Nolan Ryan to rejoin Astros as adviser
KISSIMMEE, Fla. The Astros keep adding famous pitchers.
Federal probe casts shadow as players report to spring training
Jason Giambi looks as if he's gone on the BALCO diet. That's the diet where a player's been so scared by links to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative's alleged steroid distribution ring, and baseball's new drug testing, that he slims down from a muscle monster to a human being.
Boston's Garciaparra hurt by trade talk
Nomar Garciaparra was hurt by Boston's attempt to trade him during the offseason and was a little surprised to be back with the Red Sox for 2004.
Financial Danger Signals
Extension Home Economist Diane Helmuth of Lawrence, Kan., put together the following list of questions for families to ask themselves. If you can say yes to any of these questions it can be an indicator that you should re-evaluate your spending habits.
Career center helps provide direction
The Kenai Peninsula College Career Center saw many positive changes in 2003 and is looking to improve even more in 2004.
Tight funds squeeze vocational education classes
As education funding has gotten tighter over the past several years, so too have the program offerings in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
Schools play big role in economy
The primary responsibility of schools may be education, but like it or not, they also are businesses.
'Real world' experience
Sometimes, education is simply a matter of awareness.
Students get head start on careers and college
Robin Grimm knows what she wants to do with her life.
Survey: Teens don't want jobs in fast-growing fields
A recent poll by the national Job Shadow Coalition shows that more than half (51 percent) of teens have no interest in pursuing the top five fastest-growing career fields, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined will have critical work force needs in this decade and beyond.
What does it cost to live on peninsula?
The Kenai Peninsula has a reputation for having the most diverse economy in the state, but how does the cost of living compare to other areas of the Alaska? Is the peninsula the cheapest place to live like many people believe?
Common sense stretches dollars
Living on minimum wage is like riding a roller coaster without a safety harness. You hold on for dear life and hope that nothing bad happens, because the only thing between you and disaster is one paycheck.
Iditarod dogs getting another kind of workout
With the Iditarod Sled Dog Race a little more than a week away, Kenai Peninsula mushers are in the final stages of meeting the prerace requirements and making any last-minute preparations before the race.
Health checks keep tabs on dogs
Just as professional athletes undergo thorough physical examinations before the season begins, so, too, do the 1,400-plus dogs running the Iditarod receive complete prerace veterinary exams.
Oil companies should pay fair share before fund tapped, taxes approved
Old-time carnival hustlers called them "marks." They're "square Johns" to car salesmen. By any name, slick operators love a sucker. Good reason to love Alaska, too.
League appreciates Clarion stories
The Central Peninsula League of Women Voters thanks the Clarion for its consistent, thorough coverage of our local governmental meetings. We exchange information at our League monthly meetings and have found the Clarion a most helpful source of the issues being discussed.
Dog owner would like Buffy's collar returned
To the person that hit and killed my little schnauzer, Buffy, on Fourth Avenue in Kenai at approximately 7 p.m. Feb. 10:
Kudos for sports coverage, also for Soldotna Sports Center
Just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for all the great coverage during the state high school hockey tournament. You did a nice job of covering all the games and giving a positive perspective of youth athletics.
Permanent fund earnings will be needed more in future, not today
What about the future?
Residents have 4 more chances to catch 'My Favorite Year'
Quick! Name the musical now playing at "the Hendy" (a.k.a. the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School). Answer: "My Favorite Year."
Judges, lawyers should be held accountable for those they free
Our revolving door policies for criminals and lawbreakers displayed by the liberal judicial system are very hard to understand. I continue to see a large number of dismissals published in the paper and certainly hope these people without licenses and most likely without insurance crash with the judges and lawyers responsible for these dismissals.
Kenai Performers once again provide first-rate entertainment
"My Favorite Year" (1954) gets a first-rate performance by the Kenai Performers at Kenai Central High School.
Community and children benefit from having cocurricular activities
Many people have the misconception that cocurricular activities are about sports only and benefit only those few who participate in sports. What many people, particularly those without children, don't realize is that cocurricular activities also are a benefit to the community and are not necessarily about sports.
