Tuesday, February 25, 2003

U.S. Supreme Court to hear appeal on Red Dog Mine lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from the state of Alaska that forces the Red Dog mine to use expensive anti-pollution technology for its power generation.

Mandatory fish chilling bill stalled in committee
JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill requiring fishers to chill their catch between harvest and delivery has run into obstacles in its first committee.

Feb. 23, 2003 Anchorage Daily News on studying Alaska's oil prospects
One of the most interesting -- and promising -- ideas to emerge during the new Murkowski administration is a letter from, of all outfits, the Ala

Prosecutors withdraws from Anchorage murder
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The prosecutor in a high-profile murder case in Anchorage has withdrawn from the trial, due to health problems.

Overboard shoes drifting toward Alaska shores
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Enough soggy Nike basketball shoes to outfit every high school team in the state are drifting through the Pacific Ocean toward Alaska after spilling from a container ship off Northern California.

Kenai teachers press for contract
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- With a deadline looming for arbitration in salary talks, Kenai Peninsula teachers are taking a ''work to rules'' action this week, cutting out unpaid work hours to put pressure on the local School District.

Feb. 19, 2003 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner warns about avalanche dangers
It's almost irresistible. With nearly nine hours of daylight, fairly moderate temperatures and snowmachines or skis at the ready, Alaskans at this time of year are drawn to the hills to play.

Hotel operators learn how to spot meth labs
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The hot plates, alcohol, cold medicine, jars and chemicals collected by Alaska State Trooper Teague Widmier offered enough over-the-counter ingredients to create about five grams of methamphetamine.

Survey shows fish temperatures soar in transit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Kodiak-based fisherman-turned-scientist has discovered that fish shipped fresh from Alaska doesn't always reach its destination that way.

Chugach vows to fight refund order
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Chugach Electric Association, the state's largest electric power supplier, says it will appeal an order from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, that it lower its rates and refund customers more than $7 million.

Bills address illegal drug lab cleanups
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A bill in the Legislature creating guidelines for cleanup of illegal drug labs passed its first committee Friday.

Homer foundation puts $50,000 toward library
HOMER (AP) -- Local residents here have turned to their own resources to help pay for a new library and other projects with a unique institution, the decade-old Homer Foundation.

Poker Flat rocket launches to study aurora winds
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Four rockets will be launched over the next two weeks at the Poker Flat Research Range for a study of the aurora winds.

Lawmakers criticize education cost study
JUNEAU (AP) -- Lawmakers from urban and rural Alaska alike have their doubts about a cost study designed to give the Legislature guidance about how it distributes education dollars.

Feb. 17, 2003 Voice of the Times on giving 16-year-olds the vote
We are more than passingly amused by some Anchorage Assembly members' ludicrous posturing about whether the voting age in our town should be lowered to 16.

Police investigating a murder-suicide in Wrangell
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- The bodies of a Wrangell High School faculty member, his estranged girlfriend and two other women were found shot to death in a home early Monday in what police say is an apparent murder-suicide.

Feb. 23, 2003 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on duct tape and Visqueen
At last, it appears the rest of the nation has caught up with Fairbanks.

Education endowment idea floated
JUNEAU -- Legislators and the Murkowski administration are looking at proposals to fund education using permanent fund earnings, House Speaker Pete Kott said Monday.

Jury selection begins in Big Lake fire lawsuit
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Jury selection began Monday in Palmer in a lawsuit that charges the state could have prevented the disastrous Big Lake wildfire of 1996.

Statewide salmon harvest looks stronger than last year
JUNEAU (AP) -- State biologists are forecasting a stronger harvest of salmon this coming summer. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates 150 million fish will be caught by commercial fishers, up from 131 million last year.

Supreme Court favors UA in union salary dispute
FAIRBANKS -- The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the University of Alaska is not obligated to give members of a teachers union the same pay raise that nonunion members received in 1996.

Prospective teachers get taste of Bush life
JUNEAU (AP) -- The University of Alaska Southeast is sending prospective teachers to the Bush to get a taste of what it's really like to live and teach in rural Alaska. And some of them are deciding it's a life that's rewarding.

