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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 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.

Nov 20 2015
Workshop to Teach the Art of Storytelling
Friday, 20 November 2015
celiawhiteheadheadshot.jpgPicture of Celia White. Via The Island Institute

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Storytelling is not only fun, it’s also a valuable skill to improve communication and be a more effective public speaker. That’s what makes an upcoming storytelling workshop especially suited to children and teenagers who may be interested in the spoken word. This weekend at the Kodiak Public Library, Celia Whitehead will teach the first in a series of workshops for kids ages 10 to 16.

Whitehead is a storyteller who has led workshops on the east coast, including in her home state of Maine, and says her passion for the art started in childhood. She says her grandfather was the storyteller of her family.

“Just out of nowhere, he’d come up with these little riddles or songs or stories that would get [me] motivated, so that was where I first really was exposed to storytelling as this incredibly powerful thing, and then I heard about a storytelling workshop that was happening at the public library. We did a lot of creating stories from scratch as well as learning some stories.”

Whitehead says she hopes this workshop will encourage a passion in Kodiak kids.

“I feel a certain amount of pressure. Like, I really want people to enjoy this. I don’t even know where it came from, this vision of being a bard and how powerful that is. To hold the stories of the people and to share them and to bring more people into that fold, so I really look forward to getting some other people really excited about the power of their own voice, the power of their own imagination.”

The workshop is called Storyteller’s Toolbox and will teach the basics of building a story. Whitehead says narratives are different when you take them from the page and turn them into performance.

Her first piece of advice is to know your first line and your last line.

“That way you’ll be grounded. You don’t really want to memorize the whole story because it’s not the same thing. Storytelling is a very interactive and free-flowing kind of activity. You have the creative ability to remake the story in whatever way you want to. So, I say just note down the main points of action. Know what the actions are that make the story what it is.”

She also says speakers should be aware of their speed.

“It doesn’t mean you have to be fast or slow, but be fast when things are getting really tense in the story. Maybe slow down if something is really gonna be suspenseful and you’re trying to build up some suspense. Same with volume. You always need a certain amount of volume, but an intensity of quiet can be much stronger than yelling.”

The workshop is sponsored in part by the Kodiak Public Library Association and is free of charge. It will take place Saturday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and the next three classes will be on the third Saturday of the following months. They are titled Fractured Fairy Tales, Stories from Around the World, and True Voice.

Check out the Kodiak Public Library website for more information.
Nov 20 2015
Alaska Fisheries Report 19 November
Friday, 20 November 2015
12.82 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup


Coming up this week, what the infamous T-P-P could mean for Alaska's seafood exports, the challenges of counting pink salmon, and The Cannery Project takes us to False Pass. All that and more on this week's Alaska Fisheries Report.

We had help this week from KDLG's Molly Dischner in Dillingham, the Cannery Project's Anjuli Grantham in Kodiak, KFSK's Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg and KUAC's Tim Ellis in Fairbanks.
Nov 19 2015
North Pacific Fishery Management Council Introduces New Alternative After October Meeting
Thursday, 19 November 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Fisheries Workgroup sent a letter of community input to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council before the council’s meeting in early October. The letter focused on the gulf trawl bycatch management issue.

Fisheries analyst for the Kodiak City and Kodiak Island Borough, Heather McCarty, says it encouraged the council to continue analysis on some points that the Kodiak community thinks important, and it furthermore provided a community perspective.

“Sort of a broader perspective than perhaps can be had from the various fishing sectors, so all of the fishing interests are all present at these North Pacific Council meetings and prepare and present their point of view on these issues, and it has been relatively rare in the past that a community has done the same thing, has participated at that level.”

McCarty says letters like the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group sent are comment letters which serve to communicate the public’s views.

“They are solicited by the North Pacific Council on any topic that they’re going to be talking about, and the council doesn’t really respond to those except by whatever action they take and they sort of supplement the oral testimony that’s given by representatives of various sectors. In this case, several members of the fisheries work group came to Anchorage and testified.”

She says Mayor Pat Branson, City Councilman John Whiddon, and then-Councilwoman Chris Lynch presented the contents of the letter.

McCarty says the results of the October meeting were to broaden the approach to gulf trawl bycatch management and to add an alternative.

“The new alternative does not do catch shares on those fisheries resources such as pollock, but provides a share instead of the bycatch quota, which is either halibut or salmon. Chinook salmon. And so, if you’re given a share of that bycatch, you can take that bycatch share into a co-op.”
McCarty says at the next Kodiak Fisheries Work Group meeting, members will hold a robust discussion about the new alternative. The date of that meeting has yet to be announced.
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