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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Home from Russia...
When the first Rotary Club was organized on the Kenai Peninsula 25 years ago Rotary’s international student exchange program was already the largest in the world. In the former U.S.S.R. however, there were no Rotary Clubs or student exchanges. Today there are as many Rotary Clubs in Eastern Russia as there are in Alaska. The first of which was sponsored by the Soldotna Rotary Club over 15 years ago. Last week the club enthusiastically welcomed home their most recent outbound foreign exchange student Soldotna born Danielle Glaves, who recently returned from her year in Magadan, Russia. “It was an amazing experience!” Glaves reported, “Through the local Rotary Club in Magadan I was able to do all kinds of community activities and was able to help teach English in the school and be part of a whole other culture for almost a year. It was truly life changing experience and overall I had an awesome time.”

Bath & Body Boutique is having a “Spa-Jama-party”
Amy Manuel has had several successful careers since she moved to the Kenai Peninsula 12 years ago including executive director for United Way, and during those years she has held on to a dream of having her own business and joining the ranks of Alaska’s entrepreneurs. Her dream became reality last year when she purchased the Vintage Bath House at the “Y” in Soldotna next to Riverside Books. “It’s the best feeling in the world and I encourage everyone that has a dream to go for it because you’ll never know if it’s for you until you give it a try. My shop is my dream come true and I’m catering to everyone who is looking for something comfortable to sleep in or lounge around the house in. I don’t feel like I have a job anymore, it feels good to come to work and have great products to offer people and be able to help them personally find that perfect gift or the item they are looking for themselves. I really appreciate everyone who has come in and said how they really enjoy coming into the shop and not having to go to Anchorage or online to find what they need,” said Manuel.

It’s All About Me opens in Soldotna
According to George Backus, owner of Sonoma Florist at the “Y” in Soldotna, their all new clothing store; It’s All About Me, is really all about you. “We hope to be able to give people the opportunity to express their individuality. The concept is that everyone has their own likes and dislikes and the way we dress projects the way we want other people to see us, so our new store It’s All About Me is all about the unique kind of apparel and brand names that young people haven’t had available locally,” explained Backus. The new It’s All About Me is just three doors down from Sonoma Florist in Soldotna and Backus says he and his wife Tammy have spent a lot of time listening to their customers and getting feed back about items that are and are not available in the local area, “It’s an area I’ve been in before and we’re looking forward to doing more of it in the future. We really like Soldotna so we wanted to invest and expand our business into unique clothing lines with brands that really are important to the young generation like Gap jeans, Express, Baby Fat, South Beach, and Echo Red, as well as some very nice ladies fashion lines,” said Backus.

Exciting changes at Kenai Peninsula College
As faculty and students head back to the Kenai Peninsula College Kenai River campus for the fall semester they are in store for some major changes. “A lot happened this summer and we’re building a new classroom addition that will give us two new classrooms and two new offices that will alleviate the classroom and office space crunch we’ve been in the last few years. On the inside we’ve revamped the majority of all the classrooms so that each classroom is identical to the others in the electronic equipment and IT hookups which will make it a lot easier on faculty and improve the learning for the students,” said KPC Director Gary Turner during a recent tour of the construction site.

NOW PLAYING: Red Eye
I don’t know whether it’s necessarily a good thing or not when you go to see a movie and the discussion that it prompts for the drive home is all about how to measure a film’s success based on what you could possibly expect from a “movie like that.” Here is typical post-theatrical conversation: “I liked it. (apologetic /defensive tone) Didn’t you like it?” “No, no, I thought it was good. I mean, good in comparison to, you know, those kinds of movies.” “Well, sure, I mean, it’s not winning any Oscars or anything, but for what it was, it was good. Right?”

Tesoro employees took swing at golf tournament fund-raiser
On behalf of your Kenai Peninsula United Way Board of Directors, myself, and the 26 Peninsula Agencies we currently support, I would like to thank Dina Pizzuto, Bea Lashley and the Tesoro Alaska employees for volunteering to coordinate the 5th Annual Tesoro Golf Tournament to benefit Kenai Peninsula United Way. Also, a big thanks to Tesoro Alaska for their generous sponsorship of this event. Tesoro Alaska Corporation matched every dollar generated from the tournament totaling almost $20,000 that will be allocated to our member agencies.

