Thursday, April 5, 2007

Business Briefs
Chambers set schedules Youth cooking classes offered Crimestoppers seeks support Wireless options to be discussed Alaska’s outstanding older worker sought Bones for Life seminar offered

Odie’s daughter Melodie opens new Deli on K-Beach Rd
Melodie and Shawn Symington are the new owners of Odie’s Deli, “The Home of the Big Sandwich,” in Soldotna. It was Melodie and her husband who encouraged her mom to re-open the popular sandwich shop, “My husband and I decided that it would be a great business for our family as well. It was successful before so we decided to give it a shot,” said Melodie. Odie’s re-opened her deli where Coffee Concepts was formerly located across from Liquidation World on the Spur Highway over a year ago and has been so successful that Melodie and her husband have bought the business and opened a second location on Kalifornsky Beach Rd. at the corner of Poppy Lane. “We opened our second location where the Coffee Depot is located owned by Clark’s Espresso. They still have their coffee roaster in the back and we are located up front in the café section of the depot,” said Melodie. Melodie attributes her mom’s success to the freshly baked bread and ingredients that they use for their sandwiches, “We make all our bread fresh every morning and bring it over here with all the toppings. We love the café with all its model trains and decorations. It’s really a cute place to have lunch. Of course this summer the Clark’s will be running their train just like they always do.”

Huge response at 6th Annual Peninsula Job Fair
The Peninsula Job Fair has become known as a well- planned and promoted opportunity for job seekers and recruiters alike, but this year’s event far surpassed the organizers expectations, according to Melinda Gates with the Alaska Department of Labor, “It was absolutely overwhelming. We’re ecstatic with the turnout. We knew that we would have fifty employers here today, but the overwhelming response from the community has been phenomenal and we are thrilled,” said Gates. She attributed the response to both those seeking careers and businesses looking for employees. “We’ve had some very qualified job seekers come here today with resumes and applications in hand, dressed up looking professional and came here looking for a position. About an hour after we opened, one young lady walked out and she had [found] a job already and had been hired on the spot. That is our measure of success for this event,” added Gates.

Bridge work begins again
Once on a deadline of December 31, 2006 to have the new Soldotna Bridge opened and the temporary bridge out of the river, construction crews have returned to work with new extended deadlines for completion. “Right now we’re anticipating traffic over the new bridge sometime in late June, and then we’ll have to remove the temporary bridge which should be complete by September,” said Wilder Project Manager Scott Harter. “Currently we’re heating the bridge deck and installing Nelson studs on the deck. There are about ten thousand studs that have to be welded to the deck and those studs help hold the concrete deck to the girders. We’re also thawing ground on the north end of the bridge which is frozen down some eight to ten feet in preparation of utility sleeves and pouring of the approach slab on the north end,” said Harter.

Water lines freeze as frost dives deeper
According to Rick Wood with the City of Soldotna, the combination of warm sunny days and lingering cold nights continues to drive frost deeper into the ground causing water and sewer lines to freeze. “At the moment, we’re pushing nearly a hundred reported water and sewer freeze-ups,” Wood told the Dispatch last week,.“What we’re recommending for people with city service who have had problems in the past is to let their water continually run in their house for the next month or so,” said Wood. However, Wood added for those on their own water and septic system leaving the water running inside the house is not recommended as it could hydraulically overload the septic system causing leach field failure and costly repairs, “If on your own system, you could run a hose from an outside faucet if you have a good environment for the runoff which could prevent a water line freeze from the well to your house. But it could build up and run back into your house or someone else’s, so you want to be sure you know where the runoff is going.” He also cautioned those with city service who leave their water running inside to be sure someone is home in the evenings to keep an eye out in case the sewer freezes where the water is running which could cause back up and flooding in the house, “We have had about a dozen sewer freeze ups at this time and most of those have been without much damage, except one where a family left the water running while being out on vacation,” said Wood.

In May of 1995 I flew to Alaska from Wisconsin to find a place to live, and I then flew back and began packing for our move here. I remember driving on Turnagain arm and seeing the many cars parked by the many streams that empty into the ocean from the mountains. I stopped and observed people of all ages and all races dip netting hooligan along streams. Some of the people had small fires burning and many were sharing the same fires from time to time. I visited with many of these people and was even offered a bucket of smelt by an elderly black man who almost insisted I just needed to try these ocean fresh hooligan on my table in Wisconsin.

Reader: End wars now
I recently bought an electronic training collar for a little dog who was a bit too independent. What we need now is an electronic training collar for each member of Congress -- save Ron Paul, of course.

Tournament takesa lot of teamwork
During the second week of March, Kenai Central High hosted the Region III-4A Basketball Tournament. This event brought boys and girls basketball teams from Kodiak, Palmer, Wasilla, Colony, Homer, Skyview and Soldotna to Kenai for three days of spirited competition. We also hosted bands, dance teams and cheerleaders from the participating schools.

Reader gets protest out in the open
This is a note of protest.

Alaska should deny mining permits
Where to mine in Alaska is the wrong question. The question we all should ask presupposes where mineral development should take place and more appropriately asks: How do we produce consumer products using far less virgin materials that demand the highest amounts of toxic chemicals to prepare it for steel, gold products, etc.?

