Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Cabrera to Anaheim, Miller let go by Astros
NEW YORK — Anaheim gave shortstop Orlando Cabrera a $32 million, four-year deal on Monday night, and the Houston Astros cut Wade Miller when they refused to offer the injured pitcher a 2005 contract.

Johnson trade falls through
NEW YORK - Confident their deal to acquire Randy Johnson had been finalized, top Yankees' officials headed to Florida on Tuesday to see Carlos Beltran. By the time their meeting with the star outfielder was over, the trade for the Big Unit had fallen through.

Get Up, Get Out, Get In Shape
Be realistic and consistent. It's great to be enthusiastic about your workout, but if you don't set obtainable goals for yourself, it will be harder to remain committed to your routine. Look at your schedule and establish an exercise routine that will fit into your lifestyle. Consistency is key. Working out at least three times a week will help ensure that exercise is part of your routine.

Volunteers boost bell ringing effort for Salvation Army
Silver bells in the cities signal happier holidays for families in need as well as those who volunteer their time to ring those bells for the Salvation Army.

Gold Wing riders help lighten Santa's sleigh...
For the last five years members of the local Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) have combined their love for motorcycle riding and safety with an equal measure of holiday spirit and cash.

Mario Birds 1st Feature length motion picture begins local run..
A crowd of enthusiastic supporters gathered at the Orca theatre last week for a sneak preview of the highly anticipated, locally produced film "Echo Lake," written, directed, and edited by Mario Bird.

First Annual Salon-A-Thon
Saturday, December the 4th, from 9AM to 9PM, the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna was alive with energy and vitality. This wonderful excitement was generated by the 1st annual Salon-A-Thon benefit, hosted by the mall merchants. Sue Gill, owner of Alaska's Hairlines, originated and co-ordinated the event for the purpose of raising funds for our troops overseas.

Normally, on the week before Christmas, this space would be filled with a review for one of the big new Hollywood releases. Lemony Snicket, The Aviator, Spanglish or the like. However, this week we have something far more important to discuss. How often do we on the Peninsula have the chance to go and see our community; ourselves, immortalized on the big screen? Not often, but that's exactly the opportunity you have between now and January 2. Echo Lake, filmed entirely in and about Alaska, is playing at the Kenai High Auditorium for two weeks and if you miss it, you'll have missed something truly special. What's that, you ask? Why the chance to see me, if ever so briefly, devoured by a sea monster.

Father& Son hawking games...
A new video game store is now open in Soldotna to serve gamers of all ages on the Kenai Peninsula. Hawks Games, located in the U-Haul mall on the Sterling Highway, is a partnership between Pat Hawkins and his son Brian. Pat, who has worked primarily in the grocery retail business on the Peninsula, is excited about their new business, "This is the first business that I've owned, I mean we've owned, and this is a big opportunity for us and will meet a unique need for people here on the Kenai Peninsula. We're looking forward to having a lot of fun with this business," said senior partner Pat Hawkins. Pat credits his son and partner Brian with coming up with the idea of a full service video game store where people are welcome to try out, rent or buy the latest games as well as trade in their old games for new ones, "It's really a whole new concept or dimension to the video game industry, because we will take your old games and give you credits toward new ones. People have never had that resource before to be able to upgrade their old systems to new ones," explained Pat.

How To Keep Heating Costs From Soaring
(NAPSA)-Your home may be your castle but heating it need not cost a fortune.

I have seen some pretty difficult situations in my life however things don't get much worse in life than a situation like this. All the way back to Wisconsin I pondered just what to say to my relatives and just how we were all going to get through this.

Steer Clear Of Foul Weather Driving Dilemmas
(NAPSA)-If you get cold feet when it comes to winter driving, you're not alone. According to AAA, the majority of the 21 million emergency service calls they receive every year are in the late fall and winter. Of those calls, 40 percent involve vehicles that wouldn't start and 34 percent are for major mechanical failures requiring towing.

Kasilof mushers make good showing at race
A small group of area mushers showed the competition how they do things down on the Kenai Peninsula, as the five Kasilof-based dog drivers all finished in the Top 10 in a field of 34 during the inaugural Sheep Mountain 150 Sled Dog race held this past weekend.

Now Playing: Echo Lake
Normally, on the week before Christmas, this space would be filled with a review for one of the big new Hollywood releases. Lemony Snicket, The Aviator, Spanglish or the like. However, this week we have something far more important to discuss. How often do we on the Peninsula have the chance to go and see our community; ourselves, immortalized on the big screen? Not often, but that's exactly the opportunity you have between now and January 2. Echo Lake, filmed entirely in and about Alaska, is playing at the Kenai High Auditorium for two weeks and if you miss it, you'll have missed something truly special. What's that, you ask? Why the chance to see me, if ever so briefly, devoured by a sea monster.

