Friday, February 20, 2004

More baseball teams start spring workouts
Greg Maddux met his new teammates, Jim Thome surveyed the scene and Barry Larkin opened his final spring training camp.

Design of possible Google IPO closely watched
NEW YORK (AP) It's not just when Google's much-anticipated IPO will take place that's got investors crazed. They're also clamoring to know how the deal will be done.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set scheduleGCI to hold investor conference callHomer Hockey Association representative to speakKenai River Center puts permit applications onlineCash flow, budget management seminar scheduledState launches online tax systemNominations available for health care excellence

Bush retreats on predictions of new jobs this year
WASHINGTON President Bush distanced himself Wednes-day from White House predictions that the economy will add 2.6 million jobs this year, the second embarrassing economic retreat in a week and new fuel for Democratic criticism.

Cingular must improve customer satisfaction
ATLANTA Cingular Wireless, a patchwork of smaller companies, is on the verge of becoming the nation's largest mobile phone provider with its planned purchase of AT&T Wireless, but the company must fix service problems if it wants to become an industry leader in its own right.

Tough choice between saving for retirement, kids' college educations
NEW YORK (AP) One of the toughest dilemmas parents face is how to save for their children's college educations and, at the same time, for their own retirement.

Employers redefine retirement as exodus of boomer workers looms
His wife had a long list of household chores ready for Bob Briggs when he retired from his government job in 1999. Fix a few loose door knobs. Paint a few rooms.

Making dreams true and clothes clean
Dreams come in all shapes, sizes and colors. It's a safe bet that few, however, include a rinse cycle.

Steer maintains Yukon Quest lead
EAGLE (AP) Zack Steer of Sheep Mountain kept a narrowing lead Wednesday in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race as racers headed toward the Canadian border and the next checkpoint at Dawson City.

Ice fishers get nipped over regulation abuse
Two weeks ago, a Kenai man was cited for failing to log a 27 1/2-inch rainbow trout he caught, an angler from Sterling was pinched for using three lines and a Soldotna man netted a citation for using four lines.

Oregon grower looks to Russia and other locales for new and obscure fruits
NEW MARKET, Va. (AP) Jim Gilbert is trying to change the face of America's orchards. Do you remember Johnny Appleseed? His 21st Century equivalent could just as easily be Mary Medlar, Kenny Kiwi or Julie Goumi.

Author makes whales' tale a real winner
The beluga whales of Cook Inlet have become a classic case for ecosystem concern.

Kenai Performers stage 'My Favorite Year' show
It is not unusual for the Kenai Performers to make their productions as elaborate and polished as possible, but in their latest musical, "My Favorite Year," the group truly goes to excess.

Art Briefs
Painting group to meetTalent show applications availableHomer holds community conversationWriting submissions acceptedLogo design contest announcedStudents' stories, photos wantedArt workshops offeredAssault awareness writing contest heldStatewide poetry contest announced

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

Chenault bill first one signed
A bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, giving municipalities the ability to reduce tax assessments on property destroyed or damaged by disaster became the first law of the legislative session to be signed into law by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Gaming action gets put on hold
A controversial resolution that would have supported pending state legislation seeking to add the use of electronic gaming machines to the types of gambling permitted in Alaska was tabled at the request of its sponsor at Tuesday's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.

Bill would impose tax on gas reserves
The state is reviewing applications to build a natural gas pipeline, but a legislator is worried there might not be an adequate supply of gas.

U.S. should appeal Tustumena decision to nation's highest court
A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision demonstrates once again how misguided and misinformed the 9th Circuit is.

Column adds laughter to life
Here's to A.E. Poynor's weekly column, "Of Moose and Men," and the laughter it brings to my life! I often share this column with my son who lives in Fairbanks who also finds it humerous.

Parent volunteer sees 'Battle of the Books' from the front lines
During the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of being a parent volunteer at two different schools during the recent "Battle of the Books" competition.

Young Alaskans need to stand up against injustices against seniors
Perhaps most young Alaskans don't realize what happened when Gov. Frank Murkowski vetoed the $250 longevity bonus. Senior citizens deserve this modest stipend to pay rent, utilities, fuel bills, purchase food and medical drugs, wheelchairs, canes and numerous medical paraphernalia while still having enough money left for some modest entertainment and to attend church on Sunday.

One person's kind act changes tone of unpleasant incident
The picture on the front page of Monday's Clarion of vehicles splashing their way through the puddles prompts me to share an incident that happened Saturday afternoon in Soldotna. I had gone into Safeway to pick up a couple of items and was on my way back to my car.