Many contribute to fundraiser’s success
Sterling Head Start would like to thank our community for the tremendous support it was shown for our sold out, annual fundraiser on March 10. Suzie’s Café and its staff did a phenomenal job of catering and serving the dinner. They gave the event a special touch and we appreciate all their effort.

Reader keeps eye on Juneau
It is positive to see our elected officials pursuing the AGIA matter with vigor. Go for it.

Supporters earn points for tournament
The Cook Inlet Lions thank the Peninsula Clarion for putting out the message of the 14th annual Kenai Peninsula cribbage tournament throughout the winter. The last session for 2006-07 was held March 24.

School board OKs budget
Nothing was easy for the Kenai Peninsula school board Monday night.

Irwin: Pipeline project high centered
Stumping for the governor’s gas pipeline plan, the state’s natural resources chief told about 35 Kenai Peninsula residents the state is “high-centered” and not going anywhere toward getting a line down from Alaska’s North Slope.

Rent to own
In hopes of encouraging economic development in the city of Kenai, the city council tonight will consider an ordinance allowing lessees of city property outside the airport reserve to purchase the leased property within a year of completing agreed upon developments.

Mountain View principal draws support
The transition toward consolidation of Sears and Mountain View elementary schools in Kenai has been going well, Joe Arness, district facilitator for the steering committee overseeing the change, told the school board on Monday.

School offers options
A new high school that would individualize education for each student will open next fall in Soldotna.

Crooked Creek to get makeover
Thanks in part to a $60,000 gift from ConocoPhillips, conditions along one of the longest anadromous salmon streams on the Kenai Peninsula may soon be improved.

Assembly to increase taxes
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted Tuesday to increase the borough sales tax to 3 percent beginning Jan. 1.

Wanted: qualified workers -- State employees need more compensation for jobs they do
Within the ranks of state employees as well as within the Department of Administration it is common knowledge that the state of Alaska is having difficulty hiring qualified employees and retaining qualified employees. As you look across the job openings in Work Place Alaska, you will see many jobs that have been open for months, even years.

Around the Peninsula
Book fair slated Berry growers to meet Optional High School to be discussed Biathlon club to meet Hospital board meeting slated Dance concert set to boogie Hockey sessions continue Easter events planned Carnival fundraiser set for fun Sock hop set to bop Refuge to host fun day Rowing clinic available Talent show ready to entertain

Around the Peninsula
Food bank plans one-day closure Recycling group to meet again Fish and Game advisory to meet Student art show set at Skyview Biathlon club to meet Little League registration continues Competitive softball tryouts planned Cheerleading registration continues Deaf Fun Day slated Community egg hunt scheduled Miners set to dig in Kasilof book fair planned Gardening club seeks members Bear baiting clinics offered Mother, daughter tea poised Health fair ready to pump you up

King set to coach Soldotna netters
Former Nikiski volleyball coach Bruce King has accepted the position of head coach of the Soldotna volleyball team, according to SoHi Athletic Director Pat Nolden.

Art Briefs
Writers meet tonight Chorus set to sing Triumvirate plans drama camps Art show proposals being accepted Performers set to camp Beading classes offered Kids’ reading program ongoing

KPC Showcase offers something to laugh about
Who, what, where, when ...

‘Blades of Glory’ skates on solid ice
Will Ferrell has certainly found a niche. With his latest farce, he’s given us a trifecta of “Will Ferrell as (insert semi-serious career choice here)!” He’s been an anchorman, a NASCAR driver, and now a professional ice skater. For those of you out there who are afraid that Ferrell will eventually put away these silly character pieces and try some real acting ala “Stranger than Fiction,” fear not. His next project is slated to be “Semi-Pro,” a farce about minor league basketball. Some will roll their eyes at this, but I say, if his next film has even half of the delirious fun to be had in “Blades of Glory,” more power to him.

What’s Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Upcoming Events Films Down the Road Anchorage events

Poet’s Corner
The horses of Heaven are coming today

UA Board of Regents meeting at KPC’s Kachemak Bay Campus: Kenai Peninsula College
The University of Alaska Board of Regents will conduct their spring meeting at the Kachemak Bay Campus April 18-19 in Homer.

Around the District
Optional High School to be discussed Grace Lutheran Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenaitze Head Start Mountain View Elementary Ninilchik School Nikiski Middle-High Redoubt Elementary Ridgeway Montessori Preschool Soldotna Middle Soldotna Montessori Charter Soldotna High Sears Elementary Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Soldotna Montessori students receive lessons in international relations at United Nations
A deleg ation of students from Soldotna Montessori Charter School recently participated in a model United Nations program.

Regular sleep better for students
LUBBOCK, Texas --Ashlyn and Madison Miller always bring home the report cards of their parents’ dreams.

Senior starts to think about future, reflect on past
The countdown, for me anyway, has begun. In exactly 50 days, the high school graduates of 2007 will be released into the world. Some will go straight back into school (as appealing as that sounds) and others will start their careers in the working world a little bit early. I can not help but to think of all the faces of the people I have grown up with and how much each one has changed over the years. The closest friends I had in sixth grade are now, six years later, almost strangers.

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