Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Soldotna remembers a fish story for the record books
It was more than a free lunch that drew hundreds to Soldotna Creek Park last Wednesday under cold and cloudy skies; it was respect for the world record king salmon and the man who landed it 21 years ago. Last year in recognition of the 20th anniversary of Les Anderson’s record catch the City of Soldotna designated May 17th as Les Anderson Day and hosted a community barbeque. The event was such a huge success and meant so much to the fishers of the community that the Soldotna Chamber decided to make it an annual event.

Frames & Things of Soldotna brings hi-tech to the art of framing
Virtual reality and plasma screen technology is now available at Frames & Things in Soldotna. As part of a new makeover at his popular store at the Blazy Mall, Brian Erwin has installed the latest computer innovation to the classic art of framing. “The way we used to frame is to take out a corner sample of a mat and frame and hope that the customer could imagine what the mat and frame would look like encircling the entire piece, and that’s a difficult thing to do. But now with our new equipment you can bring in any piece and we can pick out some colors and frames, get an idea of what you’re looking for and then virtually put the matting and framing around it, projecting the piece through a digital camera onto our plasma screen so that you can see exactly what it’ll look like when it’s finished. Then if you don’t like precisely that color or frame style we can keep changing it around until you have exactly what you’re looking for. It allows the customer to get creative with us and we can demonstrate different mat cuts, from oval to heart cuts to decorative corner cuts all on this virtual framer so if there is something special you’re thinking about we have over one hundred cuts that you can try out before making that final decision,” said Erwin.

Fire hydrants get spring flushing in Soldotna
Spring cleaning at Central Emergency Services in Soldotna includes a flushing and pressure test of fire hydrants that creates quite the rooster tail and rainbow show on city streets. “Every year in cooperation with the City of Soldotna we do a combination flushing and hydro flow testing of the hydrants for fire insurance reasons. We then input our results to a computer program that lets us calculate how much water is actually coming out of a particular hydrant so that if we need to use it we know the flow that the hydrant will deliver,” explained CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale.

Russian businesswomen visit Alaska
As Russia, the leader of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, continues its transition from a communist system to a free market place, Rotary International continues to sponsor Group Study Exchanges (GSE) between Alaska and their western neighbors. The most recent exchange was a group of five Russian businesswomen from the Far East cities of Vladivostok and Ussuriisk, Russia. “This is a chance for us to meet with professionals in our same field here in Alaska and share our experience,” said the team leader Tatiana Sergienko, a Lawyer from Ussuriisk, Russia. Sergienko said that while there are many similarities between the Russian and Alaskan climates, the professional and business climate are very different. “That is why it is very interesting for us to have this group study experience. As a lawyer I see that here you utilize a lot of technology which we do not have in my country, so I have learned many ideas that I can use in my job,” said Sergienko. “We are experiencing many changes in my country and it is hard to work in the field of law because of the many changes that come every month and of course it is necessary to follow all those changes,” added Sergienko.

Predator animals have been harassing man since the beginning of time by stealing their various birds, pets, and livestock of all kinds. Starting with some of the smallest like a weasel on up to the biggest one on the list the bear these predators have often times found an easy meal right in peoples yards. Few animals have much chance against a bear but there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your livestock against certain other ones.

First annual Chainsaw Carving Contest in Seldovia
Sponsored by the Seldovia Chamber of Commerce, the contest commences on Friday, May 26th. The carving activity takes place from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily with a break at 11:00 AM for a "Quick Carve" contest and lunch. The contest ends Monday morning, May 29th and the winners are announced at 2:00 PM. There is a total of $3,500 in cash prizes at stake and Quick Carve creations will be auctioned on Sunday afternoon. Entrants include professional carvers: Paul Comolli of Juneau, Toby Craft of Seldovia, Steve Curtis of Soldotna, Jarrett Dahl of Soldotna, Scott Hanson of Soldotna, Jamie Rothenbuhler of Wasilla, and Scott Thompson of Anchorage.