Peninsula gas prices not in line with those in Anchorage
Have you noticed in the news the past couple of weeks that gasoline prices are falling fairly rapidly, except here on the peninsula?

Many helped to make school's holiday fund-raiser a success
On behalf of the Soldotna Elementary School staff, we would like to thank the following contributors for their Christmas kindness:

Thanks to volunteers for helping chamber's decorating contest
A big round of applause goes to the Alaska Unocal Retirees, affectionately known as the Dream Team, as they were our judges for our Holiday Home Decorating Contest.

Bikers' Thanksgiving turkey donations much appreciated
On behalf of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's program, Students in Transition/Homeless (SIT), the 20 families and I would like to thank Alaska Bikers Advocating Training and Education (ABATE) members so very much for the Thanksgiving turkey boxes.

Community members went all out to help feed area families
As a result of the community generosity of the peninsula community, the Food Bank was the recipient of nearly 2,000 pounds of foodstuffs to ensure hungry Kenai Peninsula families were able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

Alaska history should be taught to children in elementary school
I have some ideas, about our children's education to present to you!

Dear Santa... NASCAR drivers, officials and fans have a lengthy wish list this holiday season
No matter how hard Santa Claus tries, it's difficult to put a bow on satisfaction. That's why Brendan Gaughan won't mind waiting 11 months to get his Christmas present.

Nextel, Sprint merger won't affect Cup series
Last week's $35 billion merger between Sprint and Nextel won't immediately change the way the new telecommunications company will do business in stock-car racing.

Crocker aims to become first female winner
Erin Crocker was hired recently to a development deal at Evernham Motorsports. The open-wheeled driver not only fulfills NASCAR's new interest in diversity, she hopes to become the first woman to win a race in one of the three top touring divisions in NASCAR.

Bankrupt ASA sells West Coast truck series
Racing Speed Associates bought the American Speed Association's Truck Challenge, salvaging a piece of the financially-strapped ASA.

Driver purchases Ohio dirt track
Racer Tony Stewart already has had a busy off-season.

Happy holidays, neighbors. Me thinks this season got here too quickly and is rushing by like reindeer in the wind. Perhaps we had better take a few minutes to slow down and remember the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas. As I continue with a holiday break from my column until Jan. 11, I want to remind community members who have information to put in the column that they may e-mail it to Nan Misner at the Clarion at nancianna.misner, fax it to her at 283-3299 or drop it off at the Clarion at 150 Trading Bay Road in Kenai.

Good morning. Something to think about: "Why does the world love Santa Claus?

Christmas greetings from Kasilof. Good winter solstice to you. Only three more days until Christmas, I've been dreaming of a white and fluffy one.

Hi, neighbors. At Christmas time we are celebrating God's love which was manifest to us by his sending his only begotten son into the world that we might have life through him. Typically, during this season, our lives are busier than usual with extra activities geared toward the celebration of this wondrous love of God.

Hi, neighbors. Sterling Masonic Lodge No. 22 will hold its annual installation of officers at 1 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Sterling Senior Center. The new worshipful master being installed is Dennis Cole.

Cooper Landing
Thank you to Joyce Flotre, Jane Baldwin, Gloria Whitaker, Dave Westerman, Linda Gephardt, George Pollard, Nate Esteban, Lyman Nichols, George and Mary Ford, Dick and Lotte Bogard, Chuck Tachick, Milli Martin and Mayme Ohnemus for letting me know you read the Cooper Landing neighbors column and for telling me what you find interesting and what needs clarification.

In a giving mood
The holiday season is a time for giving, as the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank can attest to.

Woman hurt in fall goes home
After spending six days on the floor of her bathroom following a fall in September, 81-year-old Doris Oglesby was found alive by Soldotna Police Officer Mark Berestoff, who called medics and had her rushed to the hospital.

20-year supply of gas is there
The Kenai Chapter of the Support Industry Alliance, a statewide trade association for oil and gas contractors, was told Tuesday there are enough known gas reserves to support a gas pipeline from the North Slope for at least 20 years.

Scholarship money there for the taking
A mysterious force has kept people from applying for scholarships at Kenai Peninsula College in recent history. In fact, some of those scholarships have gone unused simply because nobody asked for the money. KPC wants people to know that money is there for the taking. So, go and get it.

Solstice marks change of daylight, winter's arrival
Today marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the first official day of winter.

Still time to get gifts signed, sealed, delivered
Sure, it's nice to see a box of presents arrive on your front doorstep on Christmas Eve, or even Christmas Day. But does it occur to anybody what had to be done to get it there?

