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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Yankees, Red Sox, Angels to pay luxury tax
NEW YORK - The Boston Red Sox got an extra bill after winning the World Series.

Lovely weather for a sleigh ride together...
It's not just your great grandmother who has nostalgic memories of holiday trips in a one horse open sleigh. For the last 12 years C&C Stables of Sterling have been making those sleigh ride memories for folks of all ages here in the local area. Last week Connie Davis and her partner and daughter Carley of C&C Stables were offering rides at Sweeny's in Soldotna in their custom one horse open sleigh behind King, probably the most photographed Clydesdale in Alaska.

Grinch spotted at the Fitness Place...
According to unreliable sources last week, the Grinch was unable to steal Christmas from a group of power pacers in Lisa Duke's spinning class at the Fitness Place in Soldotna. Duke says that the Grinch has been showing up during her last class, before the night before the night before Christmas for the last several years. This year however, she was assisted in warding off the mean Mr. Grinch by her sister's trusty reindeer beagle, which actually lost a few pounds during the class. Lisa has been a Power Pacing instructor in the local area for more than six years and has become famous for getting her pupils to laugh and have a fun time while melting off unwanted cellulite.

John Watson PFD arrives special delivery
KPD Chief Chuck Kopp, hugs Kathy Watson during special presentation at Kenai Chamber, #07, 08, 18, It's been a year since the tragic event that took the life of Kenai Police officer John Watson. The Kenai Chamber of Commerce at their last meeting of the year 2004 dedicated the program in memory of Officer Watson and the community's loss last Christmas Eve. Lt. Governor Loren Leman came in from Juneau for the special meeting to personally deliver a check to John's wife Kathy in the amount of last year's Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Last spring, Kathy learned that John would not be eligible for last year's PFD due to the fact that he was killed 6 days before the end of year 2003, "When Kathy contacted me last spring, she said this isn't fair, and I agreed with her, but according to the rules of the Dividend, he was not eligible. So at my request, a group of generous Alaskans including Rep. Chenault and Sen. Wagoner raised the equivalent amount of last year's PFD, and it was my privilege to present Kathy with a check for that amount today," said Leman. The Lt. Governor added that he would certainly support legislation to change the rule to allow for special situations in the future that might occur regarding the wrongful death of a public servant.

Local Youth Work Together to Help Troops
Local peninsula resident, Jenna Randall, who is currently serving as the second runner-up for the Miss Pre-Teen Alaska pageant, participated in the recent Salon-A-Thon benefit that was held at the Peninsula Center Mall. Along with the assistance of Denise VanDyke, and Dustin and Anthony Randall, these youth stepped up to the plate and entertained children attending the Salon-A-Thon with face painting and balloon art. Having uncles that are currently serving in Iraq was a big motivation for Jenna's involvement, along with her three co-horts. They were also assisted with the face painting by Brooke Jasky-Zuber. Over $4000.00 was raised to benefit the troops. Their names were omitted from the 12-22-04 Dispatch story that highlighted the fundraising event.

Frontier Community Services Bring Toys for Tots all year long
While that jolly old guy in the red suit has finished his house calls with bags of toys for another year, the trained professionals at Frontier Community Services will continue to call on families with bags of toys throughout the New Year. It's part of a program known as Early Intervention Services for children from birth to 3 years of age living in the Central Kenai Peninsula and Aluetian/Pribilof Islands that may be having challenges in one or more areas of development. "We go to homes where children are experiencing developmental delays or may be at risk of developing delays and we create a home program for them and their families in the home," Linda Leveque, Frontier Community Services Early Intervention Educator, told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce recently.

Now Playing: The Aviator/Finding Neverland
Awards season is upon us again, with the major studios and independents flooding the market with weighty biopics and tear-jerking dramas. Right up there on the screen is anything and everything you ever wanted to know about such varied figures as Ray Charles and Che Guevara, Howard Hughes and Fat Albert. And, as is customary, many of these films will not be playing on the Peninsula for fear that the movie-going public isn't sophisticated enough to "get" them. The two films we'll focus on this week will require a trip to Anchorage, or whatever metropolis you happen to be near, but have no fear, Fat Albert is showing at a theater near you.

