Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Exxon litigation outcome will be come clear in June
The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to let Exxon off the hook for damages resulting from the 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound.

River needs management plan, and it must be enforced
Almost everyone agrees the health (water, sediments, contiguous habitats) of the Kenai River is vital to the economy of the region. Thousands of Alaskans and nonresidents are attracted to the river annually by its salmon runs and world class rainbow trout.

A colorful scenario?
Look at the pretty lights on the Kenai River Bridge. Wow! Red, green, purple, blue, bump, bump!?

School board to scrutinize student volunteerism
A student community service program in Homer is due for closer scrutiny by the school board today as it may have implications under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Ice jams to be discussed at winter series
Few property owners on the banks of the lower Kenai River will forget last winter's ice jam. When the lake behind Skilak Glacier drained, dislodging the ice that plugged it up, the jam took out boat docks and fishing ramps downstream.

Dalai Lama photo quest works out
His hopes resting on the slimmest of chances, local freelance photographer Ron Levy boarded an Oct. 15 red-eye out of Anchorage bound for Washington, D.C., in a quest for shots of the visiting Dalai Lama, who was in the nation's capital to receive the United States Congressional Gold Medal from President George Bush the next day.

Photo feature: Last look?
A feral turkey watches the traffic below recently in Cooper Landing. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, this bird may not be long for this world.

Photo feature: Puppy love?
Carolyn Unger's cat Baby, watches the neighbor's dog Rusty, through a window as Rusty eyes Walnut Avenue on Monday afternoon in Kenai. "I think Baby's in love with Rusty," Unger said.

Chenault: Oil tax session might extend
Rep. Mike Chenault said Monday he is willing to see the special session extended if it means reaching a deal on a new oil tax law.

CERT -- Masters of disaster
If it wasn't supposed to be serious, it would have been funny. But as the cries of Paul Adams echoed through the hallways of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church early Saturday morning, few earthquake victims could keep a straight face.

Global classes seek local help
Whether speaking about a community, a nation, or the world, it is hard to deny that we are all related when it comes to the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods and services. The Junior Achievement (JA) program is dedicated to educating young people on the ways to succeed in this global economy, but they need help.

Bad smell wafts over city
The acrid smell of rotton eggs wafting through Soldotna sent many residents to their phones, but it wasn't an enormous gas leak that prompted the calls to Central Emergency Services.

Soldotna man turns adventures into book
Charley Dunn, a Soldotna resident for 42 years, has experienced a lot since first coming north as a wide-eyed young man in 1966, and if a person could earn a college degree for storytelling, he would hold a Ph.D. for his gift of gab.

Ardin Gale Freestone
Soldotna resident Ardin Gale Freestone died Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007, at his home in Soldotna after a long illness. He was 43.

Soldotna Community News
If you've been wondering what it looks like inside the Peninsula Community Health Center (PCHC) building, here's your chance to check it out! Located at 230 E. Marydale and Tyee, behind the King Salmon Hotel, it will have a grand opening for the public from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m., tours, giveaways and refreshments. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be the featured guest. The building is a consolidation of Cottonwood Health Clinic, Central Peninsula Counseling Services, administration offices, WIC and Public Health.

Scouting out leaders
Boy Scouts from across the Kenai Peninsula converged on Cooper Lake on Oct. 22 to compete in a series of scout skills. Troops 151 of Soldotna and 568 of Seward (above) joined together and won the leadership staff. This award will be have to be defended in February at the Freezeree. The Tustumena District Boy Scout troops gather three times a year and compete in a series of scouting skills. Usually the competition is between patrols of scouts. A patrol is made up of between five and 10 scouts, and each troop may have several patrols. At this event there were four troops in the competition with a total of five patrols. The adult leaders created a patrol for the day and competed against the scouts on an equal basis. The troops for 568 Seward and 151 of Soldotna were small enough they joined forces for the event. Not only did they best the Troops 555 of Homer and 1616 of Soldotna, but they also beat the adult leaders. The scouts had to score points in a variety of skills. Each patrol was given a chicken, a potato and an onion to cook over a campfire. The judges scored each meal for taste and appearance. The patrols also had to complete a compass and a knot tying challenge. All the patrols did well in all the events, but the Frontiersmen took the prize with their patrol yell, once again proving that scout spirit is more important than skill. For more information about Boy Scouting on the peninsula, call Camille Vega at 283-1699.

Ninilchik Community News
If you have been involved with a fundraiser in Ninilchik, chances are Debra Henderson has worked tirelessly behind the scenes helping with a smile. Debra's parents, the late Jim and Carol Bock, first came to Alaska in 1957 to fish commercially when she was 2. Debra graduated from Ninilchik High School in 1973, worked and lived in Anchorage for nearly 25 years, then returned to Ninilchik in 1997. Her youngest daughter, Donna Rae Henderson, graduated from Ninilchik School in 2004. Now that her children are grown and are living in Anchorage, her life revolves around community service.

