Friday, January 30, 2004

Cell phone provider switch has users calling deal off
A number of wireless phone customers in the Kenai area whose service provider was switched from AT&T to Cellular One in November, have been receiving unusually high bills, some as much as triple the previous rate, but the company is making things good.

Report profiles Alaska Marine Highway travelers
KETCHIKAN (AP) Visitors who traveled aboard state ferries last summer were less well-heeled than their cruise and air visitor counterparts, according to a tourism survey.

E-mail inbox trauma: New tools fail to combat unwanted spam
NEW YORK Software makers have spent millions of dollars developing new tools for battling spam, and a federal anti-spam law went into effect Jan. 1.

What's really driving Martha Stewart Living stock up?
NEW YORK (AP) Look at the recent run-up in the stock price of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. It seems that investors are looking beyond its troubling past and counting on only good times ahead.

Help's coming for 401(k)s
NEW YORK (AP) Help is on the way for workers who find it difficult to manage their 401(k) retirement accounts.

Demand for maintenance-free living grows among baby boomers
NEW YORK (AP) When Deborah and Thomas Turcol decided to leave San Diego after 15 years, they bought the kind of house they had always dreamed of, with open floors, gorgeous views and no backyard to care for.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set scheduleJob Shadow hosts wantedSoldotna chamber to hold annual awards receptionNikiski council to hold officer electionsPeninsula Winter Games bags for sale

Halibut board ups catch limit
JUNEAU (AP) Southeast Alaska halibut fishers can look forward to higher catch limits and a longer fishing season in 2004.

Musher has little trouble in new race
Despite hours of mushing up and down the frozen Kuskokwim River in subzero temperatures, Jon Little describes Bethel as "a really warm place."

Tenor takes on Schubert's despair
IN THE YORKSHIRE DALES, England David Pisaro has lost his bearings. Appropriately enough.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

Company offers slices of 1950s Elvis recording to fans
NEW YORK (AP) A New Jersey company is offering Elvis Presley fans a chance to buy what it says is a slice of history.

Art Briefs
Juried show open for entryCommunity choir holds rehearsalsPratt Museum closed for maintenanceKids' art classes offeredArt guild to meetPainting group to meetTalent show applications availableWriting submissions accepted for annual eventLogo design contest announcedStudents' stories, photos wantedSexual assault awareness writing contest held

Eloquent travelers pen memorable essays
Most travel books about Alaska are written as introductory material for tourists. In contrast, "Travelers' Tales Alaska: True Stories" is an advanced course with plenty to entertain and teach any reader.

World-class performers bring music to hometown settings
A German, a Russian and a New Yorker walk into a room ... .

Murkowski wants to build bigger government, increase pollution
The U.S. Supreme Court usually comes down on the side of "states' rights," and when it doesn't, it raises a few eyebrows.

Gun law only hurts citizens who enjoy shooting, collecting
I would ask Mrs. Dean: please define assault weapon for me. This misused, misunderstood term, dreamed up by the liberal news media, strikes fear in the heart of most ignorant members of the public. People fear that which they do not understand. Guns are no exception.

Let governor, legislators know Kachemak Bay is special place
Kachemak Bay is special a great place to visit. Rich marine resources and breathtaking vistas supporting a productive and, for Alaska, remarkably stable economy.

Actions speak louder than words; governor's plan benefits wealthy
In his Jan. 4 Peninsula Clarion Voices of Alaska article Gov. Frank Murkowski claims to be interested in the future of 210,000 Alaskans under the age of 20. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth deeds speak much louder than words!

Alaska needs to resurrect fair tax structures, not tap permanent fund
We should not tap the permanent fund for either operating expenses or capital projects and there's no compelling reason to enact regressive statewide sales taxes either. Generating and reclaiming fair and responsible revenue streams is the best method to reverse our growing budget shortfalls.

Gun control laws save lives, don't keep hunters from obtaining guns
I'm tired of people accusing gun control advocates of being opposed to all guns, including those used by hunters.

Newsmaker: Bob Snodgrass
Bob Snodgrass has been involved with road racing for 32 years, first serving as general manager at Brumos Racing in Jacksonville, Fla., and now as the team owner. His teams once dominated the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, but it's been 25 years since one of his cars rolled into Victory Lane. He will send two Porsche-powered Fabcars to the Daytona International Speedway this weekend in an effort to break the streak. He talked about returning Brumos Racing to the podium in sports-car racing and the state of the sport itself.

24 Hours could signal resurgence
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Every time Roger Edmondson is asked what he will say if another GT-class car wins the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on Sunday, his tone instantly turns confident and powerful.

NASCAR officials will signal with hands
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. NASCAR said it plans to use hand signals in the same manner as football, basketball and hockey referees for some of the common violations on pit road.

Newsmaker: Richard Petty
When Richard Petty started his racing career, the championship was given to the driver who finished the most laps. Now the sport will use a made-for-television system that puts an emphasis on the final 10 races the part of the season that goes head-to-head with the National Football League. The seven-time series champion talks about all the changes planned for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season.

