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Nov 20 2013
Vessels Need Extra Attention in the Snow PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 November 2013

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    We’ve got snow in the forecast for later this week, and as is common for Kodiak, it will likely be mixed with or followed by rain. While landlubbers are often inconvenienced by the wet snow, it rarely sends a home to the bottom of the sea. Aboard boats tied up in the harbor, though, it’s a different story – a snowy winter doesn’t go by without at least one small boat getting so overloaded that it sinks.
    “The snow and rain and snow and rain gets a heavy pack, so you want to make sure the vessel’s not going to sink. So if it’s a smaller vessel, of course, you’re going to want to pay more attention.”
    Brian Corder is the owner of A-K Small Boat Services in Kodiak, and he’s somewhat of an expert on protecting boats against disaster while in port. His company, which he bought from its founder in September, looks after clients’ boats in both of Kodiak’s harbors when the owners are away – and that includes clearing them of snow, and a lot more:
    “All my contracts, if there’s four inches or more, I automatically start shoveling snow for people. I check the boats, I go on them Monday through Friday (at) random times. I don’t have a set schedule when I go down there – some days in the morning, some days in the afternoon. I check the laz once or twice a month. I check the bilge; make sure the water levels are staying the same, that the pumps are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Make sure the batteries are staying charged, that the shore power is still on. And that the boat is safe – and then maintain it from there.”
    If you’re taking care of your own vessel during the off-season, or watching a friend’s, Corder has some tips of things you should keep an eye on.

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Nov 20 2013
School Board Named Best in State PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 November 2013

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           The Kodiak School Board was recently recognized statewide. During the Association of Alaska School Board’s annual conference the Kodiak Island Board of Education was named the best in the state for 2013.
           Recently elected School Board President Katie Oliver said the board accepted the award during the conference on November 9. 
           “It was a surprise to us. There were a couple of school boards from around the state nominated this year and we were selected. And of course it always feels great to get recognition by your peers for the work that you do. So it was really nice to receive this award, especially collectively as a group. We’ve worked really hard for the past few years so we’re really pleased to be chosen for it.”

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Nov 20 2013
Key Club Teens Take on State, Regional Roles PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 November 2013

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           Kodiak High School is no stranger to clubs and organizations. The list runs the gamut, but few have the worldwide backing of Key Club International. Key Club is a student-led organization that focuses on community service. Sara Thomas is a senior at KHS and active Key Club member. She said the  Kodiak club is one of many across the state, country and world.
           “So you have what are called districts across the United States and internationally. And a district includes several states. The Pacific Northwest, which Alaska is a part of, happens to be one of the largest. So it’s students who are taking initiative and taking leadership. And we just do service. And we really value being involved in our communities, being involved in our global community, our local community. And doing service in any shape or form. I think Kodiak’s charter in particular; we do a variety of things. When people ask specifically what we do, we’ll get emails and calls for service projects and we’ll send volunteers. And I think that’s something really endearing to see in high schoolers. We’re taking initiative, not only that but we’re also taking leadership roles.”
           While active in Key Club locally, Thomas’ role in the organization spans well beyond the archipelago. As the District Editor for the Pacific Northwest, Thomas trains editors throughout a region that encompasses Alaska, Canada, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Northern California. She is charged with publishing four magazines each year, which are distributed to more than 23,000 high schooler students around the country. The magazines summarize what chapters across the region are up to, and include other bits of information relevant to Key Club.
            Last year Thomas served as Lieutenant Governor of the Alaska Yukon South District, a position now held by Kodiak Junior Tahna Lindquist. While also active in Kodiak’s Key Club, Lindquist role as lieutenant governor allows her to works with 11 other schools around Alaska, connecting the clubs and their members. Sometimes this means traveling up to the mainland to meet with different clubs — something she’ll be doing this weekend.

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Nov 19 2013
New Chief Sees Fighting Drugs as Biggest Challenge PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 November 2013

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Kodiak Police Chief Ronda Wallace

 

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    Yesterday KMXT told you who the new Kodiak chief of police is – today, we hear a little bit from Chief Ronda Wallace herself.
    “I started in 1998, and came in as patrol officer and I worked my way up through the ranks through the years and kinda held many positions from patrol officer to uniformed investigator to detective, to detective sergeant and lieutenant. And to chief of police, where I am now.”
    Wallace’s 15 years on the KPD were largely spent working for retired Chief T.C. Kamai:
    “You know he did such a wonderful job of bringing us to such a well-rounded, whole, very professional department. I have plans in the future, of course, but nothing immediate to change. We have a very good stable department (with) awesome employees, and right now it’s just a matter of finding my fit and then just seeing what the future offers.”
    As far as challenges the department faces, Wallace said one stands out the most for her:
    “What we’ve been faced with and have been dealing with for many years – and I don’t know that the public sees it very much – is our problem with drugs in the city. It is very … it’s epidemic. It’s bad. And that is a challenge still for us that we’re going to have to keep right on plugging away at to tackle.”
    Wallace is specifically referring to hard drugs, such as heroin. Two deaths on the same day earlier this year were attributed to the drug, and used syringes are often found discarded in different parts of town.
    Wallace, who took over as Kodiak Police Chief on Friday, is 45-years old and has lived in Kodiak for 22 years. She is originally from Emmet, Idaho. She replaced T.C. Kamai, who had spent 25 years with the department before retiring in September.

 
Nov 19 2013
New Library Director Gears Up For Opening PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 November 2013

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Library Director Katie Baxter stands among the bookshelves at the new public library. The building will open on December 10 after a grand opening ceremony the evening before, on December 9. Brianna Gibbs Photo

 

 

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            The new library is still three weeks away from opening its doors to the public, but its new director is hard at work making sure things come together by then. Katie Baxter hails from Massachusetts, but arrived in Kodiak last month in time to help move the library’s materials from the old building downtown, to the new one on signal hill. Baxter said her decision to leave Massachusetts came about last June, when she began seeking out employment opportunities beyond the East coast.
             “And I was just at the point where I needed to think outside the box a little bit. The American Librarian Association is a wonderful professional association of usually an average of 65,000 members. So it’s a pretty big organization. And they have a job list. So I just sat down one rainy Saturday and pulled up the list and I could sort by state. So I picked five states. And Alaska has always intrigued me, never been, but I can remember being five years old and saying to people I want to go to Alaska. So I thought I’d start with Alaska.”

             She said there were several job openings in the state, but Kodiak’s job description and aspirations for the new building drew her in and ultimately helped her decide to apply. Baxter said her love of literature spans well into her childhood, but it wasn’t until she got a job at her college library that she became passionate about libraries themselves.

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