Friday, December 30, 2005

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedules Credit Union 1 targeted in e-mail scam

Folktales open a window into Inupiaq life
Before the age of electricity and mass media, storytelling was more than entertainment in the far north. During the long, dark winters, traditional and original tales preserved sanity, guided morality, educated the young and wove one of tradition’s strongest fabrics.

USO now: More than Bob Hope
When the Kenai Performers step to the stage for their USO show Saturday, they’ll pay tribute to a group with a long history.

Art Briefs
Art center closed for remodeling Carving workshops slated Show open to emerging artists Dance club seeks members Theater offering gallery space Storytellers wanted Quilting contest honors Arctic Winter Games Arts educator grants offered

What’s Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Upcoming events Films Down the Road Anchorage events

Kenai Performers plan old-time fun for New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve revelers on the Kenai Peninsula looking for nostalgia to go with their champagne can party like its 1945 Saturday night when the Kenai Performers host their first New Year’s Eve USO Show.

Trip to ANWR might open some eyes
All the environmental groups exist off their untruths. I have a suggestion: Sierra Club members of Alaska, now is the perfect time to organize a news group, camera’s and all, maybe a dozen of your choice members.

Musicians appreciate audience
We would like to thank the communities of Kenai and Soldotna for your enthusiastic support of our musicians who performed in the Evening of Christmas concert Dec. 16. Musicians of all ages were thrilled to have such a warm reception as we played and sang festive music of the season. We couldn’t do it without someone to share it with. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas to all!

Political correctness going too far
I’d like to know why our troops can’t say “Merry Christmas” in their videos home on the news? Even to their own family? Is someone trying to be politically correct about something? Is this another “Bush” thing because his Christmas cards say “Happy Holidays”?

Charity snowmachine run takes off, thanks to support
The first Kenai Winter Classic Charity Snowmachine Run took an incredible amount of work from a generous group of people. The event was clouded with doubt, little snow had arrived, but it snowed and the race was off and running.

Reader: Time to educate America
Dec. 21, the U.S. Congress failed, after almost three decades to open ANWR for oil exploration. Over that time, the federal government has spent trillions of dollars defending the Middle East to assure the continued access to this foreign oil while ignoring our most promising potential domestic source of gasoline.

Following the money
My thanks to Joe Ross (Clarion letters, Dec. 14). My feelings also on his letter to the editor:

Reader says solution is simple
If we have everything we need here before Wal-Mart, I guess no one will shop there, and they will leave. That was hard to figure out. Lowe’s will be next.

Participation makes program work
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the many community members of the Kenai Peninsula who participated in the Chugach Community Collaboration gatherings this past year. As a program coordinator of the Alaska Center for the Environment, which was created in 1971 by volunteer Alaskans, I feel fortunate to get the opportunity to work directly with local residents regarding local environmental concerns.

Reader: Pick whatever greeting suits you
A letter to the people who are offended by “Merry Christmas.” Did you ever think that other people are offended by “Happy Holidays”?

Reader: Ponder before complaining about Wal-Mart
I wonder how many people in Kenai complaining about Wal-Mart realize that for each person shopping there, it will be like receiving an instant raise, whether it be in wages or fixed income. Something to ponder.

Work suffers during holiday season
It’s the last week of the year. Do you know where your employees’ minds are?

Preparing for a fall: How ready is the peninsula to deal with a major eruption?
Ninety-four years ago in what is now Katmai National Park and Preserve, Novarupta Volcano exploded launching an estimated 21 cubic miles of material into the atmosphere over a three-day period, and burying the surrounding landscape with an ash flow 100 to 700 feet deep.

Board will decide subsistence rights of rural communities
Rural communities in the Cook Inlet area have one last opportunity to claim they have customary and traditional harvesting patterns before the Federal Subsistence Board, a designation that could prevent them from losing subsistence harvesting opportunities in federal public waters on the Kenai Peninsula.

Taxi services expect busy New Year’s Eve getting people home
Business in service professions rises and falls with the tide of daily customers. Depending on the day, servers in restaurants may run around for an entire shift without a break or stand around waiting for customers to show up.

Nothing to plow
When it snows, some plowers on the Kenai Peninsula view it as pennies from heaven. When it doesn’t, they’re hurting.

Walden versed in emergencies
Many residents of the Kenai Peninsula know Scott Walden, the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s new Emergency Management Coordinator, who took over that job two week ago.

Kenai council wants further review of business strategy
The Kenai Airport Commission approved a supplement to the airport master plan earlier this month, but the Kenai City Council elected to slow the process to allow for a careful review.

Coordination would be key in response to serious ash fall
The Alaska Volcano Observatory is responsible for identifying and rating the level of hazard posed by Alaska’s volcanoes, and for warning that an eruption was imminent or had occurred.

James P. ‘Jay’ Weimar
Former Kenai resident James P. “Jay” Weimar died Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005, in Jacksonville, Fla., after battling cancer. He was 48.

Paul Walters
Soldotna resident Paul Walters died Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005, at the Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 85.

The good, bad and the future
As the saying goes, no news is good news.

Audubon Society’s list of vulnerable Alaska birds balloons to 49 species this year
An old snag in the yard might spell eyesore to most home owners, but for the olive-sided flycatcher nesting next to a big dead tree is the equivalent of owning beach-front property.

Fish and Game loosens regs to encourage catching fish
In an attempt to better evaluate the effect illegally introduced northern pike are having on Scout Lake in Sterling, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is relaxing some sport fishing regulations there.

Outdoor Briefs
Board to consider peninsula fishingRefuge closed to snowmachinesEnhancement program seeks volunteersPreservation campaign seeks donationsRefuge sponsors birding hotlineTrail Advisory Board meeting plannedFish and Game accepting comments

Names for wildlife areas on the Kenai Peninsula have a long history
Imagine if places had no names. How would your friends tell you how to find that “secret” moose hunting lake or fishing hole? Yet, early maps of Alaska showed vast areas of land and water with no names. A 1915 U.S. Geological Survey map of the Kenai Peninsula has the entire eastern half of the Kenai marked as “unexplored.”

Around the Peninsula
Remembrance celebration setKenai Elks to dance in New YearBone marrow, blood sought for pairNikiski senior cafe closed SundayFood bank lists holiday closure

Around the Peninsula
Masonic to install officers Library plans holiday closure Swim lessons offered DEC gets cooking with class

Sports Briefs
Ninilchik girls win in Sitka

Sports Briefs
High school basketball teams from Skyview and Ninilchik had a tough opening day at the Holland America/Sitka CHARR of Alaska Holiday Shootout Tuesday in Sitka.

Church Briefs
Center plans New Year services‘Watchnight’ service plannedService schedule changed for holidayNew Year plan includes God’s word

For Eddie, every Friday means praying in the spirit
The alarm pierces the darkness.

Sports Briefs
Arctic Winter Games Team Alaska tryouts in the sport of boys’ Bantam and Midget ice hockey are scheduled for Jan. 15 at the Soldotna Sports Center. Athletes who are selected at these tryouts will be part of Alaska’s 377-person delegation to the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, scheduled for March 5-11 on the Kenai Peninsula.

Oilers roster continues to grow
The Oilers have added University of California-Riverside junior Taylor Bills, a 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher, to the 2006 roster. Last season at UCR Taylor started 16 of the 18 games he appeared in and struck out 68 while only walking 30 in 112 innings pitched. The Highlanders are led by 1989 Oilers head coach Doug Smith and Oilers 2001 pitching coach Andrew Checketts. Bills is majors in business administration and calls Menifee, Calif., his home.

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