Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Soldotna Chamber recognizes Students of the Month
For many years now the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has sponsored a Student of the Month program to recognize outstanding students at Soldotna Middle, SoHi, and Skyview. Students are invited to a regular luncheon meeting to receive their certificates and talk about their educational experiences with lunch sponsored by Bob Sizemore. With the flurry of issues during the local and national elections in October and November however, the Chamber got behind in their Student of the Month program, so last week the students selected by their teachers for October and November were honored and given the entire meeting to tell of their accomplishments and future aspirations.

Carey restarts letter writing campaign to GI’s
Soldotna Mayor David Carey does not grow weary when it comes to supporting our military personnel, and he is not content with only expressing that appreciation when designated holidays roll around. From painting Soldotna’s fire hydrants red, white and blue, to the City’s “Letters to Soldiers & Marines” program, Carey mounts an ongoing effort to keep those in uniform aware that they are remembered, appreciated and missed at home. “The students at Soldotna Middle School through their student council agreed to help coordinate a restart of the letter writing campaign to those local individuals serving in the U.S. Military. We sent out our first packet of letters yesterday and once a month we will be continuing to send out packets from schools throughout our community,” Carey told the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce last week.

My last outdoors story I wrote about my trip to Texas where I was planning on going alligator gar fishing only to be told that it was not going to be possible because the weather was too cold. I arrived in Texas and found the weather was in the low 80’s which hardly seemed too cold to go fishing.

Alaskan creativity highlights annual Peninsula Art Guild Craft Fair
For more than 25 years the Kenai Art Guild as been bringing artists from all over the Kenai Peninsula together on the day after Thanksgiving for the largest craft fair of the year. “We have new vendors each year that adds to the variety of items. This year we are delighted to have glasswork and native crafts and masks that have added to the unique fiber arts, woodwork, metal working, and jewelry vendors that are here this year. And all the items here are handmade, handcrafted pieces most of which have been made by the person right there at their table. It just amazes me how much creativity there is in Alaska and right here on the Kenai Peninsula,” commented Lauren Wakefield. The Alaskan Eskimo Artwork by Lenwood Saccheus included educational brochures that explained the cultural meanings of his creations such as “Spirit-Hunter.”

Robin’s Nest in Sterling... a sweet place for a cool holiday treat
The Robins may not be nesting this time of year in Alaska, but their songs are still being sung for anyone coming through the front door at the Robin’s Nest in Sterling. Also crossing the threshold of the Robin’s Nest will give you the sensation of taking a retro-step from 2006 to 1956, a time without credit cards, computers, cell phones, color TV’s or Super Bowl Sunday’s, a time when a banana split was big enough for you and your friend and you only needed a nickel for a coke. Once inside the Robin’s Nest you might find yourself recalling exactly where you were when you first heard Elvis Presley sing “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound-dog”, or who bought you your first cherry soda. If you are accompanied by someone under ten years old you might find yourself explaining how to make a call on a rotary pay phone.

Alaska coverage needs to change
There are over 1.8 million Americans who are living without a limb as a result of birth defect, trauma or from a disease. In return for premiums paid for group health insurance, consumers expect to be covered for illness or injury, including coverage for an amputee body part. Unfortunately, without legislation to ensure coverage, many people living with the absence of a limb are facing discouraging obstacles when trying to get coverage for prosthetics.

Exxon rubs reader the wrong way
Give me a break. Exxon is going to even think of taking legal action against the people of Alaska? What about the Exxon Valdez oil spill and their inability to pay those whose lives they impacted? Shouldn’t the price of doing business in Alaska be paying your debt to the people first?

Sour grapes leave bad taste with writer
Referring to the recent article about the new state Senate being organized in a more bipartisan fashion, I am disappointed that Senators Bunde, Wagoner and Dyson had nothing positive to offer. I detected a large amount of political sour grapes on their part.

When it comes to the river, time will tell
Increasing the horsepower of outboards on the Kenai has ominous implications for the future — we simply can’t continue to encourage a growth industry on and to the detriment of a finite resource.

