Wednesday, March 29, 2006

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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!

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?

Heritage sale lets peninsula residents care for their elders
The purchase of Heritage Place by Central Peninsula General Hospital is the right idea because caring for those among us who are unable to care for themselves is the right thing to do. The purchase of HP by CPGH is not a “bad fiscal idea” as has been suggested because fiscal considerations do not define right and wrong.

Reader wills ANWR to open
Quote (from Letters to the Editor, March 22); It is the will of the people of the USA that ANWR be saved for future generations.

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.

School surplus: Who profits from the leftover buildings?
Two years ago, when the decision was made to close Nikiski Elementary School, a hue and cry arose across the Kenai Peninsula in opposition.

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.

Warning: Tsunami test scheduled for today
Those watching TV without the sound this morning may be in for a surprise.

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.

Labor figures show steady employment
Slightly fewer people were available for work in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in February compared to the same month a year ago.

Maintenance helps combat alarming trend in fire safety
Twice annually the calender reminds us to readjust our clocks, but fire officials are urging Alaska residents to add a second step to this biannual ritual to ensure our alarms not only get us to work on time, but out of harm’s way.

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.

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.

David R. Luck
Longtime Homer resident David R. Luck died Thursday, March 23, 2006, of natural causes at the South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. He was 61.

Bill offers hope to kids: Foster children need help to prepare for adulthood
With so much focus this year dedicated to the state’s oil and gas resources, it is important that other issues concerning Alaska’s future not be overlooked. According to the Department of Health and Social Services, there are nearly 2,000 children in Alaska’s foster care system. Most of these children were placed in foster care because they were neglected or abused in their home, and it is unsafe for them to return.

Around the Peninsula
Dog agility class set to run Habitat begins building season Girl Scout leader appreciation set

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

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.

As clear as mud
There’s no doubt some of our best and brightest minds are working on environmental issues affecting Alaska and, for that matter, the rest of the world.

Kenai River Guide Academy launched
The culmination of two years of planning has resulted in the establishment of the Kenai River Guide Academy.

Around the District
Free health screenings set Scholarships available Aurora Borealis Charter Connections Home school Cook Inlet Academy Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High School Nikiski North Star Elementary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Soldotna Montessori Charter Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary

In the shadows
My name is Elizabeth Barrett I go to Nikiski High school. For one of my classes were assigned to do a job shadow. So I got the pleasure of job shadowing Patrice Kohl -a writer at the Peninsula Clarion- I got to accompany her to an interview at the Challenger Center, it was a great experience. I was shown around the Center and even got the chance to watch a class do a mission in the simulator.

Bottom of the third quarter finds teenager in rush
Well it’s that time of year yet again. When kids run around turning in late assignments and trying to get their grades to a better spot.

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