Wednesday, August 23, 2006

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Self-defense class worth the effort
I have just completed the four-day self-defense class for women put on by a group of BYU police officers who have been trained by the Rape Aggression Defense Systems, Inc. (RAD). These officers from Utah presented all the material with confidence, professionalism, and made the learning the skills fun as well.

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.

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!

Athletic director a good sport to all
“Oh dude! This is our last game, but the jamboree is cool, too. Are you going? You gotta go because there’s free hot dogs — well I think they’re free, and stuff. What? Dude! I’ve been going to the jamboree all of my life. You gotta go. We play other teams and eat hot dogs and play games and get prizes. It’s all day. Yeah, I’ve been going all my life.”

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.

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.

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.

Carey, Olson separated by 2
One of the most civil of campaigns came to a close Tuesday, but the unofficial results of one of the tightest primary races in House District 33 history produced no clear winner.

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.

Peninsula Clarion - News

Soldotna man charged with assaulting 3
A Soldotna man is facing 11 assault charges, including two counts of sexual assault, in a case involving three victims, two of whom were under 10 years of age.

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.

Request could open subsistence opportunities on Kenai Peninsula
The Southcentral Subsistence Regional Advisory Council has been asked to consider a special action request that could establish new subsistence harvest opportunities on the Kenai Peninsula, a change some worry could create further tensions between user groups on the peninsula.

Soldotna council looking into business sign regs
The city of Soldotna is readying itself to tackle the historically controversial issue of regulating advertising display signs.

Mary R. Hawkins
Former Ninilchik resident Mary R. Hawkins died Monday, Aug. 14, 2006, at the Mary Conrad Center in Anchorage. She was 85.

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.

Around the Peninsula
KCHS cheerleading tryouts today Play auditions set Fraternity to celebrate anniversary SMS plans open house LeeShore board meeting slated Ninilchik Native parents to meet

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.

Fairs and fairways
Another soggy weekend; well, most of the weekend anyway! During the brief break from the rain on Saturday, my better half and I enjoyed the company of our granddaughter, Makenna, and grandson, Levi, while taking in the sights at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik. We had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. While we enjoyed all the exhibits, our favorites were the famous Kenai Peninsula Racing Pigs and the rodeo. Thanks again, Miss Jan Feller, for taking time from your busy schedule and making two little kids very happy with the surprise rides on your sweet brown horse, Dan. They both think we should get a horse, just to have on hand for their entertainment! Wonder how I can explain this one to Dave?

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