Friday, February 6, 2004

Tourism industry projects increase in Juneau cruise ship visitors
JUNEAU (AP) The number of cruise ship passengers visiting Juneau is expected to grow this year, according to the president of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau.

New service helps savers get federal insurance protection on deposits above $100,000
NEW YORK (AP) There are times when consumers want to put a lot of money into a bank but hesitate because the amount exceeds the federal deposit insurance limit of $100,000.

Trident closing Chignik plant
KODIAK (AP) Seattle-based Trident Seafoods is closing its Chignik salmon-processing plant, leaving a five-village community with one processor for the 2004 salmon season.

Forest Oil cuts back at Redoubt Shoal
ANCHORAGE Forest Oil has re-evaluated Cook Inlet's Redoubt Shoal and reduced estimated proved reserves by 49 million barrels to just 8 million barrels.

Oregon gov says painful cuts inevitable
SALEM, Ore. Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski directed state agencies Wednesday to seek ways to protect vital services after voters rejected an $800 million tax increase. He said painful spending cuts are inevitable.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set scheduleJob Shadow hosts wantedSoldotna chamber to hold annual awards receptionGovernment contracting workshop scheduled

Is corporate spending finally poised to accelerate?
NEW YORK (AP) Now that corporate America's profits have bounced back, will companies finally loosen their purse strings and start spending again?

Seafood marketing tax faces criticism
JUNEAU (AP) Bering Sea fishers say a Senate bill subjecting them to a marketing tax would constitute taxation without representation.

Baby boomers getting finances in order for retirement
NEW YORK (AP) As baby boomers approach retirement, many are taking steps to ensure they're ready financially.

Pageantry: Jr. Miss to grace stage again
Twenty-four ambitious and hopeful young women have descended on the central Kenai Peninsula this week to vie for the title of Alaska's Junior Miss 2004.

Artist takes old-fashioned look at state fair memories
There is very little that better defines a rural community than its county fair a traditional end-of-summer celebration of the life the land has provided to those who work and play on it.

Movie has suspense despite known ending
Nearly everyone already knows how ''Miracle'' ends, even though a generation has been born since the underdog U.S. hockey team upset the dominant Soviets during the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.

Art Briefs
Painting group to meetArt guild to meetCommunity choir holds rehearsalsTalent show applications availableWriting submissions acceptedLogo design contest announcedStudents' stories, photos wantedAssault awareness writing contest heldStatewide poetry contest announced

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

Master of the legal thriller, John Grisham returns with 'The Last Juror'
NEW YORK Year after year, for more than a decade, John Grisham has been writing best sellers that bring criticism from both readers and critics alike.

Scientist sounds alarms about salmon's future
Imagine Alaska without salmon. Not a pleasant thought, is it? Yet other parts of the world where teeming runs of salmon once filled rivers have lost these valued and common fish.

Marilyn Monroe shown at ease, happy in Berlin photography exhibit
BERLIN A new exhibit of Marilyn Monroe photos, many previously unpublished, show the actress in some of her happiest, most off-guard moments cuddling with playwright Arthur Miller, shopping in New York City, splashing at the beach.

House OKs tougher initiative measure
JUNEAU (AP) Legisla-tion that could make it more difficult to get voter initiatives on the ballot passed the House on Thursday.

Democrats want to hike taxes on oil companies
JUNEAU Four House Democrats want to rewrite the state's oil tax laws to bring in more money for the state budget.

Kids, dogs have great time, thanks to dedicated mushers, handlers
I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make the Al York Peninsula Winter Games dog mushing event run so smoothly. Events like this don't get done without a dedicated bunch of mushers and handlers.

Guides creating hostile place for resident sports anglers
In reference to no nonresident anglers allowed on Sundays: This is clearly guide motivated and furthers their hold on the river. The Kenai is becoming a hostile place for resident sports anglers and their families.

