Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The “Tie Guy” is gone... Long live “Suspenderman!”
U.S. Postal Clerk Steve Adams has been fondly known as the “Tie Guy” at the Soldotna Post Office for nearly a decade. During that time he collected more than 300 some ties from postal patrons who would bring him colorful ties from all over the world. Rather than drapes in his home Adams had tie racks that acted as curtains which displayed his ties from which he would make his daily selection. It all started back in the mid-nineties when Steve bought a few colorful ties that the Postal Service was selling to promote a series of Looney tune cartoon stamps and Adams started wearing them to work. “The customers really seemed to like them so I continued to wear these ties and started purchasing other fun, colorful, gaudy type ties for myself and wore them to work and it snow balled from there. The first tie that was given to me by a customer was of Big Bird from the Sesame Street TV show. The collection continued to grow to the tune of one or two a month from customers and tourists who would see wild ties on vacation and buy them for me to wear,” said Adams.

You changed your clocks...Did you change your smoke detector batteries?
By now everyone in Alaska has changed their clocks to Daylight Savings Time, but CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale, wants to double check that everyone also remembered to change their smoke alarm batteries. “Central Emergency Services reminds residents to make another change that could save their lives by changing the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change their clock, and if you forgot, it’s still not too late,” says Hale. According to studies 96% of American homes have smoke alarms, 23% don’t work due to worn or missing batteries. “Non-working smoke alarms deny residents the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries. Currently in 2006, Alaska has had 13 fire fatalities, of which, 82 % did not have working smoke detectors or no smoke detector at all. Changing smoke alarm batteries twice a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire,” said Hale.

BOSU for you...and much more at the Fitness Place
BOSU is an acronym for "both sides up,” because the BOSU Balance Trainer can be used with the platform side either up or down for different types of balance challenge, says Fitness Place owner Melissa May. According to May, the solid platform is 25 inches in diameter and the dome is inflated until it is firm. Two recessed handles on the bottom of and towards the sides on the platform make it easy to turn over or carry. “This hybrid fitness product has its genesis in the field of medicine, as well as balance, functional and sports specific training. Neuromuscular physiology, which helps to define human movement, provides the science that backs this remarkably complete approach to training,” says May.

Media members feel the heat at CES training center
When members of the media talk about getting into “hot spots” they usually are speaking figuratively, last week however, Chief Chris Mokracek of Central Emergency Services(CES) invited the media to literally feel the heat that firefighters experience on a daily basis, “We have a very dedicated group of firefighters here on the Peninsula and I thought it would be a good opportunity for media people to experience first hand the sights, smells and heat of what firefighters here on the Peninsula and across the nation experience any time we answer a call,” said Mokracek. “I never realized the sensory depravation when you enter a burning building, the fire is terribly loud, you hear voices but you have no idea where they are coming from, you literally can’t see a thing, you have a flash light in your hand but the smoke is so thick you can’t see it at the end of your hand, all you can do is feel your way along the wall, hose or stairway until you get to the flame, then the heat and the steam hits you. I always knew these were special people, but now I understand how special they truly are,” said a reporter.

Voters should get say in annexation
The City of Homer, Alaska has plans to annex 26 square miles of land surrounding Homer. So far, the Alaska State Superior Court has unfairly approved a 4.5 square mile area favoring such annexation

Election coverage shows bias
A comment on Hal Spence’s piece covering Wednesday’s (Oct. 25) debate between the gubernatorial candidates is warranted. It is often easy to see Mr. Spence’s bias in his reporting, but never more so than in this particular case. To read his coverage would give one the impression that Sarah Palin said little or nothing throughout the entire event. I did not attend the debate myself, but have spoken to two people who did; both indicated Ms. Palin had plenty to say.

Don’t be left out in cold, vote ‘yes’ on Prop. 2
I am so sick of the lies and misinformation the “No” on 2 people are spreading all over Alaska. If the oil companies were really going to build a gas pipeline, then the reserve tax would be a moot point. The reserve tax goes away when a pipeline is built. The only reason the No people keep saying this tax will add to the cost of the pipeline is because they do not plan to build it for many years.

