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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Baseball winter meetings end with a little flurry
NEW ORLEANS Carl Everett, Scott Spiezio and Jeff Suppan switched teams in a late flurry, while potential deals for Alex Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero and other stars stayed on hold Monday when the winter meetings ended.

Goldwing bikers go shopping for kids
For those who might wonder what motorcycle enthusiasts do for fun when the roads turn to ice in Alaska, you could have found out last week at Fred Meyer's Toy World where about twenty members of the Kenai Peninsula Chapter of the Goldwing Road Riders Assoc (GWRRA) gathered wearing Santa hats in place of their helmets.

After the Bell kids' "Coin Wars II" supports Peninsula Food Bank
From under sofa pillows and Grandpas recliner, from dresser tops, piggy banks and parka pockets came this year's booty of coins that added up to a lot of happy kids and bunches of groceries for those dealing with difficult times this holiday season. The first "Coin Wars" started last year when Karen Strash, unit director for the Boys & Girls Club of Soldotna, came up with the idea to help club members understand the community around them and how the Food Bank helps those in need.

Decking the halls of the City of Soldotna
The City of Soldotna once again is lighting up the long Alaskan nights along the Sterling Highway and creating a Holiday Village atmosphere for Central Peninsula residents as well as north and southbound travelers.

Adams tops Window Clerk competition
October was National Breast Cancer Awareness month so as an incentive to increase awareness as well as raising funds for cancer research, the Post Office put out a challenge and a prize to all window clerks in Alaska for the person selling the most Breast Cancer Stamps during the month.

The tradition of CIA kids caroling the community continues
Just as sure as Santa making his rounds every Christmas Eve is the joyous sound of the young voices from the Cook Inlet Academy students as they tour the community bringing Holiday cheer to the places they visit.

NOW PLAYING: The Haunted Mansion
The Walt Disney Company, in a valiant attempt to bring the feeling of visiting their theme parks to our everyday life, have finally done it. Their latest "thrill-fest", The Haunted Mansion, achieves everything that the previous effort, Pira

Borough needs to support Homer and encourage buyback of leases
I am so glad that the Homer City Council saw the wisdom in passing a resolution that asks the state of Alaska to buy back the coal bed methane leases in the Homer area as well as to revise House Bill 69. This will help protect our drinking water and our property rights.

Blood bank looks back to October with thanks
The month of October was great for the Blood Bank of Alaska Kenai Peninsula Center thanks to our community and the people who took the time to make a difference.

Governor should intervene; state should buy back Homer leases
Whose side is the state on?

Aerial spraying of pesticides should not be allowed in Alaska
We have new regulations allowing aerial spraying of pesticides a first for Alaska. This is a state where people like to hunt, fish, pick berries and grow their own foods.

Friends of Animals should offer alternatives to aerial wolf kills
Friends of Animals city dwellers based in Connecticut with offices in New York and Washington, D. C., are threatening to organize a boycott of Alaska tourism because the people who live in Alaska voted to conduct aerial wolf kills.

Buying back coal bed methane leases right thing to do in Homer
Property owners in the Homer area need to know just how much we lost due to improper notification of the coal bed methane leases in our area.

True meaning of Christmas lost in commercialized holiday
'Twas the Week Before Christmas

Sterling teen killed in snowmachine accident
A 17-year-old Sterling youth died Saturday night when the snowmachine he was driving hit an adult moose on Otter Trail Road in Sterling.

Americans celebrate capture of Saddam
CHICAGO First, Americans watched as his statue fell in Baghdad. On Sunday, many celebrated again as news that U.S. forces had captured Saddam Hussein spread across the country.

State plans to retool school exams for fall
FAIRBANKS (AP) Alaska students can expect to see a new set of statewide tests including the High School Graduation Qualify-ing Exam beginning next fall.

Shallow gas issues top assembly agenda
A resolution asking that state lawmakers amend a pair of statutes that currently allow the waiver of local land-use ordinances to clear the way for shallow gas development is back on the table for today's meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Skiers, sledders find cold weather fun on area trials
Although a few misguided souls lament that "there's nothing to do in winter," many find a way to have fun during this time of year. And of the numerous activities that can be done outdoors, few can rival skiing for sheer popularity.

Iraqi leader found in cramped hide-out
BAGHDAD, Iraq Cornered alone in a cramped hole near one of his sumptuous palaces, a weary, disheveled Saddam Hussein was seized by U.S. troops and displayed on television screens worldwide Sunday, a humiliating fate for one of history's most brutal dictators.

Survey targets gaming
Results of an informal survey conducted over the past month by Rep. Dan Ogg, R-Kodiak, in his Kodiak district indicate some Alaskans may be willing to have state lawmakers consider a lottery, but they are overwhelmingly opposed to allowing electronic gaming machines like video poker in bars.

Photo feature: Kenai Peninsula blues
Fog rises above the Kenai River during a cold spell earlier this month. Forecasters are calling for clouds and isolated snow showers over the next several days with highs near 30 degrees and overnight lows in the teens.

Forrest Avery West
Sterling resident Forrest Avery West died Saturday, Dec. 13, 2003, in a snowmachining accident. He was 17.

Bettieann Patricia Baldridge
Former Kasilof resident Bettieann Patricia Baldridge died Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2003, at the home of her daughter in Carnation, Wash. She was 73.

Louise Edgington
Former Soldotna resident Louise Edgington died Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003, in Vancouver, Wash.

