Friday, April 29, 2005

Forget clams for dinner: Put them on your plants
An entrepreneur at heart, Barron Butler has spent most of his career cooking up good business ideas. But a new idea hit him one day while he was sleeping on the couch.

Kings must be off boat, shore before filleting
Anglers anxious to get an early start on king salmon fishing on the Kenai River must be careful not to carry that exuberance over to the cleaning of their catch. Beginning May 1 anglers will not be able to fillet or otherwise mutilate their fish until reaching shore or leaving a shoreline fishing site with their catch.

Fly fishers find lakes fantastic
WICKERSHAM, Wash. — All day, Brian Knutson whooped and chuckled. On a private lake at the foot of Twin Sisters Mountain in early March, Knutson was having a great day fly-fishing. From midday until the fading sun shone only on the 5,836-foot mountain peak, Knutson was constantly tangling with large rainbow trout. Even as others struggled to land a single fish, the University Place resident was reeling in trout, including one that approached 9 pounds.

Multiple personalities
"Diverse" is probably the best word to describe the Kenai Performers' show this weekend. In act one, Hank the Cowdog faces a lonely porcupine, cowardly sidekick and pesky cat, among other challenges, as head of ranch security. In act two, singles looking for love demonstrate various approaches to striking up conversation. Act three takes the audience into a living room where a married couple struggles against their attention-sucking TV set.

From the bookshelf: Photo books flaunt Alaska's high points
Alaska's great beauties have inspired shelves full of handsome photography books. Two recent titles stand apart by focusing on Alaska's people more than on the Great Land they inhabit. "Climb Denali" by Laurent Dick joins the legions of books about the great peak. The Swiss-born photographer and guide presents a slide show by the same name during the summer season at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, according to the book's jacket.

Playing along
Being a musician requires certain musical skills — reading notes, fast fingers, staying in tune —as well as a more basic skill also required of athletes, actors and even siblings on a long car trip — playing well with others.

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Upcoming Events Films Down the Road Anchorage events

Tournament bowls over chamber director
The Kenai Chamber of Commerce's second annual Up Your Alley Bowling Tournament was a lively evening with heavy competition between teams with three heated games.

'We Haz Jazz' certainly did
Everybody was talking about the "We Haz Jazz" performance at Nikiski Middle-Senior High Auditorium on April 15.

Clinic's support makes a difference
A huge thank you to Soldotna Dental Clinic for its continued community support. Programs like Parents for Safe Communities, Soldotna High School qualifying exam and the Student Mentor program continue to be successful with their support.

Many make playground a swinging success
Cook Inlet Academy recently completed its Playground Extravaganza, a fund-raising carnival night and raffle that raised more than $13,000 for our new playground equipment. The whole evening was lots of fun and a good time was had by all.

Redoubt students bridge gaps on field trip
The fifth-graders at Redoubt Elementary have been reading about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and studying the different kinds of bridges around the country.

Reader says state should switch pockets
I'm Swedish, so you'll have to explain what I thought I heard. Did Sen. Ben Stevens really think that the people of the Kenai would sit quietly while the permanent fund is raided to pay for school projects?

Sen. Murkowski should hold out
I see Sen. Lisa Murkowski is going to come under attack from Focus on the Family because she has not yet surrendered to their demands on the filibuster rule change. I surely hope she resists that pressure because as I e-mailed her, I think it is a bad move for her career, for Alaska and the country.

Youth will get kick out of new sprinkler system
On behalf of the students, staff and parents of Redoubt Elementary School, I would like to thank John Dombovy and Enstar for their help with the school's sprinkler system. Thanks to their time and effort, our soccer field should be a better playing surface for area children.

Kenai econ still strong
At an Agrium-sponsored presentation, economists for the state of Alaska said the Kenai Peninsula's diverse economy equips it to accommodate ups and downs in different sectors of the economy.

NYO links culture, competition
Two Native Youth Olympics teams from the Kenai Peninsula will head to Anchorage next week to demonstrate a stamina and flexibility unknown to most.

After Saturday, motorists to be cited for using traction devices on roads
With the Sunday deadline looming for taking studded tires off vehicles, area tire shops are being kept busy.

Juneau junket yields little
Three members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly who flew to Juneau last week hoping to impress on lawmakers once again the municipality's need for certain kinds of state aid returned with little in the way of promises for financial help this year

Liberty hopes to join gold rush
As Northern Dynasty Mines Inc. proceeds apace toward what company officials hope will be construction of North America's largest open pit mine, another mining company with claims to three times the territory held by NDI is gearing up for another season of test-hole drilling in the Pebble porphyry northwest of Lake Iliamna.

Grant cut could force cops to baby-sit youth offenders
The Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility Citizens Advisory Board learned that a proposed budget cut could eliminate funding for a program designed to protect kids picked up by police in other than criminal matters. The cut could be made as soon as July 1. Known as holdover beds, the program, paid for by state-managed grant funding, provides an overnight staff member to supervise a juvenile placed in custody by law enforcement officers for minor offenses, if the youth's parents cannot be located.

Fire season heating up
A tall column of smoke attracted the attention of hundreds of motorists on the Sterling Highway near Longmere Lake on Wednesday evening and brought a quick response from Central Emergency Service firefighters.

Unique games highlight of NYO
The Salamatof and Kenaitze teams will assemble with nearly 400 youth from across Alaska in Anchorage to demonstrate their skills next week. According to the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau's Web site, the NYO have become so popular for spectators, that the competition this year moves to Anchorage's largest venue, the Sullivan Arena, for the first time.

