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Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Selig approves Johnson trade to Yankees
NEW YORK - Randy Johnson is practically ready to be measured for one tall set of pinstripes.

North Country Fair - Recipe for Success
A loyal clientele, knowledgeable staff and the inventory local customers demand, are all key to the continued success of the long-time Soldotna business, Northcountry Fair. Well known for the colorful flowers that adorn the shop's exterior during the summer months, Northcountry Fair has become a key shopping destination for peninsula residents.

Presenting the New Year and a few resolutions...
The New Year of 2005 is off and running and a few community leaders offer here their New Year's resolutions as a sampling of hopes and ambitions for the next 12 months.

Outdoors
How sad it is that during what should be one of the happiest seasons of the year we have yet another disaster. On December 26, we heard about the earth-shattering quake that has caused one of the most deadly tsunamis of all time. As of this morning the death toll is 117,000 and climbing. There are 5 million people with no access to food.

Christmas Trees wanted for recycling...
Now that Christmas is past and pine needles start clogging up carpet sweepers, that sentinel of holiday hope and family activity transitions from an object of adornment to backyard or side of the road clutter. For several years now the Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste department has been offering an alternative to these post-partum Christmas tree blues with opportunities to recycle trees in a manner that is environmentally beneficial. According to Cathy Mayer, Solid Waste Director for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, once again this year collection sites will be collecting Christmas trees for recycling, "We'll be collecting trees for re-use this year at the Kenai, Nikiski, and Sterling transfer facilities daily from 10:00am until 6:00pm and at the Soldotna landfill from 8:30am until 5:45pm everyday," said Mayer.

Hope for the coming year
Some have gone as far as to describe the weather of 2004 as schizophrenic or more yo-yo like than ever. Mother Nature certainly has provided a myriad of Kodak moments over the last few months with the weather going from providing double rainbows over Soldotna, to sub-zero temperatures and hoar frost spectacles along the Kenai River, not to mention heavy snow fall and ice conditions all in the same few weeks. Travelers whether by land, sea or air have seen flights and trips delayed, arriving in Fairbanks rather than Anchorage due to everything from high winds, to heavy fog and icing conditions. Even so compared to other places on the globe or in the lower 48, the Kenai Peninsula has proven once again that those of us fortunate enough to live in Alaska have a great deal to be thankful for.

NOW PLAYING: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Bill Murray has achieved a career transformation of epic proportion. Somehow, without anyone seeing it, he went from the wacky freefall comedy of Caddyshack and Meatballs to the dramatic and heartbreaking comedy of Rushmore and Lost in Translation. But is it so surprising? Consistently described as a consummate professional, Murray has been raising the bar on just about every movie he's starred in since his Saturday Night Live days. Groundhog Day received glowing reviews, as did potential puff pieces like What About Bob? and Ghostbusters.

Closing of Agrium plant personal in many ways
The article on the front page of the Dec. 23 Peninsula Clarion was a real attention getter.

Action needs to be taken now on Cooper Landing Bypass
The longer we wait on the Cooper Landing Bypass, the more deaths of humans and wildlife will accrue. Princess corner, Wildlands corner (milepost 50.1) and Gwins corner need to be fixed, now!

Americans care more about style than safety in their cars
How appropriate that a woman, Judith Lee Stone, of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety should discuss the slivers in the eyes of others and not remove the beam from her own; the beam being automobile handling.

Sterling
Hi, neighbors. The Sterling Elementary PTA will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday. School began Monday following the holiday break. Watch out for children on the roads waiting for their school bus.

Kasilof
Happy New Year from Kasilof. Hopefully, you and yours had a nice holiday, and the new year is off to a great start.

Kenai
Happy New Year, neighbors. I got a note from George Ford telling me a movie about Kenai, made by fourth-grade students, will be shown at the meeting of the Kenai Historical Society on Sunday. "A Kid's Guide to Kenai" was created during 2003 by John and Berni Wensley's classes at Mountain View Elementary school.

Soldotna
Hi, neighbors. Only one more week of my holiday vacation to go! A quick reminder to community members who have information to put in the column that they need to e-mail it to Nan Misner at the Clarion at nancianna.misner@peninsulaclarion.com, fax it to her at 283-3299 or drop it off at the Clarion at 150 Trading Bay Road in Kenai.

Cooper Landing
Kathy Tarcon with her brother, Peter Mlynarik, his wife, Kim, and daughter and son, Kemarrae and Koebryn, made a winter ascent of Slaughter Gulch last week.

Nikiski
Good morning. Words with which to start out the new year: "What do we live for if its not to make life less difficult for each other?" - George Eliot

Ninilchik
Hi neighbors. As the year 2005 opens, our family wishes the best for each of you. The "best" does not always preclude trials, for sometimes trials are a path to bringing us to the best. That is a life lesson that we are still learning.

CES is pumped up over exercise grant
Central Emergency Services firefighters may soon be getting in shape on brand new exercise equipment under the care of trained instructors, thanks to a pending $106,852 federal grant.

Road crews face uphill battle
Area roads have taken a beating with an unusually extended month of moderate temperatures. The constant freezing and cooling, expanding and contracting of road tops have kept road crews busy.

Season good to area stores
Contrary to news reports that retailers across the country did worse than they had hoped this Christmas shopping season, central Kenai Peninsula merchants generally were pleased with their sales.

Mom wishes for respect, safe return for son at war
In the midst of friends and co-workers at a recent holiday party, Pam Musgrove smiled and seemed to be enjoying the celebration. She cracked a joke or two and kept the conversation light, but she didn't laugh as much as usual and the faint worry lines on her forehead betrayed the fact that her mind wasn't really on the festivities. Her thoughts were on the other side of the world with her 20-year-old son, Army Spc. Tommy Alley, serving with the Stryker Brigade 1st Battalion 25th Infantry Regiment stationed in Mosul, Iraq.

