Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Young, Tigers blow past Royals
DETROIT — Dmitri Young became the third player to hit three homers on opening day, and Jeremy Bonderman won as the youngest opening-day starter in the major leagues since 1986 to lead Detroit over the Kansas City Royals 11-2 Monday.

New faces, steroids top issues as baseball begins 2005 season
Pedro Martinez has a new league to torment, Washington fields a new team and baseball has a new statistic to track — violators of a toughened steroids policy.

Reds hammer Mets' bullpen
CINCINNATI — Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran made impressive debuts with the New York Mets, but Adam Dunn and Joe Randa homered off Braden Looper in the ninth to give the Cincinnati Reds a dramatic 7-6 victory Monday.

Baseball fans say sport is pricey
WASHINGTON — For all the talk about steroids, as baseball begins its new season more Americans think players' high salaries are the sport's biggest problem, according to an Associated Press-AOL poll released Monday.

Minor leaguers suspended over steroids
SEATTLE — Seattle's Damian Moss and Ryan Christianson were among 38 players suspended Monday for violating baseball's minor league steroids policy, a group that included eight players from the Mariners' organization.

Nationals debut with exciting loss
PHILADELPHIA — If any of the Washington Nationals looked up while walking toward the visitors' dugout for their regular-season debut, they might have noticed the framed uniforms of NL teams lining the walls.

United Way donations important for community
The Kenai Peninsula United Way has been given an incredible opportunity. Currently, the 2004 campaign is well under way. Our goal is $600,000. To date, we have raised $542,000. To reach that goal, we need to raise $58,000 by April 15.

Kenai Peninsula Borough's lack of animal control a disgrace
Is it not past the time for the Kenai Borough to take on their responsibilities of animal control? As a second class borough, they should be doing so and enough is enough. They have the reputation of letting someone else take care of their messes. For shame!

All who helped with record clover collection appreciated
I would like to thank everyone involved with the counting and verifying of 76,899 four-leaf clovers I collected, which will qualify for recognition in the Guiness Book of Records. I would also like to thank the cities of Soldotna and Kenai for their part, Mayor Carey for his help and encouragement, and for the participation of the all the young folks who were involved — and there were so many; i.e. the Boys and Girls Clubs, students of our schools, and the Boy Scouts of Sterling. I hope I didn't miss anyone!

Young Marines credit their program
The men and women of Peninsula Moose Lodge No. 1942 and No. 1120 wish to sincerely thank the Kenai Young Marines for the services they provided during the recent Alaska-Hawaii Mid-Year Convention. Their color guard was terrific, and they served dinner to several hundred people.

Easter story should not be forgotten
The Bible is the story of God redeeming his chosen people for the praise of his glory. The story began in eternity past when God made a plan that his son, Jesus Christ, would suffer, die on a cross and be resurrected as an act of divine justice to secure the salvation of chosen people by forgiving their sins without compromising his own perfect holy standard for humanity.

Reader upset with representatives
Eighty-three percent of Alaska taxpayers voted not to touch the permanent fund on Sept. 14, 1999. Today, Senate Bill 98 is on the way for the governor's signature.

Hard luck comes to end for Harvick
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kevin Harvick's crew chief was sulking at home, forbidden by NASCAR from coming to the track after he was caught cheating.

Sterling
Hi , neighbors. It looks like spring has finally arrived. I'm looking forward to getting into the garden and checking on some new plants that I am hoping survived the winter.

Cooper Landing
Cheerio. The new snow won't last long in this sun. A herd of turkeys is making the rounds from Bean Creek Road to the lake shore near the bridge, several people have reported.

Ninilchik
Hi, neighbors. We definitely have more snow on the ground than either our neighbors to the north or south. Have you noticed in past years that we seem to be the last for our landscape to change from white to brown?

Nikiski
Good morning. A thought to pounder: "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it."Unknown

Soldotna
The Soldotna neighbors column was not available at deadline.

Kasilof
Dusty greetings from Kasilof. Thanks to the crews working to remove the accumulation of road sand off the highways and byways. Many of us just shrug off the irritation and poor visibility of roiling plumes of particulates in the air but for other, it is a health risk.

Kenai
Hello, neighbors. Have you made the transition into daylight-saving time yet? It might take a few days to lose that "out of sync" feeling.

ChevronTexaco to buy Unocal
ChevronTexaco Corp. announced Monday it will acquire Unocal Corp., leaving some to question the future of Unocal's assets in Cook Inlet.

Winter wrangling
After reading an announcement in the Peninsula Clarion and hearing about it elsewhere, nearly 100 people took part in a workshop held at the Soldotna Sports Center on Thursday afternoon to give their ideas on the subject of winter access to Chugach National Forest Systems lands.

Posting bonds gets even harder for mine operators
Posting financial assurances, or bonds, is becoming ever more costly for mine operators these days said Ed Fogel, mining coordinator for the state of Alaska.

School board holding off on final budget
Due to a gap between proposed state education funding and the financial needs of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Chief Financial Officer Melody Douglas will recommend the board remain in a budget "holding pattern" until state legislators reach a funding outcome.

Face forward
Freelance photographer Bill Heath photographs a mask depicting Native facial tattoos at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center on Monday. Heath's photographs will be published in a catalog of artwork for the summer art show, "Alaska 2005 — Native Arts Now" opening May 2 with a First Thursday reception May 5 and a gala reception May 13.

Scratching the surface: Pebble Mine
Hard-rock mining has had a long and often alarming history in the United States and around the world. Even modern mines built to meet stringent regulations and promising "zero" pollution have failed to deliver on those assurances.

