Tuesday, May 16, 2006

State 2A Champions thank Marathon for support
Members of the Alaska State 2A Lady Wolverine basketball team from Ninilchik traveled to Kenai last week to present Ben Schoffmann of Marathon Oil with a token of the team’s appreciation for Marathon’s continued support. The Lady Wolverines are the only team to win five consecutive state championships and have won eight state titles since 1992. “We really enjoy the working community relationship that we have developed with the folks in Ninilchik,” commented Ben Schoffmann, Operations Superintendent for Marathon. Schoffmann addressed the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance recently and the Lady Wolverines with their coach made the trip from Ninilchik to express their appreciation with an autographed team photo.

Getting it covered...Floor Center has a new home
The Floor Center of Soldotna has a new home on Kalifornsky Beach Rd in the Red Diamond Center at the former location of Red Diamond Lumber. Owners Mike and Theresa Winegarden were looking to expand their home center so when the Red Diamond location became available they decided to make the move to a larger facility, “I’m thinking of getting a pedometer to measure all the walking I’m doing here in the new store, we’ve done some extensive remodeling and I don’t think folks will recognize the place,” said Mike.

Outdoors
If you ever had boys then no doubt you also experienced times when you were expected to take them fishing even when you didn’t feel like it. Sunday (Mother’s Day) was one of those days for me. After my family and I returned home from church there was the usual chores to do around here involving our various birds and animals. These creatures include morning doves, two horses, one sheep, one mule, two geese, one golden retriever dog “Jake” about 20 rabbits, and at least 125 chickens. That does not even have anything to do with the other assortment of pets my daughter Kimberly has!

No Name Creek gets spring clean up...
No Name Creek may not have a name, (or No Name may be what some un-named person named it) but it’s certainly been getting a lot of attention from the students of Sears Elementary and Kaleidoscope school of arts and sciences in Kenai. Last week some 60 students, teachers, parents, and staff members of the Kenai Watershed Forum gathered to haul up the trash that had been thrown down and into the creek over the years.

Signature program aims at killing cancer
The 2006 Central Peninsula Relay for Life is planned for June 2-3 at Skyview High School. Organizers Lisa Parker and Susan Smalley shared some past successes and ambitious goals for this year’s event last week at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce noon luncheon meeting at the Riverside House. According to Parker, Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity which offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. “Relay for Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated,” said Parker.

Volunteerism was sign of the times for KPC-food bank project
Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus Service-Learning Team and administration would like to thank all students, faculty, businesses and members of the community who helped make the new sign at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank possible. The establishment of the marquee was a truly a community, cooperative effort.

Beds a welcome gift
A heart-felt thank you to all those who supported my Sunday school class in the construction of two sets of bunk beds for some kids in the community who were needing them. We send a special thank you to Dr. Vickey Hodnik for the generous donation, Spenard Builders Supply for providing much of the lumber, Bailey’s Furniture Outlet for the discount on the four mattresses and delivery down to Homer, and the congregation of the Homer United Methodist Church who gave so freely. The kids sanded, cut and stained the boards, transforming them into beautiful beds, and putting Jesus’ teachings into action. Now four little ones sleep comfortably in their own beds, made with love. Thank you so much!

Will there be panic at the gas pumps?
Ask anyone in the oil business and they’ll tell you that current prices at the pump reflect what gasoline will cost in the future. The price is based on speculation, or “futures.” It’s not about driving habits, present supply and demand or refinery production as we’ve been told. It’s about the rapidly approaching war in Iran.

‘Of Moose and Men’ missed
I just wanted to say thanks to Alan Poyner for all the years that he delighted us with his humorous insight into the challenges and joys of the Alaskan experience. His comments on both the sublime and the ridiculous points of existence in our fair state have made it all the more fun to live here.

Volunteers offered life-saving training
This spring, as part of their health class, about 100 seventh grade students at Homer Middle School received training and certification in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). As a result of this training in past years, our former students have used their CPR training to save lives. The students and staff want to thank these volunteer trainers for their gracious donation of time and expertise to make this training happen this year. If you see one of these folks, please thank them yourself for helping to make our community safer:

Donors helping build better futures for low-income families
Our Community Housing Development Organization wishes to acknowledge and thank Home Depot for their generous donation to Kenai Peninsula Housing Initiatives, Inc. (KPHI) for the purchase of playground equipment for our Terrace Plaza Play Area project. Our appreciation extends to Homer Foundation and its Tin Roof Fund who contributed to this project as well.

