Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Soldotna Senior Center celebrates 20th anniversary
In 1985 a few Soldotna senior citizens had a dream to organize a senior center for the local area. These dedicated individuals soon turned their dream into a reality by serving noon day potluck congregate meals at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna. With the assistance of volunteer cooks at the church’s facility the group grew and soon was short on space. It was then according to Soldotna Senior Center director Janet Fena that the Soldotna Lions Club got involved and soon the group had raised funds for their first vehicle which was driven by volunteers and provided transportation for meals and other needs of seniors.

Outdoors with John Perkovich
Yes working in Alaska can be very hectic at times and on occasion one can end up being away from home for long periods of time. I arrived home from my safety class ordeal in Anchorage on Sunday evening August 6th and my phone started ringing almost immediately as the people from Aurora Well Service in Beluga were short handed. I decided I would go help them out from Thursday August 10th through Sunday August 13th. So I flew to Beluga and worked from 6 a.m. till 6 p.m. each day.

New Learning Tree utilizes Montessori techniques
Just up the road from Fred Myers in Soldotna a new Montessori based pre-school and kindergarten has been opened by Montessori directoress Katie Archer-Benner. “Montessori is a student centered classroom rather than a teacher centered classroom. We are there to direct not teach. For example I would present a particular lesson to a child then they get to chose whatever it is in the classroom that they want to work on. It’s up to them, they can work on science, math, language, or practical life it’s really up to them,” explained Benner. The new Learning Tree is accepting students from ages 3 6 and is able to accept up to 8 children at the facility, “We are licensed for 8 which makes the student to directoress ratio very low. We benefit greatly from the multi-aged classroom because we use the older children to peer teach the younger children, which reinforces what they are learning as well as empowers them and gives them the rewards of helping the younger ones learn. It creates a very natural learning environment,” said Benner.

Franz’s fields of wildflowers
Franz Plagge is a retired pipe fitter who came to the Kenai Peninsula in 1968 and settled on Beaver Loop Rd with his wife Hilda. Born in Germany Plagge came to the United States in 1961 and Hilda in ’62. Their home is a place worthy of a feature story in Better Homes and Gardens with its lush green lawns, fields of wild flowers and towering spruce trees. Hilda and Franz have 3 children and 4 grandchildren and love helping things grow. Franz has devised a method of fertilizing his native spruce trees that seems to have made them larger, greener and more resistant to the spruce bark beetle then the other trees surrounding his property.

Raven gets a new CD and tale from Bunny Swan
Throughout the millenniums Raven has been a legendary part of native Alaskan cultures and stories. Most recently Raven was chosen as the mascot for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, the largest cultural and sporting event ever hosted on the Kenai Peninsula. As an inspiration for the Games, Kenaitze tribe member and national recording artist Bunny Swan-Gease wrote a Raven Song called Ggugguyni. Ggugguyni is the word for Raven in the Dena’ina Athabascan language of Cook Inlet in Southcentral Alaska. “The Raven song seemed to fit so well with the story originally written down by Peter Kalifornsky in a collection of his writings that I was honored to be able to re-create the story of Ggugguyni and the Geese and record it with my song on a new CD,” said Swan.

Idea a good one, but ...
Once again it is that time of year to hear from the perennial prophet Kenai River Guide Don Johnson. (Peninsula Clarion July 28, ‘Fish management backwards’).

Gardening efforts sprout thanks from Soldotna resident
I have been meaning to do this all summer. I just wanted to thank the people who tend to the flowers at the various intersections in Soldotna. The flowers look wonderful. Thank you for putting your time and your hearts into making our town look beautiful. I just wanted you all to know that you are appreciated. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Group effort to thank for self-defense class
I am writing this letter to express my personal thanks to the Aspen Hotel in Soldotna, the Peninsula Clarion, Kath Carlson, Millie Carlson, and everyone else who made the recent RAD women’s self defense course possible.

Volunteers help make golf tourney a swinging success
Over the past weekend (Aug. 6), the Kenai Chrysler Golf Tournament was in full swing and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce rallied volunteers to help with spotting golf balls on the course. We could not have done this without the volunteers, and as luck would have it, it was a beautiful day to be out on the Kenai Golf Course.

Surprise attack still has no resolve
On Dec. 7, 1946, exactly five years after being surprised by an attack at a place in the Pacific that most Americans had never heard of at the time, the U.S. was getting on with its life. The world war that had ensued had been over for almost a year and a half, reconstruction was beginning and few focused on the event in a tropical paradise that started it all for America.

