Daily Archives: February 9, 2011

‘Go Pack’ in snowpack — Super Bowl inspires super cool artwork from fans around town

By Joseph Robertia

Photo by Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter. Kathy Musick shows off her team colors at Jersey Subs in Soldotna.

Redoubt Reporter

As two football titans — the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers — took to the field Super Bowl Sunday, fans near and far cheered for them, including many on the Kenai Peninsula.

“I’ve been a lifelong fan,” said Kathy Musick, co-owner and manager of Jersey Subs in Soldotna. “I used to watch the games with my dad. He had four girls, but I was a tomboy so I liked watching them because he did, and he liked watching them because the Packers are the only nonprofit, community-owned, major-league professional sports team in the United States.”

As Musick grew older, her interest in the Packers waxed rather than waned. She had hoped to one day attend a Packers home game with her father, but this was a difficult task to arrange due to the Packers’ popularity.

According to the NFL, every game at Lambeau Field has been sold out since 1960, and the average wait time for season tickets is said to be over 30 years. Currently there are believed to be more names on the waiting list than there are seats at Lambeau Field. Continue reading

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Out of line? What’s fair in state help for natural gas service expansion?

By Jenny Neyman

Redoubt Reporter

At a basic level, the point of government is to do things for the benefit of its constituents, through pooled resources, administration and oversight, that they would find challenging to do on their own. That can mean hospitals, public safety, schools, transportation and the like.

But government can’t be everything to everyone — providing for every need, managing every process and subsidizing every cost that comes up. Especially in times of recession, and/or when political winds blow toward cuts in budgets and reductions in government’s reach.

The question then becomes, where to draw the line between what government does for its constituents, and what constituents do for themselves? On the Kenai Peninsula, those lines can concern extensions of natural gas service.

Enstar, a subsidiary of Semco corporation, manages utility natural gas service on the Kenai Peninsula, moving gas through some pipelines it owns, and arranging for use of other pipelines owned by oil and gas producers. Enstar makes money by charging a fee for transporting natural gas, while the price of gas — which Enstar doesn’t have control over — is passed on to customers.

Enstar-initiated capital costs, like extending the high-pressure gas transmission Kenai Kachemak Pipeline from Ninilchik to Anchor Point, are rolled into the tariff customers pay. Area-specific costs — like extending distribution lines to residential areas, service lines to homes and hooking up new meters — are passed on to customers. Tariff rates and Enstar’s areas of service are subject to approval of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, and all Enstar customers pay the same rate, no matter where they’re located. Continue reading

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Raiders of lost team attention — Dedicated fan keeps team spirit alive through massive collection

By Jenny Neyman

Photos by Jenny Neyman, Redoubt Reporter. John Kruger maintains a “Raiders Room” in his Kenai home, with not-even-he-knows-how-many pieces of Raiders memorabilia. His wife, Susan, started his collection with an autographed John Stabler football.

Redoubt Reporter

Kenai’s John Kruger spent much of Super Bowl Sunday like more than 100 million other Americans — in front of a TV watching football.

But not quite. At kickoff for Super Bowl XLV, Kruger’s eyes were taking in sunlight, rather than the glow from a flat screen.

“It’s a nice time for a walk. The streets are nice and quiet in town,” Kruger said.

When he did settle in to watch two teams face off at the line of scrimmage, the colors on his set didn’t jibe with what most viewers in America were watching. There was black, all right, but not the black and gold of the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they sparred with the Green Bay Packers.

His set showed the black and silver of the Oakland Raiders. When it comes to football, those are the only colors Kruger is interested in seeing.

“People either love the Raiders or they hate them. Either you’re a Raiders fan or you’re not a Raiders fan. I am a Raiders fan,” said Kruger, a juvenile justice unit supervisor at the Kenai Youth Facility.

“Fan” describes Kruger’s devotion to his team about as well as saying football-watching Americans “like” the Super Bowl. That doesn’t even begin to cover it.

