Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stitches of Love shares warmth with Foster Children
Quilting on the Kenai Peninsula has been a popular pastime and art form for many years reflecting the warmth and creative spirit of the community. Three years ago quilter Jane Avery became aware of a way to help children facing family troubles through her love of quilting, “I saw an article in a newspaper about a group that was making quilts for foster kids in Anchorage, so I contacted Allison at Children’s Services and she was so enthusiastic and encouraging that we got busy and put our group together,” said Avery.

New RIGS King of Reading crowned at K-Beach Elementary
The silver lining in all the cloudy weather this summer was rolled out last week when the results of the Reading Is Great in Summer (RIGS) program at K-Beach Elementary school was announced along with the crowning of a new King of Reading; his Highness Jonathon Granger. It was great weather for reading, and Jonathon now a sixth grader at K-Beach read just about every day totaling up 24,510 minutes over 408 hours during 43 days of summer reading, “I read a lot of science fiction while riding in the car back and forth to Anchorage. I set my goal to be the king of reading this year and I was pretty sure I had made it,” said the king after his official coronation by Principal Melissa Stavola.

During the past couple years of hunting here in Alaska I've endured several very frustrating moments from being caught in the mountains last year during a nasty wind and rainstorm to fighting a jungle of alders this year. Camping out in the wilderness of Alaska and dealing with all the elements here is a chore all it's own let alone despite spending a lot of money and hunting very hard only to come home empty handed. This year several of my friends came home unsuccessful with similar stories like mine. However one friend, Dr. Jim Delker had a very successful trip this fall and I would like to share his story with you. No I am not jealous (I really don't know if I have ever felt that emotion) I am very happy for him and his hunting partner, Dr. Jay Rohloff. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did. Stop into the Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic someday and slap Jim on the back and tell him “Congratulations Jim”. Maybe he will even take you with him next year! Here is his story in his own words.

Shell Oil looking to new off-shore drilling opportunities in Alaska
Shell Oil Company pioneered off-shore oil and gas development in the Cook Inlet more than 40 years ago, moving some of their most qualified workers and managers to the Kenai Peninsula to develop the new found reserves. Several of those pioneers were present last week when Shell Exploration & Production manager Rick Fox returned to Kenai to present Shell’s plans for future exploration in Alaska to the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance. Retired Shell executives John Douglas with his wife Jean, Bill Nelson and his wife Lois, and Bill Olson all still live in Kenai and continue to contribute to the community. Fox recognized his former colleagues and praised their efforts in proving to the world that oil and gas development can be done safely in environmentally sensitive areas. “I’m very proud of the role my colleagues played in 40 years of safe operation and building the community as part of their career,” said Fox. “I think most people that live here now have forgotten what was here before oil & gas, and that the community, businesses, and quality of life that we now all enjoy has been the direct result of oil & gas development here,” said Jean Douglas, who also served as a Borough Assembly member.

CES Boot overflows raising $18 K for MDA
For the last 12 years the men and women of the Central Emergency Services, their families and volunteers have established a tradition of participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Labor Day telethon with their Fill the Boot campaign that takes place at the “Y” in Soldotna. “Every year your firefighters, my street walkers I call them, put forth a tremendous effort to continue a tradition here on the Peninsula that was started by the International Association of Firefighters,” said CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale. According to Hale the team set a lofty goal to exceed their previous record of $16,500 that they raised last year. When the final coins had been counted Sunday morning they found a new record had been set and that $18,000 had been raised during the two day effort.

Reader: Voters knew what they were doing
How come the Tax and Spend Guys always threaten to throw little school kids off the bluff every time folks talk about staying within a responsible, sustainable budget? How many times must they be reminded that we are, have been and will continue to fund our schools up to the maximum allowed by law? Don’t they realize their scare tactics get old?

Writer encourages parents’ parking area
In regards to Fred Meyer’s addition of more handicapped parking places, I applaud them for their community-minded efforts. In that vein, I would like to suggest that Fred Meyer consider the replacement of a few of the new handicapped spaces with some “parents with small children” spaces.

Reader: Shout ‘Yes’ on Tuesday
The misleading language of the Prop 2 ballot summary is just the most recent deceptive rhetoric by the mayor and the assembly to promote their unlawful act of raising taxes. The mayor and assembly claim that a “No” vote on Proposition 2 will allow them to raise the boroughwide sales tax rate to 3 percent. The borough’s twisted logic is not only confusing but unlawful in concept. Ballot Proposition 2 is only about the public accepting or rejecting KPB Ordinance 2005-09 and not about raising the sales tax rate.

Readers: Increase a good reason to vote ‘Yes’
Why we must vote yes on KPB Proposition 2 on Oct. 3: Our living costs including but not limited to food, utilities and all energy has increased 33 1/3 percent in about a year. Have you noticed the same phenomena?

Reader: Don’t be fooled
I like what the people in Citizens for a Positive Future are saying. They want to continue the path that we have worked so hard to create — with good schools, decent roads, a free landfill and services for our senior citizens. I like their positive message.

‘No’ vote gets everyone involved
Many of you do not want to pay more taxes. Who does? However, wouldn’t you rather have the extra funds needed be paid for by everyone, including our many visitors? All borough sales taxes collected are used exclusively to help fund our schools. How important are our children to you?

Use common sense: Vote ‘No’
I keep hearing the words “the will of the people.” Only 28 percent of registered borough voters cast a ballot in the last election. That means only 14 percent of those eligible to vote passed propositions and elected our borough mayor and assembly members.

Assembly breaking the law
Let’s get down to the real issue on Proposition 2 — how the assembly broke the law.

