Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Outdoors with John Perkovich
Being in the woods has always been an adventure for me, even as a small child. Growing up in Wisconsin there were always plenty of woods to run around in and a new adventure every day. Unlike Alaska we never had to deal with any bears in west central Wisconsin in the 60’s and 70’s. The bear population at that time was predominantly in the northern third of the state. So it was pretty safe to be out stomping the brush even at an early age.

Goldwing Bikers keep up Angel tree tradition
The local chapter of the Goldwing Riders Association has become well known for their precision riding demonstrations in local parades and their summertime efforts to promote motorcycle riding safety. Now with their motorcycles in winter hibernation those Goldwing bikers got behind Beemun’s shopping carts last week, donning wings of angels as they reached deep into their club coffers to help local kids have a happier holiday. “We raise as much money as we can during the summer and at our annual meeting and then as many of our club members as can come out here to do the specific shopping for kids wishes that have been put on the Salvation Army Angel Trees,” said Preston Williams, Assistant Director of the Goldwing Riders Assoc.

Kenai Chrysler Local Drop Point for Troops
With the holiday season upon us, many people are looking for ways to share the season with U.S., Armed Forces serving oversees. As the local Jeep(r) dealer, Kenai Chrysler Center is an official drop site as part of a nationwide effort to send care packages to our troops.

Checking out the Bear’s Den
With the recent spring like temperatures walking up on a bear den could roust a hungry bruin. However, when you’re as hungry as a bear walking into the new Bear’s Den, formerly the Peninsula Steakhouse will cure anyone’s growling stomach. Chef Ernie Pruett and his wife Laura have recently remodeled and renamed the well known log structure at the K-Beach Rd/Sterling Highway intersection in Soldotna. “We completely changed the interior décor to give it an old Alaskan atmosphere that takes you back in time,” said Ernie. While the tourists are sure to love it, Laura Pruett says that their intention was mainly to please the local community, “We have a large senior population on the Peninsula and we focused on creating a family restaurant featuring popular comfort foods at affordable prices in an atmosphere that the local community will enjoy. We can even make you an old fashioned cream soda.”

Victorian Carolers bring the spirit of Christmas past into the present
Caroling, or wassailing is an English tradition popularized in the last millennium as a salutation wishing health to a person during the holiday season and beginning of a new year when the weather was not the most health inspiring. Wassail gets its name from the Old English term “waes hael”, meaning “be well”. It was a Saxon custom that, at the start of each year, the lord of the manor would shout ‘waes hael’. The assembled crowd would reply ‘drinc hael’, meaning ‘drink and be healthy.’ As time went on, the tradition was carried on by people going from door to door, bearing good wishes and a wassail bowl of hot, spiced ale. In return people in the houses gave them drink, money and Christmas fayre which they believed would bring them good luck for the year to come.

Cook Inlet Academy carolers spread their Christmas joy throughout Soldotna
For most children throughout the world Christmas is an exciting time of wish lists and opening presents, but for the last 15 years, the children of Cook Inlet Academy (CIA) have taken their excitement, smiles and favorite carols out of the school and spread them around the community. “It’s our most favorite field trip of the year,” exclaimed 8-year-old Timmy. “My favorite is Jingle Bells” said 6-year-old Bodie.

NOW PLAYING: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
For those of you who found The Lord of the Rings a brilliant, but all too grown-up outing for your children, Hollywood has answered your prayers. Enter the world of Narnia, with talking animals, valiant centaurs, scary witches, and a quartet of four young Brits who can save the day. This film is tailor-made for children and, thankfully, feels no need to pander. But I don’t really need to convince you, do I?

Wal-Mart not the issue
I would like to comment on the article on Wal-Mart on Nov. 18. First I want Wal-Mart to come to Kenai. What really upsets me is when people put animal life above human life, as stated by Debbie McKay. Saying that she was concerned about the salmon stream adjacent the proposed building site. I know of humans losing their life because they could not pump water out of a stream to fight a fire, come on people!

Time for action
We’re outside visiting, but I keep in touch with local happenings through the Clarion online.

Presentation will shed more light on prescription drug plan
Medicare Part D affects not just seniors, but all Medicare recipients regardless of their age. Auto enrollment affects those who receive Medicare and Medicaid benefits, Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or if the state is paying a recipient’s monthly premium for Medicare benefits.

Wal-Mart offers more good than bad
First of all, Wal-Mart will not drive most local merchants out of business any more than Kmart did. Secondly, when Kmart went out of business, not one local merchant stepped up to the plate and opened a clothing store, toy store, shoe store, small appliance store or any other store to benefit us. We did, however, note a lot more tourist shops.