Butcher stood out as willing to acknowledge dog cruelty
With the death of Iditaroder Susan Butcher, the race has lost its lone honest voice. Although she ran the race many times, Butcher was forthright about the cruel conditions for the dogs who are forced to participate in this grueling event. At a 1991 mushers’ conference, Butcher admitted, “There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in mushing. We wouldn’t, as a group, pass anybody’s idea of humane treatment of animals. As a group, we don’t pass my standards of humane treatment of animals.” Shortly after one of her dogs died from exertional myopathy (exhaustion) during the 1994 race, a disheartened Butcher conceded she was ready to move on.

Many hands benefit center
The Soldotna Senior Center would like to thank all of the volunteers that worked tirelessly during the center’s summer bazaar, bake sale, Endowment Fund barbecue and areawide quilt show. The bazaar, bake sale and barbecue were a great success.

Generosity comes through loud and clear
We want to thank Radio Shack for once again their generosity to the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. The new cordless microphone is just what we needed for our upcoming forums. Our forum moderator Merrill Sikorski is also pleased. Another big round of applause for Mike and Tim Navarre of Radio Shack. Thank you.

Postmark bill needed to protect consumers
Talk about loan sharks. Beware!

Council should look before they judge
Easy on that outhouse door. Tactics used in the Alaska Judicial Council’s recent attacks on one of Kenai’s most trusted local coaches reek of personal bias and untruths. So prepare for the groundswell of local support and opposition to your accusations. Coach David Landry has been trusted with the sons and daughters of this community and has been above reproach in his behavior, coaching the girls’ team six years!

Group effort saves 3 from river
Three canoers had the misfortune to capsize in the Kenai River without life jackets Sunday, but were fortunate enough to do it near the home of a former fishing guide who happened to have his boat in the water.

Atlantic salmon from fish farm in Washington
The Atlantic salmon caught in Cook Inlet in July has been traced back to a private hatchery in Washington.

Wet weather turning stagnant
For those who are tiring of all the recent rainy weather, the news coming out of the National Weather Service Anchorage Forecast Office isn’t good.

Bridge project could be test to voter-approved cost limitation
A dozen borough roads due for upgrade or rebuilding will share $1.8 million in state dollars accepted Tuesday by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, including one project whose estimated cost exceeds the $1 million cost limit imposed by voters last fall.

Agrium workers await news
Although the future of a Nikiski fertilizer plant employing 155 people remains uncertain, the plant has laid out the groundwork for, and employees are being mindful of, a possible life after Agrium.

Where to vote today
The primary election for U.S. representative, governor, lieutenant governor, House districts 33, 34 and 35 and ballot measures 1 and 2 will be held today. The following is a list of Kenai Peninsula polling places for the election. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Vet charged with trying to kill wife
The Kenai Grand Jury last Friday indicted three Homer people — including a recent Iraq War veteran — on charges related to an alleged kidnapping and beating of a Homer woman on Aug. 6 in Homer.

Land-use plan meant to make Kenai better for walkers
With the goal of having a pedestrian-friendly central city, Kenai officials are considering a new land-use zone, which would permit residences to be mixed in with commercial businesses in the heart of town.

Michael H. Rowden
Kenai resident Michael H. Rowden died Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006, of complications due to heart problems and diabetes in Anchorage. He was 63.

Archie Junior Gilliam
Kenai resident Archie Junior Gilliam died Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006, due to cancer at his home. He was 63.

Finding a possible fix: Proposal recommends ways to ease crowding on the river
During the past 25-plus years there has been a continuous and growing public complaint that the lower Kenai River is too crowded with boats, and that there are too many guides.

Patience pays off for young hunter
Troy Stroer wasn’t about to come home from his first caribou hunt with anything less than a trophy mount. At only 10 years of age Troy, of Soldotna, had already passed up his first chance to shoot a caribou two days earlier and was patiently waiting in the bushes with his mother and father when he finally spotted what he was after.

Sockeye fishing has last gasp
Don’t pack away those sockeye flies yet, unless, that is, you prefer to fish for sockeye using lures.

Around the Peninsula
Meditative walking path availableCar seat checkups setGala auction fundraiser slatedEMS benefit dinner plannedHospice training scheduled

Around the Peninsula
Teen writers sought Agrium continues live fire training Chili contest planned Nutrition classes held at food bank KPC offers art, potters, food Flag football slated Food bank fundraiser planned LeeShore board meeting slated

SoHi netters top Seward
The Soldotna volleyball team defeated Seward 25-19, 25-10 and 25-12 on Monday in nonconference action at Soldotna.

Sports Briefs
SoHi second at Homer JamboreeResults posted from Seward Invite

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