Friday, March 5, 2004

Team Alaska remains in 3rd place
Team Alaska remained in third place Thursday afternoon at the 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The Yukon team led the Games with 62 medals, while Northern Alberta was ranked second with 56. Team Alaska had earned a total of 55 ulu medals, including 18 gold, 19 silver and 18 bronze

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

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.

Peninsula residents absorb details during stay in Fort McMurray
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta, Canada -- Hosting the Arctic Winter Games requires planning. It takes people. And it probably calls for more than a little passion.

Oil industry primary player in this year's Arctic Winter Games
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta, Canada -- Residents in Fort McMurray have spent years preparing to host the 2004 Arctic Winter Games, and their efforts are coming to fruition this week.

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.

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.

I-Rod, Tejada have new teams beaming
Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Tejada wasted no time in getting started on helping turn around losing teams.

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

Financial planning has extra twists for gay boomers
NEW YORK (AP) As retirement draws nearer for baby boomer couples, many are scrambling to understand insurance, investments, Social Security and wills. For those who are in same-sex relationships, the difficulties multiply.

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.

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.

What's really driving stock buybacks?
NEW YORK (AP) Stock buybacks seem like they can only be a boon to investors they boost share prices and give each remaining shareholder a bigger piece of the corporate pie.

Individual Retirement Accounts created 30 years ago
NEW YORK (AP) Happy 30th birthday to the Individual Retirement Account.

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

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.

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

Ramy's on the run again
FAIRBANKS Ramy Brooks has been counting every second as he tries to take the final step into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner's circle. Brooks has long been a spectacle at the checkpoints of long-distance races as he maniacally but methodically beds down his dogs, tends to their injuries and prepares a meal.

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?

Warren is oldest Iditarod rookie
ANCHORAGE Jim Warren's crystal ball was cloudy the day his wife spotted a musher driving a truck down a Michigan road, the dogs peeking out from a box in the back.

Winning tradition
The tiny town of Ninilchik had reason to celebrate this week, as one of their own returned from Anchorage with the title of champion.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Borough investment should have had better return
Re: The story in the Peninsula Clarion of Feb. 24 headlined "Borough investment pays off": An investment of $75 million should have a better return than 1.7 percent.

Guides take issue with story in 'Changing Times' section
The Kenai River Professional Guide Associ-ation would like to express disappointment in Matt Tunseth's Feb. 26 article entitled, "It's not all fish and fun." Every other article in the Clarion's "Changing Times on the Kenai Peninsula" section casts a positive light on local industries, using optimistic titles such as, "Branding project revitalizing inlet fishing industry," "Wild places boost economy," "Mixing up own recipe for success" and "Real estate moves at healthy pace," while our industry is summed up by Mr. Tunseth with "It's not all fish and fun."

Alaska, America need 4 more years with President George W. Bush
Alaska's future is in the hands of our next president. President George W. Bush supports opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and developing Alaska assets for Alaskans. John Kerry opposes using our resources to help ourselves.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

New NASCAR rules to get first true test in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. The preliminaries are over. Now it's time to see if NASCAR's rules changes will make as much difference as the sport hopes.

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.

Soldotna man still missing
Alaska State Troopers are continuing efforts to find Richard Hills, the Soldotna man whose abandoned truck was found last week on Kenai Keys Road in Sterling.

Smart move, quick response save home
A smart move by a Soldotna man and a quick response by Central Emergency Services combined to save a $170,000 house at Marydale Avenue and Fireweed Street from burning Thursday afternoon.

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.

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.

Council debates change in taxes
At least one member of the Kenai City Council believes it's time for a change to the city's tax structure.

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.

Valerie Jean Page
Kenai resident Valerie Jean Page died Wednesday, March 3, 2004, after a long struggle with cancer at her home. She was 66.

Adrian Reeve Doxsee
Kenai resident Adrian Reeve Doxsee died Monday, March 2, 2004, of hypothermia on Skilak Lake near Sterling. He was 55.

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

Carl Henry Wetzel
Kenai resident Carl Henry Wetzel died Wednesday, March 3, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 75.

Management initiative would eliminate divided loyalties, not produce cronies
The Murkowski administration has introduced legislation designed to create a long-term, professional managerial class of state employees, free from the divided loyalt

Peninsula cheering for its 9 hometown mushers in Iditarod
The Iditarod. The last great race on earth. "A race extraordinaire," says the Iditarod Trail Committee.

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.

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.

Race for White House now begins in earnest
The race for the Democratic nomination for president ended Tuesday night. Sen. John Kerry won convincingly in most of the 10 states holding primaries New York among them. More important than his victories, perhaps, was the word that his main rival, Sen. John Edwards, would quit the race.

Artificial reef provides habitat for exploration
JUNEAU The divers love it and the marine life seems to be enjoying it too. Since the October sinking of the 48-foot motorsailor Rikki Tikki off Auke Village Recreation Area, Alaska's first artificial reef has taken on a life of its own.

