Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Real life experience helps student at DDF competition
Nikiski Drama, Debate and Forensics (DDF) is a program that gives students an opportunity to hone real life skills. Nikiski senior Tatiana Butler recently applied her experiences to help organizations. Butler helped out the local Hospice organization when she performed a short piece on the stages of grief. The piece, entitled “Just Five Minutes,” by Joe Rizzo, illustrates the stages of grief for Hospice workers to identify and utilize in their volunteer service. “I really admire the people at Hospice,” said Butler. “It takes a lot of strength to do what they do and I really enjoyed working with them. I hope when others read the piece they too will relate,” added Butler. The following is the script performed by Butler:

In July it will be 11 years since I moved here from Wisconsin. Coming to Alaska was a very good move for me, and one I wished I had made a whole lot sooner in life then I did. Besides the hunting and fishing here there are a lot of other things in Alaska that become very important to me.

PEYA winner Marit Hartvigson shines in Washington D.C.
SoHi Junior Marit Hartvigson returned to school after spending a week in Washington D.C. with her family, Chevron and Agrium officials, and Kenai Borough Mayor John Williams and his wife Sharon. Hartvigson, the 2004 Caring For The Kenai winner for her proposed Slikok Creek grate walk, completed the project in 2005, and was selected this spring by the Environmental Protection Agency to receive the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) from region 10. At a White House presentation last week, Hartvigson met with President George W. Bush and EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. She was accompanied by her parents, Caring For The Kenai sponsors, Roxanne Sinz of Chevron, Lisa Parker from Agrium, and Borough Mayor John Williams and his wife Sharon.

Break-up continues on the Mighty Kenai
Forget about the early springs of the last few years, “Break-up 2006” is causing residents of the Kenai Peninsula to wonder whatever happened to global warming and green grass for Easter. As April gives way to the lusty month of May in Alaska, islands of ice continue their hold on river banks, boulders, and lakes of the Kenai Peninsula.

SoHi regains environmental championship in 16th "Caring For The Kenai" competition
Thomas Kircher, a Soldotna High School freshman from Chris Hanson’s class, took first place honors and $1,500 cash in last nights “Caring For The Kenai” (CFK) competition sponsored by Chevron and Agrium. “My idea was to keep the sides of the highways cleaner by keeping trash in the backs of peoples pick-up’s so I made an easy to use tarp with lead line around the edges which is easier than trying to tie trash down. I plan to make about 20 for sale at various local businesses this summer,” said excited teen after learning he had won first place. Kircher’s presentation included a video tape showing his product in use.

People should come together on borough issues
“Domestic terrorists,” “government gangsters,” “bureaucratic bandits”? It would seem that the raging debate on borough management, borough budgets and borough services is becoming very nonproductive. For Mayor Williams and the borough assembly, I suggest they print, as soon as possible in the Clarion, the complete borough budget and a complete list of the services the borough budget provides, such as hospital and health care, emergency services, law enforcement, road construction and maintenance, trash landfill, education, et al, including any budget shortfalls.

Reader: We’re not in California; houses shouldn’t be so pricey
Seniors and disabled vets have a great deal to be worried about the proposed changes in the real property exemption. Since most are on limited income they could end up being taxed out of their homes.

Article worth printing
I’m glad to see that this article on Medicare Part D has been published (Opinion, April 16). As I noted in my last letter to you (requesting just such an article) it is important that this information be passed along to all Medicare recipients in our area.

KPC focus should be on local youths
I was reading the article about “tuition deals for outsiders” this morning (Clarion, April 14), and had to think to myself; why on earth would our local college be more interested in educating youths from outside of our community and state, than furthering the academic success of our own youths?

Reader taught to expect to pay for services in taxes
I am shocked and appalled at the attacks on paying taxes for services by our citizens. I was always taught that you must pay for services: that’s the cost of living in a civilized country. Tax rates are much lower in Rwanda and Sudan, maybe our disgruntled anti-tax folks could try that.

Reader: No more wars!
It boggles the mind of the average citizen that this administration would consider unilaterally attacking Iran using the same lying reason as an excuse as in the completely illegal war against Iraq.

