City personifies interdependence

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Welcome to the 42nd annual Soldotna Progress Days.

This year's theme, Spirit of Alaska, is especially appropriate as we reflect upon the dynamic events on the Kenai Peninsula since 1960, when Progress Days was first held, and our local response to the tragic events in New York and the Pentagon during this past year. If there is any phrase that brings together these 42 years of events and our local response to them, I would suggest that mutual dependence correctly identifies the spirit of Alaska.

Mutual dependence between the land and the life it supports and respect for the people who are its stewards has been a constant theme during the 42 years my family has lived in Soldotna. The Swanson River oil discovery and development brought my family to Soldotna. As a student at Soldotna Elementary, I remember the homesteaders saying that after the oil was all gone, commercial fishing would again be the dominant industry in Soldotna. We have all had to learn to respect both diverse industries as progress in the Soldotna area has been made and continues.

In 1966, Kenai Central High School opened because of the oil boom. As a member of the first freshman class, I remember Mr. Morin's biology class and his teaching that fresh water was the Kenai Peninsula's greatest natural resource and that we must all be aware of the reality of mutual dependence because the people and the land are one on the Kenai. That truth has never been more demonstrated and in need of being respected than with the current destruction of our spruce forest by bark beetles. If reforestation is not immediately addressed, habitat depletion will affect life in the water and the tourist industry it supports.

Throughout the past 25 years, tourism and visitors have become respected income producers for Soldotna and the Kenai. The beauty of our natural environment teamed up with the hospitality of local residents has created a tourist wonderland. Year-round residents have learned we are dependent upon the noisy business of the summer for the quiet contemplation of the winter. Many local entrepreneurs have come and gone, and Soldotna today has become the health center for the Kenai for visitors and residents alike.

This past year, the spirit of Alaska has been best demonstrated by the projects and efforts of Soldotna area residents in response to the Sept. 11 attack on America. Because of our dependence on the heroes who work as emergency services personnel and members of the U. S. military, the Soldotna community, led by our children, painted the city's fire hydrants red, white and blue within a month of the disaster.

In December, Soldotna's newest park named after Katherine, this year's Progress Days grand marshal, and Charles Parker was decorated in patriotic colors and lit for Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7 by local children out of respect for America. In May before the end of the Sept. 11 school year, public and private school first- and 12th-graders painted their hands red, white and blue to imprint them on the Knight Drive retaining wall as a symbol of community respect for those upon whom we depend as we strive to make our community a better place to live.

Additionally, when speaking about mutual dependence, no person in the Soldotna community exemplified it better than Vera Howarth who passed away this month after over 50 years in Soldotna.

Vera was always the type of person who helped others. One often hears someone say, "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you." Vera was always the person who did for others before they even needed to ask. Many Soldotna residents thought of Vera as the "mother" to the Soldotna Police Department. She looked after them when she was younger; they looked after her when she was older. We will all miss her greatly knowing how much her love benefited our lives.

Soldotna's Progress Days continues today, as it has over the past 42 years, to be an example of the community's mutual dependence upon ourselves, our visitors and the progress that we have made together as we work in conjunction with the natural beauty and spirit of Alaska. Enjoy the parade and the many other community activities of the weekend!

Dave Carey is the mayor of the city of Soldotna.

BYLINE1:By Dave Carey

BYLINE2:For the Peninsula Clarion

Welcome to the 42nd annual Soldotna Progress Days.

This year's theme, Spirit of Alaska, is especially appropriate as we reflect upon the dynamic events on the Kenai Peninsula since 1960, when Progress Days was first held, and our local response to the tragic events in New York and the Pentagon during this past year. If there is any phrase that brings together these 42 years of events and our local response to them, I would suggest that mutual dependence correctly identifies the spirit of Alaska.

Mutual dependence between the land and the life it supports and respect for the people who are its stewards has been a constant theme during the 42 years my family has lived in Soldotna. The Swanson River oil discovery and development brought my family to Soldotna. As a student at Soldotna Elementary, I remember the homesteaders saying that after the oil was all gone, commercial fishing would again be the dominant industry in Soldotna. We have all had to learn to respect both diverse industries as progress in the Soldotna area has been made and continues.

In 1966, Kenai Central High School opened because of the oil boom. As a member of the first freshman class, I remember Mr. Morin's biology class and his teaching that fresh water was the Kenai Peninsula's greatest natural resource and that we must all be aware of the reality of mutual dependence because the people and the land are one on the Kenai. That truth has never been more demonstrated and in need of being respected than with the current destruction of our spruce forest by bark beetles. If reforestation is not immediately addressed, habitat depletion will affect life in the water and the tourist industry it supports.