Frank Mize
Longtime Soldotna resident Frank Mize died Sunday, Dec. 14, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna from cancer. He was 82.

Democrats continue fight to reinstate Longevity Bonus for seniors
"I am transmitting a bill that phases out the Longevity Bonus Program over a several-year period ... . This bill protects current bonus recipients, and those future recipients who turn 65 before January 1, 1994, by providing that they will receive $250 a month for the remainder of their lives ... . I am proposing this phased elimination because many Alaskans who will be reaching 65 in the next four years have counted on the bonus in planning for their retirement, and an abrupt termination of the program would not be fair to them." Gov. Walter J. Hickel, in his letter of transmittal, signing House Bill 81 into law in 1993

Murkowski flying straight in response to threats on wolf control program
It's good to hear Gov. Frank Murkowski again stating his support for the aerial wolf control program that is sorely needed near McGrath. The governor said last week that the state will not give in to a threatened boycott of the state's important tourism industry by the Outside group Friends of Animals.

Insider's view offers compelling evidence on weapons in Iraq
An interview with an Iraqi colonel in the Sunday Telegraph of London offers a new twist to the weapons of mass destruction controversy in Iraq.

Saddam's capture good news for Bush
WASHINGTON When national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told President Bush before dawn Sunday that Saddam Hussein had indeed been captured, she was delivering news that was good for the U.S. leader in a multitude of ways.

Politics puts bonus in play
In 1970, while debating creation of the Longevity Bonus, opponents charged the new program was financially dangerous because no one knew its future costs.

Around the Peninsula
Frontier Community Services to hold open house Boys and Girls club plan fine arts exhibit AARP to discuss elder abuse Visitor center to hold grand opening Help for home day-care providers available Church to hold concert

Community News
Parade winners announced Skyview Basketball Boosters to meet Swim club seeks members Open mic night to benefit food bank Community contra dance planned Area businesses, individuals to support food bank Environmental directory seeks entries Auction fund-raiser for hospice slated

Births
Rowan Markus Goff Rory Thomas Gilmartin

Community Schools
The following list of Soldotna Community Schools classes and activities beginning this week is printed as a reminder to preregistered participants. Anyone who is interested in a class or activity should call the Community Schools office at 262-6768. Children are not allowed to attend an adult class or wait unattended while a parent attends a class.

Around the Peninsula
Holiday nutrition classes wrap upIndustry alliance meeting slatedFood bank to hold board meetingSkyview winter concerts todayDAV changes meeting locationTrappers to meetSkating recital to benefit food bank

Peninsula People
Ward selected to join choir

Homer athletes take top places at Special Olympics
Volunteers help Aaron Prevost place his hand over the 16-pound bowling ball.

Club News
Elks table tennis results announced

Ask a firefighter
Question: Although smoke detectors are essential in every household, they're designed to detect, not control the fire. What more can an individual do to protect his family and home in the event of a fire?

Senior Menus
What's on the menu for our area seniors

AARP drops out of forums
WASHINGTON (AP) AARP, already under fire from within its more than-50 membership for endorsing the new Medicare law, is backing out of Social Security forums it agreed to sponsor with the Bush administration and from a group advocating a system overhaul to allow stock market investing.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available for our area seniors

Homer earns split at Delta Junction
Homer goalie Ben Miller racked up 78 saves in two games to help the Mariners split a double header with the Delta Huskies Saturday in Delta Junction.

Oklahoma ties record with five All-Americans
NEW YORK When it comes to All-Americans, Oklahoma is this year's undisputed No. 1.

Conklin comes up big in Oilers' win
ANAHEIM, Calif. Raffi Torres scored the go-ahead goal with 5:29 remaining and Radek Dvorak had two assists in the Edmonton Oilers' 3-2 victory over Anaheim on Sunday night.

Nobody's at home on the road this year
The most puzzling statistic in the NFL this season belongs to the San Francisco 49ers, who are 6-1 at home, 0-7 on the road and out of the playoffs because of it.

No. 4 Blue Devils run past Portland
DURHAM, N.C. Reserve Luol Deng scored 15 points, and fourth-ranked Duke held Portland to three first-half baskets in an 84-43 victory Sunday night.

Datsyuk, Joseph pace Red Wings
DETROIT Pavel Datsyuk scored his seventh goal in five games and added an assist, and Curtis Joseph stopped 21 of 22 shots to give the Detroit Red Wings a 4-1 victory Monday night over the Florida Panthers.

Sonics best Bucks
SEATTLE The Seattle SuperSonics' latest victory might have come at a high price.

McKay hired as Falcons GM
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Rich McKay officially joined the Atlanta Falcons as president and general manager Monday, less than a week after leaving Tampa Bay because of a rift with coach Jon Gruden.

Rams trip Seattle to win West
ST. LOUIS An official made perhaps the biggest stop at the end of the St. Louis Rams' NFC West-clinching victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Eagles down Dolphins
MIAMI The last time the Philadelphia Eagles played so well for so long, they won the NFL championship. That was 43 years ago.

Road kill: Cavs lose again
INDIANAPOLIS Jermaine O'Neal had 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to help the Indiana Pacers send LeBron James and the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers to their 34th consecutive road loss, 95-85 Monday night.

Suspensions would stop showoffs
Joe ''Blow My Own'' Horn took touchdown celebrations to the cellular level, proving once again that talent is no measure of taste.

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