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Thursday, June 18, 2009

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.

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.

Fishing frenzy hits Russian River
The Russian is running red.

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.

It's not the size of the salmon in the fight ...
Size is a relative thing when it comes to fish. My eye sockets still haven't recovered from the first time I saw a powerful early run Kenai king last spring, a sight that redefined the term "big fish" for me.

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.

Fresh Corn Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour

How to cook corn on the cob
Boiled:

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

Support for poppy program blossoms
Sincere thanks to the local businesses and people in our community who supported the annual Buddy Poppy drive last month. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Jerry V. Horn Post No. 10046 and its Ladies Auxiliary received donations of over $2,900, which will be used to support local veterans and their families.

Support bringing goal closer to reality
The Soldotna Community Playground Committee would like to express a sincere thank-you to the community in helping create a successful "Fun Day at the Park," which was held at Soldotna Creek Park in May. To the children, parents, grandparents and community members, we thoroughly appreciate the enthusiasm that the community is demonstrating to have an opportunity to create an incredible playground for its children.

Volunteers help Scouts learn plenty at day camp
A hearty thank-you to the volunteers, parents and kids that attended the 2009 Tustumena District Cub Scout Day Camp. This year we had the joy of having Nancy Veal and her 4-H folks come and give a worthwhile talk on nutrition, healthy living and predator and prey relations. We also had Jack Ransom instill smart boat and water safety skills with our Scouts. Roy Smith and Charlie Black, in conjunction with the Kenai Peninsula Chapter of the Safari Club, taught Scouts archery and BB gun safety while letting the kids have a chance to practice those lessons.

'A sense of community': Students build track shack, ski shed for KCHS
Thanks to the hard work of two dozen local youths, the Kenai Central High School track and field and cross-country ski teams will have new equipment facilities for the upcoming seasons.

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.

Up for debate: Assembly discusses manager; mayor's veto stands
After much discussion surrounding the proposed multi-use facility and changing to a manager form of government, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted Tuesday to put both topics on hold until its next meeting.

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.

Anchor Point man caught taking goat out of season
Some temptations are hard to resist, but a hunter from Homer may be wishing he tried harder when he saw the wrong species enter the cross-hairs of his rifle scope on May 9.

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.

June Inez Babbitt Cissell
Billings, Mont., resident June Inez Babbitt Cissell died Monday, June 15, 2009, of natural causes in Ponderosa Pines Health Care. She was 91.

Richard 'Dick' Baldwin
Alaska pioneer Richard "Dick" Baldwin died Wednesday, May 20, 2009. He was 78.

David Fletcher Gibbons
Lifelong Alaska and Soldotna resident David Fletcher Gibbons died Saturday, June 13, 2009, of natural causes on the coast of the Katmai National Park near Kodiak while operating a bear viewing charter vessel. He was 66.

Richard 'Dick' D. Boling
Longtime Alaska and Nikiski resident Richard "Dick" D. Boling died Thursday, June 11, 2009, at his home. He was 66.

Shane Lee Franke
Longtime Kenai resident Shane Lee Franke died Wednesday, June 17, 2009, at his home with his family by his side. He was 49.

Michael Eugene Kardatzke
Longtime Soldotna resident Michael Eugene Kardatzke died Sunday, June 14, 2009, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna with his family by his side. He was 55.

Around the Peninsula

Mycological society comes out of the dark

Art Briefs

Art winners announced

A look at books about movies
'The Film Club'

For my Dad
How do I tell you

What's Happening

Best Bets

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 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.

Nostalgia abounds at course
There has been a lot of nostalgia around the golf course for me these past few weeks. Last week was the Junior Golf Clinic. An amazing 43 juniors turned out to learn from the pros - Tom Walsh, Bill Engberg and Nolan Rose - and pick up some pointers. On Friday I watched the parents as they observed and walked with their junior golfers. It brought back fond memories of the times when I accompanied my junior golfer around the course as he played in various tournaments.

Oilers drop finale: Monarchs storm back with 6-run 8th
The Lake Erie Monarchs used a six-run eighth inning to defeat the Peninsula Oilers 8-5 on Wednesday in nonleague action at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

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