Thursday, May 14, 2009

May is Poppy month for Vets
In the city of Kenai May 6th was officially designated as Poppy Day. American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Miss, seven-year-old Becca Trickel was on hand with her mother Crystal to receive Mayor Pat Porter's proclamation read in her absence by acting mayor, City Councilman Joe Moore at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon. According to American Legion Auxiliary member Crystal Trickel, the poppy has been the symbol to honor U.S. Veterans since World War I. "In the battlefields of Belgium during WWI poppies grew in wild abundance amid the ravages of the war as the overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered and grow allowing them to bloom and forever be a reminder of the bloodshed of war. The American Legion Auxiliary started in 1919 to support the American Legion and today is a remarkable organization of dedicated women across the country devoted to America's Veterans, young people, and communities." said Trickel. A replica of the poppy has become the memorial flower of the American Legion, George H. Plumley Memorial Post and American Legion Auxiliary, Kenai Unit 20. This year Auxiliary members are asking every citizen to wear a poppy as a symbol of the price of war and sacrifice of millions during the month of May and through Memorial Day weekend, May 25th.

Celebrity scoopers dip for charity at Afterhours carnival
The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and their volunteer ambassadors held another successful "Afterhours" get together last week featuring Wells Fargo Financial, The UPS Store, Cold Stone, and AK Rays in Soldotna on the Spur Highway. "It was all about being open for business afterhours Thursday where you were able to have a free hotdog and ice cream, get a tan, refinance your house, and ship off a Mother's Day gift all with one stop," said SCC Executive Director Michelle Glaves. According to SCC Event Coordinator January Yaeger, over 300 folks dropped by the event to play games, eat hot dogs, network, and have fun. One of the highlights of the carnival themed event was the Cold Stone celebrity scoopers for charity that saw hundreds line up to be served their favorite ice cream mix by Iditarod award winning musher Paul Gebhardt and Soldotna City Mayor Peter Micciche. "We were expertly trained in dispensing Cold Stone ice creams. I've caught every scoop tossed my way and I resemble any remark about needing a cold stone to chill political hot air. It's fun and it's for a very worthy cause," said Micciche. "Yeah, but I think it's easier to mush dogs at -50 for 1,000 miles any day," laughed Gebhardt.

Hydrants flow over Soldotna as CES flushes for spring
Free drive by car washes have been occurring in various locations around the city of Soldotna as the Central Emergency Services (CES) continue their bi-annual fire hydrant flushing and flow testing. According to CES Fire Marshal Gary Hale, hydrant flow testing and flushing is very important to the Insurance Service Office (ISO) which provides rankings on a scale of one to ten for fire departments across the nation upon which fire insurance rates are based, "The lower the number, the better the rating with a 1 being the best possible. Within the city of Soldotna we have a number 3 rating and outside the city limits if you are within five miles of one of our satellite stations the rating is a 6 because there are no hydrants outside the city limits. It's a very significant number in determining the price of your home fire insurance," explained Hale.

Just imagine the weather being beautiful, the sun is shining brightly and the ice has just left your favorite lake and your scheduled to attend three days of oilfield classes in Anchorage. As you drive to Anchorage you see several boats heading to the Kenai Peninsula while you're heading the opposite way!

Patient friendly hours at Alaska Family Medical Clinic
As most families know, illnesses and medical needs don't always occur during your doctor's normal office hours and if you happen to have a job during those regular hours it makes it difficult to make those non-emergency medical appointments. Now Dan Nyitrai, PA and his wife Sherri have opened the new Alaska Family Medical Clinic to make hours more patient friendly, "All too often people need urgent care or walk-in type clinic access after hours. So, to meet that need our Alaska Family Medical Clinic is keeping unique hours Monday through Friday from 2:00pm to 9:30pm and Saturday noon to 6:00pm," explained PA Nyitrai.

Rhubarb custard pie

Recipes sought
The Clarion is seeking recipes to include in its weekly Food section. Send recipes to, fax them to 283-3299 or drop them by the office at 150 Trading Bay Drive. Name, address, contact number and brief description of how you came up with or came by the recipe is needed. For more information, call Nan Misner at 335-1241 or e-mail her at

Low bush cranberry nut bread
2 cups all purpose flour

Rhubarb bars

The ultimate test of baking: Sue Ade offers how-to tips for homemade wedding cakes
Making a wedding cake is something most home bakers would rather leave to the professionals and for good reason.

How To Construct A Wedding Cake
n With a soft pastry brush, brush crumbs from the cake layers.

Make three recipes (in separate batches) to frost, fill and decorate a three-tier wedding cake. Recipe for each batch:

Special skills required for turnaround work
In response to Pat Hawkins article in "Letters to the Editor" on May 7 regarding Tesoro not giving the opportunity to hire local citizens, it is far from the truth. Maybe before one speaks they need to have the facts before speaking out loud.

Too dumb to notice?
I saw Mr. Warren's letter (Clarion, May 4) and wanted to add a couple things people in Kenai and Soldotna need to think about.

Assembly members made right decision
I'm writing to thank assembly members Hal Smalley, Pete Sprague, Ron Long, Milli Martin and Bill Smith for doing the right thing and voting to fully fund education to the cap.

Bridge work puts boat owners in a squeeze
Sterling Highway bridge projects causing one-lane openings, traffic delays and width-restrictions have sparked panic among Ninilchik and Deep Creek residents worried about negative impacts on the summer tourist and construction season.

Wildfire reported east of Homer; open burning banned
Personnel from Kachemak Bay Emergency Services, the Homer Volunteer Fire Department and the state Division of Forestry responded to a wildfire at Mile 16 of East End Road, outside of Homer, Tuesday evening.

Tustumena 200 board adopts new nonprofit status
While the snow is finally gone, organizers of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race know that planning for next year's event begins the day after this year's ends. At a meeting held at the end of April, several changes were made to the race organization that officials hope will be for the better.

Not dead yet: Multiple cemetery sites on council's agenda
Perseverance seems to be the way of the Soldotna City Council, at least when it comes to getting the cemetery site it wants.

Bears quiet this spring: Fish and Game reports very few encounters
By this time last year there already had been a mauling and a bear shot in defense of life and property.

Glenn Schrader
Longtime Kenai resident Glenn Schrader died Tuesday, May 12, 2009, at South Peninsula Hospital, Long Term Care in Homer. He was 90.

Norma Jean 'Tootie' Gibson
Sterling resident Norma Jean "Tootie" Gibson died Saturday, May 9, 2009, from cancer at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 40.

Around the Peninsula

KCHS asst. principal interviews planned

Around the Peninsula

Nikiski clean-up set

Homer sweeps Skyview
The visiting Mariners took a 3-0 lead into halftime and never let up in earning a 5-0 win over the Skyview boys on Thursday in Northern Lights Conference soccer action.

New 'Star Trek' goes boldly
'Star Trek'

Part art, part history: Exhibit captures slice of life on the Kenai Peninsula
While those who attended the gala opening of the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center's contemporary art show titled "Reflections on Alaska Statehood: The 49th at 50" would have seen a preview of the "Heritage Portrait project: Foundations of Our Future," the exhibit is now complete.

What's Happening

Best bets

Shine on
I frankly have to admit to spending some time today staring out the window at work and wishing I was on the course. Considering that my days at my "paying" job are fast coming to an end, it may not have been the best use of my time but it was just too pretty a day not to stop and appreciate. My better half and I stopped by the Kenai Golf Course yesterday and found things in tip top shape -- talk about getting the golfing juices flowing. The pro shop is full of great gear, there were people on the driving range working the kinks out (WHY are my clubs still in the crawl space, I must ask?), and the greens that we could see look to be in excellent shape for so early in the season. I am so looking forward to enjoying my first summer as a retiree spending as much time at the Kenai Golf Course as I possibly can (and it really irritates my better half that I am beating him to the punch by about six weeks)!

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