Thursday, March 9, 2006

Alaska not bumped from volleyball play yet, despite challenges fielding boys team
Putting together a boys volleyball team in a state that doesn’t have boys volleyball at any level can be a challenge. Fortunately for Team Alaska, the Arctic Winter Games tournament includes five round robin games before medal-round play begins Thursday.

Speed skater has breathless finish
Determination pulled a speed skater to the finish line despite an asthma attack that caused her to collapse twice before finishing the race Tuesday.

Cool hobby is in high demand
Making a curling sheet out of a hockey rink is both a science and an art.

Spirited exhibit
As the athletes and visitors scuttle back to their respective Northern communities, there is a piece of Arctic Winter Games history that will be a visible reminder for the city of Kenai. The Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center is the first venue for the Alaska State Museum’s Arctic Winter Games exhibit.

Reporters’ Notebook
Editor’s note: The Reporters’ Notebook is an opportunity for Clarion reporters to share their experiences with our readers as they cover the 2006 Arctic Winter Games.

Kenai Peninsula Online - Alaska Newspaper -

Tuesday Ulu winners
Alpine skiing Cross-country skiing Dog mushing Figure skating Gymnastics Snowboarding Snowshoeing Speed skating

Reporters’ Notebook
Editor’s note: The Reporters’ Notebook is an opportunity for Clarion reporters to share their experiences with our readers as they cover the 2006 Arctic Winter Games.

Nice ice
From the frozen tip of North America to the end of the road, the tight-knit curling community is getting tighter and expanding at the same time this week in Homer.

Games competitors speak language of sports
When it comes to communication, sports seem to be the great equalizer.

International media descend on Kenai Peninsula to capture Arctic Winter Games action
There are 1,900 athletes and coaches from nine regions of the world on the Kenai Peninsula for the Arctic Winter Games this week. That’s news. That’s why there are 218 members of the media here, to send that news back to their listeners, readers and viewers around the circumpolar world.

Wednesday Ulu winners
Alpine skiing Dene games Gymnastics Snowboarding Snowshoe biathlon

Alpine ambition
Epic.

Games cuisine — nachos, pizza and whale blubber
Contestants and visitors in Kenai and Soldotna are getting their fill of local cuisine this week.

Focus on: Snowboarding
· Goal of game: Giant slalom competitors race against the clock on a course set for speed. Bordercross combines aspects of freestyle and Alpine racing, with competitors navigating a giant slalom course with banked turns, jumps and other features. Slope-style is similar to halfpipe, but is performed in a series of jumps and stunts over obstacles in the terrain park. Halfpipe competitors try to score judges’ points in a half-cylinder-shaped course (much like ramps in a skateboard park) by performing tricks with perfect form.

Games athletes take to the stage to display cultural heritages
As spectators watch the many Arctic Winter Games athletes, from the skiers hidden behind masks to the speed skaters all uniformly suited in spandex, it can be easy to forget that each athlete represents a unique cultural heritage.

Mother prime figure in skater’s success
Kathy Turner first watched her daughter toddle around on ice skates when she was 3 years old, and over the 11 years since then has watched the young girl evolve into a graceful figure skater with dreams of one day entering the Olympics.

In their blood
The Arctic Winter Games has both athletic and cultural components. In some venues, the two components are one and the same.

What team is that?
As you wander around town during the Arctic Winter Games seeing new faces, you may wonder how you can tell what teams those faces represent. Team Alaska is easy enough to identify, as their jackets say “Team Alaska” on the back in yellow writing with bright Northern Lights. What about the rest of them? Below you’ll find a listing of the colors found on each team’s jacket.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedules Canned food drive events planned Small business workshop planned Seafood training available Builders seek entries for Parade Natural gas authority to meet Tax refunds available

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

Around the Peninsula
Art for kids classes planned Quilt competition winners announced Stained glass classes offered Irish dance class planned Young writers, performers have chance to play Kids’ art wanted Arts scholarships available Carving workshops slated Dance club seeks members Storytellers wanted LeeShore Center sponsors design contest Writers contest accepting submissions Winter drama camp announced Kenai photos wanted

Film festival adds nice touch to Games
The Arctic Winter Games are upon us. Actually, by the time you read this, they’ll nearly be over, but from my point of view, they stretch out to a seemingly endless horizon. It feels as though nearly every entity on the Kenai Peninsula, from tourist organizations to quickie lube places, have been gearing up for the games. There’s sporting events, plays and even a film festival (aha! there’s the relevance.)

