Wednesday, March 16, 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.

Committee drops Giambi
NEW YORK — Jason Giambi can concentrate on hitting instead of testifying.

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.

Tigers cut center fielder Sanchez
The Detroit Tigers cut center fielder Alex Sanchez because they weren't happy with his defense. The Toronto Blue Jays might have a hard time leaving Gabe Gross off the big league roster.

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 leads out of White Mountain
UNALAKLEET, Alaska — The church bell rang and the whole village came out to welcome Robert Sorlie on Tuesday when he arrived at the White Mountain checkpoint, just 77 miles from the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog.

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."

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."

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.

Green Flag
NASCAR ratings continue to shift into high gear

Taking life step by step
HAMPTON, Ga. — Kelly Sutton is reminded daily of the things that are supposed to be impossible.

Newsmaker: Las Vegas winner Johnson reflects back, ahead
Jimmie Johnson has won five of the last nine races and finished second twice on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series circuit dating back to last season, and his victory Sunday at Las Vegas solidified his position as one of the favorites to win the series championship.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Corned beef going fast before Thursday
Every year seniors from across the community flock to the Kenai Senior Citizens Center for the annual St. Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage dinner, said Kathy Romain, assistant director of the center.

Pebble project has 1 owner
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. officials announced this week that the company is set to acquire a 100 percent working interest in the Pebble Project property north of Lake Iliamna.

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.

Science gets whale of a chance
Knee deep in mud and shoulder deep in blood, scientists and volunteers carefully cut away at the innards of the washed-up humpback whale calf just north of the Warren Ames Memorial Bridge on the Kenai River in Kenai.

Iraq vets return
Two graduates of Sterling's Academy of Higher Learning, now serving in the U.S. Army, shared their recent experiences in Iraq during a welcome home dinner Sunday at Ministry of the Living Stones Church, which operates the academy.

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.

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.

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.

Mulling a future with Ted Stevens
Alaska is well known as a land of earthquakes, from calamitous ones to minor temblors. Somewhere along that scale of magnitude fall the words of Sen. Ted Stevens, who speculated aloud on Friday that his end in the Senate may be drawing near.

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

Around the Peninsula
AWG fashion show slated Bear baiting clinic set Community dance planned Ducks Unlimited fund-raiser set YCC applications available FAS training planned

JA classes available
One week Junior Achievement classes focus on the basics of staying in school and compares the socioeconomic status of different levels of education. For more information about bringing JA classes to your school, call Febra Hensley at 398-7173 or 262-1770.

Tustumena Elementary
The school's intramural cross-country skiing program concluded. Mr. Michaels and Mrs. Sinnott thanks parents for their support.

Lunch menus
Elementary Secondary

Nikiski Middle Senior High
Basketball regions will be Thursday through Saturday in Seward. Check with the school calendar, or call to get the correct game times. Qualifying teams will travel to the State competition at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

Mountain View Elementary
There will be a dance performance at 4 p.m. today.

Ninilchik School
The Close-Up students will host a spaghetti dinner at 6 p.m. April 1 to raise funds for a trip to Washington DC. There will be two auctions for this last fund-raiser.

Cook Inlet Academy
Congratulations to the varsity girls' basketball team for another season. The school thanks coaches Greg Bell and Pixie Lewis. Parents and staff thank Diana Thornton for managing the concessions stand.

Students attended a puppet performance at Kenai Christian Church. Several of the performers were previous students of the school.

Team tightens with time
The Skyview High School National Ocean Science Bowl team may have lost the state competition by a mere two-tenths of a point, but the bowlers agree there's no bad blood about it. They gained something in spite of the loss.

Parents who can help with the Project Reward movie for grades one through three from 1 to 2 p.m.Friday should call the school office at 262-9006.

