Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homo Erectus Polar Bears plentiful on the Kenai
The 15th day of the New Year began with clear skies and temperatures well below the zero (f) mark in the Kenai area. By 6:00am Kelly Wolf was already at Marathon Lake in the new Kenai Daubenspeck Park. "As I uncovered the hole cut in the ice by volunteers the day before, there was already an additional inch of ice that had formed under the insulation and cover and as I began applying heat, I truly had to wonder what we were doing, even as Alaskans," recalled Wolf. By noon the ice was mostly cleared, the air temperature had risen to nearly -3, and the water temp was about 34 degrees. "Nikiski rescue divers Craig Ralston and Greg Hyatt, along with other emergency personal, suited up and were standing by when people started showing up, and just kept coming, standing in line to register to raise money for our youth and by the time we started jumping the warm hearts and brave souls of this community made it warmer than a day on Miami beach. I have to agree it takes a community to raise a child and this is a community that is 'BIG' on community," said Wolf.

True Stars rise to the top at Soldotna Chamber Awards night
The third largest Chamber in the State and chosen to receive the 2010 Outstanding Chamber of Commerce Award by the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce held its 52nd Annual Awards night last week. Outgoing president Evy Gebhardt selected board treasure Becky Hutchinson of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union for the esteemed President's Choice Award. "I consider her to be inspiring, gracious and upbeat I know I speak for the entire board of directors when I say that I trust her and place a high value on her recommendations and opinions," said Gebhardt.

Sign up time for Soldotna Hardware & Fishing 14th Annual Ice Fishing Derby
Families and ice fishing enthusiasts on the Kenai Peninsula and from all over Alaska are eagerly anticipating the start of Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware & Fishing's annual Ice Fishing Derby on February 1st. The event started 14 years ago as an idea created by the Miller family, owners of Soldotna Hardware & Fishing, to support and encourage the youth of the Peninsula to get outdoors and enjoy the wonders of Alaska's Arctic wilderness. "Last year was the biggest year ever with over 1,200 registered participants and at least 700 of those being kids. We're hoping to break that record this year," says Scott Miller. The recent cold weather has made for good ice conditions on area lakes. "We're already hearing reports of good ice fishing. A lot of the bigger lakes like Hidden Lake are now safe to go on, but you always want to be careful on the larger lakes because even though the ice seems thick, there can be some thin places. I saw some folks out on Kenai Lake the other day, some are getting fish some aren't, but that's fishing and those who are successful are those who stay after it," advised Scott.

Peninsula hosts first Inaugural event for Governor, First Lady, & Lt. Governor
The Kenai Peninsula Republican Women's Club was host to the first of several Inaugural events scheduled across Alaska honoring Governor Sean Parnell, First Lady Sandy Parnell, and Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell. The Inaugural Gala was held at the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna, January 14th at 8 p.m. "At the Governor's request, the Gala was a time for celebration and not a time to make political speeches," reported Leona Oberts.

Simple Comforts: Sharing Heartwarming Soups
No matter what we call it or how it may be defined, we love it all -- soup, broth, consomm, gumbo, chowder, bisque and more. We enjoy soup made with vegetables or fruit, fish or fowl, meat, or not. We've gotten adept at eating soup by the bowlful with a super size spoon, or if it's very rich, by sipping it, with refinement, from a demitasse cup. I've seen canned soups ladled into fine china with hotel silver and the most elegant of soups enjoyed, with pleasure, from a Styrofoam cup. Eating soup changes us, for the better. It warms, nourishes, soothes and fills our stomachs and souls with a deep sense of contentment, literally. Soup is good family food, good for sharing with friends and good for bringing to new neighbors or to someone who is sick. Soup makes chefs out of Moms and Dads, celebrities out of chefs and best sellers out of cookbooks. As a fundraiser, soup can engender more cash than cake and serve more folks than planned. Yes, we love soup and should be committed to making it more often, maybe even two pots a week. One pot for our comfort and the other, for another's.

Wondering who pays for health care
Is the average American going to have to pay more for National Health Care because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has granted waivers to 222 big unions and big businesses and the list is still growing? The waivers let them opt out of having to pay into the new plan. Also, Congress has exempted themselves and federal employees from the new Health Care Plan. If you want to know who got waivers you can look it up on the internet.

People on Social Security should get discount
For the second year now, Social Security recipients have not received an increase on their lifetime paid up insurance policy. While all the federal and state union workers think they should have the money replaced in their retirement accounts which was lost by the people who managed their retirement account stock market funds. I and millions of U.S. citizens did not receive any refund on the money we all lost in the falling market. A 5 -- 8-percent discount on everything purchased might help. Cost of living has gone up considerably, as the 18 eggs I purchased today was 42 cents higher than last week. It seems like the stores raise a penny or more frequently so that observant customers won't notice. Also, one of the largest tricks is to put on the shelf a smaller package at the same price as the old one was. We can't win as they all do it. The people in Washington, D.C. didn't study math when they went to school, especially the ones who compute the cost of living.

Thanks for the wrestling support
Please help me in thanking ConocoPhillips Alaska for its generous donation to the wrestling program through their Employee Involvement Program. Michael Warfield requested this in support of all volunteers with various programs at schools. The dedication to our school and community is greatly appreciated and their help in supporting our school is unquestionable.

Photo Feature: Dinner on the fly

Borough seeks new HR director: Time for a change, says Carey
The Kenai Peninsula Borough's human resources director was terminated last week after borough Mayor Dave Carey decided to go in a different direction.

Pulling Prizes: Local brewery's award is part of a growing recognition for the Peninsula's craft beer
Some things just get better with age. That was proven true for the proprietors of Soldotna's St. Elias Brewery at the Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine festival in Anchorage this month.

Bail set in armed robbery case
Bail has been set at $50,000 for the man charged with two felony counts of armed robbery of a Soldotna sandwich shop and coffee hut.

Photo Feature: Unidentified flying object?

HEA board open to nominations
Homer Electric Association is looking for nominations for its Board of Directors.

New HEA rate questioned: Structure called too complex to understand
Land's End Acquisition Corporation is questioning a rate adjustment being proposed by Homer Electric Association and wants to become an integral part of deciding whether the increase gets approved.

Emergency Alert System test planned for 10 a.m. today
An Emergency Alert System test will interrupt television and radio broadcast streams for approximately three minutes at 10 o'clock this morning.

Russell Lee Wiseman
Soldotna resident Russell Lee Wiseman died Jan. 16, 2011, at Central Peninsula Hospital, in Soldotna, of lung cancer complications. He was 81.

George Frederick Larion
Longtime Soldotna resident George Frederick "Fred" Larion, 46, died Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in a snowmachine/car accident off Funny River Road.

Brandon L. Sparks
Alaska resident Brandon L. Sparks died Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, of natural causes at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. He was 27.

Brian James Brown
Kenai resident Brian James Brown died Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, at his home in Kenai. He was 52.

Erica L. Summers
Kenai resident Erica L. Summers lost her courageous fight against breast cancer and passed away Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, at Alexander Cohen Hospice House Hughson, Calif. with her family by her side. She was 35.

Around the Peninsula

Soldotna Historical Society meets

Around the Peninsula

Wrestling registration today

Pet Photo: Mr. Mom

Sports Brief: Seward girls top Grace
The Seward girls basketball team defeated visiting Grace Christian 34-27 on Monday in Southcentral Conference action. Chelsey Clarke pumped in 10 points for Seward, while Meg Berry chipped in with eight. For the Grizzlies, Mackenzie Fredrickson had nine points.

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