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Monday, September 20, 2004

Cardinals clinch spot in NL playoffs
ST. LOUIS The St. Louis Cardinals became the first major league team to clinch a playoff spot this season, winning the NL Central for the third time in five seasons.

Bonds free to focus on hunt for playoffs
SAN FRANCISCO Barry Bonds' black leather clubhouse chair was fully reclined, and the San Francisco slugger leaned back in it with a rare moment to relax after joining the 700 home run club.

Giants stay on top
SAN FRANCISCO J.T. Snow had four RBIs to lead San Francisco over the San Diego Padres 4-2 Sunday and keep the Giants a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild-card race.

Yankees rout Red Sox, even series
NEW YORK Jon Lieber no-hit the Red Sox until David Ortiz's two-out home run in the seventh inning, and the New York Yankees beat up on Derek Lowe in a 14-4 win Saturday that stopped Boston's momentum.

Maestro! Santana wins 11th straight
MINNEAPOLIS Johan Santana won his 11th straight start with another dominant performance, striking out a career high 14 over eight shutout innings for the Minnesota Twins in a 5-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Prop 1 targets property tax drop
Alaska lawmakers agreed in May to amend state law and give municipalities the opportunity to decrease the tax bills paid by their home-owning residents.

Kards' defense stifles Homer
For a quarter and a half Friday night, the Homer Mariners played like a team fighting for its playoff life.

SkyHi wallops Kodiak
Although the 2004 season has been an often-bitter one for the Skyview Panthers, homecoming proved to be mighty sweet as the Panthers mauled the Kodiak Bears 38-0 for their first win of the season Saturday.

Stars roll over 'Dawgs
It took just under two minutes of football for the Soldotna Stars to send the Nikiski Bulldogs back to the dog pound Saturday.

Woman takes aim at place in hunting world
Although they had only been in Kodiak less than 24 hours, things weren't looking good for Marnett Love-Hamrick and her husband, Mike Hamrick of Kenai of Kenai.

NOW PLAYING Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Something essential is missing in Hollywood, but it's not always easy to pinpoint what it is until it's pointed out to you. Ambition. It may seem odd to say that ambition is the missing element in a town that specializes in greed, money, and ego, but I'm thinking of a slightly different definition. The ambition I speak of is that drive to create something new, something wholly unique, or at least a new way to look at an old story. This week, something new has arrived, though the packaging is very old indeed. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is an exciting and beautifully realized look at the spectacularly imaginative adventure tales of the 1930s. If only it had the full strength of its ambition.

Assembly member deserves thanks for stopping byway
By a 5-4 vote the Kenai Peninsula Borough stopped a push by the city of Homer to designate the Sterling Highway from Skilak Lake Road to Anchor Point as a state Scenic Byway. Led by Grace Merkes and Paul Fischer, the citizens of Sterling and Kasilof realized their road was in jeopardy of being controlled by outside interests and put a stop to the proposed measure.

Fenske's work appreciated; quality of service will continue
Donna Fenske recently retired as a public health nurse, as you noted in your profile of Sept 12. We in the Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Health (DPH) will miss her as much as the communities on the Kenai Peninsula will miss her. She has been a creative, imaginative, skilled advocate for improved public health.

Misinformation taints future of recreation service area
For the past year, I have attended 90 percent of the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area's board meetings. I know that much of the information being distributed by some individuals is not correct and is very misleading. Why would anyone want to purposely mislead or misinform the residents of the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area?

Simple ideas can help residents support schools
Education is everyone's business whether or not we have children because quality schools are the cornerstones of successful communities. Without a skilled work force, our communities will suffer; in short, without quality education, Alaska has no future.

Donated organs should go to those who donate
Your story about Bob and Judy Downs highlighted the tragic shortage of human organs for transplant operations. That shortage kills more than 6,000 Americans every year. Most of those deaths are needless. Americans donate only half of the organs that could save lives and reduce suffering. They bury or cremate the rest.

Gordon out front for start of 10-man title chase
LOUDON, N.H. If experience counted for everything, Jeff Gordon would win NASCAR's first 10-man, 10-race championship playoff.

Busch rocks field in New Hampshire
LOUDON, N.H. Kurt Busch was seventh among the title contenders heading into Sunday's first race of NASCAR's new 10-man, 10-race Nextel Cup championship format.

