Saturday, August 12, 2006

Photo feature: Whale of a cruise
Above, a small male orca surfaces in Kachemak Bay near Homer last weekend. A pod of the animals delighted a boatload of passengers on their way to a concert associated with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra’s Summer Music Festival. At right, a humpback dives into Tutka Bay at sunset following the concert. Captain Jack Montgomery of the M/V Rainbow Connection said whales have been common near Homer recently. The orchestra closes the festival with a gala concert 7:30 tonight at Renee C. Henderson Auditorium in Kenai and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Mariner Theater in Homer.

Mayor backs school funding lawsuit
Mayor John Williams is looking for state money to fund education. Now he’s also looking for money to sue the state over its lack of education funding.

Vandalism tempers council’s joy over After the Bell idea
Excitement over a proposed operating plan for Community Schools and a resurrected After the Bell program for Soldotna’s youth was tempered somewhat Wednesday night by a report of residential vandalism.

Irene Fay Bilyeu
Kenai resident Irene Fay Bilyeu died Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna following a short illness. She was 80.

This time, let’s do it right
Editor’s note: This is the fourth of five opinion columns the Clarion will run from the front-runners in the gubernatorial race for the primary election on Aug. 22.

Contracts without contention a good lesson in teamwork
Congratulations to the teachers, support staff and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on their successful three-year contract negotiations.

Kenai River is red hot with sockeyes
The old cliche of better late than never couldn’t be any more applicable than to the upper Kenai River this weekend.

Lichens, bears, tectonic upheaval on the Katmai coast
There is a reason why the marine weather forecast for the Shelikof Strait is always the worst. The winds coming up the Aleutian Chain are channeled between Kodiak Island and the Katmai coast of the Alaska Peninsula. Seas of 10 to 20 feet are not uncommon; the state ferry is known as the “Dramamine Express” for its passage down this wind tunnel. A persistent North Pacific low pressure center hung out for weeks during July, bringing clouds, wind and rain to the Katmai coast, frequently shutting down bear-viewing flights from the Kenai and leaving unhappy campers stranded on the beach.

Even novice hikers can experience alpine beauty on Lost Lake Trail
Alaska offers countless opportunities to escape civilization and quietly gaze down on the world below from above the tree line. But getting those views often requires a dauntingly steep climb.

Around the Peninsula
SoHi holding registrationSenior center to celebrate anniversaryDeadline for fair quilts loomingRock, alpine gardens to be discussedAgrium continues live fire trainingNutrition classes held at food bankCar seat check ups setChili contest plannedFraternity to celebrate anniversary

Prep football season set to start
For the first time in Alaska high school football history, the reigning large- and small-schools state champions will face off in a regular season game Saturday when the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears travel to Kenai to face the Kardinals at 2 p.m. at Ed Hollier Field.

Church Briefs
Addictions group meetsClothes closet opensClothes availableBible classes beginFall Bible classes beginSchool supplies sought

God’s promises found in nature, Bible, fellowship
There we were, standing at one of our favorite places, near the end of a pier extending into Lake Michigan at sunset.

Tourney provides lots of fun
What an absolutely superb week it has been! Welcome everyone to the Friday report from Bird Homestead Golf Course. We are located 11.8 miles down Funny River Road among the woods, wildlife and wonderful folks of Funny River. Need more info? Call us at 260-GOLF.

New nets almost finished
In addition to my handicap, there’s a lot more UP at Birch Ridge these days. For starters, there’s the netting on the driving range. After several years of planning, scheming, begging and dreaming, the infamous net project is close to completion.

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