There I was looking at the huge birch tree that I had offered to cut down at Jim Delker's house in Soldotna. This wasn't your normal birch tree as it was bigger than the average tree and it was split about three feet up the stump all the way up the tree trunk. Then you throw in how close it was to the house and you quickly realize this could be a very dangerous situation. Not only could I possibly end up wrecking Jim's home, someone could also get injured by being struck from falling dead limbs or the trunk splitting and the tree falling in several directions at once!
Remembering our lost, caring for our living
Emotionally expressing appreciation for those who gave their lives so that he could wear the uniform and serve a free nation today, Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Cossano read a poem he had heard written by a former sergeant major that stilled the community gathered for the Memorial Day service at Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai. "The reason I get so emotional over it is because being over in Iraq, having lost friends, even just thinking about what everybody went through in WW II and Vietnam, they went through a lot more than we go through now, we owe them a lot, so it's a day that gets to me," said Staff Sgt. Cossano. The service has hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #10046 under the direction of Post Commander Pat Hawkins. Guest speaker was Hal R. Blair Sr., Associate Director of the Alaska VA Healthcare Systems & Regional Office, director Blair reminded the community gathered that Memorial Day wasn't just about honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice having been killed in the line of duty, but those who have returned home with needs caused by their service, "It can be a conundrum with Americans. We can have a real short memory and shortly after a conflict is over people forget and the first thing they want to cut is the defense budget and funds that go to our veterans and it's very important that we continue to memorialize and honor our veterans for their sacrifices, and not only those killed, but those still living. We need to offer services that are commensurate with the scars of war," said Blair.
Realtors step up to help Hospice
For fifteen years the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors (KPAR) and their affiliates have sponsored an annual event for the benefit of Hospice of the Central Peninsula and over that time the group has raised over $100,000. Myla McFarland of KPAR was responsible for getting the event underway and was the first committee chair, "This event just wouldn't happen without our affiliates, the bankers, mortgage and title companies, and everyone that supports the realtors and help us support the work of Hospice," McFarland told the Dispatch. This year's KPAR committee chair was Aaron Swanson of Residential Mortgage in Soldotna, "The Realtors as well as the community as a whole is very supportive of this event because Hospice is such a great organization it makes selling raffle tickets for the greenhouse a breeze. This year Jim Brenton of Builders Unlimited donated his time and effort to construct the greenhouse with SBS quality materials and Sam Barnes just drew the winning ticket and Elaine Rainey was the lucky winner and we're looking forward to her sharing the produce she grows in the fall," said Swanson.
Global Food Alaska presents 1st Culinary-Agri Tourism reception
An idea that germinated back when Dale Bagley was Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor, "A Taste of the Kenai" now known as Global Food Alaska, returns to the Kenai/Soldotna area this month with something new that promises to be of interest to many Alaskans, the first ever Alaskan Culinary-Agri Tourism Development Reception. According to Kenai Peninsula Tourism and Marketing Council (KPTMC) executive director Shanon Hamrick this event will be open to the public, "For a long time we have felt it was necessary to do something that brings together our great Alaska seafood and agriculture products with our tourism products so we can showcase them to the rest of the world and bring more visitors here to experience everything that the Kenai Peninsula has to offer," explained Hamrick.
Soldotna Medical Clinic has solutions to pollen pollutions
Since it was founded by pioneer physician to the Kenai Peninsula Dr. Elmer Gaede in 1969, the Soldotna Medical Clinic (SMC) has focused on providing total family health care for individuals in the local community. In 1983 Gonzalo Araoz-Fraser M.D. joined Dr. Gaede's medical practice and when Gaede retired three years later Fraser bought the original clinic and continued providing primary family healthcare while modernizing SMC with the latest computer medical record and billing systems. During his long practice Dr. Fraser has become increasingly interested in current allergy treatments which are a growing cause for discomfort and symptoms here in Alaska.
Quick Shrimp and Clam Sauce with Linguine
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Father's Day recipes wanted
Got a dish your dad always requests for his special day or are you a dad that has a special recipe you like to cook for your family?
Scrumptious shrimp: Versatile seafood can be used in cocktails, soups and main courses
We are crazy for shrimp and will eat it just about any way it is served.
Creole-Style Tomato, Shrimp and Okra Soup
2 tablespoon olive oil
Reader makes opinion known
Once again the Clarion has done a stellar job of discriminating against a voter. Yep, more than one person uses a computer within a household. I guess my opinion doesn't count if my wife has already inputted hers?
Volunteers make a difference
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank would like to thank the group of 21 youth and five adult volunteers from the Church of the Nazarene who came from Nikiski, Anchor Point, Seward and Soldotna. The group recently came into the food bank and did a great job sorting produce, cleaning shelves and bagging food items.
