Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ballot measure gives Alaska a fair share
Alaskans can apply fair taxes and pollution controls to the billion-dollar cruise ship industry by passing Ballot Measure 2 on Aug. 22.

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:

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.

Voter supports governor
I applaud our present governor for tackling some very bold and visionary projects during his time in office. He has made many noteworthy accomplishments for our state and its citizens. He is a governor with a strong sense of determination and fortitude. He sees things that would make life in Alaska better and makes them happen.

Readers question candidate’s intentions
The primary campaign season is in its final days. The public is close to ascertaining how they will vote and making those choices before the political advertising tsunami engulfs us.

Ballot measure should have passed years ago
How much longer should the people of Alaska subsidize the multinational cruise ship industry? We have provided them with places to park their boats, drive their big buses and airports for the flights home again.

Writer would rather see Murkowski than Knowles
Every working class person in the state of Alaska, union, nonunion, middle or low wage earners along with every small business should put pettiness aside (Lisa, Longevity, the plane) and support our current governor. Binkley or Palin can’t and won’t beat Knowles! Here is why you should support Governor Murkowski for another four years instead of Knowles.

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

‘Yes’ vote good for Alaska
If you really believe all the propaganda coming from the “No on 2” machine then call me, because I have a “bridge to nowhere” to sell you. The idea that charging $50 for cruise ship passengers will somehow kill local business is not only wrong its just plain crazy talk.

Airport land leases top council agenda
Should Kenai lease lands currently held in its airport reserve or sell the land at some time in the future?

Photo Feature: Cruise
Holland America Line's Veendam steams south through Resurrection Bay on Sunday after departing Seward. The 720-foot long ship can carry up to 1,266 passengers and a crew of 560 according to Holland America's website. Seward will receive 43 ships this year, according to the Seward Chamber of Commerce.

Lieutenant governor hopefuls discuss funding, trust issues
A political forum for lieutenant governor hopefuls in Soldotna on Tuesday drew just half the candidates in the race.

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.

Police continue search for man in attempted abduction of girl
Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna are again asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect in an attempted kidnapping. On Aug. 8 at approximately 6:15 p.m., troopers in Soldotna received a report of an attempted abduction on the bike trail at the intersection of Mooring Drive and the Kenai Spur Highway, Mile 3 of the Spur.

Shutdown an act of God?
DALLAS — ExxonMobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips Co. are notifying customers they cannot meet contract obligations to supply crude oil from Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay oil field because of unavoidable events beyond their control.

District gets ready for school year
Shopping for kids’ school supplies and back-to-school clothes are not the only things keeping people busy this week as school is about to start on the Kenai Peninsula.

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.

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.

Morris L. ‘Bud’ or ‘Morry’ Porter Junior
Washington resident Morris L. “Bud” or “Morry” Porter Junior died Friday, Aug. 11, 2006. He was 65.

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

Peninsula Briefs
Disabled vets to meetFood drive revs up KPC barbecue set

Alaska should get cut in industry fees
The Miami based cruise ship industry supports both a statewide sales tax and a statewide income tax. They prefer a tax on Alaskans rather than a tax on cruise ship passengers. Alaska’s citizens disagree with them and placed over 25,000 of their signatures on a petition to bring this question to a vote. You will see this initiative on your ballot this (primary) election day as Ballot Measure 2.

Measure 2 would cut deeply into state
I have been in the restaurant business in Anchorage for 25 years. I have been on the boards of the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and other groups. I am concerned about the devastating effects of Ballot Measure 2 on the future of our visitor industry and Alaska businesses.

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

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?

Rain doesn’t dampen golfers’ spirits
Okay, who ordered up all this wet stuff? Enough already! I am beginning to be convinced that it is going to stop raining when it starts snowing and that is just too depressing to contemplate! Hopefully, the rain will stop soon and the sun will come out because I can just imagine the jungle that will be waiting when the grounds crew gets those mowers back out on the course.

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