Wednesday, February 9, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Reader: Clarion coverage lacking
As I read the Clarion each day, it amazes me how often local news is overlooked or just completely ignored. Events that took place during the Peninsula Winter Games went with little (T-200 race) or no coverage at all. Events like the Native Youth Olympic Competition, the ice carvings, dog weight pulling contest, the list goes on.

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.

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.

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!

Many contribute to carnival's success
The Kenai Peninsula Reading Council would like to thank the residents of the Kenai Peninsula who attended the third annual Peninsula Reading Carnival on Jan. 29. The event was very successful. We estimate over 1,300 people attended and over 700 books were given away to children. We could have never done this without the support and enthusiasm we received from so many in the community.

2005 Previews
Elliott Sadler No. 38 M&M's Ford — Ninth in 2004 pole leader

Keeping an eye out
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Smaller spoilers and softer tires were supposed to be a big reason why 42 teams tested last week at Las Vegas and California. But no reason was more important than the competitive nature of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series itself.

Ganassi focused on winning first NASCAR title
Chip Ganassi has fielded championship teams in the CART Champ Car Series as well as the Grand American Road Racing Series. All that's missing is a title in NASCAR.

Shootout a preview of season to come Cities compete to be home to Hall of Fame

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Fire chief, family believed killed in fire
ANCHORAGE (AP) — A volunteer fire department chief, his wife and their daughter are believed to be the victims of a house fire that killed three people in Copper Center.

On the rise
Alaska's current population is expected to grow by more than a third over the next quarter century if births, deaths and in- and out-migration take their expected natural courses, a state demographer has predicted.

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.

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

KEDS makes way for its plan
Paving the way for completion of a final draft of its development strategy, the Kenai Economic Development Strategy working group held a public meeting Saturday at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.

Something to sing about
Students practice before Tuesday's Kenai Peninsula Borough School District High School Mass Choir Festival at Renee C. Henderson Auditorium in Kenai. The event featured students from across the peninsula and was directed by Evin Lambert of Washington. At right, Lambert works with the students to improve their performance.

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.

Fulfilling a dream Kenai senior earns Alaska Junior Miss title
Ever since Kenai Central High School senior Elena Bird was a little girl, she dreamed of participating in the Junior Miss Scholarship Program. However, up until Saturday she didn't think she was going to win it.

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.

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.

Frances Mae Munger
Soldotna resident Frances Mae Munger died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 82.

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

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

Judge decisions more in lawyers' hands than state's
The legal fraternity, made up of lawyers who are members of the Alaska Bar Association, pretty much believes that it is the be-all and end-all when it comes to matters of judicial wisdom. And it particularly considers itself to be the sole proprietor when it comes to the selection of state judges.

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.

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

Around the Peninsula
Bake sale fund-raiser set Genealogical society to meet Community dance plannedDinner, dance fund-raiser set RCAC to meet

Soldotna Elementary
Congratulations to parent volunteer Lauri Lingafelt for being awarded the Community Outstanding Performance Award by the Alaska Department of Education for 2004-05. She will receive her award at the Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference in Anchorage.

Sears Elementary
The Scholastic Book Fair has been postponed until further notice.

Kaleidoscope School of the Arts and Sciences
If you have not turned in your form stating whether your child will return to Kaleidoscope for the 2005-06 school year, please let the teacher know your intent during your conference. Friday is the deadline for reserving your child's spot for next year.

Kenai Central High
If you noticed a bunch of the school's juniors around the community today, that was the annual Job Shadow taking place. The school's juniors were out "shadowing" professionals in a wide variety of occupations. This program was designed to give students an opportunity to experience jobs and the skills that may be required to succeed at those jobs.

Soldotna Middle
The times for parent-teacher conferences are from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon Friday.

Kenai Middle
Good job to cross-country skiers in their meet Saturday. Maya Johnson placed third, Anders Nyquist placed first, Molly Watkins placed fifth and Kristi Louthan placed seventh. For the sixth-grade race, James Watkins placed first and Shawna Lukassen placed second.

