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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Local effort delivers 840 wheelchairs to Nicaragua
Last fall, a group of eight local residents volunteered to be part of a team to distribute over 840 wheelchairs in the Central America country of Nicaragua. A country said to be second only to Haiti as the poorest in the Western hemisphere according to the United Nations. Of the some 5 million people in Nicaragua, nearly half live in poverty with an estimated 19% of the population living in extreme poverty without access to the most basic of health care services.

Pioneer Issabella "Issy" Grossl retires at a young eighty one
Issabella "Issy" Grossl came to Alaska in 1951 with her husband, and in 1952 moved to the Peninsula and started her career in real estate now 32 years ago. "My husband is a carpenter, and the realtors were not selling the houses he was building so he asked me if I'd get my license and sell his houses. It was very difficult to get a license back then and I spent the whole winter in college in Tennessee, but I did it and have been in real estate ever since," Issy told the Dispatch last week on her "emancipation" day at her office with Freedom Realty in Soldotna.

Kenai Chamber honors community champions
Local talent turned out to entertain as the Kenai Chamber of Commerce (KCC) launched into 2010 with their annual awards banquet. The Kenai River City Lady's Barber Shop singers started the event with their harmonized rendition of the Star Spangled Banner followed by the Alaska Flag song. Then the Kenai Performers entertaining cast of the play "Grease" put everyone in a nostalgic mood with a preview from the musical that is scheduled to open in February. "We're always proud to announce our community award winners. All of the recipients were more than deserving of recognition for their dedication to making Kenai a great place to live, work, and play," said Peggy Furnish, KCC 2009 president. In her final official capacity as Chamber president, Furnish presented the award for the Outstanding Business of the Year to ConocoPhillips. Peter Micciche and Jeremy Baldridge received the award on behalf of ConocoPhillips. "Although ConocoPhillips is trilled to be recognized as a supporter of the Kenai community, I feel this recognition is for the entire industry whose employees are the people who volunteer and contribute to the Food Bank, Boys and Girls clubs and the many non-profit organizations that make this a very special place to call home," said Micciche.

Chevron USA grants $100,000 to Kenai Watershed Forum
With the first month of 2010 already a memory, Alaskans are starting to think spring. This is especially the case for those with construction projects on their mind, like the folks at the Kenai Watershed Forum (KWF). At last week's Kenai Chamber of Commerce weekly meeting, KWF received a $100,000 special grant from Chevron USA to go towards the projects they are planning for the coming season. "For the first time in 2009, Chevron Corporate offered what's called a Triple E Initiative grant. The E's standing for Engage-Execute-Empower, and the grants were open to proposals from all Chevron community engagement personnel throughout the world. Through the team effort of KWF staff Jennifer McCard, Josselyn O'Connor, and Robert Ruffner, we put together a proposal last August, and after a long wait we were notified in December that we had won unanimous approval from the Corporate committee and were the only North America recipient of the grant," Community Engagement Specialist for Chevron Alaska Linda Good told the Chamber.

Roasted fresh garlic
Whole bulbs of fresh garlic (in any quantity desired)

French bread pizza with roasted garlic sauce and basil chiffonade
French bread baguette, cut into 8 diagonal pieces

Simply delicious: Roasted garlic, fresh bread a great combo
Whether you call it "deliciously simple," or "simply delicious," the taste of freshly baked French bread combined with that of caramel-colored roasted garlic, is pretty hard to beat. You don't need to sample but a smidge of roasted garlic to appreciate it for it's well-developed flavor, nor will it take more than a nibble to recognize that once garlic is roasted, its assertiveness will mellow into buttery, subtle sweet perfection.

Bread machine french bread
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (75 to 85 degrees)

Politicians need to get back to business It's time to take care of business.
Viewing the political landscape from the perspective of a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran, with experience in both the public and private sectors, thoughts and feelings keep welling up, frustration and anger at the public servants clinging to their jobs by continueing to obstruct progress as they serve the interests of fat (chasing unfettered profit) at the expense of maintining and developing heart, muscle and bone (education, healthcare and a healthy economy populated by greater wealth for the average citizen).

Society's prioroties out of line
As a society we seem satisfied when justice is executed and angered when it is not. One good example might be when the bankers were bailed out. What was just and fair about that? In the movies most viewers are pleased when the "bad guy" gets his just reward. But have we ever considered God's need for justice?

LIO keeps open lines of communication with Juneau
In a recent Clarion poll a responder noted that it is very hard for "the average person to get information about what is going on in Juneau during the legislative session."

Cooper Landing to go K-12
Cooper Landing School will expand its grade offerings starting next year from K-8 to K-12, although administrators don't know if any high school students will attend yet.

KPBSD budget short: District may tap reserves to meet next year's needs
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School district may tap $2.5 million from its reserves to meet expected costs for next year according to preliminary budget estimates.

Winter driving conditions serve up 3 car accidents
One day. One location. Two accidents. And a third accident occurred just a mile and a half away.

Wildwood to expand: Transitional living quarters to house 32 inmates
Wildwood Correctional Complex officials anticipate opening two new buildings at the end of February. The buildings will house and support inmates who are on the verge of re-entering society.

History book looks at 50 years on the peninsula
As Alaska celebrated its 50th year of statehood last year, many historians took a wide view. In "Snapshots of Statehood: A Focus on Communities That Became the Kenai Peninsula Borough," published by the Kenai Peninsula Historical Association, the 30 authors take a narrower focus. What was it like in 1958-59 for Homer, Kenai, Soldotna and Seward -- or even Fritz Creek?

Eagles return to Homer Spit
After Homer's beloved Eagle Lady, Jean Keene, died Jan. 13, 2009, bald eagle lovers worldwide wondered what would happen after Keene quit feeding. Under a Homer ordinance, Keene was the only person legally allowed to feed eagles within city limits. After her death, the Homer City Council allowed friends of Keene to feed until March 27, 2009.

NOAA sets public hearings on Cook Inlet beluga proposed habitat
NOAA Fisheries is holding public hearings on proposed critical habitat areas for Cook Inlet beluga whales in Soldotna and Homer this week.

State considers funding for school meals
The Alaska Legislature is considering supplementing federal reimbursement for free and reduced-price school lunches.

Parnell: Time to settle lease dispute: Point Thomson talks on tap
Gov. Sean Parnell says it is time for the state and Point Thomson field leaseowners to settle a long-standing dispute and litigation over the gas and condensate field on the North Slope.

Lyle J Scrimger
Kenai resident Mr. Lyle J Scrimger, 61, died Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, at his home in Kenai with his family by his side.

Alice Marie Marks Henson
Soldotna resident Alice Marie Marks Henson died Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 at her home. She was 71.

Robert Bud Johnson
Robert Bud Johnson died Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, in Redford, Texas. He was 50.

Marietta 'Etta' Joan Peterson-Curtis
Lifelong Alaska resident Mrs. Marietta "Etta" Joan Peterson-Curtis, 72, died Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, at her home in Soldotna from lung cancer with her family by her side.

Around the Peninsula

UA president to speak

Around the Peninsula

Concert today

Best Friends
Frieda Ware said, "This is Daisy, a Golden Retriever. She is lying in a pot on the porch at my home in Nikiski."

Kenai downs Homer in OT
Kenai Central's boys basketball team edged out Homer 63-61 in overtime on Tuesday.

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