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Thursday, June 4, 2009

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.

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.

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.

Outdoors
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!

'Fair, with some bright spots'
Salmon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula has been slow to fair this week, but there are a few bright spots for those with patience and perseverance.

Misadventure a part of every good adventure
As we ready ourselves for another fishing season we often reflect on past adventures to get our juices flowing.

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.

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?

Creole-Style Tomato, Shrimp and Okra Soup
2 tablespoon olive oil

Sauces for Boiled Shrimp

John's Zesty Red Cocktail Sauce

Quick Shrimp and Clam Sauce with Linguine
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Climbers should carry locators
The $10,000 deposit required to climb Mount McKinley is an insult to taxpayers. Each year the search and rescue budget gets busted by one long or intensive search. So the public picks up the rest of the cost one way or another.

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.

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?

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?

Wrong time to change format for government
As a naturalized citizen of this great country and a very proud resident of Soldotna, I feel the urge to write this letter to the editor regarding the issue of replacing an elected borough mayor with a strong manager type of municipal government.

Budget passes: Assembly amends mayor's proposal
Despite Borough Mayor Dave Carey's budget proposals to reduce funding for all non-departmental agencies, the Assembly voted Tuesday to fund those groups to nearly the full amounts requested.

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.

Ready to respond: Most calls involve medical treatment
Central Emergency Services is just a fire department, right?

Kenai Elks lodge gets a makeover
Driving around Kenai it is quite common to see a moose, while seeing a bear is a little more rare, but motorists driving down Barnacle Way have been taking in an even more unusual spectacle: an 8-foot tall, 700-pound bull elk.

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.

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.

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.

Redoubt stays at orange
As of Wednesday evening, Mount Redoubt remains at aviation color code orange and on "watch" status, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

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.

Patricia A. Lott Obituary
Patricia A. Lott of Gordon, Wis., died Monday, May 25, 2009, at home with her family. She was 80.

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.

Ellen J. Rappe Boling
Longtime Alaska and Nikiski resident Ellen J. Rappe Boling died Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at her home. She was 77.

Rosemary B. Diane Kime
Longtime Soldotna resident Rosemary Kime died Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at her home. She was 75.

Around the Peninsula

Lyme disease is topic

Around the Peninsula

Historical society to meet

What's Happening

First Thursday events

Art briefs

Drama camp planned

2 thumbs up for 'Up': Cartoon offers adventure for the young and young at heart
'Up'

Sterling Senior Center Volunteer
Many have offered service and they really adhere, leaving behind jobs to make a change in their career, intentionally helping folks in the Last Great Frontier.

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.

Everybody knows your name
I was sitting on the deck at the pro shop on a sunny afternoon with a friend realizing that the golf course is not just a place where people go to play golf, but it is a part of the community. One of our up-and-coming girl junior golfers, Ava Gabler, showed up with her friend to hit balls and practice. I had not seen Ava since this past spring and it gave me an opportunity to visit and find out what she was going to be doing over the summer months, besides golfing, of course.

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