Returned letter shows Kenai becoming just like other places
I want to offer my condolences for the demise of the "Alaska spirit" in the postal system in Kenai. Having lived there for a short time, I just hoped the "outside" attitude would not creep in, but so much for that idea.

Nonprofit group should be created to help fund state's school districts
I think there should be a nonprofit organization created, called the KPBPSF, for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Permanent School Fund. This would allow the people on the Kenai or companies or the state of Alaska to donate to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board without being in conflict with Alaska state laws. Some benefits:

Trooper's action likely saved life of suspect or officer or both
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the aid of Trooper Sgt. Craig Macdonald on the morning of Jan. 30. With decisive action in defending a Soldotna police officer, who was under attack by a suspect who was aggressively trying to wrestle away a handgun, Sgt. Macdonald most certainly prevented serious injury to the officer and/or to the suspect and, in all probability, saved the life of one or both of them.

HJR 3 provides best protection for permanent fund, dividends
It is time for the residents of Alaska to consider supporting an alternative plan strictly created by the voters for the legislators to correct the current political mess in Juneau.

Musician appreciates community support at recent CD release party
As I sit here and reflect on the wonderful time we had at my CD release party at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds, I feel I must, again, give my heartfelt thanks to all who braved the minus 20 degree weather to come out.

Is community aware of homeless youths? What can be done to help?
Did you read the article in the Dispatch a few months ago about the Kenai Alternative High School? I was surprised to learn that at any given time between 15 percent and 40 percent of the students attending the school are homeless.

Private schools achieve more with less, could be model for all schools
Recently there have been several articles about educational funding in Alaska newspapers. As a retired Alaska educator who was involved in teacher negotiations as a NEA member, I would like to make a few comments as there seems to be some misconceptions about school funding.

'Rowdy Readers With A Cause' help make community better place
I am writing to say "thank you" to a local book club for its generous donations to the Kenai Peninsula United Way. "Rowdy Readers With A Cause" have donated an estimated $5,000 in clothing, food, toys, money and miscellaneous items to our local United Way office.

Newsmaker: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is carrying on a family tradition at the Daytona International Speedway. Like his father, he continues to dominate races at t

Design of Taurus is team effort
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. The development of the 2004 racing model of the Ford Taurus not only represents a collective effort, it might prove to be the blueprint for the rest of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

Season of change ahead for NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Just about everything in NASCAR is changing this season. Then, there's Daytona.

Drivers often take to the track before graduating high school
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. The next six months are important for Reed Sorenson.

This week: Budweiser Shootout
Where and When

Photo feature: Sweating it
The newest member of the Steffensen family keeps a wary eye on Wednesday's warmer temperatures. Forecasters are calling for a chance of snow today, with temperatures dropping to the single digits Friday and Saturday. Sunday and Monday may warm up again, though, with highs in the low 30s.

Pricey move?
The price of buying back eight lower Kenai Peninsula shallow gas leases the state sold to a developer last year for $500 each could

Murkowski proposes veterans' home plan
JUNEAU Gov. Frank Mur-kowski wants to convert the 82-bed Pioneers' Home in Palmer into the first state-run veterans' facility.

Panel hears pleas for school funds
Quality education in the state of Alaska cannot continue without more funding for school districts.

Area teachers to stay with NEA
Teachers in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District voted recently to remain affiliated with the National Education Association-Alaska.

Assembly coasts through hospital appropriations, language for ballot
It was a relatively easy Tuesday night for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly as they quickly moved through a succession of public hearings on several pending appropriations measures that had long since moved beyond any controversy or question.

Independent review reveals problems in school cost study
A study of the state's area cost differential for school funding has flaws, according to a peer review presented to a legislative committee Tuesday.

Nikiski debates options
Nearly 150 Nikiski residents upset over a rash of recent break-ins in their community gave Alaska State Trooper E Detachment commander Capt. Tom Bowman more than an earful during a heated public meeting Wednesday night.

Frances D. Frazier
Sterling resident Frances D. Frazier died Monday, Feb. 2, 2004, at her niece's home in Anchorage due to natural causes. She was 80.

