Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The snow has finally pretty well melted for spring of 2007 as we all look forward to summer. Leaving behind huge puddles of water in various places and helping to create another problem for us Alaskans to have to deal with. With melting snow and the frost coming out of the ground each year we also have some very muddy conditions on some of our roads and trails.

2007 Home Show “Springs into Building”
As Old Man Winter hangs around for his longevity bonus, birds are nesting and local residents on the Peninsula seem eager to jump start those building and remodel projects. “Many years we’ve been pouring foundations in mid April, but yesterday our backhoe was hitting frost seven to nine feet down,” commented one builder. Over 4,800 people visited the 28th Annual Home Show last week at the Soldotna Sports Center, nearly a new attendance record according to Cindy Heaverely, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association, “It was our best show ever, a greater variety of vendors and wonderful prizes, everyone had a wonderful time, and it was one stop shopping for folks with building questions,” said Heaverely. As usual the Home Show sponsored by Spenard Builders Supply (SBS) and the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association demonstrated the latest building technology, trends, and innovative ideas related to the industry. Everything from financial and insurance services to the latest methods of recycling and ways to keep your house and family safe were on display. At the 4-H booth people were actually able to watch baby chicks hatching from an incubator displayed by 12-year-old Morgan Tschida and Taylor Calderwood.

Shined up and ready to ride... Local bikers geared up for ABATE
The late spring hasn’t dampened motorcycle enthusiasts. Bikers got their motors running and headed out to the annual Alaska Bikers Advocating Training Education (ABATE) Show last weekend at the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna. “The weather was no problem, it was glorious and wonderful. We have a lot of people who do custom bikes here on the Peninsula and this is a chance for them to shine them up and show them off,” said Glenn Tisdale, president of ABATE. According to Tisdale the ABATE Show is just the start of a summer of activities they have planned, “We have our normal fund raising runs planned for the Fourth of July and Labor Day that are a lot of fun for us and raises funds for our Toys for Tot’s support that helps make local kids happy for Christmas,” Tisdale told the Dispatch. ABATE has some 80 members and is open to any one riding a machine on two wheels, “We even have people in wheel chairs who are members, it’s all about the freedom of riding in this glorious land,” added Tisdale.

Hockey fans meet the new Kenai River Brown Bears
The new Kenai River Brown Bear hockey team held their first fan fest last week at the Soldotna Sports Center. This fall the Sports Center will be home ice to the new NAHL hockey team. According to Scott Sakoff, marketing manager for the team, the purpose of the event was to introduce Peninsula hockey fans to the Brown Bear’s owner and some of the players, “It was a great turn out and we hope the event encouraged some player prospects to come to our summer camps and try out for the team,” Sakoff told the Dispatch.

Watkins regains Caring for the Kenai title and cash for KCHS
Molly Watkins, a Kenai Central High School sophomore from Rick Frederic’s science class, took first place honors and a $1,500 cash prize in the 17th Annual Caring for the Kenai” (CFK) competition sponsored by Chevron and Agrium. Watkins impressed the judges not only with her research on replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact florescent light bulbs (CFL) but with her efforts to get local residents to make the switch and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. At the Home Show recently Watkins partnered with Homer Electric Association at their booth to get local residents to make the switch by giving away CFL bulbs and information to visitors.

Donation educational
A unique periodic table of 81 of the 118 elements is on display in the commons at the Kenai Peninsula College. Thanks to members of the Alaska Chapter of the American Chemical Society who conceived the idea for a portable periodic table of elements and contracted with an English company to build the table.

Contributions help keep artists, athletes afloat
The Alaska Midnight Sun Rowers Association (AMSRA) would like to thank the following businesses and people for their generosity in contributing to the success of our Artists and Athletes fundraisers: Peninsula Clarion, Charlotte’s, Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, Kenai River Brewing, Snug Harbor Seafoods, Bear Creek Winery, Peninsula Athletic Club, Subway, The Daily Grind, Gourmet Garden, Claudette’s, River City Books, Sweeney’s, Bridges, Gone To The Dogs, Quality Electric, Phormations, Kenai Yoga, Radio Shack, Homer Ocean Charters, LaForge Pottery, Mary’s Hairstyling, Soldotna Martial Arts, AK Center of Natural Medicine, Body Mind and Spirit, Re-Bike, Beemun’s, Magic Moments and Merrill Sikorski.

Just some observations
I’m in a bit of a quandary. Attorney General under Bush dismissed a few attorneys and there is a big deal of it. Maybe it wasn’t all correct, but do you remember that under Clinton his AG fired all of the attorneys and was there any mention of that? Well there wasn’t any big deal. The Republicans didn’t blow it up and the Democrats weren’t going to mention it. Think about it.

Easter baskets deliver joy
The LeeShore Center is thankful for the support of community members who make Easter a bit brighter for shelter residents this year.

Reader: Guided anglers must get private fishery access
Limited entry (LE) for common fisheries users by Alaska law, is unconstitutional. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s current LE attempt is the same as suggesting that Alaska generate a new Constitutional amendment.

