Thursday, December 20, 2007

Business Briefs
What's new in your business? Chambers set schedules Dragonfly Gallery hosts open house Bishop's Attic expands Wisdom honored Aromatherapy classes offered Harwager returns to Oil and Gas Supply Alaska USA offers mobile access Food bank donations sought

“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.”

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.

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.

Outdoors
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.

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:

Chevron's help appreciated
Frontier Community Services would like to take this opportunity to thank Chevron for their generous donation toward our Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets for 24 families.

College day care earns low grade
As a mother of two with some college under my belt, I can think of nothing I would like more than to finish my four-year degree.

Reader: Less tax is best
Folks, do you realize that if gas is $3.30 a gallon on New Year's Eve, it will be $3.33 a gallon on New Year's Day?

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.

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.

Study: Kenai, Homer bear brunt of bluff erosion
Property owners on the bluff between Homer and the Kenai Forelands could find their homes teetering on the brink of a precipice after a few short years as erosion eats their land away.

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.

Santa's helpers need some help
Santa isn't the only one that gets busy delivering packages during the holiday season. So, too, do local post offices, which is why they are asking postal customers to regularly check their boxes.

PacRim has more work to do
Alaska and federal agencies have notified the developers of the Chuitna Coal Project that information so far submitted for environmental review is inadequate for fully assessing the potential impact of the proposed strip mine on salmon and wildlife habitat.

Photo feature: Moonshine
The moon rises in the sky shortly after sunset Wednesday evening. With only about six hours of daylight, the moon is visible longer than the sun this week.

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.

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.

LaVon Pickarsky
Willis, Texas, resident LaVon Pickarsky died Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007, at her home. She was 66.

Larry D. Gjovig
Longtime Soldotna resident Larry D. Gjovig died, Monday, Dec. 17, 2007, unexpectedly at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 65.

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.

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

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.

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

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,

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.

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.

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.

Sambuca cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted

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

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
DAV to meet New charter school to be discussed Cribbage tourney continues Race volunteers sought Caregiver meetings set Counseling association offers classes Wine tasting fundraiser set SoHi Class of '88 seeks information Social Security reps to visit peninsula Donations sought for military personnel

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

Millionaire shortbread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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

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

Togiak girls down Cook Inlet in Classic
Only three players found the bottom of the net for the Cook Inlet Academy girls as they fell to Togiak, 48-42, in both teams' first game of the Cook Inlet Classic on Wednesday at Cook Inlet Academy.

Poet's Corner
Sometimes there will be rocks, curves, and thorns

Back home again
Many families will welcome home their loved ones in the coming weeks. This weekend, peninsula music afficianados will have the opportunity to catch up with two of their own: Keeley Boyle and Nelson Kempf once of the Tim Sturm Band, now The Old Believers will play two shows with Matt Hopper and Kate Earl.

'Legend' starts strong, but ...
Hollywood is full of beautiful and successful adaptations of popular novels. So many, you might say, that some years it feels like Tinseltown turns out nothing but adaptation after adaptation. Producers and studios love adaptations because: a. The story is already written for them; and b. There is already (hopefully) a built in fan base who will, ideally, mob the theater on that all-important first weekend.

Art Briefs
Writers' group to meet Collections for exhibit sought Book club a real page turner Museum plans juried exhibit Milestone moments sought Graphic Art workshop planned Art donations sought UA video contest opens Pratt seeks program proposals Short story contest begins Writers' group seeks entries Educator grant applications available Kids' reading program ongoing Reading council seeks members Kenai Performers seek members

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Films Upcoming Events Down the Road Anchorage events

Pigskin Pick 'em: All Day long
Watch out NFL.

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