Monday, February 28, 2005

Even with bum knee, Bonds declines tee
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Barry Bonds took a few swings in the batting cage at the San Francisco Giants' training complex Saturday, facing live pitching earlier than the club expected.

A friend of mine recently blurted in exasperation, "They just don't make good movies anymore!" This is, I think, a tad harsh. After all, watching the Oscar telecast Sunday night, we were reminded of dozens of well-made films, each worthy of the accolades they were being afforded.

Bed tax proposal would drive away summer visitors
I see that Kenai Peninsula Borough Representative Betty Glick has proposed a bed tax for our Kenai Peninsula Borough. I have a few questions which require answers.

Governor's coastal management stance erodes Alaska's rights
Frank Murkowski came into office and immediately set out to remove Alaskans from decisions affecting coastal communities. Now, after bungling the process to revise the Alaska Coastal Management Program, he's blaming the federal government and claiming he's defending "states rights." But once again, Frank misses the mark. The federal coastal zone management law actually grants states more rights then they otherwise have without it. How? First, it provides money to state and local communities to implement their own local standards. By attacking this program, Frank is attacking decisions made by Alaskans, for Alaskans — not decisions made by faceless bureaucrats in D.C. or Juneau. Second, the federal law provides a powerful appeal process where states can challenge federal decisions affecting state and local interests. California used these very provisions last year to protect its coastal communities from federal intrusion.

Biffle skids, scrapes way to NASCAR win
FONTANA, Calif. — Somehow, Greg Biffle kept his car pointed in the right direction long enough to take the checkered flag.

Tanner crab fishers hold to price demand
KODIAK (AP) — Tanner crab fishers are holding fast to their plea for higher prices.

All tied up: Fishers have new option in marketing catch
Winston Gillies, a Cook Inlet driftnet fisher, believes he can get a higher price for his salmon than he has in past years. The problem, he said, is he did not have the resources to pursue those options — until this year.

Borough's general fund shrinks
For several years, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has balanced its annual budgets by tapping unspent dollars held in a sizable general fund account.

Kenai Wild salmon has cool new resource
Cook Inlet Salmon Brand Inc., owner of the Kenai Wild brand, signed a contract earlier this month with Canadian based Sunwell Technologies Inc. for two ice-making plants as part of an ongoing effort to increase the quality of Cook Inlet salmon.

Off and running
At right, Josh Hudson and Heath Strausbaugh hold back the sled of Sterling musher Gail Hoekman at the starting line of the Peninsula Sled Dog and Racing Association's annual 10 dog classic sprint race held Saturday and Sunday on the trail network next to Soldotna Airport. Hoekman is recovering from a recent battle with cancer, yet still placed second overall in the 14-mile, two day race.

Care to share? Program readies to reward service
Marit Hartvigson, a sophomore at Soldotna High School, is excited about a contribution she made to the community.

City rejects helmet statute
Riding a bicycle in Soldotna without a helmet won't cause you to get a citation or fine, but may invite the people of Soldotna to tell you to get an education on bicycle safety.

Grant makes hospital less scary for kids
Central Peninsula General Hospital received a $700 grant for its Pediatrics in a Box Program from the Fred Meyer Foundation, according to the hospital's chief executive.

Facing the crowd
Justin Bullock touches up face paint before cheering for the Skyview High School Panthers basketball team during a game Friday night.

William Peter (Pete) Bowman
Kenai resident William Peter "Pete" Bowman died Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005, at his home. He was 43.

Betty Jean Walton-McElroy
Soldotna resident Betty Jean Walton-McElroy died unexpectedly Friday, Feb. 25, 2005, at her home in Soldotna. She was 33.

George James (Jim) Spracher
Longtime Kenai resident George James (Jim) Spracher died Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005, at his home. He was 81.

Voices of the clarion: Healthy pets no accident
Anyone who knows me knows I'm crazy about dogs. Even people who don't know me have a pretty good indication when they step into my house, car or office.

Proposed zoning change in Kenai offers opportunity
The proposal to create a new "limited commercial zone" within the city of Kenai deserves serious consideration.

Information about abortion options should be availible
It's quite possible, says columnist Cal Thomas, that women get more information at the supermarket, the bank and the automobile showroom than they get at most abortion clinics.

Area residents and groups give generously to food bank
Linda Swarner, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, received the following donations from area groups and businesses on behalf of the food bank.

