Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great day for parading the Irish Green in Soldotna
While Soldotna’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade may not be the only one in Alaska, it certainly is the largest and longest consecutively running event of its kind in the Greatland. An internet search did turn up a reference to a parade in Dillingham, Alaska but no details could be found and there certainly was not any parading of the Green to compare in Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juneau. Now in its 17th year the Soldotna St. Patrick’s Day parade was the inspiration of local Irish entrepreneur Mike Sweeney and the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, “Our first parade the fire trucks were on call and had to leave right after we got started so it was basically me, one old fire truck, and couple other friends with pick-ups and we didn’t go very far, but we knew it had potential to grow as big as it is today and I believe it’s going to grow even more to where maybe we’ll close the whole highway rather than just my side of the Spur,” said Sweeney.

Kenai welcomes AlaskaUSA branch
The fourth branch of AlaskaUSA Federal Credit Union is now open for business in Kenai. At Tuesday’s official opening Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams was on hand along with Kenai City Councilwoman Linda Swarner who joined AK USA Board member Ken Campbell, President Bill Eckhardt, Vice President Becky Hutchinson, along with a host of other AK USA staff and community supporters to see the ribbon cut and the doors open on the beautiful new facility. “I just love attending the openings of new financial facilities on the Peninsula, because it’s a sign of coming economic growth and prosperity and we’re very proud of Alaska USA’s continued investment in serving the financial needs of our community,” said Williams.

Hand to toe rejuvenation at Haven Nail Spa
There comes a time when even the hardiest of Alaskans need a little pampering, a time out from the everyday hustle, bustle, fishing lane of life and into a relaxing, luxurious atmosphere. Such an experience is now available for men and women at the new Haven Nail Spa on the second floor of the Blazy Mall in Soldotna. Judi Klok, a licensed Advanced Manicurist with the State of Alaska has created an elegant setting in the middle of the last frontier where you can enjoy complete nail services as well as nail art all provided by Judi personally, “When I envisione d opening Haven Nail Spa I thought about a nice quiet private spot to provide women and men with quality nail services as I have done for over 12 years. When I moved to the area I thought that the need for such services might be limited, but after spending a couple of years here I realized how incorrect that I was, Alaskan women are the same as women as women everywhere and love extra special treatments in a very nice private environment. Alaskan women may love the outdoors and adventuresome lifestyle, but they also like to have someone do something nice for them, listen to what is going on in their lives and help them to feel better about themselves,” Klok told the Dispatch.

Shaving the way to conquer kid’s cancer
In 1999, Tim Kenny challenged friends, John Bender and Enda McDonnell to find a way to give back to society. These three reinsurance executives turned their industry's St. Patrick's Day party into a benefit for kids with cancer. What could they do to really turn the heads - and the wallets - of their colleagues? John suggested shaving Enda's head since kids typically lose their hair during cancer treatment. "People will gladly pay to see you bald, Enda!" Never one to miss an opportunity, Enda replied, "I will if you will," and St. Baldrick's was born. The three planned to raise "$17,000 on the 17th," recruiting 17 colleagues to raise $1,000 each to be shorn. Instead, the first St. Baldrick's event, held on March 17, 2000, raised over $104,000! Since that time, St. Baldrick’s has become the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research, having raised some $17,000,000 million dollars.

In every outdoorsman’s home there seems to be several items that they have collected through the years that they have never used or will never use again. But yet there they sit as proud as the day they were manufactured and although many of these items are obsolete or perhaps just plain useless we still keep them.

Reader: At least old days were fun
This is in response to the article written by Ted Bailey, "The Refuge Notebook." There is an old song "those were the days my friend, I thought they'd never end." Boy, isn't that true.

Event has 'Souper' results
Thank you to our local community for the generous support of the annual Souper Bowl of Caring on Feb. 3.

Borough's excuse ludicrous
I think Sunday's paper had the most outrageous justification for bureaucratic thievery I have ever heard.

Young man's tragedy brings community closer
As a friend of the family, it was rough to see Cody Honrud and his family go though the fight of their lives.

Relay kick-off helped by many
The Relay for Life 2008 Committee would like to say thank you to the following individuals and businesses for the support they provided for the kick-off event on March 13 at the Aspen Hotel in Soldotna. It was a huge success! We could not have done this without you. Remember, Celebrate and Fight Back The kick-off was for the May 30 and 31 Relay for Life event, which will be held at Skyview High School this year.

Red Cross calls for volunteers
In order to fulfill its goal of preparing the Kenai and Soldotna communities for a natural disaster, the American Red Cross of Alaska hopes to be active on the peninsula once more, but it needs help.

