Thursday, July 1, 2004

Pirates notch rare sweep of Cardinals
PITTSBURGH Pinch-hitter Bobby Hill singled home the winning run in the ninth and Tike Redman had three RBIs to lead the Pirates over St. Louis 6-5 victory to complete their first home three-game sweep of the Cardinals in 15 years.

Johnson strikes out 4,000th batter
PHOENIX The word ''bittersweet'' kept coming up when Randy Johnson talked about reaching 4,000 career strikeouts.

Error on grounder to first helps Yanks win
NEW YORK Eighteen years later, a grounder to first base did in the Boston Red Sox again. This New York setting was far less dramatic than when Bill Buckner made his infamous error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, but the play was eerily similar.

Kenai River Classic brings anglers to town
The relative calm of June on the Kenai River will be broken later this week when a contingent of lawmakers, corporate executives and celebrities descend on the river for the 11th annual Kenai River Classic fishing tournament.

Photo feature: Hanging out
Betty Coulter snips dead blooms from flower baskets hanging on the front of her home in Kenai on Wednesday afternoon. She said this summer has been a good one for her flowers and vegetables.

'Spiderman' swings back into action
More is more and we're not talking about Michael Moore, for once with ''Spider-Man 2.''

'Trading Spaces' host hopes to bring down the Broadway house
NEW YORK On a glorious afternoon, Paige Davis steps out of a taxi in front of the Broadway home of the musical ''Chicago'' with a disposition as sunny as the sky itself.

Photo feature: Creative critters
Kids participating in the Alaska Children's Arts Institute held at Kenai Peninsula College from June 14 to 18 had many opportunities to put their creativity to use, like with these creatures exhibited June 18 at the college.

Teacher offers art instruction for kids
Summer is in full swing, and for many kids school has become a blissfully hazy memory. But just because they're not boarding a yellow bus and heading off to school doesn't mean they can't still be learning.

Memoir describes Alaskan's adventures
In 1989, the University of Alaska awarded an honorary doctorate to James Brooks, twice commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Not bad for a high-school dropout and former hobo.

Art Briefs
Writers' group meets todayKids' summer art workshops plannedFarmer's market offers arts, craftsLibrary sponsors contestsKids' summer theater camp slatedWatercolor workshop offered

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

Junk cars a problem? Keep your eyes to yourself
Given enough time, the junk car issue is sure to generate blight ordinances. Once begun, blight will be defined as whatever doesn't appeal to the fragile sensibilities of "proper" citizens. Egads! What's become of "live and let live"? First, it will be the old cars and then they'll be telling us what color to paint our house.

Veteran status alone does not make perfect candidate
The amount of rhetoric that comes from retired rear echelon officers never ceases to amaze me. For all the Jerry Ward cronies reading this letter, here's a few facts to clear up the confusion factor.

Sen. Murkowski's campaign strategies unsavory
Why didn't Lisa Murkowski denounce the negative outside ads that slammed Knowles unfairly? If she doesn't have the power to stop these ads from her own party, does she think she will have the power to convince anyone in the senate to open ANWR? She now has a phone survey that asks quite a few questions. It doesn't say who is sponsoring the survey until the very end. I think she is being deceptive; just like her father.

Sen. Murkowski needs to make decision on stem cell research
A bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate has paid tribute to Ronald Reagan in the best possible way: They have called for stem cell research to help combat Alzheimer's disease. They have answered the call of Nancy Reagan to urge President Bush to drop restrictions on this life-saving research. Alaska's Ted Stevens was one of 58 senators who signed the joint request. Tony Knowles supports it. Lisa Murkowski hasn't decided where she stands.

Longtime cemetery volunteer needs help with resource
The Kasilof-Cohoe Cemetery Assocation was established by the homesteaders in the 1950s to save people money, and save people money it did. I estimated at one time that those who bought graves there saved a quarter of a million dollars over the cost of a commercial cemetery. I took an interest in it when my uncle died in 1962. I volunteered to maintain it and have continued to maintain it for 40 years. The association voted me a wage and continueally raised my wages. I never asked for one cent.

