Thursday, June 28, 2007

Business Briefs
Chambers set schedules Youth cooking classes offered CISB tote distribution slated

BP Celebrates 30th Anniversary of TAPS at Soldotna Creek Park
Alaskans only have to think of their Permanent Fund Dividend check to come up with a reason to celebrate 30 years of black gold flowing through the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS). British Petroleum (BP) officials said they were “Hungry for a celebration,” so they fired up their grills at Soldotna Creek Park on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon and invited everyone from the Peninsula to join them for burgers, hotdogs and chips. “Thirty years is always a big birthday to celebrate and we chose the warmest day to do it on,” said Steven Ramsay, BP Gas to Liquids Plant Manager in Nikiski. Ramsey lives in Kenai with his family and says things are going well at the GTL plant, “We’re proving out our main technology that converts the gas to liquids and that’s going pretty well and we are at the stage where we are looking for commercial projects whether that will be inside or outside Alaska,” said Ramsay. He feels that TAPS has another good 50 years of service, “Oil production on the Slope should pan out for the next 50 years and of course if we want to get the oil to market you need the pipeline.” Hundreds turned out at Soldotna Creek Park to enjoy the catered barbeque, music and some clowning around. “A great time was had by all, it was a perfect sunny day and if BP tried to have a picnic in Scotland it would most likely rain, so a day like today must prove we’re doing something right in Alaska,” added Ramsay.

Kenai Saturday market drawing more vendors and visitors than ever
Kenai’s Saturday Market, next to the Kenai Chamber Log Cabin and across from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center (KVCC), opened two years ago with 12 dedicated vendors. This year that number has nearly tripled with 33 full-time vendors registered to participate throughout the 2007 season that runs through September 15th, as well as many more part time vendors. The fee for participating in the Market is on a sliding scale according to Mya Renken, executive director for the Kenai Convention & Visitors Bureau, “It’s works out to be less expensive the more Saturdays the vendor is in attendance,” says Renken. “The program wouldn’t have been possible without a federally supported program of the Alaska State Department of Labor, Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training or MASST for short. We brought on Jan Stiers to work on creating the foundation of the Saturday Market. When she moved on to another job, we transferred Harold Piland into the position of Kenai’s Saturday Market Coordinator, which he has held since.”

Peninsula Clarion - Dispatch

Sun shines on family fun during Nikiski Days
The 21st Annual Nikiski Days was treated to a postcard perfect summer day last week as hundreds turned out for some old fashioned Family Fun in the Midnight Sun. According to Judene Van Cleave, president of the Nikiski Chamber of Commerce, some $6,000 worth of family prizes were given away thanks to the Nikiski Chamber of Commerce and their generous sponsors. The day included live music and age appropriate games for kids one through twelve with a free bicycle and helmet for each category. Everything fun from sponge throws to pony rides and volleyball delighted the youth from the Central Peninsula who gathered at the Nikiski Recreation Center. There were some 25 vendors and information booths that ranged from Nikiski Cheerleaders to the Fair Trade Coffee Federation and Peninsula Health Center.

Cultivating beautiful smiles for over thirty years
While there are many things that can wipe a smile off your face, Orthodontist Justin Moore of Soldotna has a passion for putting beautiful smiles on peoples faces of all ages. “It’s the first thing you see in the morning when you get up and the last thing you see at night, so a nice smile makes you feel good about yourself and confident so your whole life seems a little easier,” says Dr. Moore. Times have changed since only kids wore braces, “A lot of adults have always wanted straight teeth but perhaps their parents couldn’t afford it or there was no orthodontist where they grew up so now that the kids are out of the nest they still would like to have nice teeth for themselves and they’re coming in,” explained Moore. He admits that when he was first in dental school adults wearing braces was unheard of, “Then as we started doing more and more orthodontic work on adults we realized that adult teeth move and work just as quickly as kids teeth and a lot of times better because adults are more motivated, they always brush, they’ll wear two rubber bands when you tell them to wear one so we have to watch them to be sure they don’t do to much to make it go faster, but the maturity and motivation actually makes things work extremely well.”

Reader wants to straighten out bear vs. dog story
In regards to Carolyn Dowell’s letter (Clarion, June 22). I would like to clarify a few points in regard to the dog attacked by the bear.

Orphans need more support
This spring, with 150 channels but nothing on TV, I clicked to “Gavel to Gavel.” You know, that Alaska Legislature show that’s watched religiously by 350,000 “move the capitol” proponents?

Soldier’s father asks for prayers
Please lift up our soldiers in prayer and your thoughts for them at this time. On June 22 during this latest operation, our son, Josh, lost several of his buddies who have been serving in Iraq with him.

‘It’s just hit or miss’
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories examining the lasting impact of Kenai River flooding and ice jams this winter. Thursday’s story is on the impact to municipal structures along the riverbank.

Clerk questions elected borough attorney query
The Kenai Peninsula Borough clerk needs a little more information before giving the green light to a petition seeking to have the borough attorney be elected rather than be appointed by the borough mayor.

Bears, burials, campers on tap
Bears, burials and whether to give free campers the boot are slated for discussion at tonight’s Soldotna City Council meeting.