Throughout the past 25 years, tourism and visitors have become respected income producers for Soldotna and the Kenai. The beauty of our natural environment teamed up with the hospitality of local residents has created a tourist wonderland. Year-round residents have learned we are dependent upon the noisy business of the summer for the quiet contemplation of the winter. Many local entrepreneurs have come and gone, and Soldotna today has become the health center for the Kenai for visitors and residents alike.

This past year, the spirit of Alaska has been best demonstrated by the projects and efforts of Soldotna area residents in response to the Sept. 11 attack on America. Because of our dependence on the heroes who work as emergency services personnel and members of the U. S. military, the Soldotna community, led by our children, painted the city's fire hydrants red, white and blue within a month of the disaster.

In December, Soldotna's newest park named after Katherine, this year's Progress Days grand marshal, and Charles Parker was decorated in patriotic colors and lit for Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7 by local children out of respect for America. In May before the end of the Sept. 11 school year, public and private school first- and 12th-graders painted their hands red, white and blue to imprint them on the Knight Drive retaining wall as a symbol of community respect for those upon whom we depend as we strive to make our community a better place to live.

Additionally, when speaking about mutual dependence, no person in the Soldotna community exemplified it better than Vera Howarth who passed away this month after over 50 years in Soldotna.

Vera was always the type of person who helped others. One often hears someone say, "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you." Vera was always the person who did for others before they even needed to ask. Many Soldotna residents thought of Vera as the "mother" to the Soldotna Police Department. She looked after them when she was younger; they looked after her when she was older. We will all miss her greatly knowing how much her love benefited our lives.

Soldotna's Progress Days continues today, as it has over the past 42 years, to be an example of the community's mutual dependence upon ourselves, our visitors and the progress that we have made together as we work in conjunction with the natural beauty and spirit of Alaska. Enjoy the parade and the many other community activities of the weekend!

Dave Carey is the mayor of the city of Soldotna.

BYLINE1:By Dave Carey

BYLINE2:For the Peninsula Clarion

Welcome to the 42nd annual Soldotna Progress Days.

This year's theme, Spirit of Alaska, is especially appropriate as we reflect upon the dynamic events on the Kenai Peninsula since 1960, when Progress Days was first held, and our local response to the tragic events in New York and the Pentagon during this past year. If there is any phrase that brings together these 42 years of events and our local response to them, I would suggest that mutual dependence correctly identifies the spirit of Alaska.

Mutual dependence between the land and the life it supports and respect for the people who are its stewards has been a constant theme during the 42 years my family has lived in Soldotna. The Swanson River oil discovery and development brought my family to Soldotna. As a student at Soldotna Elementary, I remember the homesteaders saying that after the oil was all gone, commercial fishing would again be the dominant industry in Soldotna. We have all had to learn to respect both diverse industries as progress in the Soldotna area has been made and continues.

In 1966, Kenai Central High School opened because of the oil boom. As a member of the first freshman class, I remember Mr. Morin's biology class and his teaching that fresh water was the Kenai Peninsula's greatest natural resource and that we must all be aware of the reality of mutual dependence because the people and the land are one on the Kenai. That truth has never been more demonstrated and in need of being respected than with the current destruction of our spruce forest by bark beetles. If reforestation is not immediately addressed, habitat depletion will affect life in the water and the tourist industry it supports.

Throughout the past 25 years, tourism and visitors have become respected income producers for Soldotna and the Kenai. The beauty of our natural environment teamed up with the hospitality of local residents has created a tourist wonderland. Year-round residents have learned we are dependent upon the noisy business of the summer for the quiet contemplation of the winter. Many local entrepreneurs have come and gone, and Soldotna today has become the health center for the Kenai for visitors and residents alike.

This past year, the spirit of Alaska has been best demonstrated by the projects and efforts of Soldotna area residents in response to the Sept. 11 attack on America. Because of our dependence on the heroes who work as emergency services personnel and members of the U. S. military, the Soldotna community, led by our children, painted the city's fire hydrants red, white and blue within a month of the disaster.

In December, Soldotna's newest park named after Katherine, this year's Progress Days grand marshal, and Charles Parker was decorated in patriotic colors and lit for Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7 by local children out of respect for America. In May before the end of the Sept. 11 school year, public and private school first- and 12th-graders painted their hands red, white and blue to imprint them on the Knight Drive retaining wall as a symbol of community respect for those upon whom we depend as we strive to make our community a better place to live.