Alaska projects cut, added in federal budget
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Congress shaved millions of dollars from Alaska projects before it passed the omnibus federal spending bill last week.

Northern Edge military exercises begin next week
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An annual joint military training exercise will begin next week.

Kenai River group opposes permitting shift
KENAI (AP) -- The group that advises the state on issues affecting the Kenai River has taken a stand against the governor's plan to move permitting responsibilities from the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Natural Resources.

Police find four bodies in Wrangell home
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- The bodies of a Wrangell High School faculty member, his estranged girlfriend and two other women were found shot to death in a home early Monday, police said.

Anchorage wins grant for locating cellular callers
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage has won a $500,000 grant to install advanced 911 equipment that will help emergency dispatchers locate callers from cellular telephones.

Ellie Claus wins Jr. Iditarod
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Ellie Claus of Chitina won the Jr. Iditarod Sunday, in a race dominated by the children of top Iditarod mushers.

California man accused of sex abuse of Fairbanks girl
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A San Francisco man has been arrested on charges of wooing an underage Fairbanks girl over the Internet, then traveling to Alaska to have sex with her, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Rose denied entry into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame
TORONTO (AP) -- Even when he was put on a Hall of Fame ballot, Pete Rose failed to get elected.

Bad back slows Texas slugger
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas slugger Juan Gonzalez took part in agility drills Monday, then was held out of the rest of the Rangers' workout because of a continuing problem with his back.

Agencies: At A Glance
The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District: The agency assists with writing business plans, securing commercial loans, offering access to capital and providing technica

Assessments designed to match people, jobs
Determining what occupation is best suited to one's interests and skills can be hard to figure out.

Company keeps pace with advances in digital technology
Over the past few years, rapid advancements in the field of digital photography have narrowed the gap between digital and traditional film cameras.

Building-Construction Apprenticeship Programs: At A Glance
The following is a list of minimum requirements, program details and contact information for Alaska Building and Construction apprenticeship programs:

Job center helps single mom find her way
Moving to a new town and finding a job is never easy. When that new town happens to be located on the Kenai Peninsula -- and the move comes in the dead of winter -- the task can become downright daunting.

Changing demographics alter economic landscape
Favorable economics, a desire to be with family and the quality of life are all reasons more and more people are choosing the Kenai Peninsula as home in their later years.

Several agencies work to drum up business for area
The oil and gas industry has been the prime mover of the Kenai Peninsula Borough's economy for decades, and if fresh supplies of those raw materials can be found, the industry is sure to remain in that position for decades to come.

Younger workers needed to fill jobs as boomers retire
The boom is almost over.

In pursuit of dreams
It may be cliche, but when it comes to trying to make a living in the art world, the old advice of "don't quit your day job" definitely holds true.

School district offers variety of vocational training for students
"Work force development" seems to be a phrase on everyone's lips lately, and with good reason. With the population aging and the economy struggling, many people's minds are focused on the future.

Experts: High school diploma not enough in today's economy
As industries become more reliant on changing technology and the job market grows more competitive, post-secondary training is becoming increasingly important to current and future job seekers.

Job security, good pay lure job seekers into trade industries
Tyson Cox knows the value of a good education. But he also knows the value of a dollar.

As I searched for my seat in the half darkness of the theater, I knew, just knew, that this movie couldn't be any good.

Jarrett (not Jared) digs Subway
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Dale Jarrett outfoxed Kurt Busch during the final laps Sunday and won the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway.

Three skydivers injured before race
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Three Army skydivers were injured Sunday when strong wind knocked them to the ground before a NASCAR race.

Firefighters respond to Kenai airport alarm
A smoke detector alarm at the Kenai Municipal Airport on Monday afternoon brought a quick response from the Kenai Fire Department.

Forum urges: Be ready for any disaster
Don't forget the duct tape. In light of recent national terror warnings, disaster preparedness has been on a lot of people's minds lately. However, being prepared for both natural and man-made disasters should be an everyday priority.

Schools formula doesn't add up
A presentation on the newest education cost study produced more questions than answers for the Legislature and public alike.

