Tuesday, November 30, 2004

NOW PLAYING: Christmas with the Kranks
Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis' new film, Christmas with the Kranks, has all the required elements for a successful holiday romp. Highly talented comedic actors, wacky situations, and enough Christmas spirit to melt even the Scroogiest of hearts. It is, however, unfortunately lacking those elements required for a coherent, satisfying moviegoing experience, such as a plot that makes sense, a modicum of chemistry between the actors, and any sense of comedic timing. I mean, I realize Surviving Christmas has become just another in the Affleck's long string of box office bombs, but at least it was funny!

Soldiers-in-training send holiday wishes back home
Happy Thanksgiving to you all from the A Co. (FWD), 3/297th Infantry, Kenai Detachment here in Dona Ana, N.M.

People need to boycott violent games, take stand for values
On Nov. 23, 1963, I was 8 years old and attending Scotts Valley Country School as a third-grade student near Augusta, Wis.

Light parade left religion out of Christmas season
Even as I was enjoying the beautiful lighted floats in the Kenai Electric Light Parade, I had a feeling of emptiness. Something was missing. Where was the babe in a manger? Snowmen, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, even flying pigs were on display. I saw no angels proclaiming the good news, no Virgin Mary holding the God Child, no wise men following a star. How can we hope to have a joyous and happy holiday season, when we eradicate all mention of the birth of the Christ Child the giver of true joy?

Soldotna
Soroptimist International of Kenai Peninsula is having a fund-raiser to provide a money fund for area women who are in need of aid for mammograms and, or cancer related medical services at Central Peninsula General Hospital, the Young Women's Conference and other community projects. See's Candies can be ordered through any club member, and you will have them in plenty of time for the holiday season. Call Lyn Hodel at 262-9253 or Joyce at 262-7616.

Cooper Landing
Deb Carlson put together this year's community Christmas card album and it is on display at the Shrew's Nest. A donation toward Santa's treats to be given out at the school Christmas program will get your family name in the pot, and the card album will be given to the lucky person whose name is drawn. Deb rounded up pictures of residents, took some pictures herself, and used donated photos to fill the album. There is still room for more photos.

Sterling
Hi, neighbors.

Nikiski
Good morning.

Kenai
Howdy, neighbors.

Ninilchik
Hi, neighbors.

Kasilof
Seasons greetings.

Weather changes businesses' focus
Wet, cold, miserable. No matter what you call it, the icy weather is hindering more than just Kenai Peninsula residents' ability to walk from their houses to their cars safely. It's also affecting the income and sales at a variety of local businesses.

Mine project has more to offer
Ongoing test drilling operations at Northern Dynasty Minerals' Pebble Mine project north of Lake Iliamna have revealed what the company is calling a substantial, new higher-grade gold, copper and molybdenum zone on the east side of the Pebble deposit.

Study, Oprah making waves about salmon
Consumers searching for a healthy way to shed those unwanted holiday pounds may be looking north this year.

Tier system: Good or bad?
Editor's note This is the second of a two-part story about the state's Public Employees Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System, and the financial difficulties the state and Kenai Peninsula Borough are facing in funding them.

Photo feature: Better footing
A pedestrian heads to the beach for a safe walk in the sand recently. Ice and slush have made walking a challenge elsewhere.

Going buggy: Redoubt ready for pest control
The sound of silence will return to Redoubt Elementary School in Soldotna for the new year.

Pilot's survival skills tested
ANCHORAGE Michael Holman landed his plane on a deserted part of the Koyuktolik Bay shore, hoping to do a little beachcombing before making the short hop to Seldovia about 15 miles away.

Chance call saves lives of Nikiski family
When Geri Litzen of Nikiski looked over at her two little daughters with oxygen masks covering their faces at Central Peninsula General Hospital, she started to shake.

'Tis the season! Shoppers get an early start on the holidays
Kenai Peninsula residents made their lists and checked them twice before heading out Friday to take part in what is annually the busiest shopping day of the year.

Press freedom still lacking worldwide
''Reporters Without Borders'' has just re-leased its third-annual global study, which includes a survey of press freedoms found around the world. The report shows that currently the freedom of the press is particularly threatened in Eastern Asia, where the isolated North Korea earned the lowest ranking of 167. ...

