Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Council dog decision applauded
I would like to congratulate the Kenai City Council on their recent decision to not expand their kennel licensing rules. Since the program has registered only eight households, it makes me wonder how many more households with more than three dogs made the wise decision to not let the city know and allow it to intrude upon their lives.

All learning is challenging
In response to Dec. 9 editorial, "Far-reaching Inspiration Found Close to Home," I commend the Challenger Learning Center for awakening people's interest in science, math and computers. Another way to spur our youth to advanced degrees is to consider how these subjects are being portrayed.

Ninilchik derby a success
The Deep Creek Charterboat Association would like to graciously thank our co-sponsors of the 2007 Ninilchik Fishing Derby, including Ninilchik Chamber of Commerce, Canterwood Cabins, Wells Fargo Bank (Soldotna), Best Western King Salmon Motel, Deep Creek Sport Shop, Koffler Boats Inc., Will's Copper King Charters, Afishunt Charters, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, American Legion Post No. 18, Anglers Lodge, Arctic Tern Charters, Catch-A-Lot Charters, Chihuly's Charters, Chinook Tesoro, Don T. Fishing Charters, Fred Meyer, D&M Charters, Fishward Bound Adventures, Happy Valley Hookers, Happy Valley Store, Joyce Marie Charters, Kachemak Gear Shed, Meander-In B&B, Ninilchik Saltwater Charters, Printers Ink (Peninsula Clarion), Scenic View RV Park and The Cross Enterprises.

CPH says farewell
Laughter floated amongst the crowd in the Denali Conference Room at Central Peninsula Hospital on Sunday and tears trickled down the cheeks of friends, family, coworkers and the community that gathered to say goodbye to flight nurse John Stumpff, pilot Lance Brabham, paramedic Cameron Carter and patient Gaye McDowell.

Pratt seeks community input for future exhibits
The Pratt Museum is dedicated to the process of education by exploring the natural environment and human experience relative to the southern Kenai Peninsula, and they are currently opening a dialogue with the community about which direction the museum should go with its special exhibits in the near future.

Photo feature: Peak of dawn
The rising sun illuminates clouds over the Kenai Mountains near Cooper Landing this weekend. Forecasters are calling for clear skies and below zero temperatures.

Recycling efforts pay off
Amid the truckloads of garbage pouring into Kenai Peninsula Borough landfills each day are tons of salvageable materials, but recent waste-management data shows recycling is catching on, a Solid Waste Department official told the assembly recently.

Kenai quilters stitch together hope for foster children
SOLDOTNA For Kenai Peninsula quilters, leftover scraps of fabric provide the foundation for one-of-a-kind keepsakes children living in foster care can call their own.

CES wreath glows red
Red light bulbs appeared on Central Emergency Services' wreath serving as testimony to two structure fires and a dryer fire that took place within 72 hours of each other over the weekend.

Wide-awake bear meets sad end
A hungry brown bear's search for easy pickings led it to homes along Skyline Drive in Homer a couple weeks ago. An area resident brought the aging bruin's aggressive behavior to an end Dec. 4.

Hope erodes
Army engineers and biologists came to town last week to talk about the Kenai bluff.

Chester Henderson Cone
Longtime Alaskan and Kenai resident Chester Henderson Cone died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007, at home. He was 92.

Geneva May Ramsey
Longtime Soldotna and Sterling resident Geneva May Ramsey died Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, at home. She was 92.

Sterling Community News
I don't know about all of you, but I am beginning to wonder where our winter has gone! At the risk of sounding like an "old-timer," Decembers when I was a child seemed to be, well, more winter-like. They featured things like skiing and sledding. This year we seem to be missing one vital ingredient for those activities snow. Hopefully by the time this article runs we will have some of the fluffy white stuff.

