Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An open letter to Colt and Harley.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Accusations lack evidence
My Ayers’ latest letter (Oct. 16) accusing the president and vice president of outrageous criminal acts is absurd. He has never given us one shred of evidence to back up his statements. Talk is cheap.

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.

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

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?

Bridge complaints were off the mark
I am writing you to “clarify” statements made by Gary R. Bennett Sr. (Clarion, Oct. 19) regarding the construction of the Kenai River bridge.

President would know about ‘cut and run’ tactics
When Congressman Murtha tells the American public we should find a way to get our troops out of Iraq, the president and his followers always use the term “cut and run.” Doesn’t that term sound like cowardice? If I had used the National Guard with altered records as a shelter from military duty, I wouldn’t accuse a decorated military person of “cutting and running.”

Council OKs homeless shelter grant application
To help Love INC meet a state grant application deadline for a homeless shelter, the Soldotna City Council met in special session Monday afternoon specifically to move the process along.

Flood waters give rise to low fish return
Earlier this month, Seward area residents blundered about bewildered as floods swamped their neighborhoods. But humans were not the only creatures confused as their habitat went topsy-turvy.

Charter schools to keep teaching
With some reservations regarding expansion plans of Homer’s Fireweed Academy, the peninsula school board on Monday approved the reapplication of three Kenai Peninsula charter schools.

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.

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.

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.

Winter speaker series designed to educate, entertain local folks
As daylight dwindles and the snow flies, the mass exodus of tourists comes to an end, returning the central Kenai Peninsula once again to those who live here year-round.

Sterling may lose rural status
A few stragglers living near the edge of Sterling, but still within the boundaries of the town enjoy the benefits of living in a nonrural area and at the same time, the benefits of a rural designation under federal subsistence regulations.

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.

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

Around the Peninsula
Used book sale planned LeeShore board meeting slated CPGH board meeting slated Builders meet nailed down Basketball camp set to shoot First aid, CPR offered Halloween party set for fun Screenings available Food bank board meeting planned

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

Panthers beat Mariners in NLC tilt
The Skyview High School volleyball team stayed undefeated on the season, beating Northern Lights Conference opponent Homer in four games Tuesday at Skyview.

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.

Ready to run: Cross country builds muscles, confidence, friendships
During the fall, there are numerous high school sports a student can participate in. There are team sports — football or volleyball — and individual sports — swimming and cross country running.

Around the District
KPBSD to hold Title Vll meeting Aurora Borealis Charter Connections Home-school Cook Inlet Academy Grace Lutheran IDEA Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kenai Central Kenai Montessori School Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Nikiski North Star Elementary Ninilchik School READS Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High Soldotna Middle Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Montessori Charter Tebughna School Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start celebrates milestone in helping children and families grow
Charmaine Lundy doesn’t mince words explaining why she and her fellow staff members are so passionate about their jobs working for a Head Start preschool program.

Needs-based tuition assistance grants available for part-time students
Beginning next semester, part-time students taking five to nine credits who have applied for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet defined criteria for income will automatically be eligible for tuition waiver grants ranging from one to three credits. This needs-based financial aid program was initiated by the University of Alaska Board of Regents.

Darkness got you down?
When you add it all up, Alaska receives as many hours of sunlight as any other part of the world. But while some people seemingly store extra hours of sun energy from the summer and remain perky throughout the long dark hours of winter, others feel their internal battery drain down as winter progresses.

Warming up to the work site
If you’re going to take a job that involves outdoor work in Alaska, you’d better enjoy being outdoors because no matter what the weather is, you’re going to be out in it.

Don’t like cold? El Nino’s your friend
It’s going to be a long, dark and warm winter.

K.O. CO danger
Carbon monoxide is the silent killer. It is odorless, invisible and can kill a person in minutes.

White stuff means green for businesses
While some people enjoy winter, for others, their livelihood depends on the cold temperatures and the white stuff the season brings.

Driven to be prepared
Suppress any thoughts of snow as long as you can. But eventually, you’ll be staring blankly at that first frosted windshield, and heading off to scratch around the tool shed for the ice scraper.

Keeping boredom at bay
The peninsula offers as many winter activities, indoor and outdoor, as summer for youths in search of fun and adventure:

Don’t get left out of the cold
Snowmachining Skiing Dog mushing and skijoring Snowshoeing Ice fishing Ice skating

Wood you like to save on heating costs?
With crude oil and related fuel product costs hitting record highs this year, it should come as no surprise that a number of Kenai Peninsula residents are turning back the clock and looking to woodstoves for heat, at least as a supplemental source.

Ready to go with the snow
As a skier or snowmachiner, the season doesn’t start as soon as snow starts piling up on the ground. The season starts as soon as gear is ready to go.

Avoid numb minds, fingers
Cold-weather outdoor pursuits not your thing? Never fear —the season for indoor activities is here. Here’s some suggestions on how to stay buy until breakup hits:

Don’t heat the outdoors
The following are some tips for keeping home heating costs down this winter:

‘Lift with your knees’ and other health tips
Winter in Alaska offers as many outdoor activities as your imagination is willing to fathom. But no matter how many activities wait outside, they won’t do you any good if you spend the winter cowering inside.

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