Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I finished my 2-week hitch on the slope as the warm summer weather was gradually turning colder. I was looking forward to hitting the Kenai River again in hopes of getting a few more salmon for the freezer. Since I left for work the dip-netting season on the Kenai River had been closed and then re-opened as a rush of late run Reds began flooding the River. Instead of being home on Friday, like I normally am, I was held up in Anchorage till Sunday night to attend a safety leadership class put on by the world famous Randy Smith instructors.

Family trip to Greece results in Katina’s of Kenai
The Lagoutaris family has lived on the Kenai Peninsula for a long time. George came to Alaska some 28 years ago and along with his wife Tina has raised his family here on the Kenai Peninsula. Four years ago George and Tina with their children Louie, John, Katina, and Elainnah, returned to the roots of the Lagoutaris family on the third largest Greek Island of Lesvos. It was a trip filled with many interesting experiences, and when the family returned to Kenai they decided to open their own Greek and Italian style family restaurant. The former Italian Gardens across from Kenai Electric and next to the Salvation Army Store had stood empty for many years, so the family decided that would be a good location to start the family enterprise.

U.S. Senator Murkowski hosts first “Kenai River Salmon Adventure” for kids
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski was on the Peninsula last week “Casting For Kids,” during the first “Kenai River Salmon Adventure” sponsored by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. The purpose of the event according to KRSA executive director Ricky Gease was to offer Alaska’s diverse youth the opportunity to experience the thrill of catching their first fish. “We want to open an avenue for these kids to have a life long experience of catching their first fish on the River as well as incorporating an important educational component about fish habitat and the river during the day of activities,” said Gease. “The kids that qualified had to go through a boating safety course last month and a presentation on the salmon life cycle. Many of these kids were also part of project protect earlier this year which was aimed at cleaning the Kenai River,” said Brenda Alberg, director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula.

And the local Idol winner is Christin Leckwee
For the last two months the central peninsula’s version of American Idol known as “Sing From The Heart” has been holding its competitions every Thursday at the Peninsula Center Mall. The program was the inspiration of Sue Gill of Alaska Hairlines, and has become an annual event for local talent for the last three years. Last Saturday it all came down to the final performance for the final three, Travis Gage, Christin Leckwee, and Tiffany Persinger. Before a crowd of several hundred gathered at the Peninsula Center Mall the judges choice and the name on the $2,000 check was revealed as that of Christin Leckwee, a mother of four from Kenai. An elated Leckwee gathered her husband and family on stage with her and thanked the judges and all those that supported her, “It’s been a long haul, my Thursday’s have been really crazy the last two months because I’d be so nervous, but during the week I’d try to forget about it and just keep practicing. We didn’t have any other summer plans, so it was the perfect time to do this,” said Leckwee. Christin and her husband Dennis have four daughters ages 7, 5, 3, and 7 months.

Soldotna brings home another Little League State Championship
Little League Baseball competition in Alaska is fierce. Communities from Anchorage to Juneau and Fairbanks to Matsu actively support Little League programs, and on the Kenai Peninsula parents and local businesses have actively supported Little League teams for our kids for many decades. The Soldotna Little League Park is a testimony to a community that believes baseball teaches youth values that produce character traits that last a lifetime. So when you hear that the Soldotna Little League 9to 10 year olds have claimed their second State Championship in three years, it is a huge accomplishment and speaks volumes about the quality of youth in our community and the families that support them.

Reader not happy with legislators
In years long gone, our country had many company towns that controlled the local economy. Since the legislators in Juneau have just given away our major source of income, I would propose this:

Former Kenai resident backs Binkley
I am writing to share my desire to have John Binkley as our next governor.

Reader: Time for a change
Well, the Legislature for the state has done it again. They passed a Petroleum Profits Tax that taxes the oil companies by their reported net profits, not the gross as the bulk of the people of Alaska wanted. So the oil companies can say they made $100 million or $100 and generously give the state and its people, the true owners of the oil and gas of this state however much they want to give us. I feel disgusted and sold out by my representatives and especially by the governor.

2 alive, 1 dead after boat flips
Lifting fog, charter Cpt. Chad Kiesel’s curiosity and the sheer luck it took for these things to coincide saved a father and son after their boat capsized in Cook Inlet on Friday afternoon in an accident that claimed the life of another onboard.

District schools doing better
Kenai Peninsula Borough public schools are making progress toward satisfying the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Boatbuilder restoring pieces of peninsula’s fishing past
Like a strong-swimming, sea-bright sockeye salmon changes into a decayed river spawner with an olive-colored head and crimson body, so too do the vessels that fish for these salmon deteriorate with age.

Assembly facing lengthy agenda
Eleven ordinances are on tap for public hearings at Tuesday’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, making a long night likely.

Beluga numbers take a dive
Cook Inlet beluga counts suggest the whale’s numbers may be taking a dive, spurring federal regulators to take a closer look at a petition to list the animal as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Kenai travelers struggle with luggage before heading south
As people prepare to take to the air, so too do their flying concerns being to soar in the wake of the recent events in Britain, where a terrorist plot to blow up several planes with liquid explosives was foiled last week.

Kenai bowlers strike it big
Even though 11-year-old Kenai resident Hannah Kjeldson won the state bowling championship in April, she didn’t consider herself much of a bowler.

Richard O. Brenden
Richard O. Brenden died Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006, at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer of natural causes. He was 74.

Melinda “Starlene” Goff
Longtime Nikiski resident Melinda “Starlene” Goff died Sunday, April 13, 2006, at her home. She was 54.

It’s time for this generation to stand up for a better, prosperous future
Editor’s note: This is the fifth of five opinion columns the Clarion will run from the front-runners in the gubernatorial race for the primary election on Aug. 22.

Around the Peninsula
Teen writers soughtNutrition classes held at food bankMeditative walking path availableCar seat checkups setChili contest planned

Peninsula Reflections
Early homesteaders in the area through which Slikok Creek runs called their community Slikok Valley.

Around the Peninsula
Agrium continues live fire trainingFair exhibits soughtKPC plans two-day closureOld-timers lunch set to dishRace registration beginsRedoubt open house slatedHead Start begins enrollmentSchool supplies soughtCPHC seeks board membersPrimary elections coming up

Peninsula People
Scott redeploys

Candidates split over putting PFD earnings to use
That portion of the Alaska Permanent Fund’s annual earnings now used to protect the fund against inflation should be applied instead to paying off the enormous and growing public employee and teacher retirement debt, a Republican Party primary candidate challenging House District 33’s incumbent said in Soldotna this week.

Rain, mud gives runners a challenge
How tough was the course at the Nikiski Class Races at Nikiski Middle-High School on Monday?

Peninsula Clarion - Seniors

Peninsula Clarion - Seniors

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