Wednesday, January 5, 2005

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

Boggs, Sandberg headed to Cooperstown
NEW YORK — Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg were caught off guard. One thought the telephone call was a hoax. The other didn't expect to learn his fate until later in the day.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Peninsula effort makes a difference
Alaska National Guard family programs would like to thank the entire Kenai Peninsula, Seward and Homer communities for their overwhelming support of the Alpha Company, 3rd Scout Battalion, 279th Infantry. The community's Alaska Hometown Gifts brought the deployed soldiers of this unit tremendous holiday cheer during this otherwise difficult time. Your thoughtful and generous efforts are sincerely appreciated during this time of deployment.

Letter about Agrium closure touches reader
Regarding Sheryl Main's letter (Jan. 3) regarding the closure of Agrium's plant. My heart was touched by the story about her dad helping to build the plant, and the fact it was always referred to her as "her plant."

Road crews earn reader's gratitude
First I'd like to say thank you to the road maintenance crew. I know you do all you can do as fast as you can get it done so we can drive on safe roads.

Fort Lewis man notes correction
The story, "Mom wishes for respect, safe return for son at war; Woman plans to start support group for parents of soldiers," by Victoria Steik, noted that Spc Tommie Alley had completed "boot camp" at Fort Lewis (in Washington state.)

Potluck results in successful ending
"Appreciations" to the Clarion and Joan Hanson for being so nice to put out the information on our Filipino Amer-Asian potluck held Sunday.

Veteran Rudd aims for Chase in 2005
Ricky Rudd, 48, isn't like many of the other veterans on the Nextel Cup Series. He's not thinking about retiring and he feels the Wood Brothers Racing team is on the right track to returning to Victory Lane.

NASCAR outlaws Hutchens safety device Nextel drivers to race in 24 Hours of Daytona

Getting back to work
The shortest off-season in professional sports ended almost as quickly as it started. Thanksgiving to New Year's Day isn't a lot of time to recharge the batteries perhaps literally. Starting this week, though, the focus shifts from Caribbean trips and hunting junkets to the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 20.

2005 Previews
This season will be Martin's last on the Nextel Cup circuit, and he could go out on top. Martin's parent team, Roush Racing, has won the last two series titles with Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch, and Martin finished fourth in the points race in 2004. He won his first race since 2002 in the spring race at Dover and finished second in five other races.

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.

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.

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

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, fax it to her at 283-3299 or drop it off at the Clarion at 150 Trading Bay Road in Kenai.

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.

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.

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

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.

Soldotna boy is first 2005 baby
Soldotna residents Jessica and Glenn Rodman Jr. thought they knew what their Christmas present to each other was going to be — their second child.

Plant closure will leave void
Her voice choked with emotion and fighting back tears, Agrium spokesperson Lisa Parker told a packed house at Tuesday's Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon that despite the best efforts of corporate officials to find a way to avoid it, Agrium will close its Nikiski fertilizer plant Nov. 1 as announced last month.

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.

Community Schools return with new classes
Now that the holiday vacation is over, many Kenai Peninsula residents are returning to work and school again, and Soldotna Community Schools is hoping people will return for their classes, as well.

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.

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.

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.

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

Ruth Herford Gainer
Ruth Herford Gainer died Friday, Dec. 31, 2004, at Nicholson's Assisted Living Home in Kenai. She was 86.

Vehicle-pedestrian death numbers need to be more visible
Very few Alaskans, we suspect, knowexactly how many men, women and children have been killed in Alaska this year in vehicle accidents on our streets and highways. We post up-to-the-minute totals on how many moose are killed on our highways. But not people.

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.

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.

Around the peninsula
Diabetes support group meets today Caregiver support meeting scheduled RurAL CAP to meet Genealogical society meeting slated Historical society plans movie Fisherman's Fund meeting set Community services board to meet

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

Kenai Cooperative Preschool
This week the students are celebrating Chinese New Year. Today the students are making click crickets for good luck. They also are going to make giant dragon masks and have a dragon parade.

Lego team members will conduct a demonstration of their award-winning project 2 p.m. Jan. 17 at the borough assembly chambers. Information will be available on how to prepare for a successful Lego team with samples of Lego programming.

Rope, ride for college cash
The movement to keep the cowboy heritage alive in America has been officially spurred in Alaska.

Logo contest announced
The SPCA of the Kenai Peninsula Inc. is looking for students to help it design a logo. The organization rescues domestic animals as well as livestock, so the logo must be unique. The winner will be published in the newspapers, on the radio and on Channel 2 with the new logo (copyright protected), and the winner will receive the following a certificate of accomplishment, a trophy with their name engraved and a $50 savings bond.

KPC open house offers a time to explore, engage, enroll
Just because the holidays have passed and the New Year is underway doesn't mean Kenai Peninsula College is done celebrating. The public is invited to the annual spring semester open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Kenai River Campus. Walk-in registration will coincide with the open house and continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High
The hockey team will travel to Glenallen and Kenny Lake from Thursday through Saturday.

Science fair slated for home-school kids
The Interior Distance Education of Alaska home school education program (IDEA) will host its fourth annual science fair May 16. Debbie Mackie, IDEA field representative, said the fair is for any IDEA student in the Seward, Kenai, Soldotna and Homer region (IDEA Region K).

Nikiski North Star Elementary Reflections results
Musical Composition Literature Winners Visual Arts Winners

Lunch Menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Tustumena Elementary
Mr. Michael's fourth-grade class will travel to Sport Lake on Thursday for a morning of ice fishing hosted by Alaska Fish and Wildlife. Classes that participate in the salmon incubation project are offered this outdoor experience each winter.

Kenai Middle School
The club schedule starts Jan. 21. Students will attend their selected club activity from 1:44 to 2:27p.m. Students will not miss out on regular core or exploratory classes because each class period has been shortened six minutes to allow for a 40 minute club period. This is an opportunity for staff members to get to know different students in the building, while sharing their talents. Parents are encouraged to visit a class or spend time observing a club activity.

Mountain View Elementary
The spelling bee is at 9 a.m. Thursday in the library.

Students show patriotism
Kaitlin Walker, left, and Shina Wen Chea, center, the overall winners of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary Creative Patriotic Art Scholarship, pose with program chair, Billie Huddleston, at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.

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.

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

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.

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.

Saban goes to work with Dolphins
DAVIE, Fla. — In the weeks ahead, new Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban must revamp the coaching staff, evaluate the players he inherited, trim payroll to meet the salary cap, hire a player personnel chief, shop for free agents and prepare for the college draft.

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.

O'Neal sinks 55 to lead Pacers to win
INDIANAPOLIS — Jermaine O'Neal scored a career-high and NBA season-high 55 points and had 11 rebounds to carry the Indiana Pacers to a 116-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

Trojans grab national title
MIAMI — Matt Leinart and his Southern California teammates bounced around the end zone, then broke into a victory dance.

College arrest shouldn't affect Cavs sale
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The man buying the Cleveland Cavaliers said Tuesday he doesn't think a gambling-related arrest when he was in college will affect the deal.

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.

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.

Team of the decade already? Sports view
Calling this one a statement game doesn't do it justice.

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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