Soldotna council student rep hops to it for cash

Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2006

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.

Samuel Peter, who has served on the council as its student representative for the past year, performed the Alaska high kick, the two-foot high kick and the one-foot high kick — Native competition events — in front of council members in anticipation of receiving the council’s support for the upcoming World Eskimo Indian Olympics.

While his friend and teammate, Mary Awalin, held a ball suspended from a long stick about seven feet above the council chamber floor, Peter attempted to kick the ball from a standing position.

He made the high kick, missed the two-foot high kick and made the one-foot high kick on his second attempt.

Awalin then demonstrated the woman’s knuckle hop, another Eskimo competition event in which the participant takes a pushup position and hops forward on her knuckles, mimicking the movement of a seal on Arctic ice, trying for the greatest overall distance.

The city leaders apparently were impressed, as Mayor Dave Carey presented the two with a $500 city mini-grant for the WEIO Team Kaahatnu to help pay for travel to the Olympics in Fairbanks.

In other action, the council approved:

n reimbursing the developer of Westgate Subdivision $114,025 for installation of a lift station to accommodate sewer lines;

n applying $136,756 in state aid to the city’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) account. The city had previously approved contributing 22.94 percent of payroll to the PERS account for the coming year; and

n a $250 cash grant and $250 in exchange for work to Future Problem Solvers students to assist with travel costs for the international competition at Colorado State University.

Council member Jane Stein reported the city would net $90,000 in tax revenue as a result of $3 million spent during the Arctic Winter Games.

“Yes, the Games were successful,” Stein said.

Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael reported that final inspection will be done Tuesday on the Soldotna Creek Trail walkway along the Kenai River.

“We now have 2,200 feet of elevated walkway,” he said, adding that people can now walk along the river from Soldotna Creek Park to the Aspen Hotel without damaging the riverbank.

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