Reader: Special session is time for no-confidence vote
Perhaps if those of us that are very dissatisfied and uncomfortable with Governor Murkowski and his tactics called their Representatives and Senators and ask them to have a vote of no-confidence during this Special Session we might very well end up with a Governor we can trust.

Board considers increasing, outlawing horsepower on Kenai River
As the Kenai River fishing season kicks into gear, so are concerns overcrowding and boat safety. At the Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board meeting Thursday, board members floated recommendations, new and old, aiming to increase serenity and decrease calamity on the river at the height of the fishing season.

Jury hears letter written by McCormack from jail
After his arrest in 2003, Barry McCormack told his brother his wife’s relatives’ “ loose lips” and “weak knees” landed him prison and urged him to be quiet in a letter he sent from Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Mill rate increase not needed
Mayor John Williams said Thursday he would abandon a proposed borough property tax increase and ask the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to once again set the tax levy at 6.5 mills, where it has been since 2003.

School money lawsuit put up to vote
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is expected to decide tonight whether to pursue a lawsuit against the state alleging years of under-funding of borough schools.

Bridge worker on the mend after accident
A 32-year-old worker on the Kenai River bridge project in Soldotna is recovering from injuries he received in the first serious accident since the project began.

Sky-high fuel prices leave private planes grounded
Aviation fuel prices have jumped dramatically in Alaska, raising the cost of flying to the extent that it may hold pilots back from lifting off.

Fair is just plane fun
Flying fans took their fun to new heights Saturday during the return of the annual Kenai Peninsula Air Fair held jointly at the Soldotna and Kenai airports.

Bridge construction to slow traffic
Highway construction signs are again flashing bridge closure information in Soldotna and bridge project officials are asking motorists to go around.

Gary L. 'Swanie' Swanson
Former Kenai resident Gary L. “Swanie” Swanson died Wednesday, April 19, 2006, in his home town of Centralia, Wash. He was 68.

Gunter Manzek
Longtime Cooper Landing resident Gunter Manzek died Sunday, April 16, 2006, from prostate cancer at his home. He was 77.

Fishing for new limits: Unrestricted growth translates into a crowded river
By now most interested Kenai River fishermen have heard of the recommendation by the Kenai River Special Management Area board (KRSMA) to increase the horsepower on the river from 35 to 50 hp. What they haven’t heard is the rest of the recommendation package that may greatly affect their ability to access the fishery as they have become accustomed to. Along with the 50 hp recommendation, KRSMA has also made the following recommendations that would put more burden on private boaters; 1) all motors would have to be “06” EPA compliant. (Almost all guides have updated motors so they would basically be exempt from this stipulation), more on this later; 2) advised Parks to look into an educational program on boating behavior for all users; 3) make it mandatory for all boaters to register with Parks before they could access the river.

Peninsula People
Kenai resident Blake Johnson was recently reelected as n at-large member of the executive committee for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council.

Community Events
Kenai library has busy week Rowing classes set to stroke Brain injury awareness walk set to take off Lacrosse club seeks members Class reunions set Farm Family of the Year nominations open Nursing Home Week celebration plans Host families sought

Around the Peninsula
Softball coach meeting ready to swing Eating disorders support group meeting set KCHS after-grad committee to meet Retirement reception planned Instructors to take flight Scouting informational meting set Nikiski after-grad committee to meet RCAC to meet Cemetery cleanup slated

Homer Hospital eyeing more modern CT Scanner
Equipment for creating three-dimensional images of the body’s internal structure at South Peninsula Hospital is aging and needs to be replaced.

Births
· Janell and Byron Grenier of Nikiski announce the birth of their daughter, Maggie Kate, at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 26, 2006, at Woman’s Way Midwifery in Soldotna. She weighed 9 pounds and 10 ounces.

Around the Peninsula
Relay for Life meeting set Community fun fest set to entertain Kasilof cemetery cleanup set Library director welcomed Community Pandemic Flu Seminar slated

Miller’s time
Senior year has been Rick Miller’s time.

Sports Brief
The Soldotna High School softball team lost four games in Kodiak over the weekend.

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