Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Local shop makes bear resistant containers...
While many people are worrying about the potential loss of jobs in the Nikiski industrial parkway, Keith Raham, owner of Welding Services, has experienced nearly a 100% growth in his workforce. “A year ago I had about 1.5 employees and today I have 12 people on the payroll,” said Raham. The growth for Welding Services has been due in part to Raham’s aggressive pursuit in manufacturing bear resistant trash containers. A community effort supported by Fish & Game biologist Larry Lewis, sports groups, and local municipalities has been encouraging Alaskans to install bear resistant trash containers to deter bears from seeking food near human habitats. “We’ve been working with the Larry for well over a year to develop a working prototype that would be acceptable to the public, but not acceptable to bears,” explained Raham.

Outdoors with John Perkovich
Each hunting season here in Alaska offers another chance to learn more about dealing with the elements here and also with the many different types of wildlife found here.

Motorists fill CES Boot to overflowing...
For most Alaskan families Labor Day weekend is the last chance to enjoy a family barbeque, weekend fishing or camping trip. However, for the last 11 years, the men, women, family and friends of the Central Emergency Services area personnel have volunteered their time to stand near traffic at the “Y” in Soldotna to solicit funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Local Quilters respond with handmade blankets for Katrina victims...
As the call for aid to victims of hurricane Katrina has gone out across the land millions have responded with cash and requested items. Last week local quilters were mobilized and in a matter of a few days more, nearly 200 blankets of all sizes were on their way via Fed-X to relief centers in Houston.

Food Bank hosts record breaking event...
It was a massive turnout for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s autumn Soup Supper. By 5:30pm the line extended all the way back to the parking lot at Kenai Landing, as hundreds of community supporters waited to select their personal gift soup bowl and have it filled with one of the homemade soup sensations being offered.

Campaign spending in full swing
Former state senator John Torgerson is raising more money and spending it faster than his three principal opponents in the race for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, according to campaign finance information available from the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

Cooper Landing cleaner because of volunteers
What weighs 25,560 pounds? Five hundred sixty-eight bags of trash that the Cooper Landing Sexy Senior Dumpster cleaners picked up this year.

Borough shouldn’t shirk nursing home responsibility
According to the Peninsula Clarion (Mayoral candidates discuss spending, taxes, 9/7/05), our mayoral candidates, when asked “... whether the borough should get into the nursing home business” all answered “no.”

Dersham appointment gives reader qualms
Another misguided political appointment will empower Ed Dersham to machinate on commercial fisheries policies. What does a former D.E.A. agent-saltwater guide know about commercial fishery division?

Roberts not worthy of top Supreme Court position
The Senate should not confirm John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The current Gulf Coast hurricane tragedy demonstrates that the country needs all branches of government to understand what we pay them to do. In order to preserve the tripartite framework of our government, we need a Chief Justice who has the people’s interests at heart and not the President’s.

Parents need to be vigilant for children's safety
Please be aware and very cautious of your child's bus drivers ability and background. It may take following the bus a few times and inquiring about any concerns.

Campaign sign theft a violation of free speech
Sunday afternoon I discovered that someone had removed two of the three campaign signs I had in my front yard. I didn’t see who took the signs but I have a clue — you see one candidate’s campaign sign was left standing!

IFQs should be nontransferable
No matter where you are on the issue of IFQs for sport halibut fishing, it's apparent that it will be the future of the industry in Alaska. Limiting the catch is a good idea, but, as usual, some want more than they are entitled, namely transferable quotas.

Dersham appointment a blow to commercial fishing
Now Board of Fish member Ed Dersham, a sportfishing guide, has been hired by the Department of Fish and Game to be the coordinator of the committee for the revitalization of commercial fishing. Yes, the same Ed Dersham, who, in the last eight years did more to destroy commercial fishing in Cook Inlet than all the previous boards put together.

Soggy support
Skyview football player Mike Grimes cheers teammates as he tries to see the action through rain-covered glasses during a game last weekend. Forecasters are calling for mostly cloudy skies.

United Way gets campaign under way
It’s time for area residents to reach into their pockets and donate some money to the Kenai Peninsula United Way.

Police reimburse man for cannonball
ANCHORAGE (AP) — The Anchorage Police Department has agreed to pay a local attorney $58 so he can replace an antique cannonball they destroyed.

Scanning for trouble; company develops detector
Checking the bottom of trucks for bombs has come a long way since the now-ancient "mirror-on-a-stick" method.

Program helps Sterling residents begin building their own homes
The fireweed has already gone to seed in Sterling where families broke ground Monday for eight single-family, owner-built houses, which will start going up when Alaska’s seasonal indicator weed blooms again next summer.

Assembly digs gravel issues
Carving gravel from the floodplain around the Anchor River would eventually destroy the river's ability to support salmon, an EPA river expert told the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in no uncertain terms at its Sept. 6 meeting.