Soldotna considers senior complex
Under a new format added to Soldotna City Council meetings, the group will meet as the "Committee of the Whole" at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday prior to the regular council meeting.

International experience nets recognition for teen
They may still be students, but Noelle and Vienna Schmitter-Schrier, 13 and 11, are teachers at heart.

WWll, holocaust presentation set
Gerda Weissmann Klein weighed only 68 pounds when she was liberated from Nazi forces in May 1945.

Kenai aviator fined $100,000 for fraud
A Kenai aviator doing business as Bellair Inc. was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to three years probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine after being convicted of wire fraud.

Workshop on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders slated
Most people have heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It's a specific type of brain injury that carries with it specific physical characteristics, including abnormal facial features and stunted growth. But according to Deb Evensen, it's just one very small percentage of a larger disability.

Photo feature: Rushing river
Melting ice caps a stone in the Russian River near Cooper Landing recently. Forecasters are calling for clear skies and sun.

Photo feature: Moose moss to munch
A young moose takes a lazy approach to lunch Tuesday afternoon in grass next to a home in Kenai.

Help wanted
With prices at the pump fast approaching four dollars a gallon, now is not a good time for an unemployed person to drive around town looking for work. Fortunately for those looking to land a job, there will be several employers all under one roof today during the seventh annual Kenai Peninsula Job Fair.

John Joseph Sivley
Kenai resident John Joseph Sivley died Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna from a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 59.

John Joseph Sivley
Kenai resident John Joseph Sivley died, Sunday, March 23, 2008, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna from bladder cancer. He was 59.

Janet Diane Palmer
Sterling resident Janet Diane Palmer died Monday, March 24, 2008, at home following a brief battle with cancer. She was 59.

Cody Honrud
Kenai resident Cody Honrud died Monday, March 17, 2008, with his mom and dad by his side in the intensive care unit at Harbor View Trauma Center in Seattle, from injuries sustained in a snowmachine accident in the Caribou Hills on Sunday, Feb. 24. He was 21.

George Robert Johnston Sr.
Anchorage resident George Robert Johnston Sr. died Saturday, March 15, 2008, at home. He was 82.

Frances Artz
Former Soldotna resident Frances Artz died Saturday, March 22, 2008, at Richland Life Care Center, Richland, Wash. She was 83.

Carol A. Fox
Kenai resident Carol A. Fox died Sunday, March 23, 2008, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 66.

Reaching more students: KPC becoming University of Alaska leader in online education
Kenai Peninsula College's efforts over the past year to increase our distance-delivered course offerings truly have been amazing. Last summer, we offered two distance courses, this summer we are offering 13. Last fall we offered 13 online courses; this fall we have scheduled 30.

Around the Peninsula
Youth court offered Tsunami warning test Wednesday LeeShore board meeting slated Holocaust to be discussed Racing club to meet Military to be honored Soccer registration begins Spring bazaar slated Library seeks volunteers

For highbrow dinners, lowbrow suppers or anything in between ... One-dish meals can be a cook's best friend
Most of us really take pleasure in eating one-dish meals. Whether we like beef, chicken or seafood, there's been a one-dish meal conceived to suit our tastes and the tastes of those we cook for. Cooking and serving a meal from one pot is the ultimate family-style fare, and for company, enjoying a meal that has been prepared family-style is the just right way to make even relative strangers feel at home.

Around the Peninsula
Canner gauge testing offered T-200 meeting slated PenDOG plans Canine Good Citizen test Red Cross offers disaster training Seniors host breakfast LeeShore plans fundraiser Garden club set to bloom Dinner, auction fundraiser planned Sexual assault awareness workshop available Bear baiting clinics set

Seafood Lasagna
Makes 6 servings.

Chicken with Rice and Herbs
  Chicken and rice are common combinations in cuisines around the world. Cooked and served from one pot, this casual meal can make anyone feel "at home." 1/2 cup butter

Charlie Gibson's Enchilada Casserole
1 large (13-ounce) package nacho cheese flavored chips (save 2 cups for casserole topping)

To infinity and beyond
Time and millions of miles seemed to fly by for Kenai and Soldotna middle school students March 11 at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai.

Georgia rethinks same-sex schools
GREENSBORO, Ga. Greene County public school officials are rethinking their drastic, game-changing plan to separate boys and girls in every class next school year.

Around the District
School board meetings slated District advisory meeting slated School Web pages available Scholarships offered 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

Writer feels life's pressures; tries to slow down
Life seems to be hard enough by itself. Not to mention my efforts to make it to work, school, practice; the list goes on and on. When do I stop to take time and enjoy life? After all this is the only one I get.

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