Bob Oakes said the ice at the rink next to Sterling Elementary School is great, except for along the edge of the northwest side where it is a bit thin. By the time you read this, it may be fixed because the weather has been so cold. Bob said we should say a special thank you to Kenny Merkes, Mike Kunz, Richard May, Todd Braxling and Terry Buffo for their continued help in making and maintaining the ice. Thanks guys!
And thanks to Bob for being the head honcho for all this activity. The lights are on until 10 p.m. each day if the rink is open for use.
Mark your calendars for the Master Gardeners statewide garden conference, which will be held at the Kenai Peninsula College on Feb. 11 and 12. I just received my first gardening book in the mail, so I am looking forward to spring, even though there is still time to do a little skiing.
The conference will cover such things as growing veggies in Alaska, organic growing and oddball marketing, growing gourmet baby greens, potatoes, varieties for all occasions, germinating native plants for the home garden, shade plants, dwarf conifers and seeds in the wild, growing and enjoying herbs, growing great apples and varieties to enjoy, shade plants for alaska, outstanding plant combinations, and garden invasives not to plant.
All these subjects will be discussed by many speakers. Give a call to Rosemary Kimball in Sterling for more information and she can send you a brochure.
Or, better yet send her an e-mail at rosmar email@example.com and she can e-mail you all the information.
The annual Sterling Community Club meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the community club cabin on the corner of the Sterling Highway and Swanson River Road. Officer elections, the Feb. 19 Winter Fun Day and the 2005 work plan will be discussed.
February is going to be a busy month if my e-mails are any indication. I am told by Leslie Boyd that women who want to join in some fun and ski in the She Can Ski Race should get out their skis and join the women on Feb. 6. The trails are behind Skyview High School. Call Leslie at 283-9113 for more information.
Allan Miller's class at Sterling Elementary is definitely staying busy these days. He tells me ConocoPhillips has given the a donation of $2,000 to use to create a simulation of an International Mission to Mars at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai in April.
The class has teamed up with Elaine Chalup's class from Voznesenka (which is a long drive from Moscow) and have begun their "prelaunch preparations."
The project will include a series of space-related activities modeled after astronaut training, including learning some Russian. Because NASA works so closely with the Russian space agency, every astronaut now studies Russian and spends extended time in their Star City training facility.
Allan's class will view a series of videoconferences with NASA scientists, who will be teaching them about human biology in space. The class will see such things as how to grow plants in space and what NASA is actually doing to prepare for a mission to Mars.
All this activity will wrap up with an April 8 mission, where his students will participate in a Challenger mission with a lot of communication in Russian. The class also will simulate weightlessness while constructing modules underwater similar to the huge Neutral Buoyancy pool at Johnson Space Center. This local simulation will take place in the Kenai High School pool.
Happy birthday to Will Josey today and to Norm Eischen on Thursday. I wish them many more happy birthdays and lots of greeting cards from friends and family.
Until next week, stay warm, stay well and drive safely.
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