Teachers bid students farewell, heading to Iraq
Two school teachers in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are trading classroom lessons for camouflage clothing.

Kasilof gets unlikely visitor
"Before I say anything else, I just want you to know I'm not drunk."

Hope comes to Kenai
Hope Community Resources Inc., the largest and only statewide provider of services to individuals who experience disabilities, has expended to a new facility to better serve the Kenai Peninsula.

Soldotna chamber touts city as safe place to meet
Upset over a recent decision by the Alaska Board of Fisheries, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has passed a resolution touting the city of Soldotna as an attractive meeting destination.

Prosecutor paints chilling picture
Jurors were shown graphic photos of an assault victim and heard a bone-chilling tape recording of a 911 call for help, as the trial of the 23-year-old man charged with the attack got under way in Kenai Superior Court on Friday.

Man dies from knife wound in fight in Sterling
A man is dead and his brother charged with stabbing him after an altercation between the two occurred Friday night in Sterling.

Soldotna woman included in Native museum opening
Among the estimated 20,000 Native American faces in the crowd during this week's opening ceremonies for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., will be Soldotna's own Charlotte St. Clair.

Clam Gulch couple offers chance to see animals up close, personal
For the "city folks" of the central Kenai Peninsula, a Saturday afternoon trip to run errands doesn't typically involve seeing a duck and rabbit, much less a Nigerian dwarf goat and miniature donkey.

John A. VanBlaricom
Soldotna resident John A. VanBlaricom died Saturday, Sept. 18, 2004, at his home. He was 56.

Clyde Spencer Johnson Sr.
Longtime Kenai resident Clyde Spencer Johnson Sr. died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, while going hunting with his sons at their cabin in Nikiski. He was 74.

Jeffrey Allen Couture
Soldotna resident Jeffrey Allen Couture died Monday, Sept. 13, 2004, at his home in Soldotna. He was 51.

Paul Gibson
Sterling resident Paul Gibson died Friday, Sept. 17, 2004, at his residence. He was 32.

Alvin Taeschner
Soldotna resident Alvin Taeschner died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at his home. He was 87.

J. VonBergen Phillips
Longtime Kenai resident J. VonBergen Phillips died Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004, at home in Kenai. He was 77.

'Mountains that go bang' in North Korea pose world concern
Others suggest whatever happened could have been deliberate, citing the fact that it took place on September 9, the date of North Korea's foundation. The way the regime seals itself off from the outside has often encouraged rumour, as was the case with a massive train crash earlier this year. Whatever the truth, this episode is a troubling reminder of the big issue that rightly worries the entire world. Having admitted two years ago that it had the know-how to develop nuclear weapons, North Korea is still refusing to resume stalled talks with South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the US, although it has been able to exploit reports that Seoul has experimented with plutonium enrichment.

Worth noting
"The president stood right here where I'm standing and didn't acknowledge that more than 1,000 men and women have lost their lives in Iraq. He didn't tell you that with each passing day, we're seeing more chaos, more violence, indiscriminate killings. He didn't tell you that with each passing week, our enemies are actually getting bolder that Pentagon officials report that entire regions of Iraq are now in the hands of terrorists and extremists."

Dividends provide opportunity to look at state's finances
Drum roll, please.

Debates present pitfalls, opportunities for Bush, Kerry
WASHINGTON Because John Kerry is the challenger and lags President Bush in most national polls, he seems to have the most to gain from a strong performance in the upcoming fall debates. Some Democrats see the faceoffs as the last chance for a Kerry breakout.

Un-dream jobs create unique resume
Lately, I've been wondering how it is a person ends up doing whatever it is they do for a living.

Sandford, Semmens have beach wedding
Julie Sandford, formerly of Spearfish, S.D., and Thomas Semmens, formerly of Soldotna, were married Saturday, July 24, 2004, on the beach in Kasilof.

Mountains, monasteries of 'Little Tibet' attract visitors
LEH, India They are trekkers and seekers, backpackers and Buddhist followers, and they come here for both spiritual sustenance and for rugged hikes amid ancient monasteries and snowcapped mountains.

'Da Vinci Code' launches tourism fad
PARIS It began with a prophecy at Paris' Saint-Sulpice church. An American visitor pressed a thick volume into the pastor's hands and said, "My father, this book is going to cause you many troubles."