Wings Christian Academy
The Upper Learning Center recently competed in the fifth annual Junk Yard Wars. Each team started out with a large piece of plywood representing a plot of land. They were challenged to develop their "land" in a way that would appeal to the founding fathers of the country. Each team captain named their team after a Veggie Tales character. First place was awarded to the French Peas who constructed their interpretation of heaven. This team consisted of Julianne Pettey, Rebekah Wood, Joel Consiel, Amber Kent and Jaycee McGee; second place winners, The Larry Girl team of Leah Howell, Ali Thompson, Amy Wood, Krimsen Kent and Mickelle Waters, made a theme park titled "The Blast from the Past"; and third place was the Bob the Tomato team for making a football stadium, members Kaylee Burger, Troy Consiel, Alex Pettey, Kasey McGee and Ashlynn Burger.

Kenaitze Head Start
The Whales and Salmon class has been studying pirates complete with a ship, castle and buried treasure. The students will build wooden boats, as well.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
Thursday — Intermediate students musical; and

Sears Elementary
Interviews for the new principal will be from 6 to 9 this evening in the library.

Grace Lutheran
Congratulations to eighth-grader Tom Werth, who qualified in the top 100 geographers in the state. He will represent the school at the Alaska State National Geographic Geography Bee in Anchorage.

Skyview High
There will be a dance from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday.

AlaskaAdvantage Program
The Alaska Commission on Post secondary Education will fund education grants to qualifying Alaska students with financial need. Grants of up to $2,000 per academic year will be made to Alaska residents attending accredited Alaska institutions of higher education. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than April 15. Grants totaling approximately $600,000 will be made for the 2005-06 academic year.

Soldotna High
Freshman Assessment tests and High School Graduation Qualifying Exams are coming up. All freshmen and sophomores are required to attend all three days, in addition to juniors and seniors who have not passed one or parts of the test. More information about testing may be obtained from the counselors.

Spring Break coming up
The districtwide spring break vacation will run Monday through March 25. Classes will resume March 28.

Soldotna Middle
Report cards were mailed home this week. If you do not receive your child's report card, notify the front office, there may be an outstanding fee due.

KPC around campus: New paramedic degree here for the saving
Kenai Peninsula College announces the new two-year Associates of Applied Sceince degree in Paramedical Technology has been approved by the University of Alaska. Applications for the program are currently being accepted for the Fall 2005 semester. Applicants will be evaluated by a selection committee that will score the applications based on a predetermined set of criteria. An informational brochure and the application form can be downloaded from the KPC Web site at Application deadline for the Fall 2005 Paramedical Technology program is April 15, 2005.

Sterling Elementary
Many thanks to the volunteers, sponsors, families and teachers who spent hours preparing, running and cleaning up after the annual spring carnival.

The life skill for the week is perseverance — to keep at it.

Sterling Head Start
Students have been learning about community workers. They were able to go on field trips to the Soldotna police station and the Sterling fire station. The school thanks those who shared with students and for all they do for the community.

Kenai Central
James Halliday won a medal for his essay at the State Academic Decathlon competition in Anchorage. The school's team won the KPBSD competition in February. Congratulations to James and all team members.

Every student should have received a letter outlining the location and times of Standards Based Assessments and the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam. SBA practice tests are available in the office for grades three through nine. SAT practice materials also are available. The Scholastic Book Fair will be held during April test week. Fliers are available in the office.

Kenai Cooperative
The children are learning about chickens and eggs. They will make cotton ball chickens and learn the life cycle of a chicken. They also will learn about basket weaving and will dye eggs.

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.

Redskins courting Courtney
The Washington Redskins made the first overtures to Courtney Brown, with coach Joe Gibbs flying to Cleveland on Tuesday to try to woo the one-time top draft pick who was cut by the Browns the previous day.

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.

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.

Cinderella's still playing
DAYTON, Ohio — It took eight years in Division I for Oakland to get its first win in the NCAA tournament.

76ers' Iverson foils Bryant, Los Angeles
PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson outperformed Kobe Bryant, scoring 36 points and leading a decisive third-quarter run in the Philadelphia 76ers' 108-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

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