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Monday, September 3, 2007

Reader: We should invest in education
Your Clarion Question, "Do you think charter schools should be funded with taxpayer money?" raises the opportunity to clarify some misconceptions about charter schools.

Reader: Headline, facts inaccurate
One of the most insidious of political tactics is known as "astro-turfing." Astro-turfing is the practice of attaching one's name to a widely distributed identical opinion piece and sending the same as a letter to the editor as if one wrote it themselves.

Egging 'em on
Mary Jean and John Lopez of New Mexico fish for silver salmon at Cunningham Park in Kenai on Friday. Many people spent a portion of the Labor Day weekend fishing around the peninsula.

Education grants head to district
State education grants have made nearly $600,000 available to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

More needed for fire station project
Kasilof's new fire station cost more to build than originally anticipated, leaving not quite enough from 2005 bond proceeds to complete construction of living quarters at the Funny River Station.

Troopers working overtime
With 54 fatalities on the roads so far this year, Alaska State Troopers are stepping up law enforcement across the state this Labor Day weekend. Troopers are watching out for drunk drivers, people driving without seat belts and individuals driving erratically in order to prevent further fatalities this weekend.

Dogs, kids a good combo
Lindsey Pabst is no stranger to the world of dog agility. After watching her mother train dogs ever since she could remember, it probably isn't surprising for those who know her to find 13-year-old Lindsey standing in line with Flirt, her 5-year-old long-haired miniature dachshund, at the Kenai Kennel Club agility trial Sunday awaiting her chance to take on the jumps and weaves.

Photo feature: Kitty walk
Dedra Ming walks with her dog Kitty while Amanda Blum navigates an undersized bike down Lawton Drive in Kenai on Saturday afternoon. The Labor Day weekend kicked off with pleasant weather. Forecasters are calling for rain to hold off until after the holiday weekend.

Poached bear claws draw investigation
Law enforcement officers from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are on the hunt for someone who illegally harvested parts of a brown bear that was killed by a vehicle east of Sterling, near Watson Lake, on Tuesday.

Prize aspirations squashed
The rumors are true. J.D. Megchelsen, the Nikiski man who currently holds the record for growing the largest pumpkin in the state, suffered irreparable produce problems last month just as this year's prize of the patch was getting plump.

Plenty of jobs
The unemployment rate in the Kenai Peninsula Borough fell to 5.9 percent during July, better by more than half a percent than during the same period last year, according to figures compiled by the borough's economic analyst.

Analyst lays out peninsula patterns
Saying educated people live outside the Kenai Peninsula Borough's cities drew a few laughs from Kenai area business leaders Wednesday.

When it comes to health care costs, every little bit helps
The Kenai Peninsula Borough recently announced its participation in a discount prescription drug program offered through the National Association of Counties, or NACo, of which the borough is a member.

Just a knee-jerk reaction?: Trying to determine if the Army knows its left from its right
One of those odd little news stories that show up on the Internet got my attention early last week, possibly because it involved an exotic Australian animal hopping about in the Bavarian Alps, or perhaps because I could relate to some of the circumstances in the tale.

Kasilof Community News
Here's hoping you're celebrating Labor Day the Neighbors way: a peaceful feast with lots of friends and a few strangers. Heath and Diane Duncan did. They held their annual family and friend pig roast on Sunday. Diane not only looks like a goddess, but her Kasilof garden farm can put on a feast that attracts people like mosquitoes to goose bumps.

Around the Peninsula
Public health plans 1-day closure Rec center adds new activities Agrium live fire training continues Dodgeball tourney slated Cheer camp slated Social Security reps to visit peninsula Girls Scout roundup planned Boys Scouts take to the sky Teen writers sought Kennel club gears up for fall classes Hospice seeks volunteers New high school opens Food coalition offers mini-grant opportunities Community resource directory available

Photo feature: Family affair
Patrick Bearup II, 4, watches as his uncle, Soldotna resident Spc. James Bearup, 23, right, is honored during a Freedom Salute Ceremony Aug. 12 at Camp Denali Armory in Anchorage. James Bearup II, 2, (striped shirt) stands tall next to his dad to help receive the award. Freedom Salute Ceremonies are held to honor soldiers who deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. They also recognize the soldier's family members and civilian employers who showed support for the soldiers during deployment. Bearup was a part of the 207th Infantry Brigade and the 297th Support Battalion. Spc. Bearup is the son of Tom and Adele Bearup and husband of Fawn, all of Soldotna. Spc. Bearup has been called to active duty again and currently is stationed in Anchorage.