Swimming wonders
Members of the Soldotna Silver Salmon swim team pose together during the 2007 Speedo/Alaska Swimming Age-Group Championships at the Hamme Swimming Pool in Fairbanks on Dec. 7. Team members included Alexandra Brenton, Shaylee Brenton, Morgan Lancaster, Megan English, Katie Markesano, Kaitlyn Groleske, Sarah Mokracek, Zoya Hanson, Alena Newgren, Keelyn Heaven, Olivia Pfeifer, Molly Silta, Maraya Whitaker, Sawyer Rickman, Christain Carrico, Austin Whitaker, Winter Heaven and Ehren Rickman. Not pictured, Rachel Henry and Isabel Henry. The team is coached by Sohail Marey and assisted by Joel Pieper. Standing with the team, second from right, is Mark Gangloff a gold medalist for the USA team in 2004. Gangloff presented medals at the event. The team competed against 330 swimmers and placed ninth out of 20 teams. Individual results for those placing in the top six are: Kaitlyn Groleske fourth place for backstroke, butterfly, individual medley and freestyle, third place in freestyle and backstroke and fifth place freestyle. She placed eighth overall; Molly Silta fifth place butterfly; Katie Markesano fifth place butterfly; Sawyer Rickman fifth place backstroke and fourth place freestyle; Olivia Pfeifer two fifth place finishes for freestyle and fifth place backstroke; Austin Whitaker sixth place breaststroke; and Winter Heaven first place backstroke and butterfly, second place individual medley and freestyle, third place individual medley and backstroke and fifth place butterfly. He placed third overall. Relay results are: fourth place freestyle, girls ages 11 and 12 Morgan, Katie, Zoya and Kaitlyn and fifth place freestyle boys ages 13 and 14 Ehren, Christian, Austin and Winter; Medley sixth place girls are 11 and 12 Kaitlyn, Katie, Sarah and Zoya and medley sixth place boys ages 13 and 14 Ehren, Christian, Austin and Winter; and freestyle sixth place girls ages 11 and 12 Kaitlyn, Katie, Sarah and Zoya and freestyle boys ages 13 and 14 Ehren, Christian, Austin and Winter.

Peninsula Reflections
A few years ago, members of the Kenai Historical Society took turns telling about their first Christmas in Alaska. Excerpts from some of the stories follow.

Kenai Community News
Recent visitors at the Hank and Toni Cooper home were their son, Sgt. Corey Jon Cooper, his wife, Malinda, and their daughter, Zoya Roze, 1. Corey recently returned from a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq for the U.S. Army. He is stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash. This was his second tour in Iraq in three years. While he was gone, his parents became experts in supporting their special soldier. Toni said, "There's only so much parents can do. So I decided I would write him a letter every Monday, send him a package every Friday, and then leave the rest to the Lord."

Around the Peninsula
KCHS hockey memorabilia sought Raffle fundraiser continues Race volunteers sought Caregiver meetings set Hospice plans celebration Writers' group seeks entries

Nikiski Community News
Seasons greetings and happy winter Solstice to all of my Nikiski neighbors. I am excited that the shortest day of the year is Saturday and then we will again be gaining light.

Ninilchik Community News
I attended Nick Leman's 90th birthday party at the Ninilchik Senior Citizen's Center with friends and relatives of the Leman family Dec 7. Nick's son, Loren Leman, arranged it so his older brother Wayne could fly in from Washington and surprise his parents. Youngest son Mark, who works as a merchant marine and recently returned from Japan, was also able to attend, enabling all three of Nick and Marian's sons to celebrate this special occasion together.

Kasilof Community News
The Tustumena Elementary School parent-teacher organization (PTO) cash raffle was pulled off Dec. 8. Audrey Russell and Shelley Davis drew tickets while Jim Russell (Audrey's brother-in-law) was the announcer. Sheila Garrant, president of the PTO, taped the tickets to the display. She breathed a sigh of relief when all tickets were accounted for again this year. Janet Gleason, a Soldotna resident and registered nurse at Central Peninsula Hospital, won the $2,500 grand prize. TJ Checketts, son of Shane and Tosha Checketts of Tustumena Lake Road, sold the winning ticket. Demery Garrant sold the most tickets, for which she won a digital Kodak camera pack. Rachael Blossom and Myia Wright sold the second- and third-most tickets. Every year 400 tickets are printed and this year 382 sold, the most ever. The raffle started in 1999 when Lisa Stroh was principal and Judy Johnson was PTO president.

Soldotna Community News
Many of the Christmas customs we hold dear, such as the Christmas tree, originated in Germany. For a touch of an authentic German Christmas, Dagmar Mayer, originally from the beautiful town of Bamberg, Germany, shares some of her memories and traditions, new and old.

Around the Peninsula
CPCS board meeting set Women's basketball league forming Free gift wrapping offered KMS volleyball camp set Canine Good Citizen class planned Cameras, photo printers sought Kids reading program continues Donations sought for military personnel

Sports Brief
The Nikiski hockey team took just six players to a pair of Greatland Hockey Conference games Friday and Saturday at Susitna Valley, but came out with a pair of wins.

Sports Brief
The Homer boy basketball team finished 1-2 at the Grace Christian Classic after splitting games on Friday and Saturday.

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

Web registration a growing trend at the college: Kenai Peninsula College
More than 46 percent of students who registered for classes during fall 2007 semester did so online. This is an increase of 5 percent over the previous fall semester.

Students lead the way
It's one thing to study human rights violations from the past. It's another when they're part of current events.

Lost in thought: Writer ponders just about everything
I find it hard sometimes to comprehend the simplistic mannerisms of my fellow peers.

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