Reader: Send a message
When elected officials within borough government willingly and repeatedly break the law, who do you call? In the last few years we have actually heard our elected officials break the law and then say, “If you don’t like it, sue us.” Most folks are too poor to go to court and file suit against the borough. Luckily, our founding fathers built three powerful tools into our state and local law that allows the citizens to respond when government runs amok.

Reader: We’re all concerned taxpayers
An ill wind is blowing across the Kenai Peninsula. A group of tax radicals in the Kenai-Nikiski area have been fomenting this ill wind for several years and are seemingly bent on dismantling our already underfunded and financially stressed school system.

City council OKs PRISM pact with fire marshal
Any fears of a vacant fire training center building in Kenai were allayed last week as the city council agreed to have the city manager negotiate a contract with the state fire marshal to run the facility.

On the patrol
Soldotna’s highly successful Community Patrol program was inactive this summer, but Sgt. Robb Quelland of the Soldotna Police Department said plans are in the works to revive the program this winter.

HEA aims for sky
Homer Electric Association announced Thursday it will take a lead role in developing the power generation portion of Agrium’s Kenai Blue Sky coal gasification project.

Traffic stopper
When folks on the Kenai Peninsula order something from Outside and when it gets here they find it doesn’t fit, they usually send it back and exchange it.

Soldotna candidates opine on big issues
Big issues as seen by candidates running for Soldotna City Council seats range from activities for youth to speeding cars and how to accommodate growth.

Homer woman found dead off road
A Homer woman missing since last Friday was found dead by Rotary Club friends Sunday afternoon in a single-car auto accident near Mile 54 Seward Highway just north of Summit Lake. Shari Henkelman, 49, was discovered still seat-belted in her overturned green 1998 Subaru Impreza about 100 yards off the road in a creek, said Alaska State Trooper Spokesman Greg Wilkinson. Thick alders hid the car from the road.

Troopers search for tips in brown bear poaching
Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of a brown bear after the bruin’s body was found on an old logging road south of Ninilchik, where it had apparently been laying dead for a week.

Neighbors being neighborly
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of stories examining burglary trends in the central Kenai Peninsula. Thursday’s story examines some of the characteristics and motivations of burglars.

Unoccupied homes more likely to become burglary targets
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories examining burglary trends in the central Kenai Peninsula. Wednesday’s story highlights programs in urban areas than can deter burglaries.

Patricia Mae Spencer
Former Alaska resident Patricia Mae Spencer died Thursday, Aug, 17, 2006, in Shreveport, La.

Charles ‘Chuck’ ‘Beezy’ O. Tachick
Longtime Soldotna resident Charles “Chuck” aka “Beezy” O. Tachick died Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006, after a brief battle with leukemia at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 75.

Wolf: People need leadership
I first moved to the Kenai in 1975 as a teenager with my parents, graduating from Kenai Central High school in 1979. I experienced the Kenai Peninsula growth through the boom after the pipeline days. I started working in the construction industry right out of high school. Beginning my education from the university of hard knocks early in life as a single parent with a special needs son, who helped teach me a lot about people, love, and compassion and yes tenacity. Leaving Alaska for a few years in the ’80s I met my lovely wife and returned to the Kenai Peninsula in 1990 were we have made it our home ever sense.

Long: Residents deserve best
Once each year, the Borough Assembly meets in Seward and in Homer. Last Tuesday, as I drove from Seward, the view was stunning. The leaves were bright, the light was right, and at stops along the way people were smiling and feeling the effects of some autumn sunshine. Driving along, I thought yet again of how truly blessed we are to call this wonderfully unique place home; the perfect setting for communities brimming with the quality of life.

Candidate Views: Soldotna City Council Seat A: Stogsdill: City’s growth is key
There are a number of exciting things happening in the City of Soldotna. I have the privilege of having been appointed, as a councilman, to the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce. We will soon begin the planning and fund raising process for a new Visitor Center, which, when completed, will be turned over to the City of Soldotna.

Knopp: Getting back on track
My Vision for the Kenai Peninsula

Soldotna City Council —Seat C: Hale: Quality services essential to medical growth
Name: Sharon Hale

Candidate Views: Soldotna City Council Seat C: Hale out to make a difference
I am running for City Council because I believe I can represent all sectors of Soldotna fairly and that, together, we can improve the future of all members of our community. I would like to become more involved in our community and believe this would be a good way to do so.

Around the Peninsula
Recipes soughtCaregiver training offeredCPCS board meeting scheduledLeeShore board members plan meetingParenting class availableYouth exchange program availableKenai River marathon slatedKWF to host appreciation partyChallenger Center seeks volunteers

Around the Peninsula
Violence presentation slated Nikiski Neighbors to meet Quilt raffle fundraiser Bus route changes announced

Borough assembly positions don’t draw many candidates
Votes will fill three seats on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Oct. 3, but only the race for District 1 pits competing candidates.

Panthers take down Stars
The Skyview High School volleyball team dropped the opening game of its Northern Lights Conference match at Soldotna Tuesday, but the Panthers rallied to defeat the Stars in four games.

Campus offers variety of activities, hockey action: Kenai Peninsula College
Nonviolent Sexuality to be discussed Open Mic Night back Student officers announced UAA hockey tickets on sale

Around the District
Free, reduced lunch program available Home-school fellowship planned Students of the Month announced Cook Inlet Academy Connections home school program Grace Lutheran IDEA Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High Ninilchik School READS Primary Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian

Growing up should come with a warning label, manual
There are certain things in life that some of us really miss the boat on. There is always something that somebody is not telling you.

Sports Briefs
Season circle track winners announcedTier II hockey begins Oct. 1

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