Thursday, March 4, 2004

Alaska drops to third in ulu count
Team Alaska dropped from first to third place Wednesday at the 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Now leading the 10 contingents at the Games in the quest for ulu medals is Team Yukon with 51 medals, followed by Northern Alberta, with 44 medals. Team Alaska has earned a total of 40 ulus, including 12 golds, 11 silvers and 17 bronzes.

Alaska pulls ahead in medals
After three days of competition, Team Alaska pulled ahead in the 2004 Arctic Winter Games, leading the 10 participating teams with 29 medals. The Yukon team was in second, with 24 medals, while Northern Alberta was in third, with 19 medals.

Reporter's Notebook from Fort McMurray
I'm not obsessed with food.

Athletes test their skills
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta, Canada About 40 young athletes from the Kenai Peninsula are in Fort McMurray this week representing their region and state in the 2004 Arctic Winter Games.

Pin collecting is second biggest attraction
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta, Canada He's like a celebrity hounded by adoring fans; a millionaire pursued for handouts and opportunities.

Chain of evidence reaches Bonds' locker
It almost doesn't matter anymore whether Barry Bonds was juiced or not.

MLB makes April 15 Jackie Robinson Day
NEW YORK Jackie Robinson will be honored every April 15 by Major League Baseball, starting with a national celebration at Shea Stadium paying tribute to the Hall of Famer's legacy.

Disney's Eisner losing support
PHILADELPHIA Walt Disney Co. chief Michael Eisner was rebuked by the stockholders Wednesday as 43 percent withheld their support for him in a vote at the company's annual meeting.

Pelican plant lays off workers
Pelican Seafoods has laid off employees and will operate this season on a "downsized scale," according to Duff Mitchell, chief operating officer of Kake Tribal Corp., which owns the processor.

CEOs hopeful about economic recovery
WASHINGTON America's business executives are hopeful about the economic recovery's staying power, with many expecting sales to increase in the next six months, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedulePresentation set to teach prospective teachersScholarships offered to architectural studentsExporter of the Year nominations sought

McDonald's to downsize from its Supersize
CHICAGO (AP) Hold the fries at least the super-sized version.

House Finance approves food safety certification bill
JUNEAU The House Finance Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would let the state require restaurant workers to pass a safe food-handling test.

Peninsula Mushers at a Glance
A quick look at our local competitors

Coffee, devotion help fuel Iditarod
WASILLA Iditarod fans know the guts and stamina required to complete the 1,100-mile mile sled dog race across Alaska wilderness, but do they realize how critical coffee is for fueling what's often called the last great race?

Record field of 87 to start trek to Nome
ANCHORAGE Barking dogs and mushers yelling ''Hike!'' will create a din of excitement Saturday as a record 87 teams take to the Iditarod trail.

Peninsula mushers get ready for the big race: Iditarod
The first Saturday in March is just a couple of days away and with it comes the start of the 32nd Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Ketchikan artists propose new Native wax museum
KETCHIKAN (AP) Ketch-ikan artists and retailers want to establish a Southeast Alaska Native wax museum north of Ketchikan to depict what life was like for the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian people hundreds of years ago.

Art Briefs
Pratt to hold appreciation receptionMuseum seeks volunteersArts summit to be heldLogo design contest announcedStudents' stories, photos wantedSolstice festival T-shirt design wantedContest entry deadline coming upArt workshops offeredAssault awareness writing contest held

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

Iditarod books for kids take different routes
The mushing season is upon us, with all its howling excitement. This challenging sport, steeped in the unique traditions of the north, has inspired generations of writers.

Soldotna man makes large-scale clocks with small-scale detail
To say George Callison is detail oriented is an understatement. Calling the Soldotna retiree obsessed with details would be a bit much, but he does admit to being addicted to it.

Senate backs stay of fish fry decision
The Alaska Senate has passed and sent a resolution to the Alaska House requesting the U.S. Depart-ment of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Justice to appeal a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that has banned salmon stocking in Tustumena Lake.

Gibson's film shows who Jesus is fully human, fully God
Jon Walters assertion (Clarion, March 2) that "The Passion of the Christ" is an embarrassment to informed and thoughtful "people of faith" embarrassed me.

