Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kenai River Festival returns to the River
By all accounts the return to the river of the Kenai River Festival made a big splash in Soldotna. From the Run for the River participants who enjoyed the new 10K course which brought them by the river to visitors from Iowa who enjoyed eating a salmon dinner on the banks of the very river where the fish was originally spawned, it was a great event. The 17th annual Kenai River Festival began at Soldotna Creek Park in 1990 as a community celebration of the river and a time to learn more about how everyone can help to protect it for future generations. As the event grew in popularity and participation, new things kept being added until a larger venue became necessary for the festival so it was moved to the Park Strip in Kenai. With the move of the Department of Transportation station in Soldotna and the addition of that property to Soldotna Creek Park, folks started asking when the festival might return to the river.

Soldotna Salmon Wall gets face lift
In 1988 the Soldotna High School Art Club proposed painting a mural on the Binkley Street retainer wall behind Safeway in Soldotna as a deterrent to graffiti. The mural images the life cycle of a salmon and has remained graffiti free since it was originally painted. This year the SoHi Art Club once again proposed giving the mural a face lift, “During one of our club meetings during school it came up that the wall was starting look a little faded and shabby, so we talked to the City of Soldotna about it and they gave us a $500 grant to cover the costs of paint and supplies. So now Erin and grandma are here helping me complete the project,” Art Club President Aubrey Morgan told the Dispatch with paint brush in hand and paint on her face as well. “It kind of just happens,” said Erin Powers, another art club member, “You get some on the wall, some on your face and some on anyone who gets close,” said Powers. Of the ten or so club members, Powers and Morgan and her grandmother were the two following through with the summer project.

Bike & Car Show at Harley Davidson thrills huge crowd
People with a passion for motorized wheels turned out in masses Saturday at the 4th Annual Harley Davidson of the Kenai Peninsula Bike & Car Show in Soldotna. According to Si Zimmerman, Peninsula Harley Davidson manager, the idea was to create an event where anyone could bring by their favorite customized machine and show them off to the community. “If it has wheels and a motor it’s welcomed in the show,” said Zimmerman. The event has grown every year and this year’s show drew bikers from as far away as Fairbanks. Barry Matteson owner of the House of Harley in Anchorage, Wasilla and Soldotna was on hand this year and said it was a sunny ride all the way down the Peninsula, “I came down on my Electra glide with about 25 other Harley riders and it was a smooth and sunny ride the whole way,” smiled Matteson. According to Matteson, Alaska is said to have more bikes per capita that any other state in the nation, “And I know we have more female riders in Alaska than anywhere else in the nation,” he said. Matteson and his House of Harley also sponsors the nationally famous Arctic Attack stunt riding team, “They all ride Buell motorcycles which are made by Harley Davidson and they put on a great show and keep getting better every time,” added Matteson who first came to Alaska in 1963. Matteson told the Dispatch that motorcycling was just a hobby at first, “A way to work on my bike and help my friends with theirs, then I was able to get the Harley Davidson franchise in 1975 and it’s still a hobby for me, I still love riding motorcycles and want to ride as much as I can, and now I get to make a living at it while giving back to the community. We’re getting ready next for our Live Ride for Muscular Dystrophy where last year we raised over $60,000 for Jerry’s Kids and our goal this year is $75, 000,” said Matteson.

We have all done things in our life that we later wished we had not done. Sometimes we may think at the time that we are doing the right thing only to find out later that the method we used to solve a problem wasn’t appropriate for that situation. Many years ago (more than 15 years ago) an adult personal friend borrowed $100 from me. I don’t remember if it was $100 all at once or if it accumulated by ten or twenty dollars a time.

