Tuesday, March 31, 2009

There I was driving to Anchorage on March 25th, 2009 in my F-350 Ford crew cab pick-up at about 10:00 Am. My lone passenger was my wife Taby and we were making a quick dash to Anchorage with plans on returning that evening. Now driving in Alaska often times gives you the chance to test your driving skills with the many different elements and different weather patterns that are present here. Often times you may even see a large variety of these on the same day.

Finalists selected for 19th Caring for the Kenai competition
From the more than 400 entries submitted in this year's Caring for the Kenai (CFK) environmental and disaster preparedness contest, a panel of seven judges from the professional community has selected twelve Kenai Peninsula Borough high school students to compete for over $21,000 in cash awards in the oral presentation phase of the CFK program sponsored by Chevron and Tesoro.

Kenai Peninsula Community Care Center opens new gymnasium
A dream 30 years in the making has finally been made real in Kenai. Since its establishment in 1973, the Kenai Peninsula Community Care Center (KPCCC) has desired a place for its residents to exercise and play. With generous contributions from the KPCCC Board of Directors, Wells Fargo, and the Rasmussen Foundation, this wish was granted in early 2009 with the addition of a new gymnasium to the Kenai facility.

CSI Soldotna now recruiting
You don't have to be a Crime Scene Investigator to use the acronym CSI. Soldotna now has a CSI that has nothing to do with crime and everything to do with helping you find a job. Career Skills Institute (CSI) is now recruiting young people between the ages of 16- 24 who are interested in high growth industries, "We started our program a year ago and are expanding it because it has become so successful," CSI Mari English told the Soldotna Chamber last week. "We have been tasked through a grant from the Denali Training Fund Youth and administered through the Department of Labor and Workforce development with providing career planning, exploration and work experience and basically what we are doing is teaching young people what it takes to get a career that will allow them to stay and work in Alaska," explained English.

April proclaimed "Donate Life Month"
Kenai Mayor Pat Porter read and presented an official proclamation to Michael French and Duane Bannock of the Life Alaska Donor board of directors, officially making April Donate Life Month in Kenai. Donate Life Month is a national initiative held throughout the month to heighten awareness of organ, eye, and tissue donation and encourage everyone to register their wishes. In reading the proclamation Porter said, "Many Alaskan citizens have given the gift of life by donating transplantable organs and tissues, this is one of the most meaningful gifts that a human being can bestow to another. It is essential that all citizens are aware of the opportunity to save and enhance the lives of others through organ and tissue donation and transplantation, and realize that one person's donation can save or enhance the lives of up to 50 people."

Commitment goes a long way
The LeeShore Center is very grateful to ConocoPhillips for its generous charitable contribution of $2,500, which will help us provide violence prevention education to youth in our community.

Sponsors earn lots of thanks
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association (KPHA) would like to thank all of the sponsors for the 2008-09 hockey season. The many donations made over the past year helped support the teams of KPHA by assisting with the purchase of uniforms and gear, buying ice for practices and games, paying for referees, tournament registration fees and supplying scholarships for youth who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to play hockey.

Fundraiser a cut above
The organizers of this year's St. Baldrick's event to raise money for childhood cancer research would like to recognize and thank the entire community for its generous support of this most important cause. Without you, we would not have been able to send approximately $30,000 to childhood cancer researchers so that someday cures can be found. The organizers wish to especially thank Marcus Yamada and family; Ericka Reynolds and family, Dalton Lohrke and family, all of our shavees, all of our barbers, all of our volunteers and all of our donors, including the Kenai firefighters, Soldotna firefighters, Nikiski firefighters, Soldotna Police Department, the Great Fools of Fire, Central Emergency Services, Central Peninsula Hospital, Wayne Johnson, Chevron, the Kenai River Brown Bears, Soldotna Rotary, the Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce, Phormations, Tammy's Flowers, Wells Fargo, Mike Bloeser, Sterling Seniors, Ed Tussy, Dave LaForest, Dan Nelson, Big John's, Merrill Sikorski, Redoubt Reporter, Peninsula Clarion, KTVA Channel 11 News, Ron DeLaney, The Fitness Place, South Central Title, Sweeney's, Sedona Florist, Gallery Lodge, Candy Boquet, BP, McDonald's, Grand Burrito, Veronica's Coffee, TJ Seggys, the Kenai Watershed Forum, Marathon Oil Co., Soldotna Safeway, Wildtree, Anchorage Daily News, Angie Brennan and Soldotna Sports Center.

