Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hooking kids on the real thing
The special effects were awesome! You could actually feel the wind in your face and warmth of the sun, hear the tweeting of birds and feel the moist grass beneath your feet as the head of the club made contact with the ball. The latest video game for kids? "Not!" It was the real thing, the 4th annual Hook-a-Kid on Golf program for youth ages 8 to 15 sponsored by the Birch Ridge Golf Association. "The class of 2009 was our largest ever with 24 kids. Normally we have 16 but we had more than 60 kids apply this year so we went to the Association and they agreed to fund an additional 8 this year with the 24 being selected by a lottery draw pulling the names out of a hat," said Bob Sizemore who helps to organize the local event. According to Birch Ridge golf pro Tom Walsh this was the first year that none of the participants had ever played golf before, "Before some of the kids had been out with parents or friends and had tried it before, but this year none of them had even had a club in their hands before. But we had a group of talented kids that had played other sports like basketball and baseball this year and they really took to it and were a great bunch of kids and they quickly grasped what was going on," Walsh told the Dispatch.

Soldiers and Salmon live to fight another day
Last weekend a hundred or so soldiers from Ft. Wainwright and Ft. Richardson were deployed to the Kenai River for a day of fishing thanks to the volunteer effort of the Kenai River Guide Association. It was the second annual Wounded Warrior program chaired this year by Dave Goggia, Mike Fenton and Bonnie Strieby, "It was a real community effort this year and we couldn't have done it with out sponsors like the Alaska State Elks, Central Peninsula Hospital, Peak Oilfield Services, ERA Aviation, All Alaska Outdoor Lodge, Neeser Construction, Udlehoven Oilfield System Services, and Kendall Toyota," said Goggia. The soldiers were treated to two days of fishing, a dinner and Hobo Jim show at the Peninsula Conference Center, breakfast and a Luau put on by the Soldotna Elks and a gift bag made up of community donations. "One of the guys told me it was hard for him to understand why we were doing all this because they were just doing their job, and I told him because their job was protecting our freedom so that we can go fishing on the Kenai River, the least we could do was to give them a chance to share that experience and our appreciation," said Goggia.

Prized Peninsula wheels shine at 6th Annual Bike and Car Show
For the last six years visitors to the Peninsula Harley Davidson's Bike and Car Show might have thought they had been transported to Detroit or Daytona Beach, "It's really amazing, I never thought there was this quality of customized wheels on the Peninsula. Hats off to the guys at the Harley shop for getting these bikes and cars out of their garages and out here for us all to see and hear about," commented a visitor who rode down from Fairbanks as part of the Throttle Thunder ride. "In the beginning we wanted to have a bike show, then we wanted to have a custom car show and then it blossomed into an anything with wheels that you spent the time to build we'd like to see it so bring down and show it off," said Si Zimmerman, store manager of Peninsula Harley Davidson. Over the years the show has featured everything from classic motorcycles to customized choppers, nitro-burning dragsters to swamp buggies, sports cars to restored Farmall tractors. One of the shows highlights this year was a 2007 Harley V-Rod Dragster ridden down from Anchorage by House of Harley owner Barry Matteson.

Health Foundation Gala goes Kenai River formal
There were no exalted rulers, national officials, or Hollywood celebrities in town last weekend, yet there were more people in black ties and evening gowns gathered along the Kenai River last weekend under glistening white tents more than likely ever since the rivers creation. The reason for more rented tuxedos than a high school prom was an inaugural event called "The Evening by the River" to benefit the Central Peninsula Health Foundation (CPHF) and increase awareness of their many programs, according to Peter Brennan Chief Philanthropy Officer for CPHF. "The CPH Foundation was established to provide a means for local people to support local health care needs," said Brennan. "The Foundation itself is not the beneficiary of the incredible generosity of our community, but merely the vehicle through which our donors can help improve and expand the support and access to services that not only help them when they are sick, but help them stay healthy," he said. "I've lived on the Peninsula for a long time and we've always pulled together to help each other through tough times. Whether holding a raffle or dinner auction to help someone who is hurt or sick, or just sharing what we have with those who don't, I've never made a call to help a friend or neighbor that hasn't been answered. This event and the support for this Foundation is another great example of that and I'm very grateful to be a part of it," said Master of Ceremonies and President of the CPHF Board of Directors Ed Krohn.

Sockeye bag limit on Russian, upper Kenai rivers raised
The bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon on the upper Kenai River and Russian River have been raised by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Sockeye bag limit on Russian, upper Kenai rivers raised
The bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon on the upper Kenai River and Russian River have been raised by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

From the field to the table: Fresh, sweet corn adds to the perfect Father's Day meal
Father's Day and the first day of summer happens on Sunday, so choosing to include fresh sweet corn to celebrate the occasion was really a no-brainer.

