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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Toys for Tots volunteers shop to top off Santa's Sleigh
Santa wasn't the only one checking his list twice last week, Toys for Tots volunteers lent him a helping hand at Fred Meyers in Soldotna to top off the Jolly Ol' Elf's sleigh with gifts for good boys and girls of all ages on the Kenai Peninsula. This is the second year that a local Toys for Tots campaign has partnered with the Salvation Army to bring toys to local families in tight times. "The cash donations just about doubled this year at almost $3,000 dollars, and the toy contribution more than doubled this year at nearly 800 new toys dropped of at our business locations. We feel it was an amazingly successful year," reported Res. Sgt. Boyd Jorgensen of Lynden Transport.

CES Fire Fighters take kids shopping
Central Emergency Services (CES) fire fighters started a new holiday tradition in 2010 thanks to fire fighter Josh Thompson. "Josh saw this program being done in Anchorage called 'Shop with a Fire Fighter' and we decided it would be a great program for CES to do in our local area. So we made some phone calls to find some folks in need this Holiday season, and our fraternity - the Great Fools of Fire and the Explorer post that CES hosts - donated $500 each.

Holiday decor brightens long winter nights and wins HEA credits
The lights and decor of the 2010 Holiday season are likely to glow well into the New Year, as residents and businesses continue to light up the long Alaskan nights. Partnering with local chambers of commerce on the peninsula, Homer Electric Association awards up to $100 dollar in energy credits to winners selected by the chambers and their holiday dcor committees. "In Kenai, one of the joys of the holiday season is the vivid display of decorations. For several years HEA, with the help of the Unocal retirees, has put on the annual Holiday Decoration Contest. Companies and residents all over Kenai participate in this memorable event by hanging up Christmas lights and other holiday decorations," reported Kenai Chamber executive director Carol Bannock. Members of the Unocal retirees in Kenai included Glen and Patsy Clifford, Leroy and Marcia Heinrich, Don and Birlene Driskill, and Joe and June Harris. "We really appreciate them taking this on each year," added Bannock.

It's a Wrap for Christmas 2010
If you happened to pass by Kaladi Bros. on Kobuk in Soldotna last week and glanced in the windows afterhours, you might have paused and wondered what was going on. People frantically wrapping up other people? According to Kobuk store manager Amirah Marey, it was the Kaladi Christmas party for their employees and they decided to have a wrapping contest. However, what was being wrapped wasn't the traditional gift fare, but the employees themselves. New Kaladi employee, Keith, had only been in training for two days and found himself being the first to be wrapped up. "It was getting pretty hot in there," he said. "I felt like a burrito in a blanket, but at least I wasn't the Piata that you hit with a stick," Keith laughed. "None of the wrapping paper was new, but rather it was recycled gift wrap that was otherwise on its way to the dump. I recovered it from the compost pile outback, we saved all the bows and I'm going to iron out the paper and use it again to decorate the store next year" said Amirah. "It was the most fun party ever and no alcoholic beverages. All you need is a little Kaladi coffee to have a great time with your friends."

Cook Up A Tasty, Happy New Year with Favorite Dishes from 2010
At the end of each year, I look over the comments received from you about your favorite dishes. I wish I had room sufficient to list all the top recipe choices from 2010, but here's an overview of what you liked most. You liked main courses that were colorful and fun to serve. Many of you wrote to say that you had never thought of serving sausage and peppers over a pyramid of polenta before and your family and friends were particularly impressed with your presentation of whole Baked Redfish Provenal. You all love desserts, especially those made with readily available ingredients. Last February's elegant Crme Brle was a top dessert pick for months, only to be eclipsed in October by homey, warm Apple Dumplings with Spiced Sauce. You enjoyed the dumplings so well, in fact, that many said they preferred them (dare I write it) over apple pie. Your feedback has been both an inspiration and a revelation.

