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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Outdoors
During my last days off I was impressed to see how my boys use our snow machine to assist them in their daily operation of doing chores around our home. Our old Arctic Cat Cheetah is not a very big snow machine (340) but starts easily and maneuvers very quickly around our yard. I removed part of our yard fence last fall that also made it a whole lot safer for them too. Now they have a nice trail that circles our place and enables them to effectively use this tool each day to assist them in hauling water or feed for our chickens rather then having to carry it.

AK Rally Katz bring Roller Derby to Soldotna
With all the slams, bams, screams and squeals, Roller Derby circa the 21st Century has arrived on the Kenai Peninsula, thanks to Molly Blakeley-Poland, aka. “Molly Dagger” and the newly formed roller derby team to become know as the Alaska Rally Katz. “It’s a blast! In Anchorage now they have two flat-track derby teams, so I thought we could do that right here at the Rock Rally & Roll rink and so recruited a local team of awesome ladies and we’re training for our first match against the Anchorage Wolves on Saturday March 1st, We already have a second team, the Foxy Ladies, getting organized and some of those girls will be joining the Anchorage Wolves in March 1st match up,” Molly told the Dispatch. Judging by the way they’re training there is nothing very lady like about these ladies on wheels, “I’ve taken some good knock downs in just about every practice and I have the bruises to prove it,” laughed Dagger, “But when they come after me, I’m not the only one going down,” she added.

Peninsula Winter Games 2008
There were about as many reasons for people to visit the Kenai Peninsula last month as there were fish fingerlings under the ice of the Kenai River. The 32nd Annual Peninsula Winter Games, the Tustemena 200 Sled Dog Race and Jr. T-200, the Native Youth Olympics, and the State Championship Ice Sculpting Competition, headlined a fire works studded weekend. “It was about the kids in the beginning when Al and Bernice York started the first Peninsula Winter Games and it’s still about the kids today,” said Peninsula Winter Games board president John Torgerson. “It was a beautiful sunny day, a little cold, but that didn’t bother the kids any as they threw frozen salmon, got their faces painted, slide around the ice on tubes, played broom hockey, and all kinds of other games that are fun outdoors in Alaska. We’ve added a lot of signature events to this carnival like the Ice Carving Competition, but the smiles on the kid’s faces, the sparkle in their eyes, and the squeals of their laughter sums up the entire purpose of the Peninsula Winter Games,” added Torgerson.

Dancing with the stars of the Kenai Chamber
When the Kenai Chamber of Commerce gathers annually to recognize individuals of the community for outstanding service it’s always an event that keeps people talking for weeks after. It’s become a tradition of the Chamber to select an entertaining theme for the evening and this year’s “Dancing with the Stars of Kenai,” will not be soon forgotten. 2007 Kenai Chamber president Jason Carroll promised everyone a fun night filled with surprises and no one was disappointed. From the excellent cuisine catered by Charlotte’s and the professional contemporary dance styling’s of the Urban Dance Studio, to the surprise and emotion on the faces of those chosen for this year’s awards, it was a night that will be long remembered.

Carving out an icy niche
As the sun sparkled through the ice carvers crystalline creations at the State Championship Ice Carving Competition during last week’s Peninsula Winter Games, the artists and visitors once again agreed and it was the work of Steve Curtis and Derrick Stanton that was selected for both the 1st Place honors and the People’s Choice award. Traditionally it’s the carvers who select the top three pieces of ice sculpture in the competition and spectators cast their votes for the People’s Choice Award. The carvers tend to look more precisely at the detail, technique, and difficulty of the sculpture and some aspects that a casual observer might not see, explained former first place winner and internationally renowned Sterling chainsaw carver Scott Hanson.

It isn't just the roads, it's the drivers, too
In answer to Letters to the Editor: "Road status questioned," printed Jan. 31, I don't see how Mr. Paul E. Turner, Ph. D., can put any question on to the people who are responsible for plowing the roads in the winter.

Is borough money being spent wisely?
It looks like our borough mayor and his adopted son (Tim) Navarre closed down this road to the beach from the public. DOT says the mayor stopped them from maintaining the road to the bluff. After 45-plus years of doing so why would our mayor do this? Could it be because Navarre just put in a million-plus dollars of the taxpayers money into a road to his property that connects to OSK property?

Jobs not money, will stimulate economy
Can you believe that our government is going to give you and me a gift of cash? Why do you think this is happening?

Arts event ends on a pleasant note
We are so fortunate in our small Alaska towns to have so many supporters of the arts. Two weeks ago, the Crossing Restaurant hosted a wine-tasting dinner/fundraiser for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, which was enhanced by music provided by local musicians and an art auction with works donated by local artists.

