Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Gonzalez returns to Indians outfield
Juan Gonzalez is back in the middle of the Cleveland Indians' lineup. Andy Pettitte also hooked up with some old friends — the New York Yankees.

Clemens leaves hamstring troubles behind
Roger Clemens bounded to the mound for his first start in 10 days, then refused to come out after throwing 94 pitches. His hamstring healed, the Rocket looked ready for the regular season.

Break-up on the mighty Kenai
In other places on the planet they call this season spring, in Alaska it's known as Break-up, which needs no explanation to anyone viewing the Kenai River recently. As ice jams clear and box car size ice bergs break away from the river bank one might wonder about the biological effects this spectacle of Mother Nature is having on fish habitat. "It's pretty dynamic," says assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Larry Marsh, "Those big blocks of ice remove vegetation, take out bank restoration projects, they create back eddies by impeding the flow of water, they are a huge force and a primeval element of nature." The fish species however are well adapted to nature's primeval elements, "Salmon and trout have evolved with these conditions, and while the river may be absent of surface water, there is still subsurface water where the young fry and eggs can survive and incubate with the subsurface flows. As the surface ice melts it can liberate oxygen that can be used to provide the elements of life for the incubating fish just below the surface," said Marsh. Nevertheless, Marsh doesn't diminish the effect that natural episodes have on fishery resources and feels that habitat enhancement projects are all the more important, "The efforts that are being made have to be restored, rebuilt and maintained on a regular basis, but that doesn't lessen their importance to the habitat."

New manager on line for 2006 Arctic Winter Games
The Arctic Winter Games (AWG) Board of Directors announced last week that they had secured the services of former UAA Athletic Director Tim Dillon to fill the position of general manager. AWG general manager Loren Smith, of Fairbanks, resigned last month for personal reasons. Dillon brings more than twenty years of sports and event coordination experience to the Peninsula, "I've worked on a variety of different projects over the last several years, but I originally came to Alaska as the athletic director at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1992," said Dillon. Dillon was on the Arctic Winter Games advisory board in Eagle River the last time Alaska was host to the international event. For the past five years he was athletic director at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York where he worked on enhancing their Division I sports program.

Marathon Oil continues efforts to find natural gas
Marathon Oil Company has more than half a century of experience finding and producing oil and gas in the Cook Inlet Basin. While looking for oil in 1959, Marathon discovered the Kenai Gas Field, the largest natural gas field ever discovered in Cook Inlet which has produced over 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Ben Schoffman, Operations Superintendent for Marathon, recently addressed a capacity crowd the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance monthly luncheon meeting at the Paradisos restaurant in Kenai. According to Schoffman it was between 1986 and 1998 that Marathon decided to focus more on looking for natural gas reserves on shore on the Kenai Peninsula. Marathon had their first major new discovery in 1998 at Wolf Lake. To meet their new drilling demands, Marathon commissioned the Glacier drilling rig, a new fit for purpose high tech drilling rig. In 2002 with their partner Unocal, Marathon announced a new gas discovery in Ninilchik and in 2003 installed the new Kenai/Kachemak pipeline to bring that gas to market. Last year Marathon continued their string of successes with finds in Kasilof and Sterling.

Outdoors with John Perkovich
Well, John is up at Crosswinds catching Burbot, Lake Trout and White Fish, so I will try and let you in on what is happening. Crosswinds you say, why that is nothing unusual for John Perkovich and yet I was really worried about him taking this trip this time. Now I am a perpetual worrywart and I fight with that all the time, but I do not usually worry about John taking any hunting or fishing trips. This time however he left 4 days after having an umbilical hernia repaired. John has had the "belly button hernia" for awhile and it was quite small, but as good old Doc Sangster said "It could get bigger anytime and probably not at a convenient time." I figure it would have busted open sometime when John was trying to hall a moose home and he would have had to decide whether to bring his guts or the moose home. So we decided this would be a good time to get it repaired while he had some time off. Yep, that was a surgery done under general anesthesia and here he is traveling a long ways from home and way back into nowhere. Besides that he had to go on quite a snow machine ride to get back there, all that bouncing around couldn't have felt good on that surgery site. His buddy Steve Dambacher assured me they would be careful and he wouldn't let anyone punch him in the belly.

Getting connected, the Alaska Fiber Project
The Kenai Peninsula has been wired with fiber optic cable for several years; however the cable is not connected to the international hub in Anchorage. Now according to Ik Icard, a consultant for the Kodiak/Kenai Cable Company, a proposed Alaska Fiber project would make that connection to the telecommunications super highway a reality. The new cable would start at the hub in Anchorage and connect to landing points on the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island. The fiber optic capacity then could carry any and all telecommunications traffic off the Kenai Peninsula. "The service would provide a degree of broadband capacity that is not currently achievable with either satellite or microwave and it would do it without the delay problems that satellite hops can cause," Icard told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. When completed the Alaska Fiber Project would provide instantaneous access to Homeland Security and emergency response, telemedicine, education, communication, and sustainable economic development.

