Monday, November 15, 2004

NOW PLAYING: The Polar Express
Remember when computer animation was little more than a geometric landscape with patterns laid over it, populated by herky jerky automatons bounding around the screen? Well, have we ever come a long way. I keep thinking we've hit the top. When Toy Story came out, everyone said that was the best they'd ever seen. Finding Nemo - wow. Miles ahead of Toy Story. How could it get any better? The hyper-realistic illustrated world of The Polar Express is director Robert Zemeckis' answer.

Russell A. Burnett
Longtime Soldotna resident Russell A. Burnett died Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 84.

Jeffrey Alan Ring
Soldotna resident Jeffrey Alan Ring died Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004, at Providence Alaska Medical Center of a brain aneurysm. He was 30.

Dorothy J. Gauthier
Soldotna resident Dorothy J. Gauthier died Sunday, Nov. 7, 2004, at the Heritage Place in Soldotna in her sleep. She was 89.

Bruce W. 'Hoppy' Haskell
Anchorage resident Bruce W. "Hoppy" Haskell died Monday, Nov. 8, 2004, near Anchorage. He was 48.

Proposition 1 took government out of the hands of the people
Recently voters passed Proposition 1 by a narrow margin. This proposition made it more difficult for a citizen to get an issue before the voters that the Legislature wouldn't address. One of the rationales behind the proposition was that voters should leave natural resource management issues to the people who understand the issues. I think this thinking is flawed.

Contenders focus on getting all-important victory at Darlington
Kurt Busch, racing for his first Nextel Cup title, holds a 41-point lead over four-time champion Jeff Gordon with two races remaining. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin, none of whom has won a Cup title, are all within 104 points of the leader going into the race at Darlington Raceway.

Truex clinches championship
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) Martin Truex Jr.'s fourth-place finish Saturday at Darlington Raceway gave Dale Earnhardt Jr. the first of two series championships he covets this year.

Johnson making bid for Cup
DARLINGTON, S.C. Jimmie Johnson has fought through mistakes, mechanical failures and the despair of losing friends in a plane crash to charge back into NASCAR's closest championship battle ever.

Alaskans not well covered
Results from a nationwide study assessing health care in all 50 states show that, like the others, Alaska faces rapidly rising costs in the delivery of long-term care, child care, Medicaid and in the prices for prescription drugs.

Senior population grows as Last Frontier matures
ANCHORAGE Alaska was supposed to be a one-year stint when Lorene Harrison arrived in 1928 to take a job teaching music and home economics in Anchorage, a small frontier town in the wilderness.

Priorities head list of school board plans
Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education will meet today to piece together state and federal legislative priorities to take to Juneau, which likely will move into final action at the Dec. 6 board meeting.

Small fry may be big problem
Researchers with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say sockeye salmon fry in Skilak Lake are getting smaller, a fact they attribute to increasingly silty water caused by the rapid melting of Skilak Glacier.

One team, new leaders
ANCHORAGE (AP) House Democrats have teamed up with Republican colleagues to form a new Republican-led majority coalition.

Getting a handle on ice
Jim Barkman shovels a load of sand into his truck Saturday afternoon from a sand pile the city of Kenai maintains for public use on Willow Street past the animal shelter. Barkman said he lives on a hill, so he wanted to be prepared in case it got any icier. "It can be pretty bad," he said.

Positions bode well for area
The selection of Sen. Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage, as Alaska Senate president, and Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, as Senate majority leader, could lend a more moderate look to the Legislature's upper body, the new majority leader said Wednesday.

Bruce W. 'Hoppy' Haskell
Anchorage resident Bruce W. "Hoppy" Haskell died Monday, Nov. 8, 2004, near Anchorage. He was 48.

Russell A. Burnett
Longtime Soldotna resident Russell A. Burnett died Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 84.

Dorothy J. Gauthier
Soldotna resident Dorothy J. Gauthier died Sunday, Nov. 7, 2004, at the Heritage Place in Soldotna in her sleep. She was 89.

Jeffrey Alan Ring
Soldotna resident Jeffrey Alan Ring died Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004, at Providence Alaska Medical Center of a brain aneurysm. He was 30.

Palestinian statehood on hold
WASHINGTON President Bush has all but abandoned his goal of Palestinian statehood next year, opting instead to spend the next four years trying to help ''a truly free state develop'' alongside Israel.

New Capitol idea great way to mark state's 50th birthday
We can hear the naysayers yammering away: Alaska doesn't need a new Capitol. It needs less government. Why build a new building that you can't drive to? What's wrong with the old building? That money would be better spent on schools, roads and public safety. What benefit will most Alaskans get from a new Capitol they can't afford to go and see?

Fault lines showing in Muslim world
The two events in settings as different as tidy and prosperous Holland and a tropical rubber plantation in southern Thailand bear similarities suggesting new flash points in the global struggle against radical Islam.

The immigration blues
SEATTLE Got the blue-state blues? Rudi Kischer feels your pain.

Economic signs appear to be pointing in the right direction
Rising energy costs appeared to be jeopardizing the economic recovery for a while, but there has been more than a little good news in the past week.

Bush's second-term domestic agenda far weightier than first
WASHINGTON From his domestic policy platter, President Bush chose to serve dessert before the main course.

Carver hunts diamond willow in the rough
Stepping into Sterling resident Roy Baldwin's shop can be overwhelming to the olfactory senses. The sweet smell of wood hangs thick in the air like the smell of fresh bread in a bakery.