Many contribute to success of outdoors woman workshop
Recently, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game conducted a "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" workshop at Solid Rock Bible Camp in Soldotna. The three-day workshop was attended by 109 participants with classes taught by more than 50 volunteer instructors from Soldotna, Anchorage and Fairbanks. Many thanks to all the volunteers who put in long hours preparing information and teaching classes.

Rich minority too powerful; wealthy are running the country
The United States is the only third world among the advanced countries of the world: Wages are going no where for the majority yet, benefits are being reduced; public education gets federally hyped at re-election time but doesn't seem to be taken seriously despite the bravado & stern looks; Who can afford higher education, health care, housing, & transportation w/out mom & dad both working.

Criticism of movie's violence hypocritical in today's culture
I have heard and read much criticism of Mel Gibson's "The Passion" and wanted to weigh in on this movie.

Wagoner Funding a Loser
After reading the Peninsula Clarion Feb. 26 article "Senate seeking appeal in fish stocking case," I felt compelled to respond.

Through Jesus' suffering, movie clearly portrays God's love for us
Thank you, Mel Gibson, for the courage to tell the truth and produce "The Passion of the Christ." Truly, God had such passion and love for us to endure all the pain and torture for our sins.

Mel Gibson's 'Passion' makes real connection with need for a Savior
Rev. Jon Walters' scathing criticism of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" (letter of March 2) tends to obfuscate some facets of the movie which to my mind gave it purpose and value. Espec

Those who make youth activities on peninsula possible appreciated
A lot of support, both personal and monetary, has gone into providing a successful wrestling program at Soldotna High School this year. With cocurricular activities on the line, I especially want to thank those who continue to contribute to our future, our youth.

Newsmaker: Brendan Gaughan
Brendan Gaughan returns home to Las Vegas Sunday for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He is coming off a six-win season on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

This Week: UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 (Race No. 3 of 36)
Where and When

Las Vegas is where it all began for racing's newest stars
LAS VEGAS Brendan Gaughan won't have any trouble finding a place to sleep during this weekend's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway: His father owns several hotels in town or he could go home and sleep in his old bed.

Schedule changes have fans in mind
LAS VEGAS Although NASCAR won't release its 2005 schedule for another six months, the work behind the scenes is at full speed.

LIO Schedule
Today

Truck plunges through lake ice; man dies
A Kenai man died and four others survived after the U-Haul truck and a GMC pickup they were riding in plunged through the ice on Skilak Lake late Monday night.

DEC commissioner: Cuts won't affect spill protection
The commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation stressed last week that no matter what cuts are made to state government, DEC remains committed to protecting Cook Inlet from harmful oil spills.

Nikiski group to check into police options
Only half as many people attended a Nikiski meeting Monday as did a month ago to discuss a recent burglary crime wave there, but interest in the community problem is not on the wane.

Highway crash kills Kenai man
A 25-year-old Kenai man died Tuesday when the tractor-trailer truck he was driving struck a guardrail and flipped over on the Seward Highway north of Seward.

New visitors bureau director brings diverse background to Kenai
Though Michelle Glass built a career around the more practical aspects of the visitor industry, what she's secretly yearned for is a chance to be closely involved in the more creative end of the tourism spectrum.

Resignation offered by district's Whiteley
HOMER Of the $3.5 million in cuts to next year's budget proposed by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District administration, those to the Quest program drew the most scrutiny by the board of education at Monday's meeting in Homer.

Anchorage lawyer to represent Forster
The case of David S. Forster, the Kenai man accused of killing Kenai Police Officer John Watson, appeared to move a bit closer to trial Wednesday, when an Anchorage defense attorney said he has received nearly all the money he requires as a retainer from Forster.

Nancy Kay Williams
Former Kenai Peninsula resident Nancy Kay Williams died Sunday, Feb. 29, 2004, at her home in Anchorage. She was 34.

Donna B. Higley
Kenai resident Donna B. Higley died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004, at Washington State University Medical Center of lung disease. She was 67.