CIGGS deal not yet completed
A temporary agreement credited with playing a role in Agrium's decision to stick around for at least one more year is not final yet. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska issued an order Sept. 6 granting an extension for Marathon Oil Company, Unocal Corp., Agrium Inc., the state of Alaska, Aurora Gas LLC and Enstar Natural Gas Company until Sept. 26 to reach a final settlement agreement and tariff for access to the Cook Inlet Gas Gathering System, or CIGGS, according to an RCA filing.

Boards upgrade hampers hockey
After 22 years of hockey players slamming one another into the boards at the Soldotna Sports Center, the dasher boards have finally had enough.

Steven "Simo" Simonson
Anchor Point resident Steven "Simo" Simonson died Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005, suddenly while hunting with his best friend of 20 years, Dave Smith, at "Moose Camp," Falls Creek, near Clam Gulch. He was 48.

Virginia L. Wilson
Longtime Happy Valley resident Virginia L. Wilson died Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005, of natural causes at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 73.

Oilers hire coach, search for new GM
The Peninsula Oilers will have a new head coach and general manager next season. Mike Coutts, the head coach in 2005, decided he would like to stay closer to his home in Maine next season.

Elections give citizens a chance to thank those running by voting
There are some volunteers in our community who are starting to expect great things from you.

Bolton gets off to good start at U.N.
A congregation of 175 world leaders will descend on New York City today. And it won't be business as usual.

Around the Peninsula
Scouting books, uniforms soughtRecycling meeting setPeace group plans activitiesCandidates’ forum scheduledSterling coalition to meetYouth basketball league formingTeen night slated

Schools district seeks volunteers for mentoring program
HELP WANTED — Immediate openings for caring adults who like to work with kids. Interested adults should be open-minded, tolerant and empathetic. Good listening skills a must. Job requires an hour a week plus one evening a month for training. Compensation includes the rewarding feeling of making a difference in a young person’s life.

Tech tools vs. ‘old school’
SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Lam-Niemeyer could care less that Google can churn up millions of Web pages when he’s researching homework assignments. Typically, he researches his reports by scouring library stacks, just as students have done for generations.

Photo feature: Not forgotten
A freshly-decorated parking space at Kenai Middle School waits for seveth-grade history teacher Ken Felchle to return from Bagdad, Iraq, where he’s been stationed with the Alaska Army National Guard since January. “We just wanted to have some way to keep him in our thoughts,” said fellow teacher Jean Dixon. “That’s his parking spot out there.” Felchle is expected back in February, his wife Kristi said. “He’s planning on taking a couple weeks off then he’ll jump right in again,” she said. “He misses (school).”

KPC enrollments up 5.63 percent over last year
The total number of students registered in the Kenai Peninsula College system is up 5.38 percent compared to fall 2004.

Around the District

Survey: Fewer drug-free schools
WASHINGTON — More teens are saying there are drugs in their schools, and those who have access to them are more likely to try them, said a Columbia University survey released Thursday.

Bonds helps Giants top Padres
SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds is just a foot or two shy of his old sluggin' self. In his season debut for San Francisco, Bonds strode to the plate Monday night, tipped his batting helmet to the roaring, flashbulb-popping crowd, then helped the Giants beat the first-place San Diego Padres 4-3.

Falcons run past Eagles
ATLANTA — Less than eight months after facing off in the NFC championship game, the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles couldn't wait to meet again Monday night.

Umpire’s call helps Florida beat Houston
HOUSTON — Juan Pierre walked in the seventh inning when umpires said Wandy Rodriguez touched his mouth with his hand while on the mound, and Paul Lo Duca followed with a tiebreaking, two-run homer that gave Florida a 4-2 victory over Houston on Tuesday night.

Giambi homers in Yankees win
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jason Giambi hit his 30th homer and drove in five runs, helping the New York Yankees rout Tampa Bay 17-3 Tuesday night and nudge closer to first-place Boston in the AL East.

Packers, Panthers lose stars
The Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers already have serious injury problems after one week of the season. The Packers lost their top wide receiver, Javon Walker, for the year, and the Panthers will be without their best defensive tackle and run stopper, Kris Jenkins. Both tore knee ligaments in losses Sunday.

Still time to get in a round
Now that September is almost half over, it becomes painfully obvious to me that the golfing season is really, truly almost at an end. The thing that is really irritating about this is that the course is in absolutely fantastic condition.

Atlanta building quite a rivalry with Philadelphia
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons were heading back to the locker room after pregame warmups when Ike Reese gave some inside info to his new teammates.

A's blank Indians behind Haren
CLEVELAND — Dan Haren limited baseball's hottest team to four singles in 6 2-3 innings and pushed Oakland higher in the AL wild-card standings as the Athletics beat Cleveland 2-0 Monday night, stopping the Indians' seven-game winning streak.

Messier quits after six Stanley Cups
NEW YORK — Mark Messier was 30 and already a five-time Stanley Cup champion when it was time to leave the hometown Edmonton Oilers.

Sun prepared to play for title without Whalen
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Lindsay Whalen took jump shot after jump shot Tuesday testing her injured left knee while her Connecticut teammates ran drills at the other end of the court, preparing, if necessary, to move on without her.

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