Friday, June 11, 2010

ACVB: Anchorage ideal for conventions
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Despite severe budget cutbacks and a slumping bed tax collection, the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to attract organizations looking for a location for its conventions.

Business Briefs

Chambers set luncheon schedules

Ready or not? Russian set to open
Recent fishery restrictions on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers and southern Peninsula streams may have gotten some anglers down, but there is something to look forward to this weekend with the opener of the Russian River.

One summer of king salmon fishing magic
I have been very fortunate to live on the Kenai Peninsula for more than 30 years. I was able to spend a considerable amount of time fishing the Kenai River and the surrounding streams. I fished many days with remarkable success and felt compelled to write a book of short stories. I wanted to illustrate some of the great sport fishing the Peninsula offered. Here is the short version of one:

Fish and Game watching Anchor River
The Department of Fish and Game is considering closure of the Anchor River to king fishing the rest of the season depending on fish counts there, according to officials.

Angler requests prompt emergency order updates
The Department of Fish and Game has an "Inseason fishing hotline" for Soldotna, listed on the cover of their 2010 Fishing Regulations (262-2737). As of June 9 at 10 p.m. it stated that "at this time no emergency orders are in effect for this area"! Friday the fourth, the day after the rumor hit the Kenai area of the pending Saturday king closure, I called their office and requested that they update their recording, which they assured me they would do very quickly, but they hadn't had time yet.

If the river is closed, should salt be closed, too?
Fish and Game has just closed the Kenai River to king fishing for the month of June, and has limited native king fishing in the Kasilof River, ostensibly to assure maximum escapement for spawning in a very low run year. There is no question escapement should come first to assure reasonable king runs 5 to 9 years from 2010. However, limiting king harvest should not be restricted only to the rivers' fisheries! That action penalizes only the river guides! The source of mature spawning kings is the ocean and Cook Inlet, which should also be closed to harvesting kings. If the Kenai Peninsula rivers are closed for kings for the month of June, it should be obvious to Fish and Game that both tourists and locals will simply move to the saltwater to troll for kings using bait. And the king spawning escapement will be reduced even more than Fish and Game's current forecast.

Pebble mine a bad idea
Phil St. George's letter "Pebble Mine Could Help Southwest Economy" reminds me of the federal government telling Alaskans what to do. From Eagle River, he doesn't understand how fishing has always been very important to Southwest Alaska.

Life Line a wonderful service
As a senior, almost octogenarian, I still live happily independent and care for all my needs. However, the one service I cannot do without is Life Line.

Closure tough to tackle : Kenai River shutdown hurting the local fishing business
In five years Ken's Alaskan Tackle might not be around. Ken Lacy, longtime owner of the shop in Soldotna, is thinking about shuttering his business because of dwindling salmon returns that are bad for business.

Restrictions set on Anchor River kings
King salmon sport fishing on the Anchor River has been restricted to catch-and-release for the remainder of the month, according to the Department of Fish and Game. The restriction begins 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Soldotna passes $11.6 million budget
The Soldotna City Council passed a $11.6 million dollar budget Wednesday night. The council also set a 1.65 mill rate for its property tax.

Borough passes $73M budget
The Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor's attempt to deliver a tax-cutting budget that called for dipping $7 million deep into the borough's savings didn't fly with the assembly on Tuesday night.

Anchor River restricted to catch-and-release for kings: Escapement goals are uncertain for this year
King salmon sport fishing on the Anchor River has been restricted to catch-and-release for the remainder of the month, according to the Department of Fish and Game. The restriction begins 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Airport tries new way to deal with fowl issues
The Kenai Municipal Airport began training their bird control dog this week.

Kings open for catch and release on the Kenai
The Kenai River will open for catch-and-release king salmon fishing at midnight from the river mouth to the Soldotna Bridge.

Trio survive glacier fall
JUNEAU (AP) -- When Sharon Early saw a 6-foot-high wall of ice and rock careening toward her, she could only think one thing: "It's still coming, it's still coming, if it keeps coming there's nothing we can do."

Man dies in boat accident
A 49-year-old Washington man died on Tuesday evening when a nylon boat rope snapped and struck him in the torso off the banks of the Kasilof River.