Organizers give warm thanks for support on cold day
The organizers of the second annual She Can Ski event extend a warm thank you to the following businesses and individuals for their support: Beemun’s, Wilderness Way, Lee Johnson, Skyview High School ski team, Peninsula Clarion, Gourmet Garden, KSRM and Kaladi Brothers. Also, many thanks for the support, time and energy of Paul Gutzler, Sherri Karnikas, Jeff Fox, Karen Brewer-Fair, Patti Berkhan, Betty Miller, Bill Holt, Pete Sprague, Tom Seggerman, John Harro, Jon Lillevik, Renae Merkes, Gail Moore, Sara Hepner, Dan Skipwith, Chris Banas, Paul Dale, Roger Boyd, David Gibbs, Doug Baxter and Ole Anderson.

Resources worth more
Here is a question I recently posed to the governor:

Reader: Labeling regs should remain under local, state control
Local regulations concerning the labeling of food must be retained. The federal government does not exist to pre-empt states’ rights and local laws. Everything the federal government touches has the unfortunate habit of becoming a plaything of large corporations for their exclusive use and profit to the detriment of the welfare of average citizens.

Reader: Actions earn Bush new title
Turning over control of some of our countries largest ports to a foreign government is just one more item in a seemingly endless line of blunders and mismanagement by the Bush administration. From lying to Americans to justifying starting a war with Iraq, lying to Congress about the true costs of the Medicare program, illegal spying on Americans and lying about that, complete lack of leadership during Hurricane Katrina, the War on Terra, burdening our country with massive unprecedented debt, the list goes on and on and on.

Boy, 8, dies in crash
A boy died and four people were taken to the hospital after a sport utility vehicle spun out of control and into oncoming traffic at Mile 74 of the Seward Highway on Wednesday.

Study: Alaska feels greater impacts from global warming
Although the one-degree increase in the Earth’s overall temperature in the last 50 years may not sound like enough to work up a sweat over, it’s enough to trigger erratic weather patterns, extinctions and increasing sea levels.

Unocal workers keeping jobs
Former Union Oil Co. of California employees in Cook Inlet whose jobs were in limbo following the purchase of Unocal by Chevron Oil Corp. last year are going to keep their jobs for awhile and will have some new co-workers this year.

Increase in phone bills will aid emergency response
It costs the Kenai Peninsula Borough much more to operate its emergency communications system than it receives from a surcharge telephone users pay as part of their monthly phone bills.

Budget leads task list for new Kenai city manager
As the city of Kenai heads into budget planning for the next fiscal year, which begins in July, its newly hired city manager does not appear to be looking at too much of a transition period into his new role.

Old oil well may spring to life
Banking that an old capped well may yet give up riches in oil and natural gas, one of Cook Inlet’s relatively new players is set to begin drilling near Anchor Point later this month.

Hospital board nixes money for Health Centers facility
The Central Peninsula General Hospital board of directors denied a $50,000 grant request to build a new facility to serve the under- and uninsured, after the request drew strong opposition from physicians at a board meeting Thursday.

Troy R. Willis
Soldotna resident Troy R. Willis died Saturday, March 4, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 52.

Dora Ann Kamluck
Lifelong Alaskan and Port Graham resident Dora Ann Kamluck died Tuesday, March 7, 2006, at South Peninsula Hospital Long Term Care in Homer. She was 75.

