Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Price of gas goes downprice of pie goes up
While prices for a gallon of gasoline continue to fall at the pump, prices for a pie in Soldotna have reached another all time high, at least at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Pie Auction. Now in its twelfth year the Pie Auction has become the only major fund raiser for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. In the beginning pies would sell for from fifty to several hundred dollars a pie. A Friday night’s auction most bids started at $500 and quickly went into the thousands of dollars. “When I tell folks in Oregon that I sell pies for $10,000 to $15,000 in Soldotna they think I’m pulling their legs,” says Auctioneer Norm Blakeley. Over the years auction themes have ranged from Monopoly to Vegas and Hawaiian dress nights, but this year’s “Western” theme happily brought out guests in their best cowboy boots, hats, and Indian outfits.

Outdoors
An open letter to Colt and Harley.

Excited new team takes ownership of Peninsula Center Mall
Avery and Melinda Pennington are the new owners of the Peninsula Center Mall formerly owned by Glen Martin. Melinda was born in Soldotna and graduated from Skyview High School in 1995. Avery has spent most of his life in the construction business where he learned his trade as an electrician with his father who has a construction company in Anchorage. Prior to meeting Melinda and starting their family he was the electrician at the Wildwood Correctional Center. “I moved here from Anchorage when I married my wife Melinda and we decided to take our professional life in a different direction and got excited when the opportunity of buying the Mall was presented. Glen Martin has done a great job in bringing the Mall back to capacity and we appreciate what he has done in making it possible for us to purchase it and continue the resurgence of the Mall as a vital part of our community,” Pennington told the Dispatch.

Star gazing continues in Soldotna “Dude, we just won state!”
The Spirit of ‘06 will be long remembered in Soldotna. At awards ceremonies, graduations, homecomings, and at class reunions for the next half century, the thrill will be recalled and the shared credit for Soldotna High School’s first state football championship will be told to future generations. The support of a community that turned out on a frosty Friday morning to watch the team board its charter bus and be escorted out of town by fire trucks and police cars painted “We’re Going 2 Win,” will not be soon forgotten. “It was truly amazing to see everyone in the town up that morning and ready to send us off for the big game,” recalled Star’s fullback Marvin Tate. According to Jon Andrews who coordinates the state championship event the largest crowd ever assembled for a small-school state championship was on hand with the majority being from Soldotna. The crowd was so loud players in the backfield said they couldn’t hear the quarterback call the cadence so they watched for the other players to make their move.

Career Tech students to resurrect Rotary Roaster
At a time when there is much concern about the replacement of Alaska’s aging work force as well as commitments for Alaskan hire from looming multi-billion dollar construction projects, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Districts (KPBSD) Career and Technical Education program is stepping up to the plate. According to Walt Ward, KPBSD Work Experience & Work Force coordinator vocational education is going through a time of transition, “We’re moving away from the old traditional vocational education to the career and technical education which often does require some secondary training either at a local college or trade school, but not necessarily a four year degree,” explained Ward. Part of the new program is the Work Force Development Center at Kenai Central High School, “Here at the facility at Kenai we are offering capstone advance level programs. Students can get their beginning level feeder programs at their local high school on the Central Peninsula and then they can come over here for some of their advance level training, and at the advance level training we are hoping to offer either college credit or some type of certification so that when the student leaves here they will be job ready and prepared to go into the workplace,” said Ward.

Arctic Winter Games continue to pay off
Probably many of us have forgotten already all the work and preparation and activity locally when the Arctic Winter Games took place. I for one traveled to Arizona that week to visit my parents.

Volunteers helped make marathon run smoothly
Thanks to the many volunteers who made the 1st Kenai River Marathon a success. Some 40-50 of you worked together at all levels. Didn’t we have fun? It was a healthy event which brought out people of many ages — runners and volunteers — and folks came from near and far, some who had never been to Kenai before.

Stars achieved what teams before dreamed of
Congratulations to the Soldotna High School Football team on winning the State Championship. As a player on the first 2 seasons (1980, 1981) of Soldotna High School we aspired to win the conference, but fell short. It brought back great memories of teammates Andy Mack, Daryl Pederson, Kevin Waldren, Greg Merkes, Craig Lucas and many others.

Passports shouldn’t be shown around
I was surprised to see individuals’ passport photos on the front page of Monday’s (Oct. 16) Clarion. It seems entirely appropriate for a newspaper to document a local event and remind travelers of pending new rules. But it struck me as odd that the Post Office staff would allow passport applicants’ photographs to be published in a newspaper (and therefore on the Internet).

Support from friends made dog jog a success
On behalf of Tsalteshi Trails Association I would like to thank Our Best Friends and Cohoe Micro Bakery for sponsoring the Susan Butcher Memorial Dog Jog/Walk. The 5K run/walk was held on Sunday, October 8th to raise money for the Cancer Survivors on Mt. Aspiring Charity in memory of Susan Butcher.

Shorter session would cost state more
Ballot Measure No. 1 on the November 7, 2006 ballot is to shorten Alaska legislative sessions from 120 days to 90 days. This Measure should be based on the Legislature, in past years, being able to complete its business in less than the 120 day regular session. This assumption, however, would not be correct. In the last twelve (12) years, there have been fifteen (15), costly special legislative sessions, extending the sessions beyond 120 days. From these facts, one might conclude that regular legislative sessions should be extended, not shortened?

High gas prices take a toll
Being a little bit angry over the price of a gas in the state of AK is a basic understatement. All over the country prices are much lower than ours, “The question is why?”

