Friday, January 7, 2005

Johnson agrees to extension with Yanks
NEW YORK — Randy Johnson moved within one step of joining the New York Yankees, and the Houston Astros said Thursday they've made their final offer to Carlos Beltran.

Cooking up new business
Adry Ramos thinks that engineers also can make wonderful cooks.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedule Employees help at food bank RE-MAX to host open house Nonprofit workshops set in Homer

Technology improvements boost popularity of ice fishing
CASS LAKE, Minn. — Brian Brosdahl is a poster boy for how the sport of ice fishing has evolved in the last 10 years.

Even with winter chill, Central Oregon offers good opportunity for fly fishers
BEND, Ore. — With winter settling in on the High Desert, fly fishing might be the last thing on the minds of many Central Oregonians.

Blacktail deer offer special experience
JUNEAU — Although Alaska is home to bigger, more dangerous and more glamorous big game, Sitka blacktail deer hold a special place in the hearts of some hunters.

What's Happening
Best Bet Events and Exhibits Entertainment Films Anchorage events

Writer turns sights to battling AIDS
South African writer Nadine Gordimer, 81, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, is noted for her novels and short stories about the inhumanity of apartheid. Several were once banned in her own country. Gordimer was in New York recently to talk about her latest project, ''Telling Tales.'' It is a compilation of 21 short stories ''that capture the range of emotions and situations of our human universe,'' she writes in the book's introduction. The stories are by world renowned authors — five Nobel prize winners including Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Gunter Grass, and writers who likely will be on the shortlist for future Nobel literature prizes.

Teens' documentary about cop shooting earns spot at festival
NEW YORK — It began as a small documentary by two teenage filmmakers about guns, death and grief at a Brooklyn housing project.

Acclaimed comic book, graphic novel pioneer Will Eisner dies at 87
MIAMI — Will Eisner, the artist who revolutionized comic books, helped pioneer the graphic novel and taught generations of soldiers how to maintain their equipment with the ''Joe Dope'' series, has died. He was 87.

Art Briefs
Student, adult classes planned Art wanted for KPC's Kachemak Bay campus Writers conference slated

Plenty to see
Whether it's visual art or music that's in demand, there is plenty of both going on today in Kenai and Soldotna as part of the First Thursday program.

Witty book traces warden's escapades
Fish and game management is a perennial hot-potato topic in Alaska, so anyone who made a long and successful career in that field must have had a gift for grace under fire.

U.S. should start focusing on its own citizens in need
Today I watched CNN news and again, the news was dominated by the tsunami disaster. I feel for the people who have experienced loss and heartache in this disaster, but I think it is time that the United States stop and reconsider the amount of foreign aid it is sending not only to the nations affected by this disaster but other nations across the world.

Kind deed leads to another
Who was that mystery man in the huge, yellow front loader?

KeyBank VP offers online safety steps
You recently published an article about customers receiving what have been called phishing e-mails that claim to come from reputable companies, such as KeyBank ("KeyBank Customers Targets of Fraud," by Mark Quiner, Jan. 5). These e-mails ask recipients to enter personal information, such as credit card numbers, user identification numbers and passwords.

Residents have chance to be heard on fisheries issues
If you are an avid sport fisherman, personal-use fisherman or commercial fisherman, there are two upcoming events that will afford you the opportunity to be heard on fishery issues for our area.

Torgerson says new approach needed for development
Alaska needs a new approach to resource development, one that could ease the journey from project concept to construction and that also might help avoid plant closures like the one announced by Agrium U.S. Inc. for later this year, a former state senator said Tuesday.

Party Time
Ravens queue for food during an avian tailgate party in Soldotna on Wednesday. Other birds were feeding from trash bags in the truck's bed.

RV park planners a no-show
The appeal hearing for Washington-based developers who were denied their request to build an RV park near VIP Estates by the Kenai Planning and Zoning Commission was over not long after it started.

Volcano level raised
KODIAK (AP) — One of the largest and most active volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula has grown increasingly restless since the start of the new year, sending up small ash plumes and experiencing increased seismic tremors.

In the news
Flags lowered Fraud info available

Shooting victim's family files lawsuit
The state of Alaska and two state troopers were given 20 days to respond to a lawsuit filed in Kenai Superior Court alleging wrongful conduct in the shooting death of Casey Porter in a Sterling Highway pullout two years ago.

Assembly accepts grant for CES
If they aren't already, Central Emergency Services firefighters and medical personnel should soon be pumping iron, building biceps and showing off button-poppin' pectorals in short order.

Nikiski center project moves along
The North Peninsula Recreation Service Area has developed a revised plan to convert part of the old Nikiski Elementary School into a community center, said Karen Kester, recreation director for the service area board.

Teen lets gift go to the dogs
During the holidays, many parents try to imbue their children with the idea the spirit of season is in giving, not receiving gifts.

Falling into winter
Beat up and broken down from rain and freezing, area highways received some special attention from state road crews who put in extra hours this week.

KEDS seeks public's ideas
The Kenai Economic Development Strategy, or KEDS, working group says a draft of the economic development strategy calling for, among other things, a town center is complete and now community input is needed.

Benjamin Roland Clark Jr.
Longtime Soldotna resident Benjamin Roland Clark Jr. died Thursday, Dec. 30, 2004, in Anchorage after a long battle with heart disease. He was 61.

Brent Stephens
Kenai resident Brent Stephens died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 52.

Katharina 'Kitty' E. Steele
Longtime Alaska resident Katharina "Kitty" E. Steele died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 78.

