Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Participation earns salute
I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Military Appreciation event at the Kenai Air Fair last Saturday. Thank you to Herb Stettler, who headed the Veterans of Foreign Wars. They posted colors with the Kenai CAP Cadets. They also performed a gun salute. Thank you to Emily Philibert who sang our national anthem and “God Bless America.” Ed, a veteran, played Taps. Kenai Mayor Pat Porter and Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey spoke about the veterans who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

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.

Cleanup event bags thanks for community involvement
The Soldotna Lions Club says a very special thank you to all the participants in the recently completed 2006 Peninsula Cleanup sponsored by ConocoPhillips. It is too early to make any guesses as to how much trash was collected from our streets and highways, but the roads are cleaner and that was the object. The Lions also want to say thank you to the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce for all of their help in distributing information and trash bags.

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.

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!

SoHi prom wouldn’t be the same without efforts
On April 22, Soldotna High School’s junior class presented their prom “Red Carpet Affair” for the senior class. It was a memorable evening with record attendance by our students. We would like to thank the following businesses, groups and individuals who did so much in helping our class put on this special evening: Jeff and the crew from United Rentals for the generous donation of tents for our ceiling; Brian and all the staff at Trustworthy Hardware for the donation of paint, buckets and so many other supplies; Connie and C and C Stables for the carriage for pictures — a real touch of class; Davis Block and Concrete for donation of the sand we needed; Soldotna Sports Center for loaning us the hockey boards; Sharon, Stacey and the crew from Magic Moments for your hours of work and great pictures; Sue Stein — master designer — who made our visions reality; the parents of juniors for working the Sneak-a-Peek and then putting on a great after-prom celebration for our students; Mike and LaDawn Druce for announcing at promenade; all the junior parents and Kelley Smith who helped with decorations and in the kitchen; and our advisors Jeanna Carver, Doug Gordon, Dan Harbison, Troy Minogue, Sara Moore, Bruce Rife, Rob Shively and Lana Syverson for their hours of work and guidance.

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.

Construction, budget set for Kenai council meeting
Now that mild weather has arrived and the summer construction season is getting under way, a number of big projects are on the dais for tonight’s Kenai City Council meeting.

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 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.

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.

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.

Man pushed to help robber
A man who has confessed to robbing the Safeway grocery store in Soldotna in 1985 told jurors in the murder trial of Barry McCormack on Tuesday that McCormack pressured him into robbing the store with him.

Dorothy Edna Emerton
Longtime Alaska and Soldotna resident Dorothy Edna Emerton died Sunday, May 7, 2006, from cancer at her home in Funny River. She was 78.

Wanted: Common sense: Rocket scientists not needed to figure out horsepower issue
Once upon a time (around 1985) Alaskans and the Department of Natural Resources decided to address the boat traffic problems on the Kenai River. They decided to turn the management of the Kenai River’s waters over to Alaska’s DNR. The state appointed a board comprised of members from various user groups to advise the DNR concerning better ways to manage the Kenai River. The chairman of the Kenai River Special Management Area board was Jeff Jefferson. Chairman Jefferson and a majority of other board members, believed that reducing outboards to 35 horsepower on the Kenai River would help resolve the safety, social and environmental issues. I was president of our local guide association at the time, and debated Chairman Jefferson on KSRM radio. I contended that a better solution to the boat traffic issues was to require all powerboat users on the Kenai River (not just fishing guides) to pass a motorboat operators course.

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.

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

Around the Peninsula
Rotary roses available Retirement receptions planned Basketball camp a slam dunk Fair seeks volunteers Brain injury awareness walk set to take off Rowing classes set to stroke Dog jog slated

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

Reading outside the box
In the past, federal Title I money received by peninsula schools has been used to fund targeted programs, meaning the money was used for the benefit of students meeting specific criteria.

Around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter Connections Cook Inlet Academy Grace Lutheran School IDEA Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenai Montessori School Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Soldotna Elementary Soldotna High Sterling Elementary Tebughna School Tustumena Elementary Information on Alaska sought Skyview High School awards

Kenai Peninsula Online - Alaska Newspaper -

Underclassmen should get involved, don’t worry about being perfect
Once again it’s that time of year and as students we know what that means. It is a time of reflection on our past successes and a time to set new goals for what lies ahead.

KPC, community collaboration benefits food bank
It would be hard not to notice the colorful, new sign along Kalifornsky Beach Road in front of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.

Sports Brief
Chris Mabeus, a graduate of Soldotna High School, was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday and optioned to the Nashville (Tenn.) Sounds of the Pacific Coast League, the Brewers’ Triple A affiliate.

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