Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Mets court Martinez, Giants sign Benitez
NEW YORK While Mets fans discussed whether their team has a chance to land Pedro Martinez, former New York closer Armando Benitez found a new club, agreeing Tuesday to a $21.5 million, three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Mentoring Science teachers...
State Teacher Mentor Rick Frederic gathers with KPBSD teachers for special in-service.

Alaskan publishes book of stories about life in Idaho
K-Beach resident LaVerne Hunt Silcott recently fulfilled a long time ambition by self publishing a collection of family stories from the county where she was raised in Idaho. "My mother said she could never understand why so many books had been written about the other end of our county in Southwestern Idaho, but nothing about our end. So I started researching and gathering family stories," says Silcott. Of course the other end of the county was where the infamous Silver City ghost town was located. "Our end of the county were mostly farm folk that loved to tell stories. Our whole family were story tellers. My mother would say that my grandfather would start a story in the morning and by the time evening came along it didn't sound like the same story at all, but my stories are more about the facts of how our folks lived and celebrated holidays, planted their gardens and put up their food, curled their hair, and did their laundry. There's one story about my father who was a tall person and he liked to ride a donkey to school but he had to pull his legs up to keep his toes from dragging on the ground when he went to school," said Silcott.

Seniors enjoy early turkey dinner...
It's a tradition that started longer ago than anyone remembers for sure, but according to the Agrium employees that were serving up last weeks Turkey dinner with all the trimmings at the Kenai Senior Center last week, it's been at least a couple of decades. John Averill of Agrium loves the special day and said he'd been personally working in the serving line since 1990, "We look forward to this every year. It's a great time to say thanks to people who helped to make this community such a nice place to live and it gives us a chance to give back to those who have given so much to us," said Averill.

Kenai Performers offer a live Holiday greeting...
Once again the Kenai Performers are offering a special Holiday enhancing experience for the local community. The living Christmas card, as it's become known, was the idea of Christa Cady-Hippchen three years ago as a way of spreading holiday cheer as well as raising funds for the Kenai Performers Band Wagon fund. "I started this because I just love to sing Christmas music and many years ago I use to do this in Seattle and I felt it was a niche that was missing in our community," said Cady. The living Christmas card comes complete with authentic carolers dawned in vintage Victorian costumes, "We'll have three quartets available this year and people may order anything from a four carol Christmas Card for $50 to a half hour stroll down a hallway or through your place of business or even a full hour concert for your party or any combination of events to enhance your holiday atmosphere, while at the same time contributing your tax deductible support to the Kenai Performers and their new theatre," explained Cady. To reserve a date for the Victorian Carolers call Diane at 262-8525.

Assembly should work to make peninsula better place to live
Thanks for broadcasting your meetings during the winter months. And thanks, especially for airing them on KDLL, a station that can make a person think if that person would want to.

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.

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?

Theft victim hopes whoever got cash has happy holiday
Merry Christmas to whomever found my purse with about $380 in cash in it. I forgot my purse at the Orca movie theater last Sunday and on Thanksgiving I got it back with a total of $2.25 in it. The money I had in my purse was money I had made over the summer baby-sitting kids and working for my grandma. I get no allowance, you see, I make all my money by working. So if you are the one that found my purse, I hope you use the money I was saving to buy presents or food for your family. So have a merry Christmas.

Article on teacher's struggle appreciated by former student
Mr. Summer was my history teacher in 1994. He was the best teacher I ever had. He pushed me forward, never backed down and always wanted more from me. It was the best thing in the world.

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.

Ninilchik
Hi, neighbors.

Sterling
Hi, neighbors.

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.

Kenai
Howdy, neighbors.

Kasilof
Seasons greetings.

Nikiski
Good morning.

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.

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.

Cool cascade
Water leaves a silky trail as it cascades over Juneau Creek Falls during an exposure using a slow shutter speed last weekend. The falls are accessible from a short spur off the Resurrection Pass Trail about 4 1/2 miles from the route's southern trail head on the Sterling Highway.

Man no longer has head in the clouds
After nearly four decades of keeping the skies safe, Kenai's John Bernard is heading out to sea.

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.

Bridge project closer to start
Every day the city of Soldotna gets closer to seeing new bridge construction over the Kenai River, but no one is in the position to start counting those days.

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

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

Southcentral gas takes priority ANGDA shifts focus from LNG plant to seeing North Slope spur line built
The Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority, the state corporation formed to build a gas pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez and a large gas liquefaction plant in that coastal community, is now focusing its short-term effort on getting gas from the slope to Southcentral Alaska.

Suspect surplus Oil income boosts budget, but how permanent will state's windfall be?
Record-high oil prices will send hundreds of millions to state coffers, but lawmakers and budget analysts are warning against calling new revenues a surplus.

Police seeking assault victims
Kenai police arrested a 20-year-old Soldotna man Friday in conjunction with sexual assaults and believe others may have been victims of additional assaults.

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.

Barbara J. Cocklin
Kasilof resident Barbara J. Cocklin died Monday, Nov. 29, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 75.

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.

PETA's latest cause rather fishy What others say
Every once in awhile, a story comes along that defies belief. We aren't talking about alien abduction stories, or two-headed-babies-with-a-gift-for-opera stories.

NBA has lost its appeal Out-of-control players, poor management leads to fan revolt
If you are tired of reading about the NBA brawl that broke out recently in Detroit, let me offer one bit of empirical data to confirm the increasingly common opinion that professional basketball in America is losing support.

Around the Peninsula
Capitol move meeting set for Thursday Teen fun night scheduledReading council to host carnival

Kenai Middle
The annual canned food drive will continue until Dec. 17. The school encourages its students, staff, parents and guardians to bring nonperishable items to the school to help sponsor the Christmas drive.

