Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Many helped Progress along
On behalf of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Staff, we appreciate everyone who volunteered their time, sponsored the event, entered the parade, the patience of those who live and work along the parade route and all who came to join in on the festivities.

Time nearly out to take a seat
People interested in representing Kenai and Soldotna as elected officials have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to declare their candidacy.

Meeting Webcast proponents spell out plan
Ironically, at the same time customers in the Anchorage Bowl last week were without Internet service due to a computer glitch, advocates of Webcasting Kenai City Council meetings were experiencing technical difficulties while presenting their idea to city officials gathered at a work session in Kenai City Hall.

Term limits don't stop incumbents
The fact that voter approval of term-limit propositions this fall could prevent them from taking office even if they win has not deterred assembly and school board incumbents from filing for reelection.

Assembly OKs ballot measure for Bear Creek
Bear Creek Fire Service Area residents will vote this fall whether to approve a one-mill hike in property taxes to cover the cost of a proposed $1.4 million bond issue, part of the funding necessary to build a new fire and emergency services facility.

Riders learn horse sense, sensibility
Equine enthusiasts saddled up for some good times Saturday morning during the Kenai Invitational and 4-H Horse Show at the Kenai Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Ninilchik.

Frozen pose
From right to left, John Tobin, of Nikiski, photographs his nieces Emma Seigmund and Jennifer Tobin, who were visiting from from Tennessee, and his nephew Sean Tobin, visiting from Virginia, in front of Exit Glacier recently. Tobin's sister Lynn Tobin, also of Virginia, makes her own panorama at left.

School district's grade rises
Making the grade

Kenai teen shot, killed
A 17-year-old Kenai teen was shot in the neck at a home in Kenai on Monday afternoon and died from the wound.

Jim B. Olson
Longtime Kenai resident Jim B. Olson died Friday, Aug. 10, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 39.

Tough summer for schools: Fight for more education funding dealt blow from the court
Those of us who advocate for schools and children have had a troubling summer. It started with a legal setback in the school funding lawsuit. This was followed by legislative hearings that prompted a chorus of passionate voices that rebutted the judge's ruling. Rarely has the disconnect between the courts and the real world been displayed so dramatically.

Keep session in Juneau: Recent Anchorage meeting sets bad precedent for moving capital
Holding a legislative session outside of Juneau raises a number of serious concerns and I've been surprised by the muted public reaction around the State. While the migration of government jobs and political influence out of Juneau and into Anchorage is certainly not new, having a Governor who publicly encourages the trend is a worrisome new development. What's particularly disconcerting is that capital move supporters are using the current political corruption scandal as a means to justify their own self-interests.

Soldotna Community News
This week I want to wish a very special happy birthday Aug. 14 to Frank Kraxberger, who turns 80! He's been an Alaska resident for over 50 years. His daughter Cindy gives him this tribute, "He's wonderful, the most perfect Dad in the world!" A surprise party and barbeque was held at her home Sunday. His wife, Betty; sons, Randy, Rick and Scott; daughter, Cindy Miller; and grandchildren, Azure and Amber Kraxberger, Logarn, Brandon, Brice, Mariya, Michelle and Kiara Miller, joined in wishing him a wonderful birthday. He has owned and operated Kraxberger Drilling for more than 40 years and is still working setting pumps.

Hero of the Week
I would like to say a special thank you to Amy Milburn and Rob Pigg of the Kenai branch of the USDA Alaska Rural Development; Lori Tice, Palmer branch of Alaska Community Development Corp.; Denver Copeland of the Lighthouse Community Church in Nikiski; and the wonderful people of World Changers for helping me with the roof, deck, and senior access projects on my house this summer.

Kasilof Community News
\Repairs are needed for the old Dragnet dock, which is located on the south side of Kasilof River. It was damaged by ice last winter and must be fixed before ice gets a chance at it again. Plans to do just that are in the works. The dock and 30 acres near by are owned by the Cherrier family, and the property is for sale. Jay Cherrier is a primary owner, doing business as Port of Kenai, Llc. Jim Johnson (830-4820) is his manager. Ocean Beauty Seafoods inquired about leasing it for the 2007 salmon season but backed off when the damage was discovered. This is the second time in about ten years that ice has damaged this dock.

Around the Peninsula
Agrium live fire training continues PFLAG to meet Caregiver support meetings slated Kids reading program offered Community resource directory available Refuge plans August activities Boys and Girls Club plans closure Pregnancy class offered Golf tournament in full swing

Nikiski Community News
Good morning to all of my Nikiski neighbors.

Around the Peninsula
Golf tourney sponsors needed Old-timers to gather Senior center to hold steak dinner Salmon munch swims to Sterling Parent advisory committee meeting to be held Recovery Rendezvous ready to go Cameras, photo printers sought Watercolors looking for homes

Ninilchik Community News
August has always been a month of anticipation for me. It is the final month of summer and I always want it to last forever. The Kenai Peninsula State Fair will be held Friday through Sunday and seems to be the climax of the month, but this year the fair is bittersweet for me. This is the last article I will write until next summer because two days after the fair I will leave for South Carolina, where I will attend Bob Jones University. The fair brings other chapters of my life to a close, as well. My steer, Tuition, will be the last animal I sell at the 4-H Junior Market Livestock Auction on Saturday during the fair and this will be the last fair I attend as a 4-Her. The conclusion of the fair means the turning of a page and the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I will miss Ninilchik, my neighbors, and especially my family this winter, but I will be back. Although I don't want August to end, I am looking forward to this next step in my journey, a feeling others may be experiencing as well.

Peninsula Reflections
Early homesteader Nina Robinson remembers the 1957 oil discovery in the Swanson River oil field.

Sterling Community News
Believe it or not, the 2007-08 school year is just around the corner. The classroom placement lists and supply lists are posted at Sterling Elementary School. The supply lists also are available online at www.edline.net/pages/SterlingElementary and at area stores.

Photo feature: Grateful governor
Sgt. Paul Grimsley, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Kerr and Capt. Martin Hansen shake hands with Gov. Sarah Palin during her recent trip to Kuwait to visit Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers. Grimsley, Kerr and Hansen are members of the Headquarter, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry. The 3rd Battalion has been deployed for more than a year and the soldiers hope to return home in about three months.

Kenai Community News
When I came to Kenai 18 years ago this month, yard work didn't seem to be a priority to a whole lot of people. I wondered if a nice lawn would even grow in this weather zone. Since that time, there has been a very nice change here. People seem to have greatly increased their civic and neighborhood pride, and the town is beautifully tended. Much of the credit for the city flower beds goes to the Parks and Recreation Department, and also to hard working volunteers. I had to chuckle when I saw one of the Kenai city employees dressed in a hooded slicker watering the plants in the rain a couple of weeks ago. Thanks, you guys. Guess that's what it takes to make a city bloom.

Sports Brief
The local district of the National Barrel Horse Association held weekly events on Aug. 1 and Wednesday at the Soldotna Rodeo Grounds. The events are held Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Spectators are welcome and are admitted free of charge.

Motocross madness
Perched atop his training wheels-equipped motorbike waiting for the race to begin, 5-year-old Luke Rewis is all business.

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