Survey supports court limits
WASHINGTON Six in 10 Americans say there should be a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices, according to an Associated Press poll.

News not an easy business to be in
The storied career of Dan Rather, starting with the Nixon White House and ending with a botched election-year story on the president, is a tale of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Violent video games unfit for holiday season What others say
We wish we could say that this computer game was created by some reptilian rogue with one foot out of the primoridal swamp, but the gamemakers, out of Scotland, defend their invention by saying it's just taking history into the interactive.

Children's science museum exhibit gets high marks from parent
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) A trip to a children's science museum proved to be a day of discovery for a 5-year-old boy and his mother, who discovered a possible heart condition in the child while checking out an exhibit.

Peninsula People
Troop completes work on community service badge Halibut derby logo winner announced Shady joins Navy

Births
Cavan Jay Swanson Katelyn Renay Musgrove,

What's at stake?
CHICAGO Now that his high school football season is over, Zak Coppinger has been playing poker every chance he can get.

Around the Peninsula
Soroptimist offer volunteer award Fish and Game to meet Domestic violence to be discussed Mission fund-raiser planned Historical society to meet Toy and Joy applications being accepted

Community News
Christmas cookies available Community service award applications available Auction, dinner fund-raiser set Foundation accepting Lifeline funds VFW auxiliary seeking new members

Senior Briefs
Senior activiites on the peninsula this week.

Room for improvement: Study gives Alaska families program so-so grade
ANCHORAGE (AP) A 10-year-old program to fund at-home help for stressed-out new parents hasn't made much of a difference, a study has found.

Senior Menus
Menus at the peninsula senior centers for this week

Older and wiser, Jeff George thankful for new opportunity
LAKE FOREST, Ill. Talent was never Jeff George's problem. His personality, well, that's a different story.

Icehawks second in Anchorage tourney
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Peewee B team traveled to Anchorage for the annual Thanksgiving hockey tournament last weekend, bringing home the second-place trophy after a 3-2 loss to the Mat-Su Eagles in Sunday's championship game.

Jayhawks bolt past Wolf Pack
LAWRENCE, Kan. Wayne Simien had 14 points and 10 rebounds his third double-double in as many games and No. 2 Kansas routed Nevada 85-52 on Monday night.

Couples skins Tiger in playoff
LA QUINTA, Calif. Minutes after hitting into the water to blow a chance at winning the Skins Game, Tiger Woods smiled and jokingly walked arm-in-arm down the fairway with Fred Couples.

AFC teams would be in the hunt in the NFC
After his Jaguars lost in Minnesota on Sunday, Jack Del Rio sounded like a coach who knows his team is in the wrong conference.

Tar Heels leave USC stuck in mud
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. North Carolina sure made Southern California look like the tired team.

Miller, Mirabelli finalize deals as market resumes
NEW YORK Damian Miller's $8.75 million, three-year contract was finalized by the Milwaukee Brewers and Doug Mirabelli became the first of Boston's 16 free agents to re-sign, agreeing to a $3 million, two-year deal Monday.

Miller off to hot start on the slopes
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta Bode Miller became the first man to open a World Cup season with three victories in three disciplines, winning a super-giant slalom Sunday ahead of Hermann Maier.

Big cheese: Favre romps
GREEN BAY, Wis. The governor proclaimed it ''Brett Favre Day,'' and the night belonged to the quarterback, too.

Leinart looking like Heisman favorite
LOS ANGELES A tight Heisman Trophy race looks clear-cut to Matt Leinart's Southern California teammates.

Moss helps Vikings roll to victory
MINNEAPOLIS Randy Moss made a noticeable impact in his return for the Minnesota Vikings. Most importantly, the defense made it count.

Hot combo has Miami sizzling
MIAMI Dwyane Wade had 25 points, Shaquille O'Neal added 21 and tied a team record by making all nine of his shot attempts, and the Miami Heat held off the Boston Celtics 106-104 on Sunday night.

Celtics beat Magic to snap four-game skid
ORLANDO, Fla. Doc Rivers got his team back on track while gaining a measure of revenge on his old squad, and the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Orlando Magic 117-101 on Monday night.

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