Peninsula People
Hall wins scholarship Area students receive honors

Community Schools
Soldotna Community Schools Homer Community Schools

Around the Peninsula
Fishermen's coalition to meet Marketing workshop slated Livestock breeding workshop set Restorative justice to be discussed HEA seeks director nominations AWG to host auction fund-raiser

Around the Peninsula
CPHC to meet Relay for Life meeting set Gaming club seeking members Coal bed methane workshop set Caregiver workshop set

Kelly and Galt de Sieyes of Soldotna Tamara and Jesse Miller of Soldotna

Winning breed: Family helps drive Seavey's dog mushing success
When Mitch Seavey won the 2004 Iditarod he knew things were going to be different.

Community Events
Dinner fund-raiser set Kenai field office expands area Respite services available Landry to be installed Grandparent support group to meet Used car fund-raiser set

The sky guy: Planet views abound in March
The diagram depicts the sky around 10 p.m. early in the month and 8 to 9 p.m. in the middle of March, which is actually only one hour after sunset. Toward the end of the month more of the now-eastern constellations will be visible and fewer of the western. I also outlined a few prominent constellations and labeled them with three letter abbreviations as well as the brightest stars with a capital letter. Throughout the text and the diagram, look for some special objects visible with binoculars (the darker your observing site, the better), labeled with lower-case letters.

Club News
Boot camp slated Pop Warner registration begins KCHS class reunion planned Soccer registration begins

Koecher, Weinert announce engagement
Farrah Renee Koecher and Adam Weinert have an-nounced their plans to marry Saturday, May 28, 2005, in Portland, Ore.

My best friend
Brooke Hughes of Soldotna poses with guinea pigs Slingshot and Licorice. Brooke and Teslia Hughes got in the Iditarod spirit with their pets.

Owner finds emu after year on the lam
MOXEE, Wash. (AP) — Emma the pet emu is home again after nearly a year on the lam, and owner Diana Parker could hardly be happier.

Company cat a valued employee
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Sampson nestled in Randy Cooper's arms and purred with contentment.

Grace Christian girls hand Nikiski its first conference loss
Katelyn Perry had 22 points and Anna Harvard added 20 as Grace Christian knocked off the No. 3-ranked Nikiski girls 52-49 Friday in Southcentral Conference play in Anchorage.

Skyview boys nip Homer
The Skyview High School boys basketball team picked up a big Northern Lights Conference win over Homer Friday in its final home game of the season while the Homer girls spoiled the Skyview girls' senior night with a runaway victory.

Area skiers get mixed bag at state
The Nordic ski season ended on an unexpected note for Kenai Peninsula high-school teams. The Alaska School Activities Association State Cross-Country Ski Championships, which ended Saturday in Fairbanks, were full of surprises, and not all of them were pleasant.

Tar Heels escape Terrapins
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Raymond Felton made the tiebreaking layup with 19 seconds left and Sean May blocked a shot just before the buzzer as No. 2 North Carolina weathered a furious comeback bid by Maryland before escaping with an 85-83 victory Sunday.

Washington moves closer to rare Pac-10 title
SEATTLE — Tre Simmons scored 24 points, and No. 14 Washington moved one step closer to its first Pac-10 title in 20 years with a 93-85 win over No. 9 Arizona.

Wasilla sweeps Kenai
After a pair of exciting Northern Lights Conference wins — including a triple-overtime thriller in the boys game — Friday night against Kodiak, the Kenai Central High school basketball teams were swept by a pair of tough Wasilla teams in NLC competition Saturday at Kenai.

Kidd, Carter combine to crush Cavs
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Vince Carter had 34 points, 11 rebounds and combined with Jason Kidd to make all the key plays down the stretch as the New Jersey Nets held on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-98 after squandering a 21-point lead on Sunday.

Toms takes match play tournament
CARLSBAD, Calif. — David Toms played some of his best golf to reach the final of the Match Play Championship.

Toms, DiMarco reach finals of Match Play event
CARLSBAD, Calif. — David Toms hit one spectacular shot after another to pull away from Ian Poulter on Saturday and advance to the final of the Match Play Championship.

Wasilla's defense too much for SoHi
The Wasilla girls and boys basketball teams used steady defense to sweep Soldotna Friday in a pair of Northern Lights Conference matchups.

Webber loses to old team
PHILADELPHIA — Chris Webber failed to convert a last-second layup after grabbing an offensive rebound off an intentionally missed free throw, spoiling his debut for the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night in a 101-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Nikiski girls rebound from loss
Nikiski's Sarah Herrin equaled the Heritage Christian girls team's entire scoring output Saturday, scoring a team-high 18 points as the Bulldogs rebounded from Friday's loss to Grace Christian with a 53-18 mauling of Heritage in Southcentral Conference play in Anchorage.

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