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Friday, September 30, 2005

Soldotna biz benefits from store closing
A pet supply and feed store in Soldotna is in a position to literally live up to its name. Top Dog Supplies has recently come into possession of a large quantity of products that may allow them to dominate a largely unoccupied retail niche.

Business Briefs
Suitcases for kids kicks off Area chambers set schedules Chamber rec guide on the way CISB wants totes returned

Fred's pulls out of Homer
Fred Meyer Corp. recently dropped its plans to build a $16 million to $17 million grocery and retail store next to the Homer Post Office, at least for the time being.

VinZant says $1 million doesn’t go far in today’s market

Oberts: Bed tax probably inevitable but unfair to visitors

Torgerson: Bridge a needed project with state funds

Superman: Sales tax increase tough but valid decision

Williams: Prop. 4 could jeopardize timely improvements

Superman speaks at Nikiski chamber
With the Kenai Peninsula Borough municipal election days away, Gary Superman is focusing on a theme he says is a cornerstone of his campaign — that raising the borough sales tax one percent was a good idea.

Candidate views: Raymond VinZant, Borough Mayor
In 1981, my wife Violet and I moved to Alaska. After searching the west coast for a decent place to raise children we finally found Alaska, a beautiful place to call home.

Six seeking borough’s top spot
Editor’s note: Candidate columns and answers to a Clarion questionnaire can be found on pages A-4, 6 and 7 in today’s paper.

Candidate views: Gary Superman, Borough Mayor
The homepage of my website, supermanformayor.com, in bold lettering states a primary theme of my campaign: “Local government is where the rubber meets the road. We are the ones who must still provide the basic services of education, public safety, waste disposal etc. As the state continues to offload many of its historic funding obligations to the local level, we face the challenge of continued delivery of services communities need and desire as we grow and progress into the 21st century.”

Candidate views: Edward Oberts, Borough Mayor
The Kenai Peninsula is my home. I was born in the clinic in Soldotna before there was a hospital. My father, Mike Oberts, homesteaded in Sterling in 1953 and worked many local construction jobs through the Labor Union. My mother, Teresa, came to Alaska to help build the Catholic Church in Soldotna where she met dad. She decided to stay in the area and taught at the old log cabin school in Sterling until they married. In 1954, my uncle, Leo Oberts homesteaded along the Kenai River in Kenai. He owned and operated Leo T. Oberts Insurance for many years. My two brothers, John and Gary, are still living in the area with their families.

Candidate views: John J. Williams, Borough Mayor
The borough is at a major crossroads. The economy continues to change. Oil production continues to decline and additional large quantities of gas necessary to fuel our local industries are several years away. Our elected officials along with we citizens must redefine government and its role as a Second Class Borough. We must all ask ourselves what it is that is most important to the larger number of people.

Candidate views: John Torgerson, Borough Mayor
I have always had an uncompromising commitment to full funding for our schools and, as a state senator, co-sponsored SB 36, which brought $2.7 million of new, reoccurring funds to our schools. I will be an effective fighter for our children and help work with our legislators to establish an accurate area cost differential for our schools.

Washington anglers awash in steelhead, salmon
KLICKITAT, Wash. — Like blood pumping from a giant heart, the year’s last pulses of steelhead and salmon are spreading from the Columbia River and into tributaries. The fish are running in every direction, and so are the anglers.

Skyline an ideal destination for autumn hikers
Fall’s here, and for many that means that it’s the best hiking season of all.

From the bookshelf: Gentle tale honors Inupiat women
The Storytellers' Club: The Picture-Writing Women of the Arctic

Performance from the Pit
Saying the Redoubt Chamber Orchestra is the pits is a comment on its beginnings rather than an insult to the group's ability. The group formed from the pit orchestra that plays for Kenai Performers musicals.

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

Reader: Williams not right choice for borough mayor
I believe that John Williams is not a good choice for the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor. One only has to look at the city of Kenai, with all of the empty buildings and failed businesses over the last several years and wonder why.

Vote 'no' on Proposition 3
I am one of the whiners Mr. Hoflich labeled in his recent letter to the editor (Sept. 27). I'm not sure what his understanding of badly needed is, but I and many others on both sides of the river do not see this project in that light.

Use of renewable resources should take priority over short-term profits
I am writing in response to the piece entitled “Pebble Prospects Looking Good” (Clarion, Sept. 18).

Father’s experience is sad tale of Katrina aftermath
Thank you very much for printing the harrowing article (“Lending a helping hand” published Sept. 15) of my father’s experience in Charity hospital. The concern and worry, not to mention panic that enveloped my self and brother during this period of time was unimaginable. The disgrace in my fellow man is only further demonstrated by my father’s tale of premature babies being turned away at gunpoint. The difficulty in understanding how extreme the circumstances were out there when Katrina hit were only further aggravated by many of my co-workers telling me it wasn’t that bad out there and the news was exaggerating. This turned out to be a fallacy. If people can’t understand the severity of a situation, even when given stories, I believe it is a gift that columnists and editor’s find it a good thing to print actuality. My father is an amazing man who stood his ground to help others. If only others would observe this and act likewise, then I think the outcome from Katrina’s wrath would have been much different. I appreciate you enlightening people to a half of the story of Katrina that perhaps before they were not privy to. Once again thank you for choosing to involve yourself.

