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Thursday, October 7, 2004

Astros stay hot in NLDS
ATLANTA -- The Houston Astros opened this postseason without a bit of concern about the past.

Red Sox go up 2-0 in Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Pedro Martinez did his part, the bullpen did theirs and now the Boston Red Sox are heading home with a big lead in the AL playoffs.

A-Rod, Jeter spark rally
NEW YORK -- The Yankees needed someone to save Mariano Rivera. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter sparked a championship-caliber rally just in time.

Red Sox open with win
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Curt Schilling has pitched a lot better in big games than he did Tuesday.

Cardinals smash five homers off Dodgers
ST. LOUIS -- Larry Walker is back in the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade, and he's making the most of his second shot.

Santana, Twins shut out Yankees
NEW YORK -- Johan Santana and the Minnesota Twins' dazzling defense had the New York Yankees seeing double.

United Way tries to ease the strain of giving
Giving to nonprofits and charitable organizations can hurt, especially if a person donates in lump sums.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set scheduleBusiness planning workshop scheduledGovernment contracting seminar slatedTourism council to hold raffleFree online business listing offeredBusiness plan competition scheduled

Agrium, Unocal still disagree
Agrium Corp. and Union Oil of California continued to disagree Wednesday over whether Unocal is required to deliver natural gas to Agrium from properties not dedicated to the Unocal-Agrium gas-supply contract.

Fannie Mae CEO criticizes regulatory accounting probe as lacking facts
WASHINGTON -- At turns defiant and emotional, Fannie Mae's top executive denied that the mortgage giants manipulated its earnings and questioned an investigative report of the company's accounting practices as factually deficient.

Officials say Unocal delivering what it can
Unocal Corp. wells dedicated to supplying natural gas to Agrium's Nikiski plant are producing as fast as possible, and Monday a company spokesperson said it was not clear Unocal will ever be able to meet the obligations resulting from arbitration earlier this year.

Deaths at work rise slightly last year
WASHINGTON -- Workplace fatalities in the United States rose slightly to 5,559 last year, with the highest number of deaths in the construction and transportation industries. Hispanic workers continued to have the highest on-the-job death rate, the Labor Department said.

Hurricanes' effects haven't blown over yet
While Florida's economy will get the biggest jolt from the improbable string of hurricanes this year, consumers around the country may notice the effects in coming weeks and months when they buy a gallon of gas, a carton of orange juice or a bag of peanuts.

Incumbents win borough seats
All three incumbents won re-election to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Tuesday's municipal election, but voters tended to split on several propositions on the ballot.

Election results
The outcomes of the October 2004 elections

Democratic group targets Alaska, others
DENVER (AP) -- A Democratic group said it plans to spend about $3.3 million on new TV ads in Alaska, Colorado and Oklahoma to highlight lost jobs, budget deficits and health insurance problems under Republican leadership.

Voters back school projects
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Voters in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough have again rejected a sales tax.

Forum highlights shortage of rural police
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Rural villages lack adequate police and judicial service, according to speakers at a forum organized by the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council.

Porter elected Kenai mayor
Pat Porter will be Kenai's 10th mayor and the first female to hold the top elected post for the Kenai Peninsula's largest city.

A thing for swing
Soldotna musician Bob Ramponi has caught a fever and hopes it spreads, though it has nothing to do with the impending cold and flu season.

Art Briefs
Adult beginning band class offeredWriters' group meets tonightPlay auditions slatedRadio show features local artistsAlaska Native cultural classes offeredPottery classes set to beginPottery soughtOpen art show slatedHomeschool art classes offered

Photos at center of oil debate on display
NEW YORK -- Two giant, bowhead whale jawbones form an arc to mark the entrance of a small cemetery with simple, white Christian crosses erected amid a vast, snow-covered landscape.

War memoir a diamond read in the rough
Remember the saying, You can't judge a book by its cover?

Rock's reclusive genius returns to center stage with a 'Smile'
LOS ANGELES -- If Brian Wilson could change just one thing in life, it wouldn't be the legendary emotional traumas, the insecurities, the drug abuse, the battles with weight or the endless legal conflicts that nearly destroyed him.

