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Apr 30 2014
Community 'Spring Cleaning' This Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

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           This Saturday is community clean up day here in Kodiak. Joyce Gregory is with the Kodiak Lions Club and said it’s an opportunity for people to spruce up different areas – sort of an island-wide spring cleaning, if you will.
            She said free clean up bags will be provided at the high school parking lot Saturday morning.  
            “Everybody meets there at 9 a.m. and we have a large borough map and everybody kind of tells the area that they’d like to go clean up, usually around their own home. There are some organizations that have specific areas that they clean up every year, like up on Pillar Mountain or white sands beach or whatever. And then they go out and clean it up and leave their bags alongside the road.”
            Summer Wood is the community relations director for the Chamber of Commerce and said different organizations will be picking up bags alongside the road, but there are some changes to how that will be done this year. 
            “They can leave them on the side of the road, but no roadside junk. They can leave their trash bags on the side of the road and we have guys we call swampers – Alaska Waste, Threshold, Kodiak Lawn Care and Jay Brant Construction – they go out and will pick up these bags and then take them to the dump.”
             In the past large junk items were picked up, but this year Wood said those won’t be able to be picked up and will be left on the side of the road.

Apr 30 2014
Begich Wants Solutions to Keep Bear Valley Open PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

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    It turns out Kodiak’s Bear Valley Golf Course isn’t the only military-owned course that is facing closure in the immediate or near future. Anchorage’s Eagleglen, considered one of the nicest in the state, will not open this year, according to Lieutenant General Russell Handy, the commander of the 11th Air Force at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
    In an announcement yesterday, Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich said they understood that federal budget cuts are forcing the course closure at Eagleglen and others around the country, but expressed disappointment that community-based solutions were not given a chance to work in Anchorage. Community leaders there, as well as non-profit organizations, business representatives and golf enthusiasts in general have met over the past three months to brainstorm solutions to keep the course open, but General Handy said only steeply increased greens fees would keep Eagleglen open. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson also operates two courses at Moose Run.
    Joe Bower, the Moral-Welfare-Recreation director at Coast Guard Base Kodiak, said earlier this month that the base commander was dedicated to closing Bear Valley after this summer’s season.
    Begich said he is hoping the numbers in Kodiak could add up to keeping Bear Valley open.
    “The question is, what is the deficit they are claiming? If it’s low, I think we could probably work something out with the community, and we should try.”
    Begich says keeping Bear Valley open would serve to bring Coast Guardsmen and their families closer with Kodiak’s civilian population.
    Golf courses on military bases have closed in Florida, Nebraska and Kansas in recent years.

Apr 30 2014
Kodiak, Other Chambers, Distance Themselves from Sullivan Ad PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

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Liz Ruskin/APRN andJay Barrett/KMXT
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest Outside group to launch campaign ads in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race. The national business lobby has a 30-second television commercial running this week that slams incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Begich and supports one of his Republican challengers.
    “Mark Begich sided with Washington. Again. Dan Sullivan puts Alaska first”
    Almost immediately chambers of commerce around the state distanced themselves from the ads. Kodiak Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Trevor Brown reassured members in an e-mailed statement that the local organization has no affiliation with the U.S. Chamber, and remains independent and non-partisan.
    Anchorage Chamber President Andrew Halcro also issued a statement to say the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a separate organization.
    “We just wanted to notify our members that these ads, which are identified as produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have no affiliation with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.”
     Likewise, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce says it does not endorse candidates for federal office. The Alaska Chamber, though, IS a member of the U.S. Chamber. President Rachael Petro says the U.S. group notified her of the ad but says the Alaska Chamber had no input.
    “We just have no opinion on this topic and we have nothing to do with those ads.”
    The older brother of Republican candidate Dan Sullivan, who is the beneficiary of the attack ads, sits on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Frank Sullivan, who lives in the family’s home state of Ohio, runs the company that makes Rust-Oleum.

Apr 29 2014
City Adds New Fees to Different Facilities PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 April 2014

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           Next winter folks will have to pay a small fee to use the ice rink at Baranof Park. That was one of a handful of fee changes and additions the Kodiak City Council discussed during its regular meeting last week. City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski said the fee will be similar, if not identical, to what people are charged at the swimming pool meaning $1-$2 depending on someone’s age.
            Kniaziowski said the rink is a very labor intensive facility that the city has to operate, and the suggested fees will help cover its operating costs.
            Another fee heading to the city this year is what Kniaziowski called a “visitor card” for the public library. 
            “Which would be you know, someone who doesn’t live here who would like access to the library, it would be a $10 fee for that.”
             She said the rates for the use of the library’s multipurpose room will be increasing to offset costs of wear and tear in the new building.
             The city council held a public hearing on the proposed fee changes during the regular meeting. While no one commented on the fees that were being suggested, Judi Kidder did suggest adding another to the list. She said some sort of enforcement fee in the community might help off set the cost of having to remove junk items from public property.
             “I think it’s a very important thing in light of the trash being dumped out in the community.”
             The council voted unanimously in favor of the fee changes.

Apr 29 2014
Bike Clinic Will Educate Local Riders PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 April 2014

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            As the temperature hopefully starts warming up in the next few weeks, some folks might take to Kodiak’s roads on two wheels, rather than four. For those looking to get some biking in this year, be it recreationally, or simply to get from point A to point B, there will be a community bike clinic on Saturday at Bayside Fire Station.
           Sandra West is a certified bike instructor from the League of American Bicyclists and said Saturday’s workshop will help the island’s cycling enthusiasts in all matters of the sport.
            “Choosing a bike, fitting a bike to you, so that you are more comfortable riding your bike. We’re going to go over some basics mechanics and maintenance. We’re going to talk about how to change a tire, which is the most common maintenance need.”
             The clinic will also provide tips and tricks for handling bikes on different terrain, including roads with lots of pot holes – something we here in Kodiak are all too familiar with.
             “These little tricks probably mountain bikers know, but more than half of all bicycle crashes are due to pot holes or hazards on the road and these handling techniques are really cool for avoiding hazards on the road. Very helpful.”
             The clinic will also cover traffic rules for bikers, including how to change lanes on the road and make themselves more visible to vehicles.
             Tom Pogson is also a certified bike instructor and said the event costs $20 and will run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
             “It’s a fabulous amount of knowledge and it’s exciting and fun and there’s some really cool maneuvers to do out in the parking lot and just some things that you never imagined you could do on a bike that are pretty easy if you know the right techniques.”
             The same course costs $50 in Anchorage, and West joked that folks are getting the Kodiak discount by participating on Saturday. People will need to bring their own bike, lunch, water, rain gear and a notepad if they’d like.
             A similar workshop will be held for kids 14-years-old and younger on May 31 in conjunction with the Bike Rodeo. West said those who participate on Saturday and then help out with the rodeo next month will get their $20 fee reimbursed.

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