Saturday, July 24, 2010

DOT project draws concern
I am very concerned about the highway department's construction activity at Bridge Access Road and Kalifornsky Beach Road. First of all, I saw no notice of this construction in the newspaper or in any public forum. Secondly, this is July. There are thousands of extra visitors in town and many crazed dipnetters are heading down Kalifornsky Beach Road for access to the south beach of the Kenai River. If the highway department had waited two weeks they could have avoided inconveniencing many visitors and locals.

Classic remains a success
This month Kenai River Sportfishing Association and the communities of Kenai and Soldotna presented the 17th annual Kenai River Classic. Again, the event was a great success with an outpouring of community support, two days of king salmon fishing and many opportunities to educate the attendees about the importance of preserving the world-class Kenai River.

Soldotna Boys & Girls Club appreciates grant
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula wishes to thank The Kenai Peninsula Foundation Fund of The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) for their $500 grant in support of the Soldotna Club's Power Hour homework program. This is the second year the Club has received $500 in support of our after school program. It is gratifying to know that the Kenai Peninsula Foundation appreciates the importance of this program and its impact on our youth.

'Winstin' had world of potential
There are a few things missing from Wednesday's article concerning the murder of Brendan McGee. It paints a picture of a troubled youth whose greatest accomplishment was excelling at washing dishes. "Winstin," as he liked to be called, was a brilliant young man with all the potential in the world. He graduated from the AVTEC Information Technology program and landed an excellent job as a network technician with the State of Alaska. He built the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council website by himself, from the ground up. Winstin moved back to the Peninsula trying to get a handle his substance abuse problems, but the Peninsula has problems of its own. I was born and raised there, I know. If anything, instead of minimizing this great man's existence into a stereotype, you should use this as a caution against what is happening in your own neighborhoods. We miss Winstin more every day and can only pray his murderer is brought to justice.

Weed whackers: Crew works to prevent spread of invasive grass
The Slikok Creek reed canary grass abatement continued this year by the Kenai Watershead Forum.

Kenai hears buzz: City to develop beekeeping regulations
Beekeepers swarmed Kenai City Council chambers Wednesday night in support of a municipal ordinance that would allow residents to keep hives in neighborhoods.

Oil spill cleanup ongoing
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the estimated 630-gallon crude oil spill discovered in the Swanson River Oil Field earlier this week.

Boat fire leads to rescue: Nikiski skipper rescues Kenai family on Kachemak Bay
Halibut fishing on the cool waters of Kachemak Bay got a little hot Thursday morning when fire broke out on the Snake River Red, a 33-foot fiberglass pleasure craft from Kenai. It was one of three boating incidents that brought a response from nearby vessels, the U.S. Coast Guard and personnel in the Homer Harbormaster's office.

Troopers identify possible victim in river drowning
Alaska State Troopers say a man who disappeared in the Kenai River Wednesday may be a Soldotna man.

Kenai River sockeye fisheries liberalized
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued a pair of emergency orders liberalizing fishing for sockeye salmon on the Kenai River.

Wyatt E. 'Gene' Chambers
North Kenai resident Wyatt E. "Gene" Chambers died Sunday, July 11, 2010 at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 69.

Rafeal Akeo Purugganan
Rafeal Akeo Purugganan died Monday, July 5, 2010, at Maui Memorial Medical Center in Hawaii. He was 39.

James Joseph 'Joe' Handsaker
Longtime Kenai resident James Joseph "Joe" Handsaker died Sunday, July 18, 2010. He was 55.

Timing really is everything
Any time the Department of Transportation might want to do major work at the intersection of Kalifornsky Beach and Beach Access roads, it's going to be an annoying mess.

Thinking ahead ... not
When the Department of Fish and Game imposed its king salmon closure last month, we gritted our teeth and took it, because we all know that the alternative -- fishing out a low run -- simply doesn't make sense for the long term.

Refuge Notebook: Birch protected from hares, sauna bathers, but not moose
When visiting friends of Finnish descent in northern Wisconsin, I often experience the custom in sauna baths of whisking my bare skin with leafy birch branches to get a pleasant tingling sensation. The branches have fresh leaves in the summer, and dried leaves in the winter that are rehydrated by dipping the whisk (called "vihta" in Finnish) into hot water. The Russians have a similar custom in their baths (banyas), with birch switches called "venniks."

Juneau youths learn to sail away, harnessing wind
JUNEAU -- Mainsail billowing full, the sleek sailing vessel sliced through choppy waters on a Thursday afternoon, its small jib chattering in the brisk gusts. At the helm, the skipper's hands pulled the main lines hard, pressed her legs against the beam for support, and leaned back over the surging vessel's side-railing.

An Outdoor View: The reds are in
One of the joys of being a "senior" is being able to remember so many good times, but there's a flip side. If I didn't remember fishing the Kenai in the early 1970s, when in a day I'd see maybe a dozen other anglers, I wouldn't know the difference between then and now, when I can stand in one spot and see hundreds.

Church Briefs

Kids welcome to gather

Twins chase state title: Due to parity, team could come home early or stay late
The American Legion Twins' 5-3 victory over South on Monday to finish the regular season not only gave the team a boost of confidence, but also earned them a first-round game against Eagle River today at the American Legion state baseball tournament at Anchorage's Mulcahy Stadium at 2 p.m. The Twins, who finished with a conference record of 11-9, won three of four games against Eagle River (1-19) this season.

Jeff's Call: Summer sporting scene reaches crescendo
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Panners assume 1st place: Miners lose 1st 3 in Fairbanks; Oilers in 2nd
The Peninsula Oilers (25-12) enter their game at 7 p.m. tonight against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 1 1-2 games behind the first-place Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks (26-10) in the Alaska Baseball League. The Mat-Su Miners (23-11) are now in third place.

Kenai, Birch Ridge all square
Kenai Golf Course and defending champion Birch Ridge Golf Course are tied at 3 after the first day of the sixth annual Walker Cup. Thursday's alternate shot round, which was played at Kenai, featured six foursomes, a team of two from each course. The competition continues tonight with a best-ball format at Kenai.

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