Rodney Dangerfield gets plenty of respect after death
LOS ANGELES -- Rodney Dangerfield, the bug-eyed comic whose self-deprecating one-liners brought him stardom in clubs, television and movies and made his lament ''I don't get no respect'' a catchphrase, died Tuesday. He was 82.

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

Nikiski Fire Department first aid class much appreciated
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula would like to recognize the Nikiski Fire Department and Senior Class Capt. Craig Ralston for conducting the CPR-first aid training class for our staff. This is not the first time Mr. Ralston and the Nikiski Fire Department have offered to provide this important training. Like so many others in our surrounding communities, they understand the importance of our organization's ability to provide a positive place for kids, and we value their continued support.

Program sets goal to raise $10,000 for Nikiski school
Nikiski North Star Elementary School has recently launched its 2004-05 Box Tops for Education fund-raising campaign. This year we "Dare to Dream," and our goal is $10,000.

Alaskans fortunate to getto know candidates well
I admire Lisa Murkowski not only because of her campaign statements, but also due to her personal presentation.

Emergency services group appreciates Ninilchik support
Ninilchik Emergency Services wishes to thank the American Legion Post No. 18 and the entire community of Ninilchik for its support at the annual 9-11 fund-raising dinner. More than $10,000 was raised for NES.

California visitor thanks local community for help, hospitality
This past May, I was in your lovely town for a couple of weeks to see my family. I was invited, by my sister, to go on a boat trip down the Kenai River. I was thrilled to be included with her, and members of her church. What a great time we had! Until toward the end of the trip, our canoe tipped over and into the icy water we went. I was shocked, scared, worried, and frozen! Afterward, I was very embarrassed, but we were safe!

True conservatives should jump while they still can
Conservatives (which is becoming an increasingly murky term) are almost unanimous, if they are honest, in their agreement that their cause is currently dead in the water. The reasons are complex, but a few might be possible to identify.

Junior wants to be go-to guy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is about to turn 30, and despite occasional indiscretions like being penalized for cursing on TV, he longs to be the go-to guy in NASCAR.

Newsmaker: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. Dale Earnhardt Jr. went from the lead in the Nextel Cup Series standings to second place this week without ever getting into his Budweiser Chevrolet.

This week: Banquet 400
(Race No. 30 of 36)

Once unwelcome in the NASCAR garage, women now making an impact in racing
KANSAS CITY, Kan. Alba Colon changed Dale Earnhardt's mind about women in the garage area.

NASCAR too busy blushing over cuss
Much of America still needs an interpreter to wade through the interviews at NASCAR races. They're so packed with technical talk, car numbers, jargon, good ol' boyisms and corporate plugs that by the end, the casual fan's head is spinning faster than those sacrificial bozos who get knocked out midway through the races.

District fails to meet AYP
Despite significant improvement in the number of schools meeting the federal No Child Left Behind Act standards and even the national recognition of McNeil Canyon Elementary School, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District announced it did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards for the 2003-04 school year.

Group based in Sterling looking to help ex-cons
Bid on an autographed baseball or watercolor and keep an ex-con from returning to prison.

Starkweather trial on hold
Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Cranston ordered a one-week break in the trial of Justin Starkweather to allow time for attorneys in the case to review additional records and prepare juror instructions.

Troopers shoot dog after it attacks horse
Alaska State Troopers were forced to shoot a pit bull to death Monday evening after the dog attacked a horse being ridden along the Sterling Highway near Good Time Charlie's.

Kenaitze Tribe searches for permanent home
A top priority of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe is finding a central location to house many of the tribe's more than 14 cultural and educational programs.

Robert 'Josh' Phillips
Soldotna resident Robert "Josh" Phillips died Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004, at his home after an extended illness following a transplant. He was 57.

Alaska's citizen-led process for making laws should be protected
Since Statehood Alaskans have had the constitutional right to adopt laws by placing initiative proposals on the ballot. Those who crafted our Constitution wanted to make sure citizens with good ideas could make a difference, and pass laws when elected officials are unresponsive the community's needs.

