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May 14 2010
It's the Hurt Locker for Frog Jumping in Kodiak PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 14 May 2010

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100514.frog_locker-t.jpgThe T-shirt for this year's cancelled Frog-Jumping contest at Tony's may become a collectors item. Photo by Jay Barrett

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            After 25 years of being a Crab Fest fixture, the annual Frog Jumping Contest at Tony's Bar has been cancelled. State wildlife officials are concerned the frogs, which are imported from the Lower 48, might carry diseases which could be transferred to local wildlife.

 

            Patty Almeter is the manager of Tony's.

 

--          (Frogs 1                      45 sec              "This year the state ... be, you know, a huge issue.")

 

            Almeter says that even though the two diseases have not been reported in Alaska, she understands the need to protect Kodiak's fish. She says she could import the frogs, but the cost of the testing required is prohibitive:

 

--          (Frogs 2                      36 sec              "The problem is that ... huge deal for the facilities.")

 

            Almeter says she suggested several ways to mitigate the potential transfer of pathogens from the frogs to the world outside of Tony's, but the state wouldn't budge:

 

--          (Frogs 3                      36 sec              "I spoke with the state ... take that chance.")

 

            Tony's Bar has long produced custom T-shirts that are given to patrons who enter a frog in the jumping contest, and are ordered well in advance. Two years ago the theme was "No Country for Old Frogs," and last year it was "Slum Frog Millionaire."

 

--          (Frogs 4                      17 sec              "They're themed after the ... been pretty disappointing.")

 

            Unless a frog supplier in the Lower 48 steps up to provide the required testing at a reasonable cost, this year's T-shirts might become collectors' items from the frog-jumping contest that never was.

            Almeter says she's open to suggestions for what to replace the frogs with on Crab Fest Sunday, when the contest is usually held. Slugs, which are native to Kodiak were one suggestion, as were Dungeness crab races.

 

 

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