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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Soldotna mall plans advance
Plans for the construction of a new shopping center in Soldotna are moving forward and could signal the city's status as a burgeoning retail hub.

Business Briefs

Joint chamber meeting features coal to liquid project

Rotary Hockey night sets attendance record for Brown Bears
The Rotary Clubs of Kenai, Soldotna, and Kenai River teamed up to help sponsor and support the Kenai River Brown Bears Junior A Hockey program on the final two games of the regular season March 25th and 26th. With an overtime loss and a win for 3 points in the last two games against the Wenatchee Wild, the Brown Bears are battling for a second, third, or fourth seed finish in the tight West Division of the NAHL. "Rotary Weekend" featured special edition Rotary Jerseys worn by the home town team. The jerseys were auctioned to fans with all proceeds going back to the team.

ConocoPhillips celebrates last traditional load of LNG to Japan
On the morning of March 10, the "Polar Spirit," a specialized tanker that delivers LNG between ConocoPhillips' Kenai facility and Tokyo, Japan, was safely loaded as it had been for decades. The loading lines were cleared, documentation was completed and systems were being prepared for the 8-day voyage to Tokyo. Although the process had safely occurred without incident nearly 1500 times in the past, the delivery on March 10th was special, according to Kenai LNG superintendent Peter Micciche. "At noon, dozens of present workers, retired employees and officers aboard the Polar Spirit gathered for lunch to share mixed feelings and stories as they celebrated the last traditional load of LNG from the Kenai Facility to customers in Japan," said Micciche.

March for Meals Pie Auction sells out at Kenai Senior Center
The second annual March for Meals took place on the final day of March last Thursday at the Kenai Senior Center. According to Rachael Craig, Kenai Senior Center director, across America the entire month of March was dedicated to similar activities. "We and many other senior agencies are advocating for the 'No Senior goes Hungry' campaign and to support our home meal program for seniors," she said. "March for Meals" is the official campaign of not-for-profit organizations affiliated with the Meals on Wheels Association of America. It is a focused opportunity supported by the national association to raise funds and awareness for local meals programs. Craig says the local Kenai meal program is very active serving 20,000 some meals in the last fiscal year. "There are more than a hundred clients that we serve over the course of the year and we will provide meals seven days a week if needed. The funds we raise for meals stay and are used right here in our senior center and go back into our home meal program, then at the end of the month I can get a national match for funds we raise here locally," she said.

Local opportunities showcased at 10th Annual Peninsula Job Fair
The Peninsula Clarion and the Kenai Peninsula Job Center teamed up again to bring together those offering career opportunities with those seeking jobs or changes in professions. "We had a really good turn out here today," said Jackie Garcia with Peninsula Job Center. "Lots of people came by who are unemployed but at the same time there were many people looking at changing jobs or pursuing a new or improved profession who turned out today to see what was available in our local community. The economy is on a slow growth and people are feeling the pinch with increased prices for fuel and utilities so people are looking for better jobs," she said. According to Garcia, some people actually found jobs at the fair. "We had three laptops available for people to fill out online applications and many of the employers were here to assist them and do live interviews. Military recruiters were here and helping those interested in fast tracking to a military career and the fair has been very helpful for people of all ages," added Garcia.

Bake happy with The Queen of Desserts, Maida Heatter
If baking makes you happy, you'll be ecstatic to know about the release of two new cookbooks by Maida Heatter, The Queen of Desserts. "Maida Heatter's Cookies," now available for the first time in paperback, contains 225 classic cookie recipes originally published in "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies" (1977), "Maida Heatter's New Book of Great Desserts" (1982) and "Maida Heatter's Book of Great American Desserts" (1985). Heatter revisits cakes, too, in "Maida Heatter's Cakes," also in paperback, offering 175 best of the best previously published recipes for cake. Although Heatter, a James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame Award recipient, is revered as royalty in baking circles, her style of writing and recipes are down-to-earth and unpretentious. Recipes for cookies like Petite Trianons (brownies) and Mrs. L.B. J's Moonrocks, as well as cakes such as Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake, make it possible for bakers of every level to achieve success. If you are new to baking, stick to the recipes and follow them precisely. Your rewards will be great and you'll soon be hooked on one of the most fulfilling aspects of cooking. Heatter writes, "Baking cookies is a great escape." "It's fun. It's happiness. It's creative. It's good for your health. It reduces stress." "Happiness is baking cookies."

Pioneer Potluck: Growing up on a farm cont'd

About waxed floors

De-funding tourism council a bad idea
Reference your editorial of Friday, April 1 ('What can we do without?'). Considering the date, was it an April Fool's joke, or were you really serious?

Boys & Girls Club thanks ConocoPhillips
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula would like to extend an enormous and heartfelt "thank you" to ConocoPhillips for many years of generous support and their recent investment in our organization with a $25,000 donation.

Hospital board selection process should be reconsidered
While the mayor's task force on the future of Central Peninsula Hospital continues to ponder the question, one fact has become crystal clear: the overwhelming majority of area residents, who own the hospital, wish no compromise whatsoever of local control and ownership of CPH. No joint venture. No sale. That, however, is not to say that the governance of CPH couldn't be improved, and toward that end we and the task force would do well to consider making Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc., the board that currently runs CPH, an elected rather than a self-appointed position. At present, board members appoint new members.

Recycle old electronics in Homer
Spring is in the air and boaters on the Kenai Peninsula are preparing for a summer on the water. From crabbers and seiners to Tolmans and sailboats, most of us have electronics on board. And after seasons of weather and hard use, replacing these electronics is just a part of doing business as a boat owner.

Kenai an All-America City finalist
The National Civic League announced Wednesday that the city of Kenai is a finalist for the All-America City Competition.

On the ballot: Assembly sends grocery tax exemption repeal to voters
The Kenai Peninsula Borough's annual budget deliberations are narrowing down to a simple, yet wrenching choice for residents -- What's more important? Food or schools?

High-tech monitor for man accused of manslaughter
When it comes to setting bail, where does a judge draw the line between what's right for a defendant and what's in the best interest of the community?

School board passes budget: Fiscal plan uses $3.5 million from fund balance
While facing a substantial deficit, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District passed a $137.3 million budget for fiscal year 2012 at its Board of Education meeting Monday.

Gas storage facility progressing
According to a monthly progress report from Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, a proposed gas storage facility in Kenai is moving forward -- but not without road blocks.

Soldotna man charged with sexual abuse
A Soldotna man has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree after allegedly abusing a 14-year-old female over the course of a year.

Photo: Blowing off some steam

Around the Peninsula

City of Kenai wants your ideas

Around the Peninsula

Softball season just around the corner

Reeling It In: 'Source Code': Just go with it
"Source Code"

What's Happening

First Thursday

Photo: "All The King's Women."

Poet's Corner

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