How to cook corn on the cob
Boiled:

Fresh Corn Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour

Fresh Corn and Chicken Chowder
1/4 pound bacon, snipped into 1/2-inch pieces (use a scissor)

People, businesses help league strike success
The Peninsula Striker Youth Bowling league would like to thank the following amazing people and businesses that helped make the end of the year awards ceremony and fun day a huge success. Thank you to Ken, Jo and Karl at AlaskaLanes, Melissa and Hawks Games, Taco Bell, Carl's Jr, Blockbuster-Kenai, Cold Stone Creamery, Holiday-Kenai, Dairy Queen, Charlie Yamada and Trace Daigle.

Grad festivities happen with the help of many
As parent coordinator for Nikiski High School class of 2009, I want to acknowledge the generous support received during the 2009 graduation festivities. Thank you, volunteers, for giving the gift of your time: Shonda Powell, Deb Falk, Bill and Sharon Thompson, Mike and Kristin Peek, Dan and Ann Krogseng, Ward and Denise Romans, Wayne and Maxine Carroll, Pete and Debbie McKay, Andie Alkire, Danita Parrish, Barbara Rolland, Shanette Wik, Renee Payment, Katy Bethune, Vicky Johnson, Robin Bennett, Patricia Rorrison, Karen Calderwood, Mary Ann Phillips, Brad Cason, Bill Carver, Linda Ralston, NMHS alumni Hannah Thompson and the many named anonymous.

Reader: Focus on driving
To all of you who were immersed in your cell phone conversation, to those of you who believe it's OK to text and drive, to all of you who think you can apply makeup or reach that newspaper on the floor or whatever it was you were doing when you didn't notice that someone was stopped on the highway because they couldn't turn left just yet: Please stop it.

Breathing a sigh of relief -- together: Asthma camp coming to peninsula
As the halcyon days of summer continue, many youngsters are preparing for brief stints at summer camps. But a new Kenai Peninsula camp will cater to kids with a chronic disorder of their airways.

Activity remains low
The 2009 eruption of Redoubt continues, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Seismic activity remains low, but is above background levels as of 8:30 p.m. Monday. Webcam images are largely obscured by clouds today.

Smoke back in eyes of Kenai council: Ordinance would expand smoking ban
Joe Camel is expected once again to be in the spotlight during tonight's Kenai City Council meeting when a public hearing is scheduled on an ordinance designed to put a little muscle in the city's cigarette smoking regulations.

Palin names new AG: Soldotna bill signing provides venue for big announcement
Gov. Sarah Palin took the opportunity of a legislative bill signing in Soldotna on Tuesday to announce her selection for a new state Attorney General.

'Tis the season -- for wildfires: Division of Forestry, Borough to hold fire preparedness class
This summer has had no shortage of hot and dry days, and while this weather is good for recreational opportunities, it poses a severe risk, should a wildfire ignite.

Kenai refuge plans prescribed burn: Managers ready to continue Lily Lake fire project near Sterling
If favorable weather persists, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is planning to continue implementation of the Lily Lake prescribed fire project, possibly as early as the end of this week or early next week.

Playgrounds abound: From volcano watching to disc golf, Kenai parks have it all
Editor's note: This is the second in a planned three-part series on Kenai and Soldotna city parks and what they offer to residents and visitors.

John Anthony Damitz
Nikiski resident John Anthony Damitz died Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna with his wife by his side. He was 71.

It is an economic must: Health reform will boost economy, address Alaska priorities
This is the summer of health reform and great opportunity. If Congress gets it right, Americans happy with their current health insurance and medical care will keep what they have, while everyone will have access to affordable, quality care.

Around the Peninsula

Day camp offered

Around the Peninsula

Mycological society comes out of the dark

Pet photo: Best Friends
This is quite a line-up. Is it suppertime or just time for the masters to come home? These "three amigos" belong to Jane Dullum and Dan Roby of Kenai. From left is Allie, Roo and Dreamer.

Oilers move to 3-1
The Peninsula Oilers notched their first comeback victory of the year on Tuesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, topping the Lake Erie Monarchs 5-3.

Golf skill lags behind wonderful weather
Well, golfers, the weather is wonderful, the reds are back, and being out on the Kenai Golf Course is fantastic. I just wish I could say that my game was good too! My better half and I had the great fortune to get in a round of golf on Sunday evening -- a wonderful end to a fantastic weekend and we had the back nine practically all to ourselves.

Oilers hold off fast-closing Monarchs: Peninsula leaves 13 runners on base, but Corrales slams door in 8th, 9th innings
The Peninsula Oilers defeated the Lake Erie Monarchs 3-2 on Monday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai in nonleague action.

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