Thursday, May 17, 2007

Business Briefs
Chambers set schedulesTourism to be discussedYouth cooking classes offeredSmall business workshop offeredCrime Stoppers seeks support

KPC students roast whole hog at celebration luau
It’s a tradition at Kenai Peninsula College for the Student Union to host a spring student appreciation barbeque or picnic at the Kenai River Campus. This year, however, the celebration was taken to a new level by Student Union President Daniel Pettijohn. “It all started when we found a bunch of Hawaiian leis in the storage room. My production officer, Duncan Harris, said we needed to do something with all these leis, and because part of my family is Hawaiian I thought we’d turn the annual spring going away event into a Hawaiian style pig roast or luau to show all the students how we appreciated all their hard work on campus,” said Pettijohn.

Soldotna Wells Fargo celebrates makeover
The first opening of the Wells Fargo Soldotna Branch was back in 1977 when it was a new National Bank of Alaska branch. It had moved from its original location at the Soldotna Sky Bowl where it had served the community since 1959. A photo of that bank now hangs at the newly renovated Wells Fargo branch along with other enlarged snapshots from the area’s past, including a photo of one of the most popular businesswomen in the community and the first member of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce , Vera Horwarth of Vera’s Variety. “She was our neighbor right here next door for more than 25 years and had a very special place in our hearts. [We] wanted to be sure we had a picture of her up in the lobby along with other photos of this local area of town. The Soldotna Historical Society helped me get some information and beneath each picture we will have a plaque that describes the place or person,” said branch manager Kathy Gensel.

Each adventure in Alaska requires different gear and sometimes different types of transportation to reach your destination. There are so many different ways of accomplishing each task that it oftentimes becomes very confusing trying to decide which method is best for you. Besides the convienience factor we must also figure in the cost factor and try to determine just what method best meets our needs and whether or not it is something we can afford.

Kids help clean No Name Creek
For the second year, Mrs. Stroh’s and Mrs. Sheldon’s third and fourth grade classes at Kaleidoscope school in Kenai joined forces with parents and volunteers from the Kenai Watershed Forum to do a litter patrol along No Name Creek. “During the winter we write grants through the Kenai Watershed Forum to obtain funding for youth programs such as the Adopt-a-Stream and Creek Clean up programs,” explained Shelly Brenneman of the Kenai Watershed Forum. “Last week the students went before the Kenai City Council to invite the community to participate and keep the council informed as to what they were up to. Today the kids are having a great time here cleaning up the creek.” About 50 students and 10 parents participated in the clean up walk along the creek. “What I like best is looking at the beautiful environment and knowing we are helping to keep it that way,” said Morgan from Mrs. Stroh’s class. Nine-year-old Kelsey brought along a special litter prong that helped her scoop up trash without having to touch it.

Starting a new Cinco de Mayo tradition
The new Kenai River Rotary Club has staked their claim to the first Peninsula-wide Cinco de Mayo Salsa competition. The first ever Mr. and Mrs. Dip of the Kenai Peninsula were crowned here in Alaska thousands of miles from the Mexican border.

Reader: It’s the gas line, folks
During the week of May 1, the three major oil producers on the North Slope indicated they would not participate in Gov. Sarah Palin’s AGIA, Alaska Gas Inducement Act, as written.

Community efforts help keep kids afloat
Safe Kids Kenai Peninsula and participating organizations hosted the fourth annual Water Safety Event on May 5 at Skyview High School. This year 101 children, plus parents and caregivers, attended the event and learned about water safety with 92 purchasing Mustang survival personal flotation devices for $10.

Stevens: Milk tax fight will continue
I read with interest Jlona Richey’s recent letter to the editor (“Alaskans need to let reps know how they feel”, May 1) regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposal to remove the exemption for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico from the domestic dairy promotion assessment, or “milk tax,” program. This “tax,” equal to 15 cents per hundred weight of milk produced, funds a national producer program for dairy product promotion, research and nutrition education to increase milk and dairy product consumption and reduce milk surpluses.

Donation a great investment in kids
At this time each year, Kenai Middle School students participate in what we call our mini courses. Mini courses are either one or two days in length and include events such as canoeing, hiking and camping, horseback riding, rock climbing and river rafting.

Writer: Don’t sell jet yet
I hope that Gov. Sarah Palin does not sell former Gov. Frank Murkowski’s jet just yet. The state needs that just to fly the Alaska legislators who are guilty of corruption down to the Lower 48 federal prison escorted and handcuffed by the FBI.

