Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Natron Air enters the Air Taxi business to Anchorage
Anyone who has ever had to overnight in Anchorage because of delayed or late night flight arrival on your way home to Kenai or Soldotna, will be happy to hear that Natron Air is now offering air taxi service to and from Anchorage to either the Kenai, Nikiski, or Soldotna Airport.

Barkman finishes 2nd in 20K swim around Key West Island
When Soldotna High School Chemistry and Geometry teacher Jim Barkman went on his summer break, he decided to go for a swim around Key West Island. Barkman a veteran open water swimmer had targeted the popular marathon swim for the experience and had said prior to leaving for the event this summer, “I don’t compete as an open water swimmer any longer so to be safe I’m looking and training for it as a swim even though I tend to be competitive, if I complete the swim in around 5 hours I’ll be satisfied.” It was the first time Barkman had to prepare for a marathon swim in warm waters, “I’m a fan of colder water swims like off the coast of California or Lake Tahoe where the water temperatures may be 50-75 degrees on those swims, but for the Key West swim we’re are told to expect water temperatures up to 86 degrees and that’s pretty extreme and required a different training regimen to prepare for dehydration and over heating. All my training has been done in the Skyview pool and I won’t hit the salt water until I arrive in Key West,” Barkman told reporters in May.

Wildlife Refuge family fun in the autumn sun
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR), paired up with Mother Nature last week for some great outdoor and indoor fun on one of the prettiest fall days of the year. “I was in charge of the weather, but the credit for everything else goes to the great staff we have here at the Refuge,” said KNWR deputy manager Jim Hall. It was all part of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Fall Fun Day that happens each year in conjunction with the broader National Wildlife Refuge Week according to Park Ranger Candice Ward. “We look forward to this event each year because it’s a great time for families to come out and enjoy the Refuge nature trails and learn about what we do here,” said Ward.

“Too Cool” by a pillow length topples KPC hold on Bed Race title
The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce stripped the long held “Bed Head” title from Kenai Peninsula College last week at Parker Park in Soldotna. Under clear autumn skies Soldotna Lion Ed Sleater’s “Too Cool,” or “2-KL” model sprint bed proved as unbeatable as he had predicted in pre-race interviews. “This is my short frame sprint bed model. I built it complete with mud flaps, roll bars, and high speed wheels that I predict will be a proven winner,” said Sleater. After seven years of only finishing as an “also ran” Sleater said he was motivated to win this year, “We had to take the title back from those college kids and I knew we’d have to resort to some innovative designs, and sure the KPC kids had youth and proven design on their side, but as I predicted old age and treachery would prevail over youth and skill.”

Outdoors
Despite the rain I still find myself craving to get out fishing or spruce hen hunting this fall. Any time you walk in the woods or grass in a steady downpour you are soaked in a few minutes unless you encase yourself in rubber boots and rain gear. Rubber gear proves to be almost too hot to do much long distance walking in and not the most comfortable stuff to hunt in. So what do you do when your faced with the amount of rain we have all endured during the summer and fall of 2006?

Build a railroad, not a gas pipeline
Eleven hundred railcars filled with 170,000 pounds of LNG hauls the equivalent amount of gasified natural gas as the gas pipeline. That’s 10 trains with 110 railcars in each. It’s one hour of rail time, leaving 23 hours of rail time to haul other things.

Group gives shelter new coats
The LeeShore Center would like to thank the members of the United Methodist Church Women who painted two bedrooms and the adjoining bathroom in our emergency shelter. This was a service project completed as part of their Rise and Shine conference.

Insects, snakes and politicians
Your “What bit me?” article subtitled, “A New Guide Helps Identify Insects” in the Outdoors section of your newspaper (Sept. 22) would have been a perfect headline for some of the speakers at the recent UN gathering, and the story on page A-7 about Venezuela President Chavez’s speech in a New York Harlem church.

No such thing as cheap labor
We all know this is true, but when you see it in print, it is an eye opener: cheap labor?

Programs make a difference to schools
Thank you to Safeway, Soldotna for their continuous community support of Soldotna High School! Safeway staff and management are what make the Escrip and 10 percent back to schools successful!

Fisherman puts support behind Palin
Tony Knowles was in Sitka recently, where he said he wanted to make things right with the fishing community. I think it’s far too late for that now.