Tournament a success with the help of many
On behalf of the Soldotna Police Department's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program I would like to thank Soldotna Middle School for the use of the facilities.

Reader: Worst winter for roads
In reference to the letter from Dr. Turner in Jan. 31st's Letters to the Editor, I have a response: Amen!

School board talks budget, NCLB
At Monday's meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough school board, members were hopeful that they will find a way to implement the programatic staffing initiative, which would cost an additional $4.8 million that is not included in next year's budget.

Lowe's, Wal-Mart plans arrive
Giant retailers Wal-Mart and Lowe's Home Improvement Centers have trimmed back the size of their stores planned for Kenai, but the presence of actual plan drawings in Kenai City Hall indicates enhanced shopping opportunities for Kenai Peninsula residents are not far off.

Voters make their choice
Sixteen-year-old Maya Chay and her sister Freya were too young to cast their vote at the local Democratic caucus on Tuesday, but that didn't keep them from choosing a candidate to support and campaign for.

Pawnbroker rules under review
After careful consideration of comments from a Soldotna businessman, the Kenai Council tonight is slated to vote on a revised ordinance regulating pawnbrokers in the All-America City.

Lawmakers assay their first month
Holding the line on spending when wallowing in a surplus of oil revenue is a challenge, especially with programs such as education and ideas such as future gas pipeline in need of financial backing, say members of the central Kenai Peninsula's legislative contingent.

Photo feature: Hunkered down
An immature bald eagle fluffs his feathers and hunkers down in an attempt to stay warm during last week's chilly weather. The raptor was perched near the Kenai Courthouse.

Head-on sends 2 to hospital
A father and daughter were taken to Central Peninsula Hospital after being involved in a head-on collision on the Kenai Spur Highway on Sunday.

Drugs found in automobile
Travis Tucker has seen some interesting things under peoples' dashboards: glass from a run-in with a moose, some marijuana, but when he unearthed a hide-a-key box from under the brake pedal of a client's car with a crystal-like substance inside, he knew something wasn't right.

Carolyn 'Cary' Rae Bradford
Longtime Soldotna resident Carolyn "Cary" Rae Bradford died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008, from complications of emphysema at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. She was 63.

Taking an unusual step: Punitive damages a valuable tool for preventing spills
The citizens' councils for Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet have filed papers with the U.S. Supreme Court in the $2.5 billion punitive damages case arising from Alaska's most famous environmental disaster, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Lent is a good time for tuna
With Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday, tomorrow, many people who observe the traditions of the season will be preparing meatless meals and counting on tuna's versatility to keep those meals interesting, quick and within budget.

Creole Tuna with Rice
2 (6.5 ounces) cans chunk style light tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked

Retro Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup

Open-Faced English Muffin Tuna Melt
For the tuna salad

Around the Peninsula
Presidential caucus set Potatoes to be discussed FCS board meeting planned Soccer registration continues T-200 volunteer dinner set Valentines dinner planned Grief to be discussed Teen dance slated World travelers needed

Around the Peninsula
Recycling groups meets again Women voters to meet Boy Scouts to winter camp College financial information available Gebhardt Iditarod send off set Counseling association reschedules meeting Teen dance slated Martial advice offered Scholarship offered Cancer fundraiser begins SEA hosts dinner, dance Babies born in '07 sought Star party planned

Nikiski defeats Cook Inlet
Eliza Chadwick and Tasha Thompson scored 10 points apiece in leading Nikiski to a 41-33 non-conference victory over visiting Cook Inlet Academy on Tuesday night.

Night school
The future was now on Thursday night at Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences, and it had a flying bicycle, vehicle exhaust filters and piles of pulverized Cheerios.

Students welcome soldier
Freedom of speech and freedom to assemble may be difficult concepts for an elementary school student to comprehend. But the freedom to watch TV, play video games, read skateboarding magazines and others rattled off by Redoubt Elementary Principal John Pothast got a room full of raised hands and a round of applause for visiting Staff Sgt. Larry Erickson on Friday at the school.

Writer discovers love requires patience, nerves of steel
I was sitting at lunch one day with my significant other and was observing a freshman flirt with one of his peers, and that National Geographic/ Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin narrator type voice came into my head "Watch as the cheetah stalks his prey."

Financial aid workshop set to answer families questions: Kenai Peninsula College
Many times financial hurdles keep high school graduates from pursuing college. Parents of students exploring options for paying for college can be overwhelmed by the process.

Around the District
School board meetings slated School Web pages available High school mass choir set KPBSD to hold federal programs meeting Aurora Borealis Charter Connections home-school IDEA home-school Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenaitze Head Start Mountain View Elementary Ninilchik School Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High School Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

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