Monday, December 26, 2005

NOW PLAYING: Christmas Vacation
Christmas vacation (the season, not the movie) can be a stressful time for a film critic. Obviously, there are a multitude of potential blockbusters and award winners at the theatre. All the studios, from big to small, pull out all the stops before Oscar season to maximize their chances to win. It’s great, but then again, most of the best films don’t actually come to your town. Ok - my town. And what about the relatives? Family commitments? Previous engagements? All that adds up to a few precious hours and either too many or too few choices to fill them with. What did I do? I went to see King Kong twice. I also upheld a Christmas family tradition by watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I bet I’m not alone.

Reader: Protests inspire enemies
I’m writing this in support of Carol Kellers. I didn’t have the opportunity to read her letter (Clarion, Nov. 18), but the letters of Mr. Correia (Nov. 29) and Mr. Brookman (Dec. 8) gave a fair description.

Bush not to blame for world’s woes
I’m glad to see the poll on the Iraq war came out in favor of staying in Iraq until the job is done. Here is a news flash, though. It will never be over, and we will never be able to leave the Middle East. People are trying to blame G.W. Bush for all the problems in the world. It’s not his fault. It wouldn’t matter who was president, people are going to (complain) about whoever is in the office. If it’s not people blaming Bush for the hurricanes in Louisiana, it’s people blaming him for all the other troubles in the world. God’s name is not G.W. Bush. He had nothing to do with the hurricanes.

Wal-Mart debate scores poorly
Gee whiz you guys. Would it be too much to ask that we all practice some civility and show some respect for others when composing our letters to the editor?

ANWR vote disappoints peninsula lawmakers
State lawmakers from the Kenai Peninsula, all Republicans, expressed their ire and disappointment Thursday over the latest setback in the decades-long effort to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Building project is real eye candy
While building a gingerbread house during the holidays may be OK for some, staff at the J-Bar-B’s Wild King Grill in Soldotna took confectionery construction to a whole new level this year — building what is nothing short of a gingerbread mansion.

Festive finances
With just three days left to find Christmas gifts, Thursday night shoppers in Kenai and Soldotna tallied what they thought this year’s gifts would cost, a total that appears to grow with gift shoppers’ age.

Stores have happy holiday
Shelling out a few bucks for loved ones, friends, coworkers or people you don’t even like this holiday season? You’re not alone.

Council hands out bluff rebuff
Following a site visit to an area of the Kenai bluff severely damaged by a developer, the Kenai City Council on Wednesday instructed the city administration to prepare a formal plan of action to assess the cost of the damage and its repair.

Kenai fire, police departments treated to Christmas meal
While many enjoyed holiday meals with family and friends Sunday, not everyone did.

Home, not hospital for the holidays
Thanks to the kindness of strangers, 3-year-old Landon Rogers spent Christmas at home with his family in Kenai on Sunday.

Merry Christmas, happy holiday
I’d like to start by relating a short story I heard the other day.

Holiday magic needed to get reluctant microwave chef into kitchen
Well, here it is Christmas Day. My hope is that while you’re reading this, I am still in my pajamas, having an exquisite homemade meal created by my husband, Mark, and grinning ear to ear as we watch our four golden retrievers play with new toys they don’t need.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus
Editor’s note: For several years on Christmas, the Peninsula Clarion has reprinted this famous editorial written by Francis P. Church. It first appeared in the New York Sun on Sept. 21, 1897.

Companies should stop price gouging, pay what they owe
Waiting for Exxon in the months following the Exxon-Valdez grounding, along with other concerned fishermen, I attended the daily meetings in Kodiak’s high school auditorium. I nursed my newborn daughter during those meetings in which the oil executives promised to make us whole. Now my daughter is finishing up her junior year in high school and browsing college catalogues. I continue to wait for Exxon to pay the fine awarded to affected fishermen and landowners in the 1994 jury trial. As I wait, the resurrected ANWR debate, the price-gouging testimony of the oil executives, and my recent $450 heating bill take me back to the broken promises made to us as bagged and tagged dead birds and animals accumulated in storage vans.

Around the Peninsula
Hospital sets people on meditative path Kenai Elks to dance in New Year DEC gets cooking with food safety class Board to consider peninsula fishing

Around the Peninsula
Fundraiser gala to get toes tapping Peninsula Fair quilters square off

Club News
4-H club set to mush LeeShore community classes set Games, craft items sought Master gardeners take root

Peninsula kids shoot for success
Scores of area youth made free throws in the hopes of obtaining free money for college during the Soldotna Elks Club annual Hoop Shoot contest Dec. 17 at Soldotna Middle School.

Lyons, Tuttle tie knot in South Dakota
Morgan Jean Lyons and Andrew Donovan Tuttle were married Friday, July 1, 2005, in South Dakota.

Beyond the call of duty

Animals in disaster: A preparedness checklist
If you’ve read this column before, then by now you know that disaster preparedness begins with a plan and a kit. If your “family” includes animals — whether it’s the family dog, a back-talking exotic bird, horses or a dog team — you need to make room for them in your plan and they’ll need their own disaster kit. Here are some suggested items for your animal’s disaster kit:

Through the eyes of a child
’Twas Christmastime on the Kenai And all through the city Not a creature was stirring Except students with creativity ...

Sculerati, Lutters announce engagement
Rae Lynn Sculerati and Jeffrey Scott Lutters of Seattle plan to be married Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006, in Villanova, Pa.

Photo feature: My best friend

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