Winter tree cutting makes better sense
In response to Mr. Newbould’s “Refuge Notebook” article of May 4: No, I do not think there should be a “prescribed burn” in June. Anytime.

Not scaled for economy
Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories examining school funding. Friday’s story will look at the formulas the state uses when determining school funding.

State, federal law limits local share contributions to schools
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of stories examining school funding. Thursday’s story will compare the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District with other districts around the state.

Senior tax break to go to voters
Unable to agree on whether to begin limiting the property tax exemption available to senior residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the borough assembly decided to put the question to the voters.

Kenai to consider TV role
If one council member gets his way, future business to come before the Kenai City Council will be fed into the TV rooms of all who are served by GCI cable.

Fire scorches Kenai yard after wind catches spark
A Kenai man burning materials in a barrel had done almost everything he should have, but he wasn’t expecting the wind to catch him off guard.

Troopers search for 2 suspected of murder
Alaska State Troopers are seeking Curtis M. Johnson, 22, and Garry Lawrence, 25, for their roles in the Brandon Steward homicide case.

Farewell planned for Sears
The Kenai community will have an opportunity on Friday to share 39 years of memories made at Sears Elementary School.

Grace M. Taggs
Ninilchik resident Grace M. Taggs died Sunday, May 13, 2007, at her home surrounded by her family. She was 90.

June Brown Scott
Soldotna resident June Brown Scott, died Monday, April 23, 2007, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 79.

Around the Peninsula
Genealogy library begins summer hoursGarage sale fundraiser plannedElementary school says good-byeLittle League opening ceremonies set4-H tree sale ready to growDevelopmental screenings offeredDandelion Sundae setYouth club plans closureCan sealer clinic offeredFree vision screening offeredReading program registration setCowboy upRowing classes available

Around the Peninsula
Nursing homes celebration events set Flight instructors take wing Disable vets cancel meeting Gardeners branching out Builders to nail down meeting Borough to collect ice jam debris Car show, swap meet revs up for Saturday Can sealer clinic offered Free vision screening offered Reading program registration begins

State capital budget not done
State lawmakers Tuesday continued work on a proposed $1.78 billion capital budget that currently includes about $33.5 million for projects on the Kenai Peninsula.

SoHi beats Nikiski
Six different players scored for Soldotna as the Stars defeated visiting Nikiski, 7-0, on Tuesday afternoon.

Art Briefs
Writers’ Group meeting plannedWomen needed to act ‘Odd’Teachers helping teachersReality show looking for AlaskansArtists’ work to take off at airportVendors needed for sea festCouncil offers art grant, fellowshipPerformers winging itKids’ reading program ongoing

What’s Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage events

Good news: Here comes the ‘Fuzz’
My father is a recently retired teacher, which means he has a lot more time on his hands now. Some of that time is spent teaching at the community college, some is spent worrying over which part of the house needs to be fixed, and some is spent calling my brother and I at all hours of the day, usually from the new cell phone he is still trying to figure out.

Poet’s Corner: Spring Haiku collection
sun is chasing moon

Poet’s Corner: Lest we forget
Lest we forget

Artists present a knack for nature
Sven Haakanson is one of 56 contemporary artists whose work will hang in the “Sticks and Stones: Alaskan Structure” exhibit at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. “Lest We Forget” is a poem from his artist statement in which he describes the materials used in creating his piece of the same name.

Picture perfect gift
What started as a Soldotna Rotary Club idea to make high-end digital cameras available to students at Kenai Peninsula College has grown into a project to acquire technology for central Kenai Peninsula elementary, middle and high schools, and the donated equipment is being put to very good use.

Pilot program waives out-of-state tuition for Kenai River Campus students
Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus will launch a one-year pilot program that will allow non-residents to attend college while paying resident tuition rates. The program will be in effect for the 2007 summer and fall semesters and the 2008 spring semester.

Around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter Connections home-school IDEA home-school Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenaitze Head Start Mountain View Elementary Ninilchik School Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High School Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Kenai Golf Report
April 28 was our opening date! Can you believe that? This was the first time, that I can remember, that the Kenai Golf Course opened so early. Not only did we open early, we wintered really well. Our greens are solid and are starting to turn green and the tee boxes and fairways are in excellent condition. What a great start to a golf season that will see many exciting changes and additions.

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