Plenty of damage to repair in Haiti
There's a lot of damage to repair in Haiti, and it's vital efforts to return a semblance of normalcy begin now. The ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has dealt a terrible setback to the cause of Haitian civil governance. Aristide was the country's first democratically elected president, and that he had to flee virtually at gunpoint deals a debilitating defeat to democratic efforts in the country, regardless of how one felt about the deposed president.

Turnout key to 2004 election
A recent survey conducted by a company called Research 2000 shows President George W. Bush with a narrow lead in Florida against John Kerry. While I'm not familiar with this particular polling firm, a quick examination of the survey suggests they are on the mark.

Board of Game not in need of different name, more members
''A rose by any other name would smell as sweet ...''

Aristide sends mixed messages
WASHINGTON As the State Department tells it, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was fatalistic about the demise of his government. ''That's life sometimes,'' Aristide reportedly told the U.S. Embassy's No. 2 official, Luis Moreno, two hours before the Haitian leader's dawn Sunday departure into exile.

Around the Peninsula
Church plans workshops Community science evening planned Historical society to meet PFLAG schedules meeting Greco to speak at Solid Rock

Around the Peninsula
GED, computer class slatedSoroptimists to meetNikiski senior parents to meetFish and game advisory meeting setTAG meeting slatedSocial Security reps to visit areaLittle League umpires sought

Soldotna Elementary
Students celebrated 100 years of Dr. Seuss with a day of Seuss learning activities and a schoolwide birthday party. The administration would like thank the staff and Title 1 teacher Katrina Cannava for the many activities.

Tustumena Elementary
Picture day is March 10. Magic Moments will take class pictures as well as individual pictures. Payment information will be sent home this week to all parents.

Mountain View Elementary
Mr. Knudsen's and Mr. Vedders' classes would like to thank fishery biologist Patti Berkhahn for sharing her expertise with the third-grade students.

Observations about the No Child Left Behind law and its promises to parents:
''The information is out there, but it's difficult to find. Most parents do not have time to get on a computer and look for it, and some parents don't have access to a computer. That's what we have to do: Get to them and get the word out.''

Soldotna Montessori Charter
Kindergarten students in Mrs. Overturf's class are learning about the water cycle and clouds. The three types of clouds they will be graphing over the month are cumulus, stratus and cirrus. Mrs. Overturf is looking for a small aquarium. She is considering a new pet anole for the classroom.

No parent left behind? Law's promises prove elusive
WASHINGTON As the mother of three black children, Loraine Carter wanted to know how minority students were doing in her suburban Philadelphia district. She uncovered even more: the powers promised to today's public school parents.

Most parents raise, spend money for schools, poll finds
WASHINGTON The three-campus Capitol Hill Cluster School needed it all: paper, paint, ink cartridges, locker parts and those little metal glides to fix wobbly chairs.

KPC students take plea for more funding plea Legislature
The following story is brought to you by KPC Student Union Communications Officer John Lagoutaris. John interviewed his fellow student onion officers after their recent trip to the Alaska State Legislature and here is their story, in John's words:

Farm Bureau to offer scholarships
The Alaska Farm Bureau will award two $1,500 scholarships to students who are entering an agricultural or natural resources field.

100 years of Seuss
From the front of the building to staff members and students decked out in "Cat in the Hat" costumes, Soldotna Elementary School was undoubtedly celebrating the 100th anniversary Tuesday of the birth of Theodor S. Geisel, known to millions as Dr. Seuss.

Sterling Elementary
On Friday, classes were visited by Paula Mohler and Kris Rose from Dr. Tom Kobylarz's office. They talked to the students about dental health and hygiene. They emphasized the importance of brushing and flossing. The staff and students would like to thank them for their time and information.

Peninsula Grace Preschool
The students enjoyed sharing their Winnie the Pooh things.

Aurora Borealis
The kindergarten class has begun studying Australia.

Kenai Cooperative Preschool
The preschoolers finished up the week "All Things Prehistoric Dinosaurs."

Redoubt Elementary
Turn off your TV week ends Sunday. Evening activities planned are family science night from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the gym and the Imaginarium Science Festival from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday.

Grace Lutheran
Cara Zarnstoff, a sophomore majoring in elementary education at Martin Luther College, spent the past week in the upper-grade classroom as part of her field experience. She assisted the class with cross-country skiing, accompanied them on the piano during music class and taught various classes.

