Tuesday, April 7, 2009

State can't afford more political drama
The cry can be heard all around alaska. Incoming! Look up in the sky ... It's a bird ... It's a plane ... It's Randy and Sarah (together again) leading a Republican attack. Uncle Ted was framed! (Oh, a Republican prosecutor brought the case during a Republican administration.) Uncle Ted is innocent! (Oh, there is evidence he broke the law -- anyone remember the tapes, and his scowling testimony?) He would have, should have beaten Mark Begich! (Oh, he requested a speedy trial, a legal, certified race was run and won by a simple majority.) At the risk of questioning the Republicans' understanding of history, I suggest they thank the Democratic AG who admitted the errors made by the Republican prosecutors and chooses not to retry Uncle Ted. I further suggest that they support our legally elected senator, Mark Begich, as he works with Sen. Murkowski and the rest of the Senate to address the many grave situations facing the united states. No more drama ... please. Alaska cannot afford it -- monetarily or otherwise.

Alaska fortunate to have Sen. Stevens
You can't unring a bell; our loss is someone else's gain. The 40 years our beloved Sen. Stevens served Alaska have been some of our most prosperous. The voters' faithfulness and trust in returning him to Washington was rewarded greatly and nearly beyond comprehension. Now we must sit and wonder just what Alaska and America have lost. Here we go into the most challenging times our country has faced in recent history, and our most sage and knowledgable representative is sidelined and stripped of power. To best him honorably and fairly would be one thing, but to cheat and smear him is another. To unfairly take from Alaska our most highly ranking senator and leave us a freshman feel-good contender is a rip-off. Someone stoled our place in line, our heritage as a free state to paticipate in governing ourselves has been insulted. Who gains when America loses? This is just one of those events that cause us to truely value our freedom and our vote.

Renewables instead of coal
The Homer Electric Association appears to be going down a path that is contrary to the wishes of the membership. The recent whiplash in our rates underscores the urgency of getting the direction turned around. One reason our rates have increased and then decreased so substantially in the last three months is because carbon intensive fuels are very volatile in their price structure.

MAPS resident feels besieged
Have you ever felt like you were in a movie? Right now the neighborhood of MAPS (McCollum, Magic, Aliak, Princess, Spur) feel like William Wallace in "Braveheart" -- threatened, bullied, intimidated.

SB 32 gets support
I am writing this letter in support of Senate Bill 32, the Rate Review. A similar rate review process already is in effect for institutional care facilities. Throughout the years I have been working in the field of developmental disabilities, I have seen the negative effects frozen rates have on our families and their loved ones. Passing this piece of legislation will ensure a fair and equitable rate process for home and community based services, ultimately improving the quality of care for people with disabilities.

Info released on weekend accidents
Information on an accident that occurred Friday at the pullout on Bridge Access Road was released by the Kenai Police Department on Sunday.

Singing a new tune: KCHS choir student grateful for opportunities
It's hard for Randy Jackson to try and describe to someone what he felt, embraced by the ancient walls of the Vatican, performing a solo part while his peers in the Kenai Central High School choir looked on.

Pain in the ash?: Mount Redoubt's messy reminder may have an upside
Mount Redoubt doesn't have to be a total pain in the ash.

Redoubt watch
According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory Web site as of 4:52 p.m. Sunday the eruption of Mount Redoubt continues. Small earthquakes and intermittent tremor continue.

Web site offers job resources
Many people attend college with the hope of finding a more prosperous career, and Kenai Peninsula College recently added a free online service to post jobs and internships to better serve its students, both past and present.

Smokers red hot over new tax: Fuming!
Kenai and Soldotna may have passed on the recent attempts to ban smoking, but there's no way for tobacco enthusiasts to snuff out the huge increase in federal tobacco taxes that went into effect on April 1.

Public meeting on Drift River today
Local residents curious to learn more about the volcano and the situation at the Drift River Terminal will have the opportunity to do so tonight.

Redoubt watch
As of 4:05 p.m. Monday the Alaska Volcano Observatory has been downgraded to aviation color code orange and alert level watch for Mount Redoubt.

Chevron stops production: Redoubt curbs oil output in Cook Inlet
Sixty percent of the oil formerly being held in two tanks at the Drift River Terminal, an oil storage facility at the foot of Mount Redoubt, has been removed.

Frank M. Steger
Longtime Sterling resident Frank M. Steger died Friday, April 3, 2009, with his family by his side at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 78.

Predator management benefits all
Whether you are a hunter, photographer, sightseer or ardent preservationist, healthy wildlife populations are a benefit to you. Depletion of game populations due to weather, over-hunting or predation not only reduces the health and number of predators and prey; it also reduces the opportunity for viewing and consumptive use. Managing for moderately high game populations is comparable to having a good paying job and money in the bank.

Shale gas a bridge to pipeline: Gas development in Lower 48 will help Alaska pipeline projects
A number of Alaska legislators recently attended Energy Council meetings in Washington, D.C. and came away with the mistaken impression that the emergence of shale gas in the energy mix would damage (if not end) Alaska's chances of building a gas pipeline to the Lower 48. On the contrary, we believe shale gas does not pose a threat to the commercialization of Alaska's vast North Slope natural gas reserves, but will instead provide the market a bridge to our future pipeline.

Crime of the Week
On Friday, April 3, 2009, the Alaska State Troopers received a theft complaint from a residence in Nikiski. Sometime during the previous two weeks suspect(s) stole fifteen firearms from the residence. The firearms were valued at greater than $10,000.

Around the Peninsula

LeeShore classes canceled

Around the Peninsula

Genealogical Society to meet

Best Friend
Bella is a 4-year-old border collie owned by the Knotek family -- Erin, Kevin, Miles and Kara -- in Moose Pass. When Bella's not competing in agility (running out of a cloth chute above), she can be found in the kitchen cruising for food on the counter and possible self-inducing near comas due to overconsumption, Erin told us. We can see why they try to keep her busy!

Around the District

School board meetings slated

Writer: Finding your way in the world not easy
I found it exceedingly ironic when I was selected to write for Verbatim as one of the reasons for the feature was to give people an idea of what it's like to be a teen today.

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