Friday, May 5, 2006

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedules Chamber to open its doors

At work with: Ryan Bowlin
Name: Ryan Bowlin

‘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.

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.

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

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

Palin shows she can even lead opponents
It’s been a pleasure watching our life-long Alaskan gal, Sarah Palin campaign for Governor these past six months. I’ve always been impressed with her leadership skills, experience, ethics and energy. Sarah certainly tells it like it is and is obviously not your typical politician. I knew she’d be my candidate when she told GOP bosses Randy Ruedrich and Frank Murkowski to take a hike.

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.

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.”

Reader: ‘Whining’ about oil tax ridiculous in light of profits
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. Let me see if I understand all of this. The price of gasoline and other fuels has risen nearly double in the past 5 years, and approximately 40 cents per gallon in the last 30 days with the promise of even higher costs to come. It still costs the same to produce a gallon of fuel. One of the major companies complaining about the tax burden earned $98.6 million in net profit per calendar day last year. One of them pays a top executive $100 per minute in salary. I find all this whining and complaining about the possibility of increased taxation by the state of Alaska to be disgusting in view of these facts. Every company has the right to make a profit, but raping the consumers for obscene profits should be offset by taxes to help sustain Alaska’s economy. At least our legislators can fritter away the tax money into different areas of the Alaskan economy instead of it all going to one or two oil company executives.

Don’t tax away Alaska’s future
The industry that has been so good to this region is faced with peril.

Road extension speeds up residents’ concerns
Spring is in the air and that means, for residents of the Poppywood Subdivision, the roar of 4x4 trucks, four-wheelers, and dirt bikes speeding up and down our road. More often than not, the adolescent to young-adult drivers are dangerously exceeding the residential speed limit. The results of the increased traffic are numerous: the scream of motors coming down the road, damage to our already not-up-to-borough-code gravel road, and danger for the families that used to enjoy a bike ride, run or stroll down our road.

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.

Let employees sell stock when they want to
When the government passed the the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) creating 401k, it was for the benefit of employees. The act was passed to give employees more control over their retirement. In many ways, however, it benefited employers more than employees. This is because now employers only had to match what the employee put into his retirement account. If the employee put nothing into his IRA, then the employee paid nothing.

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.

Nice to see volunteers appreciated
I would like to thank Heritage Place and the staff for a wonderful afternoon tea held for those of us who volunteer. It is nice to know that we are appreciated though we do this out of love and compassion for our fellow man. Thank you for the time and effort Heritage Place put in to this display of gratitude.

Support made basketball a slam dunk
The boys and Girls Club’s 7th/8th Grade Basketball League recently concluded its 2006 season. Boys and girls from throughout the Central Peninsula area had the opportunity to be part of a team, improve their basketball skills, get a little exercise and socialize with friends.

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!

Motor buy-back program gets boost
In the summer of 2004, the Kenai Watershed Forum completed a hydrocarbon monitoring study on the Kenai River and found some disturbing results: hundreds of gallons of gasoline made their way into the Kenai River every day.

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.

Photo feature: Faith for good government
Emily Riggins raises her hand in praise with Jacqueline Van Hatten at a National Day of Prayer observance at the Legislative Affairs Building in Kenai Thursday afternoon. The national event offers prayers for the United States and its government leaders.

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.

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.

Kenai kicks off Wildlife Conservation Community Program
The city of Kenai got a little safer Thursday as the Wildlife Conservation Community Program officially kicked off at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.

Ambulance fees set to increase for Nikiski, CES
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly approved setting and increasing fees for ambulance and other medical emergency services in the Nikiski Fire Service and the Central Emergency Service areas at its meeting Tuesday in Seward.

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

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.

Cody Edward Geesey
Soldotna resident Cody Edward Geesey died Saturday, April 29, 2006, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was 14.

Alaska needs community dividend
The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce is urging the Legislature to implement a sustainable community dividend using an endowment management method. This would provide local tax relief to families and business across Alaska and assist in providing basic public services throughout the state.

Juneau road leads nowhere
Before next Tuesday, the legislature will vote on a $2 billion-plus capital budget — one of the biggest the state has ever seen. Despite record oil revenues, there are other critical needs that the legislature has refused to address. Many of our existing roads, including Kalifornsky Beach, will continue to crumble. And the legislature has yet to commit to funding levels that would enable Kenai schools to maintain current class sizes.

Alaskans: Rainy enough for ya?
It’s hard not to worry about the future and finances as the second session of the 24th Alaska Legislature prepares to adjourn next Tuesday.

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.

Migration offers ample viewing opportunities
Waterfowl watchers may want flock to see the thousands of ducks and geese that are stopping in briefly, or returning for the summer, to the Kenai Peninsula.

Shorebird workshop aims to improve identification skills
Finally, after what seems like an endless winter, spring has actually driven the snow from our yards. The greenhouse supplies are flying off the shelves at the local stores, and everyone is uncovering their boats and trying to get those darn trailer lights working before their trip the next morning. As for me, I am dusting off the clubs and preparing for another fabulous season on the golf course.

Around the Peninsula
Basketball camp a slam dunkEnergy to be discussedQuilters set to sewFood bank sign to be unveiledDARE track meet slatedBeautiful volunteers sought

Stars sweep Panthers
The Soldotna High School soccer teams posted a pair of wins over Skyview Thursday in Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division play.

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.

Church Briefs
Addictions group meetsBaha’i classes setKenai Aglow meeting slatedClothes availableSoldotna Aglow to meetNikiski holds Bible studyFarewell for Pastor Nichols setYouth evangelism camp slatedVacation Bible school planned

God’s amazing grace for mothers and others
One of the most unforgettable calls I have ever received came from a woman I had never met.

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