Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lytle creates underwater Polar bear encounter
So there you are in your scuba gear during an underwater arctic dive and suddenly a polar bear joins you from his ice shelf above. That's the image captured by Kasilof artist Pat Lytle in an original multi-layered acrylic piece she calls "Ice Bear." "The depth of ice and how it reflects color has always fascinated me, not only can you see the surface face of ice but you can see through the many layers and I had always wanted to create something that had that the same visual depth, so I came up with the idea of painting on multiple layers of clear acrylic panels," Lytle told the Dispatch.

How many times have you ever heard someone say, "I never saw that before or that is unique!"? You could drive around Soldotna and Kenai and count a hundred moose easily in less than a weeks' time and think nothing of it. But throw in one white one and people would drive for miles just to see it and take pictures of it. The white one has four legs, two ears, two eyes, and a big nose just like all the others but just because it is a different color it becomes unique in the eyes of the viewer.

Have yourself a local shopping Christmas
According to unofficial reports more shoppers on the Peninsula seem to be buying locally and shopping more vigorously this year. The annual Kenai Arts & Craft fair reported 30 year record crowds and sales from their vendors and many local merchants are reporting sales either equal to or 10% greater than last year. "We sold out of our Aqua Globes the first few days we put them on sale and quickly re-ordered, but they're going fast again," said Paul Miller of Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware. "It's a good season for our chocolates, boots and warm slippers, that's our most popular item this time of year and they're going well with the big shopping days for us still ahead," said Mike Sweeney of the Working Man's Store. Steve Beeson of Beemun's agrees that business is good this year. The Peninsula Center Mall has the Peninsula's largest indoor snowman on display surrounded by local vendor booths offering Alaska made gift items through the holiday season.

Power filled plays make spirits bright
Once again this weekend those wishing to experience some holiday cheer through live theatre will have a couple of options thanks to thespians of the Triumvirate Theatre. In Kenai the Funky Monkey is offering dinner theatre with Joe Rizzo's production of Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol," and at the Triumvirate Theatre in Soldotna the super comedy of heroic proportions "Insane with Power," will have shows Friday and Saturday night starting at 7:00pm. "The play by Scott Haan is set in a mental institution where all the patients believe they have super powers which range from believing they can turn on and off the lights by clapping their hands, to being able to read other peoples minds and having super speed and control over the weather," said Insane with Power director Angie Nelson who also directed "You know the old Slaying" mystery comedy earlier this year.

Miss Becky's CIA carolers tour Soldotna
For more years than she likes to remember Becky Dwinnell, fondly known to her students at Cook Inlet Academy (CIA) as Miss Becky has brightened the Central Peninsula with the joyous sounds of children caroling songs of the season, "It's awesome, the kids love it and this year more than ever the people of the community seem to be really enjoying the children singing. The kids really like singing for the elderly, those who are hospitalized, or maybe just shut-in or frail, and you can see them brighten and get happier with each song. This community supports us throughout the year and this is our chance to give back a little and say thank you with our smiles," said Miss Becky.

Obama deserves our support
A writer in your Dec. 10 issue states: "I find it a little obscene that with the tough economic times the nation faces that President-Elect Obama has the gall to spend $30,000 on a ring for his wife and that he is enrolling his children in the most expensive private school in Washington, D.C."

Spending good for the economy
This is in response to a reader's displeasure with Obama's spending (Clarion, Dec. 10). An individual's income is relative, and the fact he is stimulating the economy is a good thing.

Third time a charm?
In the hope of reuniting Soldotna residents split over where to build a city cemetery, the mayor, on Wednesday, entertained a motion by the city council to form a committee to seek a "compromise site."

KRSMA curious about HEA plans
The Homer Electric Association made a presentation to a curious Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board on Thursday.

19 years later, Exxon Valdez spill checks have been mailed
Nineteen years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill disrupted the livelihood of thousands of Alaskans, and fourteen years after a federal jury found Exxon Mobil Corporation liable for compensatory and punitive damages from the spill, many of the 32,000 Exxon lawsuit claimants heard last week a phrase some thought they'd never hear.

Beetle battle over?
Mayor Dave Carey announced this week that he is prepared to all but end the borough's participation in the decade-old Spruce Bark Beetle Mitigation Program and its effort to rid strategic areas of dead spruce.

Big dogs: King, Mackey ready for T-200
The start of Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race is just over a month away and organizers say plans are proceeding on schedule.

Mining change may affect fish
Changes to a federal rule governing mining in and around sensitive salmon streams and other habitats have drawn fire from Alaska environmental groups.

Accident sends 3 to hospital
A three-car accident shut down the Sterling Highway east of Soldotna for 40 minutes Monday afternoon.

Fire, smoke damages Clam Gulch house
A fire swept through a vacant seasonal home Saturday afternoon in Clam Gulch.

Photo feature: Big lips
A backcountry skier stops to take in the view on a ridge covered by a wind lip above Turnagain Pass on Saturday.

Photo feature: Glowing
The setting sun reflects in windows at Vintage Pointe Manor senior housing above the Kenai River flats last weekend. Next week the short days of winter start getting longer after the winter solstice passes Sunday.

Around the Peninsula

Car seat checkup slated

Around the Peninsula

Caregivers to meet

Kenai girls basketball defeats Eagle River
The Kenai Central girls basketball team defeated host Eagle River 67-17 on Saturday in the nonconference season opener for both teams.

Photo feature: Declaring her rights

Kenai Peninsula College: Around Campus

Spring semester update

Writer finds swimming against the tide a source of pride
I go to a school with 424 kids, each of us having our own thoughts, each of us living, exactly the same. I don't pretend to be smart, because I know nothing. I only observe.

Around the Peninsula

School board meetings slated

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