Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lions select Person of the Year
The recognizable yellow vests of Lions Club members are visible throughout the year on the Kenai Peninsula, and wherever they are visible you can be sure that you are witnessing community service. Additionally, every year the Soldotna Lions Club chooses a local man and woman that the Lions believe have made significant personal contributions of time, energy and commitment in making Soldotna and the Peninsula a great place to live, says Soldotna Lion Ed Sleater. "Working with the Lions, Marti and Amy Hanson of Eyewear Express have for several years provided eye care including frames and lenses free of charge to clients identified and sponsored by your Lions Club and it was our privilege to recognize them as our Citizens of the Year," Sleater told the Dispatch. "I had no idea this was coming," said Hansen, "What we do with the Lions is to help those in need of glasses whether kids or adults with a need for glasses to function in life. My wife and I working with the Lions Club donate what is necessary."

Join the fun of the Unity Run
Once again the Soldotna, Kenai, and Kenai River Rotary Clubs have joined forces to organize and promote the running of the 6th Annual Unity Run from Kenai to Soldotna Saturday, July 18th. The event utilizes the scenic and popular Unity Trail for the 10 mile and 5K competition or frolic. The charity run has drawn runners from all over Alaska as well as the lower 48. Honeymooners from Massachusetts one year even planned their wedding so they could make the symbolic run after taking their vows. The race draws all levels and ages of runners who join together for a great outdoor family time as well as contributing towards the goal of philanthropic projects of the local Rotary Clubs. Inspired and started six years ago by Soldotna Rotarian Steve Stenga along with his wife and marathon running partner Mary, participation in the run has grown every year. "We're expecting even a greater turn out this year with all the beautiful weather we've been having," said George Jedlicka, Unity Run coordinator.

Here we are already heading towards the end of our summer here on Alaska. Hunting season begins next month already which pretty much signals the end of our summer or growing season. Dip netting and our best salmon fishing is also in July on the Kenai Peninsula. It also signals the end of summer. Are you going to let your summer slip away from you before you get to enjoy it, too?

Wearable art highlights Quilting on the KenaI
Quilting on the Kenai, although "altered" somewhat this year was a smashing success, according to Pat Reese creator of the popular event and owner of Robin Place Fabrics in Soldotna. The annual quilt show did not take place as a result of ongoing renovations at Cook Inlet Academy. Nevertheless, quilting, sewing and fashion enthusiasts had several wonderful opportunities to satisfy their craving for creativity-inspiring quilts and garments. The week long "Quilt Walk" offered crafters and artists an opportunity to visit 11 local merchants, each of whom displayed quilts in their shops. The quilts were showcased with great artistry. Fabric devotees could pick up a passport at Trinity Greenhouse, Birchtree Gallery, Frames & Things, Donna's Gifts, Odie's Coffee Shop, Tammy's Flowers, Dragonfly Gallery, Foot Flare 'n Wear, River City Books, Northcountry Fair and Robin Place Fabrics. Passports stamped by all 11 merchants were eligible for generous and delightful prizes donated by the participating shops.

More fun than sun for Summer Solstice events
Those windy spring rains seem to have finally caught up to the Kenai Peninsula as multiple summer solstice activities were dampened over the weekend. For the first time since Sam Best created the famous Best/Rotary Summer Solstice Scramble golf tournament, participants had to finish in the rain. But finish they did in the land of the midnight mist with the team of Doug Schoessler taking this year's first place honors out of the eight teams that signed up. Best started the Midnight Scramble 24 years ago to mark his anniversary and since then has become the grandfather of solstice celebrations on the Peninsula. "For Alaskans the solstice has been a special event through out history so we started the Rotary Midnight Scramble and it's become a trademark of the solstice celebrations on the Peninsula," said Best.

What's best for you from the old and the new at Peninsula Medical Cosmetics Spa & Boutique
The practice of being pampered at a Spa dates back to ancient Roman times when the baths or spas were a part of daily life. Today world travelers and especially summer fishers in Alaska appreciate the comfort and medicinal benefits of spas. Now the latest of high tech services, cosmetics, and non-surgical body contouring methods are available on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna at the all new Peninsula Medical Cosmetics Spa & Boutique. "What we have here is the premier Medical Spa on the Kenai Peninsula offering the latest in skin rejuvenation services. We help you to improve, correct, and enhance your skin and unveil a more radiant you," says owner Cynthia M. Parent, CRNA, MHS, & APN, who recently returned from Paris, France. "I have brought back a lot of the new techniques to be sure that we could offer the latest in skin rejuvenation, augmentation, and laser services," said Parent.

Luscious Tropical Pie
1 (9-inch) cookie or graham cracker crumb crust (recipe follows)

Potato and Hard: Boiled Egg Salad
3 pounds small red potatoes

McCoy's Coffee Barbecue Sauce
1 cup strong fresh brewed coffee

Back Porch Summer Supper: Speedy recipes to keep the outdoor dining season going
Fourth of July came and went much too fast.

