Thursday, September 30, 2004

NL wild-card race gets even tighter
HOUSTON Jeff Bagwell drove in two runs and Brandon Backe pitched five solid innings to help the Houston Astros gain ground in the NL wild-card race with a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Angels take over lead in AL West
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning and Anaheim eliminated surprising Texas from the playoff chase with an 8-7 victory Wednesday.

Astros edge ahead
HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros pushed closer to a playoff berth, winning a club-record 15th straight home game by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Wednesday.

Baseball to return to Washington
WASHINGTON Major League Baseball will announce Wednesday that Washington will be the new home of the Montreal Expos, bringing the national pastime back to the nation's capital for the first time in 33 years, The Associated Press has learned.

We are greedy crybabies
We are becoming a nation of crybabies. And greedy ones at that.

Angels catch A's in AL West
ARLINGTON, Texas Vladimir Guerrero homered twice and drove in five runs while going 4-for-5 and the Anaheim Angels tied Oakland for the AL West lead with an 8-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Expos to relocate to Washington
WASHINGTON -- It was more pep rally than news conference, with the mayor and city officials wearing red Washington Senators caps, the ones with the curly ''W'' on the front.

ConocoPhillips dividend rate goes up
ConocoPhillips announced this week that its board of directors in Houston approved a 16-percent increase in its quarterly dividend rate for the company's common stock.

Photo feature: Open for business
Onlookers watch the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony Monday at the new KeyBank branch in Soldotna. The facility at the corner of Sterling Highway and Birch Avenue is the 18th KeyBank branch in Alaska. Taking part in the ceremony, from left, are Josy Bevington, KeyBank teller; Brian Nerland, KeyBank Alaska president; Dale Bagley, Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor; Tim Pope, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce president; Heather Willets, KeyBank Soldotna branch manager; Gary Koch, KeyBank Alaska senior vice president; and Crystal Olender, KeyBank teller.

Alaska salmon finds place on restaurant tables
A Long Island eatery served Alaska seafood to its patrons and Gov. Frank and Nancy Murkowski when they were in New York recently for the Republican National Convention.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set scheduleNikiski Community Council to meetWRCC changing its nameBusiness planning workshop scheduledLand trust to host Homer chamber mixerBusiness plan competition scheduled

Few takers for night shopping as India's capital scraps old rule
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Few people took advantage of the government's decision to allow -- for the first time in decades -- late-night shopping in India's capital.

Bookey highlights experiences, wants lower city taxes
Jim Bookey answers eight questions about himself and what he offers voters in the 2004 Kenai mayor election.

Boyle seeks to serve community through council seat
Mike Boyle answers eight questions about himself and what he offers voters in the 2004 Kenai City Council election.

Massie promises honest, direct relationship with people
Cliff Massie answers eight questions about himself and what he offers voters in the 2004 Kenai City Council election.

Porter supports economic development with state help
Pat Porter answers eight questions about herself and what she offers voters in the 2004 Kenai mayor election.

Moore notes his council record, wants to keep working
Joe Moore answers eight questions about himself and what he offers voters in the 2004 Kenai City Council election.

Candidate Views, Kenai Mayor: Pat Porter
I believe it is my duty to the citizens of Kenai to take my proven leadership to the next level of public service as your next mayor. Communication, organization, management skills and seasoned leadership are what I have to offer to help shape the future Kenai.

Candidate Views, Kenai Mayor: Jim Bookey
The city of Kenai has been my home for the last 41 years. My wife, Phyllis, and I have raised three children and now have eight grandchildren all in the Kenai area.

Candidate Views, Kenai City Council: Cliff Massie
A 36-year Kenai resident, I value our city; however, having spent the last 17 months attending city council meetings and reading council materials. I believe that our city government has become unresponsive, causing Kenai residents to be uninvolved and divided. I know that I can provide effective leadership, so that Kenai can once again be dynamic and exciting.

Candidate Views, Kenai City Council: Mike Boyle
Though I have served in many organizations and on several committees, this is my first go at a public office. It has been an interest of mine to serve in a public capacity for many years and as a seat became open for city council, I chose to run. I have always felt that it is important to give something back to the community of which one is a part. I have been happy to be a citizen of the city of Kenai and wish to return something to it as a council member.

Candidate Views, Kenai City Council: Joe Moore
For the past nine years, it has been a true privilege to serve as an elected official of the city of Kenai. I have been part of a quality group of councilors and mayor that have always looked out for the best interests of the city of Kenai first, that's our job.