Income tax would fund government services better than piecemeal plan
It was stimulating to witness the recent convention of Gov. Murkowski-sponsored delegates discussing Alaska's fiscal crisis and suggested remedies. The 55 in caucus recognized one possible and logical solution, the reimposition of the state income tax.

Clarification on restriction on Kenai River fishery
In reference to Mr. Pennino's letter about no nonresident anglers allowed on Sundays, he stated that "this is clearly guide motivated."

Now Junior will show how good he really is
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. is close to unbeatable in restrictor-plate races.

Fishers want borough backing for suit
A Cook Inlet commercial fishing organization wants the Kenai Peninsula Borough to help finance a lawsuit it plans to file against the state seeking compensation for revenues lost due to regulatory decisions that have impacted salmon harvests in recent years.

Free bird
As Keith Nushart's feathered friend extended its coal-colored wings and took flight toward the sky Thursday, he saw a happy end to what began as a tragedy several weeks prior.

Nikiski center gets mixed response
Many of the two dozen people who showed up at a special meeting of the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area in Nikiski on Monday night expressed opposition to a planned Nikiski Community Center, but the board approved a 2004-05 budget that includes money to fund a center.

Parties settle sex abuse case
A confidential, out-of-court settlement was reached late Tuesday evening in the Kenai Superior Court case involving The Salvation Army, former Kenai minister Troy Trickel and his wife, Debbie, and four girls who claimed the minister abused them sexually.

Young honors CAP cadet
While in town Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Don Young took time to make a special presentation to a local youth who has gone far above literally the call of duty.

Congressman wants national transportation addressed
Alaska Congressman Don Young said Wednesday he wants to get the nation moving, telling the Kenai Chamber of Commerce he believes government's top priority should be improvements to the nation's transportation infrastructure.

Forster hearing delayed again
David S. Forster was given two more weeks by Superior Court Judge Harold Brown to determine whether he can get a private defense attorney.

Community musical opens today
The Kenai Performers will stage the musical "My Favorite Year" at the Renee C. Hend-erson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School at 7

Clayton Earl Richardson
Anchor Point resident Clayton Earl Richardson died Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004, at his home, with his family by his side singing "Amazing Grace." He died from mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He was 44.

Contractors not only overcharing, they're underpaying taxes
We've all heard horror stories about government contractors overcharging. There was the $127 washer that could have been purchased for $10.50. And there was the recent $6.3 million check Halliburton wrote the Army Materiel Command to reimburse it for a suspected overcharge for services provided in Iraq.

Cheap prescription drugs from Canada won't last What others say
The free lunch crowd never gives up until the roof caves in. We may be seeing the first signs of cracks in the ceiling when it comes to the reimportation of prescription drugs.

Elected officials sworn to keep law, not break it
It's easy to sympathize with the elected officials in San Francisco who have begun issuing marriage licenses to gay couples they believe in this issue passionately, and they're doing something they believe in.

Visitor industry should unite Big part of funds raised from bill should be returned to local areas
Everyone involved in the visitor industry in Alaska agrees we need a more effective and better funded marketing program. Independent visitor counts have been in decline for five years or more.

Gun-firing moose to snatched decoys: Commentaries of a game warden
have worked on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for the past 14 years as a law enforcement officer. My actual title is Refuge Officer but I prefer to call myself a "Game Warden."

Furthering her skills
There's no denying it, Alaska winters can be harsh. As such, clothing worn by people who are frequently outdoors must protect against severe cold, high winds and moisture.

Around the Peninsula
Blood bank to extend its hours KPC Showcase to present Irish music Historical society to meet Snowmobile fun run planned Basic skills program offered to families PFD town hall meeting slated Sterling to hold winter fun day Dinner, auction to benefit After the Bell program 10-Dog Classic Sprint Race set for this weekend Winter Family Fun Day set for Sunday

Around the Peninsula
Blood drive scheduled todaySPCA to hold fund-raiserSoroptimists plan board meetingDisabled veterans to meet'Builders Jeopardy' presentation setMaster gardeners to discuss water gardensKenai River advisory board meeting slatedVillage fair seeking vendors, volunteers

Kansas archbishop: No speeches in Catholic institutions by abortion rights advocates
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) Archbishop James Keleher asked Roman Catholic institutions in the 200,000-member archdiocese to halt invitations to politicians and others who favor abortion rights.