Former Board of Fish member should apologize for false claims
Mr. Coffey, isn't it about time for your apology?
Employment tax one small step toward solving state's budget gap
Legislators should pass Senate Bill 137, the Education (Employment) Tax. I am tired of the debate of sales vs. income tax. I am even more tired of people telling the Legislature to fix the fiscal problem but not having the courage to offer a solution.
Caring adults help kids have fun, learn skill, experience teamwork
The Boys and Girls Club Third-Fourth Grade Basketball League, with 21 teams and more than 200 kids involved, just wrapped up yet another fun-filled, action-packed season.
Voters to have say on activities
In the next month, Kenai Peninsula Borough voters will be asked: Do you approve of the exercise of powers necessary for the Kenai Peninsula Borough to directly fund cocurricular activities for the school district in addition to operating funds currently authorized by law?
Borough investment pays off
An investment portfolio worth $75 million on Aug. 1 turned a profit of $1.3 million by Dec. 31, according to a report by the investment firm that now manages a portion of the Kenai Peninsula Borough's money.
Getting ready for the Games
More than 6,000 people will flock to Fort McMurray, in northeast Alberta, Canada, starting this week for the 2004 Arctic Winter Games. Among them will be nearly 40 young athletes and cultural representatives from the Kenai Peninsula, as well as another 40 community members preparing to host the 2006 Games.
No new ideas on budget, say area officials
Recommendations coming out of the Conference of Alaskans in Fairbanks earlier this month presented nothing new, members of the Kenai Peninsula legislative delegation said this week.
KRSMA to take different angle on issues
The Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board has approved a tentative plan to revisit the issue of Kenai River guide limitations in a more thorough and comprehensive public process than has ever been undertaken.
Community center for Nikiski moves forward
A motion asking for a public vote on the proposed conversion of Nikiski Elementary School into a community center did not receive any support from the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area board Monday night, and the motion died on the floor.
Budget crisis forces district to look for different ways to fund activities
Currently, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District contributes roughly $1.2 million to fund activities, though there are other items in the budget, such as the $80,000 to $100,000 a year paid out to substitute teachers for coaches who miss class to travel with their teams, that can boost that number to $1.3 million.
Felicidad 'Phyllis' (Purugganan) Kahakauwila
Longtime Kenai resident Felicidad "Phyllis" (Purugganan) Kahakauwila died Friday, Feb. 20, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 74.
Independents express interest in Cook Inlet
Three independent companies drilling for oil and natural gas or in the process of obtaining permits to do so in and around Cook Inlet this year are Northstar Energy Group Inc., Aurora Gas LLC and Pelican Hill Oil and Gas Inc., according to Bill Popp, oil and gas liaison for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Wild places boost economy
WASHINGTON (AP) People living near the nation's 542 wildlife refuges also gain from the protected wildlife habitat, according to a government study that touts the economic benefits of the refuge system.
Unocal turns focus to onland exploration
In 2003, Unocal began production from its joint venture with Marathon Oil Co. in Ninilchik, bringing natural gas to market through the Kenai-Kachemak pipeline.
China's growth makes mark on U.S. economy
ANCHORAGE Want to know what's keeping crude oil prices high, and what's behind the recent runup in zinc and copper prices? Think China.
Marathon Oil plans busy drilling year
Marathon Oil Company will have another busy year on the Kenai Peninsula in 2004, with directional drilling from Nin-ilchik to offshore targets in Cook Inlet, drilling in Kenai and possible exploration drilling in the East Swanson River prospect and in the Sterling area.
ConocoPhillips remains highest Alaska producer
Alaska's No. 1 oil and natural gas producer, ConocoPhillips has 1.7 billion barrels of oil reserves and 2.9 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in the state.
Agrium cuts back Nikiski operations, lack of gas blamed
Last year was a good year for Agrium Inc. as the Canada-based international company reported its highest third-quarter earnings in five years.
Enstar's peninsula growth continues
Enstar continues to experience what it terms normal growth on the Kenai Peninsula at an annual rate of 3 percent, adding 328 customers in 2003. It expects an additional 300 to 400 customers this year.
