Friday, March 12, 2004

Lawmakers: Congress will crack down on steroids if baseball doesn't
WASHINGTON Sen. John McCain told the baseball players' association Wednesday that Congress will step in unless the union agrees to toughen the sport's steroid-testing rules.

Rising interest rates could squeeze profits
NEW YORK (AP) No one expects interest rates to stay at near rock-bottom levels forever, but there are plenty of companies probably hoping that they don't rise anytime soon.

Nostalgic boomers turn scrapbooks into big-time business
NEW YORK For Lisa Tantillo, preserving memories of herself, friends and family meant throwing photos in a big box. But since her twins were born three years ago, the Westport, Conn., resident has become what the scrapbooking industry describes as a serious cropper.

Boomers aim to preserve memories and help fuel scrapbooking business
NEW YORK (AP) For Lisa Tantillo, preserving memories of herself, friends and family meant throwing photos in a big box. But since her twins were born three years ago, the Westport, Conn., resident has become what the scrapbooking industry describes as a serious cropper.

EDD contest seeks brightest biz ideas
In an attempt to discover economic ideas people may have, the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District has launched a new contest and is planning an "opportunities forum" at Kenai Peninsula College next month.

Markets fall as investors continue stock sell-off
NEW YORK Stocks tumbled Wednesday for the third straight session as investors, increasingly adopting a defensive strategy, bailed out of technology and other higher-risk shares. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 160 points and other major indexes also dropped sharply.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set scheduleUniversity of Alaska president to speak in HomerIntroduction to hormones seminar offeredEntrepreneurship and banking workshop scheduledWeb site development workshop offeredInstitute offers scholarships to architectural studentsExporter of the Year nominations soughtInternet companies sue spam suspects

Robot guard dog has plenty of byte
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) A new household robot guardian won't do the laundry or fix dinner. But the vacuum-cleaner-sized gizmo will instantly notify its master of burglars, fires and gas leaks.

Many find ARMs a good alternative to fixed-rate mortgages
NEW YORK (AP) When Meredith Klein bought her first home earlier this month, she decided against a traditional fixed-rate mortgage.

Winter king tournament set to begin in Homer
HOMER Right between the frightening realization that a late winter snowfall could mean more shoveling and that first gulp of air laced with the sour scent of breakup, there is Homer's Winter King Salmon Tournament, on March 20.

Physician remedies fishing-related injuries
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) Ever notice how little sympathy you get if you happen to mention your arm is sore from so much fly fishing? Now, at last, there's someone who feels your pain. Or, at least, he knows how much it hurts.

Families of mushers cheer from home
Between their sponsors, friends and legions of adoring fans, Kenai Peninsula mushers competing in this year's Iditarod have a lot of people cheering them on, but none more so than their families.

Buser entertains in Cripple
CRIPPLE Martin Buser ate beef stew over rice Thursday, while giving his dog team a long rest and entertaining friends with a story of a strange occurrence on the Iditarod trail.

Swingley scratches with eye trouble
TAKOTNA Four-time winner Doug Swingley, blinded in one eye, dropped out of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday.

Kasilof's Mackeys among four sets of brothers running in the Iditarod
TAKOTNA Dick Mackey has a challenge for any man big enough to try to break his Iditarod record.

Anti-smokers call for R-rating against smoking in movies
LOS ANGELES If Nicolas Cage lights a cigarette in a movie, Hollywood's ratings board should respond as if he used a profanity, according to authors of a new study that criticizes glamorous images of smoking in movies rated for children under 17.

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

Art Briefs
Arts summit to be heldLogo design contest announcedStudents' stories, photos wantedSolstice festival T-shirt design wantedContest entry deadline coming upArt workshops offeredAssault awareness writing contest heldChurch soliciting for religious art entriesStatewide poetry contest announcedOilers hold mascot naming contest

Tiny Native village produces epic stories
Nikolski, population 34, on Umnak Island in the Aleutians, is one of Alaska's smallest and most isolated communities.

