Friday, November 27, 2009

Homer charter outfits stay open for business through the winter
The weather might not be the balmiest Homer has to offer this time of year, but for die-hard sportfishermen, what's another layer of clothing when there are king salmon waiting to be caught? With an estimated dozen fishing charter businesses operating in the Homer area year-round, there's no time like now to go fishing.

Davis family of extreme sledding champions to charge hard in 2010
Not only has Scott Davis, of Davis Block & Concrete in Soldotna, won the world's longest snow machine race, The Iron Dog more than any other rider, by claiming victory 7 times since the race began in 1984 - most recently in 2007 with his partner Todd Palin, but his teenaged son Corey, and daughter Carly, also hold national championships of their own. Corey, who graduated from Soldotna High School two years ago, earned the Semi-Pro National Championship last year, and went on to win the bronze medal at the popular X-Games. His younger sister, Carly who also recently graduated from SoHi, went on her second national racing tour last year claiming the National Women's Pro Championship title of the year. "I got hooked up with some great people on the Christian Brothers Racing Team out of Northern Minnesota, and have had a couple terrific years thanks to the help of my Dad, which just couldn't be any better. I'll be back with them again this year, and hopefully can make it to the X-Games. But I'd like to do some cross country racing in the future, and maybe partner with my Dad on the Iron Dog," Carly told the Dispatch.

22nd Anniversary Auction breaks records for Boys & Girls Clubs
It became as clear as 007's Austin Martin's blue eyes last week, that the community was not going to allow economic slow downs to diminish their support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. Following the Casino Royale James Bond theme, it was also clear that this community loves playing dress up for these popular fundraising events. "It was the best-attended party of the year, and the largest attendance in 22 years of Boys and Girls Club fund raisering on the Kenai Peninsula," event co-chair Peter Micciche pointed out. "The most remarkable thing about the event in this tough economy is the fact that the evening's attendance was by far noticeably higher than any year in the past," he added.

The celebration of Thanksgiving means many different things to us Americans all across the United States. Despite the many differences that we have in our ways of celebrating, a few things remain the same for all of us. The first Thanksgiving celebration occurred in 1621 by the pilgrims, but later grew into a religious holiday where they went to church and thanked God for a specific event. At that celebration, they sang and danced and ate often times for three solid days.

Peninsula Scrub Shoppe, uniforms with a stylish flare
For health care providers, chefs, and those in need of tuxedo shirts or specialty uniforms, the Kenai Peninsula now has its own Peninsula Scrub Shoppe, thanks to entrepreneur Randi Sass and her partner. Located in the JoAnn Fabrics strip mall on the Spur Highway in Soldotna, the Peninsula Scrub Shoppe is bringing affordable quality and style closer to home. "We feel it's something that has been needed here for a long time. Before we opened, the folks who worked at the hospital, home health care providers, dental offices, and in area veterinarian clinics, had to either order from a catalog, online, or drive to Anchorage to find the selection that we have here," said Sass. "My fiance got the idea from a woman a few years ago who was leaving the state, and commented that if she were going to stay what she would do is open up a scrub shop. So we toyed with the idea for a couple of years, and launched our Scrub Shoppe for the Peninsula this fall. It's a great market with all the changes, styles and variety of scrubs now available. I mean, there use to be just white, pale blue and green and that was it, but now look at the fun options! And a lot of folks are buying scrubs for comfortable lounge wear, or actually some of these scrubs now are so nice you can wear them out to dinner," said Randy.

Kenai Rotary welcomes Ford to his Roaring Nineties
From being a founder of the original United Way campaign, to chartering the first Rotary Club on the Peninsula, to community-minded volunteer activities including insulating the first Women's Resource and Crisis Center to moving historical log buildings at Ft. Kenai, or ringing bells for the Salvation Army, to the Caring for the Kenai environmental awareness contest, it's unlikely you'll find a community service organization, program or project that hasn't benefited from the physical and financial support of George and Mary Ford. George celebrated 90 years of life last week surrounded by fellow Rotarians in Kenai who officially inducted Mary into their club as an honorary Rotarian. "Honorary membership is given only by election of a Rotary Club to individuals who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service to their community in the furtherance of Rotary ideals and who symbolize our motto of "Service Above Self". It was an honor for me to welcome Mary Ford into our club as an honorary member," said Kenai Club president Jeanette Desimone during the celebration.

