Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Former relief pitcher McGraw dead at 59
PHILADELPHIA Tug McGraw, the zany relief pitcher who coined the phrase ''You Gotta Believe'' with the New York Mets and later closed out the Philadelphia Phillies' only World Series championship, died Monday. He was 59.

Molitor, Eckersley each elected to Hall of Fame on first ballot
NEW YORK In their final confrontation, Paul Molitor wanted to beat Dennis Eckersley so badly he bunted in the ninth inning to win a game that was meaningless to the Minnesota Twins.

Rose still facing long odds
Pete Rose's belated and grudging confession that he gambled on baseball won't land him in the Hall of Fame or in the dugout anytime soon.

Scholarships for local Nursing Education
A landmark was reached in Nurses Education in the spring 2003 when the first class of 13 students to earn an associates degree in Nursing without leaving the Kenai Peninsula graduated. This month a second class of 15 students from the Soldotna, Sterling, and Homer area will be starting the second semester of their LPN year.

Expanding the pool of youth & adult mediators
If you're interested in learning communication and conflict resolution skills that will help your family, school, or work life, the Youth Mediation Program "Wants You!" According to Dave Athons, Center for Mediation & Community Dialogue (CMCD) volunteer, the Youth Mediation Program is a joint venture of the Kenai Peninsula Youth Court and the CMCD.

Fallen but Never Forgotten
A half an hour before the memorial service for fallen Kenai Police Officer John Watson was scheduled to begin, the Renee C Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School was already filled to capacity.

Bruce's Street & Skate finds a niche at Peninsula Mall.
Believe it or not, Skateboarding in Alaska has become so popular that it actually supports two specialty stores known as Bruce's Street & Skate, with outlets in Wasilla and Soldotna that cater to skateboarding enthusiasts.

New store may be good for taxes, but don't forget local businesses
It's been two weeks and I thought I'd give Home Depot a try. It was clean and organized, as Home Depots always are upon opening. The mess, clutter and empty bins come about six months later in my experience.

Development decisions will lead to demise of Kenai River fish runs
With "friends" like the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission, assembly and mayor, it is a good thing the Kenai River does not have any enemies. The river can't handle much more help from its "friends."

Generosity of many spell success for Holiday Kindness Project
Once again the Holiday Kindness Project at Redoubt Elementary School was a great success.

KRSA's participation in public process should start at local level
Contrary to Ron Rainey's complaint (Voices of the Peninsula, Peninsula Clarion, Jan. 2), Les Palmer's grievance (Rift in River City, An Outdoor View, Peninsula Clarion, Dec. 26) is simply that the Kenai River Sportfishing Association disregards the local Fish and Game Advisory Committee in particular and the community in general in its attempts to influence the Board of Fisheries process for the benefit of commercial interests the businesses and people represented by KRSA.

Officer Watson remembered for cheerfulness, helpfulness
I join everyone who feels the sadness of Officer Watson's needless death.

Santa and Mrs. Claus enjoy holiday visit at Nikiski Senior Center
On Dec. 15, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus came to the Nikiski Senior Center. We had a nice comfortable place for Santa and the Missus. For the children and parents, we had cookies, candy canes and a cup of warm chocolate. We saw many old friends we hadn't seen in awhile and made lots of new friends. Heidi Dominick was the winner of our door prize.

It's time for Alaska to consider establishing the death penalty
I want to commend the Clarion on its excellent coverage of John Watson's memorial. My heartfelt sympathies go to his family and to the Kenai police force. We have lost a fine man.

Just because lake covered with ice doesn't mean it's safe to drive on
It seems inconceivable that in this day and age people continue to drive vehicles out on unsafe ice conditions.

Fire marshals investigate blazes in Soldotna, Kenai
Fire investigators are trying to determine the causes of two residential fires Saturday night, one in Kenai and one just outside Soldotna.

Poto feature: Coming full circle
The nearly full moon rises in the sky behind spruce trees in Kenai on Tuesday afternoon. The full moon will rise today.

District starts budget process $5 million short
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is entering its 2004-05 budgeting cycle with a $5 million deficit.

Treatment making a difference for peninsula woman
Since she first experimented with illegal drugs at age 15, Jennifer Driggers' life has been like a revolving door in and out of the bleak world of drug abuse.

Photo feature: Winter pattern
Pans of ice, some as large as a house, accumulate in Cook Inlet near Point Possession as seen from the air recently. The ice changes size and shape constantly as tidal forces move it around the inlet.

Sunken excavator unstuck
The state machinery stuck in the muck near Sevena Lake was pulled out New Year's Eve, when a contractor from Anchorage plucked the 22-ton excavator out of the lake and returned it to the state.

Grads' requirements tabled amid concerns
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education has delayed action on most proposed changes to graduation requirements for students.

Central peninsula agencies count on holiday spirit for help
It's never anything but tough to be hungry or lonely, but the holiday season has a way of compounding the hard times.

Study: Alaskans don't always return
A recent Alaska Department of Labor study says nearly two of every five Alaskans who were 15 to 19 years old in 1994 have left the state for life and employment Outside, a loss of talent some have called the "brain drain."

Clark Milliken Hoffpauer
Homer resident Clark Milliken Hoffpauer died Sunday, Jan. 4, 2004, after recurring bouts with cancer. He was 73.

Donald 'Donnie' Felix Plucker
Anchorage resident Donald "Donnie" Felix Plucker died Sunday, Dec. 21, 2003, at Providence Extended Care in Anchorage after a long battle with cancer. He was 69.

Lyle 'Joe' Gibbs
Soldotna resident Lyle "Joe" Gibbs died Sunday, Dec. 28, 2003, at his home. He was 50.

