Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Selig willing to participate
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball gave a congressional committee about 400 pages of documents on drug testing and said commissioner Bud Selig was willing to testify at Thursday's hearing on steroid use.

Elbow injury shelves Prior
Now the Chicago Cubs have two injured aces. Mark Prior will be out indefinitely because of inflammation in his right elbow, joining fellow fastballer Kerry Wood on the sideline. Wood, slated to start on opening day, is out with bursitis in his right shoulder.

Year out count down begins toward 2006 Arctic Winter Games
With the lyrics of Alaska's Balladeer Hobo Jim ringing in their ears, nearly 300 supporters of the of 2006 Arctic Winter Games departed the Soldotna Sports Center last week anticipating the coming of the greatest sporting event ever to be hosted on the Kenai Peninsula.

Outdoors with John Perkovich
With spring fast approaching I have been trying desperately to enjoy the last of winter. We all have those days when nothing seems to go quite right as we hurry around to do certain projects or prepare for an outdoor adventure.

SoHi to host 2005 Region III Basketball Tournament
The chance to play for the Region III Basketball championship title on your home court is an opportunity that only comes every 8 years. This weekend the Soldotna High School Stars will have the home court advantage as they play host to the 2005 Region III 4A Basketball Tournament at SoHi.

Lightly landing an egg on Planet Earth
No one was thinking about coloring or hunting for eggs last week at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, but rather how to drop a raw egg from some 90 feet above the ground and have it return to earth un-scrambled.

Ohana's offers a touch of the tropics in a frontier setting
Three years ago Willie and Donna Landford followed their dream from the Island of Maui to the Kenai Peninsula and opened a family restaurant formerly known as the Hitching Post, a few miles north of Kenai on the Spur highway.

Tackling back-to-back monsters
UNALAKLEET, Alaska — Haggard and bleary eyed, Lance Mackey didn't expect to keep up with the leaders of the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, he said Monday, hours after front-runner Robert Sorlie left this checkpoint on the windy Western Alaska coast.

Sorlie still setting the pace to Nome
UNALAKLEET, Alaska — Norwegian Robert Sorlie was the first musher to reach Koyuk on Monday night, moving quickly through the coastal village after a 3-minute stop at one of the last checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Sorlie turns for Bering coast with big lead
UNALAKLEET, Alaska — Norwegian Robert Sorlie left the Kaltag checkpoint Sunday morning with a strong lead in the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The question I have for you is this: Has the majority of children's entertainment always been mindless pap, or is it just that I am finally becoming discerning enough to notice it? With a set-up like that, you can probably guess what I thought of this week's CG-extravaganza Robots, but I honestly tried to give it a chance. Granted, I didn't particularly want to go see it and, as we waited through the previews, I wasn't really aching for the movie to start. But once it did, I thought, "Ok. Give it a chance. It might not suck as much as the previews suggest it will." Wrong.

Anchorage visitors should be wary of peninsula gas prices
I am writing this letter to warn our loyal visitors from Anchorage and elsewhere who are planning to visit the Kenai Peninsula.

Tourism tax could be used to help fund government
Mr. Lloyd Schade's March 3 front page comment, that a "bed tax is about as fair as anything you can find." shows an incredible amount of naivety.

Thanks to those who helped peninsula kids show off
A very talented group of young folks performed at the recent 20th anniversary of Showin' Off the Kids, a lip-synching and choreography contest sponsored by Soldotna Community Schools. Showin' Off the Kids is truly a show by kids (contestants K through 8th grade), for kids (audience of kids and their families), and with kids (SoHi Swing Choir).

Arctic Winter Games dinner shows community support
Our communities' generosity never ceases to amaze me. This past Saturday I attended the "One-Year Out" celebration and auction for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games at the Soldotna Sports Center. It was truly a remarkable evening. Not only did the Peninsula communities clear $50,000 for the upcoming Games, the outpouring of excitement and enthusiasm generated for the Games tells me these are going to be the best Arctic Winter Games ever.

