Wednesday, September 12, 2007

These boots weren’t made for fillin’
Motivated by a record breaking Fill the Boot for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) campaign last year in which $18,000 was collected Central Emergency Services firefighters once again spent Friday and Saturday of their Labor Day Weekend at the “Y” intersection in Soldotna attempting to raise just one dollar more than they did last year. “That was an increase of $1,500 over the previous record setting year. Our firefighters were awesome last year and the community responded with an outpouring of their generosity, so our goal was to beat that record by just a hair because last year when I was unable to be here the guys really surprised me,” said MDA Coordinator and CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale, aka Capt. Burn-ee the clown. “They certainly put the pressure on Capt. Burn-ee, but with the help of CES employees, family members, and friends, the community came through for Jerry’s Kids and the old Captain & Edith and we were able to collect an overwhelming $21,000 in just two days, and thanks to the generosity of this community those funds will be used to help kids in Alaska with neuromuscular disease go to summer camp and get assistance from MDA,” announced Hale.

‘Chipping’ in
There’s been a lot of grass growing under Gordon Griffin’s feet since he retired for a second time from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and purchased the Kenai Golf Course. Something that has been greatly appreciated by local golfers and duffers alike who are quick to proclaim that the course has never looked better and the condition of the greens is truly at tournament quality, “It’s been a nice summer but what’s amazing is that at the beginning of the year we added a new blend of grass that included a red fescue that is a creeping grass that germinates quickly and you can see even by looking at the practice green that everything filled in nicely and is really in perfect condition,” said Griffin. As director of the Kenai and Soldotna auditoriums for the school district Griffin earned a reputation of being a creative visionary who always got the job done even when he had to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.

Bath and Body Boutique gets a facelift
Retired engineer Susan Stephenson of Sterling is now the proud owner of Susan’s Bath & Body Boutique next to Riverside Books at the “Y” in Soldotna. “When I was in college studying to be an engineer I worked in a little boutique very similar to this and enjoyed it very much, so when I saw the Bath & Body Boutique was for sale it brought back some great memories and I realized that having my own boutique was really what I wanted to do while I was still in my prime retirement years,” Stephenson told the Dispatch. Formerly owned by Amy Manuel the popular Bath & Body Boutique has carved out a niche for unique specialty items and apparel not available at box stores and Susan says she has a lot of new ideas that she’s bringing to the shop, “For instance the same style robe that Brad Pitt wore in the movie Fight Club is still very popular after all these years and after receiving several inquiries from gentlemen interested in having that particular bath robe, I contacted the manufacturer and soon we’ll have the Brad Pitt robe available plus other styles that I think will be very popular among the gentlemen in addition to our full line of bath and body products for men,” said Stephenson.

Kenai Veterinary Hospital gets major make over
For 29 years dog and cat lovers on the Kenai Peninsula have come to rely on Dr. Richard McCartan, DVM and his Kenai Veterinary Hospital for their pet’s emergency and medical care needs. This June McCartan and his associate Dr. Curt Wisnewski, DVM opened the newly remodeled and expanded Hospital with many new state of the art additions. “The new addition includes office space, a new handicapped accessible bathroom, another exam room, a new kennel room for cats only so the dogs and cats are kept in separate rooms, and a cremation room,” McCartan told the Dispatch.

Our summer days are definitely numbered as fall draws closer with each sunset. As the summer ends and winter is just around the corner it is a time to harvest berries and vegetables from the garden and process other food items such as moose and caribou or even small game; items that can really help cut the food cost down at the grocery store.

Community support fills the boots again
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local citizens of the Kenai Peninsula for their outstanding generosity during the recent Muscular Dystrophy firefighter "Fill the Boot" fundraising effort.

Efforts allow children chance to going to camp
The second annual Cancer Survivors on Mount Aspiring 2007 Disc Golf Tournament was a success. We would like to thank all the sponsors, teams and other individuals who donated money, time and enthusiasm to this event.

Support makes golf tourney a swinging success
Ninilchik Native Descendants would like to thank all the sponsors and participants who helped make this year's 10th annual golf tournament a smashing success. Proceeds from this tournament benefit Ninilchik graduating seniors and athletic programs. NND continues to work toward historical preservation, as well.