Around the Peninsula
Phone card donations soughtJunior Achievement schedules meetingRC and D to meetCandidate forum plannedPenDOG to start classes

Area Eagle Scout appreciates assistance
Thanks to a lot of help, I was able to complete my Eagle Scout Project the weekend before school started.

Code pink: Popular flowers draw bioterrorism concerns
ANCHORAGE Geraniums lovely, resilient, universally popular. Thomas Jefferson himself helped introduce these virtuous flowers to America in the late 1700s after falling under their trance in France.

Hero of the Week
I'm writing this letter to inform everyone on the peninsula of a blessing in my life and yours, as well.

UAF scientists find underwater habitat
FAIRBANKS (AP) The discovery of Alaska's newest underwater habitat and possibly a new marine species began with a runaway sieve.

Around the Peninsula
Basketball registration begins KPC seeks council members Food bank to hold board meeting Fish and Game advisory to meet Genealogical society to meet Library to host performance Historical society to hold fall fling Developmental screening offered

Modzelewski, Samples plan Florida ceremony
Eve Modzelewski and Scott Samples plan to be married Saturday, Nov. 27, 2004, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

My best friend
Skeezix, an Australian shepherd and husky mix, belongs to Rhoda A. Turinsky of Kenai.

Treats: Pets can improve health
You've had a horrible day. You missed a deadline at work, you got a speeding ticket on the way home and you're starving for dinner. With arms full, you juggle your keys to open the front door, and when you do, a familiar face is waiting for you your dog.

Pup shoots man, saves litter mates
PENSACOLA, Florida (AP) Nice shootin', Rex!

Third time a charm for SoHi girls, Kenai boys
The Soldotna High School girls and Kenai Central High School boys continued their runs atop the Kenai Peninsula Borough cross country championships while a pair of runners Soldotna's Ari Goldstein and Seward's Matt Adams won their first individual borough meet titles Saturday at the Nikiski Community Trails.

Homecoming party: SkyHi sweeps Kenai
The Skyview High School volleyball team netted a big win Friday, defeating the visiting Kenai Kardinals in three games to kick off the Panthers' homecoming weekend.

Culpepper nearing peak form
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Dallas defense hinted at an all-out blitz early in the second quarter, and Daunte Culpepper saw it coming. He alerted his Minnesota teammates, stepped back into the shotgun and calmly threw a soft pass over the line for a 63-yard touchdown that put the Vikings ahead for good in Sunday's season-opening victory over the Cowboys.

Beeson takes second at Su-Valley Invitational
Cook Inlet Academy's Brian Beeson placed second at Saturday's Su-Valley Cross Country Invitational in Talkeetna. Beeson's time of 16 minutes, 47 seconds over the 5-kilometer course put him just eight seconds back of race winner Austin Ellis of Valdez.

Nikiski stays perfect by defeating Homer
A scary Nikiski volleyball team is getting a whole lot scarier to opponents because sophomore Hannah Thompson is starting to hit well again.

Europe on the verge of record rout
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) Sergio Garcia removed the flag from the 18th hole and waved it over his head. Padraig Harrington tossed his glove and cap into the crowd that draped itself in European flags and sang ''Ole, Ole!'' from the top of its lungs. Darren Clarke lit up another cigar.

Tennessee tops Florida in a thriller
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. James Wilhoit kicked a 50-yard field goal with 6 seconds left to give No. 13 Tennessee a 30-28 victory over No. 11 Florida on Saturday night.

Continental divide
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) Over here, over there, it no longer matters. Europe again proved to be the best in the Ryder Cup with its biggest romp over the Americans.

Hopkins stops De La Hoya, retains title
LAS VEGAS Oscar De La Hoya thought he could trade punches with a bigger and stronger fighter. Bernard Hopkins made him pay for his mistake with two body shots that left De La Hoya pounding his gloves on the canvas in bitter frustration at a career opportunity lost.

Sluggish Seahawks slog past Tampa Bay
TAMPA, Fla. Mike Holmgren caught himself before he got too critical of his Seattle Seahawks.

Homer boys take Kenai Invite
Kenai's Landon Mishler, Soldotna's Eve Green and Tory Coursen, Seward's Jacqueline Van Driessche and Homer's Jamey Smith each won individual titles at the Kenai Invitational swimming and diving meet Saturday in Kenai.

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