Soldotna council candidate eager to serve
Ed Sleater decided the best way to spend some of his retirement would be to serve the city where he plans to spend the rest of his life.

Kenai races set city up for change
Following Tuesday's municipal election, the city of Kenai will have a couple of new faces in key positions on the city council.

O'Brien will take over for Jay Leno in 5 years
NEW YORK -- NBC chose the 50th anniversary of the ''Tonight'' show on Monday to announce that Jay Leno will be succeeded by ''Late Night'' host Conan O'Brien in five years -- or thousands of jokes from now.

Novel continues commercial fishing saga
William McCloskey's 1979 novel "Highliners" caused a stir. Its lively, gritty and realistic portrait of Alaska's commercial fishing life hit the mark during a time when men took on one of the world's most dangerous jobs to seek fortunes in crab and salmon.

Art Briefs
Alaska Native cultural classes offeredPottery classes set to beginBallroom dancing classes slatedArt funding awards offeredPottery soughtFavorite poem project solicits submissionsArtwork wanted for state facilityOpen art show slated

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

Concert offers humor and harmony
Organizers and performers of Saturday's Evening of Classics concert have set out to disprove the notion that classical music is boring.

Carver uses characteristics of wood to shape designs
Art patrons use their eyes to appreciate Sandy Stolle's wood relief sculptures and she uses her hands to create the carvings, but it was her nose that helped draw her to working with wood in the first place.

Homeless teens aren't always victims of parents
I am responding to Mr. Clinton's letter about the homeless teens in our area. He makes it sound as if the whole problem is with the parents. I have to differ with his opinions here. What if this teenager comes from a good family? A middle-class family, the teen raised with love, respect and guidelines? What do you do when this teen decides that he-she does not want to follow the rules anymore? When the teen decides he-she wants out, that the grass is "greener" on the other side of the fence? When the teen starts having sex, misbehaving and begins intimidating parents and siblings? When the teen starts abusing the family emotionally, physically and verbally? How much does the family have to take? When you know your teen is basically a "good teen" down deep, where do you turn for help? Everyway you turn, you hear, "He-she has to be court ordered into the system before we can help you."

Organ donation is gift, shouldn't be limited
In this country, just as in this world, some people have more than others. This may not be fair, this may not be an ideal situation, but it's reality.

Misinformation is a cancer on health of Nikiski
For the past year I have been a "regular" at the meetings of the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area board meetings. There were times when I asked myself why should I be concerned about the service area board meetings. Now I know why!

Republican Party abusing power from constituents
Enough is enough.

Murkowski likely to be more effective than Knowles
First of all, as a combat veteran of Vietnam, USMC 1967-1968, I think it is great that Tony Knowles served. I am proud of every man and woman who has made the sacrifice to serve our country. That said, and while it may look good on in a campaign ad, it has limited relevance in the election of our next US Senator.

Props 3, 4 could help lower Nikiski taxes
If you live in Nikiski, are you aware that the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area has been stuffing $50 to $75,000 a year into its capital projects fund? The borough gets all the interest off the operating funds, but they retain the interest from the capital projects fund. At the end of fiscal year 2004, the balance was almost $300,000.

Nikiski community center plans are far from free
Any Nikiski property taxpayers believing the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area (NPRSA) can remodel, staff and equip the 41-year-old Nikiski Elementary School for free must still be putting broken teeth under their pillow at night.

Local people should decide local need for themselves
It is difficult to respond to an editorial which refers to "our recommendation." Is that the voice of the owner in Florida, or the voice of the Top Brass for the local paper, with unknown interest or ties to Nikiski? One thing for sure is that whoever "our" is, that person or persons have a misconception of both the roles of the different branches of government, and the statutory and constitutional purpose of the service area concept.

Crawford right person for school board seat
During these challenging times for our schools, it is critical that we elect the most capable people to the school board.

Nikiski students thankful for Homecoming help
The student body and senior class officials of Nikiski High School would like to thank the following individuals for making Nikiski's Homecoming celebration last week a success. We recognize the work of John Owens, Sandy Miller, Stephanie Coolman, Reid Kornstad, Phil Morin and the several student and parent volunteers who were responsible for decorations, food and festivity supplies.

Uncertain economy is no time to add expenses
Industry and business provide three out of every four Nikiski property tax dollars. Four oil platforms are already mothballed, and more will follow. The BP Gas to Liquid plant was always only an experiment and will be dismantled. New exploration has been centered around Ninilchik no help to Nikiski property values.