Almost gone: Area in need of new gas supplies
For better than three decades, natural gas drawn from reservoirs beneath the surface of the Cook Inlet Basin has fed energy-hungry residential, commercial and industrial demands throughout much of Southcentral Alaska.
Tesoro aims to be 'fuel of choice'
Saying it wants to be the fuel of choice for Alaska consumers, Tesoro Alaska officials said the company will target its business growth, both at its Nikiski refinery and within retail operations, to meet the growing fuel needs of consumers in a safe, reliable and environmentally conscious manner.
A loader moves wood chips into a pile on the Homer Spit several years ago. Gates Construction's last chip ship, the M/V Forest King, pulled out of Homer in January.
BP declares GTL plant a success
Officials with BP Exploration Alaska reported late last year that they had successfully proven the efficacy of their gas-to-liquids process being tested at their Nikiski plant, thus taking a major step toward one day making synthetic crude oil, the product of the process, a competitor on the world fuels market.
Natural gas authority searches for ways to meet demand
In 2002, better than 138,000 Alaskans voted to create the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority to investigate the feasibility of building state-owned pipeline to ship gas from the North Slope to the port of Valdez, where it could be converted to liquefied natural gas and shipped to domestic and world markets.
New exec takes helm at Forest Oil
In 2003, Forest Oil Co. appointed a new senior executive for Alaska operations, Leonard Gurule, a company vice president responsible for engineering, exploration and production.
Assembly should be cautious about helping to fund fishing lawsuit
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly should consider carefully before agreeing to give a commercial fishing organization money to help finance a lawsuit against the state seeking compensation for revenue lost because of regulatory decisions.
New tools needed for predator control
Nothing is more frustrating than facing a job knowing you lack the proper tools. Any do-it-yourselfer can relate to that. Oh, sure, the job might get done, but it will be a struggle getting there, it will take longer than it should and, probably, it will cost more than it should.
Number of jobs in state increases
Alaska has just completed its 16th consecutive year of employment growth, a new record since becoming a state in 1959, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Economy grows at steady pace
Given its petroleum, natural gas, fishing, tourism and trade industries, if there is one word to describe the Kenai Peninsula Borough economy it is diversity.
Real estate moves at healthy pace n all price ranges
Homeowner refinancing, which was the buzz of the Kenai Peninsula Borough real estate industry a year ago, mellowed in 2003, but low interest rates that had sparked the action continued, and area real estate agents reported a good, healthy market throughout the year.
Major road projects in the works
With budgets tightening at both the state and local levels, there are few large capital projects being proposed around the Kenai Peninsula. However, there are a couple significant projects and ideas that likely will change the face of the area's economy in the years ahead.
Hospital shifts focus to more out-patient care
As the health care dynamic of the Kenai Peninsula shifts from being focused primarily on in-patient treatment to out-patient, providers and facilities are adjusting to meet the change.
Government cornerstone of economy
Government on the local, state and federal levels not only provides things like education, social services and roads, it contributes directly and substantially to the economy.
Hospital grows with peninsula
Plans are on track to break ground in June for a $49.9 million expansion of Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna.
Top 10 employers in the Borough
The most recent complete top employer statistics available from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workplace Development are for 2002. Below are ranked the top 10 Kenai Peninsula employers for the years 2002 and 2001:
Native corporations make mark in all segments of economy
One of the strengths of the Kenai Peninsula economy, and part of what contributes to its diversity, is the influence of Alaska Native corporations, which engage in a variety of enterprises from petroleum and forestry to tourism and real estate.
Top 10 Taxpayers in Soldotna, Kenai
The following list shows the top 10 assessed property owners in Kenai and Soldotna in 2003, their type of business, total assessed value and estimated property tax based on a mill rate of 1.5 in Soldotna and 5 in Kenai.
Home-based business blossoms
By taking the adage, "necessity is the mother of invention" to heart, Diane Duncan of Kasilof accidentally launched herself into a home-based business.