Sen. Murkowski's stance on stem cell research off base
We have always been under the impression that we put the people in power that we do because they know what they believe, they have strong ideological compasses, and they will fight for what is in the best interests of their constituents. Time after time, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has flip-flopped on key issues and, more egregiously, has co-sponsored legislation that hinders the progress and development of new medical treatments for Alaska's ill and elderly.

Kenai could do better to serve seasonal guests
It is time to bring up the annual issue of dipnetting. The city of Kenai needs to address this growing issue. The main problem that the community faces is the lack of parking and camping facilities. There are less than 400 total available spaces in the private campgrounds and public fee parking areas.

Sponsors, volunteers made kids' fishing event successful
The members of the Kenai River Professional Guide Association would like to thank all the businesses, organizations, guides and volunteers who helped to make the fourth annual Take a Kid Fishing event a success. All the kids had great time fishing, partaking in the barbeque that followed and showing off their new fishing rods, reels and hats.

FRES appreciates support for annual fund-raising events
Funny River Emergency Services board and members would like to thank all who helped to make our annual bake-garage sale a great success.

Daytona lights have brightened attendance for Pepsi 400
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Michael Waltrip is one of many drivers who thinks the installation of lights seven years ago instantly elevated the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway to one of the premier races of the season.

NASCAR Notes - Stewart's poor behavior deemed 'unacceptable'
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. NASCAR officials fined Tony Stewart $50,000 and placed him on probation until Aug. 18 following Stewart's June 27 altercation with another driver.

Newsmaker: Brian France
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. NASCAR Chairman Brian France is a busy man. His group is not only looking to expand its Busch Series to places like Mexico City, it continues to adjust its rules package. France talked about the first half of the season and what to expect during the second half.

This Week: Pepsi 400
(Race No. 17 of 36)

Traffic ticket prices to rise
Motorists who violate traffic laws in much of Alaska will face stiffer penalties beginning Thursday.

Space program to take off again
"I'm the luckiest man in the world." Retired space shuttle pilot Michael McCulley credits the U.S. Navy and NASA for providing him with extraordinary opportunities in life, including the opportunity to witness Earth from outside the atmosphere.

Voice of NASA past set to outline agency's future
Former space shuttle pilot Michael J. McCulley is in Kenai today to discuss the future of space exploration in the United States.

Effects of Interior fires keep Kenai Peninsula cloudy and cool
Wildfire smoke is partly to blame for the ash-gray skies over much of the Kenai Peninsula this week, according to a National Weather Service representative.

Firefighter alerts women to house fire
Quick action by a Central Emergency Services volunteer Tuesday morning alerted two sleeping women to a house fire on Even Lane off Kalifornsky Beach Road.

More gas could flow
Natural gas from Unocal's Happy Valley prospect could be flowing by late this year through a proposed extension to the Kenai-Kachemak Pipeline being built by the pipeline company, according to Unocal.

Mary Ruth Zumwalt
Longtime Soldotna resident Mary Ruth Zumwalt died Sunday, June 27, 2004, at Providence Extended Care Center in Anchorage from complications of the heart and kidneys. She was 77.

Colleen Charlotte Gordon
Longtime Soldotna and Anchorage resident Colleen Charlotte Gordon died Monday, June 28, 2004, at her home in Soldotna of natural causes. She was 74.

Evelyn R. Bass
Kenai resident Evelyn R. Bass died Sunday, June 27, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 63.

Paul 'Butch' Poissant
Longtime Soldotna resident Paul "Butch" Poissant died Monday, June 28, 2004, at his home. He was 63.

