Friday, July 8, 2005

Baseball dropped by IOC
SINGAPORE — Baseball and softball were cut Friday from the Olympic program for the 2012 Summer Games in London, making the two American-invented sports the first events cut from the Olympics in 69 years.

Big Fish that got away
The American Legion Twins lost 6-3 Thursday to State Farm of Colorado Niwot-Boulder in the championship game of the Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Yankees win fifth straight game
NEW YORK — Jason Giambi homered for the third straight game and 20-year-old Melky Cabrera singled in his major league debut as Mike Mussina and the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Twins advance to Big Fish title game
The American Legion Twins baseball team eked out a 1-0 win over the Napoleon, Ohio, River Bandits Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, advancing to a rematch with the State Farm of Colorado Niwot-Boulder team in the championship game of the Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament.

Anderson, Angels get to Santana, Twins for win
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Garret Anderson hit a three-run homer off Johan Santana in the seventh inning and threw out the potential tying run at home in the eighth Wednesday, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set schedules Free vendor spaces offered Summit Cleaners expandsInsulated totes ready Dealerships get new managers Streiff receives award

In the Boundary Waters, smallmouth bass bite when pike won't
DULUTH, Minn. — Jim Blauch sent the orange and yellow popper toward a rocky point off the end of an island on this small lake. The fly landed lightly just inches from a rock protruding from the water.

Big time: King fishing heats up
Lorraine Prestwood of Lakeview, Ore., had the thrill of a lifetime Wednesday as she successfully hooked, fought and landed a 74.85-pound king salmon on the Kenai River.

What's Happening
Best Bets Events and Exhibits Entertainment Upcoming EventsFilms Down the Road Anchorage Events

From the bookshelf
Alaska inspires great books for readers who fall into the vague category publishers call "young adult." Several recent titles from that category share dark subject matter and bright storytelling.

Art Briefs
Writers' group to meet Stained glass workshop offered Poetry workshops slated Young writers sought Singers wanted Art workshops offered Orchestra rehearsals ongoing Arts, humanities awards seeking nominations Art scholarship contest announced Editors Day scheduled in September

In the Market for variety
Alaskans tend to be a crafty lot. It may be an inherent interest in utilizing the land's resources or perhaps the long, dark winters inspire hobbies. Whatever the reason, it seems most everyone has something they like to cook, craft or otherwise create.

Caroline G. Kleineick
Former Cooper Landing resident Caroline G. Kleineick died Saturday, July 3, 2005, at her home. She was 100.

Reader wants to know where Bush will draw line
President Bush says that the sacrifice we are making to fight the war in Iraq is "worth it." I wonder how big the sacrifices would have to be in order for him to decide that it is no longer worth it. Already more than 1,700 American troops have died. How many more would have to die for it not to be worth it? Five thousand? Ten thousand?

Helen Pope
Soldotna resident Helen Pope died Tuesday, July 5, 2005, at her home. She was 83.

Kenai reader notes similarities in times
A recent headline grabbed my attention: "AAA predicts record travel on 4th of July weekend." It reminded me of when I flew to Reno for Memorial Day weekend in 1979.

Drivers need to be aware of bicyclists, pedestrians
On June 26, I rode my bicycle on Funny River Road in the morning, when I was almost hit head-on by a driver going much too fast around a curve in the road.

Luau fund-raiser feasts on success
The Soldotna Senior Citizens Center would like to thank Hawaiian Vacations, Tesoro, Mike Moore, Trinity Greenhouse, Donna's Country and Victorian Gifts, the Kenai and Soldotna Safeways and Poppy Lane Flowers for their wonderful donations for the center's at-capacity Hawaiian luau fund-raiser.

Postal employee, reporter to blame for tie controversy
In response to the article dated July 7 by Mark Quiner titled, "Fit to be tied": 1) Steve Adams, postal employee with 10 years service, should never have started going against the dress code; 2) Postmaster Margaret Merrill should have put a stop to it in the beginning; and 3) Mark Quiner didn't need to stir up an in-house problem with the public.

Fading blaze still provides fireworks
Despite being approximately 70 percent contained, the King County Creek Fire managed to provide some fireworks Tuesday evening.

Photo feature: Slow-dotna
Southbound traffic backs up on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna on Thursday afternoon. At one point, traffic was bumper-to-bumper from Kalifornsky Beach Road almost to the "Soldotna Y" intersection at the Kenai Spur Highway.

Planned assisted-living facility finds home on city-owned land
Kenai's senior citizen community showed up in force Wednesday to support a city resolution expressing the intent to donate up to 30 acres of land for the future site of an assisted-living facility.

Council doesn't renew contract of city manager
The Kenai City Council decided in a closed-door session Wednesday not to renew the contract of City Manager Linda Snow. The decision came during an executive session that followed the council's regular meeting.

Assembly digs water protection
Gravel pit developers seeking borough land-use permits would have to show proof that their projects would not harm aquifers serving neighboring properties under a proposed ordinance being considered by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Lease sale put off
A lack of industry interest in the Cook Inlet offshore area has led the U.S. Minerals Management Service to postpone a lease sale scheduled for next spring until 2007, the service announced Tuesday.

Dog days of summer
Where can you find about 650 dogs in one place on the Kenai Peninsula? Well, at least this weekend they can be found at Skyview High School.

Hazmat fingerprinting offered in Kenai
Alaska truck drivers who transport hazardous materials can now get their fingerprints taken in Kenai.