North chamber holds annual awards banquet
A thunderous ovation at the North Peninsula Chamber of Commerce awards banquet recently appeared to confirm the selection of Ron and Louise Mika as Business People of the Year.

Food bank director taking on new career
Peggy Moore, the executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, can attest that all good things must eventually end, as she prepares to resign from her position.

Peninsula administrators question method
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is one of few districts across the state that stands to benefit from a new geographic education cost study presented to the Legislature on Wednesday.

How the Alaska School District Cost Study method worked
Jay Chambers of the American Institutes for Research, presented the methodology of a new Alaska School District Cost Study to legislative committees on Wednesday.

Good Samaritan marks 2 years
What some might pass off as coincidence, one North Kenai good Samaritan describes as God speaking to him.

Assembly expected to pass South Peninsula Hospital lease
A new working agreement negotiated recently between South Peninsula Hospital Inc. and the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board is expected to become law under an ordinance now before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Borough decides to clarify glitch in communications
Advancing communications technology has led the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to consider clarifications to a 1985 ordinance authorizing a boroughwide emergency communications system.

Independent firms seek opportunities
Six companies described as independents by the Kenai Peninsula Borough oil and gas office are actively looking for fossil fuels in and around Cook Inlet this year.

ConocoPhillips: At A Glance
Company headquarters: Houston, Texas

Enstar: At A Glance
Company headquarters: Anchorage

Company will not be leaving Alaska
Unocal Oil Company reduced its presence in Cook Inlet in 2002, but the company says it has no plans to abandon its interests in Southcen-tral Alaska.

Marathon expecting 2003 to be another busy drilling year
With Alaska operations focused on Cook Inlet natural gas and a capital budget of $70 million, Marathon Oil is looking toward a busy year in 2003.

Agrium: At A Glance
Corporate headquarters: Alberta, Calgary

Forest Oil: At A Glance
Corporate headquarters: Denver

Unocal: At A Glance
Company headquarters: El Segundo, California

ConocoPhillips targeting oil offshore from Anchor Point
'Our export license is good through 2009. And we hope to operate the plant well past 2009. We expect to have adequate gas supplies for the plant as well as for the Kenai Peninsula.'

Marathon: At A Glance
Corporate headquarters: Houston

BP hoping to prove technologies work at Nikiski GTL plant
'We don't really have a set schedule with deadlines. Starting up a chemical plant is quite a bit more complicated than starting up an oil facility. We're working to start up the plant as soon as we can.',/b>

Wanted: New gas supplies
It heats homes, fuels industry and returns comfortable profits. Too bad it's running out.

Forest Oil has yet to evaluate Osprey results
Forest Oil is just coming into production from its Osprey platform in the Redoubt Shoal site in Cook Inlet, according to the company's senior executive for Alaska operations in early February.

Enstar attracts new customers, plans southern expansion
Enstar Natural Gas Company added 430 new customers in 2002 bringing its total on the Kenai Peninsula to 10,500.

Tesoro: At A Glance
Company headquarters: San Antonio

CIRCAC helps monitor health of Alaska's coastline
In the summer of 2002, the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council formed a unique partnership with state and federal agencies and a host of other organizations to conduct the first Alaska portion of a nationwide program to assess the health of the U.S. coastline.

What does Agrium's Kenai operation do?
A look on the back of any plant nutrient or fertilizer product at the local agriculture supply retailer will reveal a curious set

Oil, gas continue to be primary fuel for area's economy
For nearly half a century, the production of oil and natural gas has been the Kenai Peninsula's economic lifeblood.

Tesoro plans to stay on peninsula
With capital expenditures totaling $5.5 million in 2002, Tesoro Alaska plans to maintain its presence on the Kenai Peninsula and continue operating here for the long term.

CIRCAC: At A Glance
Mission: To represent the citizens of Cook Inlet in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet.

Agrium pursues new gas supplies for Nikiski plant
One of the largest cogs in the Kenai Peninsula's economy got a major wrench in its works last November that threatened to throw its productivity, and quite possibly the welfare of the surrounding community, out of whack as a legal dispute over natural gas ensued between industrial giants.

