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Monday, May 2, 2005

Baseball's big test
NEW YORK — Now comes the hard part for Bud Selig, who must convince players that longer suspensions for using steroids is in their own interest and that banning amphetamines would be good for the game.

Yankees snap three-game losing streak
NEW YORK — Chien-Ming Wang thrived in his major league debut, and Tony Womack hit a game-winning single in the ninth inning to help the New York Yankees snap a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Griffey homer can't save Reds
MILWAUKEE — Ken Griffey Jr. hit his first home run this season, No. 502 of his career, but the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Saturday on Damian Miller's game-winning single in the ninth inning.

Smoltz gets second win
ATLANTA — John Smoltz scattered nine hits for his second straight win, and the Braves made the most of their four hits off Jeff Suppan for a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

NOW PLAYING: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
"The best laid plans of mice," mutters Slartibartfast, knowingly. "...and men, " adds Arthur, helpfully. "hmmm?" "...and men. The best laid plans of mice and men. That's how the saying goes." "Oh, men," chuckled Slartibartfast. "I don't imagine they had anything to do with it..." If only.

Highway cleanup efforts just left blowing in the wind
While driving home from Soldotna on April 23, I was angered to see the Sterling Highway at Skyview High School littered with large bags of trash being blown about by the wind. They had been out there for days.

Alaskans don't need Outside groups telling them how to think
There may be some folks around the peninsula who might agree with Texas representative Tom DeLay. But it took an out of state based organization, "Focus on the Family Action," of Colorado Springs, Colo., to place a huge ad in Wednesday's Clarion attacking Sen. Lisa Murkowski for supporting the filibuster in the Senate, urges us to call her offices to complain, and then goes on to attack sitting judges for recent decisions, all in the name of the president's mainstream American values.

Unexpected middle school concert fee hits sour note
As a grandmother to a Kenai Middle School student, I was pleased to be invited to attend the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Middle School Mass Choir Festival. I always enjoyed such festivals when my children were in school. The music tonight (April 25) was wonderful. The children were delightful. The guest director was enjoyable.

Truex wins Busch event
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Martin Truex proved he's just as good at restrictor-plate racing as his boss is, winning his second consecutive Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday.

Gordon breaks away for Talladega win
TALLADEGA, Ala. — There was a time when Jeff Gordon didn't like restrictor-plate racing. No more.

Earnhardt, Waltrip still tough to beat at Talladega
TALLADEGA, Ala. — Teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip will start near the back of the field Sunday in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Nobody expects them to stay there long.

Murkowski: Judicial fight could affect ANWR deliberations
FAIRBANKS (AP) — A rancorous fight with Democrats over President Bush's judicial nominations could clog up other business, including measures to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to petroleum drilling, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said.

Spring takes wing
Herald moths, like this one resting under a porch light in Kasilof, are among the first moths flying in the spring since they overwinter in their adult form. This has earned them the title "the herald of spring" in some circles of entomology.

Firefighters try for uphill wildfire battle
Fire crews fighting a 3,270-acre fire near Homer were aided by cooler weather and rising humidity Sunday, but still had not brought the blaze under control. "It's growing," Sharon Rousch, with the Alaska Division of Forestry, said Sunday.

Homer fire up to 800 acres
Firefighters on Saturday scrambled to contain a forest fire that had burned more than 800 acres approximately 8 miles out East End Road near Homer on Saturday. According to Rick Jandreau with the Alaska Division of Forestry in Soldotna, the area is rife with beetle-killed spruce trees, which makes the area particularly susceptible to burning.

Men arraigned for rash of area burglaries
Two Sterling men were arraigned in Kenai District Court on burglary charges in conjunction with recent business break-ins in Sterling and Soldotna. Andrew McCollom, 29, and Christian A. Gaxiola, 26, were formally charged in Magistrate Jerry D. Anderson's court on second-degree burglary charges. McCollom also was charged with two counts of third-degree theft.

Homer charter school seeks new home, meets resistance
Teachers at Fireweed Academy in Homer want to expand their school into a bigger building — something with running water and more space than the two portables it occupies today. The most attractive option they have considered is West Homer Elementary but they are meeting strong opposition.

Taxes, borough budget top assembly's meeting agenda
Folks showing up for Tuesday evening's once-a-year Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting in Seward will have a chance to speak their minds on a host of subjects, from proposed changes in the tax law to how much the borough gets to spend in fiscal year 2006.

Hospital to increase trauma capabilities
The Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. Board of Directors have authorized hospital administrators to proceed with an application for Level 3 trauma designation. Chief Executive Officer David Gilbreath told the board Thursday that, had the hospital not been preparing to move to the next level of trauma readiness, CPGH may not have been able to save the life of a recent bear mauling victim.

Hold on to your hats
In the 16 years John and Suzie Cook have owned the Tustumena Lodge in Kasilof, they've accumulated some wild stories.

James Michael 'Mike' Dyer
Nikiski resident James Michael "Mike" Dyer died Thursday, April 28, 2005 at his home in Nikiski. He was 41. Funeral services will be held in Yale, Mich. Local arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

Ruby Hales
Kenai resident Ruby Hales died Saturday, April 30, 2005 at her home. She was 57. Arrangements are pending with Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

Robert Eugene 'Bob' Evans
Longtime Soldotna resident Robert Eugene "Bob" Evans died Saturday, April 30, 2005, at his home. He was 78.

