Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Backwoods Girl champion crowned at Peninsula State Fair
For the first time a Soldotna mom, Brooke Ames, has claimed the title of Backwoods Girl Champion at the Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik, the birth and only place where Backwoods Girl competitions are held. Inspired by Hobo Jim’s popular Backwoods Girl song, the competition has grown from a Fair novelty to a main attraction that this year drew 15 contestants and hundreds of spectators. The event is sponsored by Homer Saw & Cycle who donates the Backwoods Girl prize and trophy, a new Stihl MS 210 Chain Saw. Brooke Ames has entered the competition for the last three years, but this year motivated by her husband and 10-year-old daughter she got serious about bring home the chain saw, “My first year I tied for second and brought home 4 bags of dirt, and my second year I didn’t even place, but this year I’m really excited and happy to have a new chain saw,” Ames told the Dispatch. What made the difference between Brooke’s last year finish and the championship this year, “Well anyone who knows me knows I’m not the best cook, and frying eggs is the hardest part of the whole competition for me, so since my first year I’ve been practicing cracking an egg with one hand whenever I make eggs for the kids. Some people thought that was a silly thing to do, but it paid off this year along with the advice from my ten-year-old daughter Halley who said ‘Hey Mom if you don’t want to break the yoke be sure you put the egg shell real close to the pan when you open it and it won’t break as easily, so I listened to her and it didn’t break, so I didn’t loose any points,” said Ames, who does not intend to just hand over her prize to her husband, “I use to use my mom’s hand-me-down chain saws, but now I have my own new saw and my husband will have to fight me to use this one, so I really want to thank all the folks at the Fair who put so much work into making this unique competition happen and the people at Homer Saw and Cycle for providing the prize.” Ames most likely will return to the Fair next year to defend her title, “I told my husband that this would be my last year since I won and he said Oh no no! You have to enter next year and win one for me,” laughed Ames.

“Barn” to be Wild at the Peninsula State Fair
“The Biggest Little Fair in Alaska,” totally lived up to its theme of “Barn to Be Wild,” this year. From the popular Friday evening performance by Grammy Award winning BeauSoleil to the successful 4-H Jr. Market Livestock auction, bucking salmon, to racing pigs, the barn door was open for 3 full days of wild State Fair fun in Ninilchik. “We sold $175 tickets for the concert which raised $3,500 and covered my personal guarantee for the event. It was really nice, because the BeauSoleil group heard that I had made that personal guarantee and they called me up before cashing their check to be sure I wouldn’t be out anything. I wasn’t and they said they would really like to come back because this was their favorite fair,” reported Fair Manager Lara McGinnis. Over 600 attended the Cajun concert and went wild for the music, “We didn’t have anyway of clearing the fair grounds before the concert, so a lot of folks who came to the fair earlier stayed over for the concert and didn’t buy tickets, so next year we’ll figure a way to clear the grounds so we can sell more tickets, but everyone had a fantastic time and wants to do it again next year and we’re already talking about headliners for next year,” added McGinnis. McGinnis also pointed out that the Fair Board of Directors has 4 vacancies to be filled this fall and anyone Peninsula wide who would like to serve may contact Lara McGinnis in Ninilchik at 567-3670. Even though most of the weekend offered cloudy, threatening skies, nearly 7,500 paid attendance at the Ninilchik State Fair grounds. All, including a few "sneak in's," who experienced country fair at its finest.

Yes my friends, this is the time of the year when many of you will pair up in your attempt to harvest some Alaska big game for meat. Some of you will hunt in small groups, others will put together a crew large enough to resemble a small army. A few of you will continue to hunt alone or with only family members. Some of you will chose to road hunt which requires a whole lot less energy and planning and at times can be successful too.

Gail Moore bridges the gap between illusion and reality
Gail Moore is a self-proclaimed gypsy who has most recently opened a new business in the Kenai area called Interior Illusions, “Bridging the gap between illusions and reality!” Moore recently spent time in Texas where she received one-on-one instruction from world renowned master decorative artist Nicola Virgini. “I’m a designer wall finisher, I work in Old World Frescoes, Venetian Plasters, and Decorative Concrete Staining,” says Moore. While decorating technologies have changed drastically in the century, Moore still finds that many of the old world techniques applicable to bringing creative warmth to a home or place of business. “I’ve been playing with colors and paints since I was five years old and am truly grateful for a family and grandmother who has been so supportive and included me early on in many restoration and interior decorating projects, but since the early eighties I’ve been playing with glazes and wall designs and this past January I did work for the Parade of Homes in Boise, Idaho and also designed a restoration of an old train depot into a beautiful bed and breakfast,” said Moore. Moore also last year completed a five day designer wall finish workshop at Faux Effects International in Dallas, Texas, which gave her the motivation to launch her new Interior Illusions business on the Kenai Peninsula.

Carhartt Swat Truck returns to the Working Man’s Store
The interactive Carhartt Swat Truck was on the Peninsula last week and spent all day Tuesday out in front of Sweeney’s Clothing store in Soldotna. “This is what we call a true Carhartt experience,” said Dennis of team Carhartt, “We have people come up and put their hands on everything inside and outside the truck while I let folks know a little about what we’re doing with Carhartt and the new things we’re making for the work force of America for both women and men.”