With or without good case, Edwards proves to be skilled debater
To assess Tuesday's vice presidential debate, you must filter out Sen. John Edwards' superiority at skills that have little relevance to running the country. Edwards is one dynamite debater, and no doubt would be as impressive in a debate against Osama bin Laden as he was against Vice President Dick Cheney. ... Cheney mocked John Kerry's strategy for Iraq as more of an echo than a plan, and, indeed, Edwards was unpersuasive that his ticket offered a significantly different approach for ensuring a successful endgame there. Cheney skewered Kerry's shifting positions on Iraq, dating back to the senator's ill-advised vote against the Gulf War in 1991. ...

Intelligence issue should be tackled before break
As Congress prepares to depart Washington shortly for the campaign trail, the stage is set for last-minute skullduggery on the overhaul of national intelligence agencies. If lawmakers come home and say they've done the job, don't buy it sight unseen. ...

Enemy combatants held to keep them from taking up arms
Abdul Ghaffar, an Islamic extremist, was captured during the liberation of Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo Bay -- where he was detained with other particularly dangerous members of the Taliban. The U.S. government, under intense legal pressure to release or charge the detainees with a crime, has been setting dozens of them free.

Around the Peninsula
Soroptimist meet todayReferee's association to hold clinicParent support group meeting scheduledComprehensive plan update meetings set

Some tips for next debate
The old idea that debates in presidential contests don't matter is one that needs to be rethought by the pundits. And the Bush campaign must now take note that a casual approach to the remaining debates could prove fatal to the president's re-election.

Around the Peninsula
Women health screenings availableFish and Game advisory schedules meetingPFLAG to meetMasquerade ball, auction plannedAlcohol and drug abuse council to meetKPC seeks council members

Skyview high
The school hosted the largest Alaska state cross country meet last weekend. There were 61 teams in attendance.

Wings Christian Academy
Mrs. Kincaid taught an art class for the younger students last week. They each made a miniature snowman.

Rundown Indian school may get second chance
PHOENIX -- The pale red brick building with the mission-style roof line saw nearly 70 years worth of American Indian students.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start
Miss Ingrid will visit this week to do nutrition activities with the children and meet with parents.

Soldotna Middle
Tuberculosis tests will be given Monday through the week. They will be given to all seventh-graders and eighth-graders who are new to the district. For more information, call the school nurse.

Soldotna High
Retakes for the High School Qualifying Exam continue today and Thursday.

Redoubt Elementary
Redoubt celebrated its 25th birthday on Sept. 24. Students released more than 400 biodegradable balloons and Soldotna Safeway provided cake and ice cream for the entire school. Special guests included visiting alumni. The staff thanks the many parent volunteers, Soldotna Safeway, guests and Mrs. Hale, who coordinated the event for making this celebration a special day.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High
The High School Qualifying Exam will continue today and Thursday for those juniors and seniors who have not yet passed any portion of the exam. Sophomores will not test until spring.

McNeil Canyon named blue ribbon school
Hours after being one of three schools in the state and approximately 250 nationwide to be named a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School, McNeil Canyon School Principal Pete Swanson spoke with pride about what he said is a community accomplishment.

Cook Inlet Academy
The boys and the girls cross country running teams took second place in the Region II championships Sept. 25. Brian Beeson placed first, winning his fourth straight individual title. Brooke Forsi was the top finisher for the girls team, placing fourth. Also contributing to the boys' score was Ryan Fowler, John Forsi, Marcus Brown, Mark Beeson and Hunter Clark. Finishers for the girls team include Tana Alsworth, Sara Wood, Sharon Lindow and Katilyn White.

Tustumena Elementary
Congratulations to Joy Skjold and Evelyn VanMeter who were elected site council president and secretary Sept. 27. The site council meetings are held monthly (except in December and March) during the school year and are open to the public.

Kenai Montessori
The school is closed this week. Teachers are attending the International Montessori Conference in Tampa, Fla. The conference is an opportunity for Montessori teachers from around the world to gather and share experiences and ideas. They also will attend classes and lectures.

Soldotna Elementary
Jared Lingafelt was the top seller in the Innisbrook fund-raiser and was awarded a giant bear. Brendan Hanson placed second. The staff would like to thank everyone for their efforts, especially Debbie Adamson and Lauri Lingafelt for their hard work.

