Posted: Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hello, neighbors.

It's here at long last. With exactly two weeks to summer solstice, we have begun what is showing indications of being one of the best summers ever on the Kenai.

Everything started early, we had the annual hail storm already and lupine is blooming before the dandelions have even gone to seed. Summer people are arriving, road construction is progressing and my street was oiled last week.

Some area fishers I know are having outstanding luck catching respectable-sized rainbow trout nearby, some of the processors are beginning to get salmon from across the inlet and plans are already underway for the Fourth of July celebration.

Today is national Hunger Awareness Day, a day to remember the challenges faced by millions of hungry Americans who may be unsure where their next meal will come from, including nearly 600 Kenai Peninsula families.

You might consider eating today at participating restaurants that will donate a percentage of their proceeds to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. Look for the turquoise soup ladle participation signs or call 262-3111 to find out who is participating.

If you're a senior citizen, here is some an activity: The Kenai Golf Course will offer senior golf lessons Thursday, June 19, 23, and 30 from 1 to 2 p.m. The cost will be $40 for all four lessons, so here is your chance to sharpen your skills for the senior golf tournament in July.

Happening this week at the senior citizens center is an Internet class in its computer lab Wednesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Call Kathy Ro-main at 283-4156 to sign up.

Any senior citizen required to take prescription medications might be interested in attending a free seminar sponsored by the Social Security Administration. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, you may be able to get help paying for prescription drugs.

If you have limited income and resources, this is an opportunity to find out more about the new program, called Medicare Part D. This seminar will be held Wednesday from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center.

Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. the summer interpretive program at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center will feature Gwen Woodard who will demonstrate "Quilting on the Go"; Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. is Alaska Heritage Day and Lisa Augustine, author of "Dragline Kid," will sign books, have a reading and discussion; Monday will be Science on the Kenai. It will feature Mike Fastabend, who will discuss the impact of spruce bark beetles from 3 to 4 p.m.

There is no cost. Classes are open to the public and held at the center, unless otherwise stated.

Also happening Friday evening at the center is an a event planned by the Dena'ina Institute from the Kenaitze Indian Tribe — an evening of dancing, storytelling and singing. The public is encouraged to attend. It begins at 7 p.m.

This weekend will be packed full of events in Kenai. Beginning with the Saturday Market near the visitors center parking lot, activities will progress to two days of celebration at the Kenai River Festival.

This festival is centered around educating children about the benefits of taking care of the Kenai River and the watershed. The festival is a free event on the Kenai Green Strip Park.

There will be booths, food, hands-on crafting activities and entertainment. Culminating the Saturday activities Fairbanks Shakespeare Theater will perform "Much Ado About Nothing" at 5:30 p.m.

Welcome to Kenai's business community to Ashby Designs, screenprinting specialists, run by Bud Ashby. The new business is at 11887 Kenai Spur Highway, Suite D.

Directly across the street in the 'old' Kenai Supply location, is the new and expanded home for the Salvation Army thrift store, in case you wondered where it went.

Former Kenai resident Nicholas Perkins, son of former long-time residents Bill and Jeanette Perkins, recently earned state championship titles in both the Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling categories.

This will qualify him to compete in the western regional tournament in Winamucca, Nev. this summer.

Rocky and Kara Doty will be relocating to Okotoks, Alberta, Canada with their daughters Angela and Whitney.

The Dotys have lived in the area since 1998, when Rocky took the position of maintenance supervisor for Agrium. He also was the bishop of the Kenai ward's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for five years.

Happy birthday today to Lee Sparlin, Connie Hamilton, Ralph Frizzell and JoCarol Winegarden; Wednesday: Chuck Bailey, Tom Holland and Patsy Smith; Thursday: Helen Hargis-Coble and Dan Clauson; Friday: Elizabeth Garr, Pat Koontz, Connie Carlson and Toni Cooper; Saturday: Rudy Corona, Joy Hutton and John Duncan; Sunday: Margaret Menting, Lee Nash and David Goggia; Monday: Tiffani Perry and Maxine Plett.

Dori Lynn and Mark Anderson will celebrate their ninth anniversary Thursday.

Till next week.

Joan Hansen can be reached by phone at 283-5872 or by email at

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