Hope Notes earn fans
In regards to Grandma's Hope Notes, we can't say enough good about the show that this family put on at the Ninilchik fair.

Businesses should think twice about hang-ups
It is time for people to start being a little more patient on the phone especially businesses.

Protection requested from Homeland Security
I have been having a few problems finding some parts for my bike this summer. About a month ago, Ron Harvey's Classic Motorcycles of Palmer attempted to mail me a rear axle that promptly disappeared into the cosmos.

Old-timers have a good time
Once again an exuberant crowd of old-timers met for lunch at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center.

Safety efforts will go a long way
Special thanks to the community personnel who helped present the very successful disaster training to the Soldotna area school staffs.

Grant makes big difference for kids
The Boys and Girls Club wishes to thank the Fred Meyer Foundation for a $621.25 community grant to purchase snack foods for our Soldotna Club's Afterschool Program at Redoubt Elementary.

There's nothing wrong with working Alaskans
Along with the privilege of serving as the Speaker of the House in the Alaska Legislature, I also work as a Teamster in the construction industry. This was my job and profession before I was elected to represent House District 12, and I'm proud to work as a fourth generation Alaskan and a Teamster.

Discount prescription drug cards available
Free prescription drug discount cards are available to peninsula residents at borough offices, hospitals and libraries. To find a participating pharmacy, call (877) 321-2652.

'We are this close'
At last, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's funding will come into parity with that of others around the state.

Kasilof processor boosts efforts to smoke salmon
Summer is a busy season for Ed's Kasilof Seafoods, a family-owned and -operated processing firm that offers an array of gourmet seafood gift products, in addition to processing services for sport anglers on the Kenai Peninsula.

Aide picked to run airport
Managing an airport during a complete work over is a challenge, and for the Kenai Municipal Airport's assistant manager it also proved to be a kind of test to see if she could step into the full-time job of running one of the area's busiest airports.

Sting operation
Bees are coming to the end of their cycle in central Kenai Peninsula neighborhoods, but not before many stop for a bite of residents or their pets.

Paving project out for bid on K-Beach
Reconstruction and widening of two portions of Kalifornsky Beach Road likely won't begin in earnest before next spring, the project manager said Monday.

Plane flips over on takeoff
Even though the Kenai airport's floatplane basin was lengthened by 1,000 feet this year, a pilot ran out of runway Saturday and wound up flipping his plane over its nose and onto its back. No injuries were reported.

Photo feature: It's a wrap
Taylar Meehan reacts as Aaron Mooney's albino Burmese python wraps its tail around her leg, while Katelynn Gochenour admires the snake's colors last weekend following Industry Appreciation Day on the park strip in Kenai. Awestruck children took turns holding the docile constrictor.

Education funding report due
The Joint Legislative Education Task Force that has been working all summer preparing recommendations on future funding of Alaska schools is set to meet for the last time Thursday in Anchorage.

Cleone Wells
Longtime Kenai resident Cleone Wells died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. She was 92.

Around the Peninsula
Scouting events planned Archers take aim Teen writers sought Social Security reps to visit peninsula Donations sought for military personal Hospice seeks volunteers

Does an apple really keep the doc away?
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Or so the saying goes.

Citrus Sun Tea
12 regular size tea bags (Lipton is good)

Around the Peninsula
Agrium live fire training continues Parent advisory committee meeting to be held Book sale a real page turner LeeShore board meeting slated SoHi open house set T-200 race committee to meet Recovery rendezvous ready to go Garden club to meet Boys Scouts take to the sky Girls Scout round up planned Food coalition offers mini-grant opportunities

Spiced Indian Chai Iced Tea
6 cups water

How to Make Perfect 'Sweet' Tea
In a medium-size aucepan, heat 2 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar and bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, and steep 8 regular-size tea bags in sugar/water mixture for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow mixture to cool slightly before pouring into a gallon-size pitcher. Add three quarts cold water to the pitcher. Allow tea to come to room temperature before chilling in refrigerator. To serve, pour chilled tea into iced-filled glasses. Makes about one gallon.

Tea still a cool way to quench your thirst: Only water is more popular
Tea is the "most widely consumed beverage in the world after water," according to the Tea Assocation of the United States.

Chicken doesn't have to be boring
OK, today there's no goofing around. No funny stories. Just an answer to that annoying question: What's for dinner?

Iced Thai Tea
8 cups water

Sports Briefs
The visiting Skyview volleyball team swept Seward 25-11, 25-18 and 25-9 on Tuesday in nonconference play. Skyview moved to 1-0 in nontournament play, while Seward dropped to 0-2.

Sports Briefs
The Kenai River Brown Bears Junior A hockey team is still in need of host families. Benefits include a $250 monthly stipend and two season tickets. Players will be here from last August until early March with extended absences for travel and a three-week Christmas break. For more information, call Gwen Johnson, Brown Bears housing director, at 283-2799 or coach Mike Flanagan at 262-7825. The first homes games will be Sept. 14 against the Alaska Avalanche and Sept. 15 and 16 against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

Kenai Golf Report
Hello, golfers. Well, fortunately the weather cooperated and it got really nice. My better half and I spent the weekend in the Hills and just had a wonderful time away from phones, work and golf, which of course is not necessarily a good thing. The northern lights were pretty spectacular Saturday morning about 3 a.m. and the sunrises Saturday and Sunday were breathtaking.

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