Governor’s jet questioned
Does Governor Murkowski have a side car on his new jet for Lisa?

Lacross program off to a running start
I would like to thank all the kids and adults who turned out for our first lacrosse season. We had a great turn out. I hope everyone had fun and that you’re making plans to participate next year. Hopefully we’ll have teams and a game schedule.

Good time had by all the 'old timers'
A big thank you to the Kenai Senior Center personnel and volunteers for hosting the annual "Old Timers" lunch last Thursday (Aug. 18). Missy and the crew in the kitchen did a great job preparing a lovely turkey dinner.

Kids turning city streets into dangerous playground
It’s an ironic coincidence, but several days after our Borough Mayor sent residences his letter stating how some citizens blatantly disregard the basics of street hazards and how to correct them, that our neighborhood became inundated with children on bikes, rollerblades, scooters, etc. We usually have five or six children on bikes who use our busy residential streets for their playground. But over the weekend, it seems that several households had company, with children.

Education isn't the only thing funded by taxes
Every year property owners are required to pay ransom for the privilege of keeping their home for another year. If we don't pay the ransom, we lose our home. It will be taken from us and sold.

State grant will ‘spur’ highway project along
With the help of a $300,000 state grant, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is preparing for the next phase of its long-range project to extend the Kenai Spur Highway northward toward the Gray Cliff and Moose Point subdivisions.

Preservation key to land deal
At times viewed as the enemy by developers, conservationists such as John Muir, Aldo Leopold and John Denver devoted their lives seeking an ethical relationship between people and the land.

Gravel change moves forward
Significant changes to the municipal code governing gravel pit operations took another step toward becoming law Monday when the Kenai Peninsula Planning Commission voted in favor of language requiring pit owners seeking land-use permits to prove their operations would not damage nearby aquifers.

Seminar sparks audience’s minds
Dubbed America’s Values Coach, Joe Tye instructed about 60 people attending a leadership seminar in Kenai on Monday to “have SEX with your audience.”

Classes set to start — with fewer students
As Kenai Peninsula College gears up for the opening of classes Monday, school officials are preparing for an expected decline in enrollment, especially among older part-time students, largely due to the rising cost of living around the peninsula.

Accident in Salcha kills 2 people
SALCHA (AP) — Two people were killed in an accident when their car was sideswiped and sent into the Tanana River.

Photo feature: Rainbow connection
A rainbow rises above forested hills east of Soldotna before a rain shower last week. Forecasters are calling for wind and intermittent showers.

Neighbors prevent spread of cabin fire
Vigilant neighbors likely helped prevent a cabin fire in Funny River from spreading to nearby forest land.

Dipnet fees fill Kenai city coffers
As the popularity of salmon dipnet fishing continues to grow in Kenai, the city’s coffers from the resource are netting more and more money each year.

Loren ‘Mick’ McIrvin
North Kenai resident Loren “Mick” McIrvin died Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, at his home. He was 72.

Minetta M. Carr
Soldotna resident Minetta M. Carr died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005, at home with family at her side. She was 84.

Eldon B. Hamrick Sr.
Longtime Alaskan and Sterling resident Eldon B. Hamrick Sr. died Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, at his home in Sterling. He was 72.

Berniece S. Cooper
Former Kenai resident Berniece S. Cooper died Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, while on Kodiak Island. She was 62.

Herman Darien Lindgren
Alaskan Native and Kenai resident Herman Darien Lindgren, known to many as "Chada" or "Uncle Herm," died Monday, August 22, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 85.

Security delays may weaken nation overall
Security in this country is at an all-time high, and rightly so. Getting into the country can be pretty tricky, too. Foreigners especially have a difficult time getting visas. But that system might end up hurting us.

Palestine must secure itself as head of state
The world is too used to violence in the Middle East to be much surprised at the scenes from Gaza yesterday. Yet the sight of Israeli citizens burning tires in the path of Israeli soldiers alerts us to a real change in the arrangements of power in that devastated region.