Church Briefs
Worship leader to speak Shrove Tuesday supper slated Lenten breakfasts announced Easter program practice held Nikiski women hold Bible study Religious art sought Clothes2Go open

Despite downsizing, Florida revival keeps on going after nearly nine years
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) The nation's longest-running Pentecostal revival which attracted throngs of crying, singing and shaking believers at its height is rumbling on these days, but at a slower pace than it once did and now without the preacher who had led it since the beginning.

At broadcasters' meeting, Israel honors Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham boosts Bush
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) An Israeli cabinet member honored evangelist Pat Robertson for steering evangelical Christians to visit his country, and both men criticized the morality of Mideast Muslims.

Discouragement from criticism an all too common problem
While the speaker at a Wisconsin church Bible conference, I met a discouraged visiting minister who said he had just resigned as pastor of a church he had served for 11 years.

Southern Baptists end endorsement of female military chaplains
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) A Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board decided to no longer endorse women for military chaplain positions because the denomination reserves such pastoral roles to men only.

Biggest black denomination defies Cincinnati boycott
CINCINNATI (AP) A major black religious body said Tuesday it will bring its 2008 annual session to Cincinnati despite a boycott of downtown businesses that black activists started after 2001 race riots.

Presbyterians order reinstatement of minister ousted over same-sex marriages
CINCINNATI (AP) A religious court reinstated the Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken, who was ousted from ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for marrying same-sex couples.

Indiana opponents of gay Episcopal bishop want to join Illinois diocese
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) Some parishioners in the Episcopal Church's Indianapolis Diocese, upset over the denomination's approval of openly gay bishop, want to affiliate with a neighboring Illinois diocese.

Catholic Church committee examines religion textbooks, finds them wanting
NEW ORLEANS The Roman Catholic Church is handing out failing grades to most of the religion textbooks used to instruct the country's 680,000 Catholic high school students.

Skiers enjoy prime trails conditions
It's a good time of the year to be a cross-country skier on the Kenai Peninsula.

Local Trail Conditions
Local trail conditions

Micheel, Maruyama share Nissan Open lead at 7-under 64
LOS ANGELES PGA champion Shaun Micheel holed a 30-foot eagle putt and a couple of other long birdie tries for a 7-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead Thursday in the Nissan Open.

Players rally in support of embattled Barnett
BOULDER, Colo. A half-dozen former Colorado football players defended their suspended coach Thursday, saying Gary Barnett has provided discipline and morality despite accusations that recruits were lured with sex and alcohol.

Frank sets record for best coaching start
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Lawrence Frank set a record for the best start by an NBA coach with his 10th straight victory when New Jersey defeated Atlanta 98-92 Wednesday night.

Timberwolves win showdown with Kings
MINNEAPOLIS Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 24 rebounds for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 92-75 victory over Sacramento on Thursday night in a matchup of the Western Conference's top teams.

Daly playing golf, living his life from the rough all the time
He stood in the 18th fairway locked in a playoff and needing to airmail his golf ball 262 yards to clear a pond, which at that moment must have looked as wide to John Daly as the Pacific Ocean shining in the distance.

Redskins reach deal with QB Brunell
WASHINGTON (AP) Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell agreed to a seven-year, $43 million deal with the Washington Redskins late Thursday, clearing the way for a trade next month.

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 through Feb. 14 and total points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Wallace packs bags again, this time to Detroit
The Detroit Pistons got a lot better without giving a lot away, getting Rasheed Wallace from the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in the most significant deal before the NBA trading deadline.

Islanders send Penguins to 16th straight defeat
UNIONDALE, N.Y. Mariusz Czerkawski scored a pair of power-play goals, and Garth Snow stopped 18 shots as the New York Islanders held on for a 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday night that sent the Penguins to their 16th straight loss. Since the Penguins lost in overtime on Saturday to St. Louis, their official losing streak ended at 13 games.

Capitals' Kolzig stays hot against Devils
WASHINGTON Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig continued his recent strong play with 43 saves, and Mike Grier, Matt Pettinger and Robert Lang each scored as the Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 Thursday night.

St. Joseph's still undefeated
NEW YORK Jameer Nelson had 18 points and nine assists to lead the second-ranked St. Joseph's Hawks to a 72-54 victory over Fordham on Wednesday night.

Stanford keeps perfect record
LOS ANGELES Josh Childress scored a career-high 36 points and top-ranked Stanford rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit to beat Southern California 76-67 on Thursday night for its school-record 22nd consecutive victory.

Region III skiers ready to tackle a bear of a loop
Life will be full of ups and downs for competitors at the Region III ski meet at Tsalteshi Trails today and Saturday.

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