Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Retired ADF&G biologist tells all in "Fish, Oil, & Follies"
As salmon start feeling their natural urge to return to the streams where they were reared and fishers of all types start checking their gear, line, net and motors in preparation for the runs, comes a new book filled with fish stories from the life prospective of a retired fish and game biologist, "Fish, Oil, & Follies," written by Loren B. Flagg. The author well known to the local community of the Kenai Peninsula grew up in New England and worked as a fisheries biologist in Massachusetts and Florida before moving his family to Alaska in 1968. Living in Homer, Flagg worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) as a commercial fisheries management biologist until he retired in 1987, continuing to work as a consultant and professional fishing guide. "Yes it is a tell all, with some discretion, of my experiences with fast running water, fisheries, oil and gas lease buy backs and the heated passions and emotions of user groups," Flagg told the Dispatch. Flagg says his wife was his inspiration to write the book, "I retired as a fishing guide a few years ago and during my first year of full retirement boredom set in and I was probably getting difficult to live with so Sandra said 'Dear, why don't you write a book,' so I started the first chapter then set it aside and picked it up later, all told it took a couple of years to get it completed," said Flagg.

Community clean-ups freshen up Alaska's Playground
Spring has sprung the leaves are greening out and Alaska's playground is ready for company, thanks to the community effort spear headed by the Kenai Lions club and local Chambers of Commerce. "We've been doing this for five or six years now with the help of ConocoPhillips and the local chambers of commerce that help out with the community barbeques and the park strip in Kenai and the Soldotna Sport Center," said Terry Linebarger of the Kenai Lions Club. Michelle Glaves at the Soldotna Chamber said they gave out over 3,000 bags and considered the event another great success. Two lucky kids who helped with this year's Borough wide community clean up effort, Mariah Hernandez and Jonathon Hawkins won new bicycles that were given away at the appreciation barbeques reported Linebarger.

New Kenai Wildlife Viewing Platform opens to rave reviews
For the second time in as many years the Kenai Watershed Forum (KWF) was responsible for an outdoor joint meeting of the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce. Last year it was the occasion of the opening of the new culvert installation on College Road and last week as the wind swept across the flats at the Kenai City Dock, chamber members gathered for the official opening of the new Kenai Wildlife Viewing Platform. "We like to get the community outside to see some of the work we do," said KWF Executive Director Robert Ruffner, "This particular project is very exciting for us to have completed. To have this facility open where people can come and be elevated ten to twelve feet off the ground and be able to view the unique shore birds and wildlife that congregate here at the Kenai River estuary is a great community accomplishment," said Ruffner. As he spoke, sand hill cranes, formations of geese and other water fowl winged over head in aerial display underscoring the advantage of the new facility.

I would like to think and believe that as we all get older the wiser we become and also that we start taking better care of ourselves by eating more healthy foods. In my opinion our bodies start working less efficiently and less productive as the many individual parts become worn and simply do not work as well as they once did. A good example is getting a hangover much easier at 40 or 50 simply because your body no longer gets rid of the alcohol in your system as efficiently as it did when you were much younger.

Lincoln returns to Washington
A year ago this spring Lincoln Wensley's educational video to help save the Kenai Dunes won him first place in the annual Caring for the Kenai environmental awareness and disaster preparedness contest sponsored by Chevron and Tesoro. During the last year his project was nominated for the President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) sponsored by the EPA, and the Prudential Spirit of Community award honoring outstanding community service by young Americans. Wensley was selected to receive both awards and earlier this month traveled twice to Washington D.C. to accept the awards. "It's been a heck of ride," Wensley told the Dispatch, "It's really been great, having the chance to go to D.C. twice has been a real eye opening experience. During the Prudential Spirit of Community presentation I had the chance to meet former First Lady Laura Bush and that was inspiring. I feel that volunteerism is on the increase across America with both President Bush and Obama advocating for youth to volunteer in their communities. Meeting the other winners and seeing their projects has really fired me up to continue my community service work in the future," he said.

Redoubt remains on 'watch' status
Seismicity at Mount Redoubt remains low, and the volcano remains on "watch" status, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Dale F. Richard
Longtime Alaska resident Dale F. Richard died Monday, May 18, 2009, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 84.

Around the Peninsula

Relay for Life bank night goes on

SoHi boys, Kenai girls set for state: Soccer teams both chase hard-to-get, 1st-round wins
Since the state soccer tournament started in 2000, Kenai Peninsula teams are 1-17 in the first round.

Soldotna rallies late to edge out Mariners
The Soldotna girls softball team scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Homer 8-7 on Tuesday in Northern Lights Conference action in Homer.

Kenai Golf Report
Hello, golfers and happy belated Memorial Day. I must take a moment to thank all the men and women currently serving and the veterans, all of whom have done their part in preserving our freedoms and the freedoms of those less fortunate, and to send a prayer of thanks to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.

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