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Thursday, January 15, 2004

New tax-free accounts help pay medical care costs
NEW YORK (AP) As medical insurance premiums skyrocket, more companies are looking for ways to pass on costs to their workers. At the same time, self-employed people and other individuals who don't have corporate plans are seeking health care policies that are affordable

How to have the tough conversation about long-term planning with parents
NEW YORK (AP) Having been raised on a farm, Jeff Winton considers his mother strong and self-sufficient. Even so, after Winton's father suddenly died of a heart attack, Winton knew his mother would need help arranging her finances.

Will Burger King's move start a bunless revolution? Fat chance
CHICAGO It has come to this in America: Burgers are losing their buns.

PFD trustees want to relax fund rules
ANCHORAGE (AP) Trustees of the $27.6 billion Alaska Permanent Fund voted Monday to ask the Legislature to change the rules on how they can invest the money.

Show may hook viewers on Kenai shoulder season
Sport fishers fed up with elbow to elbow combat fishing on the Kenai River in sum

Unclear future for home-building stocks
NEW YORK (AP) It's not just homeowners and mortgage brokers who want to know if the housing boom is heading toward a bust. Add to that list all the investors who have seen big gains in their home-building stocks over the last year.

Art Briefs
Kids art show accepting entries Alaska photographers wanted for show Painting group to meet Community choir holds rehearsals Quilt guild to meet Juried show open for entry Pratt Museum closed for maintenance Artists sought Kids art classes offered Logo design contest announced Students stories, photos wanted

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Upcoming Events Films Down the Road Anchorage Events

Alaska lodge chef dishes out delectable fare
Life in Alaska sure has changed. In remote areas where gold-rush stampeders once chewed moldy hardtack under dripping canvas tents, affluent tourists now dine on gourmet fare at deluxe backcountry resorts.

Butch branches out
To music industry bigwigs, Butch Leman may appear to be something of an odd contradiction: A lifelong Alaskan trying to make it in th

Fishing provides fodder for painting show
Growing up in Kenai, Juneau oil painter Charity Green quickly developed an admiration for commercial fishers, from afar.

Too bad there's no capital punishment in Alaska
Your coverage on the death of John Watson was outstanding. I went to the funeral. The service was one filled with compassion and love. When I was a state trooper and before retiring, I talked to John on occasion. He was always in good spirits and and left you feeling good when you left. He was a true down-to-earth-natured person, who cared about others.

Republican Party turning state government into dictatorship
Do we now have an Alaska dictatorship by a political party?

Another view on whether KRSA uses sound science
In a Peninsula Clarion article, Kenai River Sportfishing Association president Ron Rainey says, "Our organization prides itself on utilizing sound science and supporting verifiable scientific studies rather than emotion and hyperbole." As a scientist who has worked in Upper Cook Inlet for over 20 years and has interacted with KRSA, I disagree.

Despite one's familiarity with lakes, it's easy to misjudge safety of ice
In reference to Mr. Bill Twohy's letter of condemnation regarding the unfortunate circumstances our fine public servants found themselves while vigilantly upholding the fishing regulations of our great state, I find your lack of compassion and pompous arrogance beyond belief.

New year presents another opportunity to serve God
Some make it sound like coming into a new year is a bah-humbug kind of thing. Do I have to change? Do I have to make a New Year's resolution? Lose 20 pounds? Spend more time with family? Work less?

Alaskans should stop baloney from Tony, elect Lisa to U.S. Senate seat
As the liberal candidate for U.S. Senate from Alaska, Tony Knowles leaves a legacy as one of the most divisive and inept governors in the history of Alaska.

Newsmaker: Bobby Labonte
Former NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte took time out of Tuesday's test session at the Daytona International Speedway to talk about the monotony of testing and how his race team is preparing for the new season. Here's what he had to say:

Few support points change
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Jeff Gordon knows change is coming. So does everyone else. It doesn't mean anyone has to like it.

Teams can take break at dinner
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Drivers know three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway is necessary to prepare for February's Daytona 500, but that doesn't mean it's exciting.

Gordon ready for a fresh start in 2004 season
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. The house is sold, the divorce is final, and Jeff Gordon is a changed man.

Peninsula Winter Games about kids, family activities, enjoying the season
Get ready for the games.