New measure helps keep hunters from becoming extinct
Gov. Frank Murkowski recently signed into law a measure to promote and protect hunting, fishing and trapping as important elements of Alaska’s heritage.

Around the Peninsula
Play auditions extended College plans barbecue Garage sale fund-raiser set Swim lessons available Rec center offers activities Fall dinner, raffle fund-raiser slated

Around the Peninsula
College plans barbecueKids’ basketball league formingSterling open house setTonkas on the bluff returnsShooting, hunting seminar on targetRefuge hosts films, nature walks

Marlins’ Willis gets victory No. 17
MIAMI — Dontrelle Willis gave up two runs but stranded four runners in scoring position and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly, helping Florida beat Los Angeles 5-2 on Monday.

Heatley gets fresh start, Thrashers receive Hossa
ATLANTA — No matter where he turned, Dany Heatley faced reminders of that terrible night. The twisty, narrow road where the wreck happened. The speeches he gave on the dangers of speeding. Dan Snyder's number on the boards at Philips Arena.

49ers return to practice after Herrion’s death
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Less than 48 hours after their teammate collapsed and died, the San Francisco 49ers gathered together, discussed their grief and somehow went back to work.

Kenai Golf Report: Course is now 20 years old
On June 28, 2000, Rita Botelho's Kenai Golf Report started like this: "The Kenai Golf Course started with a dream when a man fell in love with the game of golf while on vacation. He decided to build a course in the town he loved. He wanted to build a course everyone would be able to play and enjoy.

Smith will not start for 49ers
Alex Smith will begin his first NFL season on the San Francisco bench. After struggling in both of his preseason starts, Smith was told Tuesday by coach Mike Nolan that Tim Rattay will open the season at quarterback against St. Louis.

Armstrong denies new allegations
PARIS — A French newspaper says Lance Armstrong used the performance-enhancing drug EPO to help win his first Tour de France in 1999, a report the seven-time Tour winner vehemently denied.

Course gets a bunker
We want to thank Jackie Risch and Marylin Eskelin for continually coming out to play on our weekly Monday night Ladies Night.

NCAA takes Seminoles off restricted list
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The NCAA will allow Florida State to use its Seminoles nickname in postseason play, removing the school from a list of colleges with American Indian nicknames that were restricted by an NCAA decision earlier this month.

Eli has elbow sprain
Eli Manning will miss the New York Giants’ next exhibition game, although the sprain to the quarterback’s right elbow doesn’t appear to be serious enough for him to miss any regular-season contests.

Sports Briefs
Racing Lions hold Circle Track event

Duke hurt as Pirates thump Cardinals
PITTSBURGH — Unbeaten rookie Zach Duke pitched two shutout innings before leaving with a sprained left ankle, but the Pittsburgh Pirates got big nights from three other first-year players to beat St. Louis 10-0 Tuesday night.

Are NFL players too big?
Common sense and science have been warning for some time that we’re pushing athletes toward the limits of size, speed and toughness without regard for how they get there, or stay there. Even so, there remains no shortage of kids willing to risk everything for the opportunity.

Federer continues to dominate tennis
MASON, Ohio — Roger Federer reckons that it wouldn’t take much to prevent him from winning his second straight U.S. Open title.

Beware of Cowboys’ Ware
SEATTLE — Dallas Cowboys rookie Demarcus Ware looks ready to be an NFL linebacker.

Federer, Sharapova top seeds at U.S. Open
NEW YORK (AP) — Defending champion Roger Federer and new women's No. 1 Maria Sharapova are the top seeds for next week's U.S. Open.

Cincinnati to rid itself of Huggins
CINCINNATI — Bob Huggins was ordered Tuesday to resign as Cincinnati's basketball coach or he'll be fired, the culmination of a power struggle with the school president.

Spectator deaths put dirt tracks under scrutiny
Mike Higginson was worried enough about safety at the Illinois dirt track where he raced that he told his 13-year-old son to watch from the upper reaches of the wooden bleachers. The advice saved the boy's life.

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