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Galley Tables

Nov 26 2014
Cost of Thanksgiving in Villages Much Higher than Kodiak City PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
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Marina Cummiskey and Jay Barrett/KMXT
You may have heard the AP wire story this week that pegs Kodiak as number three on the list of communities with the most expensive Thanksgiving Day dinners in the nation. It ranks Hilo, Hawaii as the most expensive at $79.11, Honolulu at $76.73, and Kodiak at $65.12, just five cents above Juneau.
Of course, the survey published by the website Nerd Wallet only compared prices in 264 communities across the nation, and they obviously didn't get any surveyors out rural Alaska, where the cost can be much, much higher.
        The findings were based on a study by the American Farm Bureau which compared prices in the selected communities for all the fixins, including turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a tray of carrots and celery, as well as pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk. The largest price increases this year were for sweet potatoes, dairy products and pumpkin pie mix, according to the Farm Bureau.
Last year, KMXT news intern Marina Cummiskey traveled to Karluk and found out what it costs and what it takes to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner there. Let's listen to that again.  
Nov 26 2014
Boro Extends Code Comment Period PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

           Folks still have time to comment on the Kodiak Island Borough’s proposed code changes. The changes come as the borough looks to revamp its codes, some of which are more than three decades old. During the Planning and Zoning committee’s meeting on Wednesday, the group unanimously approved a continuation of public hearings on the code update until mid January, with a possibility of further extending public hearings beyond that.
           Community Development Director Bob Peterson said the extension came as result of public testimony, but also a recognition that better information needed to be available to people trying to understand the changes.
           “They wanted to be responsive to public input and we talked about that we’re in the midst of preparing side by side comparisons for each zoning district old to new, so people can better understand the changes that may be there and that we’re also doing a color coded version of the draft code to show which is new language which is old language and which is changed language.”    

Nov 25 2014
School Report Cards Discussed PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
It's not just students that receive report cards – entire schools can get them too. At their last meeting, the Kodiak school board was updated by Ron Bryant about the Report Cards to the Public.
Bryant is the director of school and student services; he used Peterson Elementary, a recently-named “Blue Ribbon School,” in his example to the board.
“This is usually written by the administrator of the school, the principal of the school, just giving highlights and details on how their school performs during the year. Just hitting some highlights from Peterson Elementary, you can easily see as to why it's the high-performing school that it is,” he said. “During the course of the year they have emphasis on positive behavior support framework which is the basis of their school. When you walk into the school in the hallways you'll see posters telling kids what the school's expectations are, and the students strive hard to meet those expectations.”
Bryant said the schools are also rated on three areas, such as attendance, academic achievement, and progress of the students in learning.
“In this case, how many of the students made progress in their SBA scores from the previous year to this year,” Bryant said. “And in her case, or in Peterson's case, 100 percent of the students made progress. All of her students showed improvement from the previous SBA to this year's.”
Superintendent Stewart McDonald interjected that the state requires significantly better performance year-over-year to attain such a ranking.
“They actually have to have significant improvement. They break it down to rankings on this graph and chart, and they actually have to jump to that next level to show that progress,” McDonald said. “In other words, they can't just get a few extra points.”
Teachers, of course, have the largest part to play in student learning progress, and in Peterson's case, according to Bryant, the staff is top-notch.
“In that particular school, 13 bachelors, 10 masters. We don't have any education specialist degrees or doctorates earned, but 88 percent of the cases taught are taught by 'highly qualified' teachers.”
“Highly qualified” is a rating given teachers who have demonstrated the mastery of a subject. He said the remaining classes that did not show a teacher was 'highly-qualified' likely stems from new classes students have requested. He said core subject classes all have teachers who are highly qualified.  
Nov 25 2014
Local Foundation Seeks Suggestions for First Gifts PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
You have until Friday to help the Kodiak Community Foundation decide the five organizations or causes that will get a share of the group's first distribution of cash. The first award will be given a week from tomorrow, according to Sarah Harrington, on what has come to be known as “Giving Tuesday,” in response to the rampant consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber-Shopping Monday.
Additional gifts will be given each Tuesday in December. While the Foundation is relatively new and still in the process of building its nest-egg, Harrington said the money for the December gifts a gift in itself.
“The entire idea behind the KCF is that we should be building money, accepting donations that will all go into an endowment so that we'll have grant money into perpetuity, really. So it's Kodiak's 'Permanent Fund' would be another way to look at it,” she said. “So the 5K$ we're giving away is actually a gift from the Rasmussen Foundation, and so they're helping us catch a little more attention as we're building our beginning dollar.”
The $5,000 from the Rasmussen Foundation isn't the only gift the organization is offering Kodiak. All donations to the Kodiak Community Foundation are tripled by Rasmussen. 
“So if I donate $50 to the KCF, they're actually going to receive $150 worth, just because of that single gift. Because RF is matching two-for-one, up to us finding $25,000,” Harrington said. “So if we raise $25,000, we'll actually get $75,000 because they'll give us another $50,000.”
You can help the Kodiak Community Foundation with their decision-making process by finding them on Facebook or going to their website, Kodiak C-F.org, and filling out their short survey.
“Two minutes long. It's just two questions and fill in the blank. And so we're looking for feedback from the community for suggestions of who might benefit from funding. And we're encouraging people to think outside the box. It could be an activity, it could  be a project,” she said. “We also ask for suggestions for non-profits who could be strengthened or supported from the funding that might be having a hard time getting grant money from other places.”
The suggestions can be for projects in communities other than the city of Kodiak. Harrington said there's already one suggestion for replacing a church floor in Akhiok. This week is the last opportunity to give input. 
Nov 24 2014
Governor's Transition Team Meets in Public PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 November 2014
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Joaqlin Estus/KNBA
Over the weekend, Walker-Mallott transition teams met at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Some 230 Alaskans were grouped by topics such as oil and gas, education, fisheries, fiscal policy and health care. Their task was to work toward consensus on goals, priorities, and recommended actions for incoming Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. 
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