Thursday, March 13, 2008

Alaska-made salsa, beer featured in movie
ANCHORAGE Alaskan-made salsa and beer will be featured in an upcoming romantic comedy film about a pushy boss who forces her young male assistant to marry her to avoid being deported to Canada.

Business Briefs
What's new in your business? Chambers set schedules Caldwell joins Redoubt Realty Hoyt joins CPGH, Inc. CITS training offered Business workshops offered Children's cooking workshops offered

Nikiski Chamber works magic at Awards Night
The Nikiski Chamber of Commerce (NCC) is alive and well thanks to a little magic and a renewed commitment from its members. Just a year ago the question of dissolving the Nikiski Chamber and perhaps merging with the Kenai Chamber came before the Nikiski board of directors and under the leadership of Judy Van Cleave, Scott Hamann, JW Johns, Debby Kassik, Erich DeLand, Mike Chenault and others the decision was made to continue the Nikiski Chamber ramping up the value of the organization to their membership and community. At their Annual Awards Banquet last week a capacity crowd gathered at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska to celebrate that commitment, the successes of last year, and to honor outstanding individuals and businesses within the Nikiski community. “The people of Nikiski are just the greatest people in the world as far as I’m concerned,” incoming NCC president Scott Hamann told the Dispatch, “They packed in here tonight and opened their hearts and wallets not only to help fund our scholarships but to really cheer on the people who have stepped up and served this community for so long. I believe in Nikiski, when I go out and talk with people, myself included, they are excited about the future of Nikiski, we have some major projects on the horizon and we are a great place to live and raise a family, so in the future when people look at the Kenai Peninsula they’ll be looking at Nikiski and our Chamber will be here to help make that bright future happen,” added Hamann.

Appalachia, Here they come
Judy Hepner and her dog Buddy are on their way to Georgia to begin a 2,174 mile hike to Maine along the Appalachian Trail in hopes of bringing the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation closer to a cure, as well as raising some funds for DreamPower Animal Rescue. “I’m walking for the Research Foundation because my family has a history of Diabetes and it affects millions of people around the world, and Buddy is hiking for Animal Rescue because he was a pound puppy. DreamPower provides adoption services for not only cats and dogs, but horses, ferrets, rabbits, and the like! They also offer educational programs and health services for the animals in their care,” explained Judy.

River City Rotary funds KPC Read to Your Baby program
There is evidence that reading out loud to your baby promotes healthy emotional relationships between parents/caregivers and young children. Research shows that babies who were read to regularly starting at six months had a 40% increase in receptive vocabulary by the time they were eighteen months of age. Babies in the study who were not read to had only a 16% increase in receptive vocabulary. For several years Diane Taylor at Kenai Peninsula College has headed up the Read to your Baby project as part of the colleges overall Literacy Program, “We deliver bags to the new moms in the hospital that contain a board book, information on how to turn your TV off and read out loud to your baby, and other materials that encourage parents and caregivers to promote literacy from infancy on up,” said Taylor.

Since I grew up in Wisconsin I grew accustomed to a whole lot different fishing than we are generally accustomed to here in Alaska. I have spent a lot of time fishing nearly every species of fish that is found in the upper Midwest. Crappies, bluegills, sunfish, perch, bass, northern-pike, walleye pike, bullheads, and musky’s were some of the more popular fish found on our table. It really did not matter if we fished in the summer or winter as long as we had fresh fish to eat.

Redoubt Elementary serves up green eggs and ham
Dr. Seuss may have been dead for the last 17 years, but his legacy of fun and joy of reading has never been more alive as it was last week at Redoubt Elementary School where a community read-a-thon celebrated the famous author’s 104th birthday. Perhaps the 20th century's most famous author for children, Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated nearly 50 books of quirky children's verse during his lifetime that became popular to the baby boomers that today enjoy reading his lyric rhyme aloud to a new “Cat in the Hat” generation, many of which are their grandchildren.

Many contribute to make Job Shadow Day a success
The 14th annual Job Shadow Day took place in Kenai on Feb. 2. The Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Kenai Central High School's partnership, along with members of our community, are the reason for the programs continued success.

Teenager's column sparks another teen's encouragement
Concerning Brittany West's Verbatim column on Feb. 12, I am an 18-year-old Christian teenager. I am sad to hear about your situation. I completely understand that you would not feel ready to have a child and be a mother. I would feel the same way. I am especially relieved that you did not abort your child because of this, but want to be a loving parent and give him a good home. That was certainly a good decision.

