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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Party Waiting to Happen: Bread Machine King Cake, Pancakes, Beignets
The king cake you're looking at was fun to make, mostly because my bread machine did all the hard work. Jazzed up with purple, green and yellow-colored granulated sugar crystals, king cake is also a surprise party waiting to happen, especially when the people who eat it learn that somewhere inside the cake is a hidden trinket, bestowing the finder with royal treatment for the day, good luck for a year and the opportunity to supply next year's cake. King cake is traditionally eaten all through Carnival, a festive time of the year beginning on the 12th day after Christmas (Epiphany) and concluding with great celebration on Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday), the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Although many Christians worldwide observe the fasting and abstinence laws of the penitential season of Lent by refraining from eating meat and other foods, there was a time when consuming milk, eggs and butter, once considered extravagant, were also forbidden. So, in an effort to use up a surplus of dairy supplies, the faithful made and ate lots of pancakes and pastries, a good reason why the Tuesday before Lent is also called Pancake Day and Paczki (Polish for donut) Day. Besides king cake and pancakes, beignets, a kind of deep-fried donut associated with the great Mardi Gras city of New Orleans, would be another great Fat Tuesday pastry choice, along with a steaming cup of coffee, preferably one made laced with chicory. If you plan to indulge, begin making plans soon. Lent is almost here and pleasures such as these, practically sinful.

Consider the facts on Chuitna coal project
I just attended a presentation by the Alaska Miners Association about the PacRim Chuitna Coal Project, enlightening to say the least. The amount of work and research that PacRim has done with the fish population of the Chuit River, environmental impacts on the area, and the use of new equipment and technologies more than proves that mining and salmon can coexist.

Self-reliance, with help from the bees
I read with interest,about the bee problem in Kenai (Peninsula Clarion Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011). As a fellow beekeeper on the Peninsula, it saddened me to see the attack on the Apis Mellifera (honey bee). If a neighbor gets stung it must be one of my bees. I have some advice for Sarah Souders and thoughts for the politicians.

One more ardent education supporter
I wanted to cheer when I heard Rep. Kawasaki's words that we should be building schools, not jails. I am writing to throw my wholehearted support behind HB 154, which funds early childhood education, and the Parents as Teachers initiative. In the wake of the news of education budgets slashed down south, I hope our own state doesn't think that cutting education is a cost-saving measure. It is a gamble, one that kids, and by extension all of us, will lose. It just makes fiscal sense to invest in the future, through schools. Please count me among those who will vote for Alaska's economic success by ensuring our kids get all the opportunities they need to be successful. I urge our local government, state legislature and governor to fully financially support education in Alaska.

Public process gone from fish board
It appears to me that false praise is more popular than the truth.

Heavenly weekend awaits
When it comes to breaking up winter's chilly grasp, Soldotna had its Peninsula Winter Games. Homer had its Winter Carnival. Now it's Anchor Point's turn with the annual 2011 Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce Snow Rondi beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday, Feb. 24-27.

Sen. Murkowski shares forecast
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski gave her take on the current climate in the capitol to the Kenai Peninsula School District Board of Education when she visited a work session Monday afternoon.

Sacred Space: Russian orthodox return to historic church in Old Town
Father Thomas Andrew's preparations for divine liturgy last week were a little more involved than usual.

Trash talk: Kenai engineering firm selected for Homer transfer site design, costs
The Kenai Peninsula Borough has announced its intent to award a contract with Kenai engineering firm William J. Nelson and Associates to design the transformation of the Homer Baling-Landfill Facility into a transfer site and determine project costs. Once the contract is finalized, the firm has 150 days to complete the work.

'What if I wasn't so lucky?' DUI repeat offenders a threat, but hard to keep off the road
As Christopher McMurray braced for impact, he instinctively yelled to his only passenger, a 16-week-old yellow Labrador named Zoey, to hold on.

Photo: Beachcombers

Federal cuts will hurt in Alaska
Cutting the nation's growing budget deficits may have hit Alaska's budget, and may increase the state's own deficit, legislative leaders say.

Donna Demchenko
Longtime Alaskan resident, Mrs. Donna Demchenko, passed away peacefully on Feb. 18, 2011, at Heritage Place, in Soldotna, with members of her family at her bedside. She was 82.

Steven Dale Moore
Kenai resident Steven Dale Moore, 57, died Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage after a battle with double pneumonia.

Around the Peninsula

Homeopathy and fever class offered

Around the Peninsula

Kasilof special use area discussion scheduled

Pet Photo: Best friends

Sports Briefs

Lavigueur wins Little Su 50

Team Davis hits Galena in 2nd
The father-son team of Scott and Cory Davis, both of Soldotna, held second place in the Iron Dog early Monday evening.

Kenai hoops teams sweep Skyview
As coaches go, few are as mild-mannered or even-keeled as Kenai Central's Ken Felchle.

CIA wins
The Cook Inlet Academy girls basketball team notched a 47-29 victory over host Ninilchik on Monday in Peninsula Conference action.

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