He can rattle off Raiders facts, trivia and history as easily as the names of his kids or the places he’s lived. He knows the names, years with the team and contributions of not only the big-name players, but the second-tier ones, too, as well as the coaches and assistant coaches — even the team’s equipment manager.

“Run Run Jones. He died about four years ago. He was a really big Roller Derby guy in the ’50s and ’60s. He sponsored a lot of charities. Was a really good guy,” Kruger said. Continue reading

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Fire damages Kasilof home

By Joseph Robertia

Photo by Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter. A two-story home off Cohoe Loop Road was damaged by fire Saturday.

Redoubt Reporter

Residents of the tight-knit community off of Cohoe Loop, south of Kasilof, realized a thick plume of black smoke coming from a home Saturday was far more than any wood stove could be putting out.

“We got called out at 11:38 a.m. after a passing motorist saw heavy smoke and fire visible,” said Gary Hale, fire marshal with Central Emergency Services in Soldotna. “An individual working in the structure also called 911.”

Crews from the Kasilof fire station, as well as the Kalifornsky Beach Road, Soldotna and Sterling stations, responded to the blaze at 53615 Chieslak Lane. The two-story, 14,000-square-foot home, owned by Kenneth Owens, was under renovation when the fire began. Continue reading

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She Can Ski

Photos by Clark Fair, Redoubt Reporter

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Almanac: Once again, crime doesn’t pay

By Clark Fair

Redoubt Reporter

Two relative newcomers to the local crime-fighting scene needed less than an hour to nab a pair of burglars who hit one Kenai and three Soldotna businesses in one night and hardly came away with a big haul.

It was early Sunday, Jan. 7, 1962, and Jerry Hobart — recently hired as a night officer to assist Kenai Police Chief “Red” Peavley throughout the Christmas and New Year’s seasons — was on late-night patrol, making the rounds of local business establishments, checking to make sure they were secure. When he reached George’s Coffee Shop, he encountered a problem.

At 2:29 a.m., he discovered that the front door of the café had been pried open since his previous check on the eatery at 2 a.m. He entered the building and found that the door connecting the coffee shop to Kenai Pharmacy had been kicked open.

Hobart hurried quietly to his vehicle and radioed his findings to State Trooper Wayne Hagerty, who had been assigned to the peninsula only a month earlier and had been stationed in Soldotna because Trooper Wayne Morgan was already stationed in Kenai. Hobart issued Hagerty a description of a Volkswagen sedan parked nearby.

The details of the vehicle matched a description that had earlier aroused the suspicions of the Kenai Police, so Hagerty, acting on a hunch, decided to set up a roadblock at the Y intersection in Soldotna. (In those days, Bridge Access Road did not exist, and neither did many of the back roads in Soldotna. In fact, both Kenai and Soldotna had incorporated as cities only two years earlier.)

At 2:43 a.m., the Volkswagen passed through town, just as Hagerty had suspected it would. At the Y, he made the stop. Continue reading

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Common Ground: Think outside the water closet

By Christine Cunningham, for the Redoubt Reporter

I never went to finishing school, the place where I would have learned such important things as balancing a book on my head in 3-inch heels, or how to be anything but a bull in a China shop.

I’d like to think that my life is normal enough that I can tell a dessert fork from a salad fork, even though common sense tells me that either fork will get the job done. Maybe the finishing school, where I would have learned the upper-class values associated with napkin folding and meeting foreign dignitaries, is a thing of the past. As much as I missed this opportunity, it wasn’t the only opportunity I missed.

“Thinking outside the box” is an oft-repeated business cliché to motivate innovative thinking. When I hear the expression, I instantly think of how unoriginal it is. Can’t anybody think outside of the thinking-outside-the-box cliché? If the same managers had gone to finishing school, they might be encouraging their leadership teams to think inside the box. Continue reading

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