Friday, September 26, 2003

Marlins in control of wild card
MIAMI Jeff Conine homered for the second straight night, Juan Encarnacion also homered and the Florida Marlins built a six-run lead, then hung on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Wednesday.

Seattle's chances hurting
ANAHEIM, Calif. John Lackey pitched a five-hitter and rookie Tom Gregorio had a two-run single as the Anaheim Angels beat Seattle 4-0 Wednesday, pushing the Mariners to the brink of postseason elimination.

Marlins rub out Phillies
MIAMI Juan Encarnacion homered and drove in four runs, and the Florida Marlins clinched a tie for the NL wild-card berth with an 8-4 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday night that eliminated the Phillies from postseason contention.

Red Sox clinch AL wild-card berth
BOSTON The Red Sox are back in the playoffs for the first time since 1999, looking for their first World Series title in quite a bit longer.

Communities hoping to cash in on retirees
SENECA, S.C. Town leaders no longer are counting on factories and mills to fuel the economy of Seneca, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians.

Detroit unveils new eco-friendly autos
SONOMA, Calif. The world's major automakers are gathering in California this week to show off more than 100 vehicles powered by electric motors, hybrid engines, hydrogen fuel cells and other eco-friendly technologies aimed at reducing pollution and boosting fuel economy.

Task force: Studies hinder development
WASHINGTON A White House task force recommended Wednesday that federal agencies make it easier for developers to skip lengthy environmental studies often blamed for holding up their projects.

TRAVEL STRESSES: Business travel takes its toll sometimes when you're safely back at the office.

Late credit payments drop slightly in 2003
WASHINGTON After going up for a year, late credit card payments edged down in the last quarter. Delinquency rates for some other types of consumer loans moved higher, however, offering a mixed picture of how Americans are handling their debt obligations.

Boomer empty-nesters help push growth of pet health care
NEW YORK (AP) Diane Benson, 53, had always adored the family dog, Pepper, a black Labrador who would excitedly greet her on the driveway when she came home. But their bond grew particularly strong after her kids grew up and moved away.

Conservation can help reduce energy costs as fuel prices rise
NEW YORK (AP) OPEC's decision Wednesday to cut crude oil production comes at a bad time for consumers just at the start of the winter home-heating season.

Evergreen secures Matanuska gas drilling rights
ANCHORAGE (AP) Evergreen Resources Inc., has obtained subsurface lease rights to 230,000 acres in the Matanuska Susitna Borough area, the company said.

Investors should stay cautious as technology funds sizzle again
NEW YORK (AP) Jacob Internet Fund was one of the hottest stock funds during the dot-com boom. Now, it's sizzling again up nearly 104 percent since January.

Mushing season under way
The snow may not be flying yet, but that hasn't stopped peninsula mushers from getting under way with the training season.

Art Briefs
Museum to hold lunch discussionCommunity chorus looking for membersClay show open for entryArtists in Schools solicits interest

Geographic gives sunny view of Juneau
Alaska's capitol looks radiant in the new Alaska Geographic, "Juneau: Yesterday and Today." Like others in the series, it is an attractive mix of photography and text.

Return of favorites, some new faces at Emmys
LOS ANGELES There were no term limits for NBC's ''The West Wing,'' which won its fourth Emmy Award for best drama Sunday despite shrinking viewership, while CBS' ''Everybody Loves Raymond'' was honored as best comedy.

Work from nature's mediums on display
Though it is tough to improve on Mother Nature, the artists with work selected for the 24th "Earth, Fire and Fibre" exhibit, on display at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, have essentially done just that.

Harry Potter gets some class at college
FROSTBURG, Md. Harry Potter is in college as a subject, not a student.

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

Business contribution means big savings for band students
A huge thank you to Jim and Theresa Graves at Summit Dry Cleaning for the discount they generously contribute to all the band students for their uniforms for the Kenai Central High School Band.

Group endorses candidates even before survey deadline
I recently was given a candidate's survey form, from the Friends of the Recreation Center, to respond to their questions by Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. Their statement to all candidates was "you will be given a negative rating if you fail to complete and return this survey."

Recreation center group's survey serves no beneficial purpose
Representatives of Friends of the Recreation Center handed out a lengthy survey to council candidates after the Kenai council meeting on Sept. 17. They state that they have formed a political action committee and intend to endorse candidates for office. They further state that failure to respond by Sept. 25 will result in negative public ratings.

Friends of Recreation Center survey raises candidate's hackles
Recently, I received a candidate survey from the Friends of the Recreation Center Inc., or FORCE. I have decided not to answer that survey for the following reasons.

Republican women support opening ANWR to exploration
What a wonderful experience to hear hundreds of women cheering in support of the opening of the ANWR!

Bush not only one who has made claim about weapons in Iraq
Here is a question for those Americans who say President Bush is lying about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: Does it not seem odd that President Clinton and the United Nations also said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Forget-Me-Not Center says thanks for numerous acts of kindness
The Forget-Me-Not Center would like to give a great big warm thank you to the Funny River Quilters for supplying us with several cozy lap quilts. Everyone has picked out their favorite and looks forward to using it on the cold winter nights ahead. The generosity of the Funny River Quilters will not only keep our seniors warm and toasty but will also warm their hearts. Thank you.