Grilled Pork Back Ribs
3 pounds pork back ribs

Performance, donations to food bank appreciated
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank would like to thank jaime michaels for his wonderful performance at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center on June 22. We would also like to thank those who attended and donated five pounds of food or made a cash donation.

Now is not the time to further endanger king returns
The excitement of catching a king salmon can only be explained and talked about to someone who has done it. Putting your feet in the water of the Chuitna is the beginning of a great day. Will they hit the lures that we have so carefully made to look like their food? Will my line and pole hold the wily old king? Oh my, fish on!

When unemployment runs out, what's next?
I am deeply concerned about what comes after the extended unemployment runs out.

Reader sees double standard in assembly actions
This is a tale of two groups and understanding the truth about our local "representative government."

Career Skill Institute a smashing success
The Career Skills Institute, a local youth employability skills training program, would like to thank the following speakers who volunteered their time to speak to the students: Linda Schirmers/Fred Meyers; Dena Cunningham/McDonald's; Jeff O'Neill/Carl's Jr.; Clint Hall/Hall Quality Builders; Mick Audette/Cold Stone Creamery; Jeff Laube, KPC; Shawn Haskins/WIA;Scott Miller/Trustworthy Hardware; Tom Pellegrom/Peak Oilfield Services;and Jacqueline Knuse/Nakenu. The staff and students really appreciated your encouraging and insightful comments on what employers are looking for in their employees. A big thank you to the students who volunteered their time and attended the June Session of CSI to better themselves by learning about what it takes to become a good employee.

ACT organizer appreciates public initiative support
The Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers is so very grateful to all the folks who signed the initiative to keep term limits on the Borough Assembly during the Fourth of July Parade. We also wish to thank all the selfless signature gatherers who gave up part of their holiday weekend to collect these signatures. You all have given your country a birthday present: participatory citizenship!

Keeping the community safer: State troopers open new Bureau of Highway Patrol in Soldotna
Just in time for the increase in traffic on the Kenai Peninsula that comes with the Fourth of July holiday, a new Bureau of Highway Patrol unit opened in Soldotna.

Assembly sends mayor-manager question to voters
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted 5-4 Tuesday to put the question of whether the borough should be administered by an elected mayor or assembly-appointed manager before voters in the October municipal election.

Fire crews battle Funny River blaze
It would have been tough to miss the large smoke plume that began rising toward the sky late Sunday afternoon, emanating from a wildland fire that originated off of Funny River Road.

Begich digesting energy bill, effects on Alaska
Alaska Sen. Mark Begich said he and his colleagues in the Senate are digging into a massive 1,300-page climate and energy bill passed by the U.S. House June 26 to understand its impacts and to put their own imprint on the bill.

HEA accepting applications for vacant board seat
Applications are now being accepted to fill a vacant seat on Homer Electric Association's board of directors.

Capital projects on tap: Soldotna Creek Park tops list for city council
Before the Soldotna City Council meets in regular session tonight, the group will gather as the Committee of the Whole to discuss nearly $1 million in capital projects to be funded out of the 2010 fiscal year General Fund.

Photo feature: Look both ways ...
A family of moose crosses the Kenai Spur Highway in front of Kenai Central High School recently. The cow stood alongside the road and waited until traffic came to a stop before she and her twin calves slowly crossed.

Patrick E. 'Patman' Parsons
Longtime Kenai resident, Mr. Patrick E. "Patman" Parsons died Sunday, July 5, 2009 from lung cancer at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 53.

Louisa K. DeMello
Longtime Kenai resident Louisa K. DeMello died Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 86.

Around the Peninsula

Nonprofits dine on information

Around the Peninsula

Challenger center offers camps

Oilers nip Miners in 11
Talk about a pitcher's duel.

Twins top Service in 1st game of tourney
John Butler decided it was best not to remind his team about its showing at last season's Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament.

Knight recovering quickly from collapse
Brent Knight, a 2002 graduate of Soldotna High School, said Monday that it does not look like there will be any long-term effects to his health after he collapsed just over a block from the finish line in 70-degree temperatures while leading the Mount Marathon men's race in Seward on Saturday.

Collum, Nelson triumph at Skins
On any other day, a 3-foot putt for Eagleglen Golf Course pro Rob Nelson is just a tap-in. But with $2,600 at stake, his putt Monday to clinch a win at the 13th Annual All-Alaskan Pro Skins Game at Birch Ride Golf Course might as well have been 300 feet.

1st-place Miners blow out Oilers
The visiting Peninsula Oilers lost 12-2 to the first-place Mat-Su Miners on Monday in Alaska Baseball League action.

Sunlight is golden
What a spectacular weekend! I hope your Fourth of July was safe and happy! As always, this time of year and especially given the weather, there is almost too much to do or to choose from. However, you must absolutely make some time to play a round at the Kenai Golf Course.

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