Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New bridge isn’t the only thing lighting up Soldotna nights
Despite the lack of snow, the 7th Annual Soldotna Tree Lighting ceremonies held on Sunday, December 1st brought many local residents together for an afternoon of fun and celebration to kick off the holiday season. Hosted by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce together with the City of Soldotna, the event drew young and old alike to Central Emergency Services.

Local opportunities for getting involved in supporting our troops abound
Though it is often done quietly in our community, the Soldotna Rotary club is among many local organizations that keep the spirit of giving alive throughout the year in support of our troops overseas. Through the club’s “Troop Support” program, the Soldotna Rotary has been able to maintain a connection with the troops through monthly mailings of specific items that the troops report would be welcomed on their distant fronts.

As a young man growing up in Wisconsin I spent many hours out in the middle of the night with my father who operated the only wrecker service in the area. Pulling cars out of the ditch or towing in wrecked cars became a way of life for us especially in the winter months. Having Dad holler upstairs to wake us up so that we could go with him to help was a regular occurrence in our lives.

City Sidewalks Get Dressed In Holiday Style
Most of Soldotna’s holiday street ornaments made it up before Thanksgiving this year, but according to City Manager Tom Boedeker, it had nothing to do with getting an early jump on the season, “It all depends on the weather, they can go up anytime the week before or the week after Thanksgiving. The street banners come down in the fall as the weather starts to change. After the early November snow, the following spring-like break gave us some time so the guys got started. You just never know what he weather is going to do,” said Boedeker.

Trappers rally needs balance
Most folks would rather not learn about this subject, but having my dog killed in a snare 12 steps from the roadside on private property caused me to pay attention. The information at the trappers rally would have you believe that dogs getting trapped is unusual. More realistically the reporting of one is unusual. An experienced trapper told me that the trappers trapping Cohoe Loop catch dogs in about half the traps set. I have personally seen dog pelts in trappers homes.

Bad roads bring up many questions
Sterling Highway is the worst I have ever seen: "Drive with caution." I'm not sure it's going to make it through the winter. You can't watch for moose or animals on the highway. You have to watch for bumps, dips, heaves and ruts. Kalifornsky Beach isn't any better. From Bridge Access to Kasilof is like driving a collision course.

Reader curious about future guide management
The report on limited entry for guides (PC11-30-07) was interesting. State parks can limit guides if they choose to.

'Family activity' leaves reader wondering about ethics
There seems to exist deserving criticism of Alaska politics along with many Alaskans' unquenching thirst to kill something.

People need to sign initiative to keep streams free of toxins
We, as Alaskans, are so privileged to live in a place so rich in natural beauty. We enjoy harvesting salmon, halibut and game without worrying about toxin levels in the meat. We hike, hunt, fish, snowmachine and fly in and over vast wilderness, and this enriches our spirit.

Parents responsible for children's damages
I really appreciated your article on the burden of vandalism (Clarion, Nov. 25), but from the vantage point of 82 (almost) years, I disagreed with a small but important point.

Fall slowdown apparent, but employment remains strong
Although summer had gone and with it the fever of activity that typically boils Alaska's busy season, the latest figures from the Kenai Peninsula Borough show employment during October remained relatively active.

Local lawmakers eye Palin's proposals
Gov. Sarah Palin's recent calls for saving $7.1 billion in oil-revenue surpluses over the next couple of years and pushing education spending to more than $1 billion a year for three years are getting mostly favorable reviews from Kenai Peninsula lawmakers.

Photo feature: Feeling small
Sue Carter and her dog, Katie, are dwarfed by the sunlit Chigmit Mountains in the Aleutian Range across Cook Inlet during a walk on the beach in Kenai on Tuesday morning. Forecasters are calling for a chance of snow today.

Help wanted
In many, the holiday season brings out a desire to help those less fortunate, though people often don't know how to help or what is needed.

Borough works on wish list
State lawmakers are urged to fix education funding, establish a workable municipal revenue sharing program, and appropriate money to cover the huge debt owed to state retirement systems in the latest draft of the Kenai Peninsula Borough's legislative wish list.

Library gets early Christmas gift
Santa came early to Soldotna.

