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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Redoubt kids win Food Bank challenge!...Principal Pothast too ill to trot
Students at Redoubt Elementary school kept the spirit of the first Thanksgiving feast alive last week, when they shared what they had with those having less. It was a challenge that school principal, John Pothast, presented to the kids and their families to see if they could collect 500 pounds of food and $500 dollars to give to the Food Bank. According to Sharron Hale, volunteer coordinator at Redoubt, the challenge from Mr. Pothast was that if they reached those dual goals, he would dress up as a turkey for the day and dance the Turkey Trot. "Amazingly we surpassed both goals, delivering 769 pounds of groceries to the Food Bank last week, and today we and our Turkey for the day presented Linda Swarner, executive director for the Food Bank with a check for $644 dollars. Unfortunately, Mr. Pothast was too sick to come to work the day of our Turkey Trot assembly, so our physical education teacher, Bill Withrow, put himself into some smashing orange tights and a turkey suit, and stuck his neck out to be our turkey for the day," Hale told the Dispatch.

Outdoors
Moving to Alaska was a very good move for my family and I in 1995. Leaving behind a life as a dairy and hog farmer in Wisconsin, and going back to the oil field again, was a very prosperous move for me personally. Farming today is a very difficult occupation, with constantly fluctuating prices and a never-ending rise in expenses. Despite working seven days a week, there is no overtime pay, paid holidays, retirement benefits, hospital insurance or vacations. We lived from paycheck to paycheck, just trying to survive and somehow keep ahead of the operating expenses.

Let the local shopping begin! Christmas comes to Kenai, Soldotna lights its trees
With sirens blaring, cookies baking, bonfires burning, fireworks blasting, Drumlines drumming, soldiers saluting, and Santa Claus waving under moonlit arctic nights, the 2009 Holidays are happily underway on the Central Peninsula. Long before the day after Thanksgiving became known as "Black Friday", it was the traditional day for "Christmas Comes to Kenai," and Santa's first visit to the Peninsula sponsored by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. "This 30-plus year tradition in Kenai has been a success year after year, thanks to our dedicated community members. Although the Kenai Chamber of Commerce is responsible for hosting this event, it is truly made possible by the folks in our community. From cookies and hot chocolate to our volunteer Santa Claus, Tim Navarre, there is a myriad of donations and volunteer support that makes this event possible and so much fun for the community. We couldn't do it without them," said KCC executive director Tina Baldridge. According to Baldridge photos with Santa this year will be available for downloading at www.kenaichamber.shutterfly.com through Dec. 15th, due to Polaroid discontinuing their instant film camera.

H1N1 Vaccinations are now available
With the arrival of the long awaited H1N1 vaccine, the Central Peninsula H1N1 Task Force recently held five community mass-dispensing clinics. The task force has conducted the clinics for the H1N1 vaccine at central peninsula elementary schools, including three clinics at Soldotna, and Kenai Middle and Soldotna high schools. Clinics were also held at the Kenai National Guard Armory on Forest Drive. The task force is a group of local agencies formed to plan clinics to vaccinate as many students, public, private, home school, and pre-school aged individuals in the central area as possible against the H1N1 influenza (swine flu) because of their risk of spreading the virus.

Road maintenance needs improving
For a state that is known for harsh winter weather, our winter road maintenance system is pathetic. Coming home from the night shift the other morning, I was reminded of the joke that is our snow clearing system. About 6 inches had fallen over night and it was still on the main road in Kenai at 6 a.m.

What if healthcare reform doesn't work?
First of all let me say that I think there should be some kind of healthcare reform, but has anyone in this country really figured out what will happen if healthcare reform is passed by the congress and it doesn't work the way they think it will and does more damage then good for the people?

Assembly setting more than one flawed precedent
The editorial "Setting a flawed precedent" (Opinion, Dec 4) stated in part, "American government systems don't make laws for a single person. American government systems make laws for us all. Singling out an individual suggests some deserve different treatment than others, that some individuals are more special."

Home alone: Kenai police arrest babysitter, 19, for leaving 2 kids behind
Kenai police arrested a 19-year-old babysitter for reckless endangerment on Dec. 3 after she allegedly left the two small children home alone in the middle of the night to go to a hotel bar in Kenai.

Sweet!: Cookie fundraiser has a mission
Gingerbread men, pumpkin spiced cookies, toffee bars -- there seemed to be something to satisfy the sweet tooth of even the most finicky of confection connoisseurs during the annual "Cookies 'Buy' the Pound" event at Our Lady of the Angles Catholic Church in Kenai on Saturday.

Kenai man indicted on sexual assault
A Kenai man was indicted last week with eight sexual assault charges relating to an alleged Nov. 29 incident when he was discovered having sex with a 32-year-old woman with Down syndrome.

Decks the halls: Contests start: Nikiski, Soldotna, Kenai kick off annual holiday lighting competitions
'Tis the season for holiday decorating contests, and the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce, as well as the Community Council in Nikiski, want to encourage people to nominate their neighbors and commercial businesses that have extraordinary holiday decorations on display this year to recognize their efforts.

Blaze totals home; kills 1: Nikiski fire still under investigation
Emergency crews found the remains of a fire victim inside a Nikiski home that went up in flames Sunday evening. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire and attempting to identify the body.

Photo feature: Sing songs of good cheer
Mike Morgan gets help with a carol from Kaladi Brothers Coffee employees Lyla Marey and her sister, Amirah, on Sunday afternoon during the company's annual Christmas party. A cheerful crowd kept the music loud.

Tollef W. Thompson
Lifelong Nikiski resident Tollef W. Thompson, 45, died Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, in a house fire at his home.

Around the Peninsula

Book fair begins

Around the Peninsula

H1N1 mass dispensing slated

Best Friends
Chip and Zachary are shelties owned by Gwen Bennett of Kenai.

Best Friends
Heidi Watkins, 9, of Kenai, is shown with her rabbit, Bun Bun. Bun Bun, 6, is a Holland Lop.

Homer Invitational results announced
The results of the Homer Invitational, which was held on Friday and Saturday at Lookout Mountain, were released. Soldotna won the two-day girls team title, while Kenai nabbed the two-day boys team title. Friday's three-kilometer classical race was won by Kailey Mucha of Kenai with a time of 10 minutes, 7 seconds. Soldotna's Bree Mucha finished at 10:41. On Saturday, Bree won the five-kilometer skate while Kailey was taking the SATs. Bree had a time of 19:26, while Soldotna's Maranda Merkes was second at 20:51. Kenai's Travis Semmens swept the Friday three-kilometer classical race and the Saturday five-kilometer skate race. On Friday, Semmens finished in 9:04, while Anders Nyquist of Kenai was second at 9:23. On Saturday, Semmens finished at 16:51 while Ryan Sanders of Soldotna was second at 18:09.

Wireless unleashes learning: School district expanding cord-free, interactive technology
Wireless Internet gives Savannah Anchinges courage.

No cash for this clunker, just hard knocks
My car is dead.

Around the District
School board to meet

Kenai Peninsula College

Darkroom class offered

Brownies, Avs want Bear Cup
The Kenai River Brown Bears will face the Alaska Avalanche of Wasilla tonight at 7:05 p.m. at the Soldotna Sports Center in the first game of the Alaska Bear Cup.

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