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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Who does our state government represent?
At first it was disappointment with the administration, the Republican Party and the Legislature. But now I, as many others, feel betrayed and violated by them, for disregarding the will of the citizens of Alaska.

Veterans on call are true heroes
For as many years as I can remember, members of our local veterans posts have assembled with just a phone call to pay honor to a fellow departed veteran by making available full military honors at funeral or memorial services at a moment's notice.

'Walk a mile in their shoes'
I was born to devout Christians on a farm on a highway in northern Iowa.

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.

PTA carnival help appreciated
The Sterling Elementary PTA would like to thank all who attended our annual spring carnival in March.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

State may sell gas to Agrium
A governor-appointed task force may recommend that the state sell state-owned gas to help keep Agrium's North Kenai fertilizer plant open. The plant is slated to close Oct. 31.

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.

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.

Summer schedule heating up at Kenai visitors center
Though it's just barely spring, the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center already is planning a busy summer.

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

Red Cross has alarming giveaway
American Red Cross volunteers will be in Kenai, Nikiski and Soldotna on Saturday, giving away home smoke detectors, batteries and fire prevention information.

Dogging your steps
Gary Whitely runs near Kenai Central High School on Tuesday afternoon with his 12-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi Zoey. "She's been my running partner for 11 years," Whitely said.

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.

Still reason to be wary of military base closings
It is not wise to go too far out on a limb, but there is a sense that Alaska may escape a worst-case outcome from the new round of actions by BRAC.

Around the Peninsula
Young to speak at chamber Crafters, artists sought Help for home day care providers Spring bazaar set Community dialogue meeting slated Little League registration continues >Marriage seminar planned Donations for tsunami relief soughtPop Warner registration set

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

Sterling Elementary
Graduating seniors at Skyview or Soldotna high school who attended the school for at least three full years you may be eligible for a $500 scholarship. Applications are available at the Sterling school office.

Skyview High
Congratulations to the mock trial team for placing fifth in state. The team members are Maia Matarrese, Merrick Jackinsky, Nick Byrne, Rachel Osterman, Alison Simpson and Paris King. In one round they were plaintiff and in another the defense. They were the only peninsula team at state.

Redoubt Elementary
Kindergarten registration is Monday through April 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is for children who will be 5 by Sept. 1 and will begin kindergarten this fall. Birth certificates and immunization records should be brought to registration.

Heads up for standardized testing
Two state standardized tests, the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam for 10th through 12th grade and Standards Based Test Assessments for third through ninth grade, will be conducted next week districtwide.

Soldotna Elementary
Hannah Morgan and Christina Tachick were finalists, Sean Endsley was first-runner up and Erica Byerly is the school's Masonic Outstanding Student.

Least exciting school days near
Words like "state mandated tests," don't likely conjure up fun thoughts of lollipops and hopscotch. Never the less, thousands of peninsula students will face the music and head to school next week — not to learn, but to prove what they've learned to the state of Alaska.

KPC around campus
Financial aid can make the difference as to whether a student can afford to attend college or not. All current or potential college students should take advantage of the many scholarships available at Kenai Peninsula College.

Kenaitze Head Start
Family Transition Night gives children and parents a chance to meet their future principals and teachers from the area, share a meal and get answers to questions. It will be held Monday at the Head Start Family House. Dinner is at 5 p.m. with presentations from educators at 5:45.

Mountain View Elementary
Fifth-grade forensics is today, fourth-grade forensics is Thursday and third-grade forensics is Friday. They will all be held in the library.

Cook Inlet Academy
The eighth-graders faced real life challenges by getting jobs, getting married, having children and buying homes — in a pretend math project. The students planned a budget around income taxes, loan interest rates, utilities necessary to maintain a household and raising children.

Sears Elementary
Friday is Backwards Day.

Interior Distance Education in Alaska
The staff announces the third-place finish of the Academic Decathlon team in the state finals. The team had the highest combined scores for personal interviews and Shiloh Schlung earned a gold medal in language arts, a silver medal in social studies and a silver medal in art. Congratulations.

Soldotna High
The drama department will present two one-act plays "The Cave" and "The Romancers" April 7 through 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Kaleidoscope
The Lifeskill of the week is pride — the satisfaction from doing one's personal best.

Soldotna Montessori
The school's academic policy committee will hold its annual elections in April. Parents of students currently enrolled in the school are eligible for positions on the committee. Interested parents should apply at the school office.

Kenai Central High
The next site-council meeting is Thursday.

Wings Christian Academy
The creative writing class is writing three-paragraph narrative stories.

Kenai Cooperative
Today the children are welcoming dads and grandfathers. The children are doing construction with tools, sanding, drilling and hammering. They are making homemade pretzels and rootbeer floats.

Kenai Montessori
The students have had a visitor. Their new teacher Rochelle Soltwisch, visited while she was in town before traveling to New Zealand as part of her student-teaching program at the University of Iowa. Soltwisch attended a Montessori school herself until sixth grade and will join the staff this summer.

Connections
Fall enrollment begins Friday. Call 714-8880 for an enrollment appointment.

Lunch menus
Elementary Secondary

Senior Menus
Homer Kenai Nikiski Seward Soldotna Sterling

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

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.

St. Joe's, South Carolina in NIT final
NEW YORK — Pat Carroll scored 13 of his 24 points in the second half, and Saint Joseph's won for the 21st time in 2005 by beating Memphis 70-58 in the NIT semifinals on Tuesday night.

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.

Clothes make the man: Colorful attire brightens PGA tour
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Already known for flipping up the bill of his cap, Jesper Parnevik took fashion to a new extreme at the 1997 Bob Hope Classic when he showed up on the practice range with a bright array of tight-fitting clothes from Swedish designer Johan Lindeberg.

Galarraga calls it a career one dinger shy of 400
NEW YORK (AP) — Andres Galarraga retired Tuesday after a subpar spring training with the New York Mets, leaving him a homer shy of 400 for his career.

Clothes make the man: Colorful attire brightens PGA tour
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Already known for flipping up the bill of his cap, Jesper Parnevik took fashion to a new extreme at the 1997 Bob Hope Classic when he showed up on the practice range with a bright array of tight-fitting clothes from Swedish designer Johan Lindeberg.

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.

Hobbled James leads Cavaliers past Clippers
CLEVELAND — LeBron James, playing on a sore left ankle, scored 22 points in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Los Angeles Clippers 94-84 Tuesday night.

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.

New season, new name game for MLS
There's a funky new look to the Major League Soccer standings this year, at least to the sport's uninitiated. FC Dallas? Chivas USA? Real Salt Lake? What's that all about? Is there a Fake Salt Lake somewhere?

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

Vols back in Final Four
PHILADELPHIA — Shanna Zolman and Shyra Ely smiled as the clock ticked down and the euphoria sunk in — the former Indiana high school stars were going home to play in the Final Four.

Steroid use revealed in NFL
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers Todd Sauerbrun and Jeff Mitchell and former player Todd Steussie had steroid prescriptions filled by a West Columbia, S.C., doctor now under investigation by federal authorities, according to a ''60 Minutes Wednesday'' report.

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