Tuesday, December 11, 2007

People need to sign initiative to keep streams free of toxins
We, as Alaskans, are so privileged to live in a place so rich in natural beauty. We enjoy harvesting salmon, halibut and game without worrying about toxin levels in the meat. We hike, hunt, fish, snowmachine and fly in and over vast wilderness, and this enriches our spirit.

Lights a welcome sight
Regarding the bridge lights, my opinion is they are a lovely addition and blend well with the beautification program of the brick design walks, welcome rest stops with benches and the garden club's lovely floral beds.

Agrium makes a difference to seniors
We are very blessed to have a community that gives from its heart. On behalf of the Kenai Peninsula Seniors, I would like to thank Agrium's leadership and staff for the many volunteer hours of service to the annual Thanksgiving dinners, the monetary donation to defer food costs, the donation of turkeys, the flower arrangements on each table used for door prizes and the donations of Agrium hats and bags.

A solution for the rat problem
Rats are great fodder for writers, being just backward-spelled star. They are now getting exterminated from Rat Island. These fallen stars allegedly came ashore from a Japanese ship, grounded in 1780.

Trappers rally needs balance
Most folks would rather not learn about this subject, but having my dog killed in a snare 12 steps from the roadside on private property caused me to pay attention. The information at the trappers rally would have you believe that dogs getting trapped is unusual. More realistically the reporting of one is unusual. An experienced trapper told me that the trappers trapping Cohoe Loop catch dogs in about half the traps set. I have personally seen dog pelts in trappers homes.

Search, hope continues for remainder of crew
Search and rescue workers located the remains of flight nurse John Stumpff, of Sterling, amongst some debris Saturday from a LifeGuard helicopter that went missing in the Prince William Sound area Dec. 3. The search for the remainder of the wreckage as well as the three other individuals aboard the helicopter continues.

Ladd Landing lease extension considered
The administration has asked the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to approve a one-year extension on a lease option for borough land at Ladd Landing held by Texas-based investors.

Committee set to take fishing guide gripes
With more than 700 boats on the Kenai River at the same time during the July king salmon fishing season, contention between user groups is inevitable. But while the Alaska Department of Parks and Recreation fields specific complaints, a new subcommittee of the Kenai River Special Management Area board will take complaints as a way to recommend future changes to fishing regulations along the Kenai River.

Local lawmakers eye Palin's proposals
Gov. Sarah Palin's recent calls for saving $7.1 billion in oil-revenue surpluses over the next couple of years and pushing education spending to more than $1 billion a year for three years are getting mostly favorable reviews from Kenai Peninsula lawmakers.

Photo feature: King me
Adaya and Nimi Pollock play a big game of checkers as their parents work nearby during a visit to the Kenai Community Library last weekend.

Emergency responders go high tech
Having a GPS receiver and knowing how to use it are two different things, or so Stephen Brown will tell you.

Supporters, skeptics rally for clean water
Jack Hobson lives as he has for approximately 50 years, off the waters lakes Clark and Iliamna. Compared to bottled water, lake water is cleaner, he says. But because he lives within 17 miles of the proposed site for the Pebble gold and copper mine, he and the other members of the Nondalton tribal council are worried.

Palin's 2009 capital budget includes peninsula projects
A host of projects on the Kenai Peninsula were included in Gov. Sarah Palin's proposed 2009 Capital Budget released Monday.

Council, Corps to talk erosion
The Army wants to meet with Kenai city officials this week to go over design alternatives for curbing erosion along the Kenai River bluff.

Evie Mae Mohr
Soldotna resident Evie Mae Mohr died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, at Stonebrook, an assisted living facility in Soldotna. She was 96.

Ray C. Olds
Longtime Kenai resident Ray C. Olds died Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, at home. He was 81.

Learning to trust again: Legislators must not vote on issues where there's conflict
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other."

Hero of the Week
Recently I had an unexpected experience of being a "guest" at our local hospital. May hat's off to whoever was responsible for the design and implementation of the expansion projects. Too often our community fails to plan for the future and lags behind in meeting the needs of its populace. Not so this time. We have a facility that we can and should be proud of.

