Friday, August 24, 2007

Business Briefs
Chambers set schedules Food manager course offered Fisheries business assistance available Counterfeit check warning issued

Sobering statistics
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of the U.S. involvement in Iraq, here's a sobering statistic: There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths. That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers. The firearm death rate in Washington, D.C., is 80.6 per 100,000 persons for the same period.

Donation makes a difference to students
Soldotna High School would like to send out a special thank you to Wells Fargo Bank for its sponsorship of our after-school acceleration tutoring program, (A-Team), for the 2007-08 school year.

Speed trap?
Soon it will be time for the flashing yellow lights and a 20-mile speed limit in front of Tustumena Elementary School. What are they for? I have been driving by that school as long as it's been there. In fact, I homesteaded the land it's sitting on and then relinquished it.

Writer: 'We are not freeloaders'
We are one of the many RVers who park free on the land that did belong to Troy Hodges. It now belongs to the airport. We have spent the summer in Alaska, primarily in Soldotna.

Board members worth keeping
I write from Sitka as a local school board member to speak against the proposed term limits being advanced for consideration in your upcoming borough election. My rationale for butting into your local business is based on the potential loss of two outstanding Alaska school board members.

E-mail not Christian-like
Recently I was sent an e-mail by a Christian concerning a new store, Pye Wackets, that opened up on the peninsula. The e-mail reads that Pye Wackets is a witchcraft store and that we should pray to have it shut down. As Christians, we are taught that witchcraft is evil and a sin.

Reader questions limits
Term limits unconstitutional?

Practical joke not so funny
I'm writing this letter with a little anger and a lot of gratitude.

Ballot wording tweaked
Final ballot language for four propositions headed to voters in the Oct. 2 municipal election was approved Tuesday by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

KPC's MAPTS building to open
In its ongoing attempt to increase the number of programs offered in education and real-world training, Kenai Peninsula College's Kenai River Campus will be opening its new Mining and Petroleum Training Services building today at 3 p.m.

New beginnings
Transferring a kindergarten classroom from one school to another is no easy task. After teaching in the same room at Sears Elementary School for 19 years, Kathy Atkinson brought 220 boxes of teaching supplies to Room 4 at Mountain View Elementary School.

Ridgewood, Diane Lane road upgrades OK'd
A number of residents from Soldotna's Ridgewood Drive and Diane Lane neighborhood urged the city to go forward with a plan to beef up their streets despite construction bids that pushed the project $170,000 over the top.

Parnell: Criminal justice system needs work
Sounding somewhat Kennedy-esque on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell told Kenai business and civic leaders that fixing Alaska's crime picture is less about the state spending money and more about building strong families and strong schools.

Photo feature: Barrels of fun
Samantha Jones displays the U.S. flag Thursday night during opening ceremonies for the National Barrel Horse Association AK 01 District Finals in Soldotna.

On track
Gov. Sarah Palin is expected to sign a bill in Kenai on Saturday authorizing the Alaska Railroad Corp. to participate in Agrium's future coal gasification plant project at Nikiski.

SPH chief stepping down
In a move that surprised some and not others, South Peninsula Hospital Inc.'s Chief of Staff Charlie Franz announced his plans to leave the

Cemetery site search resumes
No fewer than 12 people have stepped up for appointment to Soldotna's revived Cemetery Task Force.

KRSMA board seeking four new members
The Kenai River is undeniably the life blood of the Kenai Peninsula, and as such many have an opinion about how to ensure this heavily-used waterway doesn't become too popular for its own good.

Teachers get practical lesson in firefighting
Kelly Bishop and Pepper Pond finished their safety training at Kenai Alternative High School last week, but were in for an extra course on fire extinguisher handling when a plastic container on the kitchen stove burst into flames.

Nikiski Pool repair project set
A long-awaited upgrade project at the Nikiski Pool will get under way in September, Borough Mayor John Williams said Tuesday as he announced the award of a pool repair contract.

Students return, but we all can learn from tips
It's a new year in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Clearing the air on SPH: Martin waiting for promises made by borough mayor
The events of the past week have been tumultuous to say the least.

Patience pays off for silvers
Waking up to the morning paper and a steaming mug of coffee is a ritual for many, but Harold Wellnitz of Kenai has a different ritual at this time of year. He slips into a slicker suit and with rod and reel in hand, Wellnitz heads to Cunningham Park in Kenai to wet a hook in the tidal waters of the Kenai River for a few hours before the first light of dawn.

Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
This pretty perennial is often grown in gardens as it is late blooming and tall (up to 5 feet in height). However, it has escaped cultivation in many areas here on the peninsula and is spreading by seed and short rhizomes, forming dense clumps where little else will now grow.

With fireweed comes reflection
The telltale sign of fireweed now blooming closer to the tip of the plant reminds me that summer is rapidly approaching its end. When fireweed has gone to seed they say that snow is six weeks away. Just this past weekend I felt the air changing and I noticed the mountain peaks are starting to change color. Fall is just around the corner.

Around the Peninsula
Teen writers sought Agrium live fire training continues Pregnancy class offered Basketball registration ongoing Refuge plans August activities Family fun run set to take off Scouting information nights set Book sale a real page turner LeeShore board meeting slated Nikiski pool plans closure Hospice seeks volunteers

Stars clicking on both sides of the ball
Prior to last week's game at Palmer, Soldotna coach Galen Brantley Jr. was concerned with his defense after allowing 42 points to large-school opponent North Pole in Week 1.

Running programs regain footing
Heading into the 2005 cross country season, many peninsula programs saw coaching turnover at the top of their programs. Three years later, solid numbers at many programs show that new coaches are starting to establish programs.

Reeling It In
It's always helpful to be able to sum up your feelings on a film with a simple, succinct, "yea" or "nay." The most frustrating movies, however, are those where you are forced to qualify your assessment. "It was awesome, except for ... ." That's the worst, because your enjoyment is forever tainted. This weekend saw two highly anticipated, late-summer potential blockbusters that were really pretty good, right up until ... .

Leaving an impression
On its Web site, the Triumvirate Theatre declares a loss and celebration: "The Triumvirate is losing two of its most valuable volunteers, watercolorists Pam Mersch and Rube Tikka."

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Films Upcoming Events Down the Road Anchorage events

Art Briefs
Writers pencil in date Watercolor workshop across the water Get paid to create Artists in Schools seeking applicants Poetry out loud luring students Gallery hosts summer artists Council offers art fellowship Kids' reading program ongoing Artwork wanted

Church Briefs
  Sheila and Robert DeVolld Ministry milestone to be celebrated

Needed: Leaders who know where they're going
During my high school years, a fellow student gained national attention by cutting his two cars in half and joining the front sections back to back. There was no rear seat in this modified Model A Ford; only two front seats and two steering wheels facing opposite directions. Memory allows me to see again the faces of confused and amused onlookers when the celebrated car surgeon sat at one steering wheel with his brother positioned at the other while driving through town in a parade. No one could tell whether they were coming or going.

Area barrel horse racers end year with district finals
Ever since the snow melted in May, Walt Williamson couldn't wait for Wednesday nights to arrive.

Here's to a dry weekend
Rain, rain go away. Come again another day! According to the weather man, it is supposed to be nice for the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed! Hello again from Bird Homestead Golf Course, located 11.8 miles out Funny River Road.

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