Friday, October 1, 2004

Oakland sets up dramatic finish
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Ichiro Suzuki got his 256th hit to move within one of George Sisler's record, but Bobby Crosby homered in the ninth inning to give the Oakland Athletics a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.

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.

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

Cubs suffer damaging defeat at hands of Reds
CHICAGO -- Javier Valentin doubled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 12th inning and the Cincinnati Reds played spoiler again, sending the Chicago Cubs to a crushing 2-1 defeat Thursday.

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.

Indians pitcher shot
MINNEAPOLIS -- Cleveland Indians pitcher Kyle Denney won't complain about having to dress like a cheerleader again. The white go-go boots that went with the outfit might have prevented a bullet from seriously injuring his leg.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Homer, Seward ballots offer many choices
As voters head to the polls Tuesday to elect assembly candidates and determine the fate of borough propositions, those in the cities of Homer and Seward also will decide local elections.

Kenai candidates run mud-free race
Candidates for the Kenai City Council got one more chance to try to convince voters why they're the best choice to represent the city Wednesday at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce's weekly luncheon.

Implant promises to prevent strokes caused by irregular heartbeat
WASHINGTON -- A tiny tent-like device implanted into the heart appears to block strokes caused by a common irregular heartbeat, sealing off a spot where dangerous blood clots form, German and U.S. researchers reported Wednesday.

Merck recalls major arthritis drug, Vioxx
TRENTON, N.J. -- Vioxx, the blockbuster arthritis drug heavily promoted on TV and taken by tens of millions of people, was pulled from the market by its maker Thursday after a study found it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Reversing childhood obesity requires wide-ranging effort
WASHINGTON -- Schools, food makers, government agencies and families themselves must work together to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity, a panel of scientists said Thursday.

Hikers finish trek of West Coast Trail
BORDER FIELD STATE PARK, Calif. -- A pair of hiking pioneers touched the rusting fence at the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday just as the sun was sinking toward the Pacific Ocean, completing the first known continuous trek of the 1,800-mile trail down the nation's Pacific coast.

Kenai, SoHi resume rivalry
Northern Lights Conference Championship. Hosting a playoff game instead of traveling to Fairbanks in October. Bragging rights. Once again, it's all going on the line in the Kenai Central-Soldotna football game.

Infected moose meat safe to eat
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Hunters have been showing up at the Department of Fish and Game with moose meat or organs infected with tapeworms but officials say the parasites should not harm people.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Law enforcement expansion not needed in Nikiski area
I first came to Nikiski in 1979. I became a property owner here in 1989 and have resided here ever since. The community has evolved from boomtown to a sparsely populated residential area, with most subdivisions having lots of an acre or more. Our population has grown substantially since my early days running National Bank of Alaska's branch in the Nikishka Mall, but we're still a close-knit community; we know one another out here pretty well.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Propositions 3, 4 would affect more than expected
I am a Nikiski resident, and I am employed in the Nikiski construction industry. I also have three kids, ages 16 and under. We are all very proud of what we have out here in Nikiski, but there is a small group of people who would like to see Propositions 3 and 4 pass. I don't believe they really understand the consequences of these propositions. All of the current existing programs, as well as future programming are at stake.

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.

Changes in environmental regs detrimental to Alaska
1. Over the years, Alaska's clean water regulations have been developed piecemeal and, in some cases, conflict with each other.

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

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Power outage hits Soldotna, Sterling
Power went out for about 3,300 Homer Electric Association customers from Soldotna to Sterling on Thursday afternoon when an electricity transmission line came apart and fell into the Moose River near the Sterling Highway.

DNA points to Starkweather
Based on testing of a swab taken from the victim's left breast, the Alaska crime lab was unable to exclude Justin Starkweather as the source of DNA found on the sample, a forensics expert told jurors in Kenai Superior Court on Thursday.

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.

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.

Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center gets new director
The Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center has a new director for the second time in a year.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Propositions pose questions about community, safety
An improvement in the quality of life or an expansion of government?

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.

Idaho's tallest peak a rewarding climb
MACKAY, Idaho -- There's something about big mountains.

Women's climbing class boosts confidence
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -- Lisa Fountain likes to rock climb. But her boyfriend doesn't know that -- he just knows she doesn't want to climb with him.

Oregon town becoming a Mecca for mountain bikers
OAKRIDGE, Ore. -- If you build it, they don't necessarily always come. And Oakridge, 30 miles southeast of Eugene with a mountain biking trail system that comprises its Field of Dreams, is wondering why.

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

Around the Peninsula
Vision screening offeredDeadline for basketball registration todayUnited Way fund-raiser plannedFish and Game Advisory Committee to meetSoldotna Middle shares news

Patriots try to tie consecutive wins record
One reason the New England Patriots win is they truly believe Bill Belichick's coaching homilies.

Tiger plays through pain at American Express Championship
THOMASTOWN, Ireland -- Tiger Woods pursed his lips and cursed under his breath as he stood over his first tee shot, feeling spasms in his back and knowing the sharp pain that was coming with each shot.

Kenai volleyball tops Homer
The Kenai Central volleyball team picked up a Northern Lights Conference victory in Homer Thursday. The Kardinals topped the Mariners 25-13, 25-20 and 25-20.

SoHi's Goldstein looks to defend state title
Several plot lines will converge Saturday on the 5-kilometer Tsalteshi Trails course as Skyview High School prepares to host the state cross country championships.

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.

Species that get too large may be more vulnerable
WASHINGTON -- Being the biggest dog may pay off at feeding time, but species that grow too large may be more vulnerable to extinction, new research suggests.

Photo feature: Drying rack
A soggy-wet bull caribou keeps his eyes on a small group of cow caribou browsing nearby in Kenai on Thursday afternoon.

What's going on at the refuge these days?
"Do you think we got any good pictures of bears?" I said excitedly to my fellow biologist. We were chit-chatting as we stood in line at Fred Meyer on our way back to the office from a day in the field. I had just dropped off several rolls of film to be developed and was waiting to pay for the previous batch of pictures.

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