Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Nikko Garden means sunshine and Sushi
For more than twenty years Thomas Shin has been in the restaurant business. Last November he bought the former Golden Dragon restaurant on the Kenai Spur Highway in Ridgeway across from Alyeska Sales & Service. Shin then decided to make over the Golden Dragon into a full service Asian restaurant featuring an international buffet and Sushi Bar. The fruits of his efforts are now available for all to experience at the all new Nikko Garden. “People today are more interested in foods that will increase their overall well being, foods that are healthy as well as fresh and flavorful. So for the last ten years we have searched for a variety of Asian dishes that will satisfy those choices,” said Shin. The Nikko Garden offers a full Japanese menu, Sushi bar, and a blend of Chinese and Korean selections.

Valerie Mackie anxious to begin her People to People adventure
Valerie Mackie of Soldotna has been selected to represent the Kenai Peninsula and Alaska as a People to People ambassador in Europe this summer. Now in its 50th year, the People to People International (PTPI) program was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. “I still like Ike and am grateful for this tremendous opportunity,” Mackie recently told the Soldotna Rotary Club. According to Mackie the purpose of the program is to enhance international understanding and friendships through educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures. “Since its inception, nine U.S. Presidents have served as PTPI's Honorary Chairman including our current President George W. Bush. The organization has reaped benefits from the talents of countless individuals who have supported the ideals set forth by President Eisenhower. Among the early leaders working with President Eisenhower were J. C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, Walt Disney, Bob Hope and approximately 100 other remarkable individuals from industry, academia, and the arts,” reported Mackie.

Funny how it is that whenever you go out fishing here in Alaska you always seem to learn something new or see something different. A few days ago I had a boat full of people on Elephant Lake and found the fishing to be very slow at times and it was rather hard to locate the fish. I don’t use a fish locator so I have to find them the old fashioned way, either fish my old holes or drift till I found a school and then throw out the anchor and hopefully the boat stops right over them. Not real scientific but the method does seem to work.

Liquid sunshine dampens not Kenai River Festival spirit
The Kenai River has become a signature of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, and for the last 16 years, the Kenai River Festival has become a signature event for learning, celebrating, and appreciating nature’s hand writing. The hallmark gathering became so popular it was expanded to a two day event several years ago. This year the festivities got underway with a 5-kilometer run through the streets of Kenai and finished up under soggy skies with the original tunes of Bunny Swan-Gease. In between there were hundreds of activities focused on the next generation to inherit the bounties of the Kenai River. From the Kenai River Sportfishing Association “Hooked on Fishing” rod and reel give-a-way for kids, to interactive story tellers that came from as far away as New Mexico and local puppeteers that performed shows written about the Kenai River, it was a great weekend for the family. There was face painting, knot tying, and space rockets, earth quake houses, un-caged live predatory birds, and a host of activities, “It was an exciting time for kids, and rain didn’t dampen our spirits a bit, the event is designed to teach our children to enjoy and take care of the river for future generations and it was a great success,” said Josselyn Burke, of the Kenai Watershed Forum. The Forum is the coordinating organization for the festival.

Six decades and counting
The first of the “Baby Boomers” turn the big six-oh this year, and while they are no longer recognizable by their long hair and bell bottom trousers, other things certainly do set them apart, things such as their commitment to serving their communities and helping others when asked. One such boomer, Norm Blakeley and his wife Barb were honored this spring by Nancy Murkowski with a First Lady Award for their volunteer efforts. So it was no surprise when Barb announced a party for Norm’s 60th birthday that hundreds turned out to wish him 60 more. “I couldn’t understand all the traffic heading back toward Anchorage on a Saturday afternoon, then I turned off for Norm’s house in Sterling and so did everybody else, I had to park a half mile away and hike in to his house. Princess Tours should have provided a shuttle bus,” said a friend.

Reception a success, thanks to help
Approximately 50 people enjoyed the opportunity to meet and welcome Rick Koch, city manager, and Mary Jo Joiner, library director, at a reception in their honor on May 24 at Kenai Community Library.

Participation made Relay a formidable movement
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The only way to begin is by remarking on the awesome generous community in which we live. While in February we may be asking ourselves, “Now why am I here?,” the answer is available all year long. The most recent moment to celebrate being a part of this community/peninsula is the response to the American Cancer Society’s 2006 Relay For Life.

Hooked on Fishing says thanks
On June 10 at the Kenai River Festival, we had the pleasure through the Hooked on Fishing program of giving 150 rods and reels to local boys and girls. In its fifth year, the program is a joint effort between Kenai River Sportfishing Association and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula.