Weddings
Katie Burck of Kenai and Kevin Stafford of Washington were married in an afternoon, garden ceremony Saturday, June 16, 2007, in Gig Harbor, Wash., at Rosedale Gardens.

Hero of the Week
The staff and residents at the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility want to recognize Steve Mapes for his dedication and hard work.

Weddings
Amber JoAnna Hall and Isaac Wayne Chatham of Soldotna have announced their plans to marry May 24, 2008.

Sterling Community News
Connie Ferguson, our community Raven AmeriCORPS Member, wants to know if anyone is interested in playing basketball once a week at Sterling Elementary. You can call her at 262-4944 Ext. 4239, to connect with other players and set up a night to reserve the gym. Other Sterling groups that would like to use the building for after-school activities can also call Connie for more information. Certain activities require that the school charge for janitorial services.

Kenai Community News
Everyone I talk to is rushing around to get all the outdoor chores finished up before fall sets in. Sure hope some of you are having a last fling of summer today. We ought to at least burn a hot dog or a marshmallow to celebrate Labor Day.

Nikiski Community News
Good morning to all of my Nikiski neighbors.

Answering the calls
In the world of a police dispatcher, quiet is a word you never want to hear. To utter the q-word is to bring down a never-ending deluge of 911 calls, radio signals and walk-ins, turning the once quiet dispatch center into a hive of activity.

Ninilchik Community News
Recently, I received an e-mail asking me to state four places I would rather be than where I was right now. I could think of no other place I'd rather be than here!

Soldotna Community News
The volunteer program at the Central Peninsula Hospital is under the wing of the Central Peninsula General Hospital Auxiliary Inc. Adults and teens can participate. Since January there have been 22 student and teen volunteers who have clocked an impressive 1,350 hours of service! What great youth we have in our community!

Weddings
Luanne Millett Gray and Richard George Auclair of Fairbanks were married Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007, on the banks of the Kenai River at River Quest. Joe Hardy officiated.

Weddings
Earl and Alice Mundell of Soldotna were married Aug. 31, 1947, in Denver. The couple lived in Colorado until 1970, when they moved to Alaska.

Motherfessions Tales from the 'Hood
One of my favorite fantasies involves changing my name, my hair color and walking out of the house (preferably while the toast is burning) while I escape all forms of domesticity. In this fantasy I travel lightly: 1) a platinum credit card; and 2) a pair of non-sensible shoes. From there my visions of freedom aren't so clear but, fame, cabana boys with firm buns and dreamy accents, drinks with little umbrellas, leisurely sporting activities, solitude as well as society and shopping are somehow involved.

Pet Photo
Jake belongs to Tim and Jo Veit of Sterling. Jake is a cancer survivor. He's grown back a beautiful, fluffy fur coat since taking chemotherapy in the past year.

Kodiak edges SkyHi
The host Kodiak football team held on for a 17-12 victory over Skyview on Saturday and now has the inside track on one of the two playoff berths in the Northern Lights Conference.

Sports Brief
The Skyview volleyball team lost a Northern Lights Conference match in Kodiak 25-20, 25-19 and 25-20 on Friday before coming back in a nonconference match on Saturday for a 25-18, 25-14, 25-18 victory.

O'Guinn takes Colony Invite
Skyview sophomore Ivy O'Guinn won the girls varsity race on Saturday at the Colony Cross Country Invitational with a time of 19 minutes, 55 seconds.

SoHi spikers start fast
Three matches into the season, Soldotna is passing its tests with aplomb.

Kards take flight against Nikiski
Kenai Central senior Bill Chimphalee and Nikiski's junior combination of Wiley Bennett and Evan Holloway turned out plenty of highlights on offense.

Sports Briefs
Lamoreaux, Stull take Mariner Triathlon

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