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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tustumena Smokin' for the Holidays
It wasn't very long ago that Fred West had an idea to turn Cook Inlet's abundant pink salmon into a value-added product that could be marketed to the world. "At that time, the market for pink salmon had just about gone away and commercial fishers could hardly get twenty five cents a pound for them," recalled West. He played around with a lot of homemade recipes until he came up with a salmon sausage that started raising the eyebrows of local public officials, businesses, and members of the public who gave his product rave reviews. Today, West's Tustumena Smokehouse specializes in custom smoking and curing, and has a variety of delicious products ranging from salmon sausage to salmon jerky, smoked salmon, turkeys, and hams that have become famous around the world.

Marines bring Toys for Tots to the Peninsula
The Peninsula's first Toys for Tots campaign is in full swing thanks to former U.S. Marine Sgt. Boyd Jorgensen, current operations manager at Lynden Transport Inc. in Soldotna, who is heading up the Marines Toys for Tots campaign on the Peninsula along with Sgt. Hollis Versyp and SSgt. Steven Ammer of Company D (-) at Elmendorf AFB. "In the past, Toys for Tots had been collected on the Peninsula, but shipped to Anchorage for distribution by the Marine Corp," Jorgensen told the Dispatch. "This year, since I now reside in Soldotna, I have brought the resources from Anchorage so we can actually do a distribution on the Peninsula. This means all toys that we are now collecting on the Peninsula will be distributed here, and likewise all cash contributions we receive will go to purchase toys from local businesses and given to children who live here on the Peninsula," explained Sgt. Jorgensen.

HEA's "Kick inCan" to give away 7,000 CFL's
As part of its ongoing effort to promote energy conservation, Homer Electric Association (HEA) is offering a set of five compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) free in exchange for five incandescent bulbs through a program they are calling "Kick inCan." "We started out with 7,000 CFL bulbs. We are exchanging them with Homer Electric members who bring in five of the old incandescent bulbs to our offices, and we'll make the five-for-five exchange," Joe Gallagher of HEA told the Dispatch. In addition to the Kenai and Homer HEA offices, "Kick inCan" exchanges may be made at the Salvation Army Stores, Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Homer Food Pantry, Seldovia Village Tribe, Port Graham Village Council, Nanwalek IRA Council, and the office of the Ninilchik Traditional Council. "We have partnered with a number of social service agencies to be Kick inCan sites. These groups were selected to insure that the bulbs get into the hands of folks who might benefit the most from the exchange, and assist them in managing their electric bills this winter," said HEA member relations manager Sandra Ghormley.

Outdoors
The rain we had a few days ago, was somewhat of a warning to all of us, as to what we have to look forward to in the upcoming months. Icy road conditions and icy parking lots hamper both our driving, as well as our walking across parking lots. There are several things we can do this year to make this winter safer and better for all of us. There are several items for sale that can greatly reduce, or prevent, injuries caused by people (especially our elderly) falling on ice.

Challenger Learning Center receives $50K from BP
The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA) has announced it has received a grant from the BP Foundation in the amount $50,000.00 in support of the expansion of educational programs. "We are proud to be associated with Challenger Learning Center of Alaska and the important work they do" wrote Karen Cowart, Director of Government & Public Affairs for BP. "The BP grant is a continuation of two previous grants from BP and the BP Foundation, that they have given to Challenger. And it means expansion of our programs as well as being able to continue what we do. It is only with the support of organizations like BP that allow CLCA to continue its mission to inspire students to look beyond the ordinary, imagine the unattainable and answer those seemingly impossible questions through the pursuit of higher education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)," said Marnie Olcott, COO at the Center.

Cranberry-orange marmalade
2 oranges

Envision plums, cherries, jam These delightful treats can dance in your kitchen for the holidays
Strawberry, nectarine, mango and plum are some of the jams you'll find neatly tucked inside Jim Clayton's Rose Hill Plantation kitchen cupboard. Clayton, who has been making jam for 20 years, has some pear and cranberry-pear jam ,too, made from the plethora of pears given to him by Yemassee, S.C. gentleman farmer, James Denmark and his wife, Ethel.