KeyBank customers targets of fraud
There is some "phishing" going on around the Kenai Peninsula. And it is not people casting their lines in the river hoping for a king salmon.

JAL makes direct flight to Fairbanks
A 747 jet full of Japanese tourists touched down at Fairbanks International Airport a little less than seven hours after taking off from Tokyo, marking the first direct passenger flight from Japan to Fairbanks in decades.

Windfall or wasteful, where's the line?
It may be that keeping firefighters and ambulance crews in good physical shape makes sense and could lessen lost-time figures.

MVP moose
With no one guarding the net, a moose has the basket to itself Saturday at the Conaway residence in Kenai. A few licks satisfied the moose's curiosity.

Photo feature: Get the drift
Windy conditions have flung snow into undulating drifts. Forecasters are calling for more mixed rain and snow today, which will turn once-solid snow banks into soupy slush piles.

Fire smokes up Kenai
A fire north of Kenai turned the evening air acrid Tuesday, though the culprit was not immediately identified.

Norma Carolyn (Lenhardt) Hodges
Norma Carolyn (Lenhardt) Hodges of Arizona died Thursday, Dec. 30, 2004. She was 71.

Annie Ruth (Marich) Faulkner
Longtime Soldotna resident Annie Ruth (Marich) Faulkner died Saturday, Jan.

Many nations aren't prepared for disaster
The humanitarian effort that is needed in southeast Asia will be the greatest the modern world has ever been confronted with following a natural disaster.

More debate, caution needed on importing medicine from Canada
As a matter of principle, no reasonable person would disagree with those who say Americans should be allowed to import prescription drugs from Canada.

Politics makes big shift in 2004
WASHINGTON - The Internet proved its value for fund raising, new private political organizations flexed their muscles with aggressive ad campaigns and Americans both contributed money and voted at phenomenal levels.

Defense attorneys seeking probe by special grand jury
The Kenai Peninsula Defense Bar, comprised of local criminal defense attorneys, wanted to update the community about the status of the recent grand jury improprieties that were brought to light by Kenai Superior Court Judge Harold Brown in a letter he wrote Dec. 7.

Finding shelter
When one worried mother cries out for shelter from the storm, a pride of community Lions will pounce on the chance to provide it.

Around the Peninsula
Beekeepers meeting setPhotographers guild meeting slatedCommunity dialogue, potluck plannedSenior service board meeting setFish and Game committee to meet

Around the Peninsula
Rec center plans early closure Fish and Game committee to meet Food bank schedules board meeting Reading carnival scheduled

Births
Melissa and garth Corner of Bamburg, Germany announce the birth of their daughter, Danielle Page Corner, at 6:04 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004, in Bamburg. She weighed 6 pounds and meausered 21 inches.

Peninsula People
Jennifer Stewart of Kenai and Jessica Foster of Soldotna recently graduated from Harding University in Searcy, Ark.

AARP to mark Home Depot goods with seal of approval
ATLANTA - AARP is teaming up with The Home Depot Inc. to designate products the nation's largest seniors' group deems safer and more user friendly for older Americans.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available this week for our are seniors

Improved devices offer more mobility for arthritis sufferers
LUBBOCK, Texas - Go ahead. Shake her hand. The rheumatoid arthritis doesn't hurt.

Senior Menus
What's on the menu this week for our area seniors

Non-surgical contact lens therapy available
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Nearly 20 years ago, Jim Doherty suffered a severe head injury, leaving him blind in his left eye.

Injured James leads Cavaliers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Unhampered by a plastic mask he wore to protect his broken left cheek, LeBron James scored 26 points Monday night to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 94-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Auburn hopes for split of national title
NEW ORLEANS — Auburn has come too far to give up hope. So, on the eve of Monday night's Sugar Bowl, coach Tommy Tuberville made a familiar pitch: The third-ranked Tigers deserve at least a share of the national title if they beat No. 9 Virginia Tech.

Sunday's qualifiers lacking
The Jets, Vikings and Rams made it into the NFL playoffs Sunday.

Auburn completes perfect season
NEW ORLEANS - Auburn filled in a piece of its improbable championship puzzle by hanging on in the Sugar Bowl, though it was hardly a masterpiece.

Cowboys cruise
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - John Lucas scored 14 of his 21 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the first half, and Joey Graham got No. 7 Oklahoma State off to a fast start after halftime in a 86-61 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday night.

Tar Heels dismantle William & Mary
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Sean May scored 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting to lead No. 4 North Carolina past William & Mary 105-66 Sunday.

Orange Bowl features stars
MIAMI - Matt Leinart is an easygoing Californian, who used an NFL-caliber left arm to win a Heisman Trophy for USC this season.

Rutgers women upset No. 4 Texas
AUSTIN, Texas — Rutgers used a 13-0 run to end the game and upset No. 4 Texas 51-47, snapping the Longhorns' 41-game home winning streak on Sunday.

Athletes assist in tsunami relief efforts
NFL teams joined Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and other sports figures around the world in assisting the disaster relief mission for the tsunami-earthquake catastrophe with a death toll that is expected to reach 150,000.

St. Louis makes playoffs
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams won a finale that, in the end, they needed much more than the New York Jets.

Wizards' Dixon baffles Hawks
WASHINGTON — Reserve guard Juan Dixon scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter Sunday to help the Washington Wizards to a 104-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Kenai's Hall makes a tackle
Travis Hall, who was born and raised in Kenai, had a tackle in the Atlanta Falcons' 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks Sunday.

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