Gravel pit issues could require broader approach
Complex issues surrounding the impact of gravel pits on groundwater on the Kenai Peninsula may demand a far broader approach than that embraced by an ordinance proposed by assembly member Dan Chay requiring land-use permit applicants to prove their extraction activities would not damage local aquifers, said Homer hydrologist Geoff Coble.

Soldotna police look into sexual assaults against juveniles
Soldotna police are investigating two separate reports of sexual abuse of minors, which occurred July 4.

Early birds
One charter float plane takes to the sky as another revs up to takeoff speed on Longmere Lake on a recent morning. When the salmon are in, two or three charters take off daily at 7 a.m. like clockwork, temporarily interrupting the quiet tranquility of the inland Sterling lake.

Oilers drop fifth straight
The Peninsula Oilers suffered their fifth straight loss Wednesday, losing 4-2 in Alaska Baseball League play to the Mat-Su Miners at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Citizens can show patriotism by running for elected positions
It was great to see so many patriotic folks lining the streets of Kenai for the Fourth of July Parade on Monday. There was plenty of red, white and blue, flag waving and celebration throughout the Kenai Peninsula marking our significant day of independence as a nation.

Decision to seize property frightening
The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision allowing government broad power to seize homes and businesses for more lucrative redevelopment is disappointing — and frightening.

Flag issue draws fire
Are you a tried and true patriot? Then surely you support an 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution: ''The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.''

Investigation yields little
WASHINGTON — A prosecutor's hunt for Bush administration leakers of classified information has produced no indictments after almost two years, and legal experts say it's very possible the only person jailed will be a reporter who never wrote a story.

Dog finds way back after fall, two nights in woods
KODIAK — For two days Kaitlin Lee felt like the world's worst housesitter.

Outdoor Briefs
205.6-pounder wins tournamentShooting clinic slated for July 30

Adventurer sets off on trip to circle Lower 48 states
SEATTLE (AP) — Professional adventurer Renata Chlumska's plan to circle the United States by kayak, boat and inline skates may be the first such excursion of its kind, but her solo trip beginning Monday has a very personal motivation.

Around the Peninsula
Refuge hosts films, nature walksLessons go swimminglyCommunity concert setGolf tourney to tee off

Around the Peninsula
River Quest land owners meeting set Raffle fund-raiser, golf tourney set Instructional shooting clinic on target Toyz for Totz poker run scheduled FCS baseball world series set

Jewish foundation helps teachers learn how to teach the Holocaust
NEW YORK — Six decades later, the Holocaust remains a painful and emotionally draining topic — and a special challenge for middle school and high school teachers who have to instruct students about one of the most horrific episodes in human history.

Cruise lends Hollywood hype to Church of Scientology
There's nothing unusual about celebrities promoting their faith — think Madonna and kabbalah, Richard Gere and Buddhism, Muhammad Ali and Islam — but the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Centers have been unusually adept at cultivating entertainers such as actor Tom Cruise.

Church Briefs
Drama troupe meeting setBible study group to meetFamily nights setClothes Quarters openClothing availableVBS trip set to travelBible school set to take offVBS, sports camp planned in SterlingBible school slated

Tongue tied: Words have big power to hurt, help
While standing in line to pay a bill, the clerk and a customer in front of me engaged in a friendly conversation. Soon the clerk launched into a story laced with profanity and sexual connotations that caused them to part laughing loudly.

Rain can't wash Armstrong's yellow
NANCY, France — Downpours, treacherous and slick roads, buffeting winds and a nasty crash in the final dash to the finish line. Not a Tour de France day Lance Armstrong will want to remember.

Sorry guys, it's all about Wie this week
SILVIS, Ill. — Sorry defending champion Mark Hensby, Nick Price, David Toms and everyone else here, it's not about you this week.

Poker championship makes millionaires and megastars
LAS VEGAS — The World Series of Poker creates legends and changes lives, makes instant millionaires and megastars, pits world-class rounders against online amateurs, brings together Hollywood celebrities and red-eyed denizens of backroom games.

Birch Ridge Report:
Can you believe it — it's July and the weather could not be any better. This is the best time of year for doing those nagging little summer chores. You know the ones: the continual lawn mowing; the yet again unsuccessful experiment to get rid of the horsetail that grows up through the (paved) driveway; and building a new deck! WORK — a four-letter word if there ever was one. It's time to ditch the hammer and trade it out for golf clubs.

Reluctant leader: Armstrong hangs on to yellow jersey
MONTARGIS, France — No yellow jersey Wednesday. No race Thursday. It didn't take Lance Armstrong long to make up his mind. The six-time defending Tour de France champion tried to start the day without the leader's yellow jersey on his back, a gesture of sportsmanship to honor the former bearer, who lost it when he crashed a day earlier.

Wie one shot off cut line
SILVIS, Ill. — Michelle Wie wants to do more than make history.

Cow moose with four calves seen in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS (AP) — A Fairbanks woman snapped photos of a cow moose trailed by four newborn calves walking through a yard in Fairbanks.

Wildlife biologists report 'Excellent reproductive season' for Colorado lynx
DENVER — A state wildlife biologist said Tuesday it looks like another good year for lynx kittens in Colorado, with preliminary results showing ''an excellent reproductive season.''

Birds, bees and sandpipers: Shorebirds exhibit various mating systems
On a recent outing to Skilak Lake my kids discovered several medium-sized shorebirds while walking along the lake's cobbled shoreline. The birds were approximately 7 to 8 inches long, brown above, and white below with bold black spotting. They constantly bobbed their tails or "teetered" while they foraged along the lakeshore. When flushed they flew low over the water and shoreline with stiff shallow wing beats and soft weet, weet, weet vocalizations could be heard as the birds cavorted about.

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