Thankful for a mouthful
This moose calf was photographed recently in Soldotna is on his knees. Doing what? Praying? No, the calf was eating the leaves on the ground. It is easier to eat them kneeling, rather than standing up. Mama moose was close by, watching and eating tree branches.

Kasilof Community News
The Exxon Valdez lawsuit is going out with a bang. Supreme Court Justice Alito has recused himself because he owns $160,000 in Exxon stock. The remaining eight Supreme Court justices are eligible to hear the appeal. Six of them are Republican appointments. Last year the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the justices of the Supreme Court are the most friendly to business that the country has had in years; an observation which may bode ill for plaintiffs. The appeal is a winner-take-all contest based on maritime law and scheduled to be decided by June. The question is whether or not shipping companies should be responsible for captain's actions. If Exxon wins, they pay with a goose egg. If plaintiffs prevail, they divvy up the largest punitive damages ever awarded. There is no middle ground.

Kenai Community News
Hello, Kenai! I'm baaaaack, and amazed to see that it's still autumn here. I thought for sure that you'd be covered with white. Isn't it tradition that the kids have to wade in snow to go trick-or-treating? Must be global warming.

Nikiski Community News
Good day to all my Nikiski neighbors.

Hero of the Week
On behalf of our family I would like to thank peninsula communities that help us in the search of our son, Zackary, who ran away last week.

Honoring veterans through the end of life
Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, a special day of awareness to help all Americans understand the values, commitment, and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. It is a time when we pay tribute to those who have served our country.

Sterling Community News
A lot of you know that I grew up in Sterling. I moved out to Michigan in 1981, met my husband at college and we lived there until four and a half years ago.

Cash for a cure
Pictured left to right, Soroptimist Co-President Kim Pyfer, Central Peninsula Hospital CEO Ryan Smith, Central Peninsula Hospital Health Foundation CPO Peter Brennan and Soroptimist Co-President Paula Rohloff pose with the $6,000 check Soroptimist International of the Kenai Peninsula presented to CPH to help area women with cancer. The fund is managed by the Central Peninsula Hospital Health Foundation.

Gift of travel
On Oct. 6, the Alaska Young Marines were presented with a check for $2,000 from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula Chapter of Safari Club International. The funds were used to help finance the groups week-long trip to Washington, D.C., beginning last Friday. The Young Marines had saved enough money over the past two years to purchase plane tickets, but after purchasing four spotting scopes for Alaska troops in Iraq, they lacked the additional funds needed for the trip. Shown back row, left to right Paris Davis, Danyell Blom, Ian Dukowitz, Arrington Besetsny, Codie Williams, EJ Ismael and Chase Amador; middle row, left to right, Terik Dukowitz, Nataliyah Davis, Lillie Petrey, Makhail Wright, Skyler Petrey, Noah Ness, Andrew Blom, Tanera Dotson and Patrick Trent; front row, left to right, staff member Seth Payfer, commanding officer, Carol Lasky, executive officer, Tammy Whitaker, SCI board member, Larry Daly and SCI chapter President, Clifford Hugg.

Around the Peninsula
Fish and Game advisory meeting set Recycling group to meet again Love INC. hosts anniversary party Holiday bazaars begin Beta Sigma Phi tea planned Crooners sought Caregiver Appreciation Day set Fish and Game to meet Habitat re-opens application period Donations sought for military personnel

Around the Peninsula
Arthritis aquatics program offered Beekeepers all abuzz Mission dinner fundraiser slated Ninilchik community meeting set Youth clubs to meet KPC council meeting scheduled Road standards to be discussed Teens lead charge to stop smoking Women invited to take-a-break Cybersmarts! workshop set

Community college financial aid workshop set
There will be a free, public workshop on financial aid for college students today at 7 p.m. at the Soldotna Sports Center. The event is a collaboration between counselors and staff from area high schools, Kenai Peninsula College and the Alaska Commission on Post Secondary Education. Mary Ellen Havens from the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education will be the featured speaker.

Around the District
School board meetings slated College financial aid workshop set Title VII meeting set Aurora Borealis Charter School Connections Grace Lutheran School Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenaitze Head Start Kenai Alternative High Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Nikiski North Star Elementary Ninilchik School Redoubt Elementary Skyview High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna High Soldotna Middle Soldotna Montessori Charter Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

School Daze
Principal Sharon Moock and Assistant Principal Sarge Truesdell have been focusing on reducing tardies this school year. Whenever students are in the halls, so are they, calling out reminders and encouragement to students to make it to wherever they're going on time. They also bought clocks to carry with them that count down the amount of time left, to the second, before class begins.

Looking back brings writers present into better focus
This school year brought new changes for my family. My older brother, Micah went off to college for the first time.

Sports Brief
Nikiski High School graduate Sam Hill, 30, finished 29th in the New York City Marathon on Sunday with a personal-best time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 28 seconds. Hill's time was the fifth-fastest by an American this year in the race and also led a group of 18 Alaskans. He also was the first American from out of New York State to finish.

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