Murkowski administration seems intent on killing wolves
Alaska's once exemplary wildlife management system has degenerated into something that is far from responsible stewardship of the resource. Party politicians and a single interest group, the Alaska Outdoor Council, have brought this about. When the founder of the AOC, Ron Somerville, was hired by the Republican majority in 1994 to advise them on wildlife issues the AOC docrine of exploiting big game animals, to benefit mostly urban sport hunters, became the norm.

Changes need to be made to borough's appeal process
"... people can file a formal appeal at a fee of $30 if the property value is less than $100,000; $100 if the value is between $100,000 and $499,999; $200 is the value is between $500,000 and $1.99 million; and $1,000 if the value exceeds $2 million ... If the appeal results in a reduction in the assessed value ... the appeal fee is refunded."

Juneau playing dangerous game with rest of Alaska
Juneau can play a game of chicken with the rest of Alaska and the state Legislature and win being the capitol of Alaska forever.

Foreign exchange dinner wentwell thanks to local support
AFS would to thank all those who attended our international dinner. Our annual fundraising dinner is used to provide scholarships to our local AFS students who wish to go abroad on a student exchange. AFS would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to these local businesses and organizations who contributed to our international dinner: 4-H Junior Market Livestock, Country Foods, Kenai Vision, Country Liquor, Peterkins Distributors, Safeway Kenai, Safeway Soldotna, Louie's Steak & Seafood, Paradisos Restaurant, Thai Lotus, Rosita's, Mykel's, McDonald's, and Joes Laundry. Thank you for helping to make our dinner a success!

Don't discount reports of mountain lion sightings
I just finished reading the (March 11 Outdoors page) article and thought I would share with you my own little "mountain lion story."

Hi, neighbors. Before the next Neighbors page is printed, spring will have officially begun and breakup will be well on its way, barring a big snow storm such as we have had in the middle of March in past years.

Hi. Soldotna seems to be affected by an outbreak of blue and pink hair. The first case was reported by Michelle Stenseng, a technician, who raised over $500 and fulfilled her pledge to cut her hair short and dye it Komen pink.

Chris Thorne reminds me that Sterling Elementary School's spring break is Monday through March 25 so there will be no walking group. If the warm weather keeps up those individuals may be able to walk on the road.

Hello, neighbors. Sing this with me: "It's beginning to look a lot like breakup. Everywhere you go," and so on. Our driveway is actually visible, and most of the snow has avalanched off the roof onto our walkway, so that's gotta be a true sign of impending spring.

Greetings from Kasilof. Several days of sunny skies, warmer temperatures and gusty winds have melted inches of snowpack which in turn has made some mere puddles into great lakes, potholes of indeterminate depth and back roads into impromptu mud bogs.

Cooper Landing
Cheerio, "Luck 'o the Irish" is the name of the St. Patrick's Day dinner fund-raiser for Cooper Landing Elementary School Thursday at the Sunrise Inn.

Good Morning, Thought for the day: "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty." Winston Churchill.

Carl's Jr. Kenai plans progressing
A Carl's Jr. restaurant is slated to open, at the earliest, by the end of the summer at 10640 Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, said Debra Kinn, franchisee of Carl's Jr. in Alaska.

Fogged in
A ski-equipped plane sits idly on the shore of Longmore Lake in Sterling on Monday as fog shuts in the lake even to those aircraft ready for takeoffs and landings on frozen bodies of water.

Seniors on Medicare get preventative care
Three preventive health procedures now being paid for by Medicare are being seen as important benefits to Kenai Peninsula senior citizens.

Dead whale found in Kenai River
A 23-foot-long dead whale made an unexpected appearance in the Kenai River on Sunday afternoon — then disappeared as quickly as it showed up.

Dead whale eluding scientists
Scientists were unable to get a look Monday at what's believed to be a humpback whale that was discovered Sunday afternoon lying dead along the banks of the Kenai River just upstream of the Warren Ames Memorial Bridge in Kenai.

Event raises money for cancer relief fund
Those who share a love of snowmachining, a love of the outdoors and desire to find a cure for cancer banded together in the Caribou Hills on Saturday for the Kenai Peninsula Way Out Women (WOW) ride — a benefit event to raise money for the Central Peninsula General Hospital WOW cancer fund.