Vote to send a clear message
Propositions 4 and 5 are in response to runaway spending. Borough government growth outpaces private growth. Added departments such as an additional Economic Development Department, with extra offices on Kalifornsky Beach, known as CEDD, in addition to the state EDD that's been in existence for years, contributions to the Arctic Winter Games and such, have created the need for more tax dollars.

Even best-case scenario not good for Pebble Mine
Having lived through the entire life cycle of five large open pit mines in Montana, all of which caused serious water pollution problems, I thought Alaskans should compare the best and worst case scenarios for the proposed Pebble mine.

Applause needed for those supporting Forster, family
Concerning "Justice served with Forster sentence" (Clarion editorial, Sept. 11).

Pebble profit would go to foreign country
Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd. mouthpiece, Bruce Jenkins, seems to becoming more and more distraught over the fear mongering, ill-informed and ignorance spouting rhetoric of the(his self-proclaimed) “fringe element”. He proclaims that the “fringe” is notcontributing factual information re: the proposed Pebble mining project.

Reader supports Sturman
Fred Sturman, candidate for borough mayor, is a founding member of both Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers and Alaska Voters Organization. He is co-sponsor for both propositions 4 and 5 and has personally collected hundreds of signatures on both. He is the only mayoral candidate that supports the Capital Projects Cap and the Sales Tax Cap.

Bed tax not the answer
I expect you probably know someone or have someone in your neighborhood who operates a bed and breakfast. That B&B owner is a perfect example of the proverbial duck, appearing gentle and placid gliding on silken waters, while underneath those feet are paddling like crazy.

Recycle old Soldotna bridge to create new Sterling one
The old bridge in Soldotna that was removed is in good shape and is bought and paid for. This bridge should be used for the proposed bridge from Sterling to Funny River. The steel should be recycled. Some parts of the temporary bridge could also be utilized for the bridge in Sterling. This bridge will be for sale next summer.

Reader not ready to offer open check for new bridge
The Funny River bridge project deserves a resounding “no” vote from Kenai Peninsula Borough voters.

On the bridge: Survey says ...
Let's put this bridge debate to rest for once and all. A recent letter claimed that a recent "survey" showed that over 500 people wanted a bridge to be built. The only official survey that asked if a Funny River bridge should be built was one that was taken by the Funny River Advisory Planning Commission in 1997.

Prop 5 a menace for schools, community
Doesn’t any limitation on borough revenues dangerously threaten sufficient money for schools?

Minority may already rule
In response to Mr. Hornaday's letter to the editor (Sept. 22), it looks to me that minority does rule. You stated that Homer High and West Homer Elementary would not be there if propositions 4 and 5 were already in place. I do not see a high school (like Homer's) with impressive architecture around the populated Soldotna-Kenai-Kalifornsky Beach-Kasilof-Funny River-Sterling areas.

Prop 4 doesn’t paint pretty picture
Picture this: Your loved one is in the emergency room of our hospital, in critical condition. The doctor needs an MRI to determine the extent of internal injuries. But the MRI machine is broken, cannot be repaired and a new one costs more than $1 million.

Bridge is for the good of many
There have been several letters to the editor trying to influence the public to the disadvantages of the Funny River bridge. I think it's only fair to point out that most of these people either live or indirectly have ties to the neighborhood most impacted on the Sterling side of the river.

Reader opposes Prop 3
Should the state construct a bridge to Funny River?

Bridge not worth risks
Many, many full-time residents of the Funny River area are opposed to this bridge. We don't see it as improving our community at all. In fact, it would degrade our quality of life.

Reader rejects Roberts
Congressman, please be advised that, as my representative in Congress, I request that you reject the appointment of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, by filibuster if necessary.

Proposition 5 could jeopardize positive steps
We hope that when voters go to the polls on Oct. 4, they will remember that all borough sales tax collected is dedicated to education funding.

Raod warriors: Wallace, Martin happy in twilight of careers
Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin have been racing against each other for more than two decades. And as they prepare to leave the Nextel Cup circuit, they're going out as a couple of contented warriors of the road.

Fashion victim
Sam Yost's dog Princess Moko drags her feet getting back in the car after waiting for Yost to finish grocery shopping in Soldotna last weekend. Yost said she had her dog dressed up to discourage visits from male dogs for several weeks.

River board seeks input
The Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board is looking for some new faces. As many as four vacancies are up for appointment on the 15-person board.

