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Jul 30 2014
Assembly Members Threatened Over Decorum Debate PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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    The debate over the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s recently-passed “decorum” ordinance has turned ugly. At least two assembly members have received violent threats in recent days from citizens upset with the ordinance and the denial of a ballot initiative to repeal it.
    Assemblyman Dave Kaplan said he’s received many calls, and they were all civil, until one came in Tuesday morning.
    “I tried to calm the person down. I said I would talk to you if it takes two hours on the phone, if you just use proper tone and respect; you’re calling my home,” Kaplan said. “From there they pretty much would not give me their name, and they hung up saying ‘You better watch your back.’ And I take heed to that, especially in these times.”
    Assemblywoman Chris Lynch said she received a similar call last week.
    “It’s serious when you say things whether your meaning them serious or not and whether it’s in the heat of the moment or because you’re passionate about a subject,” Lynch said. “It falls back to decorum. You have to treat people with respect, regardless if you agree or disagree with them.”
    As a result of the continued threats, Kaplan said he informed Borough Clerk Nova Javier and requested a law enforcement presence at Thursday’s work session. Javier declined to comment on what precautions might be taken during the meeting, but Kaplan and Lynch said enough assembly members were in agreement that there will be a police officer in attendance.
    “But that’s not unusual for us when we have these highly-controversial subjects,” Lynch said. “This has occurred in the past, so I don’t think it’s that out the ordinary.”
    Kaplan said he requested law enforcement mostly for the safety of others in attendance at the work session, and hopes all the parties involved will see this as an opportunity to take a step back and gain some perspective.
    “You know there’s a lot of emotion on this ordinance right now. We would like the parties that are very, very, very adamant on repealing this to take a deep breath,” Kaplan said. “This can be revisited again.”
    In a letter sent on Monday, the borough turned down a citizens petition to repeal the decorum ordinance. They had sought to have an initiative question placed on this fall’s municipal election ballot. But that does not preclude the assembly itself from repealing it, especially after the elections when there may be new faces on the assembly.
    The assembly work session is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the borough conference room.

 
Jul 29 2014
Petition to Repeal Boro Ordinance Denied PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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           A referendum to repeal an ordinance passed by the Kodiak Borough Assembly earlier this month will not make it on the October municipal election ballot.
           A letter to the repeal’s backers from Borough Clerk Nova Javier said the petition application was rejected by the borough’s attorney because needed paperwork was not provided and the ordinance itself isn’t actually subject to referendum.

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Jul 29 2014
Talk of the Rock: Adventure Writer Daniel Fox PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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            Last week KMXT told you about California-based writer, explorer and Wilderness Systems sponsored kayaker Daniel Fox, who spent six weeks kayaking around the Kodiak Archipelago. Today on Talk of the Rock, we’ll hear the full conversation with Fox, including a discussion about his website, the Wild Image Project and his Minute of Nature video series.
             Fox’s work focuses on inspiring connections with nature using images, video and written narratives, and he said Kodiak provided ample material in all those.

 
Jul 29 2014
Lipka Joins Baranov Museum PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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            The Baranov Museum has welcomed a new face to its staff these days. Last week Jill Lipka began work as the new curator of education, replacing Sarah Harrington, who left the museum earlier this month. Lipka comes from an extensive background in museums and art, including five years with the Alutiiq Museum and most recently an art administrator for the Kodiak Island Borough School District.
             Lipka said she’s grateful to have an opportunity to work for the Baranov, and is finding constant inspiration by everything in the museum, which is located in the historic Erskine House.
             “I cannot tell you how excited I am. Everything I look at is a brand new story that I can take and put into an outreach program. This is my passion – combining objects and stories and just sharing to anybody who’s willing to listen.”  
              Lipka said she hopes to continue a number of arts education programs started by past museum curators, but has been talking with Museum Director Tiffany Brunson about other outreach opportunities to get the community involved with Kodiak’s history – or even just their own history.

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Jul 28 2014
Car Seat Safety Checks Offered This Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 July 2014

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             Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children, and Alaska has a higher percentage of car seat and booster seat misuse than the national average.
             “The national average is about 85 percent. In Alaska, statistically, we see a misuse rate of anywhere from 88 to 94 percent.”   
             That’s Sara Penisten, a registered nurse and state coordinator for Safe Kids Alaska – an organization aimed at preventing childhood injury in a number of ways, including properly installed car seats and booster seats.
              Penisten said Safe Kids Alaska sent three instructors to Kodiak a few years ago to train and certify people to be child passenger safety technicians. The national certification is good for two years, and allows certified technicians to be a community resource and help properly install, inspect and adjust car seats and booster seats. This weekend two instructors will return to the island to provide additional education to technicians and offer a free seat checkup event.

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