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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Outdoors
For each one of us that lives in Alaska there is an outdoor side to us that we need to address from time to time. For some of us there is a mountain man side that often times tells us we should have been born in a different era. For some of the more extreme cases some of our friends and neighbors actually dream of being some of the first settlers to Alaska.

Son & Father know Alaska at AK Cellular & Satellite
Born in Ketchikan, Tel White has followed his dream from the Mat-Su Valley to Oregon, Mexico and finally Soldotna, where he has opened a state of the art electronics store next to Mykel's on the Spur Highway. "After graduating from high school in Oregon, I followed what is probably every 18-year-old's fantasy, and went to Mexico to pursue a career in scuba diving. But that didn't pan out quick like I had imagined, so I rejoined my parents who had moved back to Alaska, and started working at Radio Shack stores where I got my start in the electronics business," White told the Dispatch. For several years, Tel had dreamed of going into business for himself. His market research led him to the Kenai Peninsula. "To tell you the truth, it was the people here. We'd lived in different places from Juneau to the Mat-Su, but the people in this community are truly the best and that's why I wanted to open my first store right here," he said.

Tina's never closed she just moved to a stronger location
For more than twenty years, Tina's Hair Pro's have been serving families of the local community at various locations. In the not-so-distant past, Tina's gained some national notoriety when a customer accidently drove through the front of her salon when it was located next to JoAnn Fabrics in Soldotna. The story made national news under the heading, "Tina's drive-through window." "I think the story the Clarion ran originally got picked up by MSN.com and was chosen as their news pick of the week. From there I must have had calls and interviews from media outlets all across the lower 48. The Jay Leno show was even considering doing a piece on my drive through window, but it was during the writer's strike, and they never contacted me directly," said Tina Taylor, owner of Tina's Hair Pro's.

Virtual Bethlehem revisited at College Heights Baptist rebuilds Bethlehem
Residents and visitors to the Kenai Peninsula will have a unique opportunity this year to travel back to old-world Bethlehem in a unique outdoor experience called "Bethlehem Revisited." The idea and elaborate effort is spearheaded by Becky Moore at the College Heights Baptist Church located on K-Beach Rd. "I was in Texas one year at Christmas time and we visited a reenactment of the first Christmas that left me spellbound, because I really felt like I was walking the streets of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. So I thought it was something that our congregation could bring to the Peninsula," Moore told the Dispatch. "Just imagine going back in time 2,000 years and thinking of what you might see in the streets of Bethlehem and you'll see here in our court. The streets will be bustling with people coming to be counted for the census and pay taxes, you'll see all kinds of shops and vendors typical of the marketplace, the Innkeeper, King Herod, the shepherds and wise men, and we'll even have the reenactment of the birth of Jesus," said Moore.

Klimpke home lights up Nikiski nights
Decking the halls and night skies of Nikiski with lit hot air tiggers, motorcycle riding Santa's, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, with Santa and his sleigh streaking through the night sky above a life-size doll Ferris wheel, are just a few of the thousands of lights sparkling at the Klimpke home this time of year. John Klimpke has become a holiday legend to North Roaders who are amazed year after year as John just keeps adding more lights. "We added another 10,000 or more this year, and last year we had 32,000. So all in all, it's around 42,000 lights up this year," Klimpke told the Dispatch. John says his personal favorite is the igloo. "It took me the longest to build. But the most expensive is the Ferris wheel. It's made out of pvc pipe, but constructed with steel. I told my wife I was going to put the grandkids in it and put a mattress under it, but she said 'I dare ya!' I bought two more lots next to me, so next year I'll have even more room for expansion," he said.

Group dreams of 'greener' Christmas: Environmentally friendly gifts top Kenai Resilience members lists
A local environmental group is challenging its members to think green while shopping for holiday gifts this season.

Sister keeps cold case vigil: 13-year-old unsolved murder leaves family worried, on edge
The first time they spoke, she accused him of murder. Thirteen years later, she considers him a brother. Though they've never met, Sarah Musgrove-Short and Art White are connected by a shared love: a love for Jennifer Rachel White.

Mayor seeks work group: Group would look at river buffer zone ordinance
A 13-year-old borough ordinance designed to protect salmon rearing streams that's effectiveness has been called into question is likely going to be revisited as soon as the beginning of the new year.

Survey: 90-day sessions causing problems
Alaska's voters in 2006 narrowly approved shortening legislative sessions from the constitutionally mandated 120-day maximum to 90 days.

Photo feature: Festival of Lights
Barb Koval lights candles in a menorah to observe one of the days of Hanukkah last weekend at the Naptowne Cafe in Sterling. Each night of the Jewish Festival of Lights holiday, she will light another candle until the holiday ends this year on Dec. 19. She reads a short Hanukkah story to interested guests, serves traditional Jewish holiday foods and plays a holiday game with those who are interested. Joking that as a child, Hanukkah was not as "prolific" as Christmas, she said, "We always hoped that Santa Claus wouldn't know that we were Jewish and would stop at our house. But of course he never did."

Eileen Marie Edler
Longtime Alaskan Eileen Marie Edler died Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. She was 66.

Hazel 'Penny' Dyer
Nikiski resident Hazel "Penny" Dyer, 77, died Dec. 12, 2009, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease at New River Assisted Living in Kenai.

Around the Peninsula

Fish and Game Advisory to meet

Best Friends
Debra Scarlett of Kenai said, "This is Hootch checking in my dads shoes, in our house your shoes come off and Hootch will check them for any funny smelling things and clean them out with his paws which have 13 toes in the front paws. His birthday was Oct. 13. He is 5-years-old."

Best Friends
Jae Thomas, of Kenai said, "Here is Puddy, my 27 toed cat. She has six toes on each back foot. One front foot has eight toes the other foot has seven. She is a great shrewer!"

Middle school love lost is experience gained
I remember it quite distinctly, my first day of seventh grade, trembling in my seat, when he walked in.

Around the District

School board to meet

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