Home show, airport worth getting out for

Posted: Friday, April 08, 2005

This week's more spring-like weather is making Kenai Peninsula residents want to get out and about, and there are two good reasons to do that.

First of all, Saturday and Sunday is the 26th annual Kenai Peninsula Builders Home Show at the Soldotna Sports Center.

If you have never been, there are a multitude of reasons to go.

Not only can you find out everything you need to know about purchasing, building or remodeling a home — the list is long of those who will be on hand to offer that information — but this is the perfect opportunity to find unique and essential items to put in your home — whether you're buying, building or renting.

This year's theme is "Knowledge You Can Build On," and it may be the best place to start. There will be more than 120 booths at the show, each geared to show off the latest products from concrete, Sheetrock and insulation to electrical wiring, paint and windows to counter tops, appliances and flooring.

Then there's the outside of the house. Other representatives will feature dirt and brick work, hydroseeding, sprinklers and fencing.

And don't forget the toys — spas, jacuzzis, boats, trailers and vehicles. Even that doesn't include the real estate agents, builders, insurance companies, banks, credit unions, financial advisers and security system representatives. The list doesn't end there, but it does tell you that if you're in the market for anything home related, this should be one of your stops this weekend.

The home show wouldn't be complete without games and prizes, too. Everything you need to know about the show is included in a special insert in today's Clarion.

Another great thing about the home show is it's your first chance to get a glimpse of the Clarion's 2005 Recreational Guide. We put a new look in this year's publication, with more feature stories and a lot more color. Of course, it still includes the same helpful information it always has about the peninsula — where to go and what to do — but you'll find it much easier to get to the information you're looking for.

If you can't get to the home show to pick up a copy, you'll find it included in Sunday's Clarion, as well.

The other event taking place this week that residents should make a note of is the Kenai Municipal Airport Commission meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Kenai City Hall.

Although the group meets every second Thursday of the month, this month's meeting warrants more public attention than usual.

The commission will host a group of representatives to talk about the airport's future. Members of the commission, city council, Economic Development District, business leaders and airport tenants will be among those on hand to address their concerns for where the airport's vision should be focused.

Tom Middendorf, airport planner for DOWL Engineers in Anchorage, has been working with the commission on a business plan. The strategic portion is phase five of the process. The others have included facility planning, financial condition, property management and sub-area plans.

Thursday's meeting will be facilitated by Tom Phillips, an airport planner and marketer from Seattle. The plan is to look at the airport's current role, then talk about where to go from here. What do we want to accomplish in the next 10 to 20 years?

Kenai's is the primary airport serving the central peninsula, and it's important to the area's future. Its role must be one that encourages economic growth. That can be done with more landings, bringing in more small planes and leasing property to businesses. All of that means more revenue, and more revenue means the airport can be more self-supporting and less under the wing of the city financially.

While Thursday's meeting is not specifically for public input, peninsula residents — not just those in Kenai — are encouraged to come and hear what's being planned for their future. Middendorf says efforts will be made to provide an opportunity for those who want to say something to get their chance. And that's the way it should be.

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