Additionally, when speaking about mutual dependence, no person in the Soldotna community exemplified it better than Vera Howarth who passed away this month after over 50 years in Soldotna.

Vera was always the type of person who helped others. One often hears someone say, "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you." Vera was always the person who did for others before they even needed to ask. Many Soldotna residents thought of Vera as the "mother" to the Soldotna Police Department. She looked after them when she was younger; they looked after her when she was older. We will all miss her greatly knowing how much her love benefited our lives.

Soldotna's Progress Days continues today, as it has over the past 42 years, to be an example of the community's mutual dependence upon ourselves, our visitors and the progress that we have made together as we work in conjunction with the natural beauty and spirit of Alaska. Enjoy the parade and the many other community activities of the weekend!

Dave Carey is the mayor of the city of Soldotna.

CREDIT:Clarion file photo

CAPTION:A new mural on Knight Drive features hand prints of Soldotna first-graders and high school seniors.

HEAD:City personifies interdependence

BYLINE1:By Dave Carey

BYLINE2:For the Peninsula Clarion

Welcome to the 42nd annual Soldotna Progress Days.

This year's theme, Spirit of Alaska, is especially appropriate as we reflect upon the dynamic events on the Kenai Peninsula since 1960, when Progress Days was first held, and our local response to the tragic events in New York and the Pentagon during this past year. If there is any phrase that brings together these 42 years of events and our local response to them, I would suggest that mutual dependence correctly identifies the spirit of Alaska.

Mutual dependence between the land and the life it supports and respect for the people who are its stewards has been a constant theme during the 42 years my family has lived in Soldotna. The Swanson River oil discovery and development brought my family to Soldotna. As a student at Soldotna Elementary, I remember the homesteaders saying that after the oil was all gone, commercial fishing would again be the dominant industry in Soldotna. We have all had to learn to respect both diverse industries as progress in the Soldotna area has been made and continues.

In 1966, Kenai Central High School opened because of the oil boom. As a member of the first freshman class, I remember Mr. Morin's biology class and his teaching that fresh water was the Kenai Peninsula's greatest natural resource and that we must all be aware of the reality of mutual dependence because the people and the land are one on the Kenai. That truth has never been more demonstrated and in need of being respected than with the current destruction of our spruce forest by bark beetles. If reforestation is not immediately addressed, habitat depletion will affect life in the water and the tourist industry it supports.

Throughout the past 25 years, tourism and visitors have become respected income producers for Soldotna and the Kenai. The beauty of our natural environment teamed up with the hospitality of local residents has created a tourist wonderland. Year-round residents have learned we are dependent upon the noisy business of the summer for the quiet contemplation of the winter. Many local entrepreneurs have come and gone, and Soldotna today has become the health center for the Kenai for visitors and residents alike.

This past year, the spirit of Alaska has been best demonstrated by the projects and efforts of Soldotna area residents in response to the Sept. 11 attack on America. Because of our dependence on the heroes who work as emergency services personnel and members of the U. S. military, the Soldotna community, led by our children, painted the city's fire hydrants red, white and blue within a month of the disaster.

In December, Soldotna's newest park named after Katherine, this year's Progress Days grand marshal, and Charles Parker was decorated in patriotic colors and lit for Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7 by local children out of respect for America. In May before the end of the Sept. 11 school year, public and private school first- and 12th-graders painted their hands red, white and blue to imprint them on the Knight Drive retaining wall as a symbol of community respect for those upon whom we depend as we strive to make our community a better place to live.

Additionally, when speaking about mutual dependence, no person in the Soldotna community exemplified it better than Vera Howarth who passed away this month after over 50 years in Soldotna.

Vera was always the type of person who helped others. One often hears someone say, "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you." Vera was always the person who did for others before they even needed to ask. Many Soldotna residents thought of Vera as the "mother" to the Soldotna Police Department. She looked after them when she was younger; they looked after her when she was older. We will all miss her greatly knowing how much her love benefited our lives.

Soldotna's Progress Days continues today, as it has over the past 42 years, to be an example of the community's mutual dependence upon ourselves, our visitors and the progress that we have made together as we work in conjunction with the natural beauty and spirit of Alaska. Enjoy the parade and the many other community activities of the weekend!

Dave Carey is the mayor of the city of Soldotna.



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