Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Hello, neighbors.

Thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to help improve the looks of our environment by picking up trash along our thoroughfares. It's true that many hands make light service, but it looks like a whole lot of hands did a whole lot of service for the rest of us. It looks great again in our fair borough.

Speaking of looking good, have you noticed the paint job on the Already Read building on Caviar Street? It's an eye-treat of a purple shade and is sure to brighten up any gray day.

Ruth Clare, R.N., will give a free diabetes prevention class at the Kenai Community Library tonight at 6 in the conference room.

Did you know diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death by disease, the leading cause of new cases of blindness and amputation? Heart disease and stroke are two to six times more common in people with diabetes. Call the library for more information at 283-4378.

The final round of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan meetings will be this week. Ecology and Environment Inc., international specialists in the environment, will host meetings to develop community plans for areas with extreme wildfire risk.

Communities with these completed plans will be first in line for federal funding for wildfire prevention and protection programs. Plans can include items like homeowners' need for clearing space around individual homes, help with roads too narrow to allow for fire-fighting vehicles, bridges, protection for absentee property owners, and other personal property improvements.

You are encouraged to come help develop local plans and to identify priorities for communities located within the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Meeting times for the Kasilof, Cohoe, Kenai and Kalifornsky area will be held at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School at 7 p.m. Friday. You can help formulate plans to reduce community and individual vulnerabilities before they occur. If you have questions or need further details, call Daniel Bevington, project manager, toll-free at (866) 577-7496, ext. 1127.

The first Saturday Market will occur this weekend at the Kenai Visitors and Convention Center area. Drop by and see what booths have been recruited to vend their wares. This could become an exciting new summer feature of our area and it is hoped that community members will support this effort. See you there?

Are you someone who loves to eat fish, but just aren't able to get out and catch any yourself? If you are 65 or older, 70 percent physically disabled or blind, you can have someone else fish for you. The state of Alaska allows proxy fishing for residents who fall within those guidelines.

This would allow for sportfishing, subsistence fishing, or personal-use fishing and can be used for finfish or shellfish. For more information or to pick up a a form, stop by the senior center office or the Department of Fish and Game on Kalifornsky Beach Road. If you need to find someone to proxy-fish for you, consult with the folks at the center, and they'll will try to "hook you up" with a fisher.

Last day of school is Thursday, so the trails and neighborhoods will again be full of enthusiastic youngsters ready to greet the summer with zeal and activity. Be sure to watch for them on their bikes and roller blades.

Thanks to the dedicated teachers who spent the school year helping to shape the minds and improve the knowledge of our children. I think you are the hardest-working sector of people in our society and I salute you and thank you for all you do.

Thanks also to the school board members for the many hours of service they give toward our schools. I think we're fortunate to have them on our child-raising teams.

Happy birthday today to Mamie Velsko, Kathleen Frame and Dale Gammill; Wednesday: Floyd Royal, Louetta Waldrip, Glenn Clifford and Lee Chadwick; Friday: Aarick Carlson, Charise Carlson and Jalissa Stoncipher; Saturday: Debra Allen and Jennifer Bon; Sunday: Silvia Kincade, Kevin Barrett and Sheila Phillips; and Monday: Mae Seal. Best wishes to you all.

Joan Hansen can be reached by phone at 283-5872 or by email at

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