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Sep 14 2015
Kodiak Gathers to Celebrate City's 75th Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 September 2015
filam_dance.jpgFilAm Kodiak performing the tinikling. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

This Saturday, Kodiak celebrated the 75th anniversary of its incorporation as a city. Residents came to sample food from the potluck, see performances from local groups, and to enjoy each other’s company.

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At the anniversary celebration, people enjoy a community pot-luck inside the Baranof Park Ice Rink. It’s not icy right now, of course. Instead, there are tables full of food from stir-fry to muffins with a line of people waiting to get to them. The atmosphere is cheerful and residents have good things to say about the city. Former fisherman and current real estate agent, Grant Shields is at the event with his family and says he’s been a Kodiak resident for longer than they expected.

“I love it. We were on the five year plan for thirty years now. It kinda grows on you. We’ve stayed here - it’s been real good to us.”

“What’s the five year plan?”

“Well, we were gonna be here for five years, make a whole bunch of money and leave, but that was a long time ago.”

He says Kodiak sticks together.

“The community for one thing, we’re all on an island, and that’s kinda turns back on the navy ‘we’re all in the same boat.’ And so this community really rallies together for events like this or for the Chiniak fire. They really stand together and really come out and help each other when there’s a need for it.”

A more recent Kodiak addition, Michelle Faumui, moved from Kenai four years ago, and grew up in Los Angeles. She says it doesn’t take long to immerse yourself in the community here, and that the city is diverse.

“I was brought up in that, and it just brings that whole cultural family feeling and it just immerses everybody. Everyone just blends in. I like that.”

Later, speakers step up to a podium to share the history of Kodiak and their own stories. One person to do that is 77-year resident, Bob Johnson, who says Alaska was a territory when he and his mother first took a steamship into Kodiak. They were sailing north to join his father, who Johnson says was the first surgeon to live and work in town. He describes the scene of their arrival in April of 1938.

“As we approached town, we saw houses on the right, scattered on the shore -  a few, not many – and we approached a narrow passageway and the captain blew two shrill whistles on the boat to notify the town that we were coming and when we got close enough to see, we could see a dock full of people, absolutely crowded with people.”
And as Johnson speaks on one side of the park, on the other side, artist Bonnie Dillard leads a workshop to make marine debris animals for the Capitol Christmas tree project. 15-year-old Chellarae Nugent is crafting a jellyfish.

“We’ll cut off this bottle that was kind of laying here for a round top and then I made a bunch of holes in it with this hole-maker thing. It’s kind hard because it’s plastic, but now I’m hanging legs off of it. I really like jellyfish. I do know this one type can revert back to its polyp stage and then grow up again.”

Back in the skating rink, dancers from the Filipino American Association of Kodiak perform a traditional Filipino dance, the tinikling, named after a bird and styled after the way it walks between reeds of grass and tree branches. Dancers step between a pair of bamboo poles as two people separate them and snap them together again. It appears to take both rhythm and speed not to get your feet trapped.

The performances today demonstrate the diversity that Faumui spoke about earlier. Kodiak is an environment where different cultures can join together at the city’s anniversary celebration and share their culture as a part of that city. 
Sep 11 2015
Nonprofit Asks Borough Assembly to Hold Conservation Easement to Termination Point and Long Island PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 September 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Two Lesnoi lands may see a switch in property right ownership. The Great Land Trust, an Alaskan nonprofit involved in land conservation, made a presentation at the Kodiak Island Borough assembly work session last night to seek borough involvement in a possible rights sale of Termination Point and Long Island.

Lesnoi President and CEO, Jana Turvey, stood up to speak before the presentation began.

“The corporation was approached by the EVOS trustee council through Great Land Trust a few years back, and it’s a really hard decision as you can imagine as a private land owner about whether or not to engage either a sale or an easement of this nature with any entity. At the end of the day, we’ve come to the conclusion that we really do believe it would be a great partnership and a great working relationship with the borough to move forward with a conservation easement on both of these parcels.”

Great Land Trust Executive Director, Phil Shephard, explained the organization is working as a facilitator to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council in order to conserve lands that the 1989 oil spill impacted. He detailed the method of determining which lands to invest in – a process that works on a point system.

“What we did is we took a whole bunch of data layers and we aggregated those data layers to find where the properties across that whole spill area that have the best fit. Herring were really impacted by the spill, and the areas that have herring spawn are tracked by Fish and Game, so any parcel that had adjacent habitat to that also got a point.”

As another example, the group looked at areas with high numbers of bird species harmed by the spill. Shepherd said Termination Point and Long Island rank high, and he asked that the borough agree to hold the conservation easement to both properties.