Opinion poll shows American distaste for France continues to grow
Here's a tip for the Bush administration: If you are going to wage war without totally debilitating longstanding international relationships and the world economy, cast aside your over-regard for the opinions of other nations and get moving.

Habitat Division move deserves more scrutiny
Homer Rep. Paul Seaton has announced his intention to take up the governor's decision to move the Department of Fish and Game's Habitat Divis

Anyone who enjoys outdoor activities should know about avalanches
It's almost irresistible. With nearly nine hours of daylight, fairly moderate temperatures and snowmachines or skis at the ready, Alaskans at this time of year are drawn to the hills to play.

Life in Baghdad still normal
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Why does this city look so normal?

Letters to the Editor
Better science won't change situation on the Kenai RiverPoet takes exception to Frank; says he mismanaged bankAlaska's economic future depends on natural gas line through state

Photo feature: The right spot
William Brighton makes the best out of a small amount of snow at the sledding hill on the bluff at the end of Forest Drive in Kenai on Saturday.

Photo feature: A splash of color
Etta Near, Alyson Stogsdill and Kari Mohn add a touch of color to the beach in Kenai during a walk Saturday afternoon.

CPGH now experiencing period of change, growth
The second largest private employer on the Kenai Peninsula is going through a transition. Central Peninsula General Hospital administrators are hoping the changes will benefit the hospital as well as the community.

Top Property Taxpayers: At A Glance
Below are the top 10 borough property taxpayers for 2002 and the assessed values of their holdings. The total assessed value includes real

Mixed economic news: Jobless rate up, but so are sales figures
According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is considered to have a "well diversified" economy that includes fishing, seafood processing, tourism, oil and gas, refining and government, and where the retail trade and service sectors continue to grow.

Government accounts for almost 25 percent of jobs in borough
In 2001, the borough school district was the top employer with 1,426 people, followed by the state of Alaska with 856 people (not counting University of Alaska employees), and the federal government with 414 people.

Top Taxpayers: At A Glance
City of Soldotna City of Kenai

Housing Market: At A Glance
On the central Kenai Peninsula:

Health care makes mark on economy
Health care accounts for a sizable portion of the nation's economy, creating jobs and generating commerce from insurance premiums that pay for routine dental checkups to hospital purchase orders that buy latex gloves and saline solution.

Low interest rates encourage home sales, development of commercial land
While the beehive of activity in the Kenai Peninsula Borough residential real estate business in the past year has centered on homeowners refinancing mortgages to take advantage of low interest rates, the long-term picture bodes well for home sales, according to real estate agents.

Cities plan variety of improvements to infrastructure
Numerous capital projects are on the horizon for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's major cities in 2003. Some of these are new plans; others are ongoing projects that will be completed in the upcoming year.

Employment: At A Glance
The most recent complete statistics available for the Alaska Department of Labor and Work-force Development are for 2001.

Alaska's economic pace slows down
Alaska's economy may have been a gangbusters' affair in years past, but a new and slower-paced pattern seems to have taken hold, one that is influenced as much by in-state realities as by out-of-state factors. That has experts predicting a mixed bag for the near future.

Peninsula People
Sterling couple's son earns master's degreeKenai students named to deans' listsWildwood announces Employees of the YearArea doctor inducted into orthopaedic academy

Community News
Nutrition classes offeredFood bank to sponsor CANstruction competitionSpecial Olympics games set for March

Club News
Elks table tennis results announced

Community Schools
The following is a list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities beginning this week. It is printed as a reminder to preregistered participants.

Around the Peninsula
Job center to hold ADA seminarSteffy to speak at Soldotna chamberNAMI to meet todayWRCC board to meetDistrict CTSO conference FridaySVHS Basketball Booster club holds meetingCIRCAC directors to meetChurch plans Mardi GrasIce fishing derby under wayNutrition classes offeredSquare dances planned

Ask a Trooper
Question: People don't seem to understand the designated center lane for turning only idea.

