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Apr 24 2015
New Isle Bells Composition Honors Father, Benefactor
Friday, 24 April 2015
Marina Cummiskey/KMXT
Kodiak’s handbell choir will be ringing in the spring with a unique performance this weekend. Isle Bells has been preparing for 2015’s Spring Ring concert for close to two years.
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Isle Bells director Ella Saltonstall participated in a 2013 workshop with David Harris, the current director of the Raleigh Ringers, and ever since, she has been working for an opportunity to bring Harris back to Kodiak. 

“He is, in the handbell world, a world-renowned conductor, for our instrument. He has taken community handbell playing to a new level and is someone who is just able to take our music to different places, just because of his musical background and many years with our instrument.”

With Harris conducting, Isle Bells will be performing an original song, one that has a special meaning to Saltonstall and the Kodiak community.

“So, this concert, we’re premiering a song I had commissioned in memory of my dad, who died twenty-three years ago. The bells, which the choir plays on, were purchased with money that my dad left, so I felt like it was time to write something that honored that legacy. The bells in itself are a legacy where we are able to share music with people, but this song has been on my mind for a while.”

In the fall of 2014, Saltonstall contacted a composer about the possibility of him writing a song for Isle Bells. About six weeks later, Saltonstall received “Kodiak”, an arrangement for handbells describing the island throughout various melodies. 

“I had just given him a brief description of my dad, and emailed him about four links to blogs, and websites that had pictures of Kodiak. He was able to create this entire song just from having all these beautiful images that everyone, that’s been to Kodiak, or visited Kodiak, everyone has collectively put on the internet. It’s been able to benefit his ability to envision what life on Kodiak is.”

With sections of the song like “going out to sea”, and “snow-capped  mountains’, the melody  tells a story about  Kodiak life, and the sights residents see every day. 

The handbell choir’s Spring Ring is taking  place at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium on Sunday, April 26th, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the Arts Council office prior to the performance.  
Apr 24 2015
Invasive Animals on Remote, Unpopulated Island Topic of Monday Talk
Friday, 24 April 2015
Cattle on Chirikof Island, about 80 miles southwest of Kodiak Island. Alaska Marine NWR photo 
Kayla Desroches/KMXT
You may have heard of Chirikof Island’s roaming cattle. On Monday, staff members from the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge will give a talk in Kodiak about the island. 
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Steve Delehanty is the Refuge Manager and is located in Homer. He says Chirikof birds and plants will both be topics of conversation, and Refuge employees are still working on the cattle issue.

“Maybe the most important new piece of information we have is an actual count of the cattle on Chirikof Island done from the air last fall. It is a little over 2000.”

He says they will also address plans for 2015 regarding the arctic fox population, which is not native to the island.
“We are undergoing an eradication effort like we’ve done on many islands across Alaska Maritime Refuge out through the Aleutians, for example, to try and restore bird habitat and make it a healthier place for wildlife and the native species of the island.”
You can hear about that and more at the meeting on Monday, April 27, which will be at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge's downtown visitor center.
Apr 23 2015
Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 23 April 2015

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Coming up this week, will fisheries be affected if the humpback whale is removed from the endangered species list? There's a big forecast for Togiak herring, but with the world glut and low prices, will anybody show up to catch them? All that, and quit complaining, that's the smell of money! We had help from KMXT's Kayla Desroches in Kodiak, and KDLG's Hannah Colton and Matt Martin in Dillingham. 

Apr 22 2015
KEA Organizes Board Officers for the Next Year
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Stosh Anderson, Michael Brechan and Cliff Davidson were all reelected to the KEA Board of Directors. KEA photo 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Though election results for the board of directors were already a foregone conclusion, 237 people nevertheless attended the Kodiak Electric Association's annual membership meeting on Monday, perhaps lured by the promise of a $25 credit on their electric bill or any one of a couple dozen door prizes.

Cliff Davidson received the most votes with 765, Stosh Anderson had 751 and Michael Brechan 747. Each were incumbents running for reelection to three-year seats.

At a board meeting Tuesday, Davidson was named chairman, Ron Acarregui vice chair and Anderson secretary-treasurer.

The board will hold its monthly meetings at noon on the fourth Thursday of each month, except for August, November and December. The next scheduled meeting is April 23rd. 
Apr 22 2015
Artistic Trash Cans and Code Changes at City Council Work Session
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
example_of_labeled_trash.jpgExample of labeled trash can in Anacortes, Washington. Photo by Joe Mabel

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Artistic trash cans and housing code changes were both topics of conversation at the Kodiak City Council’s Work Session last night.

Fishing company owner Bruce Schactler stepped up to propose that the council authorize trash cans with decorative labels on them. They would be wrapped much like food cans and Schactler suggests pictures of local fish species and depictions of Kodiak history.

Schaclter says businesses could place the trashcans in front of their stores.

“They’d be their own private dumpster, their own private use, for their private business,” says Schaclter. “But it would be just an expansion of this project so it would get that much bigger around town, you’d have that much more artwork around.”

City Manager Aimée Kniaziowski brought up a couple of challenges, including restrictions within the City’s use of Alaska Waste services.

“They don’t like to do those nonstandard, empty cans, so at staff level, we thought maybe we cancel the Alaska waste,” Kniaziowski says. “But then you’re talking a person that could come around and dump those and then pay the full landfill fees where the nice part about having Alaska Waste do it is that we don’t have to pay those landfill fees.”

The council discussed partnering with volunteers and local museums. It will talk about the budget and other possible participants at a later meeting.

According to a memo in the Agenda packet, the Borough Mayor and a Joint Building Code Review Committee member are interested in gathering the Committee together to reevaluate the residential code for the engineering of buildings over 200 square feet.

Building official Doug Mathers says they would like to revisit energy requirements and update electrical and plumbing requirements to the most recent state code. He says this is how they can achieve a good rating on residential and commercial buildings from the Insurance Service Office and therefore lower insurance rates.

“I went through the report to see where we could gain points and the only place we could do any good at all was adopting a newer code. Ted and I could both be engineers, we could have all the education, we could staff the place up better, but the only… the way to get the points is by having a newer code,” says Mathers.

The City Council and Borough must first appoint – or re-appoint - members of the Joint Building Code Review Committee before the updates can move forward. Councilmembers agreed they would look at potential committee members who might be interested.

The Kodiak City Council’s regular meeting is set to take place this Thursday night.
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