Thursday, November 29, 2007

Business Briefs
What's new in your business? Chambers set schedules Soldotna tree lighting Saturday CPH announces December events Quickbook workshop slated Food bank donations sought Enstar United Way fundraiser continues Cold Stone holding food bank fundraiser Fire department receives grant Fishermen's summit planned Seafood processing institute open to applicants Children's cooking workshops offered Manufacturer of the Year nominations sought

Making Holiday shopping memories at Donna’s Gifts
Once again the season of nostalgia is here and with it a new opportunity for making lifetime memories. Most everyone can recall a holiday shopping experience with their favorite Grandparent, Aunt, Mom or Dad. The trip to the city, the lights, sounds, smells, foods, and anticipation of what Christmas day would reveal. The actual gifts may have been long forgotten, but the shopping experience lasts a lifetime. Here on the Central Peninsula Donna Schwanke of Donna’s Country & Victorian Gifts has been making those special memories for generations.

Agrium serves seniors one more time
For more than 25 years Central Peninsula Seniors have been treated to a Pre-Thanksgiving Day dinner compliments of the largest value added industry in Alaska, the Urea/Ammonia fertilizer plant in Nikiski. The best that anyone can remember, before the Kenai Senior Center opened and when the plant was owned by Collier’s the tradition began with the first dinner being served at the Kenai Elks lodge. When the Kenai Senior Center was built the volunteer tradition continued as Unocal took over operations of the facility and when Agrium purchased the plant at the turn of the century. However, with the closing of the facility due to shortage of natural gas last week was most likely the last Senior Thanksgiving dinner of its kind served by the Agrium employees, “We’re all glad to be here doing this today, as it’s our way at Agrium of saying thanks to these folks who have been long standing community members and have given so much of their lives to making this a great community. We’ve always loved this event because it’s our way of giving back to those folks and saying thanks for all they have contributed,” said John Averill, Agrium Safety Supervisor.

Bush pilot flying high
Hollywood continues to be interested in the Alaskan mystique and opportunity for extreme adventure. Several major motion pictures recently have featured Alaskan scenes and now a Nikiski bush pilot, Michael Litzen is being considered for a new reality TV series pilot produced by GRB Entertainment headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California. “I was contacted this summer about the show that is to be produced in the spirit of The Deadliest Catch, which many people may be familiar with, except this would be on bush pilots. I was contacted by Christian Robinson, the development producer for GRB and asked to shoot an audition for their pilot series. They became interested in the audition when I told them that I had extracted a pilot from an aircraft wreck earlier this year, so I get the feeling they are interested in showing the risks and dangers of bush pilot flying that we are familiar with here in Alaska, but is pretty much unknown elsewhere,” Litzen told the Dispatch.

Local Wildlife Refuge opens for Holiday tree cutting
For 13 years Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) manager Robin West has been opening the Refuge for personal use Christmas tree cutting on the Friday after Thanksgiving, “As in the past people have the opportunity to go most anywhere on the Refuge to cut a tree, except in the Headquarters area and along Ski Hill Road, and we also ask that you are a minimum of 150 feet off any road, trail heads, camp grounds or any water bodies, lakes, or streams before you cut your tree,” West told the Dispatch. According to West there is easy access off Funny River Rd. once you past the Refuge sign, “Another good place is at the end of Marathon Rd. where the oil field starts you can park at the end of the road there and hike up along the power line where there are a lot of little trees along the right of way that will eventually will be cut anyway so that’s a good place to find a nice tree,” said West. As far as forest management and the impact on global warming West points out that the cutting of smaller trees can actually be beneficial, “Trees are very beneficial in taking carbon out of the atmosphere and producing oxygen for us to breath, but on a small scale basis actually removing some of the small trees that are crowded together allow the other trees to grow larger and be more healthy and can be good forest management,” he said. West also cautions that there are still a few bears up and about due to the warm weather so that it is best to keep the family dog on a leash when Christmas tree hunting, “And it’s also trapping season so there are snares and traps so it’s best to keep your dogs close at hand,” added West.

If you have never worked on the frozen North Slope it would most likely be hard for you to understand just what life on the slope is really like. Before you even try to understand the slope life you first must imagine that each day after work you don’t return homeyou go to a camp or to a motel type place each day for 2 solid weeks.