NOW PLAYING: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
Now I don't mind a meaningless entertainment movie every now and again. I've seen plenty of silly comedies and pointless action flicks that held my interest with no problem. Not every movie is Schindler's List, nor should they be. What I don't like, however, is having my intelligence insulted. Don't tell me I'm watching a family-friendly comedy about the myriad roles women play in today's society when I am, in reality, watching a stock buddy caper with the subtlety of a Scooby Doo cartoon. That's where I draw the line.

K-Beach fund-raiser a hit thanks to all who helped out
Thank you. I am truly amazed at the generosity and the good fortune we have in living in a community where people do not hesitate to assist our schools. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Murkowski's effort to get roads built should be supported
Gov. Murkowski's recent proposal to bypass burdensome federal bureaucracy by building critical highway projects with state funds is exactly the kind of bold and creative approach Alaska needs in order to break the logjam of long-overdue road projects.

Community's help with basketball program appreciated
The Boys and Girls Club's 7th/8th Grade Basketball League recently concluded its season. Boys and girls from throughout the central peninsula area had the opportunity to be part of a team, improve their basketball skills, get a little exercise and socialize with friends.

Is mine what we want?
The state of Alaska is helping a Canadian company to construct the largest open-pit gold, copper and silver mine in North America. Acid and heavy metal runoff would pollute Bristol Bay streams and rivers, home to the world's largest population of wild salmon and rainbow trout.

Dance performance a kick
We are extending our appreciation of a wonderful show that was given by the various dance groups of the area at KCHS recently. The dancers were mesmerizing with their perfomances and their dance costumes were sparkling and gorgeous. The hard work that they had put into their rehearsals shown greatly throughout their magnificant perfomances.

Working group should focus on limiting guide numbers
The recommendations from the Kenai River Working Group have been agreed upon by the group.

Environment not the only thing that should stay clean
Many people are attracted to Alaska and the Kenai because of the clean, scenic and often pristine environments. Residents often exert incredible amounts of time, energy and resources to maintain it that way.

Ninilchik
Hi, neighbors. Some of you neighbors celebrated Easter this last week. Others, because of a difference in your calendar, will celebrate it later. However, every Lord's day is a celebration of the gospel, which, simply stated, is that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose the third day, according to the scriptures.

Kasilof
Greetings, from a melty Kasilof. I hope, that like me, you and yours enjoyed a lovely Easter and that your week is off to a good start.

Nikiski
Good morning. Something to think about: "If humans evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?" Anonymous Tim Johnson is passing along the following information for the Nikiski Freestyle Wrestling Club. Kids can register at any practice at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center (former Nikiski Elementary School) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m.

Sterling
Hi, neighbors. The High Hat Tea is happening Wednesday at the Sterling Senior Center. The center staff said they expect to see lots of artistic talent for making and presenting hats.

Cooper Landing
Hello. Mayme Ohnemus has the Mission to Mars itinerary in hand for the 13 senior citizens who are joining Cooper Landing school kids for this activity. Today, the group will meet at the school for preflight instructions and mission preparations. On Thursday, the rocketry workshop will take place at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai.

Soldotna
Hi. Ah spring. Is March going to go out as the lamb? It may be spring on the calendar and a few teasing days of spring weather, but it is still too early for gardening so you might want to take advantage of the monthly used book sale and curl up with a good book the next day it decides to snow. The sale is put on by the Soldotna Public Library volunteers, and is held in the library basement from 1 to 5 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month. So, I hope to see you there Wednesday.

Kenai
Hello, neighbors. Does anyone have any crocuses yet? Or seen a dandelion? As fast as our snow is melting, spring can't be far behind. March came in like a lamb — will it go out like a lion? We should know by the end of the week.

HEA board election nears
Homer Electric Association members will have the chance to have a say in what happens with their co-op.

Making waves
The National Weather Service will cry wolf Wednesday to conduct a tsunami warning communications test. Be not afraid — it is only a test.

City of Kenai becomes bear aware
Private landowners and several local, state and federal organizations have partnered for the inception of a Wildlife Conservation Community Program for the city of Kenai in an effort to change the culture of how humans and wildlife — particularly brown bears — interact.

Governor says ferry will be assigned to Glacier Bay
JUNEAU (AP) — Gov. Frank Murkowski said he plans to assign a state ferry to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve this summer.

