Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast Lu Li visits River City Cheer
World famous 1992 Barcelona Olympics Gold Metal Gymnast Lu Li of China came to Alaska last week to lead a training clinic at River City Cheer. At only 15 years of age, Li Lu was the first female gymnast to have all of the judges score her with a perfect score of tens on the uneven bars during a competition. Lu made the Chinese national team in late 1991. However, liver illness almost prevented her from competing in the Olympics. In April 1992, just a few months before the Barcelona Games, she made her international debut at the World Championships in Paris, where her highly innovative uneven bars routine caught the attention of the gymnastics world. In 2000, Lu Li moved to California and became a gymnastics coach there. She later moved to Washington State with her husband and son where she currently lives and works as a coach at Emerald City Gymnastics in Redmond.

Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors takes on Kenai Sport Rec & Trade Show
What does selling your home or buying a new one have in common with the latest in recreational toys or catching a fish at the ADF&G portable Trout Pond? The Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors (KPAR) that's what. As an organization that has been known for sponsoring a variety of events to support local organizations including Hospice, KPAR has recently stepped up to take on the annual Kenai Sport Rec & Trade Show coordination. Now in its 26th year, the annual spring event that gathers vendors from throughout Alaska was in jeopardy of closing when the show's promoter, Terry Coval, left Alaska last year. "It'll be a lot of work, but its something that will allow us to continue to raise funds for Hospice and Habitat for Humanity on the Kenai Peninsula, while continuing a popular spring community event and growing the show with new ideas and more vendors," said KPAR chief executive officer Kari Butler.

Neverland comes to Kenai this weekend
Peter, Tinker Bell, Wendy, Lost Boys, Capt. Hook and a full cast of Neverland characters take center stage of the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at KCHS this weekend for the Kenai Performers opening of Piers Robinson's Peter Pan Musical. And just as Mary Martin did in the original Broadway production of the musical, Peter will soar through the atmosphere in the local performance of this enchanting tale. "We've contracted with a professional company, ZFX Flying Effects, out of California to come up and train us to fly. He says he does 450 flying shows a year and has lots of fairy dust and happy thoughts, so expect to see a show like nothing ever seen before in Kenai," said director Phil Morin. Peter Pan, who is portrayed by 15-year-old Annaleah Ernst, says she is more than ready. "It's who I am! I've always wanted to do stuff like this and never get old. I always want to be a little kid and never grow up - just like Peter," Ernst told the Dispatch during a rehearsal interview.

In the bag, Cooking en Papillote
'En papillote (in paper),' French words for a method of cooking foods in waterproof, greaseproof, non-stick parchment paper, is not only a very simple way to prepare a variety of foods but also helps cut back on calories, cooking time and clean up. Many foods, including chicken, seafood, vegetables and fruits are particularly suited to this method of cooking, where food is baked with steam inside a folded pouch of parchment paper with very little to no added fat. Along with the food itself, herbs, stock, juice or wine are typically added to the pouch, along with spices complementary to the particular foods being cooked. As long as food is enclosed securely in a sheet of parchment paper large enough to give the food sufficient air space during the cooking process, wrapping food the same as you would a delicatessen-style sandwich is an efficient way to cook en papillote. Parchment paper is primarily used for lining baking pans and eliminates the need for greasing pans, so whatever parchment paper is not used for cooking en papillote may be used for baking cookies, brownies and cakes another time. Use parchment paper in the freezer, microwave oven and safely in a conventional oven heated up to 400 degrees. Look for rolls of parchment paper in the supermarket alongside the aluminum foil, plastic wrap and other wrapping materials.

School district is excellent
In the game of Blackjack the "Perfect Hand" is 21. As I reflect back on my children's education over the past 21 years and with the youngest in the family scheduled to graduate in May, my three children have truly been dealt the "Perfect Hand" by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Clear cutting a cruel cut
It's disappointing when a letter to the editor concerning governmental activity isn't in response to words or ideas but rather actions. The recent clear cutting between Ninilchik and Clam Gulch came to my attention not via proposals or public notices; I learned of it after the clear cutting had commenced.

Thanks for yummy pie and salad
The Career and Technical Advisory Committee (CTAC) would like to thank Emily Sims' Culinary Arts students for providing apple pies and salads for their recent meeting. The students prepared these dishes as part of their class and they were greatly appreciated by the CTAC members. It demonstrated to the committee the quality of the program and students in one of our Career and Technical Education classes. Great Work Students and Ms. Sims.

Reader opposes proposal to cut KPC funding
Thank you Gary Turner for your informative, well written, "Voices of the Peninsula" in the Feb. 11-12 Clarion.

Federal government is the Land of Oz
The feds have become the Great Oz, before whom Alaskans are obliged to beg and grovel. When the EPA thunders its "No! Go away," Alaskans tremble in fear. Even the Governor is afraid to lift the gas tax for fear of angering the Great Oz.

Buildings dedicated to former borough mayors
Two former mayors of the Kenai Peninsula Borough were honored Tuesday when two government buildings were officially dedicated to them.

LNG plant closure talked over in Juneau
Legislators sat down with labor, industry and regulatory representatives on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming closure of the Liquified Natural Gas plant in Nikiski and what it means for Alaska.

Lifelong learning: Older students' experience adds to classroom
When students returned to Kenai Peninsula College last month, the corridors were more crowded than any prior semester.

Feds talk fish: Council keeps Gulf chinook restrictions on fast track
Chinook salmon bycatch control measures are on track for mid-year implementation during the 2012 pollock season in the Gulf of Alaska.

College staff, students protest cuts
About 30 students and staff members from Kenai Peninsula College's Kenai RiverCampus waved signs outside the Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration Building in Soldotna Tuesday afternoon in protest of borough Mayor Dave Carey's proposed budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year.

Lawmakers talk sexting, stalking
House Bill 127, one of Gov. Sean Parnell's proposals he says are aimed at protecting the most vulnerable Alaskans -- children, the elderly, the disabled -- was heard in the House Judiciary Committee last week.

Photo: Illuminated

Ila Mae Updike
Ila Mae Updike died Feb. 10, 2011, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 91.

Around the Peninsula

Moving day for Kenai library

Around the Peninsula

Summer soccer registration open

SkyHi girls, Homer boys get victories
With less than 10 seconds to play and his team holding a three-point lead, Devon Kennelty had one thought.

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