Soldotna Lions select life partners for Citizen of the Year Award
Lions Clubs are known for their community service in assisting children with eye sight problems or other medical necessities, scholarships and a myriad of other service projects. The Soldotna Lions Club also started a tradition several years ago of selecting a man and a woman who exhibits outstanding service to the community each year and by a vote of the club membership bestowing upon them the honor of “Citizen of the Year.” At last weeks Soldotna City Council meeting Soldotna Lions Club president Tim Musgrove explained to the Council, “Lions believe that service through giving of one’s self without regard for recognition or gain is a basic building block of maintaining a healthy and vibrant community. One in which we all prosper and enjoy life. Past recipients of this award have been Kathy Gensel, Merrill Sikorski, your own Jane Stein, Kathy Lopeman and Mike Sweeney, just to mention a few,” said Musgrove. “This year we have selected a lady who for a long time has played a pivotal role in bringing care and counseling to victims of breast cancer. She has devoted many hours of her time and her energies working towards diminishing the devastating impact of this dreaded disease. We wish to recognize therefore Allyson Stogsdill as our female Citizen of the year and in this way say thank you for caring about Soldotna,” continued Musgrove. “Our male citizen of the year has given many years of service to the City of Soldotna, our business community, and other service organizations. He is much admired and respected by his professional peers and serves on City Council as a senior councilperson and vice mayor by your selection. So it is with thanks for his dedicated service that the Soldotna Lions Club has selected Councilman Jim Stogsdill as our male Citizen of the Year.”

Students shine with help from others
On April 16 and 17, three fifth-graders and one fourth-grader from Tustumena Elementary School competed in the Future Problem Solving State Bowl and won first place in the junior division. They were invited to represent the state at the 2007 International Future Problem Solving Conference in Fort Collins at Colorado State University, where they worked with and competed against some of the brightest, most creative people of their generation from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia and many states of the U.S.A.

Beverly Ann Englishbee
Longtime Anchor Point resident Beverly Ann Englishbee died Monday, June 18, 2007, surrounded by family from breast cancer at home. She was 66.

Dale Bondurant
A celebration of life for Funny River resident Dale Bondurant will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 24, 2007, at the Funny River fire station at Mile 16.5 Funny River Road.

Local government looks out for community’s welfare
Thank you for Support of the New Community Health Center in Soldotna.

Where are the stewards?
Greed and abuse have finally polluted the Kenai to the point it is listed as impaired. Who wants to come and fish in a sewer, or be run down by some speeding fool. The Columbia in Washington can meet the need for salmon that smell like diesel.

Self-defense class a success on many levels
The Kenai Peninsula Chapter of Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) held a self-defense class for women last week. I would like to thank the following folks who helped make the class possible: The Carr’s Foundation (Anchorage), Carlile Transportation, Central Peninsula Hospital, Save-U-More, Safeway and Jersey Subs.

Illegal immigration must stop
Fire all the guards in the immigration department! With over twelve million illegal Mexican aliens in the United States, the immigration department has not only failed its duty, but it is tantamount to treason. In a nation that is in a state of war, why is it that illegal aliens have more rights than aliens trying to enter the United States legally? No amnesty and economic sanctions against Mexico! A secure border should be our greatest priority.

Food bank helps fills many voids
On June 5, Soldotna City Council members Shane Horan and Ed Sleater, along with myself, helped to serve lunch to members of the community at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.

4 injured in Yukon Island plane crash
A Smokey Bay Air single-engine plane crashed Tuesday morning on Yukon Island, injuring a man and three women. All four victims were taken by Maritime Helicopters to Homer and treated at South Peninsula Hospital.

Nikiski teens sticking it out for duct tape scholarship
Chelsey Dorman’s duct tape dress got a lot of attention during the Nikiski High School prom in May, and she’s hoping it receives even more in a national scholarship competition.

Nothing to sneeze at
A runny nose in the summer isn’t unusual for Carlise Eck. As one of the 25 percent of the United States population suffering from allergies, Eck will not only be greeted by family and friends when she comes home from college this summer, a swarm of pollen granuels wait to assault her mucus membranes, making her eyes water and her nose run.

Zero discharge possible, environmentalists say
The Cook Inlet oil and gas industry has the technology and the money to reach zero discharge of pollutants, a move that is long past due, says Cook Inletkeeper, one of several plaintiffs in a suit filed June 15 challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to OK a new five-year general discharge permit for the Cook Inlet oil and gas industry.