Tax debate takes center stage
Editor's note: Friday's election coverage will focus on the borough mayor race. Kenai Peninsula Borough residents have been paying a 2 percent borough sales tax since it was reduced by ordinance from a 3 percent levy in 1975. But the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly recently voted to up it once again to 3 percent.

Blight threatens peninsula potatoes
For the third season, a fungal disease known as late blight — the Irish potato famine disease — hit potato growers in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.

Soldotna closes skate park
City officials threw up their hands in bewilderment over continuing vandalism and reports of drug abuse at the Soldotna skateboard park, and ordered the attraction closed.

Torgerson leads funding race
Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral hopeful John Torgerson continues to lead all other candidates in campaign contributions and spending as the Oct. 4 municipal election approaches.

Photo feature: Angling into autumn
Fishermen try their luck for silver salmon on a cold, foggy mornign on the Kenai River near Sterling agaisnt a backdrop of fall colors earlier this week.

Mixing zones to get review
Public response to a controversial set of proposed changes to state water quality standards appears to have given state environmental officials second thoughts about how or even whether to permit mixing zones in salmon streams.

Driver charged in crash that killed mother, injured son
ANCHORAGE (AP) — A man was charged with manslaughter in the death of a woman whose vehicle was forced off the road last year, causing it to flip several times, according to Anchorage police.

Lumber shortage looming?
Gene Rabung is bracing for what he says is going to be a bad deal.

Vicki Annette Thompson
Longtime Kenai resident Vicki Annette Thompson died Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 56.

Proposition 4 lets voters decide with super majority
I have heard and read a number of misstatements and misconceptions about borough taxes, funding and ballot propositions that, as a former borough employee, I believe should be addressed.

Governor's updated senior aid program deserves praise
Here's something you don't see every day: Senior citizen advocates have something nice to say about Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Whatever you do, get out and vote
Come Tuesday, voters from around the Kenai Peninsula Borough will again have the opportunity to have a direct impact on the lives of themselves and their fellow community members.

Swan survey evokes visions of change on the Kenai
I recently participated as an observer on an aerial survey of trumpeter swans on the Kenai Peninsula. The survey was part of a larger statewide aerial survey that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts throughout Alaska for trumpeter swans every five years.

National park fees on the rise
BILLINGS, Mont. — Many tourists will pay more next year to visit Western national parks such as Yellowstone and Glacier.

Around the Peninsula
PTA fund-raiser beginsKPC holds community film nightChurch holds rummage saleCIRCAC to meetToy donations soughtScouting books, uniforms soughtPopcorn fund-raiser beginsPool available during school hoursHurricane relief fund-raiser setHospice training announced

Goodness gracious: One word still works, even after 720 uses
The school year is well under way and going well. We can applaud the efforts of both staff and students for a job well done. A lot of progress in learning important lessons will be gained.

Church Briefs
Church holds rummage saleNikiski Bible study, Sunday school slatedRevelation class beginsCatholic inquiry classes beginChildren’s program offeredFall Bible classes slatedSoldotna Bible study continuesClothes Quarters openBible study group to meetBible study class continuesKenai church to start 2 morning services

Soldotna, Kenai square off
This time of year always seems to be about Red Sox-Yankees and Kenai-Soldotna.

White Sox clinch AL Central
DETROIT — Paul Konerko homered to back Freddy Garcia and lead the White Sox over the Detroit Tigers 4-2 Thursday, clinching Chicago’s first AL Central title since 2000.

Sports views: 'Bigger than just the sports world'
Until last spring, Eddy Curry was just another cautionary tale about kids drafted before their time.

White Sox win, Yankees all alone in first
DETROIT — Jose Contreras won his eighth straight start and Scott Podsednik had four hits, leading Chicago to an 8-2 win over Detroit on Wednesday night that opened a three-game lead for the White Sox in the AL Central.

Cold Weather Classic a blast
As our roving reporter, June Stuckey is working hard trying to get her deck finished for winter, she has transferred this responsibility to yours truly, Pat Cowan.

Padres clinch NL West
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres clinched the fourth division title in their 37-year history on Wednesday night, beating San Francisco 9-1 to return to the postseason for the first time since being swept by the New York Yankees in the 1998 World Series.

State’s best take to Tsalteshi Trails
The state’s top runners will gather at Tsalteshi Trails behind Skyview High School Saturday for the State Cross Country Championships.

McNabb hopeful not to miss any games with sports hernia
PHILADELPHIA — Donovan McNabb tossed touchdown passes on a broken ankle and played an NFC title game with an agonizing rib injury.

Shared pain: Eagles hurting physically, Chiefs hurting emotionally
Donovan McNabb is hurt. So is David Akers, who kicked last week in extreme pain. McNabb will play with his injuries this week, Akers won’t.

Baseball singled out at hearing
WASHINGTON — One by one, Hank Aaron and other members of the Hall of Fame told Congress they back Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig's bid for tougher steroid penalties.

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