Hitchhiker Holt agrees to plea in murder trial
The man accused of fatally shooting a Soldotna man along the Seward Highway nearly four years ago and stealing his pickup truck entered a plea Monday of "no contest" to murder. In exchange for having several other felony charges dropped, Robert Owen Holt Jr., 22, agreed to plead no contest to one count of first-degree murder.

Lake and Peninsula Borough gives cautious approval to Pebble Mine
The Lake and Peninsula Borough government has officially endorsed Northern Dynasty Minerals' proposed Pebble mine project, but that support is qualified by demands that the mine be operated safely, according to Jeff Currier, borough manager.

Hospital expansion plan to proceed with contractor
Alcan General Inc. has been awarded the $31 million contract to build the new wing of the hospital, the Central Peninsula General Hospital director of support services told the CPGH Inc. Board of Directors on Thursday.

Fort Knox offers possible preview of Pebble Mine
As Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. continues planning for what would be the largest open-pit mine in North America, officials with the Alaska Division of Mining, Land and Water have a wealth of information from which to draw as they consider the extent and limits of NDM's future mining permits.

Lilalee Allen
Kasilof resident Lilalee Allen died at her home Tuesday, March 29, 2005. She was 74.

Margaret Rose (Jung) Kivi
Longtime Nikiski resident Margaret Rose (Jung) Kivi died Friday, April 1, 2005, at her home in Nikiski. She was 90.

John Paul II far more than just a pope
Pope John Paul II, who died at 84 (on Saturday), was more than the leader of one of the world's major religions. He was a world figure. As the first non-Italian pope in centuries, John Paul was involved in the collapse of atheist Communism and was able to witness the free exercise of religion in his native Poland.

Education plan deserves a look
Ben Stevens may have shocked the Capitol with his idea for financing school construction through Alaska Permanent Fund earnings, but he's on to something. Best of all, he's willing to make an investment decision.

Peninsula People
Gensel named to dean's list CANstruction awards given

Club News
Rowing presentation planned Flyball seminar slated Pop Warner registration set Crafters, artists sought Table tennis results announced Lacrosse club forming Dog classes available

Around the Peninsula
Kenai chamber to meet Family resource workshop slated Genealogical society to meet Garage, baked sale fund-raiser planned Track and field meet set Dinner, auction benefit slated

Around the Peninsula
Soldotna chamber to meet Beekeepers meeting slated Skyview after-prom committee to meet Caregiver support meeting set SoHi after-prom committee meeting planned

Preparedness key to remaining calm in case volcano erupts
If you lived on the peninsula or along Turnagain Arm in 1990 and 1992, you might remember mounts Redoubt's and Spurr's eruptions and the impact they had on daily life.

Community Schools
Volleyball Fitness workshop Hunter education-home study Aerobics for everyone CPR Basic woodworking Beginning fly tying Bow hunter education

Tar Heels take title
ST. LOUIS — Finally, Roy Williams had a good reason to cry.

NHLPA rejects two league proposals
TORONTO (AP) — The NHL players' union rejected two league proposals Monday during a seven-hour meeting aimed at trying to end a lockout that shut down the season.

Williams enjoys victory
Roy Williams started walking slowly up the sideline as the longest three seconds of his life ticked off the clock. Instead of jumping, shouting or even pumping a fist, he calmly reached up to make sure his glasses sat squarely on the bridge of his nose.

MSU, Baylor to play for title
INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan State's climb to national prominence took the Spartans all the way over Rocky Top. Down by 16 points in the second half, Michigan State rallied — tying the largest comeback in Final Four history — then finished off Tennessee with a pair of fast-break baskets to complete the 68-64 upset Sunday night. The win sets up Tuesday's title game with Baylor, another unlikely championship contender.

No such thing as a 'must win'
ST. LOUIS — There is no such thing as a must-win game. Keep that in mind when somebody carries on about how much Roy Williams needs to win the national championship when his North Carolina team faces Illinois. By the same token, nobody who's owned a television set the past 15 years should question how much Williams wants to win.

MSU, Baylor ready to battle
INDIANAPOLIS — Steffanie Blackmon saw a challenge at Baylor and jumped at it. Kristin Haynie was told she could win championships at Michigan State and believed it.

Mickelson wins BellSouth in a playoff
DULUTH, Ga. — Phil Mickelson is headed to Augusta with a win, his usual smile and the proper mind-set.

Streaking Wolves sink Sacramento
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kevin Garnett had 30 points and 13 rebounds, Latrell Sprewell added 23 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves got another big victory for their playoff hopes, beating the Sacramento Kings 112-100 Sunday.

Phelps wins two more races at U.S. trials
INDIANAPOLIS — Two more races, two more wins, and Michael Phelps finally had enough.

Illini guards, UNC big men will be key
ILLINOIS (37-1) vs. NORTH CAROLINA (32-4) BACKCOURTS: The three-guard system has been Illinois' strength all season and it will be tested by the Tar Heels. The point guard matchup of Deron Williams of Illinois and Raymond Felton of North Carolina should be a classic.

Mickelson in running at BellSouth
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Tuning up for his Masters defense, Phil Mickelson shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday to move within a stroke of leader Scott McCarron with one round to play in the rain-delayed BellSouth Classic.

Baylor back in business
INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan State's climb to national prominence took the Spartans all the way over Rocky Top. Down by 16 points in the second half, Michigan State rallied — tying the largest comeback in Final Four history — then finished off Tennessee with a pair of fast-break baskets to complete the 68-64 upset Sunday night. The win sets up Tuesday's title game with Baylor, another unlikely championship contender.

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