Kenai commercial fleet ‘blessed and ready to go’
The thing that scares Ronald Mehan the most is a man overboard. This is why, after fishing in Alaska for more than 40 years, he knows a fisherman nThe thing that scares Ronald Mehan the most is a man overboard. This is why, after fishing in Alaska for more than 40 years, he knows a fisherman needs all the protection he can get, even divine protection.eeds all the protection he can get, even divine protection.

New forest, just add fire
Unlike its location suggests, woods on the Moose River Flats by the East Fork Moose River east of Sterling aren’t good habitat for moose. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge hopes to change that with a prescribed burn Thursday.

Rogers has 23 months still to serve
Shawn Rogers will spend the next 23 months behind bars for the 2004 shooting death of Brian Black in a Beluga tavern.

Kenai Council expected to scuttle Harbor Commission
Citing difficulty in recruiting committed people to serve, the Kenai City Council is expected to vote tonight to eliminate the city’s Harbor Commission.

Becoming a pollen counter not hard
Setting up a pollen-testing site on the Kenai Peninsula is easier than it sounds.

Kenai bench vacancies filling up gradually
With the official robing of Superior Court Judge Anna Moran on Monday, the Kenai courthouse came one step closer to filling three bench vacancies.

EPA sued over inlet waste
Calling the move a last resort, a coalition of Alaska Native villages, commercial fishing organizations and Cook Inletkeeper are suing the Environmental Protection Agency challenging the general permit recently issued by the agency allowing the oil and gas industry to continue dumping toxic wastes into Cook Inlet.

Wildfire burns Caribou Hills
A wildfire reported Tuesday in the Caribou Hills east of Ninilchik has drawn an all-out response from state Division of Forestry firefighting units.

Beverly Ann Englishbee
Longtime Anchor Point resident Beverly Ann Englishbee died Monday, June 18, 2007, surrounded by family from breast cancer at home. She was 66.

Forest Glen ‘Loco’ Miller-Feik
Longtime Kenai resident Forest Glen “Loco” Miller-Feik died unexpectedly Saturday, June 16, 2007, at his home. He was 26.

Dale Bondurant
A celebration of life for Funny River resident Dale Bondurant will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 24, 2007, at the Funny River fire station at Mile 16.5 Funny River Road.

Charles ‘Charlie’ B. Gerrish
Longtime Soldotna and Kenai resident Charles “Charlie” B. Gerrish died Sunday, June 3, 2007, at his home. He was 78.

Tina L. Thayer
Longtime Soldotna resident Tina L. Thayer died unexpectedly Saturday, June 16, 2007, in Soldotna. She was 36.

Around the Peninsula
Summer day camp available in Nikiski Nutrition classes available Quilt show a piece of work Hospital plans special meeting Parent education offered

Around the Peninsula
Caregiver support meetings slated Parent education offered Report on Middle East today Ham radio field day ready to broadcast Spit run set to start Ninilchik fair seeks sponsors, gardeners

Sports Brief
As part of Family Fun in the Midnight Sun, a walk/run was held on Saturday in Nikiski. There was a three-mile event and a five-mile event. The winner of the women’s three-mile event was Heidi Chay at 28 minutes, 17 seconds, with Nicole Johnson in second at 28:33 and Katelyn Rullman in third at 34:27. The winner of the men’s three-mile event was Peter Ribbens at 24:23, with Daniel Ribbens in second at 26:51 and Tanner Payment in third at 27:05.

Oilers blank Sandblasters
The Peninsula Oilers moved their record to 7-0 on the season with an efficient 5-0 victory over the Three Rivers (Ore.) Sandblasters on Tuesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Oilers top Sandblasters, move to 6-0
New head coach, same Oilers.

Alaska’s best earn trip to national high school rodeo finals
Tanisha Tucker, 17, of Homer grew up on a ranch in Colorado, but she never had an opportunity to be involved with high school rodeo.

Kenai Golf Course
Hello, golfers. What a beautiful weekend we just had. Here’s hoping that this nice weather sticks around for a while so that we can enjoy the beautiful Kenai Golf Course, Kenai River, Kenai Peninsula; hmmm, seems that a lot of my favorite things start with Kenai. Coincidence? I think not.

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