Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Proudly promoting a smoke free community
They are becoming known as the “Three Smokefree Musketeers,” Janelle Baalke, Jennifer Olendorff, and Pam Howard of the Peninsula Smokefree Partnership. “We have three major goals that we pursue in our health message. Reducing tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke through education and policy change, preventing the initiation of tobacco use among our youth and adults through education, and promoting quitting and cessation through our quit line and school based programs like NOT and our Tobacco-Free Sports Program,” said Janelle Baalke, project and grant coordinator for the Peninsula Smokefree Partnership. Funds for the group’s efforts are made available in part through the state tobacco tax, “Having a higher rate of tax has reduced a person’s ability to fund their nicotine habit which has increased our quit line calls,” says Baalke. The Quitline is a free 24/7 telephone cessation counseling service that offers help to anyone desiring to kick the tobacco habit, “If you need additional help, Peninsula Smokefree Partnership has several free packets or quit kits to supplement the Quitline services,” added Baalke. According Baalke 1,200 people die every day in the U.S. from smoking or exposure to second hand smoke, “We are very passionate about the issue of second hand smoke and are working on a campaign to create smoke free work places and to help with what is called the gauntlet area, the space around the entrance of a building and where you have to park. The surgeon general has stated that there is no safe level of second hand smoke and that means everyone inhaling second hand smoke is breathing toxic chemicals, 43 of which are known to cause cancer.”

Chevron generously helps kick off 2006 United Way campaign
The 2006 United Way campaign got off to an accelerated start last week when Chris Myers and John Santiago of Chevron USA presented Campaign Chair Sue Carter and executive director Tina Marie Herford with a really big check for $65,000. “Chevron and their employees have been good members of our community for years and years and their generous contribution to get us started is just another way they give back to our community and underscores why it’s so great to live on the Kenai Peninsula,” said Carter.

“9-11 Generation” invites 1st Responders to lunch at Redoubt
On the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, there were enough emergency response vehicles at Redoubt Elementary School that a passerby might have had cause for concern. However, as the “9-11 Generation” started to school this fall the students and faculty at Redoubt Elementary thought September 11th would be an appropriate day to invite our first responders to lunch, “We were talking one day about what we could do to show our appreciation to all our emergency response professionals and military veterans, so we thought inviting them to lunch would be a way of letting them know that we appreciate what they do and stand ready to do for us on a daily basis,” said Sharon Hale, Library aid at Redoubt Elementary. Most of the students at Redoubt today were so young five years ago that the memory of the 9-11 attacks are not very vivid, “We have emergency responders at the school for presentations very often so all our students have learned to appreciate our first responders and the job they dedicate themselves to do for us,” added Hale.

New Kenai River Rotary Club hosts Russian Friendship Exchange
Ever since the end of the “Cold War,” building friendships with our western neighbors in Russia has been a goal of Rotary Club members on the Kenai Peninsula. Continuing that tradition the new provisional Kenai River Rotary Club recently hosted their first Russian Friendship Exchange with Rotary Club members from Biysk, Russia. It was the first time to visit the United States for many of the Friendship Exchange members and they were excited to be in Alaska, “We have visited Rotary Clubs from Washington D.C. to New York and now here through out Alaska and we have developed a very good impression through this visit of your country. We understand that we have different ways of economies in our countries and we now are in the middle of an economic revolution in our country, but we are still so much the same in the areas of how we love our families, relatives and neighbors and want a quality of life that protects the environment,” said Alexander Shebalin.

This season I found myself once again short of time to do all the different types of hunting that is available right here in Alaska. One thing that has constantly irked me is it seems that each year we lose some of our hunting territory which makes it more and more difficult to get your family members out hunting when there just isn’t enough time to travel very far from home. This year I was surprised and almost shocked to see a gate across the Marathon Gas field road just out of Kenai at the intersection of Marathon Road and the north road escape route. A sign on the new gate that was locked said we (us hunters) must contact the Kenai Native Association to get permission to hunt.

Games keeps on giving
The Arctic Winter Games Legacy Committee has left a lasting gift to our community. All of us at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the badly needed upgrade to our space flight simulator.

Festival a success
The Funny River Chamber of Commerce and Community Association would like to extend our appreciation to the following merchants whose generous donations made our festival a great success: Airport Rentals, Kenai Fabric, Stanley Ajo, Kenai River Raven Lodge, AK Legends Adv. Resort, Claudia Knickerbocker, Alaska Hairlines, Ruth Knorr, Alaska Industrial Hardware, Liquidation World, Alaska Propane, Odie’s Bead-It-Shop, Alaska Rubber Stamps, Odom Corp., Alaska USA, Old Gray Mare Antiques, Alyeska Tire & Auto Service, Magic Moments, Amerigas, Linda Miller, Arby’s, Payless Shoes, Auto Spa, Mary Ann Peckard, Bailey’s Furniture, Ray and Ramona Price, Claudia Balough, Frank and Lorrane Rohloff, Bath & Body Boutique, Soldotna Pharmacy, Robert J. Bauder, DMD, Special Delivery, Beemun’s Variety, Speciality Excavating, Bears Den, Spenard Builders Supply, Joan Biegel, Sweeney’s Clothing, Bird Homestead Golf Course, Subway, Bowls by Jessie, Tammy’s Flowers & Gifts, Carrs/Safeway, The Moose is Loose, Collectables, Three Bears, Curves, Tina’s Too Salon, D&M Gifts, Trinity Greenhouse, Donna’s Victorian Gifts, Trustworthy Hardware, Doyle Fuel Service, United Rental, Eyewear Express, Garry and Lojean Tullos, Diane Forgey, Wells Fargo, Frames & Things, Fred Meyer, Funny River Quilters, Ginger’s Restaurant, Bill Godfrey, Diane Gray, Ernie and Diane Haslett, HEA, Home Depot, Homestead on the Hill and Jersey Subs.

