Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Often times the Alaska wilderness is not a very forgiving place for any of us. Just last summer the bugs in certain parts of Alaska were simply unbearable, in fact they were right down brutal. Just imagine yourself being an unsuspecting family enjoying life in the Alaska outdoors about one hundred years ago and all of a sudden you’re hit by a swarm of the nastiest, hungriest bugs on earth. There is no Trustworthy Hardware store to go buy your bug nets, mosquito spray or other types of insect repelling devices. I can’t begin to imagine battling bugs like they were in Beluga last summer without some sort of modern day devices to protect us. How these early settlers even functioned in these situations let alone existed in an active outdoor type lifestyle is beyond me. I know that some of the early native people made smudge pots that left a black smoky fragrance in the air to help drive away bugs but I am not 100% sure what was all in them. Besides the large variety of bug repelling devices available to us today we also have much better gear available to live in the Alaska outdoors then the early settlers. One of the most important things I can think of is our footwear. Today you can buy a large assortment of lightweight waterproof footwear that is comfortable from the first day you put them on. You don’t have to break them in like the old stiff leather boots that were manufactured many years ago.

Saluting the heroes of American freedom
A large crowd of dignitaries, veterans, and local families, gathered Memorial Day Monday to remember the real meaning of the first holiday weekend of the summer. “While Alaskans are ready to start fishing and hiking in our beautiful state, for those bearing arms in service to America deployed around the world today is just another day at the office, and I feel that it is an obligation for all Americans to do as we are doing here today to pause recognizing that freedom is not free, and remembering those who have served, are serving, and especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in honor of our country,” said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, who came from Washington D.C. to join the local Kenai services held at Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai. Murkowski recognized the opposition to the war and pointed out that troops overseas were working to secure the right to dissent for others around the world.

Interactive visioning for the future of the Kenai Peninsula
Ever wonder what the peninsula will look like in the future if we increase the population by another 50,000, or 75,289? What will happen to brown bear or Coho salmon habitat if we build another 100 or 500 miles of roads? How much money will we save by growing our municipalities up instead of out? What happens if we replace more hanging culverts and build new culverts so juvenile salmon can get through? Will better fish habitat create more fisheries jobs, tourists, and tourism dollars? How will future oil and gas development impact the ecology of the Peninsula and what is the impact of new jobs created from it and how will climate change affect all of these factors?

Sweeney’s Warehouse opens for the summer...
The grand opening of Sweeney’s Warehouse has become like a rite of summer on the Central Peninsula. For the last fifteen years Soldotna’s favorite Irishman has offered blow out prices on some of the most commonly needed Alaskan outdoor apparel at the warehouse behind his Working Man’s Store, “It’s been very successful for us and popular with our customers from all over, we offer close out items, samples, some military surplus and special buys that I can make during the off season along with items we want to move out of the main store. The basics are boots, rain gear and socks, and I like to say the shopping is hot even when the fishing is not,” said Sweeney.

SoHi teacher to make long distance open-water swim
While many residents of the Kenai Peninsula will be visiting the Kenai River Festival this weekend, Soldotna High School math and science teacher Jim Barkman will be swimming around Key West, Florida, that’s right, completely around the island. The event is the 30th Annual 12.5 mile Swim Around Key West that will be held on Saturday, June 10th. This challenging swim begins at the Bertha Street Boat Ramp on the Atlantic side of the island and the swimmers will circumnavigate the island clockwise returning to the start.

Support for graduates was life of the party
Nikiski High School and the Class of 2006 and their parents would like to thank the local businesses and agencies that donated to their after graduation party. These generous donations made for an exciting safe night of celebration. Again, thank you for investing in Alaska’s children:

KRSA economic study didn’t take all facts into account
On May 16th, Rick Gease presented the “new” KRSA economic study to the borough assembly. The study used old commercial fishing data and new sportfish figures. When he said “We have to find ways to get more people on and off the river faster ...” the voice in my head asked why? Of course it said a little more than that, however the comment is consistent with KRSA access and allocation plans. Is this where the need for 50hp motors is justified?

Dry conditions kick up fire danger
Wildfire risks on the Kenai Peninsula have re-flared, following a streak of warm temperatures and low humidity levels.

Alaska gets mixed fishing review
A report critical of national fishery bycatch rates raised alarms over the total bycatch discarded by federally managed fisheries in Alaska. But the report also found room to praise federally managed fisheries in Alaska for progressive management policies and bycatch reductions.

Kenai plunges on in dipnet work
As the salmon dipnet fishing season fast approaches, the city of Kenai is busy making facility improvements at the Kenai River mouth’s north beach and at the city dock. All work is scheduled to be done before the season opener.

Kaleidoscope will add kindergarten, 4th grade
Kaleidoscope Charter School was given the green light to expand and explore the option of leasing extra classroom space outside Sears Elementary School in Kenai.

PERS, firearms on ‘to do’ list
Now that the state has kicked in $235,000 for the Kenai public employees’ retirement account, the city council will be asked to consider altering its budget, which is slated for final approval this evening.

Murkowski stumps for gasline
Delaying any freeze on oil and gas tax rates until producers have fully committed to building a gas pipeline, an idea floating this week as state lawmakers discuss amending the Alaska Stranded Gas Development Act, presents some possibilities for compromise, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Tuesday in Soldotna.

5 boaters plucked from choppy inlet
Five people were rescued from Cook Inlet after their boat went down in choppy seas Tuesday afternoon.

Transfer sites lure in bears
Whether it’s a food delivery truck or your pickup truck and a load of trash, it’s all the same to the bear waiting at the waste transfer site for the next delivery and finishing off the remainder of your neighbor’s honey mustard and ham sandwich.

Lawmakers split on oil tax
Sunday’s vote passing the Alaska House’s version of the controversial petroleum profits tax regime had members crossing party lines, and that included the three Republicans representing districts on the Kenai Peninsula.

Roger Dale Consiel
Lifelong Kenai resident and Alaska Native Roger Dale Consiel died Sunday, June 4, 2006 at home. He was 56.

Robin Kay Notter
Robin Kay Notter died Friday, June 2, 2006, at her home in Soldotna. She was 48.

Robin Kay Notter
Soldotna resident Robin Kay Notter, died Friday, June 2, 2006, at her home in Soldotna. She was 48.

Opal Fairchild’s daughter grateful for help with trial
As I try to comprehend the end of the long saga of bringing the killer of my mother, Opal Fairchild, to justice, I want to thank the people who have worked so diligently the past 21 years. There are many people who have contributed at the Alaska State Troopers and its not possible to list them all by name, but I want them to know my family and I are eternally grateful for the job they do every single day. Professional law enforcement is more a calling, than a job, and Alaska is truly blessed to have such dedicated officers and support staff. A special thank you to the cold case investigators for their tireless efforts to solve this case, we would not be here today without these two outstanding public servants.

Around the Peninsula
Swim lessons available Peninsula Democrats to meet Historical society meeting planned Mental heath classes available Peace group to meet Golf tourney fundraiser set Community pandemic flu seminar slated Lacrosse club seeks members Team seeks work Garden helpers sought

Around the Peninsula
Swim lessons offered Art, music festival set Nikiski senior events, menus set

Sports Brief
The Kenai Peninsula district of the National Barrel Horse Association helds its first event of the season Wednesday at the Soldotna Equestrian Arena in Soldotna. There will now be weekly races on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. through August. The races are for weekly points and a nightly jackpot.

Sports Briefs
Racing Lions hold circle track event Racing Lions hold motocross event

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