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Oct 14 2015
Museum Apple Tree Bears Fruit for Second Year in a Row PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
baranov_apple_pic.jpgApple on the tree on the Baranov Museum property. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

These apples are sweet and tart, most of them are green although some have a patch of red, and they fit in your palm. And according to the Baranov Museum’s Executive Director, Tiffany Brunson, they’re growing on the museum’s property for the second year in a row.

“It’s probably because of the unusually warm springs that we’ve had, as well as not very many storms in the spring, so it might’ve in the past bloomed before, but the blooms were blocked off by a heavy spring storm, by high winds, or by an unseasonable frost, and we had such a nice May this year and last year that we got nice, big blooms on the tree.”

Those blooms eventually led to apples.

It’s an old tree. Brunson says they don’t have any written records relating directly to it, but they can come to conclusions based on historical context. She says the structure that houses the museum was built in 1808 and the businessman WJ Erskine and his family lived there between 1911 and 1948.

“We have pictures from about the 1920s when it was obviously young. The Erskines, especially Nelly Erskine, was a huge gardener and she introduced a lot of things to Kodiak that people didn’t think would take here. Like the mountain ash you see everywhere. A lot of people thought that those would survive in Kodiak, because it’s too wet and too cold. And the Erskines were the first to bring the mountain ash up.”

Brunson says they can assume that the Erskines were also the first to bring apple trees to Kodiak. She says, last year, the city’s park department sent a scissor lift to help them pick the apples, and those are still sitting in her freezer.

She says they haven’t harvested the apples yet this year, but notes that the tree is over a hundred years old. She doesn’t suggest climbing it.

“We haven’t really managed it as far as apple production, so it hasn’t been trimmed the way that it would if you had an orchard. So it probably does have limbs that are a little bit rotten or that are a little bit rotten. But the apples that fall on the ground or are within picking distance of standing on the ground, people are welcome to take a bite.”

Some of those apples are a little spotty or rotting, but if you search the grass for a bit, you may get lucky.
Oct 13 2015
Talk of the Rock: FairWind Players PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
3.84 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Host Kayla Desroches talks with Jody Carmen, Jared Griffin, and Laurie Murdock about their involvment in the upcoming performances "Two Across" and "The Outrageous Adventures of Sheldon & Mrs. Levine" from the FairWind Players. KMXT's own Pam Foreman also drops in for a little background on the group.
Oct 13 2015
At Harvest Festival: Pumpkins and Rabbits PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Sale from Kodiak’s 4H branch will provide some of our fall favorites: from sweet confections to small, furry mammals. It will feature sugar pumpkins for baking and larger pumpkins suited to carving, as well as a bake sale and a petting zoo.

11-year-old 4H club member, Oskar Klausner, says he raises bunnies, which he’ll bring to the petting zoo this year.

“When we first moved here, the people before us had bunnies. I asked if they could give one of them to me, and so they did, and then I got another one for free at the fair, I think it was third year, three years ago, and so now I have two.”

He and his mother explain one is mix between a rex and flemish giant, and the other is a chinchilla rabbit, which have produced a litter of seven so far. Oskar explains rabbits are not too difficult to shelter.

“I have two cages for both of them and they don’t have a floor. We take boards about one inch wide and three feet long and we strap them to the bottom so that they eat the grass and not really get out, and then we move them around, so like a very slow lawn mower.”

He says during the winter, he puts them inside the green house. Oskar says he also grows vegetables: tomatoes, squash, lettuce, and sometimes tomatoes. When not homesteading, he takes part in 4H groups and says he especially likes “robotics.”

He says right now his team is planning to build a robot for the Kodiak championship, and the theme is trash, so their robot will compress garbage.

“It’s built out of a certain time of lego. It’s called minestorm. There’s like a software update… software thing… that you get on the computer and then you program it to certain things. You code it and then you put it into the robot and on, like, remote control, and then it does stuff. But it’s easy to screw up. There’s a lot of stuff for each movement, so sometimes you can get a wrong number.”

He says they are building up to the local competition and then will continue to state if they win. Oskar is also involved in other 4H camps, including archery and small animals. You can meet some of his rabbits on Saturday at the Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Sale. It begins at noon at the fairgrounds.
Oct 12 2015
Competitors at KMXT's Run the Rock Share After-Run Impressions PDF Print E-mail
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.

2.82 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

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 PDF Print E-mail
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.
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