Thursday, March 3, 2005

Rollicking crowd sees Nationals' first game
The Washington Nationals played their first game with all the fanfare of opening day — not an exhibition opener.

Changes shoot down biz Gun laws make staying open tough for Soldotna man
Rod Christopher, owner of Nordic Trading and Loan, remembers days standing around and talking with old-timers about the way Alaska used to be.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedules Nonprofit workshops to be held Job center to host workshop

Fraud prevention workshop slated
Don Krohn has seen a lot fraud throughout his career.

Tyrell gets into competitive racing mind-set
Although many eyes will be on Mitch Seavey as he defends his title as the current Iditarod champion, his son, Tyrell Seavey, is hoping to better stake his own claim to fame in the Last Great Race this year. And he believes he may have the dogs to do it.

Quest: Mackey sets sights on Iditarod
Like a Steppenwolf song, Kasilof musher Lance Mackey lives life "like a true nature's child who was born to be wild," and it is his full-throttle attitude toward mushing that propels him to the front of the pack.

Gebhardt brings experience to race
Mushers who have competed with Kasilof-based Paul Gebhardt have a saying: "It's not a matter of if he'll win the Iditarod, it's more a matter of when."

Rookie position harbors no false expectations for Dallas
Unlike a lot of mushers signed up for this year's Iditarod who are carefully calculating all factors in the hopes of winning, Dallas Seavey is taking a more laid back approach.

No. 20: Osmar ready to face familiar trail
Of all the Kenai Peninsula mushers entered in this year's Iditarod, Tim Osmar of Ninilchik is by far the most familiar with the trek from Anchorage to Nome. This will be Osmar's 20th run, and he still holds that same zest for the competition as he did in his first race.

Iditarod: A race like none other
You can't compare it to any other competitive event in the world.

Kenai Peninsula Iditarod 2005 mushers
There are seven mushers competing in the 2005 Iditarod Sled Dog Race from the Kenai Peninsula.

Family matters: Seaveys all about teamwork
When Mitch Seavey won the 2004 Iditarod, he knew things were going to be different.

Moose Pass musher gives Iditarod just one more try
Judy Merritt is a lot like other grandmothers. She enjoys gardening, antiques and spending time with her children and grandchildren. There is one exception though. Merritt, 44, also likes the white-knuckle excitement of hitching up a dozen or more huskies to a sled for a fast-paced foray over snow and ice.

Art Briefs
Kenai Juried Art Exhibit nears Tile-making workshop slated Writers' group to meet Theater workshops offered Students invited to enter contest Money available for artistsLatin dance workshop offered in Homer Student art classes slated Actors wanted for one-acts Human-nature poetry wanted from Alaskans Homer concert series seeks musicians

From the bookshelf: Thoughtful Alaskans share their wisdom
Nobody's Perfect! How to Improve Your Life The Rapture of Maturity: A Legacy of Lifelong Learning

Swept up
It isn't every day you can hang out at a rollicking swing dance hall, attend a boisterous church service and get a close-up look at the smaller inhabitants of the animal kingdom in just two hours.

Musicians string audiences along
Judging by the group's name, if you thought a concert featuring the Turtle Island String Quartet would entail an evening of classical music, you'd be partially right.

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Films Down the Road Anchorage events

Area businesses help schools with daily special deliveries
As a high school English teacher, I employ several forms of instructional materials in my classroom. While all are important, one is available only through the sponsorship of a few very generous businesses and organizations who value education and our students on the Kenai Peninsula. The Newspapers In Education Program provides newspapers to our school each and every day, allowing teachers of all disciplines to use them according to their own curriculum.

Retail theft hurts small business, entire community
I opened a small business here on the Kenai Peninsula called Hawks Games. We specialize in selling new and used video games and accessories.

Central peninsula should begin working to move capitol here
Considering the economic difficulties ahead for the central Kenai Peninsula, are our local leaders going to act or just continue to dither? The Arctic Winter Games is not economic development. Is this the best all the high-paid people in the borough building and the Economic Development District can do?

Businesses help support creative writing night
A big thank you to Peterkin, Country Foods, Safeway, Three Bears, Fred Meyer and Food Service of America for the donations to our Creative Writers Night fund-raiser dinner! We appreciate your donations and supporting the seniors in their endeavors of the Kenai Senior Citizens Center kitchen renovation and assisted living projects. Thank you.