Ballet avoids complications to let dancers shine through
With 60 years experience as a dancer, dance instructor and choreographer, there isn't much in the realm of dance that Norma Cooper hasn't seen or done before, but for her new show, "Les Sylphides," she has managed to come up with something different.

Alan Jackson collects leading 8 ACM nods
LOS ANGELES Singer Alan Jackson, who received a leading eight Academy of Country Music nominations Wednesday, can justify celebrating as early as he wants because as the title of his hit song tells listeners ''It's Five O'Clock Somewhere.''

Major theme of 'The Passion' not violence, but truth, love
There has been much discussion in our culture and churches above the movie, "The Passion of the Christ." The highly popular movie is a moving, authentic and powerful representation of the events surrounding Christ's death, showing in a stark way the brutality and humiliation that Jesus endured on our behalf.

Here's why women should have access to safe, legal abortions
A woman who becomes pregnant and who does not want to be pregnant has an unwanted pregnancy and, logically, an unwanted child. Without researching the precise statistics, if in fact they exist, let's assume that, if the option of abortion is not available, this unwanted pregnancy becomes over the nine-month period a "wanted" pregnancy/child by the mother in 50 percent of the time or 60 percent or 70 percent. The remaining percentage of pregnancies, it seems logical, would result in an unwanted child.

Marriage intended to be union between man and woman
I know this issue hasn't come to much attention locally, but I have to respond to the national media regarding gay marriage.

Alaskans need to take stand now before state's last dime is spent
Our legislators and the governor continue their push to grab more money, with no real cuts proposed to the bureaucracy.

'Passion' did not offend viewer; letter about Gibson's film did
Re: Mr. Walters' letter printed March 2: His views of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" were extremely one sided. I also viewed the film and did not find my intelligence insulted. I was happy to finally view a non-sugar coated film of Christ's final three days. I didn't "feel sorry," nor did I "pity" him as you stated. My spirituality was strengthened more than ever. I was able to finally see and feel what I've read and meditated on for years.

Simple solution to making sure computer voting not fraudulent
Despite evidence that computer voting machines are vulnerable to fraud and accidents

Senior citizens need to let officials know how cuts are hurting them
This is intended as a heads-up notice to all senior citizens and friends to let your voice be heard in Juneau. Let the governor, senators and representatives know that what they are doing to the senior citizens of Alaska is discrimination and we are not sitting down doing nothing, we will be heard.

School activities not just about students; vote affects community
It has come to my attention that no one has spoken out about Proposition No. 1 on the March mail-out ballot. This proposition will determine whether there will be extracurricular activities next year. A yes vote might increase land tax ($50 for every $100,000 of owned land) and support extracurricular activities.

Enforcing river regs not easy
An Alaska State Parks ranger told the Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee on Wednesday that fully enforcing fisheries, boating safety and other rules and regulations on the Kenai River is virtually impossible.

Photo feature: Clearing the view
Jay Vienup cleans windows on the Klauder & Co. Architects building on the bluff in Kenai on Thursday afternoon.

Former Alaskan accused of spying for Iraq
NEW YORK A former Seattle-area journalist and congressional press secretary was arrested Thursday, accused of working as a paid agent for the Iraqi spy system blamed for terrorist plots including the attempted assassination of President George H.W. Bush.

Future bright for Alaska gas line, says board CEO
The growing world market for natural gas promises a bright future for a gas pipeline project in Alaska, the head of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority said Wednesday. The comments came a few days ahead of an important public meeting of the authority board scheduled in Kenai on Monday.

'Hobo Jim' to entertain soldiers in Afghanistan
The musical sound of the Alaska frontier will fill the high country of Afghanistan next month when "Hobo Jim" Varsos takes his one-person show to soldiers of the Army's 501st Parachute Infantry.

