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Oct 12 2015
Competitors at KMXT's Run the Rock Share After-Run Impressions
Monday, 12 October 2015
10k_and_half_marathoners.jpgHalf-marathoners and 10k runners gather at the starting line. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Saturday was a crisp, rainless day, which was lucky for KMXT’s Run the Rock participants, who tackled a marathon, half-marathon, 10-k, and 5-k. The marathon began on Near Island at the Rotary Park entrance and runners continued onto Rezanoff Drive and eventually to Anton Larson Bay before returning to the golf course. The half-marathon and 10k runners both ran along Anton Larson Bay Road until their designated half-way points and them turned around, and the 5k runners headed towards town before turning back around to the golf course.

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Six marathon runners set off in the dark at 8 a.m., while the 10k and half-marathon competitors took off in a group of about 50 at 10 a.m.

And two of the half-marathoners came back together. Very nearly, anyway.

Micah Burnett is on the high school cross-country team and says he runs an average of eight or nine miles a day. So, he said to himself, if he can do that, why not 13 miles?

“It was great. There’s two major hills that was a struggle, but the scenery was beautiful and I absolutely loved it. This is my first time ever running a half-marathon, so I really enjoyed it. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve only ever ran 5ks, but it was definitely a mental challenge. Like beyond the physical part, it was a definitely a mental push for myself.”

He says one of those motivations finished about 20 or 30 feet ahead of him. Coast Guard dentist, Charlie Truncale, says they even chatted along the way. He says originally he hadn’t started the race with a goal in mind, especially since he’d been injured for the last ten months.

“Early in the race I noticed I was out ahead. And so, I was motivated to just continue with the pace that was a little bit faster than I wanted to. And then a very young person came up on me about three and a half miles into the race and he kept me pushing for the rest of the race, and he was on my tail to the bitter end.”

Truncale says if it wasn’t for Burnett, he would have kept a more leisurely pace.

As for marathon runners, Matt Neagley finished second and says he and his fellow runners hooted and hollered at the starting line early that morning. And he says he feels great.

“I know I’m going to remember each and every minute of the marathons and that’s one of the reasons they’re so appealing for me. It’s just really experiencing the grip of life in slow motion time. But each marathon is different and each is an adventure.”

The first person to finish the 26.2 miles did so in a little over three hours. Anthony Saucier says hills can be challenging, and he did hit a “wall” along the way, which is when runners start to feel the wear and tear of the journey.

“The walls can be caused from anything – the amount of time on your feet to the elevation that you’re climbing and today the wall was – it wasn’t too bad, but the wall was like just coming up the backside of the ski chalet.”

He says the terrain proved a challenge.

“The hills really throw off your cadence and you just try to concentrate on your breathing and get your mental state aligned. ‘Cause you’re gonna get your second wind as soon as you get to the top and then once you get to the top, it’s smooth sailings until the next hill and then you just repeat it all over again.”

Runners headed into the Bear Valley Club House after finishing, where they refueled on hot dogs, pulled pork, and burgers. And at the end of the day, around 145 participants showed up, with a few kids and even a puppy taking part. You can find the full results here.
Oct 09 2015
Community Members Give Feedback on Termination Point Conservation Easement
Thursday, 08 October 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The resolution to support a Termination Point conservation easement was on the agenda again at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s work session last night. The resolution would confirm the assembly’s interest rather than commit the assembly to involvement. At the assembly chambers, community members filled the seats and doorway, and a few stepped up to the podum to voice their opinions.

Assemblymembers later responded to the concerns brought up during public comment.

Assemblyman Larry LeDoux said the assembly needs to move forward and be diligent, and also explained that he doesn't think Termination Point's value is in building potential.

“I was thinking when they designated Central Park. It's the most valuable property in the world and what New Yorker would give up Central Park to build houses so that land values would come down? They wouldn't. And this may be our only Central Park the way we're chopping down trees everywhere in a 100 years. And so those who say that we need to protect it so that we need to turn it into housing in 100 years. That just tells me that we really do need to protect it.”                     

Assemblyman Dan Rohrer said he'd like to see where negotiations take the assembly, but he has concerns about the liability they're taking on.

“The conservation easement on land is not the same as the Kodiak Island Borough owning a parcel of land. And I understand we own few simple property around this parcel. We may or may not, based upon the rules of the conservation easement, we may or may not be able to treat the conservation easement at Termination Point the exact same way we treat the acreage right in front of it, right around the reservoir.”

Assemblyman Frank Peterson said he's in favor of passing the resolution.

“We've got a lot of time to discuss this. I do have concerns just as Assemblymember Rohrer does about our liability, and what's gonna to happen, what's the cost gonna be to us, but again, we have time to discuss this. Let's move this forward. Let's get this resolution passed so we can start having those discussions.”

The next regular meeting, at which the assembly can make a decision on the Termination Point resolution, is scheduled for October 15.
Oct 08 2015
Local History Professional Recieves Recognition
Thursday, 08 October 2015
anjali_pic.jpgAnjuli Grantham. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Baranov Museum’s curator of collections and exhibits just received the President’s Award from the Alaska Historical Society for service in the field of history. Anjuli Grantham says the award is more for her extra-curricular history activities than her time at the Baranov Museum.