Many contributed to gardening conference's success
The Central Peninsula Master Gardeners would like to thank all the folks who helped make the 2005 Statewide Master Gardener Conference such a great time. First we would like to thank the Kenai Peninsula College for having us in their facility.

New punishments should be used for sex offenders
I have a solution to prevent sex offenders from repeat performance, especially when their victims have been children.

O'Neill's Social Security plan would ensure benefits in future
Social Security is one of many forms providing financial help in old age. Contributing to it is obligatory for most everyone. It is an implement introduced by the Roosevelt administration in the 1930s. It is not intended to be welfare, rather an aid to those who have little financial resources when they become old. My dad paid in 30 years and got back $250 a month. Yep. That'll getcha two weeks of groceries. It is not a retirement check.

Good ol' boys head south of the border
The good ol' boys have already broken free of their Southern roots. Now, they're eyeing a potentially booming market south of the border.

Rabbit numbers multiply
Evidently, rabbit stew is not a popular dish in Soldotna. This is clear due to several pronounced feral rabbit populations all over the city that, for the most part, flourish with little threat.

Soccer plan kicked about
A plan to turn a large tract of vacant Kenai land into a complex of soccer fields appears to have legs. Kenai Parks and Recreation Director Bob Frates said last month that the city is in line to receive a $251,548 Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant from the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. The grant is actually from the federal government, but passed through the state. On Monday, Frates said the preliminary grant process has gone well.

New York Times puzzle included
The New York Times crossword puzzle omitted from the Clarion's Sunday paper can be found on page A-3 of today's paper.

Quick thinking cuts fire damage
A direct attack by a homeowner with a fire extinguisher, a call to 911 by his son and a quick response by Kenai firefighters contained a house fire to one bedroom Tuesday afternoon.

Schools back on the table
Kenai Peninsula College had the intent to take over the Soldotna and Homer Community Schools program but officially backed out of the plan this week, leaving the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District looking for another entity to adopt the education program.

Proposed tax gets no rest
At its first formal public hearing, a controversial proposal to impose a special tax on hotel, motel and bed-and-breakfast accommodations, commonly called a "bed tax," got a mixed review at Tuesday's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.

Nikiski fire chief plans retirement in May
The search has begun for a new fire chief in Nikiski to replace the retiring Dan Gregory. Gregory will leave May 31 after serving the Nikiski Fire Department for more than 30 years, three as its chief.

Buser injured in table saw accident
ANCHORAGE (AP) — Four-time Iditarod winner Martin Buser underwent a partial amputation of his middle finger after he injured it in a table saw accident at his Big Lake home, Iditarod officials said Wednesday.

Theft threat forces canceled credit cards
ANCHORAGE (AP) — The Alaska Department of Administration has been forced to close 86 state credit card accounts since early January because someone is trying to get unauthorized access to the accounts.

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

Peter Bush
Kenai resident Peter Bush died Tuesday, March 1, 2005, at his home surrounded by his family. He was 65.

London conference a good first step
Tony Blair struck an optimistic note at

Jerusalem should pay close attention to Syrian situation
The fall of the Lebanese government in the wake of mass protest demonstrations against the ongoing Syrian occupation was a refreshing surprise. Israel cannot be indifferent to the developments in the region, which could have an enormous influence on its national security. The developments over the northern border oblige Jerusalem to reconsider its policy of many years that silently agrees to Syrian control of Lebanon. ... The Golan Heights remain a 'deposit' for a future peace agreement, in which the final border between Israel and Syria will be determined and the two states will have normal relations. That would be Israel's contribution to the new order in the north.

Around the Peninsula
ACT deadline Friday Dance concert set Little league begins registration Photo guild to meet SoHi after-prom meeting set Spaghetti feed benefit planned Family dog class offered

Around the Peninsula
Respite services available Economic development to be discussed Caregiver workshop set Soccer registration begins Boot camp slated Recycling fund-raiser set Lip sync contest slated

Kenai Central High
Next week is Homegoing Week. Students will celebrate with Spirit Days, an assembly Friday, the homegoing basketball games Saturday and a dance Saturday evening.

Fifth-graders expand class walls
When Redoubt Elementary fifth-grader Kristen Nagel opened her newspaper and read about Landon Rogers, 2, a little boy suffering from severe failure to thrive who has spent most of his life in a hospital and might never live to be 3, she wanted to find a way to help him.

Kalifornsky Beach
Mr. Daniels' class is taking a trip to Mars to control a Martian rover to analyze data. Then students will take a field trip to Denali National Park. They learn about how animals adapt to their surroundings. The field trips will be conducted online at

Sterling Elementary
The physical education classes are finishing Jump Rope for Heart.