Richard D. ‘Boomer’ Allen
Longtime Sterling resident Richard D. “Boomer” Allen died Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006, at his home, surrounded by his family, after a short battle with cancer. He was 72. A celebration of his life will be held in the spring in Sterling.

City acquisition of private golf course a poor idea
Two points may help qualify the objectivity of the following analysis of the Feb. 11 Clarion article “Soldotna may opt ‘fore’ fun,” a proposal by the city (Tom Boedeker) to purchase the Birchwood Golf Course.

Government reaching in wrong pockets
Assessments are going up while (Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John) Williams whines over proposition 5. It seems that no matter how loudly the people protest, the government gangsters continue to oppress us. The sales tax increase will be back on the ballot in October. Not surprising if we understand the nature of the beast. Like hungry lions, they continue to gnaw and like locusts they just keep coming.

Around the Peninsula
Amnesty International presentation set Counseling service board meeting slated Parenting seminar scheduled Bear baiting clinic planned

Around the Peninsula
Historical society to meet Bee keepers buzzing Ruffner to discuss kayak adventure Skyview to host parent night First aid classes available

Hakkinen 11th in World Cup race
Kasilof’s Jay Hakkinen, 28, maintained the momentum he picked up in the Olympics by placing 11th in the 10-kilometer sprint in World Cup biathlon action in Pokljuka, Slovenia. It is Hakkinen’s fourth top-15 finish this season, bettering his three top 10s last year.

Quilt Challenge ‘Release[s] the Spirit Within’ Local Artists
The excitement of the Arctic Winter Games coming to the Kenai Peninsula wove an idea for local resident, Pat Reese, owner of Robin’s Fabrics. Caught up in the enthusiasm, she asked an official if it would be possible to have a Games Quilt Challenge with an original design that depicted the Games’ slogan.

Team Alaska hockey women ice victory with first win
In the first contest of women’s hockey in the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, Team Alaska was pitted against Team Northwest Territories, during early morning play at the Soldotna Sports Center. At the final buzzer, the score stood at 4-2 in Alaska’s favor.

Without bus transportation, the Games Would Stop
Saturday morning at approximately 8:10 a.m. with temperatures reported at 13 degrees, official Arctic Winter Game bus drivers in orange-transportation attire circled while waiting for the first Boeing 747 to arrive at the Kenai Airport.

Alaska volleyball team unable to dig out from Alberta North
Competition and friendship were part of the volleyball matches on Tuesday when the Alberta North Team boys spiked the Alaska Team in four sets.

Team Alberta tumbles to Gold Ulu in women’s gymnastics
Northern Alberta won the Gold Ulu in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team Competition on Tuesday at Kenai Middle School.

Team Alaska skiers battle snow whipped slalom course to take gold, silver
Two Alaska Team men took home the gold and silver Ulus in the Arctic Winter’s Game men’s slalom event Tuesday at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.

Alberta athletes show how The ‘Spirit Within’ is team spirit and doing your best
“It’s not all about winning, it’s more about doing your best; they all want you to do your best,” is how Curran Speager describes her fellow athletes on the Alberta Team.

Native elders enjoy celebration of traditional values at Games
Many Native elders remember when the traditional skills contested at the Arctic Winter Games were a matter of work and survival. They know the tradition and history behind many of the Inuit and Dene events, such as the pole push or the knuckle hop.

Mt. St. Augustine: Games’ officials prepared to deal with mightiest opponent
About 120 miles southwest of the Arctic Winter Games headquarters, the Games most intimidating opponent could lie in wait. Rising 4,206 feet out of Kachemak Bay near Homer, looms Mt. St. Augustine, a volcano that has recently shown its “spirit within” by unleashing ash and clouds into the skies over the Kenai Peninsula.

Alaska girls jump over Nunavut in basketball
The Alaska girls basketball team’s aggressive play and offensive rebounding led them to a 90-44 win over Nunavut Wednesday at Cook Inlet Academy.