Donations appreciated
On behalf of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's Students in Transition/Homeless Program, I want to recognize and thank Dr. Harry Cotler for his most generous donation of five desk top computers, a printer and a palm pilot. Your contribution to the academic success of our homeless students is greatly appreciated.

Baby opinion
In a couple of months, Gov. Sarah Palin will have a baby girl. I understand that she is going to name her daughter Lyda Green Palin.

Reader praises special section
In February, the Clarion produced three special sections in its paper called "Transitions." It was excellent, and I want to congratulate your reporters and editorial staff for such a great document on the economy of the central Kenai Peninsula.

Retiree complex could sprout in spring
Ground breaking could come as early as April on a planned unit development for retirees if Soldotna City Council members concur with project approval already given by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Assembly supports Serenity House relocation
It didn't take long for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to conduct business Tuesday, as the members disposed of a short agenda in about 90 minutes.

IRS to send seniors info on stimulus act
Senior citizens who no longer need to file income tax returns are waiting to learn how to sign up for the federal economic stimulus payments promised by the U.S. Congress and President Bush.

Quick thinking saves house
A Funny River family may have sustained damage to much of their home as a result of a structure fire Tuesday afternoon, but things could have been a lot worse had they not called 911 at the first signs of smoke.

'Just like home, only better'
A couple months ago, Virginia Penson paid $100 a month for taxi rides to and from the Soldotna Senior Citizens Center. Two months ago, Pearl Burton scaled a flight of stairs to reach her apartment. Now, the two are neighbors, and everything they need is on the ground floor, just a few steps from their doors.

Borough mayor mulls mill cut
Increasing property values and new assessments should boost tax revenues this year, administration officials say, but it is still unclear if the borough's tax levy will be cut again.

Wes Nedele
Sterling resident Wes Nedele died Monday, March 10, 2008, at his home. He was 73.

Bill Saffell
Longtime Alaskan and Kenai resident Bill Saffell died Tuesday, March 11, 2008, at his home surrounded by family. He was 80.

Opportunity is knocking: Alaska salmon need protection from mixing-zone loophole
Gov. Sarah Palin should be applauded for moving Alaska's habitat biologists from the Department of Natural Resources to their rightful place in the Department of Fish and Game. Regardless where the biologists are located, however, there needs to be enough of them to review the many projects coming down the pike, and they need to have the independent authority to play a meaningful role in project oversight. But Gov. Palin did the right thing in response to strong public support for fisheries and habitat protection.

Lemoned Asparagus with sauteed Almonds
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and of equal size for even cooking

Around the Peninsula
Women invited to take a break Seniors host open house Pop Warner to meet After-school clubs set Little League registration continues Community dance set Spaghetti dinner fundraiser planned Seniors plan Easter activities

Tips on healthy eating
Working out is just part of the weight loss puzzle. In order to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, a proper diet and nutritional plan is a must.

First signs of spring: Lamb, potatoes and asparagus
Despite the lingering effects of wintery weather in many areas around the country, the first signs of spring have started to emerge, reminding us that from here on in it will just get better and better.

Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb
1 (5-7-pound) leg of lamb, with bone or boned and rolled

Rosemary and Garlic New Red Potatoes
3 pounds new red potatoes

Around the Peninsula
St. Patrick's Day parade set Seattle getaway fundraiser begins Bear baiting clinics set Toastmasters to meet Dinner, auction fundraiser planned

Sports Brief
Skyview High School graduate Erick Romig, now at the University of Alaska Anchorage, placed fourth in the Older Junior 10-kilometer freestyle interval start race in the Junior Olympics at Kincaid Park in Anchorage on Wednesday.

Poet's Corner
In my forty years of living here

10,000 B.C.: Mammoths? Really?
Occasionally I go to see a movie that I think must be a joke. Not a literal joke, as in one of the "Naked Gun" films, but a hidden-camera, I-can't-believe-you-fell-for-it, did-you-really-think-we-were-serious bad movie. Most of the time, these films are so obliviously silly that it's hard to even be angry about the loss of the ticket price. At the very least, the pure ridiculousness of it all is worth a laugh or two. The epic pre-history blockbuster "10,000 B.C." is just such a movie.

'Pen' proves mighty
Alaska communities are as widely varied as the landscape of this, the largest state in the nation. A community of the same size in the Interior will have a very different set of challenges than those of a community in Southcentral, or in Southeast.

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