“So your responsibility would to remain the conservation values of the property. What would be allowed on the property is basically what’s allowed there now, which is public access, trails, educational use, any kind of non-destructive use. You couldn’t cut all the trees down, you couldn’t mine it, you couldn’t things that would impact the conservation values.”

Lesnoi would retain certain rights, which include keeping any archaeological resources discovered there and the ability to put up signs.

Shephard said Long Island would be a slightly different case than Termination Point.

“The entire property would have a conservation easement. This area right here. It would not be available for public access, so Lesnoi would retain the right to potentially put some buildings there. It wouldn’t be open to the public, but they would be giving up their ability to harvest timber there.”

Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner said before she could support going forward, she would like to understand the project’s cost.

“And I know you said your view is this will be a long cost to maintain, but so far we haven’t heard at all what does that look like or what could that potentially cost and I mean, you’ve said the state can’t do it because of the budget – that’s what we heard –so to be expecting the borough to take that up, that’s a big thing.”

Shephard said he didn’t think the overall cost was the issue for the state.

“It’s just awkward for the state parks to say ‘sure, we’ll take more land over here in Kodiak,’ then if you’re down in some other district and they just lost staff there, it’s just politically challenging. It’s just the challenge of feeling like it’s tight times, and so they were feeling like they just weren’t comfortable doing that.”

Shephard did not mention a cost estimate, but explained they were at the beginning of the process and hoped for the assembly’s go-ahead before proceeding with negotiations. The assembly expressed interest in seeing the project on the agenda for its next work session, which is scheduled for September 24.
Sep 10 2015
Icicle Sale Falls Through PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 September 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Private equity firm Paine and Partners, which owns Icicle Seafoods, made quite the announcement this week, when they revealed that its sale to an Indonesian family of companies has fallen through. 

No reason was given for the deal termination, which had originally been announced in June and due to close in August.

The Sutantyo family-owned Convergence Holdings and Dominion Catchers were to split up Icicle, with one taking over farmed fishing and shore-based wild fish processing, and the other getting the company's catcher-processor fleet and associated quota.

Paine and Partners said in a release they intend to re-initiate a sale process for Icicle as soon as this salmon season is wrapped up. 
Sep 10 2015
Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 September 2015

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Coming up this week, as the salmon season wraps up, humpy catches break records in the Central Gulf, the coho run on the Yukon was gangbusters, too, and tracking king salmon in the murky Kenai River – part one. We had help from KCHU's Marcia Lynn in Valdez, KDLL's Jenny Neyman in Kenai and KIYU's Tim Bodony in Galena. 

Sep 10 2015
Heimlich Instruction and Compressible Dummies at Upcoming Basic Life Support Class PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 September 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

What would you do if someone started choking at the table next to you at a restaurant or suffered a heart attack at the gym? Tomorrow, a class through the Kodiak Area Native Association’s Community Health EMS Training Center will teach people how to respond to emergencies like those.

Siene Allen is the wellness program administrator at KANA and says the class is for anyone who is interested.

“We’ll teach the basics of CPR for all ages whether child, adult, or elderly person. It’s also going to teach you how to use an A.E.D device, which is that little square, electronic thing that you see sometimes on the side of a wall in a healthcare building or maybe at the local gym that you can use in case of someone having a heart attack or their heart stops.”

And no matter how many times you’ve seen a Heimlich maneuver on TV, you should probably get professional instruction before trying it. Allen says the class will walk you through the correct procedure.

“It really helps teach you, A, first how to identify if someone really has this issue, because what you don’t want to do is do the Heimlich on someone who doesn’t need it, because it’s pretty aggressive. Sometimes you can break things. So, someone who is trained in teaching this particular method can make sure that the person who might have to use it really understands how and when and the best way to do it.”

Allen says the class takes place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and is split into three sections with lunch in the middle. CPR is one portion, choking and airway obstruction is the second part, and the third part is learning how to use the AED device for heart attacks.

“Generally there’s a spoken part or a didactic part where they talk about the technique, talk about identifying the situation where you might need to use that particular technique, and then there’s a demonstration piece where they show how you do it, and then there’s usually a hands on piece, where you get to practice. In this case of CPR, you practice on a dummy, and same thing with the airway, you practice on a dummy as well.”

It’s not the same as a human body, but Allen says the dummy is specific to basic life support.

“They have the heads that tilt back so that you can learn how to properly open the airway before you would give CPR or look for obstructions. They also have flexible chests so that you can actually practice compressions and get a feel for exactly how hard you have to push in order to get those two inches of compression.”

The class is free and will be downtown in the old AC building. You can take part just showing up there at 9 a.m. Friday, but Allen asks that you call as a courtesy if you’re planning on attending. To get in touch with the Community Health Department, dial 486 – 9812.
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