Helpers made troop send-off success
Nikiski Middle-Senior High School would like to express our most sincere appreciation to the businesses and individuals who worked with us in making our recognition of Troy Zimmerman and Will Schwenke a success. Thank you to Agrium Nitrogen Operations for providing hundreds of yards of yellow ribbon and for paying the extra expense of express delivery to get it here in time for the send-off. Thank you to Joann's Fabric for locating the ribbon and getting it to us quickly. Thank you to Joe Gallagher and his crew from HEA for offering to assist in hanging the ribbons, but found themselves busy restoring power in Soldotna. We appreciate the willingness to help.

Sprague's values, character boone to borough
I have known Pete Sprague since I moved to Soldotna eight years ago. When I met Pete, he was on the Soldotna City Council and I was being considered, among others, for a recently vacated council seat. He was instrumental in eliminating me from contention by asking one question, before the council voted on the appointment. On reflection, I realized his question was absolutely correct and the person, who had done more for the city and community at that time, got the job.

Personal, professional support of troops appreciated
To Era and those being called to active duty,

Daughter moved by public support of dad
Thank you for the article about my father that was on the front page Sept. 27. I really appreciate knowing that he is just as valuable a member of this community as he is a member of our family. We will miss him tremendously while he is gone, and I'm glad to know that people are sending good thoughts and comforting prayers our way until his safe return.

Annual fund-raiser brought needed relief to Hospice
Hospice of the Central Peninsula's board of directors, volunteers and staff would like to recognize and express our heartfelt gratitude to the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors and its affiliates.

WRCC thanks community, KSRM for fund-raising help
The Kenai-Soldotna Women's Resource and Crisis Center is very grateful for the generous support of the community during our 20th annual KSRM Radiothon fund-raiser on Sept. 13. Individuals and businesses helped us toward our goal of $50,000 -- the final tally was $51,164.24 in cash and in-kind goods.

VFW Auxiliary supports children, future at school
Many thanks to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Jerry V. Horn Post No. 10046 for their donation for needy students at Soldotna Elementary School. Community caring and help are a vital part of children and learning and the future success of our community. Thank you to all auxiliary members.

Knowles is clear choice for veterans
For veterans, the difference between the two candidates for U.S. Senate could not be clearer. I am a veteran of World War II and member of American Legion Post 20, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 5 and AMVETS Post 4. All of us agree that a top priority for Congress is mandatory funding of veterans health care. This means funding is guaranteed and does not have to be fought about every year; it's automatic.

NASCAR Notes - Chase for Championship not helping television ratings
TALLADEGA, Ala. The Chase for the Championship was supposed to pump new interest into the final 10 races of the Nextel Cup Series season as stock-car racing goes head-to-head with the National Football League.

Newsmaker: Ryan Newman
TALLADEGA, Ala. Ryan Newman's chances to win the Chase for the Championship seemed doomed when he blew an engine Sept. 19 at the New Hampshire International Speedway.

This week: EA Sports 500
(Race No. 29 of 36)

Retaliation for rough driving comes at a price
TALLADEGA, Ala. Stacy Compton wants a telephone call and an explanation from fellow Busch Series driver Martin Truex Jr.

Master is leaving her post
Friday is a day that Kenai Postmaster Vicki Shillam has looked forward to with a little anxiety for a long time.

Photo feature: Dressing up for the occasion
Kaylee Tanner and her sister, Madeline, dress a snowman in their front yard after school Wednesday in Kenai. Siblings were working nearby to assemble a partner for their new friend.

Sterling man arraigned in brother's death
The 34-year-old Sterling man accused of fatally stabbing his brother Sept. 19 was arraigned on one count of second-degree murder in Kenai Superior Court on Tuesday.

Investigator defends evidence
The lead investigator in the 2002 sexual assault of a woman in her home near West Poppy Lane, defended his evidence-gathering practices during his second day of testifying in the jury trial of Justin Starkweather, the 23-year-old man accused of the attack.

Board of Fish extends fishery
The Alaska Board of Fish has approved extending the recreational Kenai River coho fishery through Oct. 31, a month beyond the typical closing date.

Starkweather defense questions trooper's handling of crime evidence
A pair of gloves and a lack of fingerprint evidence drew much attention Tuesday from the defense attorney in the trial of Justin Starkweather, the 23-year-old man accused of breaking into a woman's house in 2002 and brutally attacking her.

