Wednesday, April 1, 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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

Food classes offered

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!

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