Tustumena Elementary
Battle of the Books district competition was completed Wednesday and Thursday. Third- and fourth-grade battlers were Kailee Skjold, Rachel Blossom, Dylan Webb and Makinna Halverson. Fifth-and sixth-grade team members were, Erik Skjold, Anita Braun, Cassie Sheridan, Dallin Carlson and Peter Rogers. The staff thanks the students and Mrs. Knobf, Mrs. Blossom and Mr. Faris for the hours they committed to the competition.

Kenai Montessori
This month the children will study South America. This week the children have been making masks and costumes in preparation for Thursday's celebration of South America's Carnival. Senora Whitmore, a native of Venezuela, will teach the children about this South American tradition and help the students with their masks and costumes they will wear during the party to be held at school Thursday afternoon.

No school Thursday, Friday
There will be no school Thursday and Friday due to parent-teacher conferences and teacher inservices.

Kenaitze Head Start
The children are learning new Dena'ina words and phrases each week. "Ida" means to friend and "heyi" means winter.

Skyview High
Basketball teams are away at Grace Christian on Thursday and Wasilla on Friday.

Mountain View Elementary
Spring portraits will be taken Feb. 16. Preschool pictures will be taken at noon.

Soldotna High
Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. in the commons and gym.

Congratulations to students for successfully completing all of their monthly Book It goals thus far.

Soldotna Montessori
A schoolwide Valentine's Day and Love of Reading celebration is planned Monday. Students can bring a favorite book, dress up as a book character or wear a shirt that has been decorated with a theme from a story.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High
Parent-teacher conferences are by appointment Thursday and Friday mornings. Drop-in conferences are scheduled Thursday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m.

Wings Christian Academy
Last Friday, several of the Upper Learning Center girls helped with a project at Heritage Place. They interviewed the senior citizens, took pictures and helped put together a scrapbook about their lives.

Grace Lutheran
Congratulations to Heather Wiley of Soldotna who the recipient of the "Peter Rabbit" book that was given away by the school at the Reading Carnival.

Peninsula teen bound for Oxford University
Seventeen-year-old Shiloh Schlung of Soldotna is taking the leap to higher education, a great leap, in fact.

Congratulations to the third- and fourth-grade Battle of the Books team of Hope Steffensen, Ellery Steffensen, Mika Morton, Vienna Schmitter-Schrier and coach, Natalie Kant, for winning the district championship. Homer Connections high school Battle of the Books team of Sigrid Colman, Emily Riedel, Katie Connor and coach, Nancy Kleine, also won the district championship.

Peace Train hits Peninsula
The beats of South African music were contagiously dance-inducing to students who attended the Sharon Katz and The Peace Train concert for students Friday morning at the Kenai Central High School Renee C. Henderson Auditorium.

Cook Inlet Academy
The students of the week are Reva Lovett. Kellsi Ulrich, Richele McGahan, Tyler Fenton, Caleb Lyons, Mariah Wall, for improvement in self-control, Megan Bauder, Chloe Nelson, Robbie Smithwick and Tiana McGahan.

Interior Distance Education Alaska
Steve Hackett and Janice Habermann will present math workshops for parents and children on enrichment and test-taking strategies. The workshops will take place in Homer on Friday at the Islands and Oceans Visitors Center from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., in Soldotna on Feb. 16 at the Kenai River Center from 1 to 3 p.m.; and in Seward on Feb. 17 at the Seward Chapel from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Redoubt Elementary
Parents should return the forms to confirm their conference date and time.

Nikiski North Star Elementary
The school participated in this year's Battle of the Books, an Alaska reading motivational and comprehension program sponsored by the Alaska Association of School Librarians.

KPC Around campus: Students encouraged to take advantage of tax credit
According to Carrie Burford, Kenai Peninsula College's financial aid advisor, many students are not aware there are education tax credits available which would reduce the amount of income tax they have to pay. This also applies to parents who have dependent students claimed on their taxes.

On Tuesday, the school will host a college fair. There will be representatives from a variety of colleges, including Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University.

Lunch menus
Elementary Secondary

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
First-grade classes started research on trolleys. The students wrote about what the different parts of trolleys are. They also researched when and who invented trolleys and how many different kinds of trolleys there are. The students are doing well with their research questions. Thanks to those who have helped answer questions at home. Parents may keep thinking of unique types of transportation to make out of cardboard boxes.

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

Senior Menus
Homer Nikiski Soldotna Sterling

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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