Translators’ help worth a thousand words
Although it is late, we want to take a moment and share some well deserved thank-yous regarding the Arctic Winter Games held on the peninsula last March. Team Alaska and the biathletes were particularly grateful for Marathon Oil Co.’s financial support, but Marathon and especially their employee, Ronda Thompson, deserve additional kudos for going above and beyond the call of duty. Ronda possesses a general knowledge of the Russian language and completed 30 trips to the Russian Far East when she worked for the Alaska Legislature. Hearing this, the AWG director asked her to volunteer her time to assist Team Yamal in getting set up and to monitor their progress throughout the games.

Reader likes SUVs, no matter what others say — or sing
I am pretty thankful to be living where I am these days. Not for the usual reasons I share with far away friends and family on a regular basis. They already know about our beautiful outdoors, low population, recreational choices and long summer days. What separates us from the rest of the Lower 48 is more than geography. It is our tolerance for living how we choose and not using politically correct means to achieve that. We are who we are.

Let oil companies make money, but don’t leave holes
You know there is not much difference between the early gold miners and the present day oil companies. When the price of gold dropped, the gold miners left and all that the Alaskans got out of the gold was a little bit of work and a whole lot of holes in the ground, along with some infrastructure that the Alaskans had to pay tax to keep up.

Unity Trail maintenance does more harm than good
I wanted to talk about that $2 million Unity Trail between Kenai and Soldotna. They spent all this money to build the trail and have spent no money on maintaining the trail. You can hardly get them to sweep it off once a year, the trail is cracking and holes are forming but do they fix it? No.

Students ask school district to ‘let Eli walk’
There is no doubt that the name Eli Hutchison is familiar to many local ears. Eli, the young man who wrestled for Skyview High School to win four state championships, the excellent Skyview cross country runner, the talented Skyview football player, the amazing Skyview soccer player, and this just in: the one who isn’t allowed to walk at Skyview High School’s graduation on May 25, 2006.

Reader: Chenault makes borough better
The letter by Ray Metcalfe (Clarion, May 3) is wrong. Rep. Mike Chenault has done a great job representing our borough. Since oil activity provides a great deal of the jobs in our area, Rep. Chenault is understandably interested in being sure that this economic activity continues. This is because Rep. Chenault really cares about our area.

Murderers, victims not the same
Maybe the warm and fuzzy thinking expressed in Chris Jenness’ review of “United 93” plays well in San Francisco, Hollywood or some other liberal enclave, but I doubt it’s believed here in Alaska.

Support helps food bank feed hungry
We at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank find it hard to put into words our gratitude for the continued support and generosity of local residents. Local grocers including Country Foods, Fred Meyer and Safeway in Kenai and Soldotna each provided 122 or more cans or boxes of food to the food bank for every credit card charge of $91.90 and above during the KDLL 91.9 FM April membership drive. The total donations provided nearly 500 pounds. The support truly makes a difference in the lives of elders, infants and toddlers, the disabled and many, many families on the Kenai.

Hurricane pushes Nikiski youth to New Orleans
Last year, the youth group from North Star United Methodist Church in Nikiski chose Mexico as the place they wanted to go for a mission trip.

Controlled burn goes wild, burns 12 acres in Kasilof
A homeowner burning brush accidentally ignited a blaze that burned at least 12 acres in Kasilof on Monday afternoon.

McCormick won’t testify
The day Opal Fairchild was found dead in her home, a mean-looking man driving dangerously down Poppy Lane was spotted as he pulled into the murder victim’s driveway and walked toward the front door of her house, according to witness testimony in the murder trial of Barry McCormack on Tuesday.

‘Good could be’ that bullets from same gun
An examination comparing bullet fragments recovered from the Opal Fairchild murder and violent robbery of Mel Anderson show fragments from the two crimes were fired from the same type of handgun, according to expert witness testimony.