Reader: Experience not always a good thing
Voters should be aware there are two kinds of experience being paraded in front of them during this race to be the next governor. The Knowles camp has stressed the lack of experience from the Palin-Parnell candidates and has turned their efforts to the negative messages on that topic.

Students grateful for chanceto get down to business
We would like to thank the following businesses in Kenai that the students at Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science interviewed. We learned a great deal about your businesses in our community. The businesses we would like to thank are:

Four more years?
Candidate Knowles makes much of his prior experience with the oil industry. However, a factual review of his dealings indicates much of that “experience” involved subverting Alaska’s interests to Big Oil.

Palin’s lack of experience obvious
After the exciting primary results, I looked forward to hearing what each candidate would have to say. What I’ve discovered is, while Palin is quick, articulate as all get out, a silver tongued beauty, she needs time to mature, gain substance in her thinking, and delve deeper into the ethics philosophy that attracted many of us initially.

Ballot measure would have opposite effect
Ballot Measure 2 imposing a tax on North Slope gas reserves will have precisely the opposite effect of the one promised by its promoters. We finally have a window of opportunity to move forward with a gas project, but rather than speeding up construction of a gas pipeline, this misguided measure will delay it for years or derail it altogether.

Big oil ‘coaching’ anti-Prop 2 sentiment
A bit of insight on the push to negate Prop 2:

Reader: Vote Democrat
Although I’ve spoken out against the current Republicans for making such a mess out of my dad’s party, what they do doesn’t really affect me as much as some people. Being that I’m in my 50s, I don’t have to worry about fighting their wars (yet, anyway). I just feel it’s my responsibility to speak out against warmongering.

‘Yes’ on Prop. 2 in public’s best interest
Ballot measure 2 does what the legislature and governor have been unwilling to do for 30 years. It sends the oil companies a bill for not producing our natural gas reserves.

Prop. 2 should pass
In my opinion prop two should pass. I know several people who work on the slope and as long as there is oil up there they have no incentive to sell gas or build the gas line the only thing they understand is what effects their bottom line “ money.” Prop two hit’s them in the pocketbook the only thing they understand and it would cost them a lot of money to litigate also.

Palin will help heal health care
At a recent health care debate at UAA, Sarah Palin showed that she is the candidate who understands the real problem creating higher health care costs for Alaskans: government restriction of competitive services through the State’s certificate of need (CON) laws. These laws restrict doctors from providing a cost effective choice in medical care and only serve to protect medical monopolies that are making substantial profits from Alaskans.

Knowles picks were fishy
Tony Knowles must have taken a lesson from Frank Murkowski when it comes to campaign promises. Knowles promises to appoint people to the Board of Fish who are balanced and will manage biologically. He doesn’t want any lightning rods. Yet his record shows that he only appoints lightning rods or wimpy yes-men.

Packed concert was fun for all
Saturday night was a night to behold. The Alaska Peace Officers had their annual concert to raise money for the youth in our community and boy was it a hit! I was so thrilled to see that the Renee Henderson Auditorium was filled to the rafters! That was just awesome and so wonderful to see. It was also so great to walk in and see Gordon Griffin standing there like old times. I was so sorry to find out he was there because of sad circumstances, but it was so nice to see him never the less. He was such a fixture there for so many years and did such a wonderful job of running the venue. I truly appreciated all he did.

‘Owners’ should pay what gas is worth
I have to pay property taxes on my home and land based not on what I paid for it many years ago, but on what the borough determines it is worth if it were sold to someone else today. And if I don’t pay these taxes, the borough would take my property away from me.

Reader votes for rail line
Happy Halloween!

Workers help garden grow
The Sterling area senior citizens have a memorial garden created and crafted by the efforts of our wonderful volunteer core at the senior center. Recently this garden was beautified through the United Way Day of Caring for Agencies.

