Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Most of you know how strong I feel about teaching our children how to hunt and fish and to live off the land. I feel just as strongly about sharing what we harvest with our elderly and others who are in need. With that in mind, I’d like to share a story with you that happened some 30 years ago in Augusta, Wisconsin.

Gebhardt returns home with healthy team and his second Iditarod Humanitarian Award
In the year 2000 Paul Gebhardt of Morning View Kennel in Kasilof was only one team away from becoming the second Iditarod Champion from the Kenai Peninsula. This year, after becoming separated from his team and being lucky enough to catch up to them, he finished only two teams away from becoming the third Iditarod winner from the Kenai. As his colleagues would agree however, regardless of where they place, any musher who has claimed the Iditarod Humanitarian Award is an Iditarod Champion indeed, and Paul Gebhardt has been chosen for that honor twice. In the history of the Last Great Race, only four mushers have won the Humanitarian more than once. Additionally, Gebhardt has placed in the top twenty 6 times, and in the top ten 4 times. He has the fastest time from Safety to Nome and has won the Golden Harness Award for his great lead dog, Red Dog.

Project Grad 3-years and going strong on the Peninsula
Project Grad is a nonprofit K-16 school reform model that is currently underway across the country and started in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula three years ago. The mission of the program is to ensure a quality public education for all children, increase high school graduation rates and prepare graduates to be successful in college.

It's Brown Bear Awareness Kick-Off Week...
With bears beginning to stir from their dens throughout Alaska, the Kenai Brown Bear Committee (KBBC) is launching a campaign designed to decrease the number of bears killed in defense life or property through public awareness. “Our committee’s main mission is to raise awareness and to let people know that there are some primary attractants out there that can lead to some bad encounters with bears,” says committee member John Czarnezki, Kenai Peninsula Borough resource planner. The KBBC is an offshoot of a recent public planning process that resulted in the Kenai Peninsula Brown Bear Conservation Strategy. The KBBC was founded in 2004 and represents interests as diverse as tourism, hunting, fishing, conservation, and government agencies. According to Czarnezki it’s not just rural residents that need to be concerned, “Bears live across the entire Peninsula, so it’s important that everyone pay attention and take precautions to keep those easy meals unavailable especially right now as the bears start becoming active and are coming out of hibernation hungry.”

"The Crossing"a new place for gathering
A new restaurant at a very familiar location opens in Soldotna this week. The landmark site of a former homestead cabin across the Soldotna bridge that became a popular watering hole known as the “Night Watch”, was re-built and called the Tides Inn will open Thursday as “The Crossing.” The owners, Scott and Cherie Curry, purchased the property last December and since the first of the year have been working round the clock remodeling the structure to prepare for a spring opening. The results are an Alaskan elegance and comfortable ambiance unrivaled anywhere on the Kenai Peninsula. “We’re very proud of the way it’s turned out, it’s been a major effort. A lot of people have worked really hard and the results have exceeded our expectations,” commented Cherie.

Exxon lawsuit should be election issue
Today (March 24) is the 17th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1989, Exxon was the 17th largest entity in the world. Since the merger with Mobil, the combo company is now larger than Saudi Arabia. Thousands of litigants are deceased. Oil remains under the rocks in the Prince William Sound. The state seek more damages while Exxon continues to dodge their debt to 10,000 fishermen (33,000 claimants total).

Reader’s will is to use resources for Alaska’s benefit
Will of the People (Letters to the Editor, March 22): If you think it’s the will of the people to lock up Alaska, I think you are sadly mistaken. The will of the Democratic Party to punish Alaska for the strong will of our Congressional Delegation and getting the environmental votes is not the will of the public. To leave our children without a means of garnering a living in a land of plenty, just to appease someone’s ideology is not the will of the people. To watch our natural resources hauled south without any value added process is foolish.

Reader: Keep wilderness wild
The wilderness areas of this nation are our most important resources. They should be protected from commercialisation and exploitation. Please keep the wilderness wild!

Keep ‘free’ health care in perspective
In response to the article of March 8, 2006, Hospital Board nixes money for Health Center facility.

BP numbers don’t add up
BP is lying again, now they are trying to provide cover for the Republican governor and Legislature with BP adds in the Alaska newspapers so they can screw the people of Alaska with a new oil and gas tax and gas line scam. BP’s “flack” did not bother to check what they were saying, 17 billion barrels of recoverable light oil, on March 24, the anniversary of the wreck of the Exxon Valdez, against what they had said on March 23 when BP’s ads stated that an improvement of 1 percent in the recovery of the discovered oil on the North Slope would result in an additional 400 million barrels of light oil or a total of 40 billion barrels of recoverable light oil. That excludes the 20 billion barrels recoverable heavy oil. 40 billion barrels down to 17 billion in one day; maybe the “flack” could not multiply by 100.

