Thursday, May 31, 2007

Business Briefs
Chambers set schedules Walton gains leadership experience Food management classes available Youth cooking classes offered CISB tote distribution slated Direct marketing for fishermen program set Crime Stoppers seeks support

Outdoors
What is this thing they say about Murphy’s Law? If it can go wrong it will? Have you ever had one of those days when it seems like everything you attempt to do goes wrong? When these days happen or occur while you’re on an outdoor adventure they certainly can complicate things for you in a hurry. I endured one of these ordeals recently while on a hunting and fishing trip to Shirleyville.

Royal visit to Swaziland for missionary Renee Duncan
Renee Duncan of the Peninsula Christian Center in Soldotna recently returned from a mission to Swaziland, the country with the distinction of having the last ruling monarch on planet earth. “I went on a faith-based mission to do humanitarian aid and relief. We went into the prisons and orphanages and also had the opportunity to meet with the king and his royal family,” Duncan told the Dispatch.

Chevron fuels field trip and litter patrol in Sterling
For the last seven years, Teri Hoffman’s sixth grade class at Sterling Elementary School has been exchanging litter patrol services along Swanson River Road for field trip funding from Chevron (formerly Unocal). Hoffman says it started with the focus on giving back to the community and furthering her science curriculum. “Cleaning up litter along Swanson River Road is our end of the deal and Chevron helps make the science field trip possible,” explained Hoffman. Chevron has continued to fund Hoffman’s request as a unique way of reaching a group of young people interested in science.

Safety Day & Les Anderson community BBQ a perfect match
They said the day was as warm and bright as Les Anderson’s smile as an estimated crowd of over 1,000 turned out for salmon and hot dogs at Soldotna Creek Park. Les Anderson will forever be remembered for catching the record King Salmon on an early spring day. But those who knew him also remember his smile and gentle spirit. “Anyone that ever met Les knew the warmth of that smile. It was the first thing you noticed and the last thing you’d see when you left because it was always there,” recalled Michelle Glaves, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce executive director. “I was working at Fotoquick the day he caught that fish and he brought the film into us. Then he kept coming back, getting more and more reprints, as he became the world famous fish man.” Soldotna Mayor David Carey remembered Les from the time he was a young boy growing up in Soldotna, “Back then Les was one of the few places where a young person could find employment and actually go through apprenticeship with him at Les’s Soldotna Y. Someone might catch a bigger fish someday and beat Les’s record, but no one will ever have a bigger or more generous heart than Les, and that’s why there will always be a Les Anderson Day in Soldotna,” said Carey.

Appreciating community elders and the return of the salmon at Heritage Place
It was a picture perfect day for the annual Return of the Salmon celebration at Heritage Place in Soldotna. The event is a tradition that started five years ago at Heritage Place to honor the elders of the community and to celebrate the returning of the salmon runs. “It’s our culmination to National Nursing Home Week,” says Heritage Place administrator Dennis Murray. “Nursing Home week always starts on Mothers Day, so we had a Mother’s Day Tea for our residents and their families. Tuesday we had a special commissioning of hands event with our some of our local chaplains, and then we had all three mayors, Williams, Carey and Porter, join us for our Mayors luncheon. They had each written official proclamations on behalf of Nursing Home Week and then came and read them personally to our residents. This year’s theme is Treasure our Elders and having the mayors come personally was fitting and appreciated by our residents. Then Monday is our Return of the Salmon celebration and family feed. So we have planned activities throughout the week to let our seniors know that we appreciate them and that they are of value to our community,” said Murray.

Iditarod mushers need to rest their dogs more
The Iditarod Board of Directors has given one of its mushers a two-year ban for spanking his dogs multiple times. The board of directors should have given themselves a two-year ban, as well, because they are just as guilty of the violation. The board did not take direct action of spanking the dog team, but they set up the conditions for the event to occur. They did this by refusing to throttle the race’s speed by not putting in the badly needed equal run, equal rest recommendations.

Grads get great send-off
This community is terrific. The class of 2007 of Kenai Central High School graduated (May 23) and the after-grad party was a smashing success! Thanks goes to all who donated prizes, food, facilities, time and effort to provide a safe, fun and wholesome place for our graduates to spend those first few hours of “freedom” that began after graduation.

Reader appalled by shootings
Regarding Pamela Parson’s letter and her dogs being shot (Clarion, May 23), my understanding of the dog laws was that the dog had to actually be “a threat to life or property” in order to justify shooting it, which your dogs were not.

Writer: Uncle Ted oblivious to failures
Sen. Uncle Ted Stevens has a robust and verifiable record of bringing federal funding to Alaska over his long senatorial career. He also has his imprint on key federal laws and regulations extremely applicable to our state and its peoples. He has hundreds of examples of successful intercession with federal bureaucracy for constituents. His bias is also well known.

New postage system should be stamped out
I am now into the second week of the new “shaped-base” postage system. Is anyone else as disgruntled as me about not being able to figure simple postage any more? I’ve written a letter to our folks in Washington, D.C., asking them why such a convoluted, inept, incompetent and completely unworkable system, at proposal stage by the USPS, was allowed to slip by their watchdogs.

City attitude not appreciated in borough
Ms. Parson’s letter in the May 23 newspaper really hit a nerve with me. Obviously she has not heard the term “responsible pet owner.”

Borough mulls mill rate change
Property taxpayers will see some major relief next year if the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly adopts a proposed 1-mill drop in the mill levy.

