Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Hi, neighbors.

The Spenard Builders Supply weekly quote is, "Mentors changing the future one youth at a time."

The quote leads right into our next news, January is national Mentoring Month and today has been designated national Thank Your Mentor Day! Mentor organizations are encouraging us to thank and honor those who helped us along the road of life and to consider filling the role of mentor for a young person today.

The Aspirations Advocate Program mentors students at Skyview and Soldotna High School, Soldotna Middle School and in six other middle and high schools around the peninsula. For more information on this program or to volunteer, call 714-8868.

A big thank you to all mentors whether they are scout leaders, big brother or sister, teachers, neighbors, friends or other unnamed caring persons who share what they know, mentor a child and making a difference.

The Soldotna Public Library will hold a used book sale from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday. Most books are priced at a quarter, unless otherwise marked. While there check out the new fiber arts piece by Connie Goltz, titled, "Eye: IQ: Test." It is a test for your visual senses.

"Wilderness Medicine — Winter Safety" is the topic for Dine and Discuss sponsored by Central Peninsula General Hospital at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. For more information or to make a reservation, call 714-4500 or e-mail

The Central Peninsula Master Gardeners Winter Lecture Series will begin with Bob Wheeler a forestry specialist for the Cooperative Extension Service He will give a presentation on Hazard Trees from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Building on Kalifornsky Beach Road.

The presentation will cover growth, cause, and damage to trees. It is open to the public. Registration is not required. For more information,call Janice or Vicki at 262-5824.

It's finally here .... The Kenai Peninsula Reading Council will host its third annual Peninsula Reading Carnival at noon Saturday at the Soldotna Middle School.

There will be booths including free bingo for books, crafts and food. Also Carol Ford will perform a reading performance on the main stage at 12:30 p.m.

For more information, call Virginia at 283-9374.

Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race Association is hosting its races this week-end through Monday. The Big T is 200 miles long and the Little T is 100 miles. The races are held through out the peninsula with a concentration in the a Caribou Hills area. However, you can still see parts of the race and of course, the start and finish.

Community members are encouraged to come out and meet the musher's and their dogs at the ceremonial start at 10 a.m. Saturday the Kenai Chrysler Center. The official start will be held at 2 p.m. at the Tustumena Lodge in Kasilof. The finishers will return Sunday night and Monday morning to the lodge.

To volunteer, call Kimberly King at 398-7591. The 200 is a qualifying race for the Iditarod.

George Friendshuh, his son Bradley of Tucson and his grandson Gary who attends the University of Alaska Anchorage went to Italy for the holidays to be with his daughter, Sonya Marshal. Sonya, her husband, Jerry and their daughter, Deanne, 14 live in Gaeta, a town outside of Naples with a Navy base.

The family traveled to Venice, Innsbruck, Austria and Bern, Switzerland. George said it was interesting that they also have brown bears in Bern, Bern is Swiss for Bear.

They also went to Milan and Florence and by spending almost a month there he said he was able to enjoy outings to the coffee shop and other side trips to Rome and south to Pompeii. A highlight of his visit was to Monte Cassino. It is a monastery that has been destroyed and rebuilt four times, the last during World War II.

They also visited Salerno and Pastum. They returned via the windy coastal road with the houses and towns stacked and carved into the cliffs. George said that the weather was wonderful wherever they went and he especially enjoyed drives through the country as they were as wonderful as seeing the city sites. He agreed that he would need to return as you can only take in so much history, art, the atmosphere and significance of it all, then it is all over load.

I'm sure many tales will be told and relived of the Friendshuh family holiday.

Joyce Cox can be reached by phone at 262-7616 or by email at

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