Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BP Community Picnics mark 50 Years in Alaska
Nearly 5,000 Alaskans joined BP in celebrating 50 years of statehood and commemorating BP's 50th year in Alaska recently. At one of three BP community picnic events that were held statewide, the Kenai Peninsula area played host to our celebration on Friday, July 10 at Soldotna Creek Park.. At this local event, 1,000 folks turned out for free barbequed hamburgers, hotdogs, and all the trimmings. Additionally, there was live music from the outdoor bandstand, and lots of free prizes, fun and games for all the kids. This was the third community celebration that BP Alaska has sponsored in as many years in the central peninsula area. The first was to celebrate 30 years of production from Prudhoe Bay. Last year the event was a career fair designed to increase awareness of job opportunities in the oil and gas industry for the next generation. And this year was to celebrate the golden anniversaries of Alaskan statehood and BP's 50th year in the Greatland. "It's a great chance to say a big thank you to the community and our people who live here," Dawn Patience, director of Public Affairs for BP told the Dispatch, "We have 250 BP employees that live here on the peninsula and even though most of them work on the North Slope, this is their home and community. So it gives them a chance to come out, as well as celebrating our 50th year in Alaska" she concluded.

Kenai Kennel Club rises to the challenge of new location
For many years, the Kenai Kennel Club's summer dog show has been held at the Skyview High School campus. It is a venue for the 200-some canine owners who travel from all over Alaska and the lower 48 with their trailers, tents, luxury campers and kennels to compete in the popular event. Skyview is a secluded setting that doesn't border residential neighborhoods and is situated perfectly for the outdoor dog show. But this year, wild fires broke out on the Kenai Peninsula. The week of the show, Kenai Kennel Club show director, Sherrie Petty, got a call. Thursday morning just before they were going to start their set-up at Skyview for the show, informing her that they would have to relocate the show to Soldotna High School because Skyview was going to be used as a staging area for the fire fighters. "We hadn't started setting anything up yet, so we started a mass calling across the state to notify exhibitors of the location change. And then made calls to the vendors and the folks with the port-a-potties. But our club does its own set up, so it wasn't as traumatic as it could have been. We had great cooperation and help from local Soldotna businesses that put notices of location change on their reader boards and we took signs up to Skyview. So it actually went well, aided by the network of Blackberries and cell phones, no one got lost," said Petty.

In my early childhood I grew up learning how to fish the many different species of fish in the upper Midwest. Two of my favorite types to catch were muskies and northern pike. These are the top two predatory fish found in west central Wisconsin, and perhaps throughout most of the world. In most of the rivers, lakes and streams of the Midwestern U.S., you will find muskies or pike and they co-exist with all other species of fish. These fish bite on almost anything, are fun to catch. They are also great on the table once you learn to master boning them out to prepare boneless.

Thirsty Thursday at St. Elias Brewery
It all started when local real estate broker, Jean Anne Henry's son, Zack, turned 21 and his wife gave him a home brewing kit for his birthday. "That's where it all evolved from," says Zack, who built the St. Elias Brewing Co. with his father. "Ten years of home brewing, then I ended up going to school and learning the science of it all and how to do it professionally. I then worked at a brewery in Nashville, Tennessee for two years before coming up here and building this place with my dad," he explained for the Dispatch. It's said that Vitus Bering might have missed discovering Alaska if it hadn't been for the mountain now known as St. Elias. "Legend has it that Bering saw the peak sticking up above the clouds so we thought it deserved some recognition. It is the second highest peak in North America, second only to Denali, so that's why we named our restaurant the St. Elias Brewing Company," said Henry.

Kenai Kranker trains for extreme hand cycling race
For the last 24 years, the most extreme hand cycling race in the world has been held right here in Alaska. Sadler's Alaska Challenge, now in its 25th year, will be starting for the first time in its history from Seward, Alaska this year, and will draw a group of athletes from all over the world. Athletes representing 8 different countries, including 4 gold medalists who competed at the Paralympics Games in Beijing, China last year, will participate. Originally the race was held from Fairbanks to Anchorage, but this year's course will begin its 257-mile trek from Seward.

Emergency order: Dipnetting expanded
Due to a strong return of sockeye salmon into the Kasilof River, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order to expand the area open to dipnetting.

Fish and Game ready for sockeye run timing
With about a month left in the commercial fishing season, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is right where it wants to be -- at least in the Kenai River.

Chocolate-Chip Zucchini Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Vegetable medley: Fresh is best: Sue Ade offers summer veggie recipes
Squash, available in winter and summer varieties, can be prepared in countless ways.