Refuge sponsors birding hotline
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is sponsoring a hotline for rare or interesting bird sightings. If you have spotted a rare bird or would like to hear what other bird watchers have seen recently, call 262-2300.

Volunteers sought to patrol Chugach
Trail ranger volunteers are being sought to assist backcountry trail rangers in providing information to the public about recreational opportunities and regulations, cleaning c

Burning issue: Alaska's take on fire management differs from other states'
I moved to Alaska from Colorado in 1991, and it wasn't long before I realized Alaskans do things differently than folks in other parts of the country. But if there is a conscious effort by Alaskans to be different, I'm not aware of it.

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

Around the Peninsula
League plans meeting Parenting workshop set Community science evening planned Peace choir slide show scheduled Kids invited to cheer camp Young women's conference slated for Saturday Church to hold dinner Nikiski talent show slated

Judge says Kansas university doesn't have to remove statue deemed anti-Catholic
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) Washburn University doesn't have to remove a controversial statue criticized as offensive to Roman Catholics, a federal judge ruled.

Facing abuse allegation, Albany bishop fights back in public
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard has never shied away from a fight, and now the spiritual leader of 400,000 Roman Catholics in upstate New York is waging an unusually public campaign against sexual misconduct allegations to save his career

Civil liberties union sues over Minnesota Ten Commandments display
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union has sued to remove a 7-foot-tall Ten Commandments monument that has stood outside City Hall since 1957, saying it violates church-state separation.

Russian forum to promote religious tolerance leaves out certain faiths
MOSCOW (AP) Hundreds of religious leaders from former Soviet republics held a meeting this week intended to increase religious tolerance, but the session excluded faiths regarded as nontraditional.

Milwaukee church where sex abuse occurred is rededicated
MILWAUKEE (AP) A Roman Catholic parish where a man said he was sexually abused as a teen decades ago held a Sunday rededication ceremony to cleanse it of sin.

Gay Episcopal bishop declines all overseas speeches
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson is avoiding all speeches outside the United States until a commission finishes studying the effect of his consecration as the Anglican Communion's first openly gay leader.

Church Briefs
Sterling Bible class begins Messianic group to host Purim Party Lenten breakfasts continue Matrix to feature Family Feud Purpose-Driven Life class under way Religious art sought Nikiski women hold Bible study Easter program practice held Clothes2Go open

Maryland Muslims want schools to close on two religious holidays
TOWSON, Md. (AP) Some Muslim parents, students and activists are lobbying for Baltimore County's school board to cancel classes on their two chief holidays.

Even believers can drift away from word of God if not careful
"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip," says Hebrews 2:1, King James version.

Former Khmer Rouge soldiers turn to new Brother No. 1: Jesus Christ
ANLONG VENG, Cambodia (AP) During his three decades with Cambodia's infamous Khmer Rouge, Ung Khorn planted land mines, set booby traps and led 200 soldiers into battle killing an untold number of people.

Skiers getting soft (trails)
Thanks to temperatures at and above freezing and wet, fresh snow, the ski trails have been soft this week on the Kenai Peninsula.

Condition of local ski trails
Conditions of peninsula ski trails

SI strikes again
The first thing I noticed when the Alaska installment of Sports Illustrated's "50 States in 50 Weeks" arrived in the office was that the musher on the cover wrap, identified as 2003 Iditarod winner Robert Sorlie, was not, in fact, Sorlie.

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.

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.

Nikolaevsk boys top Homer Christian
The Nikolaevsk boys high school basketball team defeated Homer Christian 61-33 Tuesday in a District 3/2A game at Nikolaevsk.

Ninilchik girls top Nenana
The Ninilchik girls, the top-ranked team in Class 2A, overcame a 24-11 halftime deficit Thursday night to defeat Nenana 40-32 in nonconference action at Ninilchik.

Leetch makes impact in win over Islanders
TORONTO Newcomer Brian Leetch had three assists in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Stanford adds drama to perfect season
PULLMAN, Wash. Matt Lottich knew he was out of time, so he simply came up shooting.

Woods feeling the heat at Dubai Desert Classic
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Tiger Woods has the $3 million appearance fee at the Dubai Desert Classic. Little-known Bradley Dredge of Wales has the lead.

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.

Seward boys lose to Nome
The Seahawks dropped a nondistrict game to Nome 78-52 Tuesday in Seward.

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.

NHL trading frenzy continues as deadline nears
Three teams fighting for playoff position acquired centers Thursday, five days before the NHL trade deadline.

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.

Kings throttle Sixers
PHILADELPHIA Peja Stojakovic scored 22 of his 27 points in the first half and Chris Webber had 24 points and 10 assists, leading the Sacramento Kings to a 114-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

San Francisco trades Owens to Ravens
Terrell Owens is now Brian Billick's problem and the star receiver the Baltimore Ravens have never had.

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