Chun R. Cho
Soldotna resident Chun R. Cho died Saturday, April 30, 2005, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 48. Arrangements are pending with Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

Community must always be vigilant
Springtime is a time of remarkable renewal. When the first serious rays of sunshine began hitting the Kenai Peninsula a week ago, dandelions, green grass and even fireweed buds quickly began to poke their heads from the cold ground and look to the light of day for the first time since last fall. Birds have begun to return, and soon fish will again be flooding into area lakes and streams.

Courts to play key role in terror war
It's safe to say the war on terror will require more criminal prosecutions than any war in history.

Voices of the Clarion: Strange days indeed
How appropriate that today is May Day, although I'm thinking more along the lines of "Mayday."

Vietnam vets deserve thanks
In contrast to the proud anniversaries of World War II by the greatest generation, their children, the baby boomers are not clamoring to celebrate the anniversaries of the Vietnam War.

Peninsula people
Bolt graduates college Swain, Taylor join Navy Martin returns from Iraq

Around the Peninsula
Fire training scheduled Health care coverage to be discussed Day of prayer slated School carnival fund-raiser set Seniors to hold garage, bake sales Food program offered

Shoring up
Southcentral Alaska in the springtime is a magnet for huge flocks of shore-dwelling creatures that spend their time here traveling from beach to beach, meticulously scanning the sand for signs of life.

Community Schools
Soldotna Homer

Special radio will help 'weather' an emergency
What is the best disaster preparedness tool you can have? Is it your first aid kit or fire extinguisher? No. It's information.

Community Events
Community race set to go Dinner, auction benefit slated Gardening classes continue Community wildfire planning meetings set School carnival fund-raiser set Krispie Cremes sold for kicks Lace up for WalkAmerica Peace, justice group forming Birds of a feather watch together Overboard for rafting

Around the Peninsula
Community wildfire planning meetings set Gray to speak at chamber Gardening classes offered Day of prayer slated Pancake breakfast set Carnival planned

Club News
The Kenai Peninsula Football and Cheer Association will meet at 7 p.m. May 12 at Soldotna Middle School. The topic will be the upcoming football and cheerleading season. All members are encouraged to attend.

Births
Heather and Mark Knudsen of Kenai

Have brains when picking birds
Pet birds can enrich their owner's lives in a variety of ways but, as with any potential pet purchase, it is not something that should be done on an impulse or a whim. It is important to do some research and make careful considerations to ensure that the bird you choose will best suit your lifestyle and pocketbook.

My best friend
Brandy, 5 years old, works Monday through Saturday at Trapper Johns Gun Shop in Kenai with her pop, John Brinegar of Kenai. She loves her customers and they love seeing her.

Selig wants to toughen drug policy
NEW YORK — Baseball commissioner Bud Selig asked players to agree to a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders and a lifetime ban for a third violation under what he called a ''three strikes and you are out approach'' to doping.

Kenai, SkyHi booters split
Haley Mishler booted the Kenai Central High School girls soccer team to its third win in as many days, scoring twice and adding an assist in the Kardinals' 3-2 Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division win Saturday at Kenai. In Saturday's boys game, the Panthers easily handled the Kardinals, winning 6-0.

Smoking
The Kenai Central boys team dominated the 2005 Homer Invitational track and field competition Saturday on a smoky day at Homer High School.

Heat sweep New Jersey
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Until Shaquille O'Neal's sore thighs get better, Dwyane Wade is quite capable of leading the Miami Heat past anyone in the playoffs, even sweeping them.

Terry helps Mavs even series with Rockets
HOUSTON — Jason Terry might never pass enough to earn favorable comparisons to Dallas' previous point guard. That's OK with the Mavericks, as long as Terry keeps scoring the way he did in Game 4.

Osborne wants to rule Nebraska
HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — Former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne plans to seek the Republican nomination for governor instead of a fourth term in Congress.

Palmer booters post victories over Nikiski
The Palmer girls and boys soccer teams swept host Nikiski in Northern Lights Conference action Friday.

Toney, at 36, outpoints Ruiz for WBA crown
NEW YORK (AP) — With a cigar in hand and the WBA championship belt displayed above him, James Toney wasn't disappointed he didn't completely fulfill his promise.

Soldotna girls top Knights
The Soldotna High School girls soccer team weathered a ferocious storm of shots from the Colony Knights, then broke free to score the only goal of the match for a 1-0 Northern Lights Conference victory Friday at Soldotna. In the boys match, the Knights were able to find some space on Soldotna's small field in the second half to notch a 4-1 win.

Sports views: Different Dodgers are good Dodgers, as long as they win
Fleece Blanket Night at Dodger Stadium sure seemed like a good idea. Some 54,387 fans turned out earlier this week, lured by a game with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the promise of a Dodger blue blanket celebrating past World Series championships.

Santana stellar in first loss
MINNEAPOLIS — Bartolo Colon bested Johan Santana, ending the Minnesota ace's 17-game winning streak by allowing just two hits in 7 1-3 scoreless innings Sunday to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Twins 2-1.

Pats' Cassel shuns label of 'Next Brady'
FOXBORO, Mass. — Matt Cassel already has enough in common with Tom Brady to draw comparisons to the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Special delivery
AVONDALE, La. — Draped in purple and gold Mardi Gras beads and clutching his silver trophy, Tim Petrovic was still in shock.

Phoenix rises to the occasion
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Forget slowing down in the playoffs, the Phoenix Suns sprinted right into the Western Conference semifinals.

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