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Have you listened to West Side Stories?

The LegHead Report

legheadreport.jpg LegHead (ledj-hed) Report weekdays at 12:20 p.m.

Dog Eared Reads


Fish Radio with Laine Welch

 Weekdays at 12:20 p.m.

Galley Tables

KODK is back on the air. Thanks to Steve and John at APBI in Anchorage who helped us get a loaner transmitter and to Joe Stevens and Willy who ran up the mountain in this nasty wind after running a bunch of tests to get it ready to do it's thing...90.7 FM is back bringing you spectacular alternative public radio programming in Kodiak.
Nov 26 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report - November 26
Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Coming up this week, the FDA has given the OK to a fast-growing, gene-spliced Atlantic salmon, something Alaska's fishermen and politicians have been fighting for decades. We hear a Nushagak fisherman lament farmed salmon in song, and, they're training up the next generation of cannery bosses in Kodiak, all coming up on this Thanksgiving week edition of the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had lots of help from APRN's Liz Ruskin back in DC, KUCB's John Ryan reporting from Seattle, and KMXT's Kayla Desroches here in Kodiak. 

Nov 25 2015
Kodiak Provides Multiple Options for Thanksgiving Meals
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
flickr_turkey.jpgA Thanksgiving turkey. Flickr/Kristie Moser

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Tomorrow is the day of turkey, pie, and overstuffed bellies, and a few nonprofits in Kodiak want to make sure everyone can experience that. There are several opportunities to join a communal meal in town and one food bank will still be open in case feasters need last-minute ingredients, or even turkey.

Alexander Von-Tsurikov says the Kodiak Baptist Mission Food Bank has been active over the last few days providing food to those in need and delivering donations to people restricted to their homes.  

“Monday we were very busy, we worked until 6:30 instead of until 4, but we covered everybody with turkeys. We got some donated from Safeway. The community bought them and told Safeway to hand them out to us. I have some turkeys set up to thaw, but not too many. Maybe just a handful for people who show up last second, and I’ll be open Thursday, see if somebody needs any help.”

Two other nonprofits will provide sit-down meals.

Dana Myers is the Resource Specialist for Brother Francis Shelter and says the organization’s Thanksgiving dinner is open to everybody.

“The Spouse’s Association has been putting that together for us for a long time, and they’re going to do it again this year. It’s a wonderful meal with all the trimmings. There’s usually turkey and ham and pie, of course, and a bunch of side dishes. It kind of varies, because it’s all different volunteers and there should be some stuff from around the country.”

That’s one of the advantages of having Coast Guard families who come from different backgrounds and states. That dinner will begin Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at the Brother Francis Shelter.

Another service organization will provide a community meal prepared by a host of volunteers, although a little earlier in the day. Helen Hartman with the American Legion says the group has been hosting the event for the last 40 years.

“Me and quite a few auxiliary ladies will go in there and do the stuffing and the mashed potatoes and the green beans. A lot of our members and also the community and different organizations donate turkeys to us and hams, so that’s a big part of it. And then the Legion provides the rest of the fixing and the American Legion Auxiliary donates pies.”                 

She says they start preparing the turkey and ham today and cook the other dishes on Thursday. You can taste the results of the group’s hard work at the American Legion Hall between 3 and 6 p.m. tomorrow.

Whether you choose to indulge at one of those community gatherings or conduct your own Thanksgiving, the city of Kodiak will make sure that all eaters end the day well-fed and then some.
Nov 25 2015
Talk of the Rock: Kodiak Island Borough School District
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
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Host Kayla Desroches talks with Kodiak Island Borough School District Superintendent Stewart McDonald and Board of Education President Duncan Fields about what's going on in the school district, new projects, and proposed legislation.
Nov 24 2015
Kodiak Family Opens Bakery in their Home
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
stahlhuts.jpg(Left to right) Sam, Karin, and Ben Stahlhut stand in front of their display table in their home and business, Simply Awesome Bakery. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A Kodiak family has just opened a bakery on Mill Bay Road above KVOK – and their display case is a table set up in their living room. There are a lot of small businesses in Kodiak, but few may be as small - or smell as good - as Simply Awesome Bakery.

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The Stahlhuts’ apartment door is open to let in fresh air from the hall, even though it’s a cold and rainy morning. Warmth radiates from the oven and all three family members – 17-year-old Ben, 20-year-old Sam and mother Karin - wear short sleeved shirts. Sam has been up since about 3 a.m. baking and now stirs fudge over the stove while dinner rolls bake in the oven.
The display table is full of banana and apple bread, cinnamon rolls, and other pastries. Most of the recipes are inspired by Karin’s memory of what she baked growing up on a farm in rural Indiana.

She comes from a blended background. Her grandmother was Amish Mennonite, her mother was Presbyterian, and her father was Catholic. She says instead of going to the store, her family worked on a farm, milked cows, butchered their own meat, and made their own cheese and butter. And they baked. A lot.

“When I was growing up, you had dessert with every meal. And then you had one before bed. But you worked hard enough you earned that. So, there was always fresh doughnuts and coffee cake and cinnamon roles with breakfast. And at night, we’d crank out ice-cream and we’d have with ice-cream with – if there was anything leftover from earlier. Because you always used what you had.”

Karin says her family has made some alterations to the ingredients – like replacing lard with applesauce, vegetable oil, or butter.
She says baking and cooking are two of the skills she taught her sons, who she homeschooled. She says their jobs in the bakery fit their interests and strengths, and while they all pitch in, Sam explains they play different roles.

