Thursday, March 11, 2010

Alaska retailers upbeat about future
Despite a recent drop in sales for retailers Fred Meyer and Best Buy, the two store chains have weathered the storm and will see rising profits soon, said representatives of the companies at a retail forecast luncheon.

Business Briefs

Chambers set luncheon schedules

Guacamole
3 ripe Haas avocados

Amazing, Appetizing, Avacodos: At their peak from March to May
Avocados do not ripen until they are harvested, so the vast majority of avocados we bring home from the market a stone hard and not ready for eating. If you want to eat an avocado the day it is purchased, it should have a little "give" when gently squeezed. If it still has a stem, flick off a bit with your finger. If it comes off without difficulty and is green, your avocado is ripe -- if the stem is brown, your avocado is overripe. In addition, do not purchase avocados that "rattle," a sign that the pit has pulled from the flesh and is overripe. The best way to ripen avocados at home is to place them in a brown paper bag. Stored at room temperature, avocados will ripen in about two to five days, at which time they may be used right away or refrigerated, for up to one week. The back of a spoon will mash a ripe avocado quite well, but a potato ricer turns it into velvet. For slicing tasks, a knife works fine, or use one of those clever avocado tools for creating perfect avocado wedges in one fell swoop. Avocados are in peak season from now until May, and prices are good. If you've never seen what the inside of a ripe avocado looks like up close, slice into one first chance you get. You'll call its enormous pit "amazing" and the creamy fruit, "sublime."

Bourbon-Pecan Cake
1 (18.25-ounce) box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe white cake mix

Heart-Healthy Cream of Avocado Soup
2 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth

Nikiski prom dress drive a success
I would like to thank everyone who donated tothe Nikiski High School Prom Dress Drive held on March 2. We received 100 dresses from Wisconsin and Alaska, 41 girls walked away with a free prom dress this year! I would especially like to thankNorth Peninsula Recreation Center for donating a room to store the dresses and a room to hold the event. Special thanks goes out to Kasi McClure, Maria McCaughey, Crystal Malone and Samantha Young for helping methe day of the event. Mr. O'Brien and Mrs. Falk, thank you for your support and helping spread the word to all the girls. I look forward to continuing thisevent next year.

Job Shadow a great opportunity
The Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Kenai Central High School hosted its 16th Annual Job Shadow Day on March 3. This year there were more than 100 students in the junior class that went out into local businesses for a half-day job shadow experience. We had 13 students shadow different departments at Central Peninsula Hospital, five students at the Kenai Police Department and about 15 students in the oil and gas industry with various companies such as Tesoro and Marathon.

Beach access decision past due
Regarding the Nikiski beach public road, it looks like Judge Moran doesn't have to fear either the state or the borough because their attorneys don't want to ruffle her feathers. So what's the hold-up, Judge? Is it the right and freedom of Americans to have their beach back, or are you going to sell them out?

Many hands make Skills USA conference a success
The Kenai Central High School "Skills USA" Organization would like to thank all of the following volunteers for making our District Conference on Feb. 18 a huge success: Aaron Turnage, KPD; Barry Hartman, Skyview High School; Bob Hammer, Kenai Peninsula Home Building Association; Bruce Gabriel, Big G Electric; Cheryl Cook, Big G Electric; Colleen Ward, Kenai Community Member; Curt Wagoner, City of Kenai; Debbie Morris, Carrs/Safeway; Doug Grzybowski, Dept. of Labor; Ed Clark, Carlile Trucking; Emily Sims, Kenai High School; Hope Kmetez-Casseri, Homer High School; Jeff Twait, Kenai Peninsula Home Building Assocation; JW Johns, Spenard Builders Supply; Larry Lockwood, Dept. of Labor; Leanne Abendroth, Kenai High School; Marty Anderson, Non-Destructive Testing; Matt Bart, Dept. of Labor; Meggean Bos, Soldotna High School; Mike Boyle, Kenai High School; Ruben Foster, State Dept. of Corrections; Scott Griebel, Kenai Peninsula Borough; Stephanie Bohrnsen, Soldotna High School; Steve Fischer, Kenai High School; Steve Schoessler, Kenai High School; Tim Wight, Skyview High School; Wally Ward, Marathon Oil; and Walt Ward, Kenai Community Member.

