Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Decking the Halls of the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center
On the Saturday before Christmas. the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center (KVCC) wrapped up their first Christmas Tree Auction to benefit the Patrons of the KVCC, and 21 of the participating non-profit service organizations in the Kenai area. The event drew enthusiastic praise from visitors and participants alike. "It was incredible; we were truly stunned at how this event turned out. The trees and the creativity of the decorations were just amazing," exclaimed Natasha Ala, KVCC executive director. "There was a wide variety, and people did some very creative things. The Tusty 200 did a whole dog sled tree that will be long-remembered in the lucky bidder's home. And of course Mayor Porter's Teddy Bear themed tree was just adorable. So each organization took on a different theme for their tree that reflected the mission of their organization, and the results were incredible," added Ala.

Counting our Fine Feathered Friends
The Soldotna Christmas Bird Count was earlier this year, but conditions weren't any milder than last year. According to Jack Sinclair, Alaska Department of Parks & Rec. and official Audubon local data compiler, "Members of the birding group encouraged us to do an early count this year. The national count starts December 14th every year, and continues through the first week in January and generally conditions here in our local area are usually better earlier for us, so we decided to go with the first Saturday of the count which was December 19th," said Sinclair.

First Toys for Tots campaign doubles its goal
What started from a comment on an employee survey at last year's Spenard Builder Supply (SBS) Holiday party, this year will bring delight to the eyes of more than 840 local children on the Kenai Peninsula, thanks to the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots program and volunteers like Johna Beech at SBS. "Someone wrote that they would prefer to give something to a local needy family, and when I was a child, our grandfather use to take us every year and donate to Toys for Tots. So I made a phone call to Sgt. Versyp up in Anchorage, who heads up the Toys for Tots program there and inquired about bringing the program to the Peninsula. A week later I got a call from S. Sgt. Boyd Jorgensen saying they were willing to roll with it here, so all of the SBS locations on the Kenai Peninsula were the first to become drop locations for Toys for Tots, and from there the Soldotna and Kenai Chambers of Commerce got on board and it just snow-balled from there," Beech told the Dispatch.

Six from Soldotna inducted into Eagle Scout Court of Honor
A community is always proud when a young man achieves the rank of Eagle Scout, the effort of the individual scout and his mentor's means that everyone has a safer and higher quality of life, but when a community inducts six Eagle Scouts at once the multiplier factor is something to cheer about. And so it was, on December 16th when the Great Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Tustumena District Troop 151, inducted six young men into the Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Preserving peninsula history: Volunteers for cabin restoration sought
Unlike time which can't be slowed or stopped, history can be prevented from slipping away, but only if it is preserved. And, in order to save an iconic structure from a by-gone era of Kasilof, volunteers are desperately needed.

Redoubt comes back to life?
Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory have upgraded Mount Redoubt to alert level "advisory," aviation color code "yellow."

CARTS keeps moving: Borough funding leveraged to keep vans on the road
Editor's note: This is the second in a series of stories looking at some of the people in the news in 2009.

Back to life?: AVO keeps an eye on Mount Redoubt
Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory have upgraded Mount Redoubt to alert level "advisory," aviation color code "yellow."

Census workers prepare for count in rural Alaska
ANCHORAGE -- Long before spring breakup, when many residents of rural Alaska head off to fish camps, U.S. Census Bureau workers will begin their count of residents living in communities off the road systems.

Marie A. (Mornson) Snell
Marie A. (Mornson) Snell of Prior Lake, Minn., died Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009 at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, Minn. She was 94.

Why I voted yes for health reform
I voted in favor of the Senate health insurance reform bill because I believe the status quo is unacceptable.

Many reasons to vote no on Senate bill
Usually by this time of year, members of Congress stop hearing from their constituents because they've got other things on their minds -- Christmas cards and presents and family gatherings to celebrate the holidays. But not this year.

Around the Peninsula

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Around the Peninsula

Challenger Center hosts community event today

Best Friend
Erin Gahringer, of Soldotna said, "This is our dog poopers. He is over a year old and is half schnauzer and half shih-tzu. He is a hilarious dog that does tricks like sit up, speak, whisper, roll over, sit, high five, shake, and waves and loves chasing my son, Dillan Hawkins, around the living room. We love our dog poops and he lives up to his name from the first day."

CIA, Kenai Central play today
Cook Inlet Academy and Kenai Central will tip off in an endowment game today at Kenai Central. The girls varsity starts at 6 p.m., while the boys follow at about 7:30 p.m.

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