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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Business Briefs

What's new in your business?

Kudos
Is there a business or business person who has gone above and beyond your expectations? We want to know why!

Outdoors
Last Sunday a friend of mine called me and announced that Mt. Redoubt was about to erupt. He suggested that I might want to call the newspaper and tell them and be the first one to tell them. I had just arrived home from church and had also noticed the cloud of steam hovering over the mountain and my family and I determined it was steam and not a cloud. Did I call the paper or anyone about steam over the mountain? No because I am sure if Mt. Redoubts actually erupts someone else will see it and the media will respond.

Alaska's Shamrock City celebrates St. Paddy's Day
For 18 years Soldotna has been pushing an early spring with their annual St. Patrick's Day Parade thanks to the City's patron leprechaun Michael Sweeney. "It was a perfect parade this year," Sweeney told the Dispatch, "The weather was great, not sloppy and just cold enough to keep the cars clean. The first year we had the old fire truck in the parade and a couple of pick-ups and that was about it, but this year the Clarion told me they gave out over 950 papers with our Sweeney's logo on the wrapper so I figure we had over a thousand watching or participating this year," added Sweeney.

Peninsula Construction Academy graduates donate new shed to F.A.D.
The first of the coming graduation season took place last week at Skyview High School when the Kenai Peninsula Construction Academy graduated a class of Plumbers, Electricians, Welders, and Carpenters. Bob Hammer is the past president of the Alaska Home Builders Association, vice president of the Kenai Peninsula Builders Assoc. and one of the founders and instructors of the Kenai Peninsula Construction Academy (KPCA). According to Hammer the KPCA recruits, trains, and places young people and adults into construction industry jobs. Offering one component for high school students, and another for adult learners, all participants receive hands-on training by experts and members of the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association. "Labor market data shows that more than 1,000 construction workers are needed in Alaska each year for several years to meet construction job growth and to replace retiring workers. When a natural gas pipeline is built, thousands of additional construction workers will be needed," said Hammer.

Fighting Kid's Cancer St. Balderick's reaches $30K and counting
There are a lot more bald heads, runny noses, and warm hearts walking around the Central Peninsula this week, as more than 50 volunteers went bald for the cause of fighting childhood cancer and participated in the 3rd annual St. Balderick's Foundation event to raise money for childhood cancer research. Men, women and children bravely volunteered to have their heads shaved in exchange for donations so that one day cures can be found and childhood cancer becomes a disease of the past. A couple of years ago Blair Martin of the Diamond M Ranch says he was looking a bit shaggy when he heard about the St. Balderick's event and Locks for Love and decided he'd go hippy for the cause, "I didn't want to just cut the hair off and throw it away so I figured in a couple of years it might raise more and be of use to someone who had lost their hair due to cancer," said Martin. By the time Blair went on stage to be sheared he had raised nearly $1,000 for the cause and yielded four nice braids of hair to be donated to Locks of Love.

Children of all ages come to the Circus
Last week was Auntie Hufana's 96th birthday and she wanted to go to the Circus. So when the son of the world renowned Ringling Brothers ring master Count Nicholas, Tuffy Nicholas cried out the welcome his father made famous, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all ages," it was appropriate indeed for Auntie's birthday. "She had a ball," her niece told the Dispatch, "She uuhhed and aahhed and said that's pretty high up there," as did so many who turned out for the two show only performance of the International All-Star Circus at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Listen to your artichoke heart: Helpful hints how to handle, prepare, eat versatile vegetable
Despite knowing my way around the kitchen from a very early age, cooking and eating fresh artichokes was not something that I experienced until adulthood.

How to eat an artichoke:
n The base of the leaves, and the base of the choke, the heart, are all edible part of an artichoke. Although it is generally discarded, even the artichoke stem may be consumed.

Baked Stuffed Artichokes
4 medium to large, or 6 small, artichokes cleaned and trimmed, with fuzzy chokes removed

Artichoke ABC's
n Artichoke leaves will "squeak" when rubbed with your finger, an indication that it's tender. Artichokes that are past their prime will sound hollow and dry.

