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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring is in the air at Poppy Lane Flowers
"A hobby gone wild!" is how Lee Aley describes his "growing" greenhouse business. "We started I guess somewhere around 1994 as a little hobby and its just grown and grown since then and I guess that's good when you're in the growing business," laughed Aley who along with his wife Carol and son Jeff, were very busy playing in the dirt at their Poppy Lane Flowers greenhouse last week. Customers say that Lee and Carol place an emphasis on educating the gardener as much as helping people create beautiful environments and that's why they return year after year. "We try to tell them to plant the plants with the roots down and the stems up and for the most part the plants will take off if you give them a little water," laughs Lee.

ConocoPhillips executives address Kenai Chapter Alliance
Wendy King, vice president of external affairs for ConocoPhillips, and Bob Heinrich, ConocoPhillips vice president of finance, teamed up to address the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance last week at their regular monthly luncheon meeting at Paradisos Restaurant. Their purpose was to bring to a public forum information regarding the proposed oil and gas tax revisions pending in the state senate after being passed in the house. "ConocoPhillips strongly believes that there is more oil to be produced on the North Slope and more oil to be put into the TAPs line, but the challenge for us is that the oil up there is more challenging to produce these days and it costs more to get that oil out and right now the way the fiscal structure is set up we can't see the rewards to off set the risks of that production any longer. So from our point of view, understanding that we do see that it could be something different and we did align clearly with the Governor's vision of having one million barrels of oil a day in the pipeline in ten years and that's the message we're trying to get out that when you have a period of high oil prices that's, typically the time companies have the cash to invest back in the production fields. But right now when that happens in Alaska, the cash goes to pay taxes and that creates a challenge for increasing investment in these periods of high oil prices," said King.

"Are You Smarter" brings fun and funds for Soldotna Boys & Girls Club
Three years ago parent committee chair Shanda Hall came with an idea to raise funds for the Soldotna Boys & Girls Club inspired by the game show "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader". This year the Are You Smarter Than Our Kids annual event was totally LOL (laugh out loud) hilarious thanks to adult contestants Michelle Glaves, Norm Blakely, Ryan Marquis, Joe Gallagher, and Mike Navarre and their kid partners Grace Mills, Juanita Rincon, Mckenna Foster, Brenna Belluomini, and Andrea Rodriguez.

Top 12 to compete for over $25,000 in Caring for the Kenai cash awards
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Caring for the Kenai (CFK) competition. On Thursday, April 21st fifteen Kenai Peninsula Borough High School students will take the stage at the KCHS Little Theatre to present their ideas on improving our environment or preparing for a natural disaster in this annual Earth Day competition. The finalists will be competing for over $7,000 in cash prizes plus $17,500 in cash grants to their high schools. The annual event is sponsored by Chevron and Tesoro and is part of the Kenai Watershed Forum's educational program. The Kenai River Sportfishing Association contributes a matching $5,000 grant toward the classroom awards, and this year the Kenai River Raven Lodge has given a $2,500 grant toward the classroom awards. "Chevron is a proud sponsor of the contest again this year and I have to say after being a proposal judge for many years that this year the ideas have progressed to an even higher level of accomplishment. As a parent I'm proud to see the level of effort put forth by the kids this year and some truly fresh and innovative ideas," said Roxanne Sinz, Chevron public relations manager.

Pioneer Potluck: Sunday Dinner and Supper on the farm
Getting ready for the Sunday dinner after church actually started on Saturday.

Sharing Salmon Recipes for Easter
When a good cook shares a recipe, we take notice. We loved last week's Caribbean Chicken Salad, shared by reader, Valerie Best, of Bluffton and deemed it a keeper. This week's featured recipe for Salmon Roast with Feta and Spinach, by Hilton Head Islander, Charlotte Ward, is a keeper, too. Charlotte's exceptional recipe for salmon, stuffed with a creamy mlange of Feta cheese, cream cheese, baby spinach and more, is scaled down to make two servings, perfect for those of us who regularly cook for two. A multiple winner in the Bluffton Today Holiday Cookie Contest since the inception of the competition in 2006, Charlotte is a frequent contributor of recipes appearing in this column, many coming from the home-published cookbooks created by Charlotte and husband, Lew -- gifts to their children and grandchildren. Charlotte's salmon dish is luscious and one the Wards like eating. Writes Charlotte, "Here is a recipe that we really enjoy and this one, to me, is like eating candy."

Photo: Tea Time

Anchorage man dies in Bird Ridge avalanche
A 41-year-old Anchorage man was killed in an avalanche off of Bird Ridge Trail. The body of Dale Brabec was recovered by Alaska State Troopers' helicopter at about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Did session skirt voters' intent? Special session may, may not be what initiative backers had in mind
The 90-day legislative session ended Sunday and was immediately followed by a special session that could last up to 30 days. That process follows the legal requirements of the initiative that reduced sessions from the previous 120-day constitutional limit, the initiative's sponsors say.

Photo: Spring migration

Stakeout: Hunters line up for baiting permits at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Mark Weigner slept under black bear hides in the back of his SUV outside the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on Sunday night.

Sexual abuse charges leveled against 18-year-old man
A man initially charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree had a more serious charge tacked on by a Kenai grand jury Friday.

Karen Lee Brown
Longtime Alaskan, Karen Lee Brown, 70 passed away Thursday, March 31. 2011, at Providence Extended Care Center, in Anchorage, after a long illness.

Around the Peninsula

Treatment for strokes is the discussion

Around the Peninsula

Youth Restoration Corps holds raffle fundraiser

Sports Brief: Widman represents Soldotna at Boston Marathon
Anna Widman of Soldotna was Alaska's second-fastest female runner at the 115th Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing the race in 3 hours, 17 minutes, 9 seconds. Hillary Young of Douglas was tops among the state's female runners at 3:14:36.

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