Around the Peninsula
Special advisory meeting plannedJob center to hold ADA seminarSteffy to speak at Soldotna chamberAgrium to host blood driveWilliams to speak at north chamberWRCC board to meetGardening series to beginDistrict CTSO conference FridayCIRCAC directors to meetChurch plans Mardi GrasIce fishing derby under waySquare dances planned

Teri and Darral LangstonCandice Howe and Mike VixAmber Mc-Farlin and Eric Lackey

Old-age symptoms cause depression diagnosis to be overlooked in elderly
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Old-age symptoms can mask signs of depression, making it difficult to diagnose and treat about 2 million older adults nationwide who suffer from depression, doctors say.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Senior Menus
What's on the menu for our area seniors

Bruins, Isles play to 4-4 tie
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Don Sweeney scored his second goal of the season with 2:24 left in regulation to lift the Boston Bruins into a 4-4 tie with the New York Islanders on Sunday.

Mobley's shooting propels Rockets to win
BOSTON -- Cuttino Mobley had 31 points and 10 rebounds, hitting a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and another to give the Rockets the lead for good on Monday night as Houston beat the Boston Celtics 101-95.

Title IX panelists to issue minority report
WASHINGTON -- Worried about setbacks for women's sports, at least two members of a commission on Title IX plan to protest the group's work by giving a minority report to Education Secretary Rod Paige.

Kentucky runs winning streak to 16 games
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Keith Bogans had 18 points and seven rebounds as No. 2 Kentucky extended the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games with a 70-62 victory over No. 19 Mississippi State on Sunday.

Sports Briefs
America's Cup postponed againConsumers Union asks baseball to ban ephedra

Man with flag disrupts game after player's protest during anthem
PURCHASE, N.Y. -- A Vietnam veteran came onto the court Sunday and held an American flag in front of Manhattanville senior forward Toni Smith after the Division III player again refused to face the flag during the national anthem.

76ers center diagnosed with rare nerve disorder
PHILADELPHIA -- Diag-nosed with a disease that weakens his legs and disrupts his balance, Todd MacCulloch could be done playing basketball.

Bryant keeps streak going in Lakers victory
LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant had 41 points to extend his remarkable streak of scoring at least 40 to nine straight games as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Seattle SuperSonics 106-101 on Sunday night.

Yzerman back in Wings lineup
DETROIT -- Steve Yzerman's season debut was a success as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 Monday night.

Weir beats Howell III in playoff
LOS ANGELES -- Mike Weir staged another unlikely comeback Sunday, making up a seven-stroke deficit against Charles Howell III and winning the Nissan Open with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

Senette credits close team bonds for Soldotna cagers' success
This weekend is certainly shaping up to be a big one for the Soldotna High School girls basketball team.

Sport Briefs
Middle school wrestlers wrap up seasonRace 4 of America's Cup postponed for fourth timeBig day for Liechtenstein; rough day for MillerWorld Cup downhill to be decided in last two racesDent beats Roddick for second career title

It's not all bad news for tourism
Despite a sluggish tourism season for the state overall in 2002, the season wasn't as bad as expected for some area businesses.

Fishers working to change industry's ebb tide
After enduring years of modest runs, abysmal prices and dwindling success, Kenai Peninsula fishers may finally have reason to be optimistic about the industry's future in Cook Inlet.

Adventure firm showcases area from horseback
As a growing number of tourists travel to Alaska to experience the abundance of "the great outdoors" that the state offers, a growing number of tourism businesses are forming to cater to those interests.

Fishing still king when it comes to catching visitors
Although the Kenai Peninsula's professional fishing guides may make landing a Kenai River king salmon look effortless, it's far from easy being a guide these days.

Another ho-hum season predicted for inlet's fishers
Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists' 2003 catch predictions for Cook Inlet salmon fishers look much the same as they have for the past several years, with harvest numbers that mostly fall short of what would be considered average seasons.

Native corporations play increasingly important role in region's economy
Alaska Native corporations and their shareholders play a significant role in the economy of the Kenai Peninsula, engaging in a variety of enterprises, among them real estate, housing, tourism, hotel operations and the petroleum industry.

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