Thursday, December 3, 2009

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Cranberry-orange marmalade
2 oranges

Cranberry-walnut scone mix
For the mix

Homemade irish cream liqueur
3/4 cup Irish whiskey

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In other business, the assembly:
n Enacted an ordinance accepting and appropriating a $13,000 donation from Chevron for the purchase of firefighting equipment;

HEA continues working on outages
Homer Electric Association crews spent the day Wednesday taking care of the small number of remaining power outages on the Kenai Peninsula following Tuesday's major snowstorm.

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.

Funds sought: Borough discusses unpaid lobbyist bill
The lobbying firm that advocates for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's issues in Washington and Juneau undercharged the borough for its services over the past two years, and now it wants all of its money.

'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.

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.

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.

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.

Debra Jean Coburn
Kenai resident Debra Jean Coburn died Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009, in Anchorage after a short battle with cancer. She was 51.

Around the Peninsula

Trapping clinic slated

Around the Peninsula

Soldotna tree lighting today

Gentle giant gets lucky break
'The Blind Side'

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