Congratulations to the Connections third- and fourth-grade Battle of the Books first-place winners. Team members are Hope Steffensen, Ellery Steffensen, Mika Morton and Vienna Schmitter-Schrier.

Tustumena Elementary
Students completed their jumps in the "Jump Rope for Heart" fund-raiser last week.

Nikiski North Star Elementary
The Nikiski North Star Band will perform at the Nikiski Senior Citizens Center during lunch March 30. The band also will perform for parents and guests at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7 in the Nikiski North Star gym.

Wings Christian Academy
The school will have its fifth annual Junk Yard Wars this Friday. This year, each of the four teams will be given extra time to complete their assigned project. The team captains are Kaylee Burger, Elizabeth Wood, Julianne Pettey and Leah Howell.

Kenaitze Head Start
The classroom skills for March are the letters C, F and I.

Mountain View Elementary
Victoria's grandmother and Shannon's mother helped Mr. Knudsen's third-graders make reading pillows for Love of Reading month. Each student designed pillows.

Cook Inlet Academy
The third quarter will end March 18 . High school seniors are planning graduation May 15 by ordering caps and gowns, writing biographies for the program and deciding on a class verse and song.

Kenai Middle
Congratulations to Catherine Hoisington and Matthew Nath for winning the Character Counts pizza drawing last week.

Lunch menus
Elementary Secondary

Redoubt Elementary
The school will practice an evacuation Thursday. All students and staff will be at Soldotna Middle School during this practice drill.

First- and second-graders have completed reports on U.S. presidents. The students will read their reports to fellow classmates this week.

Sears Elementary
This is Love of Reading week. Thanks to visitors from the community who have read with students this week.

KPC around campus: New scholarship applications available at KPC
It's time again for the proverbial "heads-up" regarding scholarship opportunities at KPC and elsewhere in the community. Apply early and apply often is the mantra when it comes to financial aid for college.

Skyview High
The show will hang in the Seward SeaLIfe Center until Friday.

Grace Lutheran School
The school welcomes new students Treava Schmitter and Miranda Fletcher.

Thanks to the community members who read with students, and to the high school students who are reading today for Love of Reading Week.

Nikiski Middle/Senior High
The Nikiski Dance Troupe is in concert Thursday and Friday at Nikiski High School and March 11 and 12 at Kenai Central High School. The program begins each night at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be sold during intermission at each Friday performance.

Bucs cut Johnson, Pats release Brown
Hours before free agency began, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterback Brad Johnson and wide receiver Joe Jurevicius on Tuesday, cutting ties with two stars of their run to a Super Bowl title.

A record that better not be broken
There's one baseball record that better not be broken this season. That's the number of major leaguers who tested positive for steroids last season: Zero.

Peninsula educators react to changes
Three longtime Kenai Peninsula educators with strong ties to activities for the most part supported the Monday decision of the Alaska School Activities Association board of directors to tighten activities eligibility rules.

Celtics beat Bryant, Lakers
BOSTON — Kobe Bryant's problems have moved back to the basketball court.

Sonics rally past Pacers
INDIANAPOLIS — Rashard Lewis had 30 points on 14-of-19 shooting and the Seattle SuperSonics rallied in the fourth quarter for a 101-93 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

Wildcats hold off Vols
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Senior forward Chuck Hayes, playing his last home game for Kentucky, scored nine of his 13 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes as the third-ranked Wildcats held off upset-minded Tennessee 73-61 on Wednesday night.

CIA, Ninilchik cagers split
The Cook Inlet Academy basketball teams played Peninsula Conference foe Ninilchik Tuesday at Ninilchik, with the Wolverines winning 50-44 in the girls game and the Eagles taking a 65-34 decision in the boys game.

Plan might reunite student with athlete
Myles Brand already held some credentials as a reformer when he was named to head the NCAA a little over two years ago. This was a guy, after all, who had the guts as president of Indiana University to give the boot to Bob Knight.

ASAA toughens eligibility rules
ANCHORAGE (AP) — The rules concerning Alaska high school sports just got tougher.

Wisconsin nips Indiana at the buzzer
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Alando Tucker's putback at the buzzer gave No. 23 Wisconsin a 62-60 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night.

Allen Fieldhouse, filled with memories and noise, turns 50
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Allen Fieldhouse has turned 50, and is showing a little wear.

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