Even purest of knights susceptible to falling off horse now and then
A president of the United States will be elected this year, but right now, public attention seems to be drawn to the legal problems of media and entertainment stars. So just for this week, let's wander away from the regular fare of this opinion column public surveys on politics and policy and look into the troubles of one star-crossed superstar.

Legislators must make tough calls on fiscal gap, sooner rather than later
In short order, decisions about state finances won't be able to be put off until next year.

Decision to allow logging on small part of Tongass welcome win for Alaska What others say
Green extremists are gnashing their teeth over the U.S. Forest Service decision to allow logging on a relatively small part of the Tongass National Forest.

Around the Peninsula
State parks advisory board to meet today Healthy Communities plans meeting Soroptimists schedule meeting Conservation and development meeting slated CPCS to hold board meeting Totem Tracers offer computer class Registration extended for womens workshop

Around the Peninsula
Parents support group to meetHCS to offer Italian language classesSterling community plan available for commentState parks advisory boards seeking membersGrant writing workshop slatedKDLL to hold elections

KPBSD scholarship opportunities
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is sponsoring scholarships for 2004-05 full year tuition waivers from Alaska Vocational Technical Center and Kenai Peninsula College. Scholarships are available to this year's 2004 graduating seniors.

Connections
Connections is selling McDonald's buy-one-get-one-free peelers. Peel-ers can be purchased in the office for $10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Proceeds will be used for Math Counts and Battle of the Books.

Soldotna Elementary
Karlene Meyer's sixth-graders surprised their foster grandparent, Grandma Johnnie, with luncheon and presents to thank her for her work at the school.

HEA provides scholarship funding
Homer Electric Association, in conjunction with Touchstone Energy, a national alliance of member-owned electric cooperatives, has provided scholarship funding for Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula.

IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska)
January dates to remember:

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start
Final sign up for the Seward Fatherhood Initiative Retreat is today. Space still is available. The retreat will take place Saturday and Sunday. Curriculum will be presented by Southcentral Foundation. The Stamping Pad will be involved in the ladies' Saturday round table portion of the retreat. For more information, call Susie at 283-0707.

Activism earns boy 1 of 10 spots on committee
HOLLAND, Mich. Curtis and Jean Birky said they felt it was important to raise their children to care for the environment, but they admit their son, Christian, has taken those values to unexpected levels.

Student seeks help with Alaska studies
Dear Peninsula Clarion:

Honor Roll
The following students were named to the honor roll for the first semester at Soldotna Middle School:

Aurora Borealis Charter
Two teams went to the state robotics competition in Anchorage.

Teen relishes thrill of saving lives
JUNEAU Saving a life turned out to be more exciting than one Juneau-Douglas High School senior expected.

KPC to celebrate 40th birthday at spring semester open house
KPC has come a long way since 1964 when its first director, Clayton Brockel, essentially ran the college from the back of his old car everyone knew as "ol' Blue."

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

Limited English speakers, California Hispanics report worse health care
LOS ANGELES For years, Miguel Salazar Castell paid $40 a week at the county clinic to have his blood sugar tested and collect a new supply of pills to control his diabetes.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Maple Leafs refuse to play to level of lowly Penguins
PITTSBURGH Joe Nieuwendyk scored a goal and set up another, and the Toronto Maple Leafs avoided a letdown against the NHL's lowest-points team with a 5-0 victory Monday night over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sports Briefs
Judge in Bryant case schedules into MarchUnited States beats Canada to win Junior WorldsVazquez agrees to $45 million, four-year contract

USC named AP's No. 1
LOS ANGELES Coach Pete Carroll promised the USC Trojans will remain humble in their reign as The Associated Press' national champion humble and hungry.

New year, plenty of questions
Mike Weir stepped into the Hawaii sunshine, dropped three balls onto the putting green and rapped them toward a hole some 40 feet away.

Nothin' like home cookin' in the NFL playoffs
Visiting teams talk bravely, even if they don't really relish a trip to New England. Or St. Louis. Or Kansas City.

Top-ranked UConn squeaks by Rutgers
PISCATAWAY, N.J. Playing with four fouls, Ben Gordon scored eight of his 22 points over the final 4 1/2 minutes, and top-ranked Connecticut barely hung on to beat Rutgers 75-74 Tuesday night.

'Canes snap streak with shutout
RALEIGH, N.C. Kevin Weekes made 19 saves, and Danny Markov and Kevyn Adams scored first-period goals to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-0 victory Tuesday night over the St. Louis Blues.

Longhorns beat buzzer in beating Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I. P.J. Tucker's shot in the lane at the overtime buzzer was ruled good after officials watched the replay for several minutes, and No. 18 Texas beat No. 25 Providence 79-77 Monday night in one of the wildest games of the season.

Sprewell restrains Bryant in T-Wolves triumph
MINNEAPOLIS Latrell Sprewell scored 30 points while keeping Kobe Bryant in check, and the Minnesota Timberwolves sent the struggling and injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers to a 106-90 loss Tuesday night.

Suns deal Marbury to hometown Knicks
NEW YORK Stephon Marbury is returning to his hometown to play for the team he grew up watching.

Stars get on track against Nikiski
The Soldotna hockey team started out this season with trouble scoring goals. That wasn't an issue as the Stars started the second half of their season Tuesday.

Lemieux to miss rest of NHL season
PITTSBURGH (AP) Mario Lemieux will miss the rest of the season after hip surgery next week, but doesn't plan to retire.

Milwaukee ruins Iverson's return
PHILADELPHIA Desmond Mason spoiled Allen Iverson's return to Philadelphia's lineup, scoring a season-high 24 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 88-76 win over the 76ers on Monday night.

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