Debra Lynn Chaffin
Kenai resident and Alaska Native Debra Lynn Chaffin died Sunday, June 6, 2010 at home in Kenai. She was 48.

Merlin Arthur "Mac" Chesney
Longtime Alaskan and Kasilof resident Merlin Arthur "Mac" Chesney, 72, died Tuesday, June 8, 2010, surrounded by his family at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

Arthur "Mac" Chesney
Longtime Alaskan and Kasilof resident Merlin Arthur "Mac" Chesney, 72, died Tuesday, June 8, 2010 surrounded by his family at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

Randy C. Cronce
Lifelong Kenai resident and Alaska Native Randy C. Cronce, 58, died Sunday, June 6, 2010, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer.

Duane A. Braun
Wasilla resident Duane A. Braun died, Thursday, June 3, 2010, in Seattle. He was 27.

Getting a handle on the Peninsula's brown bears
We heard an interesting announcement last week from biologists at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, who are undertaking a project to count the Peninsula brown bear population. This survey, which includes nearly 200 sites to collect hair for DNA sampling, is good news both for the bears and for those of us who live among them.

Local climbers take shots at Mount Hunter, Denali
Some people are content to have the snowclad peaks of Alaska as a backdrop to their lives.

What should I do if I find a baby bird?
This is the time of the year when the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge starts receiving calls from the public about injured or abandoned baby birds and nestlings.

Around the Peninsula

Pools post summer hours

Poet's Corner: Belated Birthday Wish
I know it's more than just a few days late

What's Happening

Best bets

Poet's Corner: Dorothy Westphal
They should have named a flower after you.

Running and Rocking at the River Fest
The 20th annual Kenai River Festival is being held at Soldotna Creek Park this weekend to celebrate the Kenai Peninsula's lifeblood -- the Kenai River.

Brand a bright spot in 'Greek'
"Get Him To The Greek"

When we think we're on solid footing, it can be easy to slip
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

Church News

Funny River youth group plans spaghetti feed

Birch Ridge Golf Report: 'Hook a Kid on Golf' program attracts several youngsters to Birch Ridge
After a week of "Hook a Kid on Golf," we've now got more than 40 kids participating in the Junior Golf Clinic. The junior golfers are fortunate to have not only course pros Tom Walsh and Bill Engberg providing guidance, but also former Birch Ridge Junior Golfer Aaron Dexheimer. Aaron holds a few records on Alaska golf courses, including the course record at Birch Ridge and winning the Alaska State Amateur in 2000. Aaron is now a touring pro playing in pro golf tournaments in Alaska, California and the Pacific Northwest.

Twins split with visiting West
The American Legion Twins continued their streak of winning the opening nine-inning conference game then losing the following seven-inning nonconference game against visiting West on Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Twins notched a 13-12, come-from-behind win in extra innings in the first game and dropped the second game 8-4. The Twins are 3-0 in the league and 3-3 overall.

Bird Homestead Golf Report: Junior golfers learn golf lessons for life
What an exciting week at Bird Homestead Golf Course. Saturday was the first Bird Homestead Golf Association Youth Golf clinic. Dave Kimura and Judi Artman worked with the kids on holding and positioning the clubs and putting. They had a small competition at the end of the day with most putts going to Trenton Robinson. The goal is to just get the kids interested in golf, because they are the future. Bring the kids out Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for a little golfing fun (parents are welcome). Thanks to Dave and Judi for volunteering their time to work with these future golfers.

Oilers defeat Glacier Pilots
The Peninsula Oilers improved to 2-0 by defeating the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 6-1 on Thursday in Alaska Baseball League play at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Lynx notch sweep of Twins
American Legion Twins manager John Butler said Dimond is one of the top three teams in the state, and Thursday the visiting Lynx reaffirmed that statement. Dimond swept the Twins in a doubleheader at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Lynx invoked the mercy rule in Game 1 with a 14-3 win in five innings and blanked the Twins 11-0 in seven innings in Game 2.

Oilers edge out Bucs in season opener
It was Peninsula Oilers double-double time. Except, instead of burgers offered for two straight doubles in a longtime promotion at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, Oilers fans received a season-opening victory on the road.

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