Borough should be pushing for development of Beluga fields
It will be a shame if the only movement on opening the Beluga coal fields goes down the tubes with Attorney General Renkes.

Surplus should go to education only if it's for the long term
I wrote a letter several months ago about the Alaska government using the windfall from the oil revenue. At that time Mr. Murkowski said this was only a short-term fix, and we needed to raise taxes or state income (taxes) through another means. I stated at that time: "use it!" (the windfall).

Recent section was in bad taste, not appropriate for the season
I was a little shocked when I opened up the Peninsula Life section in your Sunday (Dec. 19) paper. There in color and in all his glory sat a fellow on the toilet with pants down, and toilet tissue in hand.

Ninilchik
Hi, neighbors. Though someday time shall be no more, right now we are the creatures of time. Our lives are lived and geared to minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

Kasilof
Greetings from a festive Kasilof. I hope your Christmas was a happy and memorable occasion. Like many, I am basking in the post-holiday glow of a warm family experience and coasting into a new year with the optimistic visions of a youngster.

Nikiski
Good morning. Something to keep you grinning: "A smile is cheer to you and me. The cost is nothing - it's given free. It comforts the weary - gladdens the sad. Consoles those in trouble - good or bad. To rich and poor - beggar or thief, it's free to all of any belief. A natural gesture of young and old. Cheers on the faint - disarms the bold. Unlike most blessings for which we pray, it's one thing we keep when we give it away." - Apples of Gold

Sterling
Hi, neighbors. Alaskans nearly always open their hearts and homes to friends, friends of friends and people who become friends to share their holidays including Christmas dinner. Even people who have family nearby may receive an invitation to share Christmas with neighbors.

Cooper Landing
My husband, Larry, was reminiscing about Christmases past the other day and was telling me about Butch, the pet moose, at Sportsman's Lodge when Larry was living there in the late 1960s.

Soldotna
Hi, neighbors. 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 need to e-mail it to Nan Misner at the Clarion at nancianna.misner@peninsulaclarion.com, fax it to her at 283-3299 or drop it off at the Clarion at 150 Trading Bay Road in Kenai.

Kenai
Merry New Year's, neighbors. Here's hoping you enjoyed the joys of the holidays and are looking forward to 2005, which is nearly upon us. I find this time perfect for reviewing the memories of this swiftly passing year.

Senior housing opens new doors on peninsula
As more and more senior citizens choose the Kenai Peninsula as the place to spend their sunset years, their increasing housing needs are being met, and their choices are becoming more varied.

Homer area road projects labeled
Dozens of residents from unincorporated areas around Homer identified important capital projects at recent community meetings.

Proposed change for Cooper Landing has good, bad points
Fish and wildlife biologists on the Kenai Peninsula say the proposed Juneau Creek alternative for the Sterling Highway Miles 45 through 60 project likely will have significant impacts on both fish and wildlife in the area.

Enstar rates already in effect
Kenai Peninsula residents will see an increase in their gas bill in January.

More senior citizens making peninsula home
Residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough appear to be getting rather long in the tooth. At least that's what the statisticians are saying.

Raymond E. Cline
Former Kenai resident Raymond E. Cline died unexpectedly on Wednesday Dec. 15, 2004, in White Salmon, Wash. He was 42.

Abortion battle rages in Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. - Outside are protesters, praying or proffering pamphlets with grisly photos. Inside, young women sit quietly in a room furnished with a TV set and a gumball machine, waiting for their appointments at Mississippi's only abortion clinic.

Bold agenda could lead to big success
Though the war on terrorism and democratizing and stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to occupy much of President George W. Bush's time, it's also clear he intends to make more time to deal with domestic issues in his second term, particularly those issues he campaigned on.