Wal-Mart delay isn’t red tape
I’m writing in regard to your story in Thursday’s (Oct. 12) paper about Wall-Mart. I do not like the headline that suggests that the delay is a petty little red-tape bureaucracy issue. It is my opinion that the delay — for the Army Corps of Engineers is a valid delay that should not be rushed, or pushed by the political process. The proposed Wall-Mart site sits on headwaters of a salmon stream. I think it is important to let the Army Corps determine whether the intended use is OK and what limits, restrictions and conditions on the land use are best.

Outsource lawsuits instead of jobs
What is amazing is that the voters of the United States of America in the last presidential election almost elected a Lawyer as our vice president who made, some say nearly $50 million and what from? “Class action lawsuits against Medical companies.” Now just multiply this one by the number of class action lawyers in this country and it is not too difficult to see why they are taking all the care away from the American elderly and people on Medicaid, but applying it to free medical care for all the illegal aliens that neither the “Democrat Party or the Republican Party” want to do anything about. All of our political parties have done absolutely nothing but give lip service to anything concerning the lower income people in this country

Vote ‘no’ on 2
It is my belief that Ballot Measure 2 if it’s passed will have a tremendous impact on jobs and development of the North Slope of Alaska. We have got to Vote NO.

Knowles did poor job the first time around
As a fellow Vietnam vet, I applaud Tony Knowles service to our country, but I have problems with Tony Knowles as governor.

Rise of some crude products’ prices leaves reader wondering
In 1997-1998, the price of Alaska crude oil was selling for about $9 per barrel, gasoline was selling for about $1.25 per gallon, and motor oil was selling for about 60-80 cents per quart. In 2006, crude oil is selling for about $60-70 per barrel, gasoline is selling for up to $3-plus per gallon, and motor oil is STILL selling for 60-80 cents per quart? Am I imagining things, or is something wrong with this picture?

Most politicians only say what voters want to hear
I know my guy won’t be elected governor, but I will know I voted for the best choice. He is out there setting the standard for what a governor should be.

Olson ahead in money race
Seeking his second term in the Alaska House of Representatives, Republican incumbent Kurt Olson so far has outspent that his Democratic Party challenger Pete Sprague by better than two to one, Alaska Public Office Commission candidate disclosure data shows.

School board drawing up yearly legislative wish list
Addressing the Area Cost Differential and funding the teacher and public employee retirement systems are among state legislative priority issues the school board will consider tonight.

Torpedo Lake blowout still baffles scientists
Environmental researchers are still puzzling over why Torpedo Lake rapidly dumped 65 million gallons of water into Kenai River last week, turning the river brown with mud and littering it with trees and clumps of vegetation.

Hunting for beluga delay
Cook Inlet’s struggling population of beluga whales could be headed for extinction, say environmentalists pushing to see the cetaceans listed on the Endangered Species Act.

Counting belugas a tough task
At the heart of the debate over whether an endangered status should be granted now, or await a more detailed study, is the lack of understanding about why no rebound has occurred.

Kenai wants its own voice
The prospect of sharing a new subsistence regional advisory council with Anchorage has ruffled the feathers of Kenai Peninsula hunters and fishermen who worry the city’s residents could dominate the council.

CPGH gears up for next phase
Central Peninsula General Hospital is getting ready for the final phase of its expansion as it opens the project phase to bids from contractors.

On a mission for Melba
Melba wants her bike back.

Seward cleanup could get longer borough boost
Tuesday’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting could be a relatively rapid affair with no ordinance public hearings on the agenda.

VA clinic gets marching orders
For most veterans accustomed to hiking six miles in combat boots with a full pack while carrying a weapon, a hike across the Kenai Spur Highway is no big deal. For the Veterans Administration medics, however, it is a big deal.

Nikola Cekin
Kasilof resident Nikola Cekin died Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 79.

Daniel Larry Miller
Soldotna resident Daniel Larry Miller died Oct. 21, 2006, at his home with his family by his side.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna Chamber to meet Wednesday Nutrition classes available Trapping, snaring classes set to spring Seniors to host fall bazaar KPBSD to hold Title Vll meeting Soldotna seniors plan bazaar, bake sale

Peninsula People
The following is a partial list of 4-H winners at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik and the Palmer State Fair:

Day of Caring volunteers give seniors gift of independence
Central Peninsula Counseling Service's Forget-Me-Not Center, a daily activity program for seniors who still want to remain active despite limitations imposed by illness, would like to thank the employees of First National Bank for their commitment to bettering our community by participating in United Way’s Day of Caring.

Peninsula Reflections
Joanna Hollier says her dad told her what all women do is “get married and have babies.” She set out to prove him wrong. This Wisconsin farm girl got two jobs — one in a restaurant working from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., the second at a dime store afternoons and evenings. When she had saved $200 she enrolled in the Radio, Television and Electronics Institute which prepared her for a position she took in Alaska. She learned there’s more out there than farm life — and a lot more money, too. Looking back, though, her father was partially right. Along with all her adventuring, she did get married and have babies. — Mary Ford with the Kenai Historical Society.

Around the Peninsula
Annual pumpkin contest continues CPCS board to meet Harvest festival set for FridayCraft vendor space available Pumpkin carving contest scheduled Free community Halloween party slated Kenai ‘trunk or treat’ set Winter gear sought

Births
Lisa and Dan Kouf of Kenai announce the birth of their daughter, Abbie Jean Kouf, at 4:08 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She weighed 6 pounds, 11.5 ounces and measured 19 inches.

All-state teams show distributed talent
Standout players decide football championships, but holes in the lineup can, too.

Sports Briefs
The Dillingham wrestling team captured the Grace Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Anchorage. Also at the meet, Ninilchik was 14th, Nikiski was 15th, Seldovia tied for 17th and Cook Inlet Academy tied for 20th.

Bosick can spend summer on a boat and still dominate
Sunday, Skyview senior Gregor Bosick was named the defensive player of the year for the Alaska Coaches Association Small-Schools All-State Teams.

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