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Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Tigers claim Ordonez
DETROIT — Magglio Ordonez sat quietly at a table while his agent and Detroit Tigers president Dave Dombrowski fielded questions about the outfielder's knee. When Ordonez responded, his competitive spirit emerged.

Anchor Point father/daughter team claims Peninsula Winter Games Carvers Championship...
Thanks to the community minded spirit and perseverance of a couple of guys like Jerry Near and Norm Blakeley, the ice carving competition has become a centerpiece of the Peninsula Winter Games (PWG). They started a few years ago with an idea and a lot help from their friends and members of the Soldotna Rotary Club and this year ice artists from all over the state came to participate in the ice carving championships. The results along with a cold snap from Old Man Winter have given residents and visitors a crystal delight and photos that will appear on family postcards and holiday greetings to be sent around the world.

Music Box Mike does some Thinkin' Back...
When Mike Silba graduated from Kenai Central High School in 1967 his dream was to be a rock star. He loved music and playing his guitar, but dreams don't get you past the checkout counter at the grocery store, so Mike went to work in Soldotna at the B&C Auto parts store. He quickly became known as the friendly, helpful guy behind the counter and stayed with the auto parts business for eleven some years, "I also worked in the oil fields and cooked hamburgers, but a guy once told me that if you do something you love, you're going to do it well. So I woke up one morning and said you know I love music more than anything so my wife Trish and I started the Music Box about 25 years ago. I still get excited when kids come in and need something, every day is really like Christmas because I love music in general," said Silba.

KPC offering 4-year degrees...
There's great news for those who want to earn 4-year degrees and remain on the Kenai Peninsula. Recently Sherril Miller, Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) Education Coordinator, and Dr. Christine Gehrett, Faculty Advisor, told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce about two new programs now being offered at KPC.

Making a frigid leap for warm cause...
Warmhearted, committed to a cure, and crazy are just a few of the superlatives that are commonly used to describe that dedicated group of jumpers that annually head to Seward for a midwinter dip in Resurrection Bay know as the Polar Bear Jump. For many years Kathy Lopeman, an oncologist at Central Peninsula General Hospital has not only jumped herself, but lead a group that has become known as Lopeman's Leapers. There are those who have made the leap once to answer the challenge and have a lifetime experience to tell there grandkids about, but Lopeman made her 8th consecutive leap a few weeks ago, "If you ask my family they'll tell you I'm just plain crazy, but it's actually because I believe in the cause of the American Cancer Society, and my plan is to go for 10 consecutive years," said Lopeman.

Outdoors with John Perkovich
Every other year for the past 6 years I have gotten pneumonia here in Alaska. This year just happens to be the year I am supposed to get pneumonia again, I guess. I have been fighting bronchitis for almost a week and trying desperately to prevent it from going into pneumonia however at times I feel like I'm losing ground with this battle. During this time there has been no ice fishing at all simply taking the medicine I have been prescribed and relaxing at home.

NOW PLAYING: Million Dollar Baby
In anticipation of the upcoming Academy Awards, this week we'll look at one of the top contenders, Clint Eastwood's masterpiece, Million Dollar Baby. It's not playing here. In reviews past, I've complained that we, on the Peninsula, never get the "great" movies. Indeed, Sideways and Ray never showed, but we did finally get Finding Neverland, and The Aviator is showing right now. So maybe Baby will show eventually. If not, it's certainly worth a drive.

Quest for tourism dollars can hurt residents
Don't bite the hand that feeds you! I'm a soon to be "local" that's been living in Florida for the past 33 years. Between the bed taxes and impact fee's it's a wonder anyone would want to come here! It's hard for a local to even go out to eat because of everyone after that "tourist" dollar. It's a lot closer to go other places. It's not like Alaska is just down the road. From anywhere. Anyone whose has lived in a tourist driven area can see what your going to lose. (That little town country thang). It is a two sided ax. ... Am I too late? If so, I'll know to play that tune! And keep the Gratuation in Kenai. A little Hometown Pride is good for the soul. And the town!

Students encouraged to learn from graduation dispute
It is encouraging to hear about the KCHS seniors engaging an issue of importance to them — the site of their upcoming graduation. Asserting one's independence and defining one's identity is a promising indication of youth moving into adulthood. Being willing to contribute your opinion is a sign of that process. One of the essential benefits the next generation brings to this community is a new set of eyes, new ideas, a fresh perspective.

