Soldotna Rotary rings in the New Year with Kettle trophy
Ever since the new millennium the Kenai and Soldotna Rotary Clubs have had a friendly competition to see which club can raise the most money for the local Salvation Army by voluntarily standing and ringing bells at the Salvation Army Kettle. The traditional Kettle drive is the major fund raiser for the Salvation Army and to encourage the clubs rivalry Envoy Craig Fanning created a bell trophy that goes to the winning club each year. Last year the Kenai Rotary Club took the bell away from Soldotna, but according to Fanning this year Soldotna will be bringing the trophy and bragging rights back to Soldotna, "It was a great competition this year with all three Rotary Clubs participating; Kenai, Soldotna and the Kenai River club, and while Soldotna will be happy to know they will be getting the bell back, all three clubs will be happier to know that together they raised over $9,000 for us with just their efforts which amounted to right at 300 hours of volunteer Kettle standing time. That is really valuable to us and greatly appreciated by the community," said Fanning.
"Snapshots at Statehood" captures local history
As the year long celebration of Alaska's becoming the 49th star of the field of blue draws to a close, fresh off the presses is a new book written by thirty local authors as a project of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula Historical Association. "In the spring of 2008, Borough Mayor John Williams asked the Historical Association to write a book commemorating statehood," says Brent Johnson, president of the Kenai Peninsula Historical Association. "The Williams administration also set up the AK 50 on the Kenai Committee to organize various programs for the state's 50th birthday. It was the book committee that conceived the unique 'snapshot' approach to focus on the statehood years 1958-59 and this book is the results of their efforts," Johnson told the Dispatch. According to Johnson the money needed for the project came from BP and Icicle Seafoods, "Since petroleum and salmon were and are so important to the economy, these donations were a perfect fit. When Dave Carey became Borough Mayor he also directed AK 50 funds to the project, but the thirty different writers who worked on this project didn't receive a dime of compensation but all donated their time, efforts and documents to compete the project," he said.
Artists in Stone, Found at Peninsula Stone & Tile
Alexis Calder paid her way through college working with stone and today the Delta Airlines flight attendant has brought her skills and artistry to her new business on K-Beach Road known as Peninsula Stone & Tile, where she actually imports granite, marble, limestone and other natural stones from quarries around the world. "One of my first trips as a flight attendant brought me to Alaska and I decided that this is where I wanted to live. It took me a while but I got here and now am able to bring stone to our local community from overseas, China, Brazil, Turkey, and India. We searched the globe for unique material to bring to the Peninsula and all of Alaska that has never been available here before. My motivation was because in the early years these materials just weren't available here and when you did find real stone it was so high priced if was unaffordable, so my goal was to truly import stone, unique material of high quality that you won't find anywhere else and yet keep the prices very reasonable so that people can afford having it in their homes and businesses. We carry a large inventory that we import in containers that carry 60,000 pounds of material at a time. We have in stock 70,000 square feet of grade A material at the present time and people are rather shocked when they find out that they can have natural real stone for the same price or even less than artificial replicas," said Calder.
Lingering lights of the season keep Alaskans warm
As the Alaskan days slowly start getting longer, the nights continue to sparkle with the dcor of the season. From the creative trees decorated by the various Central Peninsula Hospital departments to Dale Dolifka's community unity greeting at First National Bank of Alaska in Soldotna, the Holiday warmth continues well into the New Year. "It was Dale's idea, but we love it and hope he leaves it up for awhile," said Frankie White at Dolifka law offices in the FNBA building.
Favorite ham bone and bean soup
1 (20-ounce) bag 15-bean soup beans, or other "ham" beans
Beef and barley vegetable soup
1 pound lean ground beef
Cream of turkey-mushroom soup
2 quarts turkey or chicken stock
Soups warm heart and soul
Nourishing, well-made soups are comforting to the body and kind on the wallet. Soup can be made from ingredients that have been previously frozen and can be re-frozen, for up to three months, after they are made.
Keep the little ones warm
Parents, it's winter time in Alaska again. Time to put hats, mittens and boots on your children.
Help a fifth-grader learn about Alaska
Each member of our class is working on a project called the "Parade of States." We are responsible for gathering as much information as we can from a number of sources.
New-fangled gadgetry confounds
Texting and voting are supposed to be very simple. Except texting is not so easy for an old fossil like myself. You see, there are still a few people living who learned to spell, and it is difficult for us to relearn how not to spell correctly. Reads like gobbledy gook to me, but my grandkids are quite proficient at it.
Borough approves unwanted gravel pit
The planning department of our borough has recently approved another gravel pit site against the objections of a majority of nearby home owners. The current planning board appears to be stacked with private interest in gravel operations not common sense. Some things never change in the good ole boy network of whats in it for me.
Resolutions: Learn the issues, speak up
Two of my new year resolutions are to do a better job of educating myself politically and to do a better job of speaking or writing my observations and my interpretations of our political situations.