Reader: Lights obstruct view of the Kenai River
I am writing this letter in response to the question regarding the lights on the new Kenai River bridge.

Reader offers compromise on Soldotna bridge lights
I am replying to the letter written by Viveca Draper in Clarion paper on Nov. 13, which she asked for others' opinion. Personally, I think the lights on new Soldotna bridge are beautiful, original and different.

Cold case murder trial postponed
The murder trial of a man charged in a 25-year-old Seward cold case was put off Wednesday until next April. The trial had been set to begin sometime next week.

Assembly might quit phoning it in
Having absent members participate in Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meetings by telephone ought to be prohibited except in cases of emergency, says Assemblyman Pete Sprague, who has proposed banning the procedure.

Photo feature: School's out
William Johnson runs the slick sidewalk to the bus following a day in the eight grade at Nikiski Middle/High School. Forecasters are calling for a chance of snow today.

It takes a village
If your child knew someone who was being bullied, would he or she have the courage or even the tools to stop it? Would your child be able to recognize the warning signs in someone who's suicidal or have an idea how to prevent vehicle accidents?

Photo feature: Duck and snowcover
Snowcapped peaks in the Kenai Mountains rise behind a merganser duck swimming on the Kenai River on Wednesday afternoon.

To ski, or not to ski?
One question facing the Soldotna City Council tonight may find its answer in the unusually warm and snowless winter the central Kenai Peninsula is experiencing.

CES challenges community to 'Keep the Wreath Green'
As minds turn toward celebration this holiday season and people find ways to battle the cold, Central Emergency Services is asking families to be aware that as the temperatures decrease, the risk of fire in their home increases.

SPH expansion denied by state
The commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services has turned down South Peninsula Hospital's application for a state Certificate of Need document necessary to launch Phase 2 of its $32.6 million expansion project.

Phyllis Jean Fleishauer
Longtime Alaskan and Kenai resident Phyllis Jean Fleishauer died Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007, at Heritage Place in Soldotna after a long illness. She was 71.

Charles 'Chuck' Henry Snyder
Kasilof resident Charles "Chuck" Henry Snyder died Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007, at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 69.

Hanukkah lights the way
In about a week's time, Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of rededication, will begin.

Chicken Liver Pat
1 pound chicken livers, washed, trimmed and patted dry

Sarah's Applesauce
Adapted from a recipe found on

Around the Peninsula
Get connected Books sought for soldiers T-200 committee meeting slated Arts, crafts fair Saturday Historical society to meet KCHS blood drive set Band concert, dessert auction scheduled Gardeners to gather School district committee members needed Women voters to meet Deadline looms for art contest Women's basketball league forming

Around the Peninsula
Trapping, snaring clinic Saturday Beekeepers all abuzz Cookie fundraiser continues Spaghetti dinner, auction fundraiser set Clean water to be discussed Drivers safety class offered Christmas event slated

Healthy Bites
Physical activity is very important to maintaining good health and also helps to burn calories. Many people don't realize how easy it is to burn calories by adding physical activity to their daily routine.

Potato Latkes
  During Hanukkah, it is tradition to eat food, such as latkes, that has been fried in oil, which is symbolic of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem. Enjoy latkes with sour cream or apple sauce. Photo by Sue Ade/Morris News Ser 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)

Sports Brief
The Stars' JV team defeated the visiting Bulldogs, 6-0, on Tuesday night at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Peninsula Clarion - Pulse

The play's the thing
Theatergoers have options this weekend, with the opening of two plays one at Nikiski High School, and one at Soldotna High School.

Animation earns split decision
Cartoons used to be nothing more than kiddie-fare, but recently, animation has entered a new era of respectability, thanks in part to graphic novels, Japanese Anim, and the intense photo-realism offered up by Pixar and others. Animation makes possible the realization of a director's vision, in ways that never were before, and the trend now is toward cartoons with real, adult stories, or live-action films with so much seamless integration of computer animation so as to make "Roger Rabbit" look like a child's sketch book. This week saw two films tackle the medium in different ways, with surprising results.

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Films Upcoming Events Down the Road Anchorage events

Hakkinen to begin World Cup season
In the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, 14 of the 15 medal positions in men's biathlon went to athletes from Germany, Norway, France and Russia.

Favre tries to snap spell
Records are meant to be broken.

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