Kenai has much to be proud of in its firefighters
As I read the Clarion report, which gave me credit for suggesting this scheme, I wondered just how many people realize the quality of the people employed by your city as firefighters. These are selfless individuals with great community pride and boundless energy to devote to its causes. I was credited with the idea of naming a mountain in honor of fallen firefighters. No idea, no matter how wonderful, will never be worth anything unless it is acted upon. These firefighters took a few spoken words and turned them into a significant event. It took months of paperwork, years of planning and energy to meet the required criteria. I remind you that all of this was accomplished on personal time with personal resources. They did this while maintaining a training schedule, juggling personal responsibilities and family obligations.

Firefighters climbing mountain is good news for all to hear
As a retired fire chief, stories of this nature usually fail to gain much attention. Thanks for following two outstanding individuals who set a goal and were not about to be denied. Their efforts are a credit not only to themselves, but to your community, their fire department and most important their fallen brothers-sisters of the fire service. ... This is the type of news our county needs to hear more about.

Kasilof
Greetings from frosty Kasilof. I hope your week is off to a good start despite the irritating cold snap we are going through. I console myself with seed catalogs and the thought that it's only temporary.

Kenai
Hello, neighbors. There are some advantages to having below zero weather. For example, no rain and fewer visitors so we don't have to stuff things under the couch cushions because we see someone drive into the driveway.

Sterling
Hi, neighbors. Start looking for all those knives and scissors that you have put somewhere hoping to eventually getting them sharpened, because Dudley Abbott will sharpen scissors and knives Friday at the Sterling Senior Center.

Soldotna
Hello. All five members of a World War II Army Air Force B-24 Bomber Crew held a reunion Jan. 5 and 6 in Orlando, Fla. They met and reviewed their South Pacific war years' experiences.

Cooper Landing
Hi, neighbors. Cooper Landing Senior Citizens Corp. Inc. is having a potluck lunch at the community hall today with a general meeting to follow. Saturday it is serving lasagna at the community hall at 6 p.m. The library volunteers will hold a book sale.

Ninilchik
Hi, neighbors. How blessed we are here in Ninilchik with natural resources. Not only do we have the bounty of the sea and forest to feed us, we have their gifts to keep us warm.

Nikiski
Good Morning, Something to think about: "A peck of common sense is worth a bushel of learning. Apples of Gold."

Assembly rethinking past decisions
Several years ago, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly passed and the borough adopted a policy to cut its sizable fund balance, the day-to-day operating fund cache it had in the bank.

Blowing hot air
The rising sun illuminates warm air as it escapes from heaters at the Elks lodge in Kenai during a sub-zero morning last week. Forecasters are calling for warmer temperatures in the 30s and 40s this week.

School district seeks foundation funding increase
Due to a funding gap of at least $23 million between Gov. Frank Murkowski's budget plan and what the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will need next year, the school board plans to request from the state an increase in foundation funding, the amount of money allocated for each student in Alaska.

Kenai council opposes borough cap, backs search for other options
Kenai City Council members Wednesday sent a mixed message to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Borough steels for end of Agrium
Lost jobs, shrinking property and sales tax revenues, business losses and other ripple effects coursing through the fabric of the Kenai Peninsula Borough's economy may all be expected from the closure next fall of Agrium USA's Nikiski fertilizer plant.

Starkweather sentencing postponed
Sentencing of Justin Starkweather, which was scheduled for this morning in Kenai Superior Court, was postponed. Starkweather is the 23-year-old man convicted of the 2002 sexual assault and attempted murder of a 46-year-old woman in her home near West Poppy Lane.

Home's insulation catches fire, $65,000 in damage done
An early morning fire Sunday caused about $65,000 in damage to a house on Tischer Avenue, just outside Soldotna. No one was injured.

Food program goes with least expensive brands
ANCHORAGE (AP) — Clients of a supplemental food program for women and children will have to start buying the least expensive brands for some foods, Alaska health officials said Thursday.

Stuck on you
Trent Semmens of Kenai Central High School pulls a protective strip of duct tape from his face after Saturday's Kenai Peninsula Borough Ski Meet at Skyview High School. Frigid cold temperatures delayed the start of the morning races but the event was concluded later in the day.

Copper Center home fire claims 3 lives
ANCHORAGE (AP) — A house fire killed three people in Copper Center.