New HIV/AIDS pill good news for everyone
People suffering from HIV/AIDS also have had to suffer from taking a mind-boggling amount of medication on a strict schedule and only with certain foods.

Peninsula People
Miss Alaska pays a visit to Sterling Head StartHardy promotedLillevik receives scholarshipMorganti earns promotionTrujillo graduates from college

Student turns hunger knowledge into winning essay
Molly Watkins was the winner of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's world food day essay contest, the "Politics of Hunger: What's at Stake?" The contest, held in November, was open to area students in grades six through 12. She received a $50 savings bond.

Around the Peninsula
Skate ski clinic begins today

Club manages popular hangout
KETCHIKAN John Blackwell, 15, usually hangs out at the Warehouse Boys and Girls Club in Ketchikan about five days a week. It's a place to play games, make new friends, tell jokes and have fun.

Community News
25th anniversary for Soroptimist International of Kenai PeninsulaReading carnival scheduledFilipino Amer-Asian potluck plannedBeekeepers meeting slated

Around the Peninsula
Basketball league registration beginsSoldotna dog club offers new classesFish and Game committee to meet

Births
Ashley and Jason Miller Sarah and Dana Miller

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

Elderly psychiatrist says he no longer feels bulletproof
TEMPLE, Texas - After spending three months in Iraq, it's not memories of the 120-degree heat or sounds of distant explosions that haunt psychiatrist Paul Hill.

Senior Briefs
What activities are available this week for our area seniors

U.S. wins at World Junior Hockey Championships
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The United States matched Switzerland's four-goal outburst in the third period for a 6-4 victory Monday night in the preliminary round of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Fresno State nips Virginia in OT
BOISE, Idaho - Paul Pinegar shrugged off midseason criticism and kept throwing for touchdowns.

Do playoff teams have an obligation to try?
On the final Sunday night of the 1988 season, Phil Simms sat in his New Jersey home watching the Los Angeles Rams thrash the San Francisco 49ers 38-16, putting the Rams into the playoffs and knocking Simms and the Giants out.

Carolina's comeback nearly complete
TAMPA, Fla. The Carolina Panthers are one step closer to overcoming a horrendous start and making NFL history.

Reggie White dead at 43
CORNELIUS, N.C. Reggie White, a fearsome defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers and one of the NFL's greatest players, died Sunday, his wife said. He was 43.

Fresno has plenty to prove in Boise
BOISE, Idaho Virginia offers the perfect matchup for Fresno State coach Pat Hill: a Top 25 opponent and another chance to knock off a team from a Bowl Championship Series conference.

Parker on point as Spurs pin Celtics
SAN ANTONIO Tony Parker seems to have found his offensive spark.

O'Neal, Wade power Heat
MIAMI - Shaquille O'Neal scored 31 points wearing protective padding over sore ribs, and Dwyane Wade added 27 as the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 116-102 Monday night to set a franchise record with their 12th straight victory.

Seahawks soar into playoffs
SEATTLE Shaun Alexander and Darrell Jackson put their names into Seattle's record books, and for the first time in 20 years the Seahawks made the playoffs for a second straight season.

Illinois stays unbeaten
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Deron Williams scored a season-high 23 points and had seven assists to lead top-ranked Illinois to a 105-79 victory over Longwood on Monday night.

Manning sets new TD record, leads Colts to victory
INDIANAPOLIS Peyton Manning broke one of football's most hallowed records, and his reward was praise from one of his boyhood idols.

Desperate Rams beat Eagles
ST. LOUIS - The Rams desperately needed a win and played like it. The Eagles desperately wanted to stay healthy and played like it.

Armstrong keeps winning
AUSTIN, Texas - Even by his lofty standards, Lance Armstrong's return to the mountaintop in 2004 was pretty special.

Record is great, but titles will be Manning's measure
The big question won't be answered until the playoffs begin and even the NFL's biggest control freak is helpless to do anything thing about that at the moment.

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