Poor service not the standard at Stevens’ office
It was with dismay that I read Joann Odd’s June 5 letter to the editor (Clarion). I expect those who contact my office to be treated with respect, and Ms. Odd’s experience is not representative of how my staff interacts with constituents.

Gas line proposal just doesn’t flow right
More awful down sides to the governor’s proposed gas line contract are now coming to light. The state would take enormous unnecessary risks, shift huge profits to oil companies and take away our fundamental constitutional rights. The contract:

Challenge meets with success
This year our generous community raised in excess of $72,000 for the American Cancer Society. A special thank you to the following dental professionals who participated in my friendly local challenge: Dr. Ron Martinelli and Dr. Dan Pitts — who set the bar — Dr. Jim Julien, Dr. Jerry Hu, Carmen Stephl and Dr. Bob Bauder.

Musher keeps Iditarod dream alive — in June
Kasilof musher Lance Mackey is back again, stiff from being days away from a good meal, hot shower and restful night sleep in his own bed. But he is steadfast in his determination and, as usual, many eyes are watching his every move.

School repairs on the cheap
A $2.588 million bond package that could be headed to Kenai Peninsula Borough voters this fall would make the borough eligible for state reimbursement payments covering 70 percent of the costs of four school repair projects.

Freezers net gains
Jeff Elkins watched from a beach near the mouth of the Kasilof River as his son-in-law removed a sockeye from their set gillnet early Saturday afternoon. The tide was retreating back into Cook Inlet and Elkins and his son-in-law, Ben Linford, thought they had picked the net clean earlier in the morning, but discovered a straggler while straightening the net.

Burial issue lives
Talks about building a cemetery in Soldotna have quieted considerably in the past five months, but the desire to have a final resting place for its dead is very much alive.

Inlet pollution nets outcry
A draft permit that would allow greater oil and grease discharges into Cook Inlet is drawing concerns from fishermen and resource management agencies.

Nikiski solstice event all about family activity
Summer solstice means many things. The sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer, the days are the longest of the year and summer has officially begun. In Nikiski, it means one more thing: fun.

Soldotna council student rep hops to it for cash
The Soldotna City Council typically does not require the local citizenry to dance for their supper or jump through hoops to get action, but one person was jumping for a favor last week.

Soldotna police talk local man into signing up
Outstanding character and deep community roots trumped inexperience when the Soldotna Police Department hired one of its latest recruits, said Chief John Lucking.

Kasilof fire station a vote away
An ordinance granting $2.5 million to build a new fire station in Kasilof and renovate an existing station in Funny River will get a public hearing at Tuesday’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.

Victor A. 'Vic' Segura
Lifelong Kenai resident and Alaska Native Victor A. “Vic” Segura died Friday, June 16, 2006, after a short battle with cancer at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 65.

Adam Wesley Summers
Adam Wesley Summers of Evans, Colo., died Sunday, June 11, 2006, at his home. He was 32.

Heroes of the Week
Residents lucky to have medical care Family grateful for support

Around the Peninsula
Are you curious? Counseling service offers education Health Centers board meets today Smolt ID workshop set

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Peninsula Reflections
A recent visitor to the Soldotna Historical Homestead Museum was early Soldotna homesteader, Richard (Dick) Gerhart with several family members. They had come to see Gerhart’s homestead cabin, now located at the museum.

Around the Peninsula
Weir tour date changed Quilting on the Kenai coming up Sterling seniors cook up good time Center offers domestic violence info Meeting set on Holt-Lamplight gas service Market space offered to school kids Teen Center offers summer camp

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Peninsula People
Students earn academic accolades Students earn degrees

Sports Brief
The Peninsula Lady Kings Under-14 fast-pitch softball team dropped a pair of games to Arctic Heat Under-14 on Saturday in Kenai.

Senior Menus
Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Senior Events
Kenai Nikiski Ninilchik Soldotna Sterling

Sports Briefs
Honer, Rooper win five-miler Twins go 2-2 on trip

Oilers hold on for victory over Monarchs
Yes, the Peninsula Oilers’ 6-5 victory against the Lake Erie Monarchs on Sunday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai had its rough moments.

Monarchs avoid Oilers sweep
The Lake Erie Monarchs avoided a sweep by defeating the Peninsula Oilers 4-3 on Monday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Area hockey player makes Arctic Stars
Kasilof’s Jonas Perletti, 11, is one of 15 hockey players from Alaska selected to play in the USA International Hockey Cup in Blaine, Minn., which will be held Thursday though Sunday.

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