Top 10 Taxpayers in the Borough
Below are the top 10 borough property taxpayers in the borough for 2002 and 2001 and the assessed values of their holdings.
Hospital care evolves to include pleasure, not just sterile pain
The wonderful smell of freshly baked bread isn't something one expects when arriving at the Central Peninsula General Hospital's Oncology Department for chemotherapy, but with the hospital's focus on patient-centered care, that's just one of the newly added pleasures people find there.
Several agencies working to draw new businesses
Credit for at least some of the success shown by businesses in the Kenai Peninsula in recent years goes to several agencies whose purpose is to promote the borough as a place to do business and lure new industry here, and to lend financial and practical help to entrepreneurs launching new ventures.
Economic development everyone's job
Likening a community's economy to water flowing in a river, the head of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District recently told area business leaders that economic development is like a lake in which that economy can circulate and thrive.
Shortage of workers hits construction, operation, maintenance trades
They could have hung a sign out front saying, "Wanted: A steady stream of new skilled workers in Alaska."
Around the Peninsula
Mass band to preform todayKPC to hold blood driveFish and Game committee meeting setGreco to speak at Solid RockSwim coaches neededWolf to hold town hall meetingScorekeepers clinic slatedPreschool to hold fund-raiser
Around the Peninsula
Deadline for dance classes todayMaster gardening class plannedKPC to hold blood driveWRCC board meeting scheduled in KenaiHarley owners group getting togetherCheer clinic slatedTaco fund-raiser plannedPreschool to hold fund-raiser
The staff and students thank the parents who contributed to the successful PTA bake sale and the volunteers who help at the sale last Friday.
Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start
The Kenai Police Department will offer a presentation on stranger danger today.
Parents are reminded the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District does not allow students to charge lunches. Remember to send a check made out to KPBSD Student Nutrition or Nikiski Elementary. The school will provide crackers and juice if your student has no money on their account. Pick up the free and reduced application at the office, fill it out and return to the office. Parents may qualify for additional help with their child's lunch expenses.
Kenai Cooperative Preschool
Last week, the preschoolers wrapped up their fairy tales unit.
Danish teens learn how to run a democracy
COPENHAGEN, Denmark The basement of the Danish parliament is abuzz with debate: Should Denmark send 1,000 peacekeepers to civil-war torn Uranium? Perhaps young criminals should have microchip implants so they can be closely monitored. Do we allow scientists to genetically engineer apes to test new medicine for humans?
Wings Christian Academy
Students will go to the Soldotna Sports Center for an honor roll trip Friday for ice skating and wallyball. There also will be a pep rally at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The high school girls' basketball team will play at 6 p.m. Friday at home, and the boys' team will play at 8 p.m. at home.
The school will host a special Ice Cream Friday this week to raise money for the breakfast program. Ice cream will cost $1 this Friday only.
The kindergartners and first- and second-graders have finished swimming lessons at the Nikiski pool. The students will resume their normal schedule.
Instructor, student bring origins of film noir to light in Soldotna
The KPC Showcase is proud to present "Film Noir," a presentation by KPC adjunct instructor Bob Amundson and Soldotna High School senior and future filmmaker Clyde Folley. They will feature clips and commentary documenting the origins of film noir, its narrative devices and plot themes. They also will highlight the most noteworthy actors and directors of this uniquely American film genre. This presentation will be followed by one of the most famous film noirs, Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity."
Mountain View Elementary
Mrs. Keating's fifth-graders will journey to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Friday to participate in the Wildlife in Winter program. They will learn about wilderness survival, animal tracks and snowshoeing.
Applications for summer internships
Sen. Lisa Murkowski is accepting applications for her summer intern program. Graduating high school seniors are eligible to apply. There are 20 available positions. Interns will perform a variety of administrative and legislative duties, shadow the senator during her daily schedule and participate in tours and social events.
Students are back to a normal schedule after a week of standardized tests.
Boys and Girls Club to celebrate Dr. Seuss birthday
The Boys and Girls Club in Kenai will celebrate Read Across America and the late Dr. Seuss's 100th birthday Tuesday.