Team Yukon overcomes challenges, hones their Badminton skills at AWG
A fledgling badminton team from the Yukon has come to the Arctic Winter Games to gain a little more of something they lack. Team Yukon’s inexperience may not be evident when they’re on the court, but truth be told, most members have been playing only since last spring.

Curlers in Homer hurry the house as stones hit the button
From the sounds of the stones echoing through the rink, to the vocalizations of the throwing team encouraging teammates to sweep the stone into the house, the Homer Ice Rink has been the stage for extreme curling action since the Games began.

Wrestlers demonstrate extraordinary sportsmanship
The wrestling tournament at the Kenai Recreation Center has been one of the most sportsmen-like competitions Dave Carey has ever seen.

Alyeska Resort yields gold and silver to Team Alaska women
Team Alaska took home gold and silver Ulus in the Arctic Winter Games’ Ladies Slalom competition Tuesday afternoon at Alyeska Resort.

Team Alaska woman ties Alaskan high kick record
Just before the kick, a hush fell over the gymnasium at Kenai Central High School. With a pause and a rocketing leap, Team Alaska’s Tanya Slim from Kipnuk tied the junior women’s Alaskan high kick record of 5’10” and will take home a gold Ulu from Tuesday’s Arctic Winter Games.

Kicking up a storm in two-foot Inuit fashion
Once used for communication and a test of strength and endurance during the winter months in villages, the two-foot high kick has become one of the more popular events at the Arctic Winter Games.

Sportsmanship reigns as Yukon musher races with borrowed team
Yukon dog musher Dylan Salvisberg almost didn’t get to run the races he had come so far to compete in.

Experience not always on winner’s side in Snowshoe matches
There is a wide assortment of experience levels at the snowshoe competitions. Many participants have never been on snowshoes, some have family members that have competed previously while others have years of experience. However, since the snowshoes are the same length, width and weight, there is no equipment advantage when it comes to competitions.

Greenland boys start strong
The Soldotna High School gymnasium was once again the scene of intense competition as Greenland and Nunavut junior males went head-to-head in soccer play.

Figure skaters jump their way to Gold Ulus
Arctic Winter Games figure skating kicked off Tuesday with opening ceremonies at the Soldotna Sports Center. Once the competition had ended, Team Alaska had skated to two gold Ulus while Yamal and Northwest Territories skaters each pocketed a gold.

Tuesday Ulu winners
Alpine skiing Cross-country skiing Dog mushing Figure skating Gymnastics Snowboarding Snowshoeing Speed skating

Dene ancient traditions embodied in Games participants
The Dene Games, part of the Arctic Winter Games, was born from ancient tradition with each of the competitions based on activities once integral to Native village life. The Games are keeping these traditions alive with five sports being contested on the Kenai Peninsula.

Home Sweet Home: A day in the life of a participant
The athletes and participants in the Arctic Winter games live in “villages” quite unlike the villages they call home in the Circumpolar North. However, while they may not look like home, almost all the comforts are available.

‘Want some fries with that?’ Food servers unsung heroes of Games
Saturday marked the arrival of thousands of guests and participants for this year’s Arctic Winter Games, but what a lot of people didn’t consider was how hungry they all were.

Yukon Boys slip past Nunavut on the hardwood
The Yukon boys basketball team snuck away with a 67-65 win Tuesday against Nunavut at Cook Inlet Academy in Soldotna.

Nunavut iced by NWT, but takes loss in stride
The Nunavut midget hockey team may have lost to Team Northwest Territories in midget men’s hockey, but they certainly aren’t showing it.

Good sportsmanship, not Ulu medal count, determines Hodgson’s Trophy winner
The Hodgson’s Trophy is given to the Arctic Winter Games contingent that demonstrates what Webster’s Dictionary defines as “a person (or persons) who can take loss of defeat without complaint, or victory without gloating, and who treats their opponents with fairness, generosity, courtesy.”

AWG Communications Command Center keeps everyone on the same page
From Girdwood to Homer, in the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption or even an avalanche such as the one that occurred last night at Mile 54 of the Seward Highway, communications are the key to responsiveness.

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