Better safe than sorry when it comes to DUIs
When Lori Phillips crashed head-on into the car driven by Louis Clement and his fianc Joyua Stovall, killing Louis and seriously injuring Joyua, she had a blood alcohol content over four times the legal limit! According to a witness, she was drunk when she arrived at the hair salon and continued drinking while there! This egregious scene begs the questions, "What can we do to keep an impaired person from getting into a vehicle and driving away? What is our responsibility when we see something like this happening?" There are no pat answers to the first question. But in the above situation, the police should have been called when Lori Phillips first walked into the salon because she had already committed the crime of DUI. Call the police with a REDDI report and let them handle it. Don't wait for someone else to take action! As to the second question, we all have a moral and community obligation to do what we can without putting ourselves in harm's way. Check our Web site at for more information about the DUI plague in Alaska and what we are doing about it.

Ski team fundraiser support appreciated
Thank you to all of the caring community members who came out to support the Kenai Nordic Ski Club and the Rehm sisters. The Sports Swap held on Oct. 24 was the most successful to date as we raised $2,860 for our skiers; and we could not have done it without Wilderness Way, Beemun's, Foot Flare & Wear, Steve Milliron, Glenda Feeken, and all of the families who brought in their used equipment to sell. The community turned out in droves to purchase skis, hockey equipment, skates and more. Thank you!

Redo?: Ordinance would roll clock back on mishandled purchase
Following an early August purchase deal between the Kenai Peninsula Borough and Sterling-based Chumley's Inc. gone afoul, two assembly members are seeking to turn back the clock.

Santa makes plans for visit to Kenai today
With the Thanksgiving holiday in the belly for many, the central peninsula will turn the page toward another seasonal celebration today as the Kenai Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual "Christmas Comes to Kenai" festivities.

Flying high again: Merger enhances peninsula emergency flight capabilities
Almost two years have passed since the medical helicopter based in Soldotna went down over Prince William Sound, killing all three crew members and the patient who was being flown from Cordova to Anchorage.

Airport fees to take off
The daily vehicle parking fee at the Kenai Municipal Airport will increase from $4 to $5 as of January 1, but the people who are in charge of the decision say the fee change should actually save most users money.

Clayton Adolph Helgeson
Longtime Alaskan and Soldotna resident Clayton Adolph Helgeson died Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 85.

Class teaches valuable life lesson to SoHi students
Over the past year, the notion of teen pregnancy has been somewhat glamorized as our former governor and her daughter have done their best to spin their family situation.

Hunt yields 1 legal brown bear: Bruins appear to be in dens for the winter
Snow is falling over the last berry bushes, and cold temperatures have frozen another season's salmon carcasses under the ice. There's not much food left for bears to forage on, so most have turned in for the winter.

Tracks in the snow
If you walk around your neighborhood as much as I walk in mine, you may have noticed a big change during the first week of November. The season's first snow revealed a whole new world.

Is low harvest a good sign?
I never again want to hear there are too many bears on the Kenai Peninsula.

Alien insects on the Kenai Peninsula
It is a blessing for us as residents of the Kenai Peninsula to live in a time and place where we enjoy largely pristine or at least functionally intact ecosystems. Alaska, thanks to its cold climate and limited human disturbance, remains dominated by the same flora and fauna that existed before western colonization. Our vast forests and mountains may seem impervious, but they are nevertheless vulnerable.

Around the Peninsula

Craft fair slated

Information sought on Kenai burglary
On Oct. 1 the Kenai Police Department responded to a residential burglary report on Grant Street. Stolen from the residence were three firearms, one rifle and two handguns, along with a backpack containing binoculars, a GPS, and miscellaneous hunting gear. Subsequent investigative leads and interviews have not resulted in the recovery of the stolen items.

Church Briefs

Christmas concert planned

Healthy soul keeps body healthy
How's your PMA?

Small player, big production: Kenai River's Fusaro chalks up points in his last 5 games
Both Kenai River Brown Bears coach Oliver David and Alaska Avalanche forward Tyler Schwartz learned that there is more than meets the eye to Brown Bears forward Brad Fusaro.

Mackeys triumph at tourney
Over the weekend 22 teams from around the Kenai-Soldotna area descended upon Alaskalanes to bowl in the annualThanksgiving Scotch mixed doubles handicap tournament.

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