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Thursday, May 4, 2006

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedules Chamber to open its doors

At work with: Ryan Bowlin
Name: Ryan Bowlin

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

‘United 93’ brings back real-life terror
As I walked into the theater to watch this week’s controversial 9-11 remembrance pic, I ran through the various arguments I’d been hearing, and having since word of it came out. “It’s too soon,” goes one. “Never forget,” goes another. I’ll admit, I’ve been of two minds on the subject, but probably more on the pro side. Five years provides a lot of distance, and as far as a comparison, they were making World War II movies before the war was even over. I figured there was ample time to watch dispassionately, but I was completely unprepared. Seeing the events unfold on screen took me right back to that awful morning. It was gut-wrenching.

Art Briefs
Homer hosts kids art classes Homer seeks Pacific dancers Soldotna Drama Camp discount deadline looms Dance club seeks members Carving workshops slated Genealogy class takes you back Kenai Fjords features kids’ art Arts scholarships offered River festival booths available Kenai photos wanted

Rock of all ages
Matt Mabrey is a 14-year-old drummer and home-schooled eighth-grader from Nikiski. Douglas Ward is a 38-year-old guitarist and computer consultant from Chicago.

Gifts for AWG volunteers not expected
I just read the letter from Emma Russel (Clarion, April 21) explaining how proud she was of her son and his Boy Scout troop for volunteering their services during the Arctic Winter Games. I, too, was a volunteer for the AWG and was surprised to hear from Emma that because I received a coat and gloves, I was working, not volunteering.

Arctic Winter Games biathlon events blew competitors away
Thank you for helping to make the Biathlon events a profoundly positive experience.

Eagles are nice, but not at cost of other birds
We have been reading and hearing about the feeding of eagles on the Homer Spit and haven’t seen much said about the impact of the bald eagle population on the surrounding bird colonies in Kachemak Bay, to say nothing of the migrating bird population into the Kenai River flats area this time of year.

Light, slowing down, awareness best defense against moose hits
Information found in (the April 18) paper regarding “sound generating devices” to scare moose and deer is completely wrong. Several states (Utah for one, and I think New Hampshire) installed them on Trooper cars or did other studies and found them totally ineffective except to part suckers from their money. For one thing, they clog easily with snow and debris, and for another speed has to be above 30 mph for them to whistle.

Whining gets no sympathy from reader for oil companies
I hear that big oil companies are threatening to pull out of Alaska or severely reduce their spending here if the state raises their tax burden.

Time has come to change national leadership
It is now time for the American people to admit that they have made a terrible mistake in electing, or having the Supreme Court appoint, our present “leaders.” They must be removed from office as quickly as possible in whatever way is possible and appropriate. We must not delay!

Isolation is the answer for borough misspending
My wife Samon and I are new members of ACT. With ACT’s success with regard to Props 4 and 5 and the Borough’s “business as usual attitude,” spend, spend, spend, we support the ACT-CAP proposed referendum.

City should keep nose out of property owners’ business
The newly enacted landscaping rules for unimproved residential lots is nothing more than city government interfering with the rights of private property owners. Residential lots within a subdivision usually have covenants that restrict what owners may or may not do. Now the city requires new and unnecessary hoops to jump through before you can do anything landscaping wise to “your property.” If I own a residential lot and want to cut down every tree and remove all natural vegetation to plant nothing but grass, it’s noone’s business but mine. It’s “my property.”

Kudos for education support
I would like to take this opportunity to commend the six members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly who, at their recent meeting, reaffirmed their commitment to support the largest and most important duty of local government. By voting to continue the long-standing and honorable tradition of funding education to the maximum amount allowed by state law, (to the cap) these five members sent a strong message. These assembly members confirmed that caring for the most precious 20 percent of the borough’s population, for eight hours a day, while preparing them to successfully contribute to tomorrow’s world is indeed a non-negotiable, top priority for the borough.

Americans must protect southern border
What I d like to know is why our National Guard is fighting in Iraq and not patrolling our Southern borders? OK, we’re in Iraq because the President said he decides what’s best for this country. So it must be war. But we are being invaded by another country thru our Southern border.

Reader questions Rep. Chenault’s oil company support
If Mayor Williams wants to be mad at somebody, he needs to be mad at Representative Chenault. Year after year, Chenault fought to carve out a better deal for the oil companies that pay for his campaigns.

Borough government a corporation or dictatorship?
The Mayor has referred to the borough as a “Public Corporation” worth 500 to 850 million dollars (his figures keep changing). This being the case, taxpayers are the shareholders of this corporation.

Mayor should apologize for ‘flippant’ remarks
On Sound-Off, April 7, (borough Mayor John Williams) was asked pointedly if he intended to publicly apologize for calling a group of individuals who are concerned about their taxes “terrorists.” His reply was “I don’t feel I should have to, because it is my opinion”, and that he is entitled to his opinion. Well, I for one voted for the mayor, but it is my opinion that I voted for the wrong person. I wish the mayor would have let us all know how he truly felt about anyone who has a different point of view other than his before the election. I assumed he worked for the people, and not the other away around.