Cook Inlet Academy
The staff would like to welcome Tony Jackson to the teaching staff. He is teaching seventh- and eighth-grade history and science, and ninth-grade Bible studies. Jackson is from Nikiski, has four children, and his wife, Leah, is a CIA alumni.
Soldotna Montessori Charter
Mrs. Overturf's kindergarten class visited Mrs. Sotelo's class for a rock festival Monday. The older students helped the kindergartners rotate through four activities involving rocks. Students were able to sift for fossils, classify rocks, make fossil jewelry and have their pictures taken with a 500-million-year-old trilobite. These activities coordinated with the kindergarten study of the earth and space.
The cross-country ski team heads to Fairbanks this weekend for the state competition.
The Read Around for Love of Reading Month is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the school. Parents and their student are invited to attend.
The Region III Nordic Ski Meet was held at the Tsalteshi Trails last weekend. Thirteen teams participated in some of the best racing in the state. The staff congratulates the girls for winning the tournament.
North Star Elementary
Sherry Matson's fifth-grade cinnamon roll factory baked and sold more than 900 rolls. The sale was a success due to the cooperative efforts of the students and diligent volunteering of parents and other family members. Mrs. Matson and her class thank all their customers and the community for supporting this project. Proceeds from the fund-raiser support the class's four-day marine science field trip to Kasitsna Bay in May.
Nikiski Middle-Senior High
The cross-country ski team will be in Fairbanks for the state competition this weekend. The staff and students wish them good luck.
Signs of things to come
Students at Sterling Elementary School are learning a new language without speaking a word.
Kenai Central High
There is a site council meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Students of the Month
The following students were named February Students of the Month at Kenai Middle School:
The wrestling team is looking forward to the borough tournament at 11 a.m. Saturday at SMS. Jordan Goracke and Michaela Hutchinson will defend their borough titles, and the rest of the team will look to improve upon its early season results. Students and parents are encouraged to attend.
Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
Mrs. McBee's kindergarten class has been learning how things move. Next, the students are beginning to explore how people help each other. They will look at themselves, their homes and their cultures. They also will study how objects that people made and used throughout history are a reflection of their cultures.
Christi Lackey won the Agrium-sponsored Character Counts pizza drawing.
Architecture scholarships available
The American Institute of Architects Alaska Chapter is offering $5,000 in scholarships to deserving Alaska residents currently enrolled in at least their junior year, or the equivalent, at an accredited school of architecture. The scholarship will be awarded based on educational excellence in the pursuit of a career in architecture.
IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska)
The staff would like to thank the parents who prepared and brought their children to testing last week.
Peninsula Oilers to offer scholarships
The Peninsula Oilers Baseball Club Inc. will award a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior from Kenai, Nikiski, Skyview and Soldotna high schools.
The staff would like to thank the parent volunteers who helped with the check in, organization and hall monitoring for state testing. Parent volunteers also helped make the book fair a success.
Twin sisters struggle to bring education to Indonesian slums
JAKARTA, Indonesia Their school has a highway overpass for a roof and a garbage dump behind the blackboard. The classroom often floods, leaving students ankle-deep in filthy water.
Students are competing for this year's Masonic Outstanding Student award. The award goes to a deserving sixth-grader in each elementary school in the district. Academics, attendance, citizenship and community service are considered by the selection committee. The finalists then will write an essay about themselves for evaluation. Past winners from the school are Katie Mills, 2000; Kjersten Skjold, 2001; Heidi Skjold, 2002; and Jesse Carlson, 2003. The Kenai Masonic Lodge No. 11 will conduct its annual awards ceremony April 15 at Kenai Central High School.
Jump Rope for the Heart will be held today and Friday in the gym. Mr. Chase needs to have all money and pledge sheets to him by Friday.
The Snow Rondi Mexican dinner will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday in the gym. The cost is $7 for adults or $5 for children.
What activities are available for our area seniors
Elderly drivers more prone to crashes, more likely to die from them, study finds
WASHINGTON Drivers over 65 are more likely to get into crashes because of declining perception and motor skills, but the biggest risk is to themselves, not others on the highway, says a study based on nearly 4 million traffic accidents.