Kasilof Community News
Health for the holidays is an essential gift. As we move toward Christmas it is appropriate to remember the many neighbors who are struggling with health issues. Howard Davis of Clam Gulch has been battling lung and brain cancer. Chemotherapy is the chief weapon in his struggle.

Around the Peninsula
The Kenai Kennel Club is offering a Canine Good Citizen class Dec. 29 at its facility in the C Plaza in Kenai. The program consists of a six-week class, where students take their dogs through a series of situations designed to teach the dog to be under control, such as in a crowd of people and around other dogs. A test is given at the end of the session. Those who pass may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club, which sponsors the program.

Soldotna Community News
Silver Salmon here on the Kenai Peninsula aren't just known for the dinner table, they're also known for the winners' table as the Soldotna Silver Salmon Swim Club. Swimmers with qualifying times are eligible for the Alaska age group competition championship meet in Fairbanks. Last year they had five eligible competitors, but this year 20 have qualified and 17 are signed to go.

Peninsula Reflections
The Kasilof Boosters Club appointed George Jackinsky as manager the Kasilof Airport in 1965. At that time Kalifornsky Beach Road was not only spelled wrong (no "r"), it was routed long, traversing upstream to cross Coal Creek. In 1968 Studnek Construction won a contract (approximately $350,000) to upgrade Kalifornsky Beach Road and build a new Coal Creek crossing.

Nikiski Community News
Good day to all of my Nikiski neighbors.

Around the Peninsula
Peaceful people to meet After-school church youth programs to meet Fish, game advisories to meet Women invited to brunch KWF plans open house Decorating contest begins Food bank donations sought Women voters to meet Women's basketball league forming

Kenai Community News
Have you had a look at Leif Hansen memorial park after dark? It looks like there are lights on every single tree and bush. Thanks for brightening up our winter, whoever is responsible for all that work. I have great admiration for all of you who go to the effort and expense of decorating your houses for the holidays. It just isn't Christmas without all the cheery lights or the ringing of bells, for that matter.

Ninilchik Community News
Debra Henderson informed me that the American Legion kids community Christmas party with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be held at Carol Bock Hall at the fairgrounds at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 not Dec. 15 as I incorrectly reported.

Sterling Community News
If you have driven through Sterling lately you might have noticed activity in the building next to Alaska Wedding Brokers on the highway. I was very excited when the sign went up reading "Sterling Clinic." Health care services will be available in Sterling!

Poinsettia plants part of large, colorful family
The genus euphorbia is one of the largest groups of plants, with over 2,000 species. It also contains the largest number of succulent species, as about half of the species in this genus are succulents. Whether grown in the landscape or on a windowsill, this is a fascinating group of plants that can turn a gardener into a collector.

Sports Brief
The Homer girls and boys basketball teams swept a pair of nonconference basketball games against Nikiski on Saturday in Homer. It was the season opener for all four squads. The Homer girls won 57-56, while the Homer boys won 70-53.

Waking up to reality of the scholarship nightmare
I thought finding the career I was going to pursue in college was the only thing I had to worry about at the beginning of my senior year.

Fun and games
  New Soldotna Middle School staff members Lisa Rolph, Stephanie McDowell, Steve Cunningham and Debbie Brophy perform at the school's annual Turkey Trot initiation portion. Photo by John Harro, SMS teacher

Around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter Connections home-school IDEA home-school Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenaitze Head Start Mountain View Elementary Ninilchik School Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High School Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Handle with care
Fourth-graders in David Michael's Tustumena Elementary School class were interested in the parts of a salmon that most people aren't.

Campus hosts luncheon for legislators, mayors: Kenai Peninsula College
In an effort to keep key decision-makers informed about Kenai Peninsula College, peninsula legislators and mayors, UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer and Provost Michael Driscoll attended an information luncheon Monday. The purpose of the event was to provide an overview of current campus topics, highlights of the UA budget requests and demonstrate the importance of training the workforce for the local economy. The dignitaries interacted with the KPC leadership team, college council and Student Union members.

Sports Briefs
Midnight Sun Volleyball to hold tryouts Kenai Central to celebrate its hockey history

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