State’s natural gas needs should be the priority
A recent phone survey asked me whether or not I thought the proposed gas line should go through Canada via one of two routes. I believe the caller also asked if I thought the Valdez NGL plant option should be considered. One option was missing that really disturbed me. I don’t think that one cubic foot of natural gas should leave Alaska until the needs of Alaska (specifically the Cook Inlet) are provided for.

Jury selection begins today in Fairchild murder
Jury selection is scheduled to begin this morning in Kenai Superior Court in the murder trial of Barry McCormack Sr., accused of killing a Soldotna woman 21 years ago.

School finance lawsuit put off
Suing the state over its alleged failure to fund peninsula schools adequately and fairly seems like a worthy idea, members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly agreed Tuesday in Seward, but timing could be critical.

Mayors join in effort to combat meth use
Citing the spreading use of methamphetamine, the mayors of three of the state’s most populated boroughs signed a letter recently urging legislative funding in the fiscal year 2007 capital budget for a program to educate Alaskans about the dangers of the drug.

Peninsula mayors plan for possible pandemic
As bird flu kills tens of millions of birds worldwide, disease experts worry that if the flu strain mutates to a human form, the world could face a pandemic that might kill millions of people.

Marathon: Oil tax would hurt Cook Inlet exploration
The most talked-about reason for changing the petroleum production tax (PPT) is the possibility of a North Slope natural gas line to the Lower 48.

Charter school numbers limited to 136 students
The next Kenai Peninsula Borough school board meeting will be June 5 in Soldotna.

Wagoner questions fuel tax suspension
Two Alaska Legislature democrats Tuesday asked Gov. Frank Murkowski to add a temporary motor fuel tax relief plan to the agenda of a special session set to begin May 2.

Faux sod could expand multipurpose facility’s use
When snow and ice linger on athletic fields in Kenai in early spring, soccer, baseball and softball players often are forced to spend the beginning weeks of their playing season practicing in gyms.

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

Agnes Anna Schmitz
Longtime Alaskan and Cooper Landing resident Agnes Anna Schmitz died Dec. 11, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 93.

Ben A. Metz
Longtime Kenai resident Ben A. Metz died unexpectedly Sunday, April 30, 2006, at his home. He was 41.

Support community fishermen: Alaska lawmakers must be backed in effort to pass fishery act
Marine fisheries of the United States are managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). This Act is reauthorized once per decade, a process currently under way in Washington, D.C. Recently, House Resources Committee Chair Richard Pombo introduced a MSA bill to parallel one introduced on the Senate side late last year by Senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye. The House bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Don Young of Alaska. Both MSA reauthorization bills include national standards for future limited access privilege (LAP) programs, which include fishery cooperatives (now called Regional Fishery Associations) and individual fishing quotas or IFQs.

Don’t gamble with assets: Removing judicial review gives governor too much power
Governor Murkowski is known as someone who keeps his cards close to his chest. This is fine in poker when you gamble your own money, but it’s very dangerous when it’s other folks’ assets put at risk. Murkowski claims he was victorious in crafting a deal with three big oil companies to build a natural gas pipeline through Canada, but now says he won’t disclose what’s in the deal. Until we see otherwise, it appears he’s gambling public assets and also claiming to have won the game while refusing to put all the cards on the table to prove it.

Around the Peninsula
Basketball clinics set TOPS information available National Day of Prayer services set KPC seeks council reps KPBSD programs committee to meet Lacrosse club seeks members Multicultural competencies to be discussed

Stars happy to take the field
Though the result wasn’t what the Soldotna High School faithful were hoping for, the Stars were nonetheless thrilled to be playing the first home softball game in school history Tuesday at Guy Hayes Field in Soldotna.

Nikiski, Soldotna draw
The Soldotna and Nikiski boys high school soccer teams played to a 1-1 draw in a Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division match Tuesday in Nikiski.

Kenai boys net upset of Juneau
Dusty Ward scored a pair of second-half goals and the Kenai Central High School boys soccer team upset Juneau-Douglas 2-0 in a nonconference match Wednesday in Kenai.

Around the District
Boyle fundraisers set Local students place in ASAA poster contest Aurora Borealis Charter Connections Cook Inlet Academy IDEA Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Elementary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna High Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Sterling Head Start Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy Honor roll announced

Fishing for grants
Folks passing through Kenai this summer may notice something fishy with the flower beds and planters around town, but don’t worry — it will be a good thing.

Working on responsibility, finances and appreciation of better jobs
Why work? That is my thought on some days. It is like the age-old question, why go to school? The answer is always the same — to better oneself for the future.

National expert on diversity issues to speak at Kenai River Campus
As a member of the University of Alaska Anchorage Diversity Action Council (DAC), Diane Taylor, coordinator of the Learning Center, seeks to nurture an environment where diverse cultures and beliefs of all people are acknowledged and diversity is respected throughout the UAA system. Taylor sits on the council as the sole representative from the community campuses in the UAA system.

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