Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Patriotic Art Contest winners on display at Kenai Visitors Center
Getting young people to express their feelings about patriotism is the purpose of the Patriotic Art Competition sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

ConocoPhillips working hard to maintain production in Alaska
ConocoPhillips is looking for 2004 to be another good year for the oil and gas industry in Alaska. At the monthly luncheon meeting of the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance last week, Darren Jones, ConocoPhillips Vice President for Cook Inlet and Kuparuk operations made an optimistic forecast, "Just don't ask me to predict oil price and I'll be okay, but given where the industry is at the moment, we can use all the oil we can produce.

Landing on Mars source of local excitement
Having a robotic rover on Mars and a challenge from President George W. Bush to land a man on the Red Planet has excited students and adults participating in a Mars landing simulation at the Alaska Challenger Learning Center in Kenai.

Ice for Winter Games shaping up nicely
The 2004 Peninsula Winter Games have begun with Monopoly tournaments, basketball shootouts, ice carving and dog races. Last week the signs of the Peninsula's Winter Martygraw started taking shape with spectacular ice sculptures showing up at businesses places around town. Formerly from Michigan, ice carver John Trofimuk, chipped out the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce logo if front of the Visitors Center at the bridge in Soldotna.

NOW PLAYING: The Butterfly Effect
Chaos theory (oooh, big science stuff and we're only ten seconds in) states that the simple beating of a butterfly's wings in, say New Zealand, can cause a mighty hurricane as far away as South Carolina.

Governor doing what he said he wouldn't during campaign
The Republican Party of Alaska is building a simplistic attitude of no guts no glory and go with the flow mentality. In the history of Alaska, our leaders in the state Senate or House were legislators that would not bow and scrape the floor to any governor. They stood tall, but this is no longer the case.

Better options to bridge budget gap than using permanent fund
We want you to know that we understand that government waste, abuse of power and spending to gain nothing of value is unacceptable legislative behavior and is certainly not limited to our representatives in Juneau. Any time a massive bureaucracy is created it is a threat to us all.

Elected leaders in Washington not looking out for students
As an educator in Alaska, I am very concerned that our elected officials in Washington are completing work on education funding legislation that will dramatically shortchange education.

NASCAR changes noticeable in test laps at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS Michael Waltrip is trying to keep an open mind about the slew of changes NASCAR has thrown at the teams.

Kids play big role in project's success
For going on 14 years now, the Caring for the Kenai program has sought to solve environmental problems by tapping into one of the peninsula's most valuable renewable resources: kids.

Wanted: Home for 6 million salmon
Six million fry swim now in a kind of limbo at the Trail Lakes Hatchery in Moose Pass, thanks to the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision banning their release into Tustumena Lake.

Bill would shift power of KRSMA
Sen. Tom Wagoner introduced a bill last week that would strip state and federal agencies of voting power on the Kenai River Special Management Area Board.

Alaska offers rush of a different kind for California kid
Southern California resident Ben Jackson was put through something of an Alaska winter mini-Olympics over the weekend during filming for the ABC Family TV show "Switched."

Assembly members heading to Juneau
Carrying with them a list of capital project priorities they hope to see funded, seven members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly are heading to Juneau this week for sit-downs with state lawmakers representing portions of the borough.

Changes coming to Kenai airport
In the post Sept. 11, 2001, commercial passenger aviation world, the Kenai Municipal Airport seems to be something of a rarity with its lack of comprehensive passenger and baggage screening procedures.

June A. Moore
Kenai resident June A. Moore died Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2003, of a sudden illness at the home of her daughter in Filer, Idaho. She was 73.

Gregg Allan Ivanoff
Lifelong Kenai resident and Alaska Native Gregg Allan Ivanoff died Friday, Jan. 23, 2004, at his home in Kenai from a heart attack. He was 38.

Mark D. Jackson
Former Ninilchik resident Mark D. Jackson died Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, in Yuma, Ariz. He was 73.

Q & A on State of the State
Editor's Note: The following was prepared by Gov. Frank Murkowski's office in response to questions received following the governor's State of the State address on Jan. 13. This is the second in a series of questions and answers that will be printed this week.