Turkey, green beans in a bottle?
SEATTLE Jones Soda Co. takes the idea of a liquid diet to a new low. How does Green Bean Casserole Soda strike you? And how about an aggressively buttery-smelling Mashed Potato Soda?

Mexican Coke keeping it real
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. Deep in the heart of Coca-Cola country, there's at least one place where the iconic caramel-colored fizz doesn't reign supreme or at least the version most Americans know.

Stars light up winter nights
Winter has almost arrived and that means that the bounty of the winter sky charms us once more. The accompanying chart is set for 10 p.m. in early November and midnight in late November, thus more stars will have risen in the earlier evening hours later this month.

Eating turns into stream of holidays
Feeling festive? Stock up on mustard, vinegar and oregano, and plan to give away some zucchini.

Around the Peninsula
Alcohol and drug abuse council to meet'Toy and Joy' applications being acceptedSocial Security reps to visit areaFlu shot clinic planned

Peninsula People
Second-grader donates hats Albertson to compete in Princess pageant Moore becomes chaplain assistant

Study: Parents want government to limit sex, violence on TV
WASHINGTON Nearly two-thirds of parents in a new survey want the government to place tighter controls on sex and violence on television, re-searchers said recently.

Community news
Veterans given allotments for local medical transport with CARTS Blood drive set Coping with the holidays workshop scheduled Kidney support group to meet Globetrotters to play at KCHS Donations for orphanage sought Red Hat information available Toy and Joy applications being accepted

Around the Peninsula
Chugach closed to motorized use Fish and Game to meet Wings safety meeting scheduled Dinner theater fund-raiser set Holiday bazaar planned Junior Miss application deadline nears Animal sanctuary fund-raiser slated Community Thanksgiving dinner set Food handlers class scheduled Choir fund-raiser planned Safe Sitter classes offered

'Extreme Makeover' treats Washington family to new home
KINGSTON, Wash. (AP) Is it possible to build a 3,200-square-foot home with six bedrooms from the ground up in just one week? Only on reality TV.

A shot now staves off sickness
Vaccinations are a pet owner's best line of defense against contagious diseases that potentially can be fatal to their furry friends.

My best friend
Snoopy, a Weaton Scottish terrier, checks on his buddy, Brian Nelson Jr., after mud swimming at the family's fishing site. Snoopy belongs to Joyce Dillon of Nikiski, who is Brian's grandmother.

State experience has Kardinals pumped up for more
Just wait 'til next year.

ACS takes first at Round Robin Rumble
Anchorage Christian Schools showed its depth in the Homer Round Robin Wrestling Tournament Saturday at Homer High School. The tournament featured a rare blend of large and small schools, ranging from Class 2A Galena to Class 4A Skyview.

Pros play best ball
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman combined for a 10-under 62 Saturday and moved into a tie for the lead with Justin Leonard and Steve Flesch after two rounds of the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

Kuehne, Sluman shoot past field
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) Hank Kuehne and Jeff Sluman birdied four of the last five holes and beat Justin Leonard and Steve Flesch by two strokes at the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Sunday.

Spartans throttle Badgers
EAST LANSING, Mich. Michigan State used a powerful rushing attack, a trick play and a key defensive stand to rout No. 4 Wisconsin 49-14 on Saturday and knock the Badgers out of the national championship race.

United stands tall D.C. dominates K.C. for fourth MLS title
CARSON, Calif (AP) Peter Nowak had an empty feeling when he left the MLS Cup four years ago. He was beaming this time.

James pours in 24 points as Cavs top Wizards
CLEVELAND LeBron James scored 24 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 21 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Washington Wizards 105-74 Saturday for their third straight victory after an 0-3 start.

Sports briefs
Two Bulldogs, one Kardinal make state volleyball all-tournament teams Kenai to host high school basketball camp SoHi, Skyview grapplers pin losses on Kenai Globetrotters to play at KCHS Wallyball league forming

Sifford breaks barrier with spot in golf Hall
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. Charlie Sifford only wanted a chance to play.

Davenport knocked out of WTA Championships
LOS ANGELES Lindsay Davenport rallied for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Serena Williams in the WTA Championships on Saturday, although her No. 1 ranking was in jeopardy after she failed to reach the semifinals.

Byrd keeps his crown
NEW YORK Chris Byrd felt the power and found the canvas. Then Jameel McCline found out what made Byrd a heavyweight champion in the first place.

Kenai, SoHi top Skyview
The Kenai Central hockey team defeated Skyview 11-1 Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center in the North Star Conference opener for both teams.

Nikiski recovers from first defeat, takes third at state
Following a defeat their first of the season in the first round of the state 3A volleyball tournament, the Nikiski High School volleyball had a choice: Regroup and finish strong, or pack it in and go home early.

Memphis defense rips George Mason
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Memphis coach John Calipari is constantly riding his players about their defense.

Texas women tip-off season with big win
AUSTIN, Texas Tiffany Jackson scored 15 points after sitting out most of the first half and No. 2 Texas got a career game from senior Mercedes Williams in beating No. 21 Penn State 84-69 in the Tip-Off Classic on Sunday.

Pacers' Artest is NBA's new version of Dennis Rodman
Ron Artest, like so many poor souls in sports, is misunderstood.

Bucks stopped by Heat in OT
MIAMI Keyon Dooling forced a second overtime with a running layup, and the Miami Heat took advantage by scoring the first seven points of the extra session in a 112-110 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night.

Pittsburgh rookie rolls to 7-0
CLEVELAND Ben Roethlisberger became the first rookie quarterback to begin 7-0 since the 1970 merger, and Jerome Bettis had two short touchdown runs, leading the Steelers to a 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

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