Soldotna Middle
The fortnightly sponsored by the PTSA on Nov. 19 was successful. The root beer chugging contest seemed to be hit. Thank you to Linda Hibberd for donating the root beer. Thank you to the parents, staff and maintenance for the help.

Soldotna Elementary
Congratulations to Ms. Allen's kindergarten and Mrs. Baktuit's second-grade class for tying for first place in the "Canstruction" competition. Students have been collecting canned good for the food bank and were challenged to build an object with the cans they collected. The kindergartners built a Christmas tree, wore hats and had cookies and hot chocolate around the "tree." Second-graders built a globe, wore chef's hats and sang "we can feed the whole world with our cans." The school would like to thank Bob Boozer for judging the competition, the PTA for sponsoring the contest and those who contributed cans to the Thanksgiving drive.

Nikiski North Star Elementary
The train food drive is held from now through Dec. 17. The students and staff will collect nonperishable items for the holidays for The Salvation Army. "Tracks" will be set up in the school so each class can collect as many items as possible. The school is doing this as part of the Character Counts trait of caring.

Wings Christian Academy
In honor of the Thanksgiving season, the students participated in a baking contest Nov. 23. Amy and Elizabeth Wood baked a cheesecake with blackberries and chocolate and won first place, Julianne and Naomi Pettey won second place with an Oreo casserole and third-place was awarded to Jesse Puletau, who made jelly pastries. Thank you the judges for helping with this event.

Redoubt Elementary
The PTA is coordinating the Holiday Kindness program. Families who need help with Christmas should call Mr. Syverson as soon as possible. Monetary donations in any amount will gratefully be accepted. Call the school office for complete information.

Sterling Elementary
Congratulations to the bus riders of the month Sam Skuse, Ryan Boyer, Shellie Coila, Ruby Trent and Shae Ingels.

Mountain View Elementary
On Tuesday, the fifth-grade classes concluded the Native American celebration. The students participated in a concert that featured the songs, music, games and dances of representative tribes from across the United States. Following the concert, relatives, friends and community members were invited to tour the student exhibits and learn about the various cultures the students had studied.

Seward High
The staff would like to recognize its employee of the month, Rich Redmond, who is the half-time athletic director and a half-time counselor.

Sears Elementary
Santa's Secret Shop will be open Monday through Dec. 10. This will give the students an opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts for family and friends.

Deadline looming for patriotic art program
The deadline to enter the VFW Ladies Auxiliary of the Jerry V. Horn Memorial Post No. 10046 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards contest is Friday. The contest was developed as a way to encourage high school students to use their artistic talents to express their patriotism.

Skyview High
The wrestling team will travel to Colony this weekend for the Region III duals.

Connections
Fall book clubs available in the office for kindergarten through 12th-grade students are Scholastic, Troll and Trumpet. Orders should be brought to Tanya prior to Friday. Books should arrive before Christmas break.

Soldotna High
Yearbooks are $50. Senior ad space still is available in color or black and white. Additional information may be obtained by calling the yearbook staff in room 76.

Cook Inlet Academy
The public is invited to attend the annual Christmas program at 7 p.m. Monday at College Heights Baptist Church on Kalifornsky Beach Road. The children's choir in grades four through six and the high school concert choir will perform. A cookie and punch social will follow the program organized by Mrs. O'Dell's fifth-grade class. Donations will go toward the class project of helping a local needy family during the holiday season.

Soldotna Montessori Charter
Mrs. Sotelo's class will participate in the state Robotics Competition in Anchorage on Saturday. The students are designing and programming Lego robots that complete tasks intended to be helpful to individuals with disabilities. Sotelo's class also created cards for the Random Acts of Kindness Society. The cards will be distributed to individuals who are ill or shut in.

Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science
The Christmas drive is under way. Applications are due Friday. To sponsor a child or a family, call Kimb or Linda. If possible, each first-grader is asked to bring one pair of mittens or gloves and second-graders are asked to bring one package of socks.

Kenai Central High
Families can use the Internet to stay current with KCHS activities. The school's Web page can be found at www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/ kchs/launch. From this site, click the sports link on the left side of the page for current sports schedules or click the school calendar link to view the school general calendar. Also from the KCHS Edline home page, choose the sports schedule link in the upper right corner to view the most recent sports schedule. Families are reminded that for various reasons, sports and activity schedules can change without warning. Check the sites often for the most current information.

Center taking part in food program
Kate's Play and Learning World is 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.

Honor Rolls
The following students were named to the honor roll in the second quarter at Kenai Middle, Nikiski Middle-Senior High and Skyview High School.

Senior Briefs
Senior activiites on the peninsula this week.

Senior Menus
Menus at the peninsula senior centers for 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.

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

Jackets blow out Michigan
ATLANTA B.J. Elder scored 27 points, Will Bynum had 19 and Jarrett Jack added 16 for No. 4 Georgia Tech in a 99-68 victory over Michigan on Tuesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Los Angeles riddles Bucks once again
MILWAUKEE Brian Cook came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and Kobe Bryant added 20 points despite being held without a field goal for three quarters to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Milwaukee Bucks 95-90 Tuesday night.

Hamilton jettisoned by Phonak
GENEVA Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was fired by his cycling team two months after testing positive for blood doping.

Browns' Davis resigns
BEREA, Ohio Butch Davis never wanted to abandon his dream job and all its ego-soothing power. The last-second losses, freaky injuries and intense scrutiny on his family changed his mind.

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.

Irish fire Willingham after three seasons
SOUTH BEND, Ind. Notre Dame's return to glory under Tyrone Willingham was brief. Too brief.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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