Sign raises code debate
A sign placed on a large reader board in front of Nikiski Elementary School by the director of the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area drew a formal complaint from Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 7 candidate James Price, who alleged Tuesday that its message violated the borough code banning the use of public money and facilities to influence the outcome of a ballot proposition.

Propositions addressed at chamber
Borough voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of Proposition 1, a measure that would reduce the property taxes on taxpayers' primary residences, but also would dramatically impact the revenue stream of the borough and its service areas.

Larry E. Oskolkoff
Anchorage and Ninilchik resident Larry E. Oskolkoff died Sunday, Aug. 1, at Alaska Native Medical Center after a brief struggle with cancer. He was 63.

Donald E. Roberts
Nikiski resident Donald E. Roberts died Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004, in Anchorage. He was 58.

Daryl Dean Graff
Former Soldotna resident Daryl Dean Graff died Monday, Sept. 13, 2004, at his home in Kalama, Wash. He was 57.

Laura Louise Bowman
Soldotna resident Laura Louise Bowman died Monday, Sept. 28, 2004, at her home with her family by her side. She was 51.

Laura Louise Bowman
Soldotna resident Laura Louise Bowman died Monday, Sept. 28, 2004, at her home with her family by her side. She was 51.

Take care: Election booklets are just like political ads
Recent arguing over the "facts" of the bear-baiting measure on the Nov. 2 ballot brings up a broader point that should cause Alaskans to pause when they open their official election pamphlet, which will be distributed by the state Division of Elections next month.

Pledge language is important but also a bit overdramatic
Thursday's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to save the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is, as some have complained, an election-year wedge issue. But that doesn't mean the issue isn't worthy of discussion and a decision.

Around the Peninsula
Nikiski senior housing meeting plannedFinal day for writing contest entriesProgressive dinner setVision screening offeredSocial civility to be discussedDomestic violence workshop slatedGuitar lessons offered

Around the Peninsula
Quilting guild to meetCPGH board meeting slatedKidney support group to gatherParent support group meeting scheduledWomen health screenings availableKPC seeking representativesSeniors plan dinner, auction

Aviation scholarships available
The Alaska Airmen's Association Inc. recently created three annual individual $2,500 scholarships to promote professional development and aviation careers. The application deadline is Thursday. Scholarships will be awarded later in the fall.

Ridgeway Montessori Preschool
The school is off to an energetic start. The children have jumped right into some impressive number and letter work. There seem to be a lot of readers this year.

Library hosts writing contest
Certificates and prizes will be awarded.

Soldotna High
The volleyball teams play at Kenai Central High School at 3 p.m. Friday.

READS Primary
Students enjoyed touring the Butlers' home construction site. The students discovered what items Buff and Chuck carry in their tool belts, the difference between water and sewer pipes, the importance of safety at a building site, the numerous wires running through walls, as well as the many geometric shapes in a framed house.

Soldotna Elementary
Arriving this week were $5,000 worth of new band instruments, which were presented to the school as a grant from the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation. Music teacher Erin Southwick applied for the musical grant, which will allow more children to experience elementary band.

Sterling Elementary
Mrs. Boehmler's class will travel to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Friday. Students will need to take a lunch and will return to school in time to catch the busses.

Skyview High
The school is hosting the state cross country meet Saturday. More than 58 schools and 350 runners will attend. The school is looking for volunteers to help with this activity.

Redoubt Elementary community marks school's 25th anniversary
Kindergarten through sixth-grade students stood in the field behind Redoubt Elementary School on Friday, taking their places on a giant, flour-drawn circle and "R," and releasing balloons into the air.

Sears Elementary
The staff and students thank Peterkin Distributors and Country Foods for the ice cream donation for the open house and ice cream social Tuesday night. Thanks also to the PTA for coordinating the event and serving more than 400 bowls of ice cream.

Kenai Cooperative Preschool
Preschoolers ended last week making their own jam and taking it home to share with their families.

Redoubt Elementary
Parents may use Edline to check their child's attendance, view missing homework and assignments and receive other important classroom and schoolwide information. Parents of fourth- through sixth-graders also may check their children's current grades. Activation codes were mailed to parents last week. Students in grades four through six have their own Edline accounts and will be trained to use them by their teachers.

Cook Inlet Academy
On Thursday, students are encouraged to dress in their favorite blue and gold outfit to show school spirit for the cross country team going to the state tournament.

