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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Outdoors
Spring did finally arrive and I was once again watching the children and I load gear for another trip out fishing on one of our local lakes. We basically load the same gear each time so one would think it should be fairly routine for everyone in the family. Not true, as it seems like once the snow hits the ground in the fall, all knowledge we receive during the summer is quickly released as we start loading winter fishing information. Each end of our boat has a landing net and a cooler with ice in the bottom for our fish. Nothing better then bled out fresh fish instantly put on ice. We also have a bait cutting board on each end of the boat so we do not have to constantly pass bait back and forth. Then there are the oars or paddles, anchor and rope, boat motor, fuel tank, life jackets and seat cushions if you prefer, a couple old towels to keep your hands dry especially if your using eggs for bait. Oh yes I almost forgot the most important part, the boat! Check it over and make sure the plug is in. Then there are the poles and make sure to inspect them for line besides looking for damaged or broken eyes.

Styling the cutting edge...RST Custom Knives of Nikiski
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Roger Stanley Totten and Clara, his wife of 32 years, retired from the Army in 2005 and decided to come north to Alaska. “Each time I reenlisted I requested to be assigned to Alaska, but never got it. So when I retired after returning from Bosnia and 22 years in the Army, my wife and I sold the farm in Texas, ordered a new five-wheeler from the factory and came to Alaska,” Totten told the Dispatch. Roger and Clara found a nice place to settle in Nikiski and soon were working for Laidlaw Transit, “I’m a diesel tech by trade and Clara works with the special needs buses, but my passion is making knives,” said Roger.

New book preserves history of life in Unga
Unga High School graduate and teacher, Nikiski homesteader, Kenai Chamber of Commerce executive director, and U.S. Congressional district office director for U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, Frank Murkowski, and Rep. Don Young, Peggy Arness now adds published author and historian to her impressive resume. Peggy assisted by two other Unga alumni, Thor Lauritzen and Edward Melseth, recently published “The Alaska Pen; An Illustrated History of Unga.” Once a fishing and mining village of some 150 residents on the Aleutian chain, Unga today is a ghost town that lives only in the memories of those that once lived there and in The Alaska Pen, the monthly newspaper written by Unga students on a long carriage Underwood typewriter between the years of 1934-1951.

Soldotna Montessori School creates micro society
School may be out for the summer, but many of the students at the Soldotna Montessori School will practice their homework in the real world. Parents may even ask junior if they’d mind balancing the checkbook while Daddy cleans their bedroom. According to Montessori 4th -6th grade teacher Cheryl Romatz, the micro society she and her students created is a way of involving youngsters with real life challenges, “It was very popular this year and we’re hoping to bring it back next year,” said Romatz. It began with the students learning to fill out an employment application.“We started by asking the students, if there was a job, how would you get it? So they started filling out applications, building resumes and references and we found out quickly that many students didn’t know their address, so we started right there with the very basics using ink instead of a pencil so they had to be careful when they couldn’t erase and the beauty of all that was that when they finished they realized that once that was done all they had to do was change the dates and update the resume it would be ready for next year, so here we have 9-year-olds understanding how to update their resumes, and get letters of recommendation, that was their favorite thing having all those wonderful things said about you in print,” said Romatz.

Honoring their sacrifice: Remebering those who serve
One of the largest gatherings ever to attend Memorial Day observances in Kenai last week honored America’s fallen and expressed appreciation to those still in military service to America. Guest speaker Sgt. 1st Class Will Schwenke commented, “In preparing to speak to a gathering like this I was reminded of how fortunate and unworthy we really are to be here when so many others had died on the battlefield fighting for our freedom and I had that in mind as I came here to honor those who could not be here today for this event. We may not have the most perfect form of government yet, but democracy and liberty for all is a good cause to die for.” Sgt. Schwenke returned last year from Iraq after being deployed with the Alaska National Guard.

Breakfast help makes coordinator flip for joy
Ninilchik Emergency Services would like to say thank you to all of you who help by supporting our pancake breakfast Memorial Day weekend.

Calculating the truth about the Kenai River?
I read the letter to the editor on April 23 where the writer attempted to calculate the total drops of oil which may fall into the Kenai River from outboard engines. After calculating these drops of oil, Mr. Morrison then went on to blame the drops on only the guided sportfish anglers which have come to fish the river since 1980. This “guided vs. nonguided blame game” has been going on for many years and usually originates from the commercial fishing industry because they see guided anglers as some kind of sideways threat to their livelihood.