Hospice provides lots of opportunities to help
Hospice of the Central Peninsula provides a range of services to individuals who are dying or grieving, but it also provides opportunities for other community members interested in helping their neighbors.

First day of session starts with crash
JUNEAU It wasn't the sort of excitement state officials expected Monday morning.

No action on bonus expected
An effort to turn back Gov. Frank Murkowski's veto of the Longevity Bonus Program appears dead in the water.

Fishing forecast brighter this year
JUNEAU -- Republican Rep. Bob Lynn will be sanctioned by the GOP majority for voting with Democrats in a bid to restore funding for the senior citizen Longevity Bonus Program.

Bridging gap between life, death
Death is a part of every life. But just knowing it's a common experience doesn't make the process of letting go any easier. That's where the staff members and volunteers at Hospice of the Central Peninsula come in.

Fire damages home off Ciechanski
A mid-afternoon fire caused extensive damage to a log home at the corner of Ciechanski Road and Woods Drive on Monday. No one was in the home at the time of the fire.

James Andrew Rademacher
Soldotna resident James Andrew Rademacher died Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 72.

John Henry Kersten
John Henry Kersten of Soldotna died at home Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004, of pancreatic cancer with his loved ones around him. He was 64.

Greg S. Lee
Ninilchik resident Greg S. Lee died Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004, from injuries sustained in a snowmachining accident in Ninilchik. He was 36.

Dustin W. Langston
Dustin W. Langston died Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004, from injuries sustained in a car accident in Cooper Landing. He was 20.

Eric (Jack) Johnson
Kenai area resident Eric (Jack) Johnson died Monday, Dec. 29, 2003, in Mesa, Ariz. He was 69.

Gregory Scott Lee
Ninilchik resident Gregory Scott Lee died Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004, in Ninilchik. He was 36.

Anna J. Nelson
Kenai resident Anna J. Nelson died Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004, at her home in Kenai. She was 83.

Government bodies hiring lobbyists to get public funds bad policy
There is something unsettling about government entities using the public's money to hire lobbyists to wrangle even more of the public's money from government entities. To the average person, it looks something like feeding time at the trough.

Readers should exercise caution when they come across this word: pristine What others say
''Pristine.''

Hispanics influencing politics
While much of the political world's attention is focused on the battle in Iowa among Democratic presidential contenders, a commonly ignored but important story is unfolding in Republican circles. The GOP is moving quietly but forcefully to build and consolidate a viable political relationship with Hispanic Americans.

Around the Peninsula
Blood Bank to hold open houseDrivers safety class scheduledConservation and development meeting slatedParents support group to meetFish and Game committee to meetCharter school informational meeting plannedFamily day at Challenger Center setFine wine, gourmet appetizer fund-raiser planned

Around the Peninsula
Soroptimists to meet Frontier board meeting slated CPCS to hold board meeting Disabled Veterans to meet Kenai River advisory board to meet State parks advisory board seeking members Registration extended for workshop Totem Tracers to offer computer class Dog classes slated at PenDOG

No school Friday, Monday
Public schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will be closed Friday for an end-of-semester in-service and Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Classes resume Tuesday.

Soldotna Middle School
Make sure to check out the Community Schools brochure for a class about homework management for parents. This class will be facilitated by two teachers from SMS, Mrs. Shirley and Ms. Heite. The class will help parents develop effective homework management strategies. Parents will learn to monitor homework time, help children develop effective homework habits, plan long-term assignments, evaluate the effectiveness of assignments and construct effective intervention plans with their child's school. Sharing of problems and solutions will be encouraged. The class is open to adults with a 20-family or 40-person maximum. It will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays for six weeks beginning Jan. 29 in Soldotna Middle School room 1. The cost is $30, and preregistration is required through Soldotna Community Schools.

Connections
Students are invited on a field trip to H2Oasis in Anchorage at 10 a.m. Friday. The cost is $8 for students ages 3 to 12, and $11 for those 13 and older. To sign up, call the office at 262-6315.

Students of the Month
The following students were named Citizens of the Month at Sterling Elementary School and Bus Students of the month at Sterling Elementary School.

Skyview High
Skyview held the 13th annual Peninsula Challenge last weekend, hosting seven other schools. Skyview would like to thank the following sponsors and volunteers for making it a great tournament: Wells Fargo Bank, Godfathers, Coca-Cola, Kaladi Brothers, Skyview Basketball Booster Club, Janet St. Clair, Charlene Smith, Emily Sims, Skyview culinary arts students, Wade Marcuson and Angie Wheat.