ConocoPhillips, Anadarko to develop 2 satellite fields
ANCHORAGE (AP) — ConocoPhillips and Ana-darko Petroleum Corp. have given the go-ahead for the development of two satellite oil fields on Alaska's North Slope that at peak could produce 35,000 barrels per day, ConocoPhil-lips said Monday.

Helen I. McAleenan
Kenai resident Helen I. McAleenan died Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004, of natural causes at her home. She was 49.

Ronald D. Gibbens
Longtime Sterling area resident Ronald D. Gibbens died Monday, Dec. 20, 2004, at his home. He was 55.

Josephine 'Jo' Raats
Soldotna resident Josephine "Jo" Raats died Monday, Dec. 20, 2004, at Stone Brook Inn 2 off Gaswell Road in Soldotna. She was 85.

Legislature should work together during upcoming session
This is the season for peace and joy, and we hope members of the Alaska Legislature are basking in the mood of the moment. More than that, we hope they will embrace the same warm feelings once the new lawmaking session opens in just three weeks.

Election in Iraq promises intrigue, hope for future
Iraq's election campaign officially got under way last week, and it is unlike anything Americans have seen.

Holiday grief difficult to bear
The holiday season can be a challenging time, intensifying feelings and emotions in those who have suffered a loss. Grieving is an ongoing process. Completely and entirely unique to the person going through the experience. There are ways to help yourself if you are grieving, or to help someone else who is bereaved. Here are some ideas and suggestions that have been beneficial to some:

Closure will impact all: If Agrium leaves, effects will be felt throughout community
Part of the settlement involved the deliverability of natural gas as feed stock to the Agrium plant. That portion of the agreement states that after Oct. 31, 2005, Unocal will no longer be obligated to supply any gas to Agrium. Currently, Agrium is supplied the lion's share of natural gas by Unocal with additional quantities of gas being purchased on the spot market from the other area gas producers. The spot market gas is an interruptible source meaning that it is not dedicated to Agrium and can be stopped at any time for any reason the producer sees fit.

Around the Peninsula
Corps of Engineers relocates Alliance to meet Alumni hoops event slated Skyview pool sets holiday schedule

Around the Peninsula
Christmas decoration winners announcedUsed book sale plannedFamily New Year's Eve party setPhotographers guild to meetCommunity service group to meetSenior service board meeting set

Senior Briefs
Homer senior, Friendship centers Kenai Nikiski Seward Soldotna Sterling

Senior Menus
Homer Soldotna Kenai Nikiski Seward Sterling

PeeWee B team defeats Homer squad
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association PeeWee B team defeated the Homer Bantam C team 5-1 last weekend in Kenai.

Dolphins shock Patriots
MIAMI — Their running back quit, their coach resigned and their season is in a shambles. But for some reason the Miami Dolphins kept trying against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, even when they trailed by 11 points with three minutes left.

Cavs handle Timberwolves
CLEVELAND - LeBron James had 26 points with 12 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers answered every time Minnesota threatened in the fourth quarter in a 107-97 win over the Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Sports Views: Majerus puts health ahead of coaching
Rick Majerus has had meals that lasted longer than his Southern California coaching stint.

Ankle injury sidelines Owens
PHILADELPHIA — Long-suffering Eagles fans would never be so foolish to think a trip to the Super Bowl was a lock, even though their Birds are clearly the best team in the NFC this season.

Cease-and-desist: AP tells BCS to stop using its football poll
NEW YORK - The Associated Press has told the Bowl Championship Series to stop using its college football poll to determine which teams play for the national title and in the most prestigious bowl games.

Cowboys rustle up 15 treys in victory
STILLWATER, Okla. - John Lucas and Joey Graham each scored 21 points and No. 3 Oklahoma State set a school record with 15 3-pointers in a 92-35 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State on Tuesday night.

Sports briefs
ABL to send team to Wichita Leaders plan deal to save Expos' move to DC Five Nationwide grads get their Masters

Kenai, Skyview, SoHi post alumni wins
Alumni teams from Kenai Central, Skyview and Soldotna high schools posted wins on the opening day of the annual Holiday Hoops Alumni Classic Tuesday at Kenai.

Cornell still can't figure out Syracuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Hakim Warrick had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 7 Syracuse to an 82-69 victory over Cornell on Monday night, the Orange's 28th consecutive win over the Big Red.

Iverson hits for 50, Sixers lose to Jazz
PHILADELPHIA — Allen Iverson became only the seventh player in NBA history to score at least 50 points in consecutive games, but he fouled out with 4.5 seconds left, putting Mehmet Okur on the line for the winning free throws in Utah's 103-101 victory over the 76ers on Monday night.

Tech rolls in Champs Sports Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. - Maybe Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey will ease up on Reggie Ball now.

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