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City Asks For Water Conservation
Received from the Kodiak City Manager's Office on September 25, 2015
The City of Kodiak is asking commercial and residential customers to conserve water usage 
The water level at the Monashka reservoir, the City’s primary water containment system, is just under 50% full. We must rely on rainfall to fill the reservoir. Persistent weather patterns have limited rainfall and changes aren’t expected for some time.
Please think of ways to conserve water usage in your daily routines. You might opt to take a quick shower and not a bath, turn the water off when brushing teeth, postpone washing your car, or make sure your taps aren’t dripping or open and running unattended.
Conservation efforts must continue until we receive substantial rainfall and this situation is reversed.
Aug 06 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 06 August 2015
12.82 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Coming up this week, Bristol Bay attracts floods of people from all over the world with its promise of sockeye salmon – but one beach remains a homebase for a local fishing family. And it's science against sea squirts when a journalist joins divers to discover how they're trying to get rid of an invasive species called “D-vex.” That and more coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report.
Aug 06 2015
Special Olympics Athlete Returns Home to Fanfare
Thursday, 06 August 2015
dan_and_brittany.jpgBrittany Tregarthen and Dan Canavan. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

One local athlete has returned victorious to Kodiak Island.

27-year-old Brittany Tregarthen represented the United States in powerlifting at this year’s Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. She went from winning gold on the state level to earning recognition on the world level. And with so many competitors from around the world and even more people in the audience, she says this went through her mind before the competition.

“I felt very nervous in the first place,” she says. “But I actually remembered something what my best friend named Jason Gaysheen, from Omaha, Nebraska, he told me on the phone once that ‘You can do this’ and I actually did it.”

She won a silver for benchpressing 110 pounds, fourth-place for deadlifting 160, and she also brought back a bronze in squats and a second bronze in the combination of lifts overall.

And she says she got a surprise after flying back into Kodiak Monday night.

“When I got home, everyone in Kodiak was at the airport, and they were hearing - waiting for me to come in - they were hearing clank, clank, clank of my metals,” says Tregarthen. “And I got a special gift, and it was amazing. I can’t believe it.”

That was another surprise from Dