Wednesday, December 19, 2007

“Chez Moi” is your place for style on the Peninsula
Tammy Davis was born and raised in the local area and after living in Europe for three and a half years returned home to realize a life long dream of opening her own boutique, “Having grown up here I truly understand the clothing preferences of the community, we love to wear our jeans and sweats and things that are comfortable and my goal is to bring comfort with an element of style. After living in Europe I feel the infusion and change of style helps to make our everyday wear more interesting and a lot more fun,” Davis told the Dispatch. Chez Moi is French for “My Place,” or as Sir Lancelot portrayed in the song from Camelot it’s all about the pride of “being me.”

Kindling the lights of Chanukah
From December 4th through the 12th this year the Jewish Festival of Lights Chanukah, also spelled Hanukkah or Hannukah, was celebrated around the world. On the Kenai Peninsula families gathered on the 5th night of Chanukah to light their family menorahs and partake of traditional foods such as potato latkes and play the popular dreidel game. One of the best known symbols of Chanukah is the dreidel. A dreidel is a four sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The four letters are:

Young Carolers Help Warm Elder Hearts
The sounds of children’s voices lifted in happy holiday melodies echoed across the Central Peninsula last week delighting shoppers, senior citizens, hospital staff and patients. For the last dozen or so years Cook Inlet Academy (CIA) pre-school teacher Becky Dwinnell, fondly known as “Miss Becky,” has been Christmas Caroling with her pre-school through 3rd grade students throughout the local community. Last week with the help of parents to provide transportation Miss Becky took two groups of 30 students on a caroling tour that included the Soldotna Senior Center, Heritage Place, Central Peninsula Hospital, Beemun’s Variety store, and Carrs Safeway in Soldotna.

Goldwings help Angel Tree
For the last four years local members of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) have gathered at Fred Myers, not to show off their riding skills, biker babes, or fancy motorcycles, but to do some serious toy shopping. “We learned about the Salvation Army Angel tree about 5 years ago, where you could pick up a card with a local child’s Christmas wish on it and shop especially for that special need or wish. Sometimes all the kid wants is a blanket, but we make sure there’s a toy to go along with it. It’s pretty nice and we’ve enjoyed it so much each year we’ve just come to make it an annual event,” GWRRA Chapter director Preston Williams told the Dispatch.

The large mid morning crowd in County Dave’s saloon as usual was people of all ages with the majority drinking either coffee or pop. A group of senior citizens were having their usual morning card game off to one side while others were watching their favorite TV programs. The whole place was buzzing with excitement as the various people were sharing with each other their plans for the upcoming Easter holiday. One individual who spent the majority of his time at the bar appeared to be trying to block out every one else as he asked for the TV to be turned up a little louder. I didn’t know this guy very well but knew he was a retired police officer from Chicago who was also divorced. I walked over to Richard Decker and asked him where he was spending Easter Sunday. He replied, “At home, as I don’t have any relatives here.” I asked if he would like to come out to my farm for Easter dinner. He replied, “I would like to, but I got picked up for drunk driving and lost my license so I have no way to get there.” He also said he could not afford to take a cab. I then told him I could come into town and pick him up and bring him back home when he was ready to go home. When he turned to look at me I noticed a steady stream of tears as he choked out the following words, “ That is the nicest invite I ever had, I would be honored to be your guest for Easter dinner.” The whole deal was a real eye opening experience for me. I realized that even though these people may spend the majority of their lives in the bars and on a pretty steady consumption of booze, they all have a few things in common with all of us. They were all someone’s special child at one point and they all have feelings even though they may appear cold and somewhat hardened in their way of life.

Reader opposes mine
This letter is to express my opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay watershed.

Addressing holidays and lights
You had an editorial in the Dec. 10 paper from the Ketchikan Daily News about the commercial image of holiday giving. This is a great piece. I whole-heartedly agree with the editorial and hope more people get the message.

Group effort blazes new trail
On behalf of the Tsalteshi Trails Association, I would like to thank the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and Wilder Construction for their generous donation of time, labor and material that culminated in the construction of the new parking lot and access to the Tsalteshi Trails off of Kalifornsky Beach Road.

Photo feature: Peak of dawn
The rising sun illuminates clouds over the Kenai Mountains near Cooper Landing this weekend. Forecasters are calling for clear skies and below zero temperatures.

ACT, borough get day in court
Kenai Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman will hear oral arguments Friday in the lawsuit filed by the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers, a grassroots group challenging the Kenai Peninsula Borough's pending increase in the sales tax.

Conoco pitches gas line proposal
ConocoPhillips representatives presented an alternative to the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, also known as AGIA, to the Alaska Support Industry Alliance on Tuesday in the hopes of gathering public opinion and support for their project.

CES wreath glows red
Red light bulbs appeared on Central Emergency Services' wreath serving as testimony to two structure fires and a dryer fire that took place within 72 hours of each other over the weekend.

Wide-awake bear meets sad end
A hungry brown bear's search for easy pickings led it to homes along Skyline Drive in Homer a couple weeks ago. An area resident brought the aging bruin's aggressive behavior to an end Dec. 4.

Photo feature: Cold shipping
Exhaust from vehicles idling in the cold weather Tuesday frame Ken Cox as he hurries into the Kenai post office to mail a Christmas package. Forecasters are calling for continued cold temperatures.

Loose ends, next budget on docket
Kenai City Manager Rick Koch expects Wednesday's city council meeting to be relatively quiet. But as the year comes to a close Koch and council members will be busy discussing last-minute city matters and gearing up for next year's budget process.

Recycling efforts pay off
Amid the truckloads of garbage pouring into Kenai Peninsula Borough landfills each day are tons of salvageable materials, but recent waste-management data shows recycling is catching on, a Solid Waste Department official told the assembly recently.

Chester Henderson Cone
Longtime Alaskan and Kenai resident Chester Henderson Cone died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007, at home. He was 92.

Karen Ann (Johnson) Shisler
Longtime Soldotna resident Karen Ann (Johnson) Shisler died Monday, Dec. 17, 2007, at the Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 66.

Candy cane cookies
Be sure to add enough food coloring to deeply color your candy canes.

Iced cranberry-white chocolate drop cookies
Kitchen Ade note: This is not the first time one of Lois' cookie recipes has won first place. Last year, her recipe for mint meltaways edged out the competition in the bar cookie category.

Gum drop cookies
Jan shared that these gum drop cookies are the "kids' favorite at Christmastime." Jan's recipe was inherited from her Aunt Willa years ago.

Pecan squares
2 cups brown sugar, divided 1 cup (2 sticks) butter,

Millionaire shortbread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cookie jar gingersnaps
Jay gives credit to his mother-in-law Patricia Graves for this exceptional gingersnap cookie.

Sambuca cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted

Cream cheese drop cookie
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, slightly

Surprise meringues
Kitchen Ade note: This is Charlotte's second time as a cookie contest finalist. Her key lime cookies placed in the bar cookie category last year.

Around the Peninsula
DAV to meet Free gift wrapping offered T-200 poster contest continues KMS volleyball camp set Community resource directory available

Around the Peninsula
KCHS hockey memorabilia sought Raffle fundraiser continues Race volunteers sought Caregiver meetings set Hospice plans celebration Writers' group seeks entries

Healthy Bites
People lose their appetites for many reasons, including stress, illness or medication side effects.

Chocolate raspberry crumb bars
1 cup (2 sticks) butter,

Winning Cookies 2007
I don't want to keep you any longer than the time it takes to preheat an oven, but there are just a few things you should know before you head to the kitchen to start making these Santa-approved Christmas cookies.

Walnut sandwich cookies
You'll love how easy this impressive-looking cookie is to bake.

Almond squares
This bar cookie left some of the cookie contest judges swooning for more. Marie's cookie recipe for walnut sandwich cookies took first place in the "shaped, molded, rolled refrigerator and no-bake" category.

Sports Brief
The Nikiski hockey team took just six players to a pair of Greatland Hockey Conference games Friday and Saturday at Susitna Valley, but came out with a pair of wins.

Students lead the way
It's one thing to study human rights violations from the past. It's another when they're part of current events.

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

Web registration a growing trend at the college: Kenai Peninsula College
More than 46 percent of students who registered for classes during fall 2007 semester did so online. This is an increase of 5 percent over the previous fall semester.

Lost in thought: Writer ponders just about everything
I find it hard sometimes to comprehend the simplistic mannerisms of my fellow peers.

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