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Mar 20 2015
City Council Moves Forward on New Website Design PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 March 2015


Update coming soon. The Kodiak City Council has approved a $20,000 contract for a new website. 


Kayla Desroches/KMXT
The City Council discussed re-designs for both their website and the fire house last night at its special council meeting. According to City Manager Aimée Kniaziowski, the city has spent funds to maintain the fire house structure, but it needs a more permanent fix.
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“We continue to have problems with the roof leaking. There's mold. We have major plumbing issues. We have a creek running under the building,” she said. “There are just lots of different problems with it. And my biggest concern of course is the risk of any kind of a failure due to a seismic event.”

Kniaziowski, speaking for herself, city engineer Glenn Melvin, and fire chief Jim Mulligan, recommended that the council authorize a professional services contract with Stantec for $99,435. This contract would involve drafting a pre-design for a new fire station to be used when funding becomes available. 

Some council members expressed concern that the draft would be dated by the time funding became available. 

“My concern is that that pre-design and the site selection is going to sit on the shelf someplace the next four, five, or six years and things are gonna change,” said  Councilman John Whiddon.

Several other council members brought up separate issues that bore further discussion. The council therefore moved to postpone the authorization of the fire house pre-design. 

The city council also moved to approve a website redesign from Aha Consulting not to exceed $20,000. That budget also includes training city staff and providing website assistance in the time following the website's completion. 
Mar 19 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 March 2015

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Coming up this week, Sitka herring is being fished as a co-op this year, Foreign roe technicians can once again get a visa to work the salmon season here, and the sockeye forecast for Upper Cook Inlet appears to be deja vu all over again. All that, and what does it take to not blush when you hear the phrase “fish balls,” coming up on the Alaska Fisheries report. We had help from KCAW's Rachel Waldholz in Sitka, APRN's Liz Ruskin back in D-C, KDLL's Shaylon Cochran in Kenai and KUCB's Lauren Rosenthal in Unalaska.  

Mar 19 2015
Knots: From Irish History to the Nautical Past PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 March 2015


Drew Herman demonstrating one of the first stages of tying a Celtic knot. Kayla Desroches/KMXT photos







Kayla Desroches KMXT


For Saint Patrick's Day, many people paid homage to Ireland with meat, drink, and making merry. Some others tapped into their artistic spirit at the Kodiak Public Library where Drew Herman led a class on how to make Celtic knots.


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When we say “Celtic knots”, you might imagine intricate designs etched in stone. And you’d be right. But they’re also literally knots. And where you find those, you’ll usually find sailors.

Drew Herman, who volunteers with the Coast Guard auxiliary, says that his interest in Celtic knots comes from nautical knots. They were useful in the sea-faring past, but also served as a form of entertainment on ships with otherwise limited resources.

"The only materials you had to work with were whatever was left from operating the ship," Herman says. "So the little pieces of wood, leftover pieces of rope and yarn. They would like to make gifts for their sweethearts back home or things they could trade when they got into port."

Herman led a Celtic knotting class at the Kodiak Public Library on St. Patrick’s day. There were about ten students, most of them adults, and all of them struggled at first with the looping-in and looping-out of the rope.


One of the two children at the event, who says her name is Sienna, had this to say at the beginning stages.

“It’s kind of confusing."


But, after an hour of practice…

“It’s easy."



A young participant, Sienna, during the second half of the Celtic knotting class.









 Adult attendee, Cindy Kloster, agrees with her classmate’s conclusion.

“It was kinda complicated at first," she said. "But once you basically created your first pathway, then it started making sense.”

Mar 19 2015
Kodiak Welcomes Second Senior Housing Building PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 March 2015


Emerald Heights from the front. Kayla Desroches/KMXT photos








Kayla Desroches/KMXT


There's now a second housing option for Kodiak residents over 55. The Kodiak Island Housing Authority is ready to start accepting rental applications and has started giving tours of Emerald Heights, its new apartment complex on Near Island. Though built and operated by the Housing Authority, it does not have a low-income or Native Alaskan preference like the organization's first senior housing building.


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Kodiak Island Housing Authority's Mindy Pruitt leads the tour, starting in the lobby, dominated by a giant sculpture of dock pilings by local artist Mark Whitteveen. Metal sea creatures cling to the wooden poles and sit on stones placed around the pilings. The top of the sculpture pokes through a square hole in the ceiling and into the floor above.

Beyond are seats, table, and even a virtual fire. I have to admit, I had to look twice.


Sculpture by Mark Whitteveen in Emerald Heights Lobby.


Pruitt then shows me the activity room upstairs. There’s a kitchen area with more tables and chairs. The same artist from the lobby also installed metal salmon swimming around the upper corners of the room. Near a window with an expansive view.










Activity room sculptures by Mark Whiteeveen.






Pruitt leads me through wide halls into several different rooms, all with gigantic bathrooms.


"Every bathroom in the apartment complex is large," Pruitt says. "Just in anticipation if somebody ever needed a wheelchair or a walker, that they had plenty of room to navigate in their bathrooms, so they’re all very comfortable in size.”

They're also built to be quiet.


"All the cupboards are slam resistant," Pruitt says. "So if you’re a drawer slammer, it's gonna be hard to slam here.”

The last apartment Pruitt shows me is the two-bedroom Wheelhouse suite.


"This is the largest one. This is the one that is the most unique probably in the property. It’s one thousand eight-three square feet, so it’s large.”

Pruitt says a friend inspired the suite’s name.

“He goes like ‘I feel like I’m in the helm of a big crabber.‘ And so he was like ‘We just need the wheel right here.’ And we came up with the wheelhouse suite.”
Priutt says the unit’s price is 2,300 dollars per month. She also says the range for the other apartments she showed me go from 1,550 dollars to 1,850 dollars not including electricity, cable, and landlines. Several apartments fall outside that range.

And Priutt does say that 55 is the lowest minimum age to apply for housing at Emerald Heights.

“There was a feasibility study done in Kodiak and that was one of the needs that was identified was housing for people 55 years of age."


You can learn more about Emerald Heights here .


Mar 18 2015
City Council Talks Brechan Pit Safety and Future Discussion of Marijuana Use PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 March 2015



City Council members view powerpoint of Brechan pit with City Engineer, Glenn Melvin (Center). Kayla Desroches/KMXT
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak City Council discussed gravel pits and marijuana at its work session last night, among other matters to be addressed at Thursday's regular meeting.

The quarry that Brechan Enterprises created on Near Island at St. Herman Harbor could be a safety hazard for anyone walking on the hiking trails above the pit. But, according to City Engineer Glenn Melvin, there’s a solution to protect hikers: a fence.

“Brechan is proposing to go ahead and place the fence all along the back of their area," said Melvin. "And we need to provide a buffer behind the fence to where when the trees do blow, and some of them may blow, they don’t blow down on the fence.”

The council also brought up future discussions they might have about marijuana use in Kodiak now that it is legal in Alaska. City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski addressed a question as to when that might be from Councilman Charlie Davidson.

“My approach at this point, Charlie," said Kniaziowski. "Is just to see what other communities have done, see are we in alignment with that or do we need more information or do you want more time for community input and so forth.”

The council will dedicate a work session to discussion of marijuana in the city at some point, but have not yet decided on a date.

The council will gather in a special meeting Thursday night at 7:30.  
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