Thursday, June 7, 2007

Business Briefs
Chambers set schedules Youth cooking classes offered CISB tote distribution slated Direct marketing for fishermen program set Crime Stoppers seeks support

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.

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.

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.

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.

Letter inspires action
Thanks for the letter from Terri Berg, “It’s time for peace” (Clarion, May 1).

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.

What happened to dog owner responsibility?
Regarding the shooting of Pamela Parson’s animals (Clarion letters, May 23), and reading the response by Jennifer Curry (Clarion, May 30), I have one question: Who is responsible for keeping your animals contained? Someone else? The city, borough, or wait, the dog owner?

Curious sports story compels mom to write
Matthew Carroll’s report on last Thursday’s soccer showdown between the Kenai Kards and the Soldotna Stars at the state soccer playoffs was inaccurate and curious. The inaccuracies I can easily live with; they alone would not compel me to take time to write this. Besides, anyone who attended the game knows that Barry Norwood was an integral part of a total team effort that finished with what would have been the winning goal were it not for a bogus call made with five seconds left to go in regulation time. An outcome-changing bogus call would also not be sufficient for any seasoned soccer mom like me to actually take the time to write this.

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.

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.

Some service area mill rates rise
Tuesday night, with only minutes to spare, the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly approved Resolution 2007-035 that set the property tax mill rates for the borough and its service areas.

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.

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.”

Coalition opposes decision
Kenai Peninsula school board members were not taking kindly to criticism they are receiving with regard to who the new principal will be at the consolidated Sears-Mountain View Elementary School in Kenai.

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.

Hands-on construction course designed to address national builder shortages
Eight hours a day for the next three weeks, local high school students will learn how to wield a hammer, build a window frame and man a power drill while cultivating a good work ethic.

Racing the clock, assembly adopts FY 2008 budget
Pushing hard against a deadline that precludes legislative action past midnight, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly raced the clock Tuesday to adopt the fiscal year 2008 borough budget and pass the resolution cutting the borough’s property tax mill rate by a full mill.

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

James E. Carter Sr.
Longtime Kenai resident James E. Carter Sr. died Tuesday, June 5, 2007, at the Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 79.

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.

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.

Citizens voice irritations: ACT polls public looking for borough hot buttons and burrs
Starting in February, the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers held ice cream socials throughout the borough, visiting Kasilof, Nikiski, Moose Pass, Ninilchik, Sterling, Anchor Point, Seward and Homer. At every venue we solicited the ideas of our fellow borough neighbors. We asked about folks’ hot buttons — the burrs under their saddles, so to speak.

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 voters to meet Cowboy up Garden club digs in Luau fundraiser ready to entertain Nikiski fun run set to start Midnight Sun festivities set Swim lessons make a splash Cheer camp available Walk for Hope fundraiser planned Digital cameras sought Everything under the sun fundraiser set

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

Sequel cashes in on horror
I don’t know exactly why it is, but zombie movies seem to be far more prolific a genre than you’d think. I mean, they’re really just a kind of sub-genre of the greater horror movie category, but for some reason there’s a whole bunch of them. Maybe it’s because, unlike say, werewolf films, zombie movies offer the chance to make sweeping societal commentary. The original “Night of the Living Dead” was a treatise on civil rights, while “Dawn of the Dead” spoke to the issue of consumerism. More recently, the riotous comedy “Sean of the Dead” dares compare the work-a-day drones of Great Britain to the walking deceased.

Poet’s Corner
From first cheery “morning” to “see ya” the last,

Art Briefs
Writers to meet Making the mold Artists wanted to decorate Reality show looking for Alaskans

Hobo Jim reunites with an old friend
How can you tell it’s summer on the Kenai Peninsula? 1) The sun returns to full-time duty; 2) You start to see waders instead of snowmachine pants; and 3) Hobo Jim comes back to BJ’s.

Birch Ridge Golf Report
Birch Ridge Golf Course has been described in many ways (wonderful, friendly, challenging, to name just a few) but this past week the words that come to mind are “wet and wild.”

Rally targets breast cancer
For the second straight year, on Sunday the Birch Ridge Golf Association will be taking part in Rally for the Cure, presented by Golf for Women magazine. Since Rally started in 1996, more than 1.2 million people have participated in the breast cancer awareness campaign, making it the nation’s largest grassroots women’s golf program.

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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