Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Is it Global Warming when Pink Flamingos land in Soldotna?
Pink Flamingos may not be a traditional Holiday dcor, but none the less a flock of the plastic pink tropical birds appeared in front of the Soldotna Visitors Center located near the bridge last week. "We didn't do it, it was done unto us!" exclaimed Michelle Glaves, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce executive director. "We were officially 'flocked' as the citation posted on my door read. There were fifty-some flamingos by Les and the Bench when we came in to work Monday and the ransom letter stated that for a donation to the Soldotna Playground the flamingos will happily fly away to a location of our choosing," said Glaves. Since the Chamber's flocking, the birds have stealthily congregated at McDonalds for some fries, and made their way over for a workout at the Fitness Place.

Festival of Lights brightens long Alaskan nights
"It's a celebration of the miracle of lights," Barbara Koval told those who came to her restaurant the first night of Chanukah. For the first time since Koval bought the Naptowne Inn & Caf in Sterling, she decided to share some of the Chanukah joy and traditional foods of the Holiday that she has celebrated since she was a child. "We had free potato latkes with everything on our menu, and Rugula, a traditional sweet pastry, compliments of Jackie one of our wonderful customers. We read the Chanukah story of the oil that lasted eight nights, then lit the Menorah and invited everyone to join in spinning the dreidel." Koval told the Dispatch. 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: SHIN, HEY, GIMEL, NUN. These letters mean "A Great Miracle Happened here." Dreidel is also a popular game played during the Holiday. Players use pennies, nuts, raisins, or chocolate coins (gelt) as tokens or chips. The player spins the dreidel. When the Dreidel stops, the letter that is facing up decides the spinner's fate.

Eagles grant $5,000 to Challenger Learning Center of Alaska
As the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA) continues to inspire the next generation of scientists and space explorers, the fraternal order of Eagles continues to support those efforts financially. Last week Tim Navarre, on behalf of the Eagles throughout Alaska, presented CLCA executive director, Larry Porter, and chief operating officer, Marnie Olcott, with another check for $5,000. "The CLCA does serve and inspire the youth throughout Alaska, so I'm proud that our state organization as well as our local chapter stepped up to the plate to continue to support the Challenger Learning Center on behalf of the future for all Alaskans," Navarre told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. According to Navarre, the Fraternal Order of Eagles is an international non-profit organization, uniting fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.

Stylist Cindy Berta opens new Ciao Bella Salon
Complete with a 72inch plasma screen TV, Cindy Berta has opened the new Ciao Bella beauty salon located across the Sterling highway from Big John's behind the new Lynden Transport building. "It's a great and spacious atmosphere, we did everything so that people would feel at home here in a very private location," says Cindy. Formerly the location of Hayes Electric, the Ciao Bella Salon has been totally renovated and offers Berta a chance to work closer to home and schedule appointments to be more accommodating to her clients. "I opened the salon to be closer to home and have more flexible hours to offer since I live next door," said the veteran stylist. "I've been doing hair for thirty years in Colorado and California, where I was the director of education for Paul Mitchell in the eighties and nineties. I have family here in Alaska, and have been coming to visit every year until three years ago, when I decided to make the move here permanently," said Cindy.

Soldotna artist raises money for school in Philippines
A Soldotna graphic designer is taking his craft to the far shores of the Philippines in an effort to give impoverished budding artists a leg up.

Drive drunk -- go to jail: Kenai, Soldotna police, troopers step up holiday patrols
DUIs seemed to follow Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol Sgt. Eugene Fowler Friday night. A few loops through Nikiski's snow-covered roads and there was hardly a vehicle to be found. A few minutes later, while Fowler conducted a routine traffic stop heading back toward Kenai, another officer radioed dispatch to say he would be conducting a field sobriety test in Nikiski.

People magazine shines spotlight on ornament by Anchor Point artist
When Karin Marks, owner of Art Shop Gallery in Homer, got a call from People magazine in July, she thought the person on the other end of the phone wanted to sell her a subscription. When the long-distance caller told Marks People was looking for handmade ornaments from each of the 50 states, had Googled galleries around the country and narrowed their Alaska search down to hers, Marks was skeptical.

Joan J. Wood
Longtime Soldotna resident Mrs. Joan J. Wood died Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009, while visiting relatives in Ogden, Utah. She was 75.

Best friends
Anderson Kempf, 6, finds a new best friend in Hawawii. Anderson is a first-grader at Mountain View Elementary School and is the son of Jayson and Jackie Kempf.

Best friends
Edie Watts of Soldotna, and her cat, Birdie, play hide- and please-don't-seek. Birdie and Edie are actually great friends and are often found snuggled up together at nap time.

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