This Week's Race: EA Sports 500
Where and When

Race Schedule
February 16 to November 16, 2003

Points Leaders
1. Matt Kenseth 4,1582. Kevin Harvick 3,7223. Jimmie Johnson 3,685

NASCAR overhaul is likely
TALLADEGA, Ala. The changes in next year's schedule may prove to be only a tiny step in a major overhaul.

Careers aren't easy to rehabilitate
TALLADEGA, Ala. If Shane Hmiel follows NASCAR's strict guidelines and remains drug-free, he should be able to return to racing by the start of the 2004 season, his former car owner said.

Newsmaker: Rusty Wallace
At 47, Rusty Wallace continues to see the sport of stock car racing change. He offers his views on what's happened and where the sport is headed.

Money Leaders
1. Jimmie Johnson $4,515,7252. Kurt Busch 4,306,2703. Kevin Harvick 4,051,820

Nugent recommended for vacant HEA seat
A committee of the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors recommended Tuesday that Mike Nugent be appointed to fill the vacant Kenai-Nikiski district seat.

Candidates quizzed during forum
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member John Davis did not appear at Wednesday's candidate forum, giving his opponent, Dan Chay, an unchallenged hearing before a small crowd of voters who gathered at the borough administration building in Soldotna.

CES creates new positions to better handle its workload
As the workload of Central Emergency Services grows and the department strives to be the best combination full-time and volunteer on-call department in the state, several new officer positions have been created.

Borough stays mainly in plus side of finances
Evaluating a mixed bag of financial statistics, Kenai Peninsula Borough analysts said this week the local economy ran in mostly positive territory during the second quarter of 2003.

Borough analysis shows men make almost two times more than women
Almost equal numbers of men and women held jobs in the Kenai Peninsula Borough economy during 2001, yet according to an analysis of these latest state figures, the average annual salary among women was barely more than half that of men.

Bin Laden in Alaska? Tabloid says it's true
JUNEAU -- The Weekly World News tabloid claims to have found the world's most-wanted terrorist. Osama bin Laden is occupying a love nest in Alaska.

Checks spark dreams, debates
Margo Reilly's family won't feel the $443.20 drop this year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks took over the previous year.

Firefighters to hold competition Saturday
A firefighters' competition will be held at noon Saturday at the Kenai Municipal Airport Operations Facility as part of the Alaska Fire Chiefs and Firefig

Walter Steciw
Anchor Point resident Walter Steciw died at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 77.

Edward O. King
Soldotna resident Edward O. King died Sunday, Sept. 7, 2003, at his home in Soldotna. He was 77.

Money can't buy happiness or quality education system
Just as money can't buy happiness, it apparently can't buy a quality education either. Not in this country.

Economy on mend; public debt still high
The public debt topped $930 billion at the end of 1980, shortly before Republican Ronald Reagan succeeded Democrat Jimmy Carter in the White House.

New way to manage permanent fund deserves attention
An estimated 598,813 Alaskans will be $1,107.56 richer next month, thanks to the state's sacred, golden cow: the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Government, religious groups, volunteer agencies look for ways to help
By any objective measure, the social welfare system of the past 40 years has fallen short of its original purpose. During this time, the United States spent more than $7 trillion on human service programs, yet saw a rise in illegitimate births of 500 percent, an increase in violent crime rates of 300 percent and a tripling of the number of children on welfare rolls.

Too many clowns vying for opportunity to be California's ringmaster
Last weekend, the Emmy Awards featured a skit in which comedian Darrell Hammond impersonated Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bit was funny at first, but it quickly lost pu

After bear relocation, McGrath moose calf survival rate up
FAIRBANKS (AP) The summer survival rate of moose calves around McGrath is about 20 percent higher this year than it was the previous two years.

Every dollar counts
Esther Bower, 10, left, and Maggie Dunlap, 9, install a sign near Sandy Beach in Sitka Tuesday. The girls were concerned about the welfare of sand dollars and decided to start a campaign to inform the public.

Exhibit showcases best of wildlife photography
HOMER The silhouette of two caribou, their movement temporarily stilled in a triple-layered scene by artist James Brady, took the lead in alaskaWILD 2003, a 33-piece juried exhibit coordinated by the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers.

Refuge to dedicate trail Saturday
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will dedicate a new trail at the visitor center on Ski Hill Road

Mauling victim binds wounds with duct tape
WASILLA (AP) A hunter bitten by a grizzly bear bound some of his wounds with duct tape, then rode his all-terrain vehicle to his pickup truck and drove himself to the hospital.

Refuge intern reflects on busy summer of fieldwork and travels
Serving as an intern at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge offered me the opportunity to come up to Alaska for the summer and fall months.