Businesses pitch in for fundraiser
AFS would like to thank all the wonderful businesses and members of the community who contributed to the success of our fundraising dinner and silent auction: Country Foods, Country Liquor, Fred Meyer, Safeway in Kenai, Paradisos Restaurant, Veronica's, Charlotte's, Thai Town Restaurant, McDonald's, Gourmet Garden & Market, Katina's, Arby's, Kenai Vision Center, Louie's Steak House and Seafood, Acapulco Restaurant, Don Jose's, Joe's Laundry, Mykel's, Peterkin's, Kaladi Brothers, New Peking Chinese Restaurant and Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church.

Problem with the rezone
Pertaining to the rezone, the Kenai Municipal Code 14.20.115, limited commercial zone, states in the first line "intent." The limited commercial zone is established to provide transition areas between commercial and residential districts.

Volunteers put event's success over the top
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Elementary Forensics Committee would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the coaches, parents and volunteers, who made the 2008-09 Elementary Borough Forensics Tournament a success.

Program to collect funds for school earns top grade
Cook Inlet Academy would like to thank Safeway for its participation in the eScrip program. During 2008, CIA earned more than $2,700 in contributions from this program.

Snow removal or snow blockage?
You would think the snow removal equipment in Alaska was here to help us when needed. Not always true. This past week after the 4- to 5-inch wet snow that fell in Sterling, I was at the Sterling Senior Center after the snowplow came by to remove the snow on the two adjacent streets that run perpendicular to the Sterling Highway beside the center.

Redoubt ash headed toward Homer
Ashfall from a pair of fresh eruptions from Redoubt Volcano on Thursday morning is expected to hit Homer sometime after noon.

Join the club: Enthusiast looks to form cross-country ski group
You might say Kjell Risung is a skier with a single-track mindset.

Redoubt erupts again
The aviation color code for Mount Redoubt volcano was raised to red again following eruptions this morning.

Road, water plans on tap
Three resolutions awarding sole source contracts for street paving engineering and water system control work are slated to be considered for approval by the Soldotna City Council tonight.

Fire scorches Soldotna garage
A Soldotna garage suffered an estimated $60,000 worth of damage Wednesday after an engine that was being stored in the structure came crashing to the ground, causing the gas tank to rupture and catch fire.

Holding back the flood: Drift River Terminal withstands Redoubt eruption
Life in the snow-white valley of the Drift River at the foot of Mount Redoubt took a raging turn for the worst early Monday morning.

Early childhood foundation forms
Advocates for a Kenai Peninsula Early Childhood Foundation are seeking public awareness.

Heroin death leads to charges
A 24-year-old man was arraigned Tuesday in Kenai Superior Court on one count of manslaughter and two other felony charges involving heroin.

Assembly OKs funds to hire legal counsel: Action part of Nikishka Beach access dispute
For more than one year, Offshore Systems Kenai, which operates the Nikishka Dock facility, has blocked Nikiski residents' beach access via Nikishka Beach Road. With an upcoming May trial on the horizon, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is seeking outside assistance.

AVO expecting more explosive activity
The winds of fortune are shifting over the Kenai Peninsula.

Show's not over just yet: Redoubt alert level downgraded, but activity continues
Don't get too comfortable.

Photo feature: Peek-a-moose
A moose, hidden from the motorists it was trying to avoid, looks to cross Bridge Access Road recently.

Per Osmar
Clam Gulch homesteader Per Osmar died Friday, Jan. 30, 2009, very peacefully with his family by his side at home. He was 91.

Around the Peninsula

Immunizations available

Around the Peninsula

Tsunami warning test planned

Art Briefs

T-shirt design contest continues

Spring
A calendar says, so to speak,

What's Happening

Best Bets

Young musher lives her dream
While the Iditarod gets more media attention than any other sporting event in the state, the junior version of the Last Great Race barely gets any time in the lime light.

Reviewer: Movie thriller worth a look
'Knowing'

Davises win at nationals
A pair of Soldotna siblings continue to shine on the national stage.

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