Enough gouging, it’s time to act
Can anyone tell me why the gas prices in Soldotna and Sterling are over $3.08 a gallon while Anchorage is $2.72? It seems the oil companies in this area continue to use their monopoly tactics to stick it to the people in this area. The president of the United States said he will go after the oil companies that are gouging the public. OK Mr. President, now is your chance.

Donations give athletes strength
On behalf of the recipients (coaches, officials, timers, lifeguards) at the Pentathlon/Quad meet hosted by the Soldotna High School swimming and diving team Sept. 22 and 23, I would like to thank the following local businesses: Odie’s Deli (specialty coffee), Safeway (sweet breads) and Subway (sandwich platters).

Water works — Maintenance will clean Soldotna pipes
Any discoloration Soldotna residents see in their drinking water this week is probably temporary and not a cause for alarm.

Seward flood closes roads
Flooding caused by torrential rains and compounded by high tides, forced residents to flee neighborhoods in Seward on Monday, and stranded travelers using the Seward Highway to get into and out of town.

Cutting corners to cut costs
Working on the assumptions that people don’t want their teeth to hurt when driving down a Kenai street and don’t want a cloud of dust rising whenever someone else drives by, the city is taking another look at how dirt road paving projects are designed.

Reckless driver out of hospital, if not trouble
Kenai police are continuing their investigation into a Nikiski man’s reckless driving spree that left several blocks of Kenai’s Willow Street in shambles Saturday.

Bridge work back on track
Hard-hatted construction workers were clambering all over the Sterling Highway bridge in Soldotna during morning rush hour Monday as work resumed following a three-week lull.

Club finished with free rides
Members of a Kenai Peninsula snowmachine club say the free ride must to come to an end. With the Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers snowmachine club’s membership and volunteer base dwindling, a tiring group of core members say they may have to cancel this year’s kickoff unless someone volunteers to lead the event by Thursday.

Running for good
What do dog lovers, runners and mountaineers hoping to climb a peak in New Zealand have in common?

Assembly to set sales tax
Defeat of Proposition 2 at the polls last Tuesday has cleared the way for Mayor John Williams’ proposal to set the borough’s sales tax rate at 2 percent.

Phone scam targets Medicare drug users
People receiving Medicare benefits are being targeted in a scam involving false offers of refunds for prescription drugs.

Floyd F. Poage Sr.
Longtime Alaskan and Nikiski resident Floyd F. Poage Sr. died Friday, Oct. 6, 2006, at Heritage Place in Soldotna with his wife by his side. He was 82.

Jacqueline E. Bierdeman
Kenai resident Jacqueline E. Bierdeman died Monday, Oct. 9, 2006, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. She was 76.

And the survey says ...: Reports show guides need to be restricted on Kenai River
The Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources will soon be making a decision with respect to a proposal to raise the horsepower limit on the Kenai River from 35 HP to 50 HP. The proposal is in large part a response to bank erosion caused by the increasing number and size of boats operating on the lower river, particularly during the July late-run king salmon season. It appears that this proposal is on the fast track to approval. This despite a poll taken by the Peninsula Clarion earlier this year that resulted in 62 percent of 721 respondents opposed to this proposal (such polls are often skewed since proponents with vested interests and thus in support would be more likely to respond). This despite the fact that the results of a wake study conducted in 2005 at tax-payer’s expense and designed to fully address the issue of impacts of boat wakes (to include make, size and hull design; number of passengers; speed and proximity to the shoreline) are not yet available. This despite the fact the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation believes that increasing the limit to 50 HP will increase hydrocarbon pollution which every July already exceeds state water quality standards.

Letters to soldiers campaign restarts
The city of Soldotna has restarted its Red, White and Blue Program. The program is designed so community members may send letters of encouragement to area soldiers who are serving in all branches of the military

Around the Peninsula
Fishing presentation set Annual pumpkin contest continues Mayor to speak at league meeting Caregiver training offered Car care tips offered Challenger Center seeks volunteers

Peninsula Clarion - Community

Around the Peninsula
Breathing seminar planned Teen parenting class set Head Start reunion slated Take a Break to meet Russian fun night scheduled

Community News
Sauna fundraiser slated Hospice training scheduled NRA fundraiser takes aim Lifeguard class planned Halloween carnival set Dinner theater set

Births
· Rebecca Kensinger and Michael Woodward of Soldotna announce the birth of their daughter, Haily Rene Woodward, at 10:47 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She weighed 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces and measured 21 inches.

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