‘Discrimination’ tax gets thumbs down
Everyone in our Kenai Peninsula Borough needs to remember that our assembly is looking to increase only recreational businesses work loads and sales tax substantially in the future? The KPB decided last January that only recreational businesses should be removed from our $25 KPB max tax cap and that only recreational businesses should be forced to both calculate and pay sales tax on a “per person, per day” bases.

Put the people to work in solving Iraq crisis
Some people insist we can’t cut and run from Iraq. Why, then, have American leaders already cut and run from relevant and tested human knowledge (i.e. on free government, fanaticism, terrorism and war) that would let us succeed there? For example, our military is being used as nannies for political romper rooms. The skills needed to do so are opposed to the skills normally developed by military training. This is dumb and why continued US deployment and civil war in Iraq gets encouraged. To help, here is something more to do.

No wonder piracy is popular
This country was founded on a war over taxation without representation. One would never know that. The bed tax, the cruise tax, and the city sales tax are all taxes without representation. People want those who just pass through an area to pay for the things they want — the Santa Claus syndrome. A few years ago I rented a car in Seattle. $100 of the rental fee was used to pay for the football stadium. When I found out I was so angry I never rented a car in Seattle again. Years before that, twice, I got a tax-exempt card and paid no sales tax in the state of Washington. That was only fair. Judge Roy Bean would say, “If you want fairness you should go somewhere else,” and that is what people do. Washingtonians buy goods in tax-free Oregon, Californians store their motor homes or take delivery for a new car in Nevada, my neighbor buys most of his goods in tax-free Anchorage.

Senior tax issue heats up reader
As a frequent visitor for months at a time to the Kenai area, I am interested in the laws concerning resident property taxes. I understand the need for taxes but am concerned for seniors who cannot stay through the cold winters, but otherwise spend a good part of the year in Alaska, spending money ever day for fuel, power, phone, food, clothes, recreation, boats, etc. In other words, just everyday stuff.

Reader: Behavior not acceptable
Will we be governed by constitutional authority of a vote of the people or “Autocratic Dictum” from Mayor Williams and Mr. Superman?

Peninsula Clarion - News

River not especially well treated
One day in July, Jeff King watched aghast as a special fishing event flooded the Kenai River with fishermen, tossing beers across open water and jamming the river with boats.

Report fingers groundwater as Kenai bluff erosion culprit
A recently completed Army Corps of Engineers technical report on the Kenai River bluff indicates it is stable, but its slope face is susceptible to sloughing.

Agrium granting more jobs?
Agrium Inc. has received $7 million in state grants that could lead to an additional 300 to 350 jobs in North Kenai.

River motor debate revs up
As fall sets in and residents begin to look ahead to future fishing seasons, the proposal to raise motorboat horsepower limits on the Kenai River has re-emerged as a focal point in management debates.

Senior tax not retired
Residency rules passed by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Sept. 5 that placed new restrictions on senior citizens eligibility for the borough’s unlimited property tax exemption are up for a reconsideration vote at Tuesday’s meeting.

PRISM contract up to council
If the Kenai City Council approves, the state fire marshal may soon be the new manager of the Pacific Rim Institute of Safety and Management on Marathon Road.

Naomi ‘Martha’ (Nelson) Knight-Hodson
Soldotna resident Naomi “Martha” (Nelson) Knight-Hodson died Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 50.

Leslie ‘Les’ L. King
Former Kenai Peninsula resident and Alaska pioneer Leslie “Les” L. King died Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital with family by his side after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 75.

Naomi M. Hodson
Soldotna resident Naomi M. Hodson died Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 50.

Train wreck is coming: Poor management, fishing decisions endanger halibut
On Sept. 1, the Gulf of Alaska opened to commercial cod fishing. Fishermen, processors and local economies should enjoy the benefits of a strong cod market and price.

Tania Lamb Southwick and Charles Southwick of Soldotna announce the birth of their son, Timothy Asher Southwick on Thursday, May 25, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital. He weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and measured 21 inches.

Red Cross highlights preparedness month
Whether you are interested in preparing for a personal emergency like choking or for a larger emergency like an earthquake, your local office of the American Red Cross of Alaska has the training for you.

Around the Peninsula
Recipes sought Genealogy society to meet Interagency meetings begin Action coalition to meet Strengthening families workshops set Cribbage club begins Builders meeting nailed down Little league meeting set Historical society to host fall fling Fairbanks orchestra to perform Gun club takes aim Mountain View host Title 1 meeting Emergency supplies sought

Around the Peninsula
Women’s group to meet Election issues to be discussed Fairbanks orchestra to perform Kenai River marathon slated Horse council meeting nigh Dog jog fundraiser unleashed Hospice training scheduled After-school programs offered Emergency supplies sought

Peninsula Reflections
Kasilof is a door to Tustumena Lake, an area with more than a hundred years of hunting lore. The March 6, 1897, issue of Forrest and Stream carried a picture of 73-inch moose antlers. They were obtained by Andrew Berg, a Finnish immigrant who reached the Kenai Peninsula in 1888.

Peninsula Clarion - Community

Practicing like he plays
This season, Soldotna running back Mike Reed has rushed 96 times for 687 yards, good for third on the Kenai Peninsula and 7.2 yards per carry.

Sports Briefs
Results posted from Borough Meet Kodiak stomps Homer

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