Wednesday, December 17, 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.

Rodriguez trade talks continue
The Alex Rodriguez trade talks reached a ''sensitive'' stage while a possible deal to send Omar Vizquel back to Seattle hit a major snag Tuesday on a yet another busy day of baseball maneuvering.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Boys and Girls Club thanks basketball coaches, supporters
With the conclusion of our 2003 fifth- and sixth-grade basketball league, the Boys and Girls Club would like to salute our truly awesome coaches, who volunteered countless hours to work with the kids, giving them the opportunity to be a part of a team, learn and improve their basketball skills, make friends and, most importantly, participate and have fun.

Clarion missed the boat on Pearl Harbor Day
I want to thank the Clarion for your in-depth coverage in your Dec. 7 Sunday paper.

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.

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

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.

Gas, oil prices on rise
Industrial, commercial and residential consumers will see steadily rising prices for Cook Inlet natural gas for the foreseeable future, a spokesperson for the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas told an oil and gas industry luncheon audience in Kenai on Tuesday.

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.

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.

Rebels with a Santa cause
As the bunch of bikers stepped into the small department store, the clientele inside weren't sure what was about to happen, but one thing was certain: These rebels had a cause.

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.

Fate of sunken excavator in limbo
The fate of a 22-ton excavator that slipped off its rig mats into a soup of snow, mud and ice last week remains in limbo.

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.

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

Virginia Marie (Glotfelty) Peterson
Sterling resident Virginia Marie (Glotfelty) Peterson died peacefully, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003, at the Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 81.

O. Wendell Honea
Former Kenai resident O. Wendell Honea died Sunday, Dec. 14, 2003. He was 81.

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

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

Effort to fill Saddam's shoes will make job easier for U.S. forces
Following the stunning capture of Saddam Hussein, liberal politicians and their media chorus were reduced to stating the obvious: It will not end attacks on coalition forces.

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

U.S. has fresh chance to reach out
WASHINGTON Saddam Hussein's capture offers the Bush administration a fresh chance to improve relations with the Arab world and to persuade European nations to participate in Iraq's reconstruction.

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.

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.

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

Tustumena Elementary
The grand-prize winner in the PTO cash raffle was Dave Shilling. He received $5,000. Kathy Griguhn, winner of $75 in the cash raffle, donated the money back to the PTO. The PTO members would like to thank her for her generosity. A total of 241 tickets were sold, which provides approximately $5,000 net income to the PTO for the coming year. The staff and students would like to thank everyone who supported this fund-raising effort by purchasing tickets. Thanks also to the PTO board members, Sheila Garrant, Judy Johnson, Debbie Pearson, Pam Skulstad and Gail Knobf.

Redoubt Elementary
Redoubt kindergarten through third-grade students will present a musical, "Sights and Sounds of the Season," at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Soldotna High School Auditorium.

Aurora Borealis Charter
Students are reminded to claim any lost and found items before Christmas break.

Mountain View Elementary
Mrs. Keating and Mrs. Gustkey's fifth-grade classes will enjoy a celebratory field trip to the Nikiski pool with lunch following at McDonald's on Friday.

Wings Christian Academy
The student council is organizing a Christmas party Friday. Students are reminded to bring in their assigned food item and gift.

Soldotna Montessori Charter
Mrs. Sotello's third- through sixth-graders recently competed against 38 teams statewide in the 2003 State LEGO League Robotics tournament in Anchorage and brought back two trophies: best teamwork and rookie of the year. The class thanks the 18 parents who volunteered to travel with the class to the tournament.

Wings students lift junk to higher purpose
Students at Wings Christian Academy performed a sort of miracle Friday.

Cook Inlet Academy
Students of the Week are Kaitlin Barkman, for excellence in academics and behavior; Keefe O'dell, for Bible memorization; Kelsey Tachick, for wonderful behavior and attitude; Tiana McGahan, for cheerful spirit; Stephen Webb, for creativity in all areas; Mckenna Rosin, for improvement in phonics; Ryan Boozer, new student in first grade; and Jacob McManus, Caleigh Jensen and Gracie Carroll, for being great friends.

Open mic night has future at college, but new acts needed
What started out as a regular thing on Thursday nights at Busters in Kenai has been reincarnated as a regular thing at Kenai Peninsula College. The KPC Student Union has worked hard to put together a production that brings musicians and writers from around the peninsula together in a forum where creative juices can flow. The open mic night was launched in late October, with more than 40 people in attendance. From the beginning, it was apparent that open mic was a hit and should continue on a long-term basis.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary
Ms. Tyler would like to thank Unocal for the cash donation to her classroom.