Squash Blossom Fritters
Basic Fritter Batter

Sauteed Squash with Tomatoes and Onions
2 tablespoons butter

Dealing with the gorilla
Has anyone else noticed the 800-pound gorilla currently in the room? I'm sure the revenue has the cities and local merchants smiling, but what's currently happening on the river is really kind of obscene.

Record king dies for photo-op
I read the article and saw the picture on the 90-pound king caught. Nice fish for a photo. It's very disturbing to see a nice king like that get let go. But to catch it, drag it to the shore, take a picture of it and then let it go knowing it will die. What a waste!

Guide should know the rules
This letter is in regards to the article, "Angler sets monster king free," in the paper July 17. The guide states that the fish was handled properly, but fishing regulations clearly state, "A king salmon 20" or longer removed from the water must be retained and becomes a part of the bag limit of the person originally hooking it."

Friends appreciate the help
The Friends of Kenai Community Library continue their efforts to raise funds to supplement programs and materials, and the building expansion for the Kenai Community Library. Such efforts include the annual book sale, a fundraising dance, the High Tea and the annual dinner raffle Oct 23 and 24 at the Eagles Club in Kenai.

Don't trash Alaska
As we enter into the key dipnetting times down on the Kenai, please keep in mind that many of us live here full-time and are left with the results of trashed beaches and riverbanks, trampled down dunes and sea grasses from people walking or driving their ATVs over them.

Harnessing the wind: Nikiski man installs turbine to combat high energy costs
After seeing his electric bill increase by more than 40 percent over the past year, Frank Sackman decided to take a proactive approach to help offset his rising costs. His solution: install a wind turbine at his home in Nikiski.

Shanta Creek fire control returns to peninsula crews
National fire managers are expected to turn over command of the Shanta Creek fire to Kenai Peninsula fire officials today.

Premier child care provider honored
At Lil' Britches Child Care in Kenai, a veteran in the world of child development can be found. With more than 26 years of experience in the field, Linda Campanella knows what it takes to care for children, and she was recently honored by state legislators for offering kids her best.

Moratorium could force some elderly out of assisted living
Some Kenai Peninsula senior citizens could find themselves out on the street in the not-too-distant future while state and federal assistance administrators work out their differences in the care older Alaskans are receiving.

Flood watch issued for Kenai Peninsula
The National Weather Service in Anchorage has issued a flood watch for the Kenai Peninsula.

Dipnet disaster averted: Rescuers save 4 men from capsized boat
A close call doesn't begin to describe the experience four men from Anchorage faced Monday morning when their boat capsized while they were dipnetting on the Kenai River.

City asks how much public needs to know
Does a city council member own a civil engineering firm or other business? Who pays rent to the mayor to live in his rental apartments? How much does a councilor receive in pension benefits, and from whom?

Mae Alice Batt
Lifelong Alaskan and longtime Kenai resident Mae Alice Batt died Sunday, July 19, 2009, surrounded by family at her home in Kenai. She was 87.

Patricia Anne Hartley
Longtime Homer resident Patricia Anne Hartley died Sunday, July 19, 2009, at her home in Homer with her family by her side. She was 63.

Around the Peninsula

Nutrition classes slated

Around the Peninsula

Seniors open children's library

Pet photo
Rascal Zimmerman doesn't fool around when he scouts out a place to take a nap. However, folks may have to do a double-take when they first spot him at the home of Gary and Paula Zimmerman in Nikiski. Kind of makes you wonder what he's dreaming about, doesn't it?

Heaven sets new state mark: Soldotna swimmer cruises in 200 fly
Winter Heaven, who will be a junior at Soldotna High School during the upcoming school year, broke a state swimming record from 1993 at the Final Fling in Homer on July 10 and 11.

Oilers edge Miners in 12th
Mat-Su hurler David Stilley's nine impressive innings went for naught as the Peninsula Oilers scored the eventual game-winning run in the top of the 12th and held on for a 2-1 win over the Miners on Tuesday night in Alaska Baseball League action at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Rain, rain, go away?
Hello, golfers. I'm trying very hard to be grateful for the rain. I know we really needed it. I'm just ready for it to stop for a few days so I can get out and enjoy myself golfing and doing all those other outside activities that we attempt to squeeze into our short summers. One of my very favorite things about the game of golf is the opportunity to meet great people and the ability to renew old acquaintances. I was recently pleased to play the back nine with Karen Morris and Pam Martinez. I had not seen either of these wonderful ladies on the course in quite some time and apparently it was because I was just not around when they were. Their games are as solid as ever and it was great to see them both again. Someday, I can only hope that I will be able to hit the ball as consistently as they do, but I really don't hold much hope for it.

Sports Briefs

Gilliland finishes 16th in Sadler's Challenge

Sports Briefs

Kenai Central physicals will be held Saturday

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