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Monday, December 6, 2004

NOW PLAYING A Day Without a Mexican / Intermission
Assuming you tried to go out to the movies this weekend, you will have noticed that our theaters got nothing new this week. This is a typical pitfall of living in a community with a limited number of screens. Theater owners are often contractually bound to keep certain movies for a minimum number of weeks, and with a whole host of holiday choices, it was inevitable that we would miss some of the the big releases. We never saw Ray or Alexander and now it looks like the Julia Roberts/Natalie Portman/Jude Law romantic drama Closer will be AWOL as well. But hey, National Treasure will probably play through the new year considering audiences inexplicable love for it. With our lack of choices in mind, I decided to eschew the inevitable review for Spongebob (How do you adapt a mildly clever twenty-three minute sketch cartoon into a full-length feature? Answer: you dont.) and instead review two new DVD releases, each of which are small, low-budget films that received only limited theatrical release before they were whisked away to video.

Area group forms to lobby for new Legislature locale
A small band of central Kenai Peninsula voters got together in Soldotna on Thursday and formed a committee to look into moving the state's Legislature out of Juneau.

SART making return to central peninsula
When a victim of sexual assault on the central Kenai Peninsula gathers the courage to report the crime, she faces one more challenge. To get evidence from her body in a sexual assault investigation, Alaska State Troopers, Kenai Police or Soldotna Police ask trained sexual assault nurse examiners to help them. Lately, that has meant bringing the victim to South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, an hour or more drive.

River guides get reprieve
Finding a way to limit Kenai River fishing guides is proving to be a time-consuming project.

Capitol design jury includes Seward woman
Juneau resident Puanani Maunu is one of the nine jurors chosen by the Capitol Planning Commission to select designs for a new capitol.

EPA digging up dirt on gravel pit water pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether a Kenai construction company's gravel pit activity was the source of turbid water released into Two Moose Creek and the Anchor River last month, and whether fill material illegally was deposited on wetlands.

Should state require history course?
ANCHORAGE (AP) The state Board of Education this week will take up a proposal to make the study of Alaska history a graduation requirement for high school students.

Race on: Mushers sign up for Iditarod
"There's no place like Nome" will be the mantra for close to 100 mushers competing in the 2005 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Open for business
Gov. Frank Murkowski met with the public for several hours Saturday afternoon to recognize the opening of the new Kenai governor's office.

Photo Feature: Cookie Craze
Delora and Chris Garcia pick their favorites at the Cookies "Buy" the Pound fund-raising event held Saturday at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai. Two long rows of tables were filled with homemade delights. Proceeds benefited the church's youth mission program.

Adjusting to Alaska life
Most people with a pulse choose to do something fun or relaxing or, maybe even exciting with their Sunday afternoons. Sunday afternoons are as pure as peanut butter, and rich like Rolos. They were made especially for me, a common man. You may take my civil liberties and dangle them over my head. You may call me names. You may lie to my face. You may kick my chicken.

Budget gap gone, but caution needed on state spending
Alaska lawmakers have a great opportunity. Alaskans need to make sure they make the most of it. Instead of facing a budget gap of approximately $360 million, the high price of oil is anticipated to send an extra $500 million into the state's treasury, more than enough to cover what was expected to be a shortfall. What that means is instead of having to slash services, the state can now fund existing programs fully and perhaps even bring back some items that have been cut in recent years.

'Tis the season for optimism in the Middle East
How appropriate that, during the Christmas season, dramatic progress is being made toward Middle East peace.

No humbug, tale inspires endless duplications
It's a scene every school child knows: Ebenezer Scrooge haunted at Christmas by the ghost of...a gang member from "Grease"?

Around the Peninsula
Historical society to meet todayYellow ribbon tree under wayTrails association to meetWomen voters to hold luncheon'Toy and Joy' applications being acceptedBand fund-raiser planned

SoHi cheerleading squad earns kudos from coaches
Our heroes of the week are the Soldotna High School cheerleading squad.

Planets offer lots of views
Bright Venus will be visible near the southeastern horizon until January. Mars will be above Venus, all the while Venus is passing Mars and closing in on the sun. Mars will then be visible in the morning for the entire winter and spring, appearing more and more toward the west and showing up in the evening sky not until October of next year.

Peninsula People
Rotary club vocational service award presented Miller inducted into honor society

Merry Mazeltov?
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Every December, Zack and Hilary Rudman used to send out nonsectarian cards with winter scenes and generic holiday greetings.

Births
Jessene (Kuiper) Wangaard and Kjell Wangaard of Evergreen, Colo., announce the birth of their daughter, Teagan Aibhilin Avery Wangaard.

Making waves KWJG-FM strives for local flair
The black sheep of Kenai Peninsula radio behaves a little differently than the rest of the flock.

Community Schools
Digital Camera Basic Winterize Your Hands Men's Basketball League

At 5-foot-3, doughnut wedding cake may set record
ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) Carefully, carefully, 1,818 Krispy Kreme doughnuts were built into a 5-foot, 3-inch heap in an attempt to set a world record for the highest doughnut wedding cake.

Community News
Safe Sitter classes offered National Guard hosts food drive Park updates Web site Reading carnival planned National Guard hosts food drive Park updates Web site Reading carnival planned

Lives intersect in Thanksgiving wedding
SEATTLE (AP) Down on their luck, Brian Ostertag and James Noriega met on a cold December night in a Seattle homeless shelter.

Headed in the right direction
Lots of people will try to tell you two heads are better than one, but the truth is two heads are just a little freaky.

Morrisons mark 50 years together
Paul and Darleen Morrison of Kenai will mark their 50th wedding an-niversary Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004.