Bill no help to Alaska
In 2009, many Alaskans and, especially Alaska fishermen and marine conservationists, worry about another Exxon-type oil spill. At the same time, the Alaska Legislature is contemplating over-riding the people's law, passed in 2007, to limit the cruise ship industry's waste water and heavy metal (compounds of copper, et al) treated sewage disposal in Alaska's coastal waters.

Cemetery site possible: Committee may have final resting place for residents
Soldotna might have a place to bury its dead before the snow flies next winter.

First class: Kasilof postmaster retires after more than 2 decades of service
Frequent customers of the Kasilof Post Office would no doubt recognize the familiar and always smiling face of Postmaster Carol Joyce, but the days of seeing her behind the counter will soon be gone.

Redoubt watch
As of 6:20 p.m. Monday the Alaska Volcano Observatory Web site reported that its Webcam views show a steam-rich plume that may still contain some ash. Seismicity has diminished with a only a few small discrete events observed over the last hour.

Ash radar proves useful
Although the Mount Redoubt volcano color code was lowered from orange to yellow a few weeks ago, about the time scientists brought a volcanic ash radar dish to Kenai, it didn't take long for the new device to prove its worth.

Volcano grounds air traffic
No one is flying too high these days thanks to the billowing clouds of volcanic ash released by Mount Redoubt.

Groups unite over Drift River: Unified Command ensures decisions about the terminal are made as one
Concern over the potential for a spill of 6 million gallons worth of Cook Inlet crude oil stored in tanks at the foot of Mount Redoubt has prompted the formation of a Unified Command between the Coast Guard, Department of Environmental Conservation and Cook Inlet Pipe Line Co. (CIPL).

Stove owners take precautions
As Kenai Peninsula residents don masks and have spare air filters ready for the engines of their cars due to Mount Redoubt's eruptions, the owners of air-intake heating systems and stoves -- such as Monitors, Toyos, and others -- may want to take precautions to protect these devices.

Anchorage man killed by avalanche
An Anchorage man was killed Saturday by an avalanche while snowmachining in the Johnson Pass area east of the Seward Highway.

Redoubt watch: Shaking it up
Mount Redoubt is dancing to a different beat these days, and it's hard for scientists to tell when it will bust another move.

Grant aimed at saving Old Town church
The Russian Orthodox church in Old Town is likely the most photographed building in Kenai, especially in summertime when a steady stream of tourists visit.

State's wilderness at risk: Wildlife deserves better than a special-interest holocaust
Alaska is a dream whose grandeur is in the grip of special interests who increasingly favor exploitation over preservation. The regions of Alaska under state control are no less than irreplaceable links in America's last great intact ecosystems. We entrust the health of this world treasure to a cabal of state agencies, including the governor, Legislature, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the Board of Game (BOG).

Is compromise missing?: Kenai neighbors deserve chance to have say on development
Is neighborhood participation in development that affects the neighborhood not a reasonable request? Not just a chance to respond after the fact, but a seat at the table from the beginning.

Around the Peninsula

Post office sets new hours

Around the Peninsula

Food classes offered

Crime of the Week: Crime Stoppers
The Kenai Police Department received a report of a felony theft March 27. Unknown suspect(s) removed a 2001 120 cc kid's model Polaris snowmobile from a residential yard on Watergate in the VIP subdivision. The snowmobile was valued at greater than $1000.

Pet photo: Best Friends
Dusty and Stormy relax in their favorite place -- on the couch of Cathy Haas in Soldotna. Dusty was adopted from the Kenai Animal Shelter in December 2007. They look like a matching set!

Writer: Parenting 101 -- listen more, read less
Parents? Can't live with them, can't rent a rated R move without them.

Job, career fair planned
The annual Job and Career Fair, billed as the biggest recruitment event on the Peninsula, will take place March 31 and April 1 at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Around the District

School board meetings slated

Play ball: Adult baseball team trying to take field
During the course of giving back to baseball, central peninsula residents Chris DesOrmeaux and Chance Tallman decided they weren't done playing baseball.

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