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Friday, December 29, 2006

Business Briefs
Chambers set schedulesSmall business center to host workshopsJA seeks volunteers

Political river game frustrating reader
I am a private resident angler, with an older two-stroke outboard who has been fishing the Kenai since moving here almost six years ago. Because I am not a longtime resident of the peninsula, I do not pine for the good old days when there were few boats on the Kenai and one could experience what must have been a wonderful “wilderness” experience with the potential to catch a huge fish.

Writer opposes coal project
PacRim Coal, representing Asian coal buyers, is proposing to surface mine coal near Beluga. Known as the Chuitna Coal Project, it is currently under review by regulatory authorities. There are two reasons to oppose this project. The first regards the impact of coal removal on the Beluga area. The second regards our country’s antiquated energy policy.

Horsepower issue not all it appears
OK, let’s get the story straight. The Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board’s decision to increase the horsepower limit from 35 to 50 horsepower had nothing to do with safety or protecting the fishery. Raising the limit had everything to do with giving the commercial operators (guides) what they wanted.

Pebble Mine would create an eyesore for future generations
As a longtime former guide in Bristol Bay I am shocked that the creation of Pebble Mine is even a consideration. Frankly the fact that the entire region of Bristol Bay is not a national treasure under National Park protection is beyond disgrace, it is plainly immoral.

Support of music hits high note
On Dec. 15, many community musicians participated in “Evening of Christmas,” a concert of seasonal music, at Christ Lutheran Church for a wonderful audience of about 150 people.

Peninsula police,Troopers work overtime for safe holiday
Drunken party-goers who decide to take a chance on the roads this holiday weekend will be dealing with a revved up law enforcement team.

Peninsula merchants happy with holidays
Gift recipients weren’t the only ones pleased by diligent holiday shoppers this year. Local retailers say they reaped handsome holiday sales this year, leaving last year’s sales in the dust.

Governor’s bash planned for Kenai
Tickets are expected to go on sale Jan. 9 for the Kenai Peninsula Palin-Parnell inaugural ball in Kenai.

Borough waste facilities ready to accept tired Tannenbaums
When its branches become brittle and the needles start creating more of a mess than a holiday mood, the time has come for the Christmas tree to be shown the door.

Soldier risks life, limb for duty
They say it takes more than just strength, courage and determination to be a soldier. It also takes an indelible resolve in the face of adversity, which a soldier from Nikiski proved he had this past year.

Plane removed from refuge by helicopter
After more than three months of puzzling over how to remove a single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3 that made an emergency landing on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge this summer, a salvage crew has finally disassembled the plane and removed it by helicopter.

Bearup to discuss Afghanistan
Open arms welcomed Army Spc. James Bearup home as he stepped off the airplane and into the long-awaited embrace of his family. Back from Afghanistan for just 15 days, Bearup’s 16-month-old son, James, refuses to let him out of his sight.

DUI patrols out in force
Drunken party-goers who decide to take a chance on the roads this holiday weekend will be dealing with a revved up law enforcement team.

Photo Feature: Chilled moose
Fresh snow covers a moose as it rests in a yard in Soldotna recently.

Soldotna emergency radio system gets a boost; cell tower gets boot
An uncommonly large police presence on New Year’s Eve last year may have contributed to an orderly and peaceful celebration in Soldotna.

Impaired listing sought
State regulators have finalized a decision to ask the Environmental Protection Agency list the Kenai River as a Category 5 impaired water body under the federal Clean Water Act — a category listing used to flag water bodies that fail to meet state water quality standards.

Photo Feature: Remembering a leader
Flags fly at half-mast over the courthouse in Kenai on Thursday afternoon in honor of former President Ford.

Edgerly: Planned homeless shelter may double in size
Before the first shovel of dirt has been turned, Love INC is now seriously considering doubling the size of the homeless shelter it hopes to build in Soldotna.

Clara ‘Rachael’ Gibson
Longtime Kenai resident Clara “Rachael” Gibson died Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006, at her winter home in Fort Mohave, Ariz. She was 73.

Ruth Marie Chessman
Soldotna resident Ruth Marie Chessman died Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006, at Stone Brook Inn Assisted Living near Soldotna. She was 90.

Edward Lee Stewart
Ninilchik resident Edward Lee Stewart died Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006, of natural causes at his home. He was 88.

Roy Albert Mullen
Soldotna and former Anchorage resident Roy Albert Mullen died Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. He was 78.

Hey Exxon, it’s time to pay what you owe
It’s a slap in the face. That’s how many people in the state feel about the appeals court decision to cut in half a $5 billion jury award for punitive damages against ExxonMobil Corp. in the 1989 Valdez oil spill that smeared oil across roughly 1,500 miles of Alaska coastline.

Outdoor Briefs
March outdoor activities brewingAdvisory committee elections to be held

Wind wreaks havoc on trails
The recent gusts of strong wind have taken their toll on area ski trails, but snowmachiners won’t be as limited in their riding opportunities.

Soldotna area Christmas Bird Count slated for Saturday
The 107th annual Christmas Bird Count season is under way; tens of thousands of volunteer birders are scouring their designated areas in over 2,000 circles this holiday season throughout North America.

Clam Gulch a classic experience
Started in 1982, the 23rd running of the Clam Gulch Classic will take place this weekend, but despite being the second-oldest dog sled race on the peninsula, it is still just an informal gathering of dog folk according to race organizers.

Snow birds
Animals deal with winter cold in a variety of ways. Bears tuck in to hibernate in a warm winter den. Moose switch from eating moist leaves to a drier diet of woody stems, branches and bark. And many birds simply fly south to warmer climates.

Around the Peninsula
Youth New Year's party slatedParenting course offeredMonopoly tournaments to be held

Around the Peninsula
Bellringers to performCommunity New Year’s party slatedCPGH open house setKids’ winter reading program continuesFundraisers for cancer victim continueAlzheimer's information availableChamber to host awards ceremony

SoHi girls split in San Diego
The Soldotna girls basketball team went 1-1 during a tournament held in San Diego, Calif. on Wednesday.

Sports Brief
Peninsula Fight Challenge is tonightVerhelst named to D3football.com All-America team

Not exactly a night to remember
Museums are fascinating places, at least for Hollywood screenwriters and directors. Often portrayed as large, even cavernous, the museum represents a place of potential wonder and danger. I mean, who knows when one of those mummies is going to come to life? Or, could it be that the dark man in that painting just turned and looked at you?

Activities abound for bringing in 2007
The new year. It’s a time of renewal, resolution and celebration. One of the big decisions as we approach 2007 is how does one choose to celebrate? So what to do if you like to go out for New Year’s Eve? Most of your favorite bars will be open. Many will have music. A few events to consider:

If you’re going out ...
· The Clam Shell in Clam Gulch will have a jam session at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Art Briefs
Filmmaking workshop plannedWriters’ night needs authorsCarving classes offeredNew museum open in KenaiKids’ winter reading program launchedArt contest offers tech toysPoetry Out Loud open to schoolsNative ghost stories wantedRasmuson expands arts fundAlmanac looking for writersSeward hosts race to designPuppet show film for sale

What’s Happening
Best BetEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming eventsAnchorage eventsFilmsDown the Road

Church Briefs
Addictions group meetsClothes available for needyKids’ night out plannedBearup to speak at Church of GodBible study group to meetShaping your life class offeredClothes availableAglow to begin Bible studyChurch adds a preschool

Holidays can trigger loneliness
Pollsters say their research reveals that nearly half of us are troubled by periods of loneliness.

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