Trek continues across Canada
CASSIAR HIGHWAY, British Columbia He's made friends with moonshiners, worn out two pairs of boots and lost about 70 pounds. But the most important thing about former Juneau resident Kevyn Jacobs' journey is that he's still walking.

Money lacking for Pacific Crest Trail
SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. (AP) For the first time in six years, there's a danger that no money will be coming from Congress to protect additional sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in the coming year.

Around the Peninsula
Wind causes scattered power outagesBuilders hold membership meetingPublic health to offer family servicesFree yoga, meditation instruction offered

Around the Peninsula
Animals available for adoption Refuge to dedicate new trail Fall cleanup scheduled Auction fund-raiser set for Sunday Historical association meeting slated Preschool skills program offered Pets, people fund-raiser race slated Resident needed for fair board Boys and Girls Club plan open house

Jewish High Holy Days arrive as American Jews confront challenges to their future
A once-a-decade study of American Judaism released this month found Jews are better-educated and wealthier than the average American and have reached the highest levels of professional achievement.

Georgian president, in Vatican flap, promises new religious freedoms
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) President Eduard Shevardnadze announced that Georgia planned to enact a wide-ranging law extending religious freedoms, a week after scrapping an accord sought by the Vatican to protect Roman Catholics.

America is a notably harmonious country in religion, argues analyst Alan Wolfe
Boston College social analyst Alan Wolfe has written three upbeat books contending that despite those angry headlines and allegations of ''culture war,'' America is a unified rather than a quarrelsome country.

Religious leaders ask, 'What would the governor drive?'
SALEM, Ore. (AP) Religious leaders from across Oregon have asked state officials to replace more than 11,000 state vehicles with more fuel-efficient models.

Buddhist monks, attempting to meet, accuse Vietnam of harassment
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) The Vietnamese government has denied charges that police harassed and intimidated monks into foregoing a meeting called by leaders of a banned Buddhist group.

Problem can be solved by prayer, meditation, action
Prayer forms the foundation of individual spiritual life in most religions. The outward forms of prayer are many and varied, but at its core, all prayer seeks to establish a connection between the human soul and a higher power. This is seen as the primary purpose behind prayer.

Hallmark offers greeting card for major Muslim holiday
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Hallmark has created its first greeting cards for the Muslim holiday Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of the monthlong fast of Ramadan.

Church Briefs
Fall festival announced Native fellowship meets tonight AWANA clubs begin Friendship closet open Wednesdays

Milwaukee Catholic priests forming alliance
MILWAUKEE (AP) About 80 priests of the Milwaukee Roman Catholic Archdiocese have voted to form an alliance meant to serve as a support network and independent voice in the church.

Kenai, SoHi to battle for NLC title
To the winner goes the Northern Lights Conference title, the conference's top seed in the small-schools state playoffs and a first-round home game next week.

College teams try to avoid letdowns after big wins
LSU coach Nick Saban knows how little a big win can mean if it's not followed by another.

James could miss Colts' next game
INDIANAPOLIS Edgerrin James did not practice Wednesday because of a bad back and the Indianapolis Colts running back could miss Sunday's game at New Orleans.

Nebraska airs it out
HATTIESBURG, Miss. Here's a switch. Nebraska went to the air when it needed to put away Southern Mississippi.

Birch Ridge Report: There's still time for golf
The numerous leagues at Birch Ridge Golf Course have officially ended, but that doesn't mean folks aren't out playing in the wind and leaves; if there's no snow that means you can still see your ball so there's no excuse.

Titans at Steelers ... or is it the Oilers at Pittsburgh?
When the NFL realigned, it split up Pittsburgh and Tennessee, a good old AFC Central rivalry dating back to the days when the Titans were the Houston Oilers.

Sports Briefs
Report: Michigan basketball tourney ban liftedIverson likely to finish his career as a SixerPincay sues Santa Anita over career-ending injury

A must win for the Eagles; an important game for the Bills
Neither the Philadelphia Eagles nor the Buffalo Bills are in the best of moods, especially the offensive units Philadelphia has scored just 10 points in two losses and the Bills gained only 118 yards in their loss in Miami last week.

Brazil's speed shocks favored Norway
WASHINGTON Brazil can consider itself fortunate it probably won't have to play the United States in the next round of the Women's World Cup.

U.S. beats up Nigeria behind prime Hamm
PHILADELPHIA Mia Hamm was unstoppable for the second straight World Cup game, scoring two early goals, then setting up one in the second half as the United States routed Nigeria 5-0 Thursday night.

Give refs a break
Hey high school sports fans -- more specifically, those fans who have taken to screaming at referees for every call when their team is being beaten -- please do just one thing for me:

Area runners ready for state competition
Soldotna's Ari Goldstein and Katie Franzmann will be among a pack of Class 4A runners looking to take advantage of the graduation of Kris Smith Saturday at the state cross country meet in Palmer.

Photo feature: Staying for the winter
A female Hairy woodpecker searches for food in an old spruce tree in Cooper Landing. Although many birds already are headed south for the winter, Hairy woodpeckers are one of the few species that remain in the area year-round.

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