Students of the Month
The following students were named November Students of the Month at Kenai Middle School, Sterling Elementary School, or Seward High School, and December Students of the Month at Kenai Middle School

North Star Elementary
North Star congratulates Casey Coupchiak, Jordan Harrison, Kassi Johnson and Megan Hansen for their participation in the 2003 State LEGO League Robotics tournament in Anchorage on Dec. 6. Working with four students from Mountain View, the team joined nearly 40 other fourth- through eighth-grade teams from around the state in robotic programming missions and a research presentation focused upon this year's challenge: "Mission Mars." The team received a second-place award for research presentation creativity.

First-generation student adjusts to college life
EDITOR'S NOTE This is another story in an occasional series over this academic year about Victor Nivar, a freshman at Kutztown University. Like tens of thousands other freshmen this fall, Victor is the first in his family to go to college.

Soldotna Elementary
Ms. Bobek's fifth-graders completed patriotic Christmas decorations and took them to city of Soldotna's Christmas tree decorating festivities. Names of armed forces personnel from the area, presently serving our country were added to red, white and blue bells.

Connections
Connections is selling McDonald's buy one-get one free gift certificates to raise money for its Math Counts and Battle of the Books programs. The items are available for $10 in the Connections office, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sterling Elementary
The fifth- and sixth-grade band will give a special holiday performance from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the school. Skyview High School band director Kent Peterson will conduct. Following the performance, there will be a community art reception for visiting artist Graham Dane in the library. The public is encouraged to come view the new mural in the library and see the flying fish. The staff and students would like to thank the PTA for bringing Dane to the school. They also would like to thank Ron and Sandy Lyons of Sterling Flippin' Fin Charters and B&B for donating two weeks free lodging for Dane.

Kenai Middle
The student council is collecting canned and boxed food items for the annual food drive. These items go toward families in the community for the upcoming holiday season. Food should be turned in to room 13 before school. The grade level that brings in the most food will receive an ice cream party at lunch.

IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska)
Progress reports, evaluations and second quarter sample are due no later than Jan. 15. Contact your teacher with any questions.

Kenai Central High
The Holiday Hoops Classic will be Dec. 27. Come out and see basketball greats from the past of area schools.

Soldotna High
The site council will meet at 5 p.m. Jan. 6.

Soldotna Middle
Red atlases are on sale at the office for $7.

Holiday vacation approaches
The last day of school before Christmas break will be Friday. Check with your child's school to determine dismissal times Friday, as some schools will have a short day.

Skyview High
A new swim club has come to town. South Central Aquatics will begin its first session Jan. 6 at Skyview High School. Those interested should contact Dennis Reger at 262-1220 or Petra Clinton at 262-5563. Registration will be Jan. 6 at 3 p.m. in front of the Skyview pool entrance. Advanced registration can be done through Dennis or Petra and is encouraged.

Scholarship winners announced
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary of the Jerry V. Horn Memorial Post No. 10046 has announced winners of its local scholarship programs.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start
Classes will begin to learn the letters D, N and G, the shape of a triangle, the number five and the color green in both English and Dena'ina. They also will learn the values of sharing the winter solstice.

Student seeks help with project
The following letter was sent to the Clarion by a student in Graham, Wash."

Texas elementary school elves help with holiday mail crunch
LUBBOCK, Texas Tom Schlabach was the most popular man at Wester Elementary School this month, not counting that jolly old elf named Claus.

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

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.

Iverson out Wednesday and Friday, perhaps longer
PHILADELPHIA Allen Iverson says he definitely won't play Wednesday or Friday because of a swollen right knee, an injury that could keep him sidelined even longer.

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.

Islanders edge Devils to keep up solid play
UNIONDALE, N.Y. Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake scored 30 seconds apart in a frenetic third period to lift the New York Islanders to a stunning 5-4 victory Tuesday night over the New Jersey Devils.

Horns phone call to cost him $30,000
NEW ORLEANS New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn was fined $30,000 by the NFL on Tuesday for making a choreographed cell-phone call in the end zone to celebrate a touchdown.

Unbeaten Stanford storms up rankings
STANFORD, Calif. Unbeaten Stanford believes it has the talent to finish opponents off this season no more letting teams hang around late in games. And if you think the Cardinal are confident now, wait until they get their leading scorers back.

Heat is on, Wade beats up Hawks
MIAMI Rookie Dwyane Wade shot 15-for-22 and had 32 points and nine assists, leading the Miami Heat to their fourth straight victory 97-79 over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

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

Memphis begins bowls with victory
NEW ORLEANS Danny Wimprine had only great memories of playing in the Louisiana Superdome, and kept it that way in the New Orleans Bowl.

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.

Skyview skaters overcome 3-1 deficit
The Nikiski High School hockey team dominated play for two periods Tuesday, taking a 3-1 lead into the third period against the Skyview Panthers in a nonconference game at Jason Peterson Memorial Rink in Nikiski.

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.

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.

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.

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