Nikiski Elementary
There will be a joint Nikiski PTA-North Star PTO meeting at 4 p.m. today at Nikiski Elementary in the music room. The topic of discussion will be whether the new school should have a PTA or a PTO. All parents are encouraged to attend.

Cook Inlet Academy
The preschool classes made homemade fishing poles for an ice fishing adventure at Scout Lake. Many students caught fish and cooked their prize catch for dinner. The class thanks the Millers for hosting the outing.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
There will be parent training at 2:40 p.m. Thursday in the Title 1 room. The "Fear Factor" style Student in Good Standing activity will be Friday. The site council will meet at 3 p.m. Monday.

Kenai Central High
The staff would like to congratulate Anna Krismer, Manu Leppert, Rachael Uponen, Jon Sanchez, Kayla Kiech, Maddie Moore, Adam DeMello and Hannah Watkins, who represented the school in the ASAA State World Languages Declamation Contest in Anchorage on Feb. 21. It was the first time in 10 years a Kenai Peninsula team has participated.

Molly Hootch Hymes recalls famous Native education case
ANCHORAGE Molly Hootch Hymes' name is synonymous with the struggle for equal education in rural Alaska.

Kenai Middle
Trevor Schaffner and Jennifer Sassi were our General Mills Box Tops winners this week. They won a dollar coupon to the school store.

North Star Elementary
The school forensics meet was Feb. 24. The staff would like to thank the students who participated and volunteer judges, Donna Rooper, Colleen Wik and Laura Rooper for their time.

Connections
The staff would like to congratulate the Alaska state Battle of the Books winners third- and fourth-grade team of Hope Steffensen, John Shirley, Jesse Sandoz and Mika Morton. Their coach was Marti Shirley.

Manning gets record deal as teams prepare for free agency
Peyton Manning got a record new contract Tuesday, solving a major salary cap problem for the Indianapolis Colts on a day most NFL teams also cleared cap room for free agency.

Kards take two from Cats
Tuesday night was senior night at Skyview High School, but it was Kenai Central's seniors that prevailed in tight Region III/4A boys and girls contests.

Sundin powers Leafs past Bruins
TORONTO Mats Sundin scored twice to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat Boston 3-2 Tuesday night and move ahead of the Bruins atop the Northeast Division.

Legace backstops Red Wings win
DETROIT Manny Legace made 28 saves to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

Free throw helps Hawks rally past Lakers
ATLANTA Jason Terry's free throw with 11.9 seconds left put Atlanta ahead, and Gary Payton and Shaquille O'Neal missed last-second shots as the Hawks rallied for a 94-93 victory Tuesday night over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Alaska Sportswriters Prep Basketball Poll
The Alaska Sportswriters Prep Basketball Poll with team, first-place votes in parentheses, record through Feb. 28 and total poll points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Report: Bonds, others received steroids
Barry Bonds walked silently through the San Francisco Giants' bustling clubhouse. Asked about a report that he had received steroids and human growth hormone from a nutritional supplements lab implicated in a drug-distribution ring, Bonds softly replied: ''Get out of my locker.''

Eagles land Kearse, Redskins stay active in free agent market
The Philadelphia Eagles one-upped Daniel Snyder and the Washington Redskins, outbidding them for defensive end Jevon Kearse on the first day of the free-agency signing period.

St. Joe's still undefeated
PHILADELPHIA Un-de-feat-ed!

James nets 24 on bobblehead night
CLEVELAND LeBron James scored 24 points in three quarters and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 17, and the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to a 112-80 win Wednesday night over the Atlanta Hawks.

Georgia Tech snaps Duke's home win streak
DURHAM, N.C. Luke Schenscher scored 14 points Wednesday night to lead No. 19 Georgia Tech to a 76-68 victory that ended No. 3 Duke's 41-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation.

Union upset over Baker signing ban
''It is outrageous for the NBA to prevent Vin Baker from signing with any NBA club,'' union director Billy Hunter said. ''The league's action is a clear admission that Vin is not only fit to play professional basketball, but there are numerous teams willing to sign him today.''

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