Cranberry-walnut scone mix
For the mix

Cinnamon-almond coffee creamer
3/4 cup Cremora non-dairy powdered creamer

Homemade irish cream liqueur
3/4 cup Irish whiskey

Strike up the band
It was a joy to see and hear the Kenai Central High School drumline in the light parade. They sounded great.

Clarion editorial off the mark
Can someone explain why the Clarion felt it necessary to begin its silly Friday editorial with a cheap, scurrilous shot at Sarah Palin? What does "teen pregnancy has been somewhat glamorized as our former governor and her daughter have done their best to spin their family situation" amount to other than irresponsible and vulgar slander?

Christmas Comes to Kenai made possible by the community
Friday was another great day of Christmas Comes to Kenai festivities. This 30-plus year tradition in Kenai has been a success year after year thanks to our dedicated community members.

Nurse proud of fellow nurses
When I had my heart attack and cardiac arrest in the ED of Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) there were several who came to my rescue and support. The nurses in the ED at CPH went beyond the call of duty. They cared about me as a person, not just a patient.

Pebble poll biased
The "let's-not-give-Pebble-a-fair-chance" financiers are at it again. Last Sunday morning I was contacted by Craciun Research with what turned out to be an extremely biased and unprofessional poll about Pebble.

Judges' effort appreciated
The VFW and Ladies Auxiliary would like to express their thanks to the people who served as Judges in this year's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen Scholarship Programs. They listened to nine audio essays and read 36 essays submitted by students from schools in the local area. It was not an easy task to rate them according to the prescribed guidelines, and took several hours to complete.

Reader moved by effort to save pets
To Geoff Timm,

2 men charged in setting boy, 5, on fire with homemade torch
The two men arrested for allegedly setting a 5-year-old boy's head aflame with a "redneck flamethrower" in Anchor Point last month were formally accused Nov. 25, and the men are scheduled for an arraignment in Superior Court this afternoon.

'A real bad deal': Dog survives being caught in trap
For many mushers, having a dog caught in a snare or trap is a constant concern. For mushers Jane Faulkner and Mindee Morning, this fear became a reality late last month while running a dog team in the Gaswell Road area, not far from Faulkner's home.

Transactions raise eyebrows: Business returns of mayor's aide grow despite claim of divesting
In the last fiscal year the Kenai Peninsula Borough has paid out $398,000 to companies in which a mayor's aide has ownership in.

Civil suit tabled: Ordinance introduced to redo mishandled transaction
The Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly voted Tuesday to table a motion to file a civil suit against a mayor's aide while approving the introduction of an ordinance that would let him off the hook for violating a borough ordinance.

Outages keep HEA crews busy: Heavy, wet snow knocks out power to 3,000 peninsula homes
The heavy, wet snow that blanketed the Kenai Peninsula on Tuesday also caused widespread power outages around the central peninsula.

Trapping education class planned for Saturday
On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a trapping education class -- which will include a demonstration on how to release trapped pets -- at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Kenai police seek stolen welder
On Nov. 19 at 11:45 a.m., the Kenai Police Department arrested Christopher Allen, age 20 of Kenai, for vehicle theft, second degree theft and felony driving under the influence, driving while license revoked, and habitual minor consuming. Sometime between the theft of the vehicle earlier in the morning and his arrest, Allen disposed of a Lincoln Ranger welder from the rear of the truck. The Kenai Police Department is seeking recovery of the welder.

Seafood group pushes sustainable labeling
To boost Alaska seafood market prices and expand the Alaska brand in Europe, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is in discussions with a trade group that certifies and labels sustainable seafood.

Robert 'Bob' Alan Reilly
Kenai Peninsula resident Robert "Bob" Alan Reilly died Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, with his family by his side. He was 77.

Around the Peninsula

Gardeners to gather

Around the Peninsula

Soldotna tree lighting today

Best Friends
Kirk Widder and Gail Lockwood, of Sterling wrote in about their 10-year-old tabby cat, Stewart.

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