Not much to celebrate as Haiti observes 200 years of independence What others say
The BBC says Haitians are observing the 200th anniversary of their independence this month. Observing, maybe. There is little to celebrate.

Legislature's caucus system out of control; citizens on losing side
Nobody elected a caucus.

Q & A on State of the State
Editor's Note: The following was prepared by Gov. Frank Murkowski's office in response to questions received following the governor's State of the State address on Jan. 13. Several questions and answers will be printed this week.

For the run of it ...
Mush! Let's go! Hike! All right!

Hero of the week
It's nice to be reminded that there are wonderful, caring neighbors in our area.

Rally around
4-H leader Debbie Clonan makes balloon animals for participants at 4-H Rally Day on Jan. 19.

Around the Peninsula
Marine advisory to hold meetingsSkyview graduation committee to meetCharter school to be discussedSnowmachine races plannedHistorical Society to meetHomer public health set February scheduleBasketball team to hold fund-raiserDog classes slated at PenDOG

Community Schools
The following list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities beginning this week is printed as a reminder to preregistered participants. Anyone interested in a class or activity should call the Community Schools office at 262-6768.

Around the Peninsula
SoHi prom planning meeting set Builders association to meet li> Cook Inlet RCAC meeting slated Indoor soccer registration to begin Social Security reps to visit peninsula Dog classes slated at PenDOG

Community News
FAS to hold training workshop Toastmasters meet on Mondays Holle to hold community meetings Deadline for VFW scholarship nears Wine, gourmet appetizer fund-raiser planned Flu shots available for general public Awards available for school, business partnerships ACCFT to honor academic freedom efforts

Club News
Elks table tennis results announced Boys and Girls Club seeking craft supplies, games Final day to order Sees candy

Peninsula People
Helping patients Vadla finalist in Spirit of Youth Patriotic Art Program winners announced

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

North Carolina doctor named best in 'country'
BELHAVEN, N.C. When an ornery hurricane began beating at the shoreline near Belhaven, Charles Boyette had an idea of what to expect.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Mickelson ends drought in desert
LA QUINTA, Calif. Phil Mickelson showed he's back on his game after a disappointing year, beating Skip Kendall on the first playoff hole Sunday in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Brodeur comes up big
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Martin Brodeur made 24 saves, including a spectacular tumbling stop on Frantisek Kaberle in the second period to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday night.

Roddick, Agassi hot down under
MELBOURNE, Australia Asked to pick a title favorite heading into the Australian Open's second week, Andy Roddick pointed to Andre Agassi.

No Kidding: Scott out as Nets coach
In the gentlemanly parlance of the game, Jason Kidd and Byron Scott had philosophical differences that led to their rift and the canning of the coach.

FSU slays second straight ACC giant
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Tim Pickett scored all of his 18 points in the second half and Florida State made six straight free throws over the final 45 seconds to hand Wake Forest its fourth straight loss.

Extra Super Bowl week can be critical for a lot of reasons
One week or two? The NFL returned this year to a longer break between league championship games and the Super Bowl, giving America a weekend in between to catch up on the Winter X Games.

Pain part of X Games
ASPEN, Colo. Brian Deegan realized he wasn't going to complete the backflip, so he let go of his bike. One problem: He was still nearly 40 feet in the air.

James, Boozer lead Cavs to win
CLEVELAND Rookie LeBron James scored 16 points in his first game back from a sprained ankle and Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 16 rebounds, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 99-98 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

Henin-Hardenne, Agassi win to advance to semis
MELBOURNE, Australia Andre Agassi advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open on Tuesday when ninth-seeded Sebastien Grosjean retired in the second set with a strained groin.

Timberwolves best in the west
MINNEAPOLIS Sam Cassell scored 14 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to their fourth straight win, 99-95 over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Career plans motivate Skyview's Dudley
Anyone who watched the season-opening Skyview Invitational cross-country ski meet might be surprised to find out that Skyview senior Kyle Dudley was embarking on just his third season of skiing.