Not all government spending wasteful, neither is it all useful
"What's one man's pork is another man's job," Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va., was quoted by Reuters news service as saying in 2001 after Citizens Against Government Waste named its top congressional "oinkers" for so-called pork-barrel projects.

ANWR drilling poll results questioned
Public opinion polls play a curious role in policy debate: Lots of people look at them and they get a fair amount of media attention, and then any number of people say the polls cannot be trusted, that the results reflect the biases of the people phrasing the questions. That may be the case with a recent poll regarding public attitudes on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Outdoor Briefs
Kenai Fjords National Park announces changes in public use cabin program

Bogus tracks scare Fairbanks trail users
FAIRBANKS (AP) — Someone is putting the scare into people walking trails at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks by laying down bogus bear tracks.

Give back October
When the Board of Fisheries meets in Anchorage later this month, I hope we get October back.

Wild things
MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST, Ore. — Jason Davis knelt in a snow-filled ditch beside a frozen gravel road, the bill of his baseball cap nearly touching four small marks in the snow.

Around the Peninsula
Women's health screenings available Soldotna dog club offers new classes Volunteer training set Community dialogue, potluck planned PSDRA to hold open trail day

Around the Peninsula
Swim club resumes practice Rec center plans early closure Soroptimist monthly meeting slated Photography exhibit delayed Fish and Game committee to meet Board of Fisheries public hearing set Developmental screening offered Nutrition classes slated

Business' bank deposit comes up short
A thief or thieves apparently made off with nearly $11,000 intended to be deposited into a Kalifornsky Beach Road business bank account.

Church Briefs
Bible study group begins Matrix to meet Sunday Christian center hosts conference Clothes 2 Go open

In times of stress don't blame God, seek him
Upon returning from a short vacation, I found so many things to do, I decided to delay checking my phone messages until later; it was a decision I would regret.

Congressman goes from prison to pulpit
EZEL, Ky. — Microphones hang unused next to the pulpit. The Rev. Chris Perkins has no need for them.

Peninsula ski trails survive warm weather
Fast and firm are the terms most frequently used to describe Kenai Peninsula cross-country skiing trails after this week's thaw-and-freeze, but most trails have held up very well despite two days of rain earlier this week.

Kildown idolizes Street
SANTA CATERINA VALFURVA, Italy — Lindsey Kildow wants to be the next Picabo Street.

Henson ready to return to Aggies sideline
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Lou Henson has watched enough film, been to plenty of practices. It's time for one of college basketball's most successful and durable coaches to get back to the bench.

Skyview boys topple Homer
The Homer Mariners battled back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime, but it was the Skyview High School boys basketball team that prevailed in the extra period, picking up a 65-63 victory Thursday in the opening round of the Subway-SoHi Tipoff Tournament at Soldotna High School.

Johnson deserves justice
Justice is long overdue Jack Johnson. The first black heavyweight champion, the Muhammad Ali of the early 20th century, deserves a posthumous presidential pardon for a racially motivated conviction that sent him to prison for a year.

Bryant's jersey sales, popularity encounter swoon
PORTLAND, Ore. — Kobe Bryant is no longer a fashion icon.

O'Neal, Wade continue to fuel Heat
MIAMI — Shaquille O'Neal had 33 points and 18 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 21 and the Heat limited the Knicks to two field goals in a seven-minute stretch of the first half on the way to an 102-94 win Wednesday night.

Brees nabs Comeback award
SAN DIEGO — When the San Diego Chargers reported to training camp in late July, they were summoned to a players-only meeting by Drew Brees.

Henson hospitalized with pneumonia
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State coach Lou Henson was hospitalized Thursday with pneumonia and he won't return to the sideline this weekend in a wheelchair as planned.

Manning unanimous choice for All-Pro Team
NEW YORK — Peyton Manning was unstoppable on the field this season, and in the All-Pro voting, too.

Seward girls get revenge on Kardinals
When the Seward and Kenai Central girls basketball teams met in mid-December, the Kardinals picked up a 39-33 victory after the Seahawks were just 3-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Illini pound Ohio State
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — James Augustine tied his career high with 21 points as No. 1 Illinois all but abandoned its outside game for inside jumpers and layups in a 84-65 win over Ohio State in its Big Ten opener Wednesday night.

Sports Briefs
49ers dismiss Erickson, Donahue Manning easily wins Offensive Player award Roethlisberger top offensive rookie

Sports Briefs
KPHA holds Kris Kringle Tournament Phil Savage hired as Browns GM

Home teams all are favored in the first round of NFL playoffs
So the oddsmakers automatically give the three points for home-field advantage, plus a few more for being better. That's the case as the playoffs start this weekend.

Singh starts year with tourney lead
KAPALUA, Hawaii — The calendar changed. Vijay Singh didn't.

The easy answer is the right one
For the first time since Southern California set out to defend the championship it won last season, Matt Leinart failed to show up.

Grizzlies top Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Bonzi Wells scored 23 points to help the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Detroit Pistons 101-79 on Thursday night, extending their season-high winning streak to five games.

Georgia Tech welcomes Miami to ACC
ATLANTA — Will Bynum scored 21 points and No. 9 Georgia Tech ruined Miami's Atlantic Coast Conference debut with an 80-69 victory Thursday night.

NHL cancels meeting with board of governors
NEW YORK — The NHL canceled next week's meeting with its board of governors on Thursday because the league has nothing new to report in the stagnant collective bargaining process.

NFL playoffs start with rematches
New scouting reports won't be needed much in the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge staff accomplished quite a bit in 2004
As 2004 fades into history, I reflect on what the year held for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and I also look ahead to 2005 to begin planning what promises to be another challenging and rewarding year.

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