House agrees to ask feds to appeal Tustumena ruling
The Alaska House or Representatives approved a measure late Wednesday afternoon asking the federal Department of Interior to challenge a recent decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal that effectively bans a long-running salmon-stocking program in Lake Tustumena.

Village fair offers prescription for healthier living
With a full slate of events planned, the ninth annual Kenai Peninsula Village Fair is all set to fill area residents' prescription for health-related activities.

Kucinich delays visit
Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who was scheduled to visit Kenai on Friday, postponed the trip due to medical problems, according to a Kenai campaign representative.

Alaskans remember Lindauer
ANCHORAGE The woman accused of working for the Iraqi intelligence agency is the daughter of John Lindauer, a former Alaska gubernatorial candidate whose campaign disintegrated under legal scrutiny.

Homer man arraigned on child pornography charges
A Homer man was arraigned in Kenai Superior Court on Wednesday on 30 counts of possession of child pornography.

Photo feature: Clearing out
Iris Tressler sends the snow flying at the end of her driveway on Aliak Drive in Kenai on Wednesday afternoon. Forecasters are calling for rain and snow showers today, turning to snow tongiht and Friday. Temperatures are expected to range from lows in the teens to highs in the mid-30s throughout the weekend.

Mildred Yarmak
Lifelong Alaskan Mildred Yarmak died Tuesday, March 9, 2004, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. She was 71.

Lola T. Turner
Kenai resident Lola T. Turner died Wednesday, March 10, 2004, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. She was 68.

Beatrice Lou Stanford
Lifelong Kenai resident Beatrice Lou Stanford died Wednesday, March 10, 2004, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 73.

Beatrice Lou Stanford
Lifelong Alaskan and Kenai resident Beatrice Lou Stanford died Wednesday, March 10, 2004, after a long battle with lung cancer at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. She was 73.

Propostion No. 1 can be seen from all sides
As with any good subject that is open to public debate, Proposition No. 1 School District Cocurricular Activities Funding has strengths and weaknesses. Because the subject includes intellectual activities such as drama and debate, I would like to present the subject in the dramatic format of a debate.

Parents need access to kids' library records
Have you ever wondered when in history it was decided that librarians' views on privacy somehow trumped parents rights? Were you at that meeting? We missed it.

School activities help students form healthier lifestyles
A national news story from earlier this

Fish and Game schedules bear baiting clinics
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has scheduled three black bear baiting clinics on the Kenai P

Goats when most people hear the word they think of a mischievous little mammal that prowls petting zoos looking to literally chew the shirt off of a child's back, but to Vicki Wood goats mean a heck of a lot more.

Forest detective searches for 'animal pollen' to document peninsula's past
Animal pollen? There is no such thing; flowers not animals produce pollen. OK, but let's ask if animals could produce something like pollen, is there some kind of "pollen analogue" for animals?

Around the Peninsula
Healthy Communities meeting slatedCPCS board to meetMembers sought for drum groupKPC seeking representativesHistorical society to meetGreco to speak at Solid RockBlood bank schedules driveAssociation to discuss harvest proposalsFish and game advisory group to meet

Around the Peninsula
Volunteers needed for restoration project TAG meeting slated Village Fair set for Saturday Developmental screening offered Coal bed methane seminar set Wolf to hold town hall meeting Little League to begin registration Community Schools to host talent show Food bank hold nutrition classes

Does it matter whether ''under God'' remains in the Pledge of Allegiance?
Does it matter whether the Pledge of Allegiance proclaims that the indivisible American republic is ''under God''?

Ex-Milwaukee archbishop withdraws from service following objections
MILWAUKEE (AP) A Roman Catholic church has canceled plans for retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland to administer the sacrament of confirmation after parishioners objected and threatened to protest.

Best-selling Christian author declares: 'It's Not About Me'
SAN ANTONIO (AP) To millions of readers, he's a writer whose personal anecdotes help connect ordinary Christians to God. To thousands at his church, he's an honest, humble preacher.