Bill Elliott is doing what many older drivers wish they could do. He is leaving on his own terms.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. There are a lot of empty squares on Bill Elliott's calendar during the first three months of the racing season.

This week: Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona
WHO: Grand American Road Racing Series.

Points system divides circuit
CHARLOTTE, N.C. The creation of a 10-race ''Chase for the Championship'' has created a division on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series circuit. On one side are the fans, drivers and car owners. On the other are television and the racetracks.

Conferenceof Alaskans announced
Mike Navarre, a former state lawmaker and mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, is one of four peninsula residents named as delegates to Gov. Frank Murkowski's Conference of Alaskans.

Group starts effort to recall governor
A loose-knit group of dissatisfied Alaskans launched a Web-based effort Tuesday to remove Gov. Frank Murkowski and Lt. Gov. Loren Leman from office, hoping eventually to secure enough signatures to put a recall measure on the fall ballot.

Plaintiffs wonder when '89 oil spill case will end
Among 38 pesticides banned last week by a federal court judge in Seattle for use near salmon-bearing streams in Washington, Oregon and California are some used here in Alaska where they pose the same dangers to salmon as they do in the Lower 48, according to a spokesperson for Alaska Community Action on Toxics.

Gifford headed to Nome
Former Soldotna Police Chief Shirley Gifford has accepted a three-month assignment to head the Nome Police Department after that city's chief left four months before his contract expired.

Photo feature: Icy illusions
A life-sized salmon appears to be jumping free from the rest of the ice carving it is a part of in front of the Soldotna Sports Center Thursday morning. The carving, and others around the area, is part of this week's Peninsula Winter Games festivities.

Kenai Peninsula not alone in facing financial problems
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District announced this week that its budget may be in worse shape than previously expected. But it's not the only district in the state feeling the strain of tight financial times.

Man charged with killing officer gets more time to find attorney
Superior Court Judge Harold Brown on Wednesday granted David S. Forster three more weeks to get a private attorney or reapply for a court-appointed public defender.

Ballot issue topic at chamber
On March 8, Kenai Peninsula voters will begin receiving ballots in the mail asking whether they favor the Kenai Peninsula Borough directly funding a wide range of school district programs ranging from band to basketball.

Crime Stoppers seeks info on Nikiski burglary
Central Peninsula Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects involved in a burglary in Nikiski.

School budget woes worsen
Despite rumors floating around the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, the school board on Monday night will not consider consolidating or closing any area schools, the district announced Wednesday.

Reading carnival offers family educational fun
Families looking for an afternoon of educational fun can find it Saturday at Soldotna Middle School, where Phi Delta Kappa and the Kenai Peninsula Reading Council will organize their second annual Peninsula Reading Carnival.

Group urges state to follow decision on 38 pesticides
Among 38 pesticides banned last week by a federal court judge in Seattle for use near salmon-bearing streams in Washington, Oregon and California are some used here in Alaska where they pose the same dangers to salmon as they do in the Lower 48, according to a spokesperson for Alaska Community Action on Toxics.

Lonnie Lee Lindgren
Former Kenai resident Lonnie Lee Lindgren died Friday, Jan. 23, 2004, in Rome, Ga., as the result of an accident. He was 30.

Harold R. 'Andy' Andersen
Former Alaska bush pilot Harold R. "Andy" Andersen died Saturday, Dec. 28, 2003, in Port Angeles, Wash. He was 78.

Time to cap dividends and use fund earnings to help pay for services
We find it difficult to believe that some legislators are questioning whether the permanent fund should be used for the purpose for which it was established.

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

Quality education involves far more than basic subjects
Imagine a car without a steering wheel. It still runs, it just can't be driven anywhere. Or, imagine a car that looks perfect on the outside, but when the hood is opened it's obvious there is no engine.

'Woof' as a second language
OK, I admit it. I have absolutely no interest in learning a second language. I didn't even like learning English back in the days when we had to conjugate verbs and diagram sentences.

Outdoor Briefs
Homer winter king tourney March 20 Kayak fest to return to Homer Refuge to host Winter Fun Day Mt. Marathon race applications available

Refuge launches birding hotline, hopes greater interest takes flight
Bird watchers on the Kenai Peninsula will be happy to learn the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is sponsoring a birding hotline for the central peninsula. The number for the hotline is 262-2300.

Around the Peninsula
T-200 prerace banquet today Peninsula Winter Games sets schedule Cook Inlet RCAC meeting slated Groundhog Day fund-raiser set Fishermans coalition to meet

Around the Peninsula
CPGH board meeting setCharter school info to be discussedBuilders association to meetSportfishing group to discuss its futureKDLL elections slatedSoHi to host dance showSubsistence management accepting nominationsWinter fun day plannedSocial Security reps to visit area

Proposed initiative would put Bibles in California public schools
SACRAMENTO (AP) Bibles would be given to every public school student in California, unless parents object, under a proposed ballot measure.

God has favorites too; he has much in store for his servants
People have favorite things.