Bernard 'Bernie' White
Longtime Kenai and Soldotna resident Bernard "Bernie" White died Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital from complications of surgery. He was 70.

Super Bowl reveals more than expected Editorial
Enough already.

Terror panel should get extension it requested
Opposition from the White House and congressional Republicans to granting the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks an extension past its May deadline is unconscionable. It is nothing less than playing politics with our national security.

Finding poison in Frist's office reminder U.S. can't let down its guard
The detection of ricin, a deadly poison, in the mailroom of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a pointed reminder that bioterrorism is a threat that cannot be discounted. Although it appears that no one has been harmed in this incident, the potential for harm is undeniable. ...

It's now Kerry's race to lose
WASHINGTON Even defeat is kind to Sen. John Kerry, not that the Democratic front-runner has tasted much of it in the latest round of presidential primaries and caucuses.

Snowshoes offer outlet for winter enthusiasts
LEWISTON, Idaho Snow-shoeing has evolved from a pragmatic means of winter transportation into a sport that celebrates simplicity.

Sculptor teaches frozen forms of art
FAIRBANKS Mary Ann and Vic Miller move around a lot, so they figure their time in Fairbanks might be their only chance to learn ice sculpting.

Interesting creatures prowl, protect, study Kenai Peninsula waterways
They're out there. Eeks, you might see them. Sometimes they're in the water. Other times, they gather around the banks.

Around the Peninsula
CPGH to hold blood driveSoroptimists to meetOutdoors woman workshop setIndoor soccer registration deadline FridayWinter fun day plannedInternet class canceled

Around the Peninsula
Subsistence management nominations due today La Leche League to meet Wine tasting, gourmet appetizer fund-raiser Saturday SoHi parents of juniors to discuss after-prom party Drivers safety course offered Kenai chamber plans Job Shadow Day Parent awareness forum slated

Church Briefs
Matrix features valentine songs LDS temple to be rededicated Easter practice begins Nikiski women begin Bible study Poetry contest announced

Major black Baptist leader marks retirement
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Hundreds of friends, preachers and politicians crowded a hotel ballroom to mark the Rev. T.J. Jemison's retirement from Mount Zion First Baptist Church after 54 years.

TV evangelist in rural Illinois hopes cable will take him national
THOMPSONVILLE, Ill. (AP) Danny Shelton leaned into a speaker phone toward the end of talks with a satellite company promising to sell his Three Angels Broadcasting Network to thousands of cable operators across the country.

Priests forum struggles to define itself in the wake of scandal
BOSTON (AP) It began as a way for Roman Catholic priests to support each other in what is a tough vocation at the best of times.

Student who used 'God bless' signoff is back on school TV
DUPO, Ill. (AP) A high school senior who was suspended from his daily school TV newscast for saying ''God bless'' is back on screen.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leader nominated for a third term but faces challenger
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) A nominating committee has decided unanimously to put the denomination's stated clerk (chief executive) the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick up for re-election to a third four-year term at a summer church assembly.

Russian president emphasizes tolerance in holiday message to Muslims
MOSCOW (AP) President Vladimir Putin greeted Russia's large Muslim minority Sunday in a message for the Feast of Sacrifice, emphasizing that religious tolerance and peaceableness in ''our multinational homeland'' are ''true values of Islam.''

Caught in Episcopal dispute, Kentucky parish loses most of its members
VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) Only 60 people attended the three services at historic St. John's Episcopal Church on Sunday, while some 180 departing members held the first formal service of their new conservative congregation, St. Andrew's.

Scandal-plagued Boston Archdiocese reports 15 percent drop in Mass attendance
BOSTON (AP) The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said Mass attendance for a typical week has dropped 15 percent since the clergy sexual-abuse crisis hit two years ago.

No more ice is nice for area skiers
With snow falling across the central Kenai Peninsula on Thursday afternoon, and more snow in the weekend forecast, skiers should have plenty of fresh powder to play with this weekend.