Prom party a success
The SoHi After Prom Committee would like to thank the following businesses and community members for making the party a huge success. Thanks to: McGillivray family, Smola family, Frontier Votech, England family, Teri Tobias, Duncan family, Hughes Drilling, Ingraham family, Bush family, Elks Club, city of Soldotna, Dr. Hu, Big G Electric, Kenai Outfitters, SoHi PTSA, Alaska Oil Sales, HEA, BP, Wells Fargo, Bruce's Bob Cat Services, Rohloff family, Malston's, Binkley St. Dental, Central Peninsula Hospital, Bias family, Kenai River Brewing, Safeway, Kenai Peninsula Oilers, Kenai Christianson Youth, Stanley Ford, AK Salon, Anew Salon, Arby's, Audio Concepts, Beemun's, Blockbuster, Frontier Vo-Tech, Cold Stone, Craig Taylor, Dairy Queen, Davis Block, Fitness Place, Coach Brantley, Coach Swanson, Coach King, Coach Marey, Froso's, Home Depot, Kenai Vision Center, Lowe's, McDonald's, Odie's, Orca, Peak Oilfield, Pizza Bistro, Pizza Hut, River City Books, Sweeney's, Taco Bell, Tesoro, Trustworthy Hardware, The Grind, Kenai Sportsfishing Association, AK Rays, St. Elias, Felicia's Hair Tech, River & Sea, Candy Bouquet, Hawk's Games, Phormations, Susan's Bath House, Evelyn Magiera, Fred Meyer, IGA, Save U More, Three Bears, Kaladi's, Soldotna Optometry, Y Chevron, Officer Tony Garcia and all the committee members and volunteers who donated their time and assistance to provide a fun, safe and supervised activity for students to attend.
Hiring a borough manager a bad idea
Hiring a manager, picked by the borough assembly, to operate the Kenai Peninsula borough is a very bad idea and has every appearance of an attempted power grab by the assembly by an end-run around the critical function of our mayor's office.
Drive-by honkings are not necessary
OK, folks. How many of you have seen moose grazing/standing along the highways and byways of the Kenai Peninsula? I sense a show of every hand. How many of you have ever seen a moose react to anything short of a gunshot? I sense no hands going up, oh wait, there is one. How many of you still honk your horns at moose as you drive by? (I call it drive by honking.) A few hands, sheepishly, then a few more, around the room. And, what, exactly, do you think honking is going to accomplish?
Track meet scores big points
The annual Hershey Track & Field Meet sponsored by North Peninsula Recreation was once again a huge success. On May 15, just over 250 participants from local area schools came to compete in running and field events at the Nikiski High School track. We were again blessed by all our helpful volunteers who braved the rain to help us out.
Please be seated: Lions build benches for Unity Trail
Biking, in-line skating or walking can be an enjoyable way to spend the day on the Unity Trail, but not everyone has the lung power to pull of the whole thing. Fortunately, some new benches along the way will make comfortable resting spots for those who want to take a breather, or who just desire to take-in the day.
City of Kenai rezone frozen for now
A move to rezone land across from Kenai Central High School to allow limited commercial development has been put on ice for now.
'Giving back and showing our appreciation': Kenai River Wounded Warrior 2nd annual fishing event upcoming; Volunteers, donations still needed
On the Kenai Peninsula, fishing can be much more than a hobby. It can be a therapeutic experience.
Borough budget to be discussed
After two months of hearing testimony from school district employees, non-departmental agencies and the general public at packed Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meetings -- the meeting of all meetings is here.
Kenai employees may share in health savings
With the approval of the city council, Kenai city employees will each receive an extra $585 this year, representing a share of savings the city realized from changes in the employee health insurance plan.
Wal-Mart work to restrict Kenai traffic
Motorists on the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai will begin seeing a new traffic pattern Wednesday as work progresses on the entrance to the new Wal-Mart store.
Legislators honor outgoing school district superintendent
The central Kenai Peninsula's Juneau delegation surprised retiring Schools Superintendent Donna Peterson with an Alaska Legislative Honorarium during Monday's meeting of the board of education.
Drivers get the point: 'Click it or ticket' effort deemed successful
If you were traveling between the Moose River in Sterling and the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna over Memorial Day weekend, you might have seen a Homer Police Department cruiser stopping vehicles and issuing tickets.
Photo feature: Summer fun
Sailors prepare to harness the wind in Resurrection Bay near Seward recently. Forecasters are calling for mostly sunny with a chance of brief showers.
Redoubt lava dome remains unstable
According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, seismic activity on Mount Redoubt was low on Tuesday, with infrequent small events at the summit. AVO scientists say the unstable lava dome could fail with little or no warning, leading to significant ash emissions and possible lahars in the Drift River Valley.
Redoubt watch: The wait continues ...
The 2009 eruption of Redoubt continues as of 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Lori R. Prather
Soldotna resident Lori R. Prather died Wednesday, May 20, 2009, in Portland, Ore., after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 46.
Patricia A. Lott Obituary
Patricia A. Lott of Gordon, Wis., died Monday, May 25, 2009, at home with her family. She was 80.
James E. 'Jim' Russell
Longtime Clam Gulch resident James E. "Jim" Russell died Friday, May 29, 2009, at his home in Clam Gulch. He was 67.
Willie B. 'Buddy' Owens
Soldotna resident Willie B. "Buddy" Owens died Saturday, May 30, 2009, in Soldotna. He was 45.
Local self-government: Governor explains her stance on economic stimulus bill
I have taken many opportunities to explain the economic stimulus bill and problems created from increasing programs tied to accepting federal funds. My concerns with issuing record levels of government debt to pay for increases and the inevitable demand for state dollars to backfill the funding gap are a matter of public record.
Photo feature: Best Friend
Richard Mendenhall of Sterling sent us this great photo of his rescue dog Buddy. Although it was taken in 2003 when Buddy was 1, Richard tells us the two continue to walk out together to get the Clarion every morning. "I love your paper and apparently he does, too," Richard said. And look, he fits in the paper delivery box just perfect! That makes Buddy our best friend, too.
In full swing
Hey there, golfers! We have to be very, very careful what we ask for -- we got some rain, now we need some more sunshine to really put that rain to work. Everything around me is greening up -- the leaves on the trees are fully green and unfurled, the lawn really needs mowed and the Kenai Golf Course is looking marvelous.
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