Oilers' comeback beats Panners
The Peninsula Oilers made it two in a row Wednesday, recovering from an early deficit to defeat the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks 5-4 in an Alaska Baseball League game at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Oilers hold off Goldpanners
The Peninsula Oilers got a big win Tuesday, beating the Alaska Baseball League-leading Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks 4-3 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Early power transfer means all is not well
... The fact that, for fear of attacks, a ceremony under massive security could not go ahead as planned, amounts to an admission of failure.

Alaska Reserves, Guard sharing risk, burden abroad
Day after day now, Alaskans hear the reports out of Iraq U.S. forces under attack in this town, fighting back in that town. Soldiers injured and killed.

Bush, Kerry neck-and-neck and still losing supporters
It is becoming crystal clear that George W. Bush and John Kerry are virtually guaranteed a down-to-the-wire battle for the White House. What should be troubling to both candidates is that they are trending slightly downward in their overall support. The latest InsiderAdvantage survey, conducted with our research partners The Marketing Workshop, asked the following: If the presidential election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Space flight shows government may not be best for job
Monday's remarkable flight by the Space-ShipOne rocket plane, which barely scraped across the arbitrary outer boundary of Earth's atmosphere, may have been one small step for manned spaceflight, but it was one giant leap for the entrepreneurial spirit.

Parks, schools, nation need action from concerned citizens
July 4, 2004, finds the nation returning our flags to full staff after the 30 days of official mourning for President Reagan, which ends July 5. As we remember President Reagan's optimism and move ahead on our nation's birthday, we as a community have three self-evident truths that we should address with optimism. These self-evident truths include decisions regarding the expansion of Soldotna Creek Park , the condition of our public school system and our need to fully participate in our democratic institutions.

Photo feature: In the air
Like snow in June, cottonwood seed fills the sky below a cottonwood tree in Soldotna last weekend.

Around the Peninsula
Homer Spit to open to snagging kingsYouth behavior meeting plannedChamber seeking parade entries, vendorsSalmon canning class availablePhone card donations soughtNutrition classes slatedWRCC fund-raiser slated

Around the Peninsula
Volksmarch 10K setRed Cross golf tourney setBuzz Aldrin to speak at SeaLife CenterUCIDA plans membership meetingSterling church to hold celebration

Rockets deal for McGrady
HOUSTON Tracy McGrady is leaving his hometown team for Houston in a blockbuster trade that sends Steve Francis to the Orlando Magic and gives the Rockets one of the NBA's most intriguing duos.

Sports Briefs
KPSC sends 10 teams to FairbanksMidnight Sun volleyball competes in RenoBorgman moves closer to Olympic berthYoung should forfeit gold, court rulesRaptors hire Sam Mitchell as head coach

Sports Briefs
Midnight Sun volleyball goes 1-2 in RenoPortugal tops Netherlands in Euro 2004Stewart fined $50,000, loses points

Roddick, Federer reach semifinals
WIMBLEDON, England Andy Roddick was flat on his stomach at the baseline, not a particularly good place to be during a tiebreaker point at Wimbledon.

126 mph ace leads Williams to victory
WIMBLEDON, England Pow! A 104 mph ace. Crack! A 113 mph ace. Wham! A 126 mph ace, the fastest serve ever hit by a woman at Wimbledon.

Unser retires
INDIANAPOLIS Al Unser Jr. woke up to a harsh reality this week. His passion for racing was gone.

Kenai Golf Report: Kenai Golf Course could use showers
Kenai Golf Course fairways are getting mighty thirsty and some rain during the nights would be simply perfect. It seems like everything else, it is difficult to have a balance of everything. The watering crew certainly soaks the greens during the night. They usually start at 10 p.m. and put in their day of work in the middle of the night.

Borgman rows boat to Athens
Homer's Stacey Borgman is going to the Olympics.

Birch Ridge Report: Summer still going strong
I overheard a conversation one day about the seasons of Alaska that went something like this. "We have fall, winter, spring ... and July. And when the fireweed has blossomed all the way to the top of its stalk, summer's over."

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