Local trail conditions
Skiing conditions on local trails.

Hard work, strict safety lead to sweet powder skiing
OGDEN, Utah Northeast facing slope. Thirty-two degree angle. 7,826 feet above sea level. The perfect place for a 4.5-foot snow pit. Lee Fortin dug one last week in the same spot, but a week's a long time out here.

Skaters set to take center stage
A quick look at the North Star Conference high school hockey standings might lead one to believe that the Kenai Central Kardinals, owners of a 9-1 conference record, should be the favorites as the conference tournament kicks off today at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Marshall, Rose lead Raptors to win
TORONTO Donyell Marshall had a season-high 32 points and Jalen Rose had 21 as the Toronto Raptors enjoyed a rare blowout with a 110-90 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

Sports Briefs
Wolverines romp in NikolaevskLegion ballclub to have informational meetingUSC the class of college football recruiting

Sno-Cross results announced
The Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions hosted a State Sno-Cross snowmachine race Saturday at Twin City Raceway in conjunction with the Peninsula Winter Games.

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

Sixers beat up Lakers
PHILADELPHIA Allen Iverson played one of his best offensive games of the season Thursday night, scoring 39 points to lead the struggling Philadelphia 76ers past the weary and depleted Los Angeles Lakers 96-73.

Niittymaki earns win in first start
PHILADELPHIA Antero Niittymaki made 19 saves in his first career start, and John LeClair scored the go-ahead goal in Philadelphia's 5-1 victory over Washington on Wednesday night.

Hull leads Red Wings past Avs in extra time
DENVER Brett Hull scored 57 seconds into overtime after two Colorado players were hit with penalties at the end of regulation to give Detroit a 3-2 victory over Colorado.

Patriots are guests of honor in Hawaii for Pro Bowl
HONOLULU Willie McGinest stood on the sideline at Aloha Stadium, sweating in the Hawaii sun and gulping air. He put one hand on his knees and raised the other to salute a small group of fans cheering, ''Super Bowl! Super Bowl!''

Duke tops Tar Heels in overtime thriller
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Top-ranked Duke treated Roy Williams the same as the last two North Carolina coaches: The Blue Devils won again in the Smith Center.

No. 6 Louisville upset by Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Rodney Carney scored 19 points and keyed a second-half rally, helping Memphis upset No. 6 Louisville 62-58 Wednesday night.

Judge says Clarett ready for NFL draft
NEW YORK A federal judge opened the door for Ohio State sensation Maurice Clarett and teenage football stars to turn pro, declaring Thursday that an NFL rule barring their eligibility violates antitrust law and ''must be sacked.''

Blaze of glory: Bon Jovi draws spotlight to Arena Football League's Soul
PHILADELPHIA Putting singer Jon Bon Jovi's name on the marquee has been good for business.

CIA sweeps Nikolaevsk
The Cook Inlet Academy girls picked up a District 3/2A victory Thursday, winning at Nikolaevsk 38-34.

Soldotna to show off wax shack
There will be an open house to show off the new wax shack of the S

Skyview, Soldotna gain semis
The Skyview Panthers opened the Region III/4A North Star Conference hockey tournament with an upset, defeating the Colony Knights 4-2 Thursday at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Panthers hunting for fifth state championship
Not all wrestling championship teams can be like Skyview's squad of 1996-97, when Neldon Gardner's squad scored 233.5 points to top runner-up Service by more than 100 points.

Boozer doing Alaska proud
CLEVELAND Kneeling at the scorer's table waiting to get into a game last week, Cavaliers point guard Jeff McInnis looked up just as Carlos Boozer streaked by.

Bears mean big business
MISSOULA, Mont. More people are living and playing in bear country in the West, and some entrepreneurs are turning a profit by keeping the two safely apart.

Photo feture: Taking flight
A bald eagle takes off from its perch in a spruce tree above Kenai City Hall on Thursday afternoon.

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