Safety before bridges
The most recent Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP 2006-08) is now being considered by the Legislature. Plans to widen and resurface about 16 miles of Kalifornsky Beach Road are included.

Donations will allow students to broaden their horizons
AFS would like to send a heart-felt thank you to all the following businesses and organizations who helped make our annual fundraising dinner a huge success: Country Foods, Country Liquor, Arby’s, Kenai Vision Center, 4-H Junior Market Livestock, Rosita’s, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Paradisos, Thai Lotus, Kaladi Brothers, Veronica’s, New Peking, Riverside House, McDonald’s, Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, Joe’s Laundry and everyone who attended the dinner.

4-H volunteers appreciated
April is the month designated to honor volunteers. Every organization is blessed with people who give of their time and expertise — we witnessed that especially during Arctic Winter Games. I believe, however, that 4-H has the most dedicated and best.

Marine’s visit a good reminder
This afternoon, Good Friday, Sam Denison, U.S. Marine Corps, came by my house to visit with me at the end of a two-week visit back to his hometown before heading to Camp Lejune for more training. Sam has spent a year fighting in Iraq and expects to be returning for another tour of duty.

Reader questions borough spending
Are the following “urban legends” fact or fiction?

High schooler wins award for teaching kids about safety
Seventeen-year-old Hannah Watkins has not yet graduated from Kenai Central High School, but has already hit the book publishing industry with a wave.

Nikiski public pool to get new $150,000 disinfection system
A new system for disinfecting water used in the Nikiski public pool will be installed when the facility closes in September for annual maintenance.

Soldotna seeks input from youth
City officials hope to hear from youth during a public hearing this evening seeking a solution for Soldotna’s vandalism-plagued skateboard park.

Kasilof store adding hot food, more fishing gear
It’s been almost a month since the Laster family became the new owners of the Kasilof Mercantile, and although they are still working out the usual growing pains of taking over a business, they say they are loving every minute of the experience.

"We are done waiting"
The Kenai Peninsula Borough is preparing to sue the state of Alaska and ask the courts to rectify years of inadequate state funding to borough schools, Mayor John Williams announced Monday.

Marathon seeks gas in Kenai
Kenai motorists traveling along Bridge Access Road can expect to see some natural gas well drilling activity for the next month or so.

Assembly closer to Heritage deal
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has authorized Mayor John Williams to enter a conditional agreement to purchase a financially struggling Soldotna skilled nursing facility.

Christine "Chris" Garroutte
Longtime Ninilchik resident Christine “Chris” Garroutte died Sunday, April 23, 2006, of natural causes at her home. She was 82.

Susan Carol Bartlett
Longtime Alaska and Soldotna resident Susan Carol Bartlett died Friday, April 21, 2006, at her home. She was 56.

George H. Calvin
Longtime Kasilof resident George H. Calvin died Sunday, April 23, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 83.

Sweet promises, veiled threats could produce faulty deal
Before Gov. Murkowski left for Europe, he came to the Wasilla Chamber and dangled promises of big money, more jobs and the trans-Canada natural gas line to pitch his oil tax proposal.

Around the Peninsula
HEA to cut power for maintenance FAS training rescheduled Choir concert set sing Garage sale fundraiser slated YCC job applications deadline Friday Garage sale donations sought Open house geared for dog owners Community playgroup slated Foster care, adoption workshops available

Around the Peninsula
HEA to cut power for maintenance Used book sale slated CPGH board to meet Summer soccer starts up Poetry Safari set Gene tracers to meet

Penchant for detail serves senior well
Ninilchik senior Jennifer Bartolowits is not one of those people who simply does what is asked of them.

Sports Briefs
Breakup toys with prep schedule

Around the District
Boyle fundraisers continue Aurora Borealis Charter School Connections Cook Inlet Academy IDEA Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenai Montessori School Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Elementary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High School Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Commencement ceremony scheduled, Bell honored
Kenai Peninsula College commencement ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium in Kenai.

Call of the wild
When he was in sixth grade, Wayne Floyd went with his class on a week-long camp. It is one of the few positive experiences he remembers from elementary school.

Elementary school, an underappreciated step in growing up
My alma mater, the Nikiski Elementary School, shut down a few years back leaving the North Star Elementary school the only one in town.

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