Community made Christmas special
Our family would like to thank everyone that prayed and donated items to make our children's Christmas one to remember. There were so many donations, from old friends and strangers. Kenai Eagles and Donna S., Angela and Klaus and Mackenzie, Carlile and The Hall family, Sharon F., Jan B., Soldotna Police and Alaska State Troopers and Bob B., Barb R., Dale B. and family, Howard P., and family, Les and Sylvia M., Charlene and Bryon M., Carol and Burdick's Snowmachine, Shelly R, Cindy, K-Beach Elementary Staff, and to the others who wished to remain anonymous, I would like to thank everyone for reminding us that we live in a one of a kind community.
Volunteers make sure kids won't sink
The "Kids Don't Float" Program that took place in December at the Nikiski Pool was a great success thanks to many people. Simone Owens, AmeriCorp member and 4-H leader, organized the event after meeting the personnel from the Alaska Boating and Safety Program during AmericCorp training in Anchorage. The Nikiski Pool, Alaska Boating and Safety Program and 4-H teamed up to teach children in the community about water safety. There were four stations for the students to rotate through: capsized boat, life jacket fitting, cold water immersion and rescue techniques. Our special thanks to the many volunteers who helped with this venture: Jack Ransom, Megan Piersma, Ali Eskelin, Jacques Kosto, Robin Kling, Jane Fellman (Safe Kids), Rachel Parra, Nigel LaRiccia, Joe McCullough, 4-H volunteers and the staff who works hard to keep the Nikiski Pool safe. Kudos to you all for taking kids' safety around water seriously.
Reader: Treatment of dog cowardly
I have to respond to the article about the dog that was shot and tied to a tree (Clarion, Dec. 31). I have a dog that I have been struggling to find something that will help him live a better life. He has degenerative spine disease that leaves struggling to walk. I can't imagine how who ever did this could live with what they have done. I have only one thing to say to you. You are the biggest coward I have ever heard of. What did this dog do that was so bad that you had to treat it like it was just trash? I hope that this dog has a better home now that it is far away from you.
Mayor pitches fix for mistake: Carey suggests borough employees be better versed in policies
Following the mess that resulted from a Kenai Peninsula Borough official's failure to properly declare some of his company's business with the borough, the mayor on Tuesday proposed a cleanup.
Photo feature: Bound for the Capitol
Juan Espinoza of Carlile Transportation Systems shrink-wraps a pallet of supplies for local legislators Tuesday afternoon in front of the state office building in Kenai before loading it onto a truck bound for Juneau. State government workers from across the state are preparing for the opening of the Alaska state legislative session on Jan. 18.
Troopers seek Anchor Point man
Since Dec. 16, the Alaska State Troopers are attempting to locate Anchor Point area resident Chaunce Hoxie, a 20-year-old male who has a couple of warrants and is believed to be in the presence of a 15-year-old female runaway. Hoxie has outstanding warrants for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and Minor Consuming Alcohol.
Board won't bend: Assembly denies waiver for Chumley
Chief of Staff Hugh Chumley does not deserve special treatment, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly decided Tuesday night.
Medal of Honor recipients visit Juneau station
Looking out at a sea of young United States Coast Guardsmen, 67-year-old retired U.S. Army Maj. Drew Dix, a Medal of Honor recipient said, "The faces don't change, the uniforms do."
Reforestation plan takes root: Stimulus funds boost project reduce Peninsula's wild fire risk
In 30 years, forests may begin to spread on small-to-medium sized parcels of land around the Kenai Peninsula that are currently covered in native blue joint grass. Hopefully that means those parcels -- and the surrounding land -- will be less likely to catch fire.
T-200 field small but strong: Smyth, Mackey set to repeat 2009 sled dog duel
As the calendar flipped from '09 to 2010, so too did the early incentive deadline pass for mushers signing up for the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race.
Off to the races: Assembly approves raceway lease
After rounds of public testimony supporting the Twin City Raceway at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly chambers Tuesday night, the assembly unanimously approved a 30-year lease of borough land at less than fair market value to the Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions.
Fatal collision closes Sterling Highway
The Sterling Highway was closed near Mile 62 after a fatal collision Wednesday afternoon.
Senator moves to have case dropped
State Sen. Albert Kookesh and the three codefendants charged with illegal subsistence fishing near Angoon in July filed a court motion last week to have the case dismissed on grounds that the State of Alaska acted outside its jurisdiction.
Photo feature: Bright spot
The rising sun illuminates the summit of Mount Redoubt across Cook Inlet from Kenai earlier this week. Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory have lowered the alert level to normal and the aviation color code to green, based on a low level of seismic activity and a lack of obvious signs of unrest. The small, shallow earthquakes, which began Dec. 27 and caused scientists to raise the alert level, have ceased.
Clyda Mae Middleton
Soldotna resident Ms. Clyda Mae Middleton, 70, died Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna with her family by her side.
Longtime Alaskan and Ninilchik resident Marian Leman died Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 90.
Homer boys, SkyHi girls earn wins
Skyview's girls basketball coach Cary Calvert said his team is most effective when each of his seven-player rotation is in the lineup. With Jaci Lamborn and Jessica Stewart -- two keys in that rotation -- back on the floor Tuesday, his statement couldn't have been more accurate, as the host Panthers cruised to a 52-27 victory over Northern Lights Conference opponent Homer.
Gulliver travels to the 3-D dimension
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