Drivers needed to help vets
We hear a lot about supporting the troops these days. Peninsula Clarion readers should be aware that there is a need for volunteers to drive veterans to the VA Medical Clinic in Anchorage on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Right now there are only two of us sharing this responsibility, and we need more people willing to help. The more volunteers we have, the less often each of them will have to make the trip.

Reader offers opinion on Clintons
Paul Wolfowitz, a longtime associate of Vice President Dick Cheney, was a former deputy secretary of defense and architect of the second Iraq war. In 2005 he became president of the World Bank after nomination by President Bush and election by a 24-member executive board.

Nikiski student’s poster promotes smoke-free lesson
Rebekah Krogseng not only got the message from the Tar Wars program about living a tobacco-free lifestyle, she was able to find a creative way to pass it on.

Small Sport Lake fire consumes ATVs
When the fire in his burn barrel escaped to ignite surrounding grass, Sport Lake resident Myron Young thought he could beat it out.

Photo feature: Thankful

Chopper escape module coming to KCHS
To prepare offshore oil platform workers for the possibility that the helicopter taking them to work crashes into the sea, a helicopter escape simulator is being installed at Kenai Central High School.

Anti-meth campaign launched
A statewide campaign to encourage Alaska youth not to use the highly addictive and devastating drug methamphetamine was launched Monday in Anchorage.

Springing into cleaning mode
From picking up a gum wrapper in your front lawn, a cigarette butt in front of the grocery store or an empty bottle alongside the road, everyone is being asked to do their part to make the Kenai Peninsula a cleaner place to live and visit.

City budget having growth spurt
Soldotna’s city budget for the next fiscal year is not quite set, but the city council is scheduled to get a look at it Wednesday and set public hearings for May 9 and May 23. It’s expected to rise.

Paul G. Isaak
Longtime Soldotna resident Dr. Paul G. Isaak died Tuesday, April 24, 2007, at his home with his family by his side. He was 85.

Fred Korpinen
Longtime Kenai resident Fred Korpinen died Monday, April 23, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna with his family by his side. He was 72.

Turn the private sector loose: Clearing up a few of the state’s requests on the Gasline Inducement Act
It astonishes me that Alaska’s political pundits think it is up to the state to get a gasline. Government doesn’t make private sector projects happen, the private sector does. That’s the beauty of Gov. Sarah Palin’s Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA). It unleashes the private sector to do what it does best -- compete.

Around the Peninsula
Spirit needed today Hospital board to meet Playing a Beatles fan Strength training for women available Bear baiting clinic offered HEA planning annual meeting

Around the Peninsula
Swim tryouts make a splash Immunization clinics canceled Car seat check-ups planned Red Hatters to strut their stuff LeeShore board to meet Playing a Beatles fan Kids’ water safety set to make a splash

UA president and UAA chancellor visit central peninsula: Kenai Peninsula College
Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus in Soldotna is hosting University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton and University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer today.

Problem solvers put skills to the test at State Bowl
Last week at Soldotna High School, about 75 students in grades four through 12 put their heads together to come up ways to solve future problems regarding the care of a rapidly aging population during the Future Problem Solvers State Bowl.

Honor Rolls
4.0 -- Ninth Grade: Averee Amend, Alexi Beeson, Thomas Briggs, Mollie Cox, Donald Dormady, Vanessa Dukowitz, Molly Graves, Christa Huf, Mariah Huhndorf, Maya Johnson, Anna Jumtina, Jasmine Klauder, Jennifer Kohler, Deandra Latz, Keeven Macik, Taylor Matson, Dixie Renfrow, Paige Sanders, Cassandra Shire, Dylan Wannamaker. 10th Grade: Shelby Daly, Hanna Delaney, Brian Denesen, Christina Fischer, Kaylee Grant, Brittany Kiser, Kirsten Lawrence, Kristi Louthan, Anastasia Matasova, Morgan Mena, Kody Richmond, Alex Sonnichsen, Leah Stephens, Molly Watkins. 11th Grade: Devin Boyle. 12th Grade: Aaron Agosti, Angelica Avila, Taylor Brewer, Whitney Brown, Adam Demello, Katherine Ford, Christopher Hall, Naythen Hansen, Emily Kennedy, Taylor Moore, Amanda Sassi, Dustin Ward, Hannah Watkins.

Alaska 2007 Future Problem Solvers State Bowl Final Awards
Individual Awards Scenario Awards Presentation of Action Plan Awards Team Competition Awards

Why is our country so obsessed with celebrities?
What is the purpose of a tabloid? Why is America so obsessed with these celebrities who don’t seem to know how to run their own lives?

Around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter Connections home-school IDEA home-school Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenaitze Head Start Mountain View Elementary Ninilchik School Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High School Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

The Next Level
Rachel Besse, a 2003 graduate of Soldotna High School, finished off her career at Vanguard University of Southern California as a four-time all-Golden State Athletic Conference center and a three-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American. Besse was a honorable mention on the NAIA All-American team as a sophomore, a second-team selection as a junior and a third-team selection as a senior.

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