Ideas illuminate ways to serve vision-impaired customers better
Imagine, after tripping over a few stairs, you enter a new restaurant. You navigate an unfamiliar path through the darkly lit restaurant trying to keep up with the busy waiter. As you do this you bump into a chair and then a cart spilling over with dirty dishes, making an embarrassing clatter. When you are finally seated the waiter hands you a menu you cannot decipher. Humiliated, you have to ask the waiter to read it to you. The waiter is aggravated and by the 4th item you resign yourself to having something you don’t really want. Refilling your water the waiter puts it in a different place on the table, causing you to knock it over. You can smell the food in front of you, yet you have no idea where anything is on your plate.

Brackets are blown but NCAA fun still available
Now that the NCAA Final Four has had its brackets broken, here is a little office pool that can be played by anyone, regardless of their knowledge of basketball. Write down the following quotes on separate sheets of paper. Let people draw them out of a hat. Select any post-game interview. Whomever holds the quote that is said first wins the pot.

Local bills move along
State lawmakers have spent a considerable amount of time in recent weeks on landmark oil and gas production tax bills, but though that subject has dominated committee work in both the Senate and House, other pieces of legislation are navigating the committee process.

Mayor to answer criticism
Mayor John Williams said that he’s prepared to present a formal rebuttal Tuesday night to the criticisms leveled at his administration three weeks ago by members of the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers.

Fire station bonds up for approval
A resolution going before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday would authorize the sale of general obligation bonds totaling $2.5 million, the proceeds of which would be used to build and equip a new fire station in Kasilof and renovate another in Funny River.

CES marks busy year with new faces, stations
One year ago, Chris Mokracek became the new chief of Central Emergency Services, and what a year it has been.

Evanoff named assistant marshal
Fifteen years ago, when Sam Evanoff's co-workers talked of serving as volunteers on the Soldotna Fire Department, he became interested.

Good tidings for early diggers
South of Kasilof, it was a classic case of the early bird gets the clam this weekend.

Man indicted after Ninilchik River death
A 39-year-old man has been indicted on manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges in connection with the death of a Ninilchik woman last November.

KRSA doles out study money
A panel of research management experts sifting through Kenai and Russian rivers watershed research needs said that habitat research tends to be more expensive and difficult to conduct, compared to fisheries research, but it is nonetheless valuable in keeping the watershed healthy and productive.

Mental, physical attention in 1 stop
The Cottonwood Health Center and Central Peninsula Counseling Services hope to merge into one building in Soldotna. Here’s the plan:

Board set to study $93 million budget for school district
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is expected to vote tonight on a nearly $93 million general fund budget for the coming school year.

Jacob Mlynarik
Anchorage resident Jacob Mlynarik died March 31, 2006, at the Mary Conrad Center in Anchorage. He was 83

Changing tides in Cook Inlet: Study shows economic value of sport fishery surpasses commercial
In recent meetings the Kenai River Sportfishing Association briefed Governor Murkowski and members of the Alaska Legislature about a landmark economic study showing that economic values of sport and personal use salmon fisheries in the Upper Cook Inlet now substantially surpass those of the commercial salmon fisheries by every available measure.

Keeping bird flu grounded: Domestic birds need protection from avian influenza
If you are a domestic bird owner, you are the first line of defense against an outbreak of Avian Influenza. Like other viruses and bacteria, Avian Influenza can spread quickly between birds.

Peninsula People
Jensen named high achiever Thornton honored Soldotna Elks’ table tennis results

Around the Peninsula
Biathlon club to host reception Recycling group to meet again Nursing topic of session Senior housing groundbreaking set Voters convention scheduled Safety Day planning meeting slated Drama, debate, forensics show on tap Wildlife preparedness training set

· Colleen and Michael Dammeyer of Soldotna announce the birth of their son, Alexander Jacob Dammeyer, at 11:59 a.m. Saturday, March 18, 2006, at Woman’s Way Midwifery in Soldotna. He weighed 9 pounds and 12 ounces.

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Around the Peninsula
Community playgroup slated Bear baiting clinics planned Boyle fundraiser set Ethics to be discussed Music workshops, dance set to play SoHi promenade tickets available YCC job applications deadline set

Community News
Skits, talent show scheduled Community concert scheduled Rowing class begins Class of 1976 members sought Class of 1986 members sought Skyview 1996 reunion slated

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2 Nikiski fighters compete at AFC
Nikiski’s Mae Osborne, 36, and Josh Colby, 24, both fought in Alaska Fighting Championship events at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage recently.

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