPHC seeks members HEA schedules Kasilof meter upgrades

Peninsula People
Benson receives scholarship Dreifuerst makes president’s list Soldotna Elks table tennis results

Community News
Collector seeks pens Volunteer nominations sought

Central Peninsula Health Centers
Work of Heart is a column devoted to spotlighting certain nonprofit organizations, the heart of area communities.

Sports Brief
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association PeeWee C Tier 3 team won the Alaska USA State Hockey Association Tournament hosted by the Mat-Su Eagles in Wasilla from Thursday through Sunday. KPHA finished the tournament with a 5-0-1 record. KPHA’s season record is 39-13-4.

Nikiski girls take academic award
The Nikiski girls basketball team, which won the Class 3A girls state basketball title, also won the award for the highest grade-point average. The Bulldogs had a 3.59 GPA.

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Kenai Soldotna Sterling

Hakkinen finishes World Cup season
Kasilof’s Jay Hakkinen finished his World Cup biathlon season with a 53rd-place finish in the 10-kilometer sprint Thursday at the Holmenkollen Ski Stadium in Oslo, Norway.

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