Support makes tournament a slam dunk
Soldotna High School boys basketball would like to thank its supporters, sponsors, parents and the players for helping to make the 20th annual POWERade SoHi Tipoff Tournament a huge success.

Joe Miller and the land of Oz
Woke up this morning and saw in the paper that Joe Miller was still proving to Alaskans that he is delusional and not the sharpest tool in the shed for continuing to pursue his pipe dream of becoming our U.S. senator. It's time for him to admit he lost and to close his eyes, click his heels three times and disappear back to Kansas.

A view from Outside on Murkowski
From outside of Alaska. I don't think Lisa Murkowski is Democrat. I think she's a liberal Republican.

Another take on religion and DADT
After reading one of the most disgusting outbursts of hatred against gays concerning the DADT issue, I just had to add my two cents. Enough with the ridiculous fear mongering and bigotry. There are over 25 countries whose military already allows gay people to openly serve. So far, none of these countries have imploded or fallen into the sea. George Washington was mentioned in the latest bigoted rant, and was used as an example of someone seeking divine guidance. I guess getting guidance from the Christian god would explain why he failed to see a problem with slavery.

Views on DADT shortsighted
I wanted to take this moment to respond to Mr. Olson's opinion to DADT on Dec. 24.

Nikiski seniors say thanks
The Nikiski seniors would like to express our appreciation to the Moose Family Lodge and all their helpers for the delicious Christmas dinner they prepared for the seniors. A special thanks goes out to Ed and Terry Aisenbrey, Nick Goff, Joe Stanford, Ashley and Gretchen Larson, Tim Kelly, Jasmine Monroe, Adrian Baker and Ron Ayhens. The seniors always look forward to this dinner!

HEA thanks emergency responders
Homer Electric Association would like to recognize the exceptional response by both the Nikiski Fire Department and the Alaska State Troopers following a recent winter storm that created power outages in the Nikiski area.

Holiday cheer noticed
"What I do, you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great and none of us ever do great things. But we can do small things with great love, and together we can do something wonderful." -- Mother Teresa

Program brings high-speed Internet to rural libraries
Whether filing their tax returns online, applying for a job or even buying an airline ticket, residents in rural Alaska often depend on computers in public libraries for their online activity.

ANB against Campbell as comissioner
Newly appointed Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell has weathered many stormy seas since she graced the deck of her father's fishing boat at 1 year of age, going on to take a full crew position by age 11, pay her way through college with the sweat and toil of the sea's harvest, and then working behind the scenes to further Alaskan's subsistence and fishing rights, so this week's press release by the Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand Camp rejecting her experience came as a shock.

Photo: Nothing left under the tree

Looking forward: 2011 economy in limbo
Expectation and apprehension: two words that say it all for 2011.

Keeping the lights on: Sustainable energy initiatives pop up on the peninsula
Editor's note: The Clarion this week is taking a look back at some of the people and events in the news in 2010.

Be careful on the ice: Rescue a cautionary tale for venturing on to frozen lakes
Sam Evanoff believed everything was under control. It was two o'clock in the afternoon on Nov. 9 when he received the call from Central Emergency Services ordering him to respond to a situation on Sport Lake, where a German shepherd was reportedly stuck out on the ice.

Craig Alan Olson
Ninilchik resident and former resident of Freeland and Cadillac, Mich., Craig Alan Olson, 58, died Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010, at Central Peninsula Hospital, in Soldotna.

Around the Peninsula

Christian college hosts garage sale

Around the Peninsula

Boys and Girls Club to stage a performance

Pet Photo: Best friend

Sports Brief: Kenai, SoHi girls win; Kenai boys lose
The Kenai Central and Soldotna girls basketball teams won opening round games on Monday in the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic in Ketchikan.

Sports Brief: KCHS, SoHI girls lose in semifinals
The Kenai Central and Soldotna girls basketball teams lost semifinal games on Tuesday in the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic in Ketchikan, meaning they will square off today in the consolation bracket.

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