Different opinions doesn’t mean different beliefs
In reply to Carol L. Keller’s impassioned letter of Nov. 18, I thank you and your family for their sacrifices to our great country. Ours is a country born from the desire for and pursuit of freedom, an ideal certainly worth defending. That your family has, and is continuing to serve in defense of our freedom is commendable.

Protests are against administration, not soldiers
I must respond to Carol L. Keller’s letter of Nov. 18. She calls those of us who oppose the war in Iraq “unpatriotic and anti-American.” I oppose the war, yet I consider myself to be a patriot.

Family thankful for the troops
It’s Christmas time again. This year our family along with many others will have an empty seat at the table for Christmas dinner. For the first time in 19 years we will celebrate without our “baby” — our son who is serving in the Army in South Korea. We miss him daily, but with the holidays here the void seems even bigger.

Eliminate bribery at the source
Everything that I have seen in the media about Randy “Duke” Cunningham has focused on what he did wrong, while ignoring the defense contractors who did the bribing. You’ll remember, Cunningham is the congressman and Vietnam war hero from California accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from defense contractors. Cunningham is going down in flames, while we hear nothing about those contractors who tempted and bought him with these lavish offers.

Croft’s plan is no ‘deal’
Eric Croft’s position on the Alaska gas pipeline is far greater risk to Alaska than the supposed issues outlined in your Nov. 23 (Clarion) article entitled “Croft seeks fair pipeline deal for state.”

Photo feature: Sun-kissed
Sunlight crowns mountains in Turnagain Pass at the break of day recently. The sun will be above the horizon for less than six hours on the Kenai Peninsula today as the winter solstice approaches.

Photo feature: Worth a thousand words
Randy Harvey photographs the setting sun from the boardwalk on Bridge Access Road on Tuesday afternoon. “I like the transition time,” he said of the fading light.

Mixing it up, trail system tops committee agenda
The Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee will hammer out its response to proposed mixing-zone provision amendments and attempt to come to a consensus on a proposed Hut-to-Hut trail system on the peninsula.

Woman robs pull-tab business
A woman brandishing a handgun robbed the Hook and Ladder Pull Tab on Kalifornsky Beach Road on Sunday afternoon.

Survey adds information to Cook Inlet database
Scientists are accumulating a wealth of information about Cook Inlet currents that could prove invaluable in predicting the movement of future oil spills or other pollutants, according to officials with Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council.

Morning fire turns Kenai home to ashes
A raging fire consumed an entire Kenai house early Sunday morning.

Group opposes Pebble project
An association representing hundreds of fishermen who fish Bristol Bay said Tuesday that Northern Dynasty Mines’ proposed open-pit Pebble Mine project northwest of Lake Iliamna poses an enormous threat to salmon habitat and the state’s ability to market its fresh salmon resources.

Alva Henriette Davey
Cooper Landing resident Alva Henriette Davey died Friday, Dec. 2, 2005, at her home. She was 85.

Agnes A. Schmitz
Longtime Alaskan and Cooper Landing resident Agnes A. Schmitz died Sunday, Dec. 11, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 93.

Gracia Mae Sarisky
Longtime Soldotna resident Gracia Mae Sarisky died Monday, Dec. 12, 2005, at Our House on the Lake, Assisted Living Home in Nikiski. She was 76.

Around the Peninsula
Performance staged for benefit PSDRA set to mush DAV to meet Senior center to host St. Nick CPHC board members to meet Seniors host Christmas program, party

Around the Peninsula
Food bank directors to meetPFLAG meeting plannedPerformance staged for benefitFish and Game to tackle issuesCompetition lights up cityEvening of music set to entertainCommunity dance plannedSwing dance fundraiser set to grooveMasonic to install officersNikiski Christmas program begins

Tumbaga’s will to win inspires onlookers
Nikiski senior Justin Tumbaga manages to pour his heart and soul into every competition while making sure not to let his emotions get the best of him.

Panthers skate past Bulldogs
The Skyview High School hockey team defeated Nikiski 8-1 Tuesday in a nonconference hockey game at Jason Peterson Memorial Ice Rink in Nikiski.

Sports Briefs
Carlon undefeated at South Duals

Valuable resources
Most of the student’s in Dave Michael’s fourth-grade class at Tustumena Elementary School have handled a salmon for one reason or another.

Around the District
Connections Cook Inlet Academy IDEA Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenai Montessori Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle Nikiski North Star Elementary Redoubt Elementary Ridgeway Preschool Sears Elementary Skyview High Soldotna High Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

New student orientations scheduled for January
If someone has never been to college, navigating through the system can be daunting. This is why the Kenai River Campus holds an orientation session for new students prior to each semester.

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