Memorial holiday relatively quiet
Despite the influx of people from out of the area coming to the Kenai Peninsula to fish or camp, emergency officials say there were very few incidents involving crime or fire this Memorial Day weekend.

Funding irks Soldotna manager
Legislators from the Kenai Peninsula are not accepting the charge that they short-funded the city of Soldotna during the first session of the 25th Legislature.

E911 fees to increase
Wireless and land-line phone customers on the Kenai Peninsula Borough would begin paying slightly more each month for their services if a propose borough surcharge increase is adopted by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Soldotna Junction rezoning requested
In hopes of selling a number of lots in the Soldotna Junction Subdivision for commercial development “as soon as possible,” longtime resident and landowner Dolly Farnsworth has asked the city to rezone the land from multi-family residential to commercial.

State labor force sees overall rise in wages
Alaska’s growing labor force took home nearly $13 billion in wages last year, some $700 million more than in 2005, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Court dates set in embezzlement case
Trial call has been scheduled for the Salamatof Seafoods bookkeeper accused of embezzling $154,000 from the Kenai firm and two other companies for which she kept books.

Douglas Leon Morgan
Longtime Alaskan and Homer resident Douglas Leon Morgan died Saturday, May 26, 2007, at his residence in Homer. He was 68.

Vernice ‘Lucille’ Adams
Kenai resident Vernice “Lucille” Adams died May 19, 2007, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 101.

Around the Peninsula
Garage sale fundraiser has a mission Seniors garage sale set Relay for Life planned Rowing classes available Soldotna Historical Society to meet Brain awareness walk, barbecue set Dog Jog set to go Quilters to gather Women go on the defensive Resiliency classes continue Golf tourney set to swing Run for River vendors, runners sought Summer day camp available in Nikiski Garden club digs in Community fun run set to start Midnight Sun festivities set Cheer camp available Annual quilt show a piece of work Social Security reps to visit peninsula

SoHi, Kenai set for state
It’s not often a team wants to play the only opponent it lost to all season — twice, for that matter.

Kardinals, Stars fall at state
The Kenai boys are still searching for their first state tournament victory.

What’s Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Films Upcoming Events Down the Road Anchorage events

Writers to converge on Homer
The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, organized by the University of Alaska Kachemak Bay Campus, is held June 8 to 12 and brings 19 guest writers, poets, agents and editors to town. The following are profiles of three of the visiting faculty.

Art Briefs
Vendors wanted Making the mold Artists wanted to decorate outdoors Teachers helping teachers Reality show looking for Alaskans Council offers art grant, fellowship Performers winging it Kids’ reading program ongoing

Poet’s Corner
What comes to mind when you see a stripe, red or white?

Getting decked out for music
The rain was tapping on the plastic awning over the deck at Veronica’s Coffee House in Old Town Kenai. There are several potted plants, including bright pink geraniums on the window sills. One end of the room was packed with musicians: three guitarists were already strumming by 7 p.m., and a mandolin player joined later.

Lovable and loathable, Jack is back
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”

Keeping (on) track
Twelve years ago, Heather Penhale created her own issue of the Nikiski Kindergarten News. On Thursday night, wearing the white gown of a Nikiski High School graduate, she held it in her hands once more as she gave her kindergarten teacher, Judy Leichliter, a big hug.

Student has 2 for 1 graduations
Graduating high school is a big accomplishment. Graduating college is even more so. So how then would you describe someone graduating from both in the same month?

Skyview High School
If Skyview High School students were ranked by the graduation caps they wore to the ceremony Thursday night, few would place Claudia Sohns’ mortarboard anywhere but the top of the list.

Ninilchik High School
“My grandfather was one of the first two graduates of Ninilchik in 1942 — Harry Leman. The other one was David Cooper Senior.”

High school scholars shipping off to college
Hannah Watkins’ ideal superpower would be a time machine, but not your typical time machine. Rather than relive the past or visit the future, she simply wants more time.

Connections
Lurking in Soldotna High School Auditorium Wednesday afternoon was a secret sure to get a reaction from one of the young men about to graduate from high school through the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Connections Program.

Kenai Peninsula College
The Kenai Peninsula College class of 2007 — the largest graduating class in school history — picked up several nuggets of advice during their graduation ceremony May 10, the sorts of things their professors might have skipped over during class.

Cook Inlet Academy
The 17 members of Cook Inlet Academy’s graduating class of 2007 are a tight-knit group, something valedictorian Charles Kopp alluded to as he was able to talk about each of his classmates individually during his commencement address. Kopp noted the many ways in which he saw God working in each of his classmates’ lives.

Kenai Alternative
Though they were about to cross the stage to receive their diplomas, Derick Sedivy and six of his friends still had time for an impromptu game of hacky sack.

Kenai Central High
Though it cost him and his friends 10 hours of community service, turning 1,000 crickets loose on Kenai Central High School will always be Andy Knowles’ favorite high school moment. Standing in his graduation gown, Knowles laughed at the memory and said their chirping can still be heard.

Nikiski High School
When Aaron Bakk was little, he dreamed of soaring through the sky in an Air Force jet.

Soldotna High School
With laughter and tears, Soldotna High School’s class of 2007 — “Double-oh-seven,” graduates have dubbed themselves — was sent out to make its way in the world.

A special thanks
Hello, golfers. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, and we all took a moment to remember just exactly why we observe the Memorial Day holiday. I personally thanked two of my favorite veterans, my husband Dave and dear friend Scott DeLapp, for their service and contributions. To all the other veterans I know but didn’t see or talk to, thank you for what you have done. And to all those currently serving, thank you for what you continue to do.

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