Couple dies at home
Robert Gepner, 74, of Kenai, and his wife, Natalie Gepner, 71, were electrocuted outside their Kenai home Monday.

Photo feature: Mushroom mystery
A boletus mushroom sprouts next to a spruce tree in Kenai earlier this month. Some species of boletus are choice edibles while others make some people sick.

Favorable winds reach HEA members
Responding to one member's request and an acknowledged need for renewable energy sources, Homer Electric Association has completed work on regulations governing the integration of residential wind turbines and solar panels into HEA's power grid.

Remembering heroes
Tears flowed and heads bowed as the first clear note of the bell rang out above the crowd. In memory of the firefighters who gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, Battalion Chief Greg Coon struck the bell five times, paused, and struck it another five times, paused again and repeated the sequence two more times.

Program keeps cars out of the landfill, woods
Junked vehicles dotting landscapes across the Kenai Peninsula Borough are steadily being removed through a continuing program meant to rid communities of the metal eyesores.

District receives good marks
The hot news at the school board meeting in Homer on Monday was the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District made AYP adequate yearly progress, the measuring stick of No Child Left Behind, a federally mandated program.

Kenai couple electrocuted
Robert Gepner, 74, of Kenai, and his wife, Natalie Gepner, 71, died of electrocution outside their Kenai home Monday.

Growing pains
The city of Soldotna wants to grow, but by just how much?

Trial set in Seward cold case murder
A Kenai Superior Court judge, on Tuesday, set the trial of Jimmy Eacker for the week of Dec. 3 in Seward. Eacker is accused of murdering a Seward woman 25 years ago.

Borough economy strong
Sales were at an all-time high, the value and volume of construction permits were topping the charts, and employment continued to increase on the Kenai Peninsula.

Larry E. Ryburn
Longtime Alaskan and Soldotna resident Larry E. Ryburn died Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 67.

Donald Gene Baxter
Former longtime Soldotna resident Donald Gene Baxter died Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007, at his home in Irrigon, Ore., from complications of Multiple Sclerosis. He was 55.

Katherine 'Kate' Lee Gribble
Longtime Homer resident Katherine "Kate" Lee Gribble died Monday, Sept. 10, 2007, at home. She was 76.

Laynah Beth Myers
Former Kenai resident Laynah Beth Myers was found dead Monday, Sept. 3, 2007, near Wapato, Wash., after having been missing for three weeks. She was 25.

Around the Peninsula
Scouting nights set Foster care seminar set Cheer camp slated Agrium live fire training continues Special Olympics potluck Saturday Walk/run set for Kasilof CPHC meeting set

firefighters' food fun
The events of 9/11 changed us. It was a day for hanging onto family, friends, neighbors and co-workers and being grateful they we were all right.

Surviving reality TV: You gotta have a gimmick
I am an admitted reality show addict. I used to try to limit it to one show at a time, but I've lost control. It's bad enough that "Top Chef" is must-see for me, but I'm watching "Big Brother" three nights a week, and I've even found a cable channel devoted to nothing but reality shows.

Healthy Bites
Maybe not.

Mexican Bananas Foster
3/4 cup light brown sugar

Pasta Il Pompiere
This recipe was served the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, by Joseph Bonanno to the members of Ladder 3 for a Ronzoni Firefighter Cook-Off live-TV appearance. Says Bonnano, "Twelve firefighters of Ladder 3 were lost in the World Trade Center disaster. This recipe is named in honor of them, may God rest their brave souls."

Baja Tequila Shrimp Rolls with Tomatillo Sauce
Tomatillo Sauce

Around the Peninsula
Hockey registration slated

Skyview netters handle Soldotna
Skyview volleyball coach Sheila Kupferschmid took a bold step leading up to a road game at Soldotna on Tuesday night, instilling a new defense prior to the rivalry contest.

Around the Peninsula
School board meetings slated

Models of fitness
The Soldotna Middle School physical education department participates in its first mile run Aug. 30. The run is part of the school's wellness program, in which the P.E. department participates in a run every period of the day, every other week. The group invites other SMS staff members to join them. The SMS department members who participated were Charlie Stephens, Rob Moore, Jeff Moore, Jennifer Tabor and Carly Reimer. Also joining in was school mascot Captain Spartan.

KPC offers variety of short courses
Short courses for busy Alaskans

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