Mountain View Elementary
Mrs. Keating's fifth-graders are selling McDonald Peelers at $10 for 30 peelers. For each item you buy, you get a like item for free. Profits go to the class field trip at the end of the year. If you'd like to buy a packet, contact Mrs. Keating at the school or ask one of the students in her class.

IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska)
Today, the Wednesday activity is board games from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the IDEA office. Next Wednesday's activity is scrapbooking.

North Star Elementary
This is the last week to vote for a new name for the consolidated North Star and Nikiski elementary school. The community is invited to help select a name. Interested people may vote at either North Star or Nikiski Elementary until Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Nikiski Fire Station 1.

Kenai Middle
The student council will sponsor a KMS Family Night from 5:30 to 7 Feb. 5. A parent or guardian must accompany students who attend. Hot dogs, chips, cookies and beverages will be served in the commons for $1 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Activities will be from 5:45 to 7 p.m. Activities include Bingo, boat building, an art station, paper rocket building, "sink or swim," a hoop shoot and use of the climbing wall.

Cook Inlet Academy
Students of the Week are Patrick Michels, for being a great listener; Noah Leaf, for always being a happy helper; Amber Hamar, for improvement in dribbling a ball; Kayla Moore, for friendliness; Mac Wynkoop, for great behavior and attitude; Bethany Estes, for eagerness in participation of vertebrates discussion; Albert White, for excellence in Bible memorization; Jessie McNutt, for getting 100 percent on a math test; and Haley Michel, for doing an awesome science presentation.

Ninilchik
Swimming lessons for preschool-age children are offered from noon to 12:45 p.m. through Jan. 21. The cost is $25 per child. If your child can touch the bottom of the pool at the shallow end, you need not get in the pool with him or her. For more information, contact Ginny Johnson at (907) 567-3730.

Grace Lutheran
The students of Grace Lutheran enjoyed preparing a Christmas luncheon as a gift of service to their parents. Families, together with the Grace Lutheran preschoolers, gathered at noon on the last day of school before vacation to enjoy a student-prepared sloppy joe lunch. The afternoon featured classroom gift exchanges, carol singing and Christmas bingo. Students also participated with recitations and songs in the Christmas Eve candlelight service.

Soldotna High
The band hosts its annual dessert concert Thursday night in the SoHi theater.

Wings Christian Academy
The third quarter has started, and that means a new theme for physical education. This quarter, Mr. Ruffridge is teaching the Upper Learning Center students how to bowl. They are learning all the correct techniques and having a lot of fun.

Schools turn to marketing deals
In California's Scotts Valley, the local school district faces the prospect of slashing $900,000 from a $15 million budget next year. So the district hired a marketing firm to find companies willing to sponsor a new swim center or theater at the local high school.

Kalifonsky Christian
After Christmas break, the students at Kalifonsky Christian School are getting back to work. Mrs. East's preschool through second-grade class will follow Stanley Lamb Chop's (a flat story book character) travels around the world. He is starting his journey to the United Kingdom and being sent around the globe while the student track his journey on a world map.

Sears Elementary
Sears Elementary will host a community informational meeting on the possibility of an arts and sciences charter school in Kenai at 5:15 p.m. Thursday. The future of the existing magnet classrooms also will be addressed. All central peninsula parents and community members are invited to attend.

Kenai Montessori Preschool
Thanks to all the parents and children who attended the winter solstice celebration event Dec. 21. The children were studying the solar system and how the earth's rotation affects weather, tides and daylight in Alaska.

Sterling Elementary
Mark your calender for I-Safe (Internet Safety) training from 7 to 8 p.m. Jan. 22. I-Safe is to assist parents in helping their children understand Internet safety. Parents will learn what they can do to help protect their children while they are using the Internet. This evening is being made possible by the Title I program.

First-generation college students struggle with finals
KUTZTOWN, Pa. Anticipating good news, Victor Nivar leaped over a row of seats and bounded up the steps of the lecture hall, positioning himself among the first to check the psychology exam scores posted on the rear wall.