Ninilchik
Last Wednesday students began selling gift wrap, calendars, planners and other items. This fund-raiser benefits the entire school.

Mountain View Elementary
The Title 1 program is holding its annual parent meeting from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the library. All Title 1 parents are encouraged to attend. The meeting immediately precedes the Family Math-Science Night so participants will be "eating dessert first" by having ice cream sundaes available for Title 1 family members.

Reads
All students will participate in the National BOOK IT Program. Every month reading goals will be given to each grade level. After a student reaches their goal, a pizza certificate will be awarded to the students. October goals already have been sent home.

Kenai Middle
Congratulations to Zack Weisz, Amber Champman and Dylan Lawrence for winning the Character Counts drawings Tuesday. These students will receive a pizza for lunch today.

KPC gets caught up in UAA Seawolf hockey spirit week
The anticipation is rising and school spirit is alive and well at Kenai Peninsula College. The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hockey team will play Canada's Grant MacEwan College's Griffins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center. The KPC Student Union has been fully engaged in Seawolf Spirit Week activities on campus that will continue until the game puck is dropped.

Soldotna Montessori
In keeping with the Montessori philosophy of community service and civic responsibility, the school spent last Friday afternoon cleaning up the city of Soldotna public parks as well as the middle school and high school grounds. The students, staff and parents gathered for an all-school picnic at Farnsworth Park. The students gathered pledges of a penny per pound of trash picked up. The proceeds will help pay for field study trips to study the local community, the peninsula and important cultural areas of Alaska.

Connections
Connections enrollment is coming to an end. Call 714-8880 to make an appointment.

Nikiski North Star Elementary
The school is collecting box tops and Campbell's for Education labels.

Day cares offer food program
Hope for the Future day care, Little People's Learning World and the Sonshine House are participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program. Children from low-income families may qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Lunch menus
White or chocolate milk served at each meal.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
Yearbooks for 2003-04 still are for sale and can be picked up in the office. The cost is $10.

Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science
Active listening is the lifelong guideline for the week.

Sears Elementary
There will be no school Oct. 22 due to a teacher in-service.

Sterling Elementary
The PTA will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday in the library.

Bird leads Storm to WNBA finals
SEATTLE -- Sue Bird had 10 points and 14 assists a day after having surgery on her broken nose, and the Seattle Storm advanced to the WNBA finals with an 82-62 win over the Sacramento Monarchs in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night.

KPHA team wins two of three
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association PeeWee B team played its first three games of the season this weekend. Playing in Kenai, the squad won two of those games.

Even without McKenzie, Packers are a mess
Maybe Mike McKenzie knew what he was talking about all along.

Hall helps Falcons to 4-0 start
Defensive lineman Travis Hall, who was born and raised in Kenai, had two tackles -- one solo and one assisted -- Sunday as Hall's Atlanta Falcons defeated the Carolina Panthers 27-10 to move their record to 4-0. Hall has eight tackles -- six solo and two assisted -- for the Falcons this season.

Williams wants to rejoin Dolphins
MIAMI -- Maybe Ricky Williams is tired of traveling. Maybe he has run out of books to read. Or maybe he doesn't want to pay the $8.6 million he owes the Miami Dolphins for breach of contract.

KPHA Squirt B squad drops three to Wasilla
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Squirt B Icehawks dropped three games to the visiting Wasilla Eagles last weekend.

'Friday Night Lights' makes the big screen
DALLAS -- Before Peter Berg started writing the eighth attempt at turning the best-selling book ''Friday Night Lights'' into a movie, he got some advice from his cousin, Buzz Bissinger, who happened to be the book's author.

Thomas predicts Williams won't rejoin Dolphins
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- With running back Ricky Williams ready to reverse directions and come out of retirement, his former Miami Dolphins teammates were mixed in their reaction Wednesday.

Birch Ridge Report: Cold weather always makes for a classic at Birch Ridge Golf Course
It wasn't easy, but we did it. We know again why it's called the Cold Weather Classic. This tournament was actually scheduled for Sept. 25, but could not be held as there was 2 inches of snow on the golf course.

Photo feature: Taking five
A bald eagle eyes traffic moving along the Homer Spit recently. The birds are a common sight in Homer, especially during the colder months.

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