Volunteers make ‘Cookies’ event a sweet success
The Central Peninsula Girl Scouts would like to thank Sterling Elementary for the use of their gym for our Cookies and Crafts.

Gender not the issue
I found it odd that Kenai Mayor Porter’s gender was called out in the first sentence of the first paragraph in the headline article about an out-of-town property owner becoming irate that the city of Kenai would consider making mobile homes safer for their occupants.

Ninilchik School presentation wows school board
With its presentation to the school board at Monday’s meeting, Ninilchik School stole the show.

State recognizes effort in improving testing performance
Six schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District received a positive message recently from the state commisioner of education: Keep up the good work.

Photo Feature: Cold Feet
Ice extend like feet from a rock in Crescent Creek near Cooper Landing recently. Weather forecasters are calling for possible snow with high temperatures in the 30s and lows in the 20s for the next two days.

Photo Feature: Sky light
A bald eagle has a bird’s-eye view of the moonrise Saturday afternoon in Soldotna.

Burning grease, rekindled ember blamed for fires
A grease fire resulting from unattended cooking is thought to have caused a fire in Soldotna on Friday that ultimately claimed two lives, and a rekindled chimney fire is blamed for the destruction of a home on Ross Drive on Nov. 13.

‘You’re all going to be sorry’
Megan Ravara broke down in tears in a Kenai courtroom upon seeing her brother, Adam Israel, for the first time in nearly two years during an evidentiary hearing in Israel’s murder trial on Tuesday.

Measure would limit use of city boat launch to 4-stroke or fuel injected motors
The city of Kenai will be the first to take action toward curbing hydrocarbon pollution in the Kenai River, if the city council approves an ordinance directed at that goal tonight.

Survey: Kids think it’s easy to get booze, drugs
School kids in the central Kenai Peninsula don’t think it’s hard to get drugs and alcohol, and don’t think they’ll get in trouble with the law if they drink or smoke pot.

Stabbing victim dead when doctor examined her
Dorothy Israel came into the hospital without a pulse and was not breathing after a stabbing wound to her back left her bleeding internally and her left lung punctured, a surgeon told a Kenai jury during the murder trial of Dorothy’s son Adam Israel on Monday.

Robert L. ‘Bob’ Vest
Longtime Kasilof resident Robert L. “Bob” also known as “Big” Vest died Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006, at Providence Seward Medical Center in Seward after a lengthy illness. He was 70.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna lights up the seasonSanta mugs for the cameraAuditions for musical openNinilchik bazaar setMiners dig inBirders flock togetherChristmas play set to entertainCoping with holidays to be discussedHoliday tea to be servedHoliday concert set to entertainMiddle school basketball offered

Around the Peninsla
Support for cancer victim soughtPhoto guild to host exhibitionCaregiver meetings slatedChristmas activities for kids plannedSoldotna bridge construction to be discussed

Kennedy makes full recovery from injury
One minute, Soldotna senior Christa Kennedy was leaping to corral the ball on a fast break, looking to help the Stars basketball team pull off an upset of No. 2-ranked Wasilla.

Around the District
Antarctic expedition updates onlineArt contest beginsWomen’s award offeredGood News Clubs to meet after schoolConnectionsGrace LutheranI.D.E.A.Kaleidoscope School of Arts and ScienceKalifornsky Beach ElementaryKenai Central HighKenai MiddleMountain View ElementaryNikiski Middle-High SchoolNikiski North Star ElementaryRedoubt ElementarySears ElementarySkyview HighSoldotna HighSoldotna MiddleSoldotna Montessori CharterSterling ElementaryTebughna SchoolTustumena Elementary School

Song helps Mountain View students discover America
Fifth-graders at Mountain View Elementary School in Kenai used music as a vehicle to take fellow students and parents on a journey across North America’s Native American cultures recently.

Double the fun: Being a twin means having a built-in best friend
“Can you tell what she’s thinking? Have you ever switched classes with her to trick the teachers? Do your parents ever get you confused?”, or one of my personal favorites: “Have you ever looked in the mirror and gotten confused?”

Inaugural class graduates from UAA/KPC nursing program
The peninsula will soon have 10 new nurses to help offset the continuing nursing shortage.

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