Land along Anchor River saved for conservation
Sixty-four acres of land along salmon-rich Anchor River will be set aside for permanent conservation, the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust announced recently.

Assembly to discuss taxes
Proposed tax measures continue to dominate discussion among members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and borough administrators who are facing a budget shortfall of more than $5 million, and Tuesday's assembly agenda reflects that concern over the borough's finances.

Betty Jean 'Button' Walton-McElroy
Soldotna resident Betty Jean "Button" Walton-McElroy died Friday, Feb. 25, 2005, at her home. She was 33.

Juneau should raise capital for Capitol
It's time to put up or shut up. If Juneau wants to cement its role as Alaska's capital with a new Capitol building, Juneau should pay for it.

Time to shine light on the government
Today launches a weeklong emphasis by newspapers nationwide on freedom of information issues.

Nicole and Eric Bojorquez Becky and Zach Porter Wendy and Mark Winans

Community Events
Crafters, artists soughtLittle League registration setParade scheduledPublic radio fund-raiser plannedAutism support group to meetAuxiliary hosts bazaar

Club News
Family dog class offeredSoldotna Elks table tennis results

Around the Peninsula
Caregiver workshop setBand concert plannedHospice to hold fund-raiserSpring bazaar setApplications for visitor services availableRunning club forming

Bridges moves locations
Bridges Community Resource Network Inc. recently relocated from Kasilof Street to its new digs in the U-Haul Building on the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna.

Around the Peninsula
Respite services available AmVets to meet Skyview grad party meeting set Genealogical workshop set Fiber link to be discussed SoHi after-prom meeting set Parks advisory meeting slated Fish and Game to meet Historical society plans meeting Child Find screening available KNWR to close snowmachine use Ducks Unlimited fund-raiser set

Peninsula People
Area students named to dean's listStudents get on honor rollRoss to return from IraqRolph graduates college

Kids' quick thinking rewarded
Fifth-grader Makayla Chivers and her brother, third-grader Dain Chivers, arrived home from their school bus stop Feb. 22 to find the house filled with what they thought was natural gas fumes.

Senior Briefs
Homer senior, Friendship centers Kenai Nikiski Seward Soldotna Sterling

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Seward Soldotna

Another former No. 1 Browns pick flops
Cleveland released defensive end Courtney Brown on Monday, yet another former first-round pick who failed to make it with the team.

Marshall's 12 treys lift Toronto past Philly
TORONTO — Donyell Marshall tied the NBA record with 12 3-pointers and the Toronto Raptors finished with a league-record 21 in their 128-110 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Miller time: Bode first U.S. Cup winner in 22 years
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (AP) — Bode Miller became the first American in 22 years to win skiing's overall World Cup title.

Johnson cashes in at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS — With a $30,000 bonus tucked inside his pocket, Jimmie Johnson headed to the casino to celebrate his latest victory.

Singh stung by Harrington
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Padraig Harrington shot a 9-under 63 to erase a seven-shot deficit in the final round, then won the Honda Classic when Vijay Singh missed a 2 1/2-foot putt to bogey the second playoff hole Sunday.

Opponents keep wilting from Heat
MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 29 points on 10-of-12 shooting, Shaquille O'Neal added 21 points and the Miami Heat beat Milwaukee 110-71 on Monday night to move into a virtual tie with Phoenix and San Antonio for the NBA's best record.

65-team fields set for ultimate college hoops frenzy
INDIANAPOLIS — If the process of seeding the top teams is any indication, this could be one big buzzer-beater of an NCAA tournament.

Dawson's defense wins titles
In the fifth grade, when Mindy Dawson arrived in Ninilchik from Slana, a Bush town located halfway between Tok and Glennallen on the Tok Cutoff, it didn't take her long to figure out what new sport she'd be taking up.

Spartans a top seed; Stanford snubbed
Michigan State first muscled its way through the Big Ten Conference. Then the Spartans pushed aside some of the nation's biggest names to get the program's first No. 1 seed in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

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