Around the Peninsula
Trails association meeting set Women voters plan luncheon Multiple sclerosis group to meet CPGH board meeting slated Christmas bazaar set Flu vaccine still available Christmas trees available on refuge

True Love's traditional Christmas gifts climb to more than $66,000
PITTSBURGH (AP) Forget the birds, trees, jewelry, laborers and performers. How about a new Jaguar, a BMW 7 Series, a Mercedes Benz, or a 1949 Rolex?

My best friend
Foggy was 8 months old when Jim and Nedra Evenson got him from the pound two years ago. He is one cool cat, the most charming and lovable the Evensons have had, they said. Foggy gets his name from a line in the Carl Sandburg poem "Fog" that reads, "The fog comes in on little cat feet." Foggy claimed this fluted bowl as soon as he saw it.

Giving up a pet? Give up info, too
Bill Godek, chief animal control officer at the Kenai Animal Control Shelter, arrived at work last week to a familiar scene the shelter's outdoor drop-off kennel was filled with puppies, the telltale sign that someone had once again anonymously surrendered animals. No note, no information, no nothing that could help the animals get adopted.

Teams find snow in Talkeetna
Ten schools from around the state took part in Susitna Valley's ski race Friday and Saturday at Susitna Valley High School.

Colony takes Region III Duals
The Region III Duals were held in the Matanuska-Susitna valleys on Friday and Saturday and were won by the Colony Knights.

Liars, cheats, drugs: Sports keep reflecting society
So Barry Bonds admits he took steroids, but says he didn't know what they were. Yeah, and Carmelo Anthony had no idea there was marijuana in his backpack, or that he was making his acting debut in a DVD where one of his homies warns that drug snitches ''get a hole in their head.''

Yellow Jackets sting rival Georgia
ATLANTA B.J. Elder scored 19 points and Jarrett Jack added 18 to lead No. 4 Georgia Tech to an 87-49 victory over Georgia on Sunday night.

Tri-Valley skaters take two from Bulldogs
The Nikiski High School hockey team was saddled with a pair of lopsided losses to Tri-Valley in Greatland Conference play this weekend, but the Bulldogs continue to improve and are focused on being more competitive as the season progresses. "We played better. We did some things right, and worked on some areas like protecting our own zone," said Nikiski coach Donald Torres after the Bulldogs followed a 15-3 loss Friday with a 10-1 loss Saturday. "We're coming together as a team a little bit, but Tri-Valley, they're a pretty good team."

Tillman died in a confusion of friendly fire
WASHINGTON (AP) The last minutes of Pat Tillman's life were a horror of misdirected machine-gun fire and signals to firing colleagues that were misunderstood as hostile acts, according to an account published Sunday of the death of the NFL player-turned-soldier.

Slow-starting Kards top Panthers
The Skyview High School hockey team put an early scare into Kenai Central Friday night, but the Kardinals put together a big third period for a 12-2 North Star Conference win at the Soldotna Sports Center.

UAA skaters top Fighting Sioux Seawolves take WCHA win on road
GRAND FORKS, N.D. Freshman goalie Nathan Lawson made 38 saves, including 17 in the third period, to lead Alaska-Anchorage to a 2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory over North Dakota on Saturday.

No. 1 Trojans stay perfect
LOS ANGELES Southern California has reached all its goals to this point. Although they were pushed by crosstown rival UCLA, the Trojans made sure they'll get a shot at the one that remains.

Colony takes Region III Duals
The Region III Duals were held in the Matanuska-Susitna valleys on Friday and Saturday and were won by the Colony Knights.

SoHi makes lead stand up against Skyview
The Skyview High School hockey team gave Soldotna all it could handle through the second and third periods of play Saturday night, but the Stars made an early lead stand up for a North Star Conference victory at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Bryan twins give United States life in Davis Cup
SEVILLE, Spain The Bryan twins stopped Spain's momentum in the Davis Cup final. Now it's up to Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish.

ACS wrestlers defend title
Anchorage Christian Schools took first in the debut of the revised Kachemak Conference wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at Grace Christian School in Anchorage.

Navy rolls to easy victory over archrival Army
PHILADELPHIA All that was missing from the patriotic fervor of the traditional rivalry between Army and Navy was competition.

Area cross-country ski teams battle poor snow conditions
It's never a good sign when area cross-country ski teams have to drive hundreds of miles just to ski 7.2 kilometers.

Wake Forest rebounds against Richmond
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Eric Williams had a season-high 21 points Saturday and No. 1 Wake Forest rebounded from its first loss by beating Richmond 90-73.

Richardson, Suns smoke 'Blazers
PORTLAND, Ore. Quentin Richardson made eight 3-pointers and scored 37 points to give the Phoenix Suns a 121-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

Chargers face gigantic challenge against Broncos
SAN DIEGO The team that parity forgot is about to play its biggest game in a long, long time. If the surprising San Diego Chargers (8-3), powered by a motivated lame-duck quarterback and an unstoppable tight end, beat the Denver Broncos (7-4) Sunday, they'll clinch their first winning season since way back in 1995 remember Stan Humphries, Natrone Means and Bobby Ross?

Indy racing
INDIANAPOLIS Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes, Edgerrin James ran for two more scores and Indianapolis returned a blocked field goal for another TD as the Colts routed Tennessee 51-24 Sunday and moved closer to clinching the AFC South.

Another Mess
Now Auburn knows what it's like to be the odd team out a feeling Southern California knew only too well last year.

Florida picks up Meyer
SALT LAKE CITY Coaching Notre Dame is still Urban Meyer's dream job. It just isn't the one he's taking.

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