Senate approves wastewater plan
JUNEAU (AP) — The Senate approved a plan Wednesday to take from the federal government the responsibility for permitting projects that discharge industrial wastewater in Alaska waters.

Tern Lake boardwalk no more
People wanting to take in mountain, lake and wildlife scenery on Tern Lake along the Seward Highway will have to do so standing on the ground.

Be prepared: Children, animal tourists are here
Compared to most, this year's breakup has been a fairly smooth transition for the central Kenai Peninsula.

PERS-TRS fix needed now
April 12 was a good news day for state, borough and local government employees who are dedicated to public service and schoolteachers who are committed to nurturing educational opportunities for Alaska families.

Voices of the state: Not working without a net
With just a few days left in the legislative session, opposition is growing fast to proposals that would dismantle the state's retirement system. Firefighters, police officers and other public employees have joined teachers and education support professionals in speaking out against the proposed legislation.

Outdoor Briefs
Kachemak Bay State Park seeking volunteersFish and Game to host firearms clinicsClarion collecting duct tape stories

Photo feature: Rollin' on the river
Above, Chris Degernes of Anchorage and her dog Trapper shoot a small set of rapids on the upper Kenai River near Cooper Landing April 9 while Sue Krafft of Ninilchik and Denise Dutile of Soldotna wait their turns. At left, Trapper gets a scratch under the chin from Degernes while they wait for the rest of their companions to get their kayaks in the water at the Kenai River boat launch in Cooper Landing earlier in the day. The group paddled from Cooper Landing and pulled out at Jim's Landing. "This is kind of an annual spring thing to do — put the skis away and get out the kayak paddle," Degernes said. Ingrid Corson of Anchorage also paddled with the group.

Jumping the witches' broom: Merlins and fidelity — it's not what you think
About this time last year, I had a pair of merlins make their home on the vacant one-acre lot behind my house. Merlins are small falcons that mostly eat small birds. Called "pigeon hawks" by falconers, they are found worldwide, breeding from about the 40th parallel to the arctic tundra.

Yellowstone volcano docudrama not affecting visitor plans
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A cable television docudrama depicting a cataclysmic eruption of the Yellowstone National Park ''supervolcano'' has drawn some free advice from the public but nary a concern from folks making plans to visit the popular park, officials say.

Climbing season begins on Mount McKinley
ANCHORAGE (AP) — Climbing season has begun at Mount McKinley with several changes, including higher climbing fees.

Rescued skier ready to return to dancing
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Charles Horton spent eight cold, lonely nights stranded in the Colorado backcountry with a broken right leg, but now he has something else to worry about — dancing.

Around the Peninsula
ICAN celebrates first anniversary T-200 seeks to get members on board Water training available Fire training scheduled Free skate day ready to roll School board to meet in Seward Day of prayer slated Seniors to hold garage, bake sales

Around the Peninsula
Time to ante up for poker tourneyCinco de Mayo celebration setSpaghetti feed fund-raiser slatedFree skate day ready to rollHealth care coverage to be discussedSkyview after-graduation committee to meet

Church Briefs
40 Days campaign continuesDrama troupe to meetBible study group meeting slatedClothing availableAddictions group meeting setDay of prayer slatedVBS, children's activities sought

Professor ponders 'roadside religion'
Timothy Beal's epiphany occurred on a drive from Washington, D.C., to Cleveland.

Earthly light, spiritual light an eternity of difference
It happened again. Every year at this time, the gradual addition of light each day creeps up on me until one day it affects my attitude.

BCS to open automatic qualification to all Division I-A schools
PHOENIX — The Bowl Championship Series is opening its automatic bids to all Division I-A conferences starting with the 2008 season, part of a new plan under which the leagues will be judged from top to bottom.

Tagliabue: Uniform doping policy a mistake
WASHINGTON — Looking up at a lone lawmaker among dozens of empty black leather chairs, a former NFL player testified to Congress about his use of steroids and how that might have contributed to his heart disease.

Sports views: Aliens might visit before the BCS gets it right
The BCS is holding its annual meeting this week at a luxury hotel in sunny Arizona. As exercises in futility go, it is rivaled only by UFO conventions.

Grudzielanek hits for cycle
ST. LOUIS — Mark Grudzielanek hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats and Chris Carpenter equaled his career best with 12 strikeouts, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 Wednesday for their 11th victory in 12 games.

Skyview booters tie up Ketchikan
The Skyview High School boys soccer team picked up a tie Wednesday in a nonconference match with Ketchikan, playing the Kings to a 4-all draw at Skyview.

Spurs even up series with win
SAN ANTONIO — The Denver Nuggets expected San Antonio to come out hard and fast in Game 2, and the Spurs didn't disappoint them.

Scientists study nutrition in moose
PALMER — It's a sight that has caught more than one passer-by off guard: five moose in a pen at the University of Alaska's experiment farm, including four calves wearing halters and a 3-year-old cow with a dish-sized rubber plug stuck in her side.

Officials plan meeting on wood bison restoration
FAIRBANKS (AP) — State and federal officials agree that wood bison once roamed Interior Alaska. Meetings this week may advance the effort to bring them back.

Southeast mountain goats come into view
JUNEAU — Juneau outdoorsman Joel Bennett described mountain goats as ''gymnasts of the rocks.'' He said he saw a dozen or so recently while walking along Mendenhall Lake. ''To watch how they negotiate those steep cliffs — they're such agile creatures.''

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