Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Performance offers reminder of fragility of environment

On Oct. 11, an audience of 100 to 200 students and adults at Soldotna High School were treated to "A Sense of Wonder," a one-woman play by actress Kaiulani Lee, about the life and accomplishments of author and naturalist, Rachel Carson.

In these days, when the term "environmentalist" raises the ire of many Alaskans, the name Rachel Carson raised the ire of many others nationwide with the publication of her book "Silent Spring" in 1963.

This book raised questions about the indiscriminate use of many pesticides, most notably dichlorodi-phenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and their deleterious effects on insects, birds, fish and other animals.

Ms. Lee's performance was touching, factual and very realistic in her portrayal of Ms. Carson, to whom the world is indebted for her research, tenacity and integrity in successfully fighting the U.S. chemical manufacturing industry which made, distributed and advocated the widespread use of these chemicals.

This performance was sponsored by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, KDLL Public Radio and Soldotna High School and was free to the public. We are indebted to these sponsors who help to enlighten all of us about the fragility of our environment with such programs.

Richard Hahn


Response to Oct. 10 bomb threat at Soldotna High appreciated

On behalf of City Manager Tom Boedeker and myself, thank you very much to all those who responded to the bomb threat at Soldotna High School on Oct. 10.

The Alaska State Troopers, Fish and Wildlife Protection, Central Emergency Services and the borough Office of Emergency Management all responded quickly to assist the four of us from the Soldotna Police Department on duty at the time. Thank you to the Peninsula Clarion, KSRM and the Anchorage Daily News for their coverage and assistance in soliciting information about the perpetrator.

Assistant Superintendent Todd Syverson, Principal Sean Dusek, Assistant Principal Al Howard, all of the teachers and staff did a tremendous job in their focus on the safety of the students. The students, themselves were phenomenal. Their evacuation from the building was quick, calm and methodical. All of the students' actions were noticed and very much appreciated by all of us there.

Once again in our community, the cooperative effort and the enthusiastic willingness to help has proved itself.

Shirley A. Gifford

Chief of Police


School board member deserves recent recognition

This is just a personal note about Kenai Peninsula Borough school board member Debra Mullins. She is a person who always does the right this right. Debra is making visits to southern California every two or three months to visit her mother-in-law, who is dying of cancer. She and her husband Jim stay about 10 days to take care of her needs around the house. Debra is also the president of the Relief Society of the LDS Church. The Relief Society is the women's service organization of the church. This responsibility is huge. She also taught for eight years a daily early morning religious class for high school students.

Debra Mullins is not an angel, but about as close as anyone on earth can get. I've known her all my life. Debbie is my little sister. In 1983, I was extremely ill and she brought my two children to Kenai and cared for them as her own for three months. She confessed she had a hard time with my daughters' hair because she had only boys.

In 1994 I found myself at loose ends and invited myself to her home to live. She and Jim opened their home without hesitation. We shared a wonderful year together.

I think it's wonderful she has been recognized for her hard work. Debra is a very modest person; most of her family has no clue of her work on the school board. The work she has done has taken a toll at times. Her children even took some hits years ago because of her position on the board.

When I spoke to Debbie recently and she stated she won the re-election. What? She told me she had reconsidered and filed at the last minute. I was surprised, yet not really because of her desire to do something of good report.

The Kenai Peninsula greatly benefits by having Debra Mullins and her very supporting husband, Jim, as members of the community.

Linda Echols

St. George, Utah

Letters to the editor can be faxed to the Clarion at 283-3299 or e-mailed to

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