Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Winning Tips For Year-Round School Success
It’s easy to get excited when back-to-school time rolls around, but how do children and their parents keep that energy going all year long?

Record times turned in at State Barrel Racing Championships
The National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) held their state championships for the second consecutive year last weekend at the Soldotna Rodeo grounds. According to NBHA district director Karen Jensen the wet weather may have kept the spectators busy elsewhere, but for the horses and riders conditions couldn’t have been better, “We weren’t one bit disappointed we had perfect ground, people pay big money in the lower 48 to have a crew make the kind of conditions that Mother Nature blessed us with. We had record breaking times for our arena that night so we were actually all very happy with the weather,” said Jensen.

First Wood Carving Championships great success!
The chainsaw artistry of Scott Hanson can be seen throughout Alaska. His Town of Living Trees and Alaskan Carousel in Sterling has become a tourist must see on the Kenai. Inspired by the success of the Winter Games ice carving competition Scott decided this summer to launch Alaska’s first Annual Chain Saw Carving Competition. The 4-day event was held July 19th -22nd at the Town of Living Trees. Seven carvers entered this year’s competition five from the Peninsula, some of which were Scott’s apprentices, Jimmy Kitchens from Palmer, and Jarrett Dahl from Minnesota. The carvers commenced their work Thursday and had to finish by Sunday at noon.

From donuts to car raffles people helping people on the Peninsula
Delays and house fires didn’t dampen the Krispy Kreme donut drive to raise funds to send kids with cancer to camp, and friends of Greg and Becky Horton are hoping for a big turn out for their barbeque and auction this weekend to help the Horton family as they fight serious health issues.

4-H Members extend a hand of service to El Salvador
Head, Heart, Hands, and Health make up the 4-H’s. The 4-H pledge recited by all club members’ states: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.” This summer a couple of local 4-H members Noelle and Vienna Schmitter-Schrier of Soldotna and their family took that pledge literally and traveled to El Salvador and Costa Rica to extend their hands in international service. According to 13-year-old Noelle they got the idea from a friend that visited them from El Salvador, “She invited us to come and visit their community, so when we got there we asked what we could do to help them and they said the best thing we could do would be to help teach an English class,” Noelle told the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce last week. Noelle and her 11-year-old sister presented a power point presentation that illustrated their activities in El Salvador and Costa Rica. “I saw people that were dirt poor, but they were smiling smiles that highlighted your day, and they didn’t just look happy, they seemed really happy. There is something I learned from them, happiness is in the heart, not how much money you have,” said Noelle. She summed up her experience by saying, “It made me realize that I would really like to do something to help make the world a better place and I hope to do some more volunteer work in the future.”

Kenai teen shot, killed
A 17-year-old Kenai teen was shot in the neck at a home in Kenai on Monday afternoon and died from the wound.

Meeting Webcast proponents spell out plan
Ironically, at the same time customers in the Anchorage Bowl last week were without Internet service due to a computer glitch, advocates of Webcasting Kenai City Council meetings were experiencing technical difficulties while presenting their idea to city officials gathered at a work session in Kenai City Hall.

Frozen pose
From right to left, John Tobin, of Nikiski, photographs his nieces Emma Seigmund and Jennifer Tobin, who were visiting from from Tennessee, and his nephew Sean Tobin, visiting from Virginia, in front of Exit Glacier recently. Tobin's sister Lynn Tobin, also of Virginia, makes her own panorama at left.

School district's grade rises
Making the grade

Term limits don't stop incumbents
The fact that voter approval of term-limit propositions this fall could prevent them from taking office even if they win has not deterred assembly and school board incumbents from filing for reelection.

Charge it: Kenai considers plastic
The ability of Kenai residents to pay their utility bills by credit card will be among items slated for discussion at tonight's city council meeting.

Inlet halibut harder to find
With so many depending on one fish, getting people to reach a consensus on the status of Cook Inlet's halibut population is difficult.

Photo feature: Look, but don't touch
A tall monkshood plant goes to seed along a slough off of the upper Kenai River. Its flowers are beautiful but should not be picked due to the plant's poisonous properties.

A clip in time
People often inspect their houses, cars and furnaces before winter sets in, but arborist Curtis Stigall says if you leave that big spruce tree in the yard out of the equation, you could find yourself facing a dangerous situation.

Richard B. 'Rick' Graham
Homer resident Pastor Richard B. "Rick" Graham, 79, died Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007 at his home with his family by his side after a 10-month battle with cancer.

Keep session in Juneau: Recent Anchorage meeting sets bad precedent for moving capital
Holding a legislative session outside of Juneau raises a number of serious concerns and I've been surprised by the muted public reaction around the State. While the migration of government jobs and political influence out of Juneau and into Anchorage is certainly not new, having a Governor who publicly encourages the trend is a worrisome new development. What's particularly disconcerting is that capital move supporters are using the current political corruption scandal as a means to justify their own self-interests.

'Top secret formula' revealed
In a dry, sterilized jar, combine the following dried ingredients; mix well. Store in a tightly covered jar, away from heat and light.

Dieting much easier in summer
You don't have to be on a diet to check out diet cookbooks. In fact, I've found they offer lighter fare, which are perfect for the summer when it's too hot to cook or even eat.

Around the Peninsula
Task force to hold public hearing Learn about Cook's voyage up Cook Inlet Munch some sockeye Tribal-State safety forum planned Swim hours to change New high school to open USDA food program offered Hospice seeking volunteers Food coalition offers mini-grant opportunities

Herbs and spices - What's the difference?
Many folks get confused about the differences between herbs and spices. While both herbs and spices are obtained from plants and trees, spices are highly aromatic, pungent seasonings that are acquired from bark, buds, fruit, roots, seeds or stems of plants and trees. On the other hand, herbs are the fragrant leaves obtained from various annual or perennial herbaceous (non-woody) plants. Some plants, like dill, however, contain leaves and seeds and are considered both an herb and a spice.

Herbal Journey (Part 2): Essential Italian kitchen herbs
Editor's note: Sue Ade started her discussion of herbs last week.

Around the Peninsula
Agrium live fire training continues PFLAG to meet Caregiver support meetings slated Kids reading program offered Community resource directory available Refuge plans August activities Boys and Girls Club plans closure Pregnancy class offered Golf tournament in full swing

Herb and Mascarpone Cheese Spread
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese or softened cream cheese

Happy birthday, and many S'mores
TOPEKA, Kan. Campers gathered around the campfire with some milk chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers Friday in honor of National S'mores Day.

Kenai Golf Report
Hello, golfers. Where has the month gone? August is already half over and I have not even begun to get everything done I need to before ... never mind, I am not ready to admit that summer is almost over. We have been blessed with some absolutely gorgeous weather lately and I am sad to say that I am still not playing but hopefully will be back with a vengeance next year!

Seward dominates Nikiski meet
When Denali Foldager first saw the 2007 cross country schedule, she immediately recognized the opening race fell on her 18th birthday.

Sports Brief
The local district of the National Barrel Horse Association held weekly events on Aug. 1 and Wednesday at the Soldotna Rodeo Grounds. The events are held Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Spectators are welcome and are admitted free of charge.

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