An oldie but goodie
Regarding all the commotion about all the automobiles being recalled because of design and mechanical problems, even the Government runs General Motors now: I purchased a car in 1948 for $400 dollars that took me all summer helping construct a Roller Skating Rink. It was a 1929 Model "A" Ford Coupe with a Rumble seat; it had the standard equipment, that is three pedals on the driver's side of the car. The left one was the clutch peddle which when pushed on, would let you shift gears. The same way with the second pedal except that was the brake peddle. The third and most important one was the foot feed and pushing it at increased or decreased amounts determined your speed, again it was spring loaded (no computer chips involved).

Op-ed piece informative
Thank you for publishing "'Faces of Aces' or 'Fleecing of Alaska'?" by Ray Metcalfe (Clarion, March 4). The information on the details of BP, Exxon, and Conoco-Phillips deals with Iraq is clear evidence to me that the oil companies are getting a great deal on our Alaskan oil. Previous news and international reports have suggested this was true. The actual dollar comparisons of oil company profits on Iraqi oil and Alaskan oil convince me that the oil tax, ACES, assessed by Alaska is more than fair to the oil companies.

Tax values up 0.9 percent: Borough mayor plans to propose one-half mill reduction
The Kenai Peninsula Borough's overall taxable value increased 0.9 percent for 2010, a small increase compared to previous years.

HEA candidates announced
Five candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors' election.

Too old for CPH?: Consultant critical of hospital's governance structure
Central Peninsula Hospital's governance structure is "nonsensical," "antiquated" and "Byzantine," according to a leading health care organizational consultant. That has hospital and borough officials contemplating major changes, including the possibility of the borough selling the facility.

Lawmakers split on decision to send 21 to D.C.
Sending 21 state lawmakers to an energy conference in the nation's capital last week might have been a bit much, according to one Kenai legislator.

Field trip: Wagoner: State, D.C., on line with gas pipeline
Alaska's energy policies and goals are in line with those of the Lower 48 according to Kenai's voice in the state Senate.

Raise a glass!: Sterling man honored as Beerdrinker of the Year
Bill Howell is this year's Miss America of beer.

Man arraigned on drug charges
A 41-year-old man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges alleging he possessed and intended to sell heroin and crystal meth.

Skies prove friendlier: Weather, avalanches make driving sketchy
Two avalanches on the Seward Highway north and south of Girdwood Tuesday morning closed the road from Anchorage to Girdwood and points south for most of the day and created a minor bump for local airlines.

Photo feature: Just browsing
A young moose browses alongside Bridge Access Road, just out of sight of most motorists, Wednesday afternoon. The critters are still a common sight alongside the road as they look for easy to reach food.

John Daniel 'Dan' Murray
Soldotna resident John Daniel "Dan" Murray died Thursday, March 4, 2010 at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. He was 73.

Edward V. Segura
Lifelong Kenai resident Mr. Edward V. Segura, 76, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

Audrey June Breed
Soldotna resident, Mrs. Audrey June Breed, 76, died March 9, 2010, at Heritage Place with her family by her side.

Around the Peninsula

St. Patrick's Day party set

Film digs in to mine: 'Red Gold' looks at issues surrounding Pebble
The film, "Red Gold," examining the controversy surrounding the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska could be a real-life, Alaskan version of the motion-picture phenomenon "Avatar."

What's Happening

Best Bets

Oscar worthy, indeed
'Crazy Heart'

Art Briefs

Youth art show seeks entries

Home Economics
Who put the eek!

Clarion Calls

Jeff's call: 2 thoughts on conference tourneys

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