Nikiski North Star Elementary
Local artist and retired Nikiski High School art teacher Dottie Sanders will be the artist in residence through an Artist in the Schools grant provided by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. During her three-week residency, students, teachers and interested community members will work on two projects, which will be permanently installed at the school.

Soldotna Montessori Charter
Kindergarten students have adopted a tree on the playground and will watch it all year as it changes through the seasons. They will draw and write about the changes and study the leaves and other parts of trees.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High
A banquet to honor students who have demonstrated high academic achievement will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday. Letters of invitation were mailed home to those high school students maintaining a 3.5 grade point average or higher during the past two semesters.

Soldotna Middle
The volleyball teams play at Kenai Central High School at 3 p.m. Friday.

Mountain View Elementary
Picture retakes are the morning of Oct. 6.

Lunch menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Kenai Middle
There currently are sixth- and seventh-grade students in the yearbook club. Any eighth-grade student interested in the yearbook club needs to see Mrs. Fusaro or Mrs. Nolden in the office.

Sterling Head Start
After last week's theme of "Physical Me," the students continued to learn more about themselves with this weeks theme, "Thinking and Feeling Me."

Kenai Central High
Homecoming week is over, so school can get back to normal. The staff thanks the parents, students, staff and community members who helped make the week a success. A special thanks to the Kenai Police Department and the Kenai Fire Department for their assistance with the parade and bonfire.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start
All classes will visit the Kenaitze Indian Tribe's beach site to pull the net and the explore the beach, as well as the tribal offices to go cranberry picking this month. Miss Sonja will teach the Dena'ina words for salmon, "luq'a," and lowbush cranberry, "hey gek'a."

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
Mrs. Tobin's class returned from a fun-filled overnight field trip. The class began the adventure in the Kenai Fjords National Park at Exit Glacier. Thanks to tour guides Kara and Tom. Next, it was off to the Alaska SeaLife Center, where the class took part in two courses, "Life in the Midnight Zone" and "Cephalopods," led by the scientist and teacher, Darin. The students would like to thank the drivers and chaperones who made these learning experiences possible.

Wings Christian Academy
The BOOK-IT reading program begins Friday. This program is for students in kindergarten through the sixth grade. Mrs. Ruffridge will be establishing monthly reading goals for each student. For every month that students reaches their goal, they will receive a pizza from Pizza Hut.

Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences
Today is picture day. Sibling pictures will be taken after school.

Grace Lutheran
In the religion class, the children are studying about John the Baptist advocating repentance.

Connections enrollment ends in mid-October. Call 714-8880 to make an appointment.

Tustumena Elementary
The school's staff is taking advantage of the fall weather to take their classes on field trips intended to enrich the instruction.

Artists in Schools accepting applications
The Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and sponsoring schools are accepting applications for the Artist in Schools Program. Artist in visual, literary, traditional Native and performing art forms are encouraged to apply.

District events planned
There will be a training session for parent groups and site council members from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Kenai River Center. The session will focus on the unique roles and responsibilities of PTA and PTOs, site-based councils and booster clubs. The meeting is open to the public.

Kenai Golf Report: Season is over at Kenai
As this last golf report goes to press, the front nine greens are being sprayed with fertilizer/fungicide and covered for the winter. As much as the management wanted to have the course remain open for regular play, it is just not feasible. For the last 17 years Mother Nature has been in full charge of both opening and closing the Kenai Golf Course. This season is no different and no matter how much we want to extend our golfing, it is just not going to happen on the greens.

Auburn, Tennessee look to take big step forward in SEC
The rematch of last season's Southeastern Conference title game might not even be the biggest SEC game on Saturday.

Middle schools hold borough meet
Soldotna Middle School, Kenai Middle School, Seward Middle School, Nikiski Middle School, Homer Middle School, Ninilchik Middle School and Cook Inlet Academy Middle School participated in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Meet Saturday at Homer Middle School.

Winslow's season done in by injury
CLEVELAND Browns rookie tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. needs a second operation on his right leg and will miss the remainder of this season.

Hall recovers fumble against Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Travis Hall, who was born and raised in Kenai, had a solo tackle and a fumble recovery Sunday as the Falcons improved to 3-0 with a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Skyview netters top Seward
The visiting Skyview volleyball team defeated Seward 25-14, 19-25, 25-27, 25-17 and 15-5 Tuesday in a nonconference game.

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