Seward crash kills 1
A Seward man was killed Sunday evening when he lost control of the pickup truck he was driving on the Seward Highway, vaulted into a ditch and rolled down an embankment.

Offices close for Seward's Day
In observance of Seward's Day the following businesses and offices will be closed: All state offices, the Kenai District Court House, the Kenai Legislative Information Office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Kenai Public Health Center and the Kenai and Soldotna libraries.

United Way 2004 campaign nears goal
The Kenai Peninsula United Way is coming close to raising its goal of $600,000 in its 2004 campaign. About $537,000 has been raised so far. To make a donation, call the United Way at 283-9500 or stop by the office at 508 S. Willow, Suite D, in Kenai.

Gardeners get growing
As the Kenai Peninsula continues to get peeks of spring, area gardeners are itching to get green things growing. Susan Jordan, owner of Fireweed Herb Garden and Gifts, said business picked up for the several days it was sunny and warm on the peninsula.

Neglected dogs found in Kasilof
Good Friday was just that for 11 abandoned sled dogs in Kasilof that were rescued after more than a week without food or fresh water and more than a month without cleaning. "This is the worst case of neglect I've ever seen," said Tim Colbath, co-owner of Alaska's Extended Life Animal Sanctuary in Nikiski, a no-kill facility where animals are rehabilitated and cared for as long as needed until they are adopted.

Man dies in 4-wheel crash
A Ninilchik man was found dead Saturday after hitting a tree while riding a four-wheeler. According to Alaska State Troopers, Howard Crandell, 42, had been driving a Polaris four-wheeler at the intersection of Alice Drive and Foste-McMann Road off Oilwell Road in Ninilchik on Saturday or possibly Friday. It appeared he collided with a tree near the intersection.

Howard Crandell
Ninilchik resident Howard Crandell died Saturday, March 26, 2005, of injuries sustained in a four-wheeler accident near Ninilchik. He was 42.

Capital location should be up to all Alaskans
If the Legislature had anything resembling a heart, it long ago, and mercifully, would have ended Juneau's quixotic, desperate quest to design and build a new Capitol building.

ANWR opening far from certain
Maybe the U.S. Senate finally became ex-hausted with the issue of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Maybe senators did it for the tireless Sen. Ted Stevens. Maybe they did it because Sen. Stevens wore his Incredible Hulk tie.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber to meet Wildfire protection meetings set Artists and crafters sought Autism support group to meet Applications for visitor services available

Births
Amanda Every and Kenneth Roberts Jr. of Kenai announce the birth of their daughter, Imogen Marie Roberts at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She weighed 7 pounds, 8.5 ounces and measured 19.5 inches.

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber to meet Wildfire protection meetings set SoHi after prom meeting slated ICAN to meet Rodeo association meeting, activities slated Dog classes available

Waste less, recycle more
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Department encourages peninsula residents to become more environmentally aware by practicing the three R's — reduce, reuse and recycle.

Club News
Flyball seminar slated Lacrosse club forming Soldotna Elks table tennis results Little League registration continues

Community Events
FAS training planned Public radio fund-raiser set Childcare workshop planned Autism support group to meet Spring bazaar set Red Cross offers renewal classes Respite services available Child Find screening available Running club forming

Peninsula People
Bond graduates basic training Melvin joins reserves McCamon, Thompson provide relief Ruffridge named to president's list

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Seward Soldotna Sterling

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

Williams sisters set for another showdown
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Venus and Serena Williams renew their sibling rivalry Tuesday night absent the fanfare that usually accompanies such showdowns.

Return of Funk
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — In the toughest round ever on the TPC at Sawgrass, Fred Funk found himself tied for the lead in The Players Championship as he stood in the 16th fairway.

Utes' star to enter NBA draft
SALT LAKE CITY — Andrew Bogut couldn't pass up the opportunity to be the top pick in the NBA draft.

Baylor, LSU reach Final Four
TEMPE, Ariz. — The ugly stain on Baylor basketball is fading. The women are taking care of that.

Mavericks blow past Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Josh Howard scored 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 22 as the Dallas Mavericks beat the slumping Detroit Pistons 95-88 Monday night.

Foursome finalized
AUSTIN, Texas — Kentucky's 3-point prayer bounced on the rim four times before falling through, and everybody held their breath during a five-minute review.

UConn sees red
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Women's basketball will have a new champion this year — finally. Connecticut's remarkable run is over.

Timberwolves trying to make move in Western Conference race
MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Garnett had 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 89-85 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon.

Sorenstam feasts on competition at Nabisco
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — The suspense was over before the leaders left the putting green and headed for the first tee. The question wasn't whether Annika Sorenstam would win her fifth straight tournament and the first major championship of the year, but by how much.

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