When she’s not working full-time in a history museum, she spends her free time on history too.

“I’ve served on the board of the Alaska Historical Society for about four years I think, but mostly the major service that I’ve provided is a lot of advocacy work for history programs. Every year, I go to Juneau and speak with the legislature about the importance of history programs and museum funding, and I do a lot to kind of advance the call to continue these programs around the state.”

Grantham says that was the first factor in receiving the award.

“The other component is that I’ve spearheaded a project called the Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative, and we just launched it last week. And it’s a state-wide effort, grass-roots effort to do a better job of documenting and preserving the history of sea-food processing in the state. So, I’ve spent the last couple of years planning for that initiative, and now I’m directing it.”

Grantham grew up in Kodiak and is invested in both the history of Alaska and the history of the seafood industry.

“Really, the fishing industry and the processing industry define coastal Alaska. It’s an intrinsic part of our landscape and our beings and our economies and our cultures, but it hasn’t gotten the attention that other industries in Alaska have. The canaries themselves are architectural wonders. Large industrial sites - many of them that are over 100 years old, but only two of them are listed on the national register of historic places.”

She says it’s time that people pay more attention to the history of the seafood industry to show that this is an important part of culture in Alaska, and Alaskans are dedicated to preserving it.

Oct 08 2015
Documentary Highlights Endangered Languages
Thursday, 08 October 2015
bob_holman.jpgBob Holman. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches

He’s a professor of poetry performance at Columbia University, he’s a co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance, and he’s a spoken word poet. And, as to that last item, I’ll let the man speak for himself…

“I gotta rock’n’roll mythology / I gotta total apocalypse pathology / I got the most PostHysterical Poetry / if it ain't comin' at you then it's breezed on by / I got the heavy-duty political intent / I got the worm farm free-form diamond noodle content / I gotta breezy ways and boppin’ rays / and when the word explodes the motherlode is where I’m at.”

That’s Bob Holman reading two verses from his poem, “Rock’n’Roll Mythology,” which he’s published in multiple journals and which he performed on the HBO TV-show, “Def Poetry Jam,” in 2004.

And now Holman is in Kodiak to share another of his projects, the PBS documentary “Language Matters.” Holman served as the film’s host and says it investigates three places on the planet.

“First we visit Australia. Charlie Mangulda is the last speaker of Amurdak and there’s really nothing that can bring language loss home any clearer than to see a person who carries the whole weight of his lineage, of his culture. When Charlie forgets a word, unless a linguist has already recorded it, it’s gone.”

Holman says they investigate Welsh, the only language to come off the endangered list.

“How did they do that? And you’ll see how they did it - through civil disobedience back in the 60s, when civil rights and the Vietnam demonstrations were going on, in Wales they were demonstrating for Welsh and English to be treated the same way. The little old ladies would not pay their taxes unless the tax form was in Welsh.”

And he also talks about Hawaii, where he says the number of ‎Hawaiian-speakers has grown from 400 in 1960 to 30,000 today, but Holman says that doesn’t save the language.

“Especially because it’s not getting support from the educational system the way that it should truly to revive, but along with that language being revived, a lot of other aspects of Hawaiian culture. And that’s what you see in the film, how the hula, that we think of as a tourist dance actually is a way of carrying both the traditions and the language. Every hula has a mele, a chant, that goes with it.”

The film aired nationally on PBS in January and Holman says he received support from the human welfare organization, the Ford Foundation, to bring the film to language revitalization centers in Alaska and Hawaii.

You can catch a screening of “Language Matters” Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the library. You can also participate in a poetry workshop with Holman Saturday at 1:30 p.m., also at the library.
Oct 08 2015
Walk Brings Attention to Domestic Violence's Warning Signs
Thursday, 08 October 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and part of that awareness is being alert to the warning signs of an abusive relationship, which can range from threats to invasive behavior. Lauren Humphrey is Outreach Coordinator with the Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center and says the group’s Paws for Peace walk Saturday aims to draw attention to one red flag: using pets for intimidation.

“A lot of times that power and control that the abuser is putting onto the family starts with the family pets, starts with the dog or the cat and threatening to hurt the dog or the cat and threatening or hurting the pet and saying they’re gonna kill them or whatnot, especially if the person dearly loves that animal.”

She says there are other warning signs.

“Controlling finances, having complete control over all the money. That’s a huge one. That’s the beginning process of isolation. If you’re not having the same contact with your family and friends because of your partner. Your partner is saying ‘I don’t want you around so and so.’ It really doesn’t matter if they’re your friend, you’re allowed to see them. Controlling your job and your activities, controlling what you wear.”

The walk this weekend hopes to draw attention to these issues and more.

Humphrey says it begins at 11 a.m. and starts at the St. James Fisherman Church at 421 Thorsheim Street. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and you should bring a dog. If you don’t have one on hand, the Center is partnering with the Humane Society of Kodiak and you can sign up to walk one of the dogs from their animal shelter.
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