Wednesday, January 28, 2004

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.

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.

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.

Community support appreciated for renaming softball park complex
On behalf of our committee I, once again, would like to thank the Kenai City Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission for their consideration and approval of our project. In addition, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the community for your overwhelming support.

Blood bank event big success; thanks to all who participated
The Blood Bank of Alaska Kenai Peninsula Center's donor appreciation open house was a great success thanks to many businesses and individuals who contributed goods and services for door prizes, media coverage, food and blood donations.

Girl Scouts say thanks to those who give time, money, support
Girl Scout Troop No. 50 would like to thank the generous people of Kenai for their support of our troop this year. Thanks go to Susan Akaran and to Dr. McCartan for the time they spent teaching us useful information and new skills and to Unocal Alaska for its generous donation to fund the activities of our troop.

Donations provide dinner, clothes, toys for 65 families
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the individuals, families, organizations and businesses that helped make our 2003 Christmas Drive a success.

Grant helps sweeten time in after-school reading club
In many families, a very important tradition is the after-school snack, and at Soldotna Elementary a snack is a part of the transition from school to reading club. The students in the after-school reading club look forward to the snack, and it is an important factor in their continuing to learn after school.

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.

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.

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.

Bill targets DNR's powers
A bill introduced Friday in the Alaska House of Representatives would repeal the power of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to waive local land-use ordinances when considering shallow natural gas development leases.

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."

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.

Prank calls considered form of harassment
Almost everyone has experienced a prank phone call at some point, whether on the giving or receiving end.

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.

Mary O'Halloran
Kenai resident Mary O'Halloran died Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 58.

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.

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 third in a series of questions and answers that will be printed this week.

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

Conference of Alaskans will provide opportunity for state to move ahead What others say
Gov. Frank Murkowski has taken a step important for Alaska: His decision to create a broad panel to consider how, or whether, the Alaska Permanent Fund should help pay the cost of state government.

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.

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

Around the Peninsula
Parents support group to meet Food handlers class planned li> WRCC board meeting slated Peninsula Winter Games sets schedule Hospice seeking donations

Soldotna Elementary
Linnea Powers was the winner of the Soldotna Elementary geography bee, with Eddy Seguin as the runner-up.

English professor to have multicultural literary work published
Kenai Peninsula College is fortunate to have a talented slate of faculty members it has on staff. These professionals do much more than just prepare for and teach the classes they deliver to their students. Not only are KPC faculty members asked to perform a number of jobs not directly related to their teaching duties, such as serving on campus committees and acting as advisers to students, they also are encouraged to do outside work in their fields.

Mountain View Elementary
Thanks to Patti Berkhahn and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for an excellent ice fishing experience.

Strong academics help ease path to college for home-schooled students
Home-schooling advocate Karl Bunday used to get a lot of blank looks when he visited college fairs in his native Minne-sota and pitched the virtues of students educated around the kitchen table.

Connections
The Analytical Writing Assessment will be offered at the Connections computer lab. Families should call 262-6315 to schedule a test time.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start
Family Night is Monday.

Redoubt Elementary
Bingo for Books will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the gym. Redoubt students, staff, and their families are invited. Students must be accompanied by an adult. Book donations would be appreciated and can be dropped off at the school office.

Wings Christian Academy
Students in the Lower Learning Center had an exciting trip to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward earlier this week.

Students take state exams
Students in grades five, seven and nine at area public schools are taking the Analytical Writing Assessment this week through Feb. 6.

Kalifonsky Christian
The students enjoyed participating in Spiritual Life week. They now are getting back into their usual schedule.

Kenai Middle
The student council will sponsor a KMS Family Night from 5:30 to 7 Feb. 5.

Grace Lutheran
In Christlight class, students are learning about a woman named Rahab.

Tustumena Elementary
Intramural cross-country skiing began this week for students in grades three through six.

Cook Inlet Academy
The drama class is selling sub sandwiches, chips and cookies for the next two Fridays. The cost is $4, and the proceeds will be used to offset expenses for the upcoming drama trip to Oregon.

Sears Elementary
Sears Elementary students will attend a performance by the Alaska Junior Theater next month.

Soldotna High
Saturday school and after school tutoring (Tuesdays and Thurs-days) are available to all students. Both are opportunities for students needing extra help with schoolwork and preparing for the Terra Nova and High School Graduation Qualifying exams, scheduled for Feb. 17 to 19.

Nikiski Elementary
Ms. Morrow, Ms. McCubbins, Mr. Wingbigler and Ms. Jones will represent Nikiski Elementary at the Peninsula Reading Carnival on Saturday with a literacy booth focusing on storytelling.

Skyview High
Skyview will host an informational meeting to discuss the possibility of a new charter high school at 6 p.m. Thursday in the library. All central peninsula parents and community members are invited to attend. For more information, contact John Pothast at 262-7675.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
First-graders finished their machines unit by editing their books. They will share these with parents at conferences. The students also set writing goals for their next unit, which will be on transportation.

Mass choir to practice, perform next week
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District mass choir will practice Monday and Tuesday at Kenai Central High School.

Frosty fun: Students fish for lessons
Students at several Kenai Peninsula elementary schools got a chance to see yet another stage in the life cycle of salmon last week.

Project Roadrunner: Businesses team up to help area school
Two area businesses have partnered with Redoubt Elementary School to help provide support for educational endeavors.

High-tech degree doesn't guarantee jobs for graduating college seniors
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) Eager to ride the high-tech tide, Andrew Zhou double-majored in computer science and finance when he arrived at Rutgers University in 2000.

Kenai Central High
There will be a pep assembly to recognize the wrestling and hockey teams at 1:40 p.m. today.

Soldotna Middle
SMS is in need of a refrigerator for the student snack bar and for the parent-teacher-student association. If anyone has one they are willing to donate, call Marti Shirley at 262-4344.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High
Representatives from University of Alaska Southeast and University of Idaho will visit Nikiski High School on Feb. 12. Juniors and seniors who are interested in attending these schools, as well as their parents, are encouraged to attend. For more information, call the counseling office at 776-3456.

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

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

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.

Frank gets win in debut
PHILADELPHIA Richard Jefferson and the New Jersey Nets made Lawrence Frank's first game as interim coach a success.

Clijsters hurts ankle in victory
MELBOURNE, Australia Kim Clijsters aggravated an ankle injury in her Australian Open quarterfinal victory over Anastasia Myskina on Wednesday, leaving the second-seeded Belgian star questionable for the semifinals.

Nikiski boys cagers get revenge on Skyview
Jeremiah Taylor poured in 34 points as the Nikiski boys basketball team avenged an earlier season loss to Skyview Tuesday in nonconference action at Skyview.

Elder explodes for 36 as Tech drops Tigers
ATLANTA B.J. Elder scored a career-high 36 points to lead No. 14 Georgia Tech to a 76-69 victory over Clemson on Tuesday night, hardly resembling the guy who was shooting less than 31 percent in Atlantic Coast Conference games.

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.

Celtics coach O'Brien quits
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) Jim O'Brien quit as coach of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, after half a season under new boss Danny Ainge.

Late flurry lifts Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. Maxim Afinogenov scored to spark a three-goal third period that lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

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.

Pitino could be back on bench by weekend
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino might miss only one game after treatment for an undisclosed condition that has caused him pain for months.

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.

Media day stranger than usual
HOUSTON Super Bowl media days don't come any stranger than this and players hardly cared a whit.

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.

Winter X Games shine under bright lights
ASPEN, Colo. Lights, camera, action sports.

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.

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