Peninsula high school skiers compete in freestyle Besh Cup races Sunday in Homer
Soldotna High School's Ryan Walton skied to a 27th place finish Sunday in the 5-kilometer J-1/OJ freestyle Besh Cup race in Homer, finishing in a time of 16 minutes, 45 seconds.

Patriots, Panthers get on the move
HOUSTON The Super Bowl teams arrived in Houston on Sunday happy to be out of the nasty weather and ready to get on with business.

Longhorns take out rival Aggies
COLLEGE STATION, Texas Tiffany Jackson had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Heather Schreiber made the go-ahead free throw and a 3-pointer in the closing minutes as No. 3 Texas held off Texas A&M 64-62 Sunday.

Jagr shines at home
NEW YORK Jaromir Jagr had a three-point night in his home debut for the New York Rangers, setting up Brian Leetch's tiebreaking score and adding a third-period goal and assist in a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday.

Retirement
WASHINGTON (AP) Tax breaks give workers an incentive to save for retirement, and future retirees can start stashing away even more savings this year into accounts sponsored by their employers.

'Tax Cut 101' for Filers
WASHINGTON (AP) Tax rates dropped last January, but most taxpayers have received only half of the cuts coming to them. That means many of them can expect a bigger refund or a smaller tax bill when they figure their 2003 tax return this year.

Deductions
WASHINGTON (AP) Married couples accustomed to itemizing their tax deductions every year might want to take a second look at their 2003 tax returns. A higher standard deduction may mean it's more beneficial to leave tedious itemizing behind.

Alternative Minimum Tax
WASHINGTON (AP) Imagine a parallel tax universe where your carefully planned deductions don't exist, where your children are counted against you, where your high state income tax bill is ignored.

New IRS Help Feature
WASHINGTON (AP) New tax laws will make this year's taxes even more complicated than usual, but the IRS hopes to lift some of the confusion with a new feature designed to help taxpayers find information quickly and easily.

Earned Income Tax Credit
WASHINGTON (AP) A tax credit for low-wage workers can mean thousands of dollars in refunds for some working families, making the springtime tax filing season a little warmer.

Deductions, Glance
Taxpayers can reduce their taxable income by using a standard deduction or taking advantage of the dozens of itemized deductions permitted by law. Many taxpayers know the common ones, like the deduction for mortgage interest paid during the year. Many aren't so obvious.

Credits
WASHINGTON (AP) Saving for retirement? Sending a child to college? Paying steep medical bills? Tax laws offer an almost dizzying array of tax-advantaged accounts and credits that can help you meet those goals.

A Puzzle for Investors
WASHINGTON (AP) Investors with capital gains or dividend income from stocks, real estate and other assets can expect new benefits from lower tax rates, but they're also bound to spend more time poring over paperwork to calculate those savings.

Child Tax Credit
WASHINGTON (AP) Gathering up the paperwork to start working on your tax return? Make sure you find last summer's letter from the Internal Revenue Service if your family was among those who got an advance child tax credit payment.

Can't Pay? Don't Panic
WASHINGTON (AP) Is your tax bill more than you can handle right now? The IRS offers a broad array of options for those who can't immediately pay the balance of taxes owed.

Breaks for the Military
WASHINGTON (AP) Soldiers in combat live in exceptional circumstances, and the Internal Revenue Service recognizes that at tax time with extended deadlines and special tax breaks.

Tips
WASHINGTON (AP) Swamped in tax paperwork with nowhere to turn? Here are some tips to get started and to find help when you need it:

Homeowners
WASHINGTON (AP) Energized by the lowest mortgage interest rates in more than 40 years, home sales and refinanced loans moved at a record pace last year. The bustling mortgage activity means more taxpayers must master the complex rules that help homeowners win big tax advantages.

Your Old Car
WASHINGTON (AP) Donating a car to a favorite charity can be a great way to help a good cause and secure a tax deduction. But the IRS warns that charities sometimes get far less from donated vehicles than taxpayers assume.

Getting a Pro to Help
WASHINGTON (AP) About 56 percent of tax filers paid a professional to do their taxes last year, the Internal Revenue Service says. If you decide you want to be among those who turn the job over to someone else, here are common questions and answers about finding professional tax help:

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