What's on the menu for our area seniors
Torrid second half carries Pitt
WASHINGTON Carl Krauser scored 19 of his career-high 26 points in the second half, and third-ranked Pittsburgh overcame 23 turnovers and a 10-point second-half deficit Tuesday night to beat Georgetown 68-58.
Blues fire Quenneville, Coyotes dump Francis
ST. LOUIS With the St. Louis Blues scrambling to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in a quarter century, general manager Larry Pleau decided it was time for a change.
The future of the NFL?
The future of the NFL arrived overweight and unprepared.
Nets top Raptors for 14th straight win
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. The New Jersey Nets won their 14th straight game Tuesday night the longest streak in the NBA this season by holding off the injury-plagued Toronto Raptors 86-74 behind Kenyon Martin's 25 points and 15 rebounds.
Will Tiger be great again?
Tiger Woods had signed for his best score at Riviera and was cleaning out his locker, a process that usually includes sorting through a number of unsolicited letters.
Habs' Theodore snaps skid
NEW YORK Jose Theodore made 31 saves to snap his five-game losing streak, and Saku Koivu had a goal and two assists, helping the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 4-1 Monday night.
Skyview's Geller can dish it out or take it a shot, that is
The Skyview High School boys basketball team got one big monkey off its back Saturday, defeating Wasilla 54-52 for its first win over a Mat-Su team in five years.
Ninilchik splits with Unalaska
The Ninilchik High School basketball teams split a Monday meeting with Unalaska in District 3/2A games at Ninilchik School.
Broncos re-sign linebacker Wilson
Denver agreed to contract terms with middle linebacker Al Wilson on Tuesday, clearing the way for the Broncos to work on a deal that could bring them cornerback Champ Bailey from Washington for running back Clinton Portis.
Cavaliers rally to beat Hornets 104-100
CLEVELAND In four days, they've beaten the defending NBA champions, won at Madison Square Garden and rallied from 25 points down for a victory.
Zhamnov burns former team in Flyers victory
PHILADELPHIA Former Blackhawk Alexei Zhamnov scored his first goal with the Flyers, leading Philadelphia to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night over Chicago.
Colts give Manning franchise tag
Unable to reach a long-term deal with Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts designated the NFL's co-MVP their franchise player Monday.
KPHA Squirt B drops a gameWhalers begin practiceChambers banned for two years for THGNolan Ryan rejoins Astros as adviser
Bird watching booms into big business
A recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service publication reports that 46 million bird watchers across America spent $32 billion in 2001 pursuing one of the nation's most popular outdoor activities.
Run predictions give reason to hope
The commercial salmon industry on the Kenai Peninsula appears to be in prime position to regain global market share lost to farmed fish over the past decade.
It's not all fish and fun
Over the past 15 years, commercial sportfishing on the Kenai River has gone from a part-time pursuit to a full-blown industry, employing hundreds of peninsula residents and attracting thousands of tourists to the area.
Mixing up own recipe for success
When a customer pulls up to the window, Misty Soares engages them in a nonstop conversation while she takes their order and prepares their cappuccino or espresso freeze.
Family hopes to breathe new life into Snug Harbor plant
For the Porter family, the cannery at Snug Harbor across Cook Inlet from Ninilchik on Chisik Island was such a large part of their lives that rather than see it disintegrate into ruins, they decided to buy it and turn it into a hub of activity once again.
Despite difficulties, peninsula tourism holds steady course
They don't call it the Great Land for nothing. Majestic mountain ranges, temperate rain forests with towering trees and glaciers galore are just a few of the geographical features that attract visitors annually to Alaska.
New plans for old site
Ambitious plans for bringing the abandoned Ward's Cove cannery in Kenai back to life are taking flight.
Entrepreneur finds his next challenge at historic cannery
'This is arguably, I think, one of the top five historic sites in all of Alaska. It dates back to 1906. There's not much history in Alaska prior to that certainly not that exists.'
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