Catholic Almanac's centennial edition ranks nations and U.S. states
HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) Italy and the two enclaves it surrounds, the State of Vatican City and San Marino, are the world's three most Catholic of sovereign states in percentage of population, the centennial edition of the ''Catholic Almanac'' reports.

Islamic-Catholic talks urge an end to all armed conflict
VATICAN CITY (AP) After two days of talks, a Muslim-Roman Catholic committee called for an end to ''all forms of armed conflict,'' the Vatican announced. The statement did not cite specific conflicts.

Jews, Christians plan campaign to counter image of Jews in Mel Gibson's Jesus film
Jews and Christians who fear Mel Gibson's epic on the crucifixion of Jesus will fuel anti-Semitism are planning lecture series, interfaith talks and other programs to try to mute the film's impact.

Episcopal Church's head advocates diversity, ignores conservatives' rebellion
NEW YORK (AP) A ''state of the church'' message from Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold advocated tolerating diverse beliefs among Episcopalians on questions relating to homosexuality. It also ignored a challenge to the denomination's leadership.

Church Briefs
Easter practice begins LDS temple open to public Nikiski women begin Bible study Poetry contest announced Clothes2Go open

Pennsylvania church devoted to Latin Mass opens new quarters
YORK, Pa. (AP) About 100 worshippers met Sunday at the newly purchased home of Saints Peter and Paul Mission Church, which celebrates Latin Masses without the blessing of Roman Catholic authorities.

Moderates ponder future ties with North Carolina Baptist convention
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Some 500 Baptist moderates concluded a two-day meeting without deciding whether to break with North Carolina's Baptist convention, in which they feel increasingly isolated.

Groomers' diligence combats icy conditions
Due to the lack of recent fresh snow, ski trails on the central Kenai Peninsula have been a bit icy over the past week. The diligence of groomers, who have been out freshening up old snow, has resulted in good skiing.

Local trail conditions
Condition of area ski trails.

Skier finds perfect job as instructor
JUNEAU Jeffra Clough, a lifelong skier, has the perfect job for somebody who loves to play on snow-covered mountains.

Big game of no big names
HOUSTON The media mass was six deep straining to hear the words of New England quarterback Tom Brady, one of the few recognizable faces in this otherwise faceless Super Bowl.

Christensen hoops it up at Cornell
Nick Christensen, a 2001 graduate of Soldotna High School, is a member of the Cornell College men's basketball team.

Caps knock out Lindros, Rangers
NEW YORK Olaf Kolzig made 32 saves Wednesday night and the Washington Capitals held on for a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, who lost Eric Lindros to another concussion.

Skyview wrestlers set to defend region title
The Skyview wrestling team will look to defend its Region III team championship today and Saturday at the region meet in Kodiak.

Chaney nets career win No. 700
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Temple's double-digit lead was slipping away and John Chaney was cussing in the huddle when David Hawkins quieted his tempestuous coach.

Panthers outlast Soldotna
The Soldotna and Skyview high school hockey teams put on a dandy of a show Thursday night, and the Panthers netted a goal in the final minute to take a 3-2 North Star Conference victory from the Stars at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Pacers snap skid with win over Suns
INDIANAPOLIS Al Harrington had 24 points and six rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season with a 101-79 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

Bullet Bob Hayes gets his last, best chance
HOUSTON The penalty, fair or not, has been served. Bob Hayes didn't live long enough to witness a vote that could finally put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

One Super play can define a career
HOUSTON One throw, one catch, one miss, one premature touchdown celebration. In the biggest game of the season, one play can overshadow everything.

KPHA Squirt Bs sweep weekend series
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Squirt B team swept the Anchorage Wolves in a three-game series last weekend at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Middle schoolers take to Nikiski trails
Nikiski hosted a 2.3-kilometer cross-country skiing event Saturday on the Community Trails at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School.

Florida State upset bid flames out
DURHAM, N.C. Chris Duhon scored 11 points and hit a key 3-pointer in the final minute to lift No. 1 Duke past Florida State 56-49 on Thursday night.

Sports Briefs
Sno-cross motors into Twin City RacewaySilver Salmon host Snowball InvitationalStrausbaughs, Berkhahn win at BradfordTour of Anchorage set for March 7

Yzerman nets assist to pass Super Mario
DETROIT Steve Yzerman moved past Mario Lemieux for sixth place on the NHL's career scoring list with his 1,702nd point in the Detroit Red Wings' 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

Alaska Sportswriters Prep Basketball Poll
The Alaska Sportswriters Prep Basketball Poll as compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, with first-place votes in parenthesis, record and total points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Louisville rolls over Houston without Pitino
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Louisville didn't miss Rick Pitino in its first game without its ailing coach.

T-200 mushers, volunteers ready to run
The trail has been groomed and markers set out; volunteers have been assigned their duties and mushers have begun to arrive -- the 20th running of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race is ready get under way.

Far north felines: Mountain lions seen in parts of Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska Mountain lion sightings are reported every year in Alaska, but the cats are so rare in the state that accounts often take on the mythical quality of Bigfoot sightings.

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