Ice slips up unwary drivers
No need to visit a haunted house for a good scare. White-knuckled drivers have been sliding, spinning and rolling their way into ditches since road conditions became slick last week, keeping Soldotna Alaska State Troopers busy.

Woman dies after being struck twice
A pedestrian died Monday night after she was struck first by a truck and then a second time by a car on the Kenai Spur Highway in North Kenai.

Jack-up rig still a go
Contrary to what was being discussed on local talk radio Monday, Escopeta Oil Co. is moving forward with plans to bring a leased jack-up rig to Cook Inlet next spring, but the plans are not without a hitch.

Fog hides trailer blaze
Dense ice fog obscured a remote Sterling mobile home as it caught fire Sunday night, allowing the fire to grow to disastrous proportions and leave the home’s owner with nothing to return to.

Gas reserves tax debated in Soldotna
Alaskans have waited long enough without receiving any benefit from North Slope natural gas resources, Rep. Eric Croft told about 75 people attending a public debate on Ballot Measure 2 at the Soldotna Sports Center on Tuesday.

Flu shot event put off for now
Before the first flu shot was even shot, borough emergency managers received a lesson in pandemic preparedness.

Climate change event gets warm welcome
Global warming is threatening Earth’s ecosystems and efforts to harness those human activities contributing to it must begin immediately if the planet is to avoid the worst of the effects, say scientists at a three-day workshop on the world’s changing climate held this week in Homer.

Jack Kahn
Former Soldotna resident Jack Kahn died Friday, Oct. 20, 2006, in Reno, Nev., of heart failure. He was 57.

Nathan W. Irwin
Former 20-year Soldotna resident Nathan W. Irwin died Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, in Grayland, Wash. He was 70.

Gas line key to success: Palin: Kenai Peninsula rich in human, natural resources
Some people are not big talkers on airplanes. I don’t blame them. Airplanes are loud and uncomfortable anyway, so the idea of half-yelling over the engines for hours on end is not exactly appealing. Last week I had the pleasure of flying to Kenai and I was sitting next to two gentlemen who qualified as airplane non-talkers.

Tapping Alaska’s dreams: Kenai Peninsula is a microcosm of state issues that need solutions
My wife Susan and I, newly married, came to Alaska with a dream. I was fresh out of the Army and out of college — and jumped into the Alaska oil patch. I worked at Prudhoe Well No. 2 and on the Grayling Platform in Cook Inlet, my first Alaska jobs. They were life-changing experiences.

Around the Peninsula
Caregiver support meeting set Soroptimists to meet Food drive ready to gather Diabetes cooking classes offered Kayaking, water safety classes slated Christmas bazaar set to sale Dinner theater set to entertain Craft fair, flea market planned

Around the Peninsula
Stress management to be discussed Winter gear sought Nutrition classes available Recycling group to meet KPBSD to hold Title Vll meeting Seniors to host fall bazaar Soldotna seniors plan bazaar, bake sale Taxes to be discussed Quilters to meet

Still going
Nikiski girls basketball coach Ward Romans was at a football game this year when he and an opposing coach started talking hoops.

Around the District
VFW Ladies Auxiliary sponsors art contest Aurora Borealis Charter Cook Inlet Academy Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kenai Central High Kenai Montessori Kenaitze Head Start Kenai Middle Mountain View Elementary Nikiski North Star Elementary Nikiski Middle High Ninilchik School READS Primary Redoubt Elementary Soldotna High Soldotna Middle Tebughna School Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Photo feature: Home-school ghouls
  Photos courtesy Connections Entries in the Connections home-school program’s pumpkin contest followed an Alaska theme. Pumpkins were decorated as, clockwise from left, a bat, a ram, a musk ox and a polar bear.

Program emphasizes good qualities for students
What does a mayor, a soldier, a state trooper, a fire chief, a postal employee and a refinery manager have in common with 415 elementary school students?

Kenai Peninsula College spring semester schedule available online
A list of course offerings for the spring semester is available from the homepage of the Kenai Peninsula College Web site. The public will be able to register at 8 a.m. Dec. 1.

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