Tustumena Elementary
The following Tustumena students participated in the Elk's Hoop Shoot last Saturday at Soldotna Middle School: Dalton Pearson, Kailiee Skjold, Cameron Harvey, Casee Penrod, Derek Pace and Shelby Dykstra. Congratulations to all six young athletes for their outstanding efforts this year.

Redoubt Elementary
The site council meets at 3:45 p.m. today in the conference room.

Distinguished principals program announced
The National Association of Elementary School Principals is seeking nominations for the 21st annual National Distinguished Principals' Award and the Alaska Distinguished Principals' award, recognizing exemplary school leadership.

Travel contest offers scholarships
The AAA Travel High School Challenge, a national contest designed to expose students to the importance of travel and geographic literacy, is offering scholarships totaling $156,000 and more than 50 expense-paid trips to Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.

Ad call brings out student creativity
BRAINERD, Minn. When Cheryl Craig, coordinator of the Crow Wing County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, asked area high school art students to create movie theater screen advertisements about teen pregnancy prevention, she wasn't sure what type of response she would receive.

Sharing a good book
Ann Takata loves a good book.

Time remains to register for spring semester classes
Classes started this week at KPC, but that doesn't mean you have missed your opportunity to attend college this semester. The late registration period is designed to allow students, who for whatever reasons weren't able to make it to walk-in registration, to get into the classes they want.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
First-graders continued reviewing machines and started editing book pages in writing. On Monday, they celebrated Student In Good Standing participation with ice cream treats. Every student in class was a Student In Good Standing.

Last-second Jagr goal saves tie for Capitals
WASHINGTON Jaromir Jagr scored on a near-impossible shot with 0.8 seconds remaining in regulation Wednesday night, giving the Washington Capitals a 3-3 tie with the Calgary Flames.

Texas knocks Wake from unbeaten status
AUSTIN, Texas Freshman P.J. Tucker scored 21 points and No. 18 Texas cranked up the nation's highest-scoring offense to hand No. 4 Wake Forest its first loss of the season, 94-81 Tuesday night.

Manning should be wearing a cape
Before nearly every play, Peyton Manning barks instructions to his teammates. He waves and points. Put a baton in his hand, and he could be an orchestra conductor.

Panthers are misfits of NFL's final four
PHILADELPHIA The Carolina Panthers could be excused for looking around and asking: ''What are we doing here?''

Bryant sidelined with sprained shoulder
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Kobe Bryant joined Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone on the sidelines Tuesday, leaving Gary Payton as the only healthy Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

Smith, Mularkey get NFL head-coaching jobs with Chicago, Buffalo
LAKE FOREST, Ill. Now that he's turned around the St. Louis Rams' defense, Lovie Smith is taking on the Chicago Bears.

Maddux, Rodriguez top list of free agents
NEW YORK Now that most of the top stars have signed, Greg Maddux and Ivan Rodriguez are the biggest names left on the free-agent market.

Suits don't always fit
The number of superstars who traded a uniform for a suit and actually got better is still at one and holding.

Pass-happy Rockets break down Wizards
WASHINGTON Yao Ming scored 14 of his 21 points in the third quarter, and the Houston Rockets had a season-high 27 assists in Tuesday night's 93-80 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Knicks cap bizarre day with win over Magic
NEW YORK Herb Williams made the most of his one game as Knicks coach, guiding New York to a 120-110 victory Wednesday night over the Orlando Magic just hours after Don Chaney was fired.

Rangers still own Islanders
NEW YORK Tom Poti had a goal and assist, and defense partner Brian Leetch set up two scores to lead the Rangers to their fourth straight victory over the Islanders, 4-1 Tuesday night.

UConn beats Georgetown
STORRS, Conn. Emeka Okafor had 27 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks to lead No. 1 Connecticut to a 94-70 victory over Georgetown on Wednesday night.

Skyview skaters top SoHi
The Skyview Panthers notched a North Star Conference victory Tuesday, defeating the Soldotna Stars 4-2 at the Soldotna Sports Center.

The Next Level
Seward's Smith scores silver medal

Sports Briefs
Homer Christian wins End of RoadKPHA Squirt B drops two in AnchorageLemieux has hip surgeryLaettner violates drug policyHenin-Hardenne opens 2004 with win

Tustumena 200 attracts early field of 17, including Iditarod veterans
This year's Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race looks to be an exciting event with 17 mushers already signed up, including some famous Iditarod racers and entrants from Italy and Germany, a T-200 official told the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

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