‘It’s like a phoenix’
Blackened pilings guard an overturned propane stove, charred microwave and other mangled appliances scattered in a pool of shattered glass and crumbled dry wall. What used to be the family’s 13-year-old recreational cabin now stands in a sea of scorched grass that turns to ash under foot.

Fire sparks plans
As residents venture back to their cabins and firefighters gain ground on the Caribou Hills blaze, emergency officials unveiled a plan that would ensure peoples’ safety while providing them with reliable information during emergencies.

Peninsula closed to open burning
The Division of Forestry closed all open burning for areas on the Kenai Peninsula Wednesday, including burning in barrels.

Motorhome crash kills two
Two people were killed and four others injured when a motorhome crashed into a ditch at Mile 25 of the Seward Highway Tuesday afternoon. Upon entering the ditch, the motorhome crashed into several trees causing the passenger-side panel to be ripped off.

Municipal structures take a hit
From the looks of things this summer, one might think all of Soldotna is out to build brand new docks and fishing platforms along the Kenai River.

Low sulfur diesel facility on line
With an investment of $63 million, Tesoro officially opened its new Distillate Desulfurization Unit (DDU) at the company’s Kenai Refinery.

Canoe capsizes on Kenai; 1 man missing
A man is still missing after a canoe capsized on the Kenai River near Naptowne rapids Tuesday. Emergency officials searched the river from Mile 39 to the mouth with no luck so far.

Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Sewell
Former Kenai resident Jacqueline “Jackie” Sewell died Thursday, June 21, 2007 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage from complications of Alzheimers. She was 83.

Lorraine Mary Blake
Longtime Kasilof resident Lorraine Mary Blake died Tuesday, June 26, 2007, at her home. She was 77.

‘Thank you for opportunity’: Representative Kohring explains reasons for leaving office
On Tuesday, June 19, at the chamber of commerce luncheon in Wasilla, I announced my resignation from the state House of Representatives, a body I served in for more than 12 years. The chamber gave me only five minutes to speak. Five minutes did not allow enough time to give a full accounting of why I decided to resign and the background for that decision. I believe this column gives a more complete narrative.

How to avoid the rumors: A few facts about subsistence fishing on the Kenai Peninsula
In these days of talk radio and Internet blogs, rumors and opinions can sound a lot like facts and misinformation can move with amazing speed.

Around the Peninsula
CPGH board members to meet Archers take aim Dance fundraiser set to swing/li> God and country rally slated

Around the Peninsula
Volunteers get their read on 4-H club seeks members Berry growers to meet Baseball game up to bat UCIDA to meet Kenai library plans Sunday closures Social Security reps to visit peninsula Unity run set to start Kids reading program continues

Poet’s Corner
Near Chuckling Stream, in Wooded Vale,

Author publishes coming-to-Alaska tale
Former Kenai Peninsula resident Ethel McMilin has published “A Cheechako’s View of Alaska” with Tate Publishing.

To market, to market ...
It’s not quite time for the fresh produce one would expect at a farmer’s market, but the outdoor shopping season is in full swing in the Kenai-Soldotna area.

Nine-month process told with comedic touch
This week’s pick, the almost-but-not-really raunchy sex comedy “Knocked Up,” is certainly not the newest film out there. That would have been the sweet-looking “Evan Almighty,” a film guaranteed not to challenge anything but your tolerance for cute animal jokes. I skipped that, although I like Steve Carell, and instead went for the more challenging entry. Challenging because, for me, this seemingly wacky comedy is actually relevant. My wife and I are expecting our first child in December (thank you, thank you) and so I watched this film with a completely different perspective. The experience was funny, at times, educational, and more than a little scary.

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

Kenai Golf Report
Hello, Golfers. I wonder if everyone was as amazed and appalled by the pictures of the Caribou Hills fire as I was. I have spent a little time snowmachining in the hills and have been a guest in several different cabins, which have ranged in style and design from rather rustic to very nice. And while it is always sad to see the destruction of the property and belongings of our friends and neighbors, it is even more sobering to consider the risk of life and limb of all the people who are participating in the firefighting effort. We all know about the risks of fire this time of year and almost anywhere you look there is evidence of beetle kill spruce. This is a grim reminder to us all to be especially careful performing even the most simple of tasks. And we should be extremely grateful to all those people who are involved in the effort to control the Caribou Hills fire.

Oilers drop 1st road game
Alex Rivers pitched seven scoreless innings and Joe Ercolano knocked in the eventual game-winner in a 3-0 Mat-Su Miners victory over the visiting Peninsula Oilers on Wednesday night at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Birch Ridge Golf Report
Eagles represent different things to different people — a sign of freedom as a national symbol, majestic beauty soaring high above the earth, a photogenic bird used by companies and sports teams for their logo. To golfers, though, an eagle represents a significant accomplishment as the ball rolls (or flies) into the hole with two strokes less than par. And to one local golfer this past Saturday, his double eagle at Birch Ridge made golf course history. Derrill Weaver scored a double eagle by landing his drive approximately 230 yards out from the hole on number 4 (a par-5). Using a 3-wood, his second shot ended up in the hole scoring three strokes under par. According to owner Pat Cowan, “There is no record of another double eagle being scored on the Birch Ridge Golf Course.” Congratulations, Derrill.

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