“I work in the kitchen, I work up front on the computer. My brother here, he works more with computers than I do. He’s actually been taking several classes in computer coding.”

“And I also am the taste-tester,” Ben adds.

He has a variety of responsibilities, including designing the bakery’s website, updating its social media accounts and offering other tech support. Karin says Ben is great at learning from technical manuals and, growing up, he would sit and go through Microsoft tutorials and then practice on the computer. Meanwhile, Sam is a talented baker and enjoys playing with recipes and improving them.

Karin says both of her sons surpassed expectations after being diagnosed with autism as children - Sam at age six.

“And Sam’s diagnosis was 42 pages long. The specialist claimed that he should be institutionalized and could never be educated, and I disagreed with that and have always told them that you can do anything and you may have to work a little harder. And he’s worked very hard and he’s made it.”

Karin says Sam attended college and also helped support his sister’s education, which Sam says was one of his motivations for selling baked goods.

“I first started at farmer’s market. My sister was going to college and she needed some money for that, so I decided to start baking over there, and it actually went well enough that she got her degree and is completely out of debt, so I decided, hey, why not try to make a living out of it?”

The Stahlhuts take the concept of a family business to a whole new level.

Not only do customers get to step into the team’s kitchen, store-front and home at the same time, but also, on any given day, they meet its IT team, cashier and baker on the way in. And sometimes that’s one person, sometimes it’s all three.
Nov 23 2015
Four Kodiak Villages to Build Hoop Houses with Grant
Monday, 23 November 2015
hoop_gardens_meeting.jpgKodiak Archipelago community members share experiences and advice at meet and greet. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Four communities in the Kodiak Archipelago will receive grant money to help them establish hoop houses in their villages. The United States Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Native Americans granted The Kodiak Archipelago Leadership Institute, or KALI, $1.2 million dollars for the three-year project. It’s meant to build food security by making produce and poultry available locally in the four sites under the grant.

The participating villages are Larsen Bay with a population of about 90, Old Harbor with a population of over 200, Ouzinkie with a population of almost 190, and Port Lions with a population of 180.

KMXT’s Kayla Desroches dropped by a meet and greet at the Best Western Kodiak Inn on Thursday to talk with community representatives who had flown into the city of Kodiak for training.

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The meet and greet marks the end of a day and half-long training where community members learned about their responsibilities as participants in the project along with other information.

Melissa Berns, Vice Chair of the Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor, provided insight from her community’s experiences at the meeting. She says Old Harbor tried six years ago to maintain a hoop house with students working the plots during the school year, but the students lost interest when summer arrived.

Old Harbor has been more successful with the hoop house they began three years ago with a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. Berns says the way the garden works is that groups sign up to manage a plot. This year, they have about 18 families taking part in addition to community organizations.

She says the garden is a way to supplement their diets.

“We do have a store, but it does not sell fresh produce, and so our only other choice would be importing from Safeway, and as you know it takes quite some time to get that shipped in from down south or wherever the source may be, but it takes quite a while for it to get here to Kodiak, and then by the time we get it out to Old Harbor, weather permitting and maybe sitting here and rotting for a few days, and we get very poor quality produce.”

Growing foods locally solves a lot of those issues, but Berns advises the other communities who are newer to the process to be aware that the hoop houses take a lot of time and work.

“Just to build the hoop house itself, then to build the beds then to fill them and have the proper soil in there, and so you may not be growing as quickly as you want to, but not get frustrated or have that slow down your momentum, because eventually it will happen and it will flourish. And this year we just had a phenomenal year with our growing, and it took us those two years to build up to where we are today.”

Dorinda Kewan is the grants coordinator at the Native Village of Port Lions and says her community started a greenhouse years ago, but it didn’t take off due to lack of interest.

She thinks this hoop house will be different because it’ll be a business endeavor and be large enough to provide food for the entire community.

Kewan says part of the research they’ll do at the beginning of the grant process is to find out what the community would like to grow.

“We are able to make a pretty good guess about the things that we know people use the most – a lot of root vegetables, fresh salad greens, things like that. And that also we know will grow well on the island and that we won’t have to have a real steep learning curve to get those to be productive, and then things like fruits and other things that may be more difficult to do, we can look at later on and decide if we want to tackle those or not.”

She says if Port Lions produces surplus crops, they could sell that to the city of Kodiak.

Dan Clarion, Mayor of Ouzinkie, says the gardening initiative is a way to increase the revenue in the participating villages - not only through selling to the city, but also to each other.

“What we foresee is each community growing a specific crop in their hoop houses. A large number of that specific crop so that we can then crop share between all the villages, and every community could have their own local farmers market, and each community could have their own employees and farm hands and stuff, teaching the young kids that are coming up how to provide for theirselves.”

And being able to grow, harvest, and prepare your own vegetables means you’re more likely to eat them. Mary Nelson is the president of the Larsen Bay Tribal Council and says accessibility also contributes to how often kids eat vegetables. She gives her son as an example. 

“You know, he’ll eat a salad once in a while just ‘cause whenever we would get it in, we would kinda ration it just ‘cause you don’t get as much and what you get you want to make sure you use and not waste it, so that’s a really big concern, so we only bring so much, so they only got so much, so I think that the little ones, if you train them and raise them in that manner, that they will eat healthier.”

As vegetables become more readily available, they could become a bigger staple in local diets in addition to providing a source of income, which is a development the villages may see over the next three years.
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