Richard Thomas Rick Hills
Soldotna resident Richard Thomas "Rick" Hills died Friday, Feb. 27, 2004. He was 35.

Wesley C. Nixon
Kenai resident Wesley C. Nixon died Wednesday Feb. 2, 2005, at his home of natural causes. He was 45.

Attorney general's resignation a relief
Saturday's announcement that Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes has resigned will likely be met with relief and dismay in the capital.

Real tax reform needed sooner rather than later
The millions of Americans about to prepare their income taxes are headed for yet another reminder on why a simpler U.S. tax code would be a blessing.

Peninsula hosts dog weight-pull
Special awards went to Falcon for Best Dog, Pound for Pound for pulling 18.6 times his body weight; Falcon for Best Novice Dog, Pound for Pound; Gorgeous George for Most Weight Pulled; and Falcon for Most Weight Pulled, Novice.

Around the Peninsula
KPDSD Mass Choir plans concert Pancake fund-raiser set Caregiver support meeting planned Breakfast fund-raiser set Musical scheduled

Births
He joins brother, James Cullen II, 1. His grandparents are Margie and Carl Baisden Sr., and Bonnie and Don Vannatter, all of Verdunville, W.Va.

Be ready if disaster strikes
Building Stronger, Safer, Better Prepared Communities on the Kenai Peninsula

Peninsula People
Area youth competes in JNYO Students named to dean's lists Histand travels abroad McKay to serve a mission Pereira joins Air Force McDonald graduates college Roderick to attend West Point Schouweiler joins Coast Guard

Community News
Hospital adds links to Web site Library plans October events

Around the Peninsula
CES seeking volunteers NPRSA sets gym schedule PFLAG to meet After prom party committee to meet Fish and game to meet Women voters meeting planned Volunteers for wildlife education sought

Hero of the week: Returned bag makes boy's birthday
On Jan. 16, my hockey bag was left by accident at the Kenai ice arena. After three days of worrying and stress, my birthday was the next day and it was shaping up to be the worst ever.

Senior Menus
Homer Nikiski Soldotna Sterling

Senior Briefs
Forget-Me-Not Activity Center Homer senior, Friendship centers Nikiski Soldotna Sterling

No. 19 Connecticut upends Syracuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Charlie Villanueva had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 19 Connecticut closed the game with a 9-1 run for a 74-66 victory over No. 8 Syracuse on Monday night, ending the Orange's 16-game home winning streak.

Charmed
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The New England Patriots became a dynasty Sunday night, a team as sure and steady as the mighty river flowing outside the stadium where they won their third Super Bowl in four years.

Around-the-world sailing record falls
Her final time was 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds, her control team said.

Bush denies knowledge of steroids
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush was not aware of any steroid use by Texas Rangers players while he was a team executive, the White House said Monday.

Kardinals, Mariners go to state
The Homer Mariners earned the second seed in this week's State 3A hockey tournament despite a 6-1 loss to Houston in the Great Land Conference tournament's championship game Saturday in Houston. The Mariners will face Tri-Valley Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the tournament's first round in Fairbanks.

No. 1 Illini remain undefeated
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — James Augustine scored 16 points and Deron Williams had 11 assists to lead No. 1 Illinois to a 60-47 victory over Indiana on Sunday.

Sports views: Eagles let time and chances get away
In the betting world, the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, easily covering the one-touchdown point spread to put a few bucks in their fans' pockets.

Yao sinks two clutch free throws to finish Los Angeles
HOUSTON — Yao Ming scored 23 points, including the winning free throws with 15.2 seconds left, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 103-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Arenas rips Pacers by scoring 43 points
WASHINGTON — Gilbert Arenas matched his career high with 43 points to help the Washington Wizards beat the Indiana Pacers 108-104 on Monday night.

Another win hurts so good for Brady
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tom Brady was far from flawless.

It's Miller time at Alpine worlds
BORMIO, Italy — Bode Miller has turned the Alpine Skiing World Championships into his personal playground.

Crennel's agent huddles with Browns
CLEVELAND — After winning another Super Bowl, New England's Mr. Do-It-All issued a warning to the rest of the NFL.

Pacific makes AP Top 25 for first time
Pacific moved into The Associated Press men's college basketball Top 25 for the first time in school history Monday thanks to a perfect start in the Big West.

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