Everyone could use some coaching, empowerment from Christ
The following is in response to an article, "Coach's Dream," I read in the Peninsula Clarion on Feb. 17. I was captivated by some parallel thoughts concerning our response to God's coaching of his children.

Syria to bar foreign students from studying Islam in private schools
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) Syria will no longer allow foreign students to study Islam and Islamic law in private schools, according to instructions handed down by the Interior Ministry.

Episcopal leader opposes ban on gay marriage in U.S. Constitution
LONDON (AP) The leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church said he opposed any proposals to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Hundreds help remove anti-Semitic graffiti from Denver synagogue
DENVER (AP) About 300 people of different faiths turned out to clean a synagogue vandalized with swastikas and Nazi symbols on the eve of the Jewish holiday Purim.

Vatican calls for respect for Jews among instructions for bishops
VATICAN CITY (AP) The Vatican issued instructions for bishops Tuesday that included a reminder that Jews should be treated with respect as ''elder brothers'' to avert anti-Semitism, and that priests should be properly educated about the Jewish religion.

Church Briefs
Youth service planned Lenten breakfasts continue Matrix to feature Family Feud Women Aglow look at St. Pats Day Sterling Bible class begins Life class under way Easter program practice held Nikiski women hold Bible study Religious art sought Clothes2Go open Wednesdays, Fridays

Peninsula trail conditions
Conditions this week on Peninsula ski trails.

Still plenty of good skiing left on peninsula
Decent cross-country skiing is still hanging on across the Kenai Peninsula.

Region III/4A basketball tournament
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at Wasilla High School

Sports Briefs
CIA girls, boys to play at 6 p.m. FridayTeam Alaska has a down day

Alaska Sportswriters Prep Basketball Poll
The Alaska Sportswriters Prep Basketball Poll, compiled by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through games of March 7 and total poll points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Bertuzzi suspended for rest of season, Canucks fined by league
TORONTO Todd Bertuzzi is done for the season, suspended Thursday by an NHL intent on sending the message that it won't tolerate premeditated attacks on the ice.

Peninsula's Region III/4A squads look to unseat Northern Division
Colony, Wasilla and Palmer the three schools from the Matanuska-Susitna valleys have traditionally had the upper hand in claiming the three berths both boys and girls teams can earn to the state tournament at the Region III/4A tournament.

St. Joe's suffers first loss
DAYTON, Ohio From perfect to pummeled.

Kenai boys, Homer girls notch region tournament wins
Kenai senior Geoffrey Gemmel hit a 10-foot jumper at the buzzer Thursday to give Kenai a 61-59 victory over Colony in the first round of the Region III/4A basketball tournament at Wasilla High School.

District 3/3A basketball tournament
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at Grace Christian, Anchorage

NHL on a death watch
One of these days, the National Hockey League will finally get it.

Nikiski squads triumph in District 3/3A openers
The Nikiski girls and boys basketball teams picked up victories Thursday in the first round of the District 3/3A basketball tournament at Grace Christian School in Anchorage.

Nikiski, Seward shoot for District 3/3A title, trip to state tournament
When the District 3/3A tournament tips off today at Grace Christian School in Anchorage, the Nikiski boys will be looking to try and get to state despite the absence of star senior guard Jeremiah Taylor.

Mobley scores 31 as Rockets beat Hornets
HOUSTON Cuttino Mobley scored 31 points and equaled a season high with six 3-pointers as the Houston Rockets beat the New Orleans Hornets 97-86 for their fourth straight victory Thursday night.

Sugar Shane Mosley is plenty sweet, but his moment is still to come
Sugar Ray Robinson was arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter ever, and Sugar Ray Leonard was no slouch, either. Sugar Ray Seales won a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics.

Penguins win fourth straight
TORONTO Ric Jackman, Rico Fata and Aleksey Morozov scored against backup Trevor Kidd, and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their season-high fourth straight with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

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