McCormack found guilty
Barry McCormack was convicted by a Kenai jury Wednesday of murdering Opal Fairchild in her home more than 21 years ago.

CohoeLoop fire: 67 acres so far
A wildfire erupting out of a controlled burn Monday afternoon in Kasilof had firefighters working through the night and well into Tuesday in an effort to prevent it from spreading further.

Expansion of strip club hours, river walks on agenda
After operating Good Time Charlie’s for 34 years, owner Charles Cunningham isn’t pleased with a new Soldotna rule saying the bar must close at midnight.

Motorcyclist injured in head-on crash
A motorcyclist sustained several fractured bones and other significant injuries after colliding head on with a white Chevrolet pickup that had swerved into his lane at Mile 83 of the Sterling Highway.

Keeping a keen eye out for visitors
Local tour industry workers switched rolls Thursday as they gazed at Kenai through the windows of a tour bus and answered questions about their local knowledge.

Era plane lands safely with 1 engine shut down
An ERA Aviation flight from Anchorage landed safely Sunday morning at Kenai Municipal Airport after one of its two engines was shut down during the 45-minute flight.

Soldotna bridge closed 3 nights
The Sterling Highway bridge over the Kenai River in Soldotna will be closed to all traffic tonight, Wednesday night and Thursday night.

William ‘Bill’ Zimmerman
Kenai resident William “Bill” Abe Zimmerman Sr. died Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, in Wenatchee, Wash., of a stroke. He was 69.

William ‘Bill’ Zimmerman
Kenai resident William “Bill” Abe Zimmerman Sr. died Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, in Wenatchee, Wash., of a stroke. He was 69.

Minnie Graham Keating
Soldotna resident Minnie Graham Keating died Friday, May 19, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna, after being hospitalized for three weeks. She was 89.

Minnie Graham Keating
Soldotna resident Minnie Graham Keating died Friday, May 19, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna, after being hospitalized for three weeks. She was 89.

Incomplete information: Gov. Murkowski’s study compiled with lack of ‘Authority’
The final strategy in Gov. Frank Murkowski’s play book to ensure that a Canadian highway/producer gas line is the only option to be considered by the Legislature and Alaskans reared its ugly head at recent press conferences. Gov. Murkowski now proudly waves a state-sponsored study by PFC Energy attacking the viability of the all-Alaska pipeline and liquefied natural gas project.

Around the Peninsula
KCHS after-grad committee to meet Presentation of the peninsula’s future set Library director welcomed Salmon totes available Brain injury awareness walk set to take off Dog jog slated Swim lessons available

Around the Peninsula
CPGH board meeting slated Chili feed, auction scheduled Breakfast fundraiser ready to flip Habitat groundbreaking ceremony set Gun club members meeting planned Water safety instructor class offered Golf tourney set to swing Rowing classes set to stroke

Kenai Alternative High School students make botany lessons and hands-on-training bloom
Students at Kenai Alternative High School had an opportunity to develop their green thumbs as they put botany lessons to good use in a commercial greenhouse.

Growing up, moving on: A double-edged sword
As the graduation period passes I think back to the journey’s beginning, back to the young child not thinking of any responsibility, not worrying about tomorrow.

KPC offers up a variety of ‘lively’ ways to learn
A collaborative effort between the UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Kenai Peninsula College has resulted in a summer organic gardening classes being offered to the public at a discounted rate.

Around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter School Cook Inlet Academy Grace Lutheran Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenai Montessori Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Elementary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High Soldotna Middle Soldotna Montessori Charter Tustumena Elementary School Soldotna High scholarships awarded

Kalifornsky Beach students create a 'hand' made mural where art imitates life
To say students at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School in Soldotna used their hands to create a mural gracing the hallway of the intermediate wing would be an understatement.

Aces nip Falcons
The Alaska Aces defeated the Fresno Falcons 3-2 Monday night in Game 7 in double overtime at Anchorage’s Sullivan Arena to earn a spot in the Kelly Cup finals.

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