Donation a huge attraction
Thanks to Shawn Maltby, general manager, and the Peninsula Oilers for their donation, delivery and pick up of the Suma Wrestling Suits and the Bouncey House that were a huge attraction for the Soldotna Middle School students at their End of the Year Carnival.

Derby races off to a successful start
The Rotary Club of Kenai would like to thank all of the businesses and organizations who sponsored cars and trophies for the Kenai River Soap Box Derby. Your support made this first-year event possible.

Individuals make a difference for others
Several individuals have made a significant difference recently in the lives of individuals with special needs by providing adaptive sports assistance. Their volunteer efforts have increased the feeling of community and social belonging that is much needed with people who face disadvantages on a daily basis.

Reader to dog owners: Own up
To Pamela Parsons and other inconsiderate and lazy dog owners, I would like to say this: It’s a shame that people have a problem with your dogs running loose where they don’t belong. How dare people like us feel the need to be protected from your responsibility. And how dare people like you put us in that position.

Assembly to consider amendments to proposed fiscal year ’08 budget
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is expected to consider several amendments to the proposed fiscal year 2008 budget when they meet in Soldotna on Tuesday.

Board approves standards for new performance-based school
Promising to provide an opportunity for high school kids who would not make it otherwise, funding for a new performance-based high school was approved for Soldotna, and Homer Flex will be changed to operate as a performance model, as well.

Kenai city budget, historic buildings move up for approval
On the eve of budget approval day at the Kenai City Council, the city’s manager views the budget for the coming year as being “healthy.”

Assembly faces full agenda
Beyond the public hearing and expected action on the fiscal year 2008 budget, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will hold several other public hearings.

Boats get 50 horses
You may be out of gas next year if you plan to chase kings up and down the Kenai River using a two-stroke engine. Under new regulations designed to reduce hydrocarbon pollution in the river, boaters must switch to four-stroke or direct fuel injected two-stroke engines beginning Jan. 1.

Kids changing the world one peninsula project at a time
Some of them never held a drill before, let alone built a house, but that won’t stop them from getting the job done. Beginning June 23, approximately 600 kids will each put in 32 hours of labor for a total of 19,200 hours in four days to build houses for middle- to low-income families on the Kenai Peninsula.

EPA reissues inlet discharge permit
The Environmental Protection Agency announced last week it has reissued the general permit under which Alaska oil and gas facilities discharge waste into Cook Inlet.

Richard ‘Dick’ Allen Edwards Sr.
Kenai resident Richard “Dick” Allen Edwards Sr. died Sunday, June 3, 2007, from cancer at home with family and friends near. He was 75.

Dorothy Jeanne Bishop
Longtime Soldotna resident Dorothy Jeanne Bishop died Monday, May 28, 2007, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. She was 75.

Robert J. ‘Kenai Bob’ Stevenson
Anchorage resident Robert J. “Kenai Bob” Stevenson died Friday, June 1, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 59.

Let nature take its course: No matter how distressing, orphaned animals should be left alone
Wild animals belong in the wild. But every spring, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is called to deal with orphaned baby animals. Wildlife managers appreciate that people want to help animals, but in most cases human intervention does not help. People are advised to leave animals alone.

Around the Peninsula
Women voters to meet Steak dinner fundraiser scheduled Garage sale fundraiser set River festival set to flow Community run ready to go Teens for rent

Around the Peninsula
Women go on the defensive Nutrition classes available Alzheimers to be discussed Steak dinner fundraiser scheduled Quilt show a piece of work Summer day camp available in Nikiski Community fun run set to start Everything under the sun fundraiser set Walk for Hope fundraiser planned

Kenai Golf Report
Hello, Golfers. I had the privilege to participate in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life this past weekend as a very minor member of Team XTO (I’m Not Worthy, Ladies!) led by our incredible co-captains, Andrea Reese and Judy Phipps. This was the first time I have (finally) participated in this event and I was so incredibly moved to be there and be a part of it all, even though I did not stay for the entire time. Three of the ladies on our team each logged 100 laps — that would be 25 miles — walking all through the night and the rain — Tami Vincent, Cindy Henry and Judy Phipps. Our total team mileage was an incredible 250-plus miles for 16 people and we raised over $6,000 for this event. Watch out for us next year!

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