Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hello, neighbors.

Hope all of you enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend. Probably more people spent the weekend working in their yards than in hauling their boats to Homer but it was a good time to do all those early summer chores, for sure.

Mary Goggia called from Seattle to ask me to thank all of you for the wonderful acts of kindness and service that you have performed on behalf of her husband, Dave, and their family. The fund-raiser held last week was wonderful and everyone who baked delicious things and then bid on the goods was appreciated.

She reports that Dave is making progress and the skin grafts have begun and are looking good. It will still be a while before he will be home, so your continuing prayers will be appreciated.

This week I want to welcome a new restaurant to the Kenai business community. George and Tina Lagoutaris have opened an eatery named Katina's after their daughter.

It is in the old Italian Gardens location on the Kenai Spur Highway heading toward the northern edge of town.

Tina and George plan to serve up Greek and Italian specialties. They have been in the restaurant business on the peninsula for many years. You can call 283-4403 to check on the specials. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

If you were wondering what all the foreign police cars were doing in Kenai last week, it was because the Alaska Peace Officers Association Crime Conference was being held in the area. And yes, that was a Black Hawk helicopter you saw circling. I appreciate our safety personnel and all they do to protect and serve us.

Things are beginning to perk up at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. The summer art show on display is titled "Alaska 2005 — Native Arts Now." The center also has a photography exhibit hanging.

The first motor coach of the tourist season with Premier Alaskan Tours will be here today, reports Mia Renken, executive director.

Last Saturday was the first of the Saturday Markets. You can still sign up to have a booth. Call Jan Stiers at 283-1991 for details.

The summer Interpretive Programs will begin at the center Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. and will feature Bill Heath for the first arts on the Kenai session. Heath will conduct a discussion on how to choose the right digital camera for you, with help from William Smagge, area photographer. Carol Ford will kick off the Alaska heritage day class with "A Patchwork of Quotes" on Friday and science on the Kenai will feature Ken Marlow's expertise on birding with "Introduction to Birding on the Kenai" on Monday. All classes are held at the center unless otherwise advertised and are free and open to the public.

The center's summer hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. If you like to meet people and have a chance to extoll the virtues of our fair city and the surrounding area, you might be interested in volunteering at the center. Call Lisa Strother at 283-1991 or e-mail her at lisa@visit

This weekend is the weekend to put on your walking shoes and grab your water bottle. The Relay for Life of the Central Peninsula will run from Friday at 6 p.m. until Saturday at 6 p.m. It celebrates cancer survivors or those currently battling cancer, as well as honors those who lost their battle with cancer.

Teams of walkers and families can be part of a moving slumber party that features entertainment, a carnival, games and activities for all ages.

The ninth annual Brain Awareness Walk also will happen Saturday. The walk begins at Kenai Central High School on the Kenai Spur Highway at 11 a.m.

Participants will walk through downtown Kenai to the Green Strip Park by the softball fields on Main Street Loop. There will be a barbecue lunch served afterward.

All participants will receive a certificate of appreciation. Bring your family and friends to join the Brain Injury Support Group as they walk to promote awareness and prevention.

You may call 283-5711 or 262-6333 for more information or to register.

You also may buy a helmet for a child as part of the Lifetime Helmet Program for a one-time fee of $10.

As the child grows and the helmet gets snug, the family can exchange the helmet at one of the exchange centers for a larger one at no extra cost.

Happy second anniversary to Derek and Mandi Hansen.

Happy Birthday today to Charlene Karella and Dora Nelson; Wednesday: Madison Cheesma; Thursday: Mary Driscol, Georgeanna Eckert, Danielle Jackson and Christine Card; Friday: Lois Duncan, Tom Porritt and Kenneth Wearly; Saturday: Justin Spotts; Monday: Amber Moulton.

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