Palin's 2009 capital budget includes peninsula projects
A host of projects on the Kenai Peninsula were included in Gov. Sarah Palin's proposed 2009 Capital Budget released Monday.

Emergency responders go high tech
Having a GPS receiver and knowing how to use it are two different things, or so Stephen Brown will tell you.

Photo feature: King me
Adaya and Nimi Pollock play a big game of checkers as their parents work nearby during a visit to the Kenai Community Library last weekend.

Evie Mae Mohr
Soldotna resident Evie Mae Mohr died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, at Stonebrook, an assisted living facility in Soldotna. She was 96.

Ray C. Olds
Longtime Kenai resident Ray C. Olds died Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, at home. He was 81.

Learning to trust again: Legislators must not vote on issues where there's conflict
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other."

Healthy Bites
Avocados: more than just "good fat" and guacamole

Yorkshire pudding 'popovers'
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Jewel-tone Christmas trifle
1 (1-pound) loaf pound cake, homemade or

Around the Peninsula
Women invited to brunch KWF plans open house Santa to visit Nikiski Mycological society to meet School district committee members needed Breakfast with Santa offered Aluminum recycling event continues Clarion seeks new neighbor T-200 poster contest begins

How to purchase and cook roast beef
n Choose U.S.D.A. choice or select grades of beef. Cuts such as tenderloin, rib, sirloin, sirloin-tip or rump are excellent choices.

Around the Peninsula
The Kenai Kennel Club is offering a Canine Good Citizen class Dec. 29 at its facility in the C Plaza in Kenai. The program consists of a six-week class, where students take their dogs through a series of situations designed to teach the dog to be under control, such as in a crowd of people and around other dogs. A test is given at the end of the session. Those who pass may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club, which sponsors the program.

Favorite Madeira-mushroom gravy
1 stick unsalted butter

Calories add up in toddys
Hot tea may be a better choice than a hot toddy at holiday parties this season for those of us trying to keep from gaining winter weight.

Christmas dinner gets the royal treatment
If you haven't started thinking about what you might serve for Christmas dinner, why not start with dessert and perhaps an English trifle?

Nikiski, Eagles split
The Cook Inlet Academy boys rallied for 22 points in the fourth quarter to beat visiting Nikiski, 60-50, at CIA on Tuesday in non-conference basketball action. Led by 18 points each from Scott Litchfield (eight rebounds) and Shane Moffis, the Eagles fell behind by one entering the final frame before making the strong run. Garyn Munn chipped in 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles. Justin Wik and Evan Holloway led the Bulldogs (0-2) with 16 and 14 points, respectively, while Brando Wik added 11 points.

Sports Brief
Matt Thompson scored all four goals in leading the Bulldogs to a 4-0 victory over the Mariners' JV squad at the ConocoPhillips Multipurpose Facility in Kenai on Tuesday.

Handle with care
Fourth-graders in David Michael's Tustumena Elementary School class were interested in the parts of a salmon that most people aren't.

Waking up to reality of the scholarship nightmare
I thought finding the career I was going to pursue in college was the only thing I had to worry about at the beginning of my senior year.

Campus hosts luncheon for legislators, mayors: Kenai Peninsula College
In an effort to keep key decision-makers informed about Kenai Peninsula College, peninsula legislators and mayors, UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer and Provost Michael Driscoll attended an information luncheon Monday. The purpose of the event was to provide an overview of current campus topics, highlights of the UA budget requests and demonstrate the importance of training the workforce for the local economy. The dignitaries interacted with the KPC leadership team, college council and Student Union members.

Around the District
Aurora Borealis Charter Connections home-school IDEA home-school Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science Kenai Central High Kenaitze Head Start Mountain View Elementary Ninilchik School Nikiski Middle-High Nikiski North Star Redoubt Elementary Sears Elementary Skyview High School Soldotna High Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Sterling Elementary Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Fun and games
  New Soldotna Middle School staff members Lisa Rolph, Stephanie McDowell, Steve Cunningham and Debbie Brophy perform at the school's annual Turkey Trot initiation portion. Photo by John Harro, SMS teacher

Sports Briefs
Midnight Sun Volleyball to hold tryouts Kenai Central to celebrate its hockey history

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