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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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.

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.

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.

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.

Broccoli timbale with tomato rose
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained

Veggies dress for the occasion
When I brought home a stalk of fresh Brussels sprouts from the market, almost three feet in length, it was an immediate curiosity. Although the cute miniature cabbage look-alikes were easy to identify, seeing around 40 Brussels sprouts attached to their stalk, by what appeared to be something like wooden pegs, was something none of us had seen before. And, when the stalk was placed in a bowlful of water filled with fresh cranberries, we couldn't decide whether to pick the Brussels sprouts for cooking, or to leave the stalk stand as a novel tabletop decoration.

Sauteed Brussels sprouts with lemon and pistachios
1-1/2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed

Individual spinach and mushroom timbales
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing custard cups

What's cookin'?

Eggnog

Deferred maintenance plan deserves consideration
I want to commend Governor Parnell for his insight and forward thinking pertaining to the deferred maintenance of Alaska's State owned facilities, especially during this critical time of uncertainty regarding Federal participation. We as tax payers have invested too much into these buildings and transportation systems to allow them to deteriorate beyond safe usage while waiting for the Feds to pick up the tab. As the Governor identified it is time for Alaska to invest state monies beyond matching funds to ensure safe passage of public and commerce through our buildings and over our highways and bridges. Not only will Alaska's citizens benefit from the use of these facilities, they will also benefit from the employment opportunities provided during the design and construction of these projects. This initiative deserves serious consideration.

Regarding Pebble, it's the goo
It's the goo! Those opposed to Pebble are not opposed to developement and prosperity, jobs and a secure future for their children. C'mon man, it's the goo! That is the slimey often copper colored residue of cyanide used to leach gold from the quartz rock ore. That is the goo the massive dam is susposed to contain forever! C'mon man, forever is a long time, what's at risk? Only the resouce that has been the key to the culture and prosperity within the region for thousands of years.

Kenai council should not sign climate compact
I respectfully disagree with your Sunday editorial calling on the Kenai City Council to support the climate change compact. I agree with you that the earth is warming and the increase in CO2 is a contributing factor, but everything else presented as a justification to sign the compact is disputable. Tesoro's spending of $45 million to upgrade their refinery is highly commendable, and is being paid for by consumers by an increase in diesel price. They could just as easily not upgraded, and Alaska would have had to import ULS diesel at an even higher cost. That is what Europe is doing.

Study: 10 years of gas in inlet: Economics of getting the product to market not yet addressed
A Department of Natural Resources report released on Monday says the Cook Inlet Basin has enough natural gas reserves to meet Southcentral's energy needs for the next 10 years, but it doesn't address some of the economics of getting the gas to market.

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.

Global climate pact on tap: Kenai mulls resolution changes
If the Kenai City Council chooses to sign the global climate change compact on Jan. 6, members will also be expressing support for an energy policy that promotes developing non-renewable and renewable energy sources. The policy aims to protect the state's economic and environmental futures.

Photo feature: Foiled again
Linda Barnes, who has been a hairstylist for 29 years, performs a foil highlight weave at The Haircutters in Kenai recently.

2009 in review: State's economy downshifting
Alaska's economy is slowly downshifting. Some of this is being driven by real reductions in dollars coming into Alaska -- fewer tourists, fewer oil wells being drilled, lower payments to fish harvesters this year -- but some of the slowdown is also being driven by psychology -- weak consumer confidence, and more caution by investors and borrowers.

David Lee Richards
Soldotna resident Mr. David Lee Richards, 55, died Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna with his wife by his side.

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

William Kent Mattson, Jane Louise Mattson
Longtime Kenai residents William Kent Mattson, who went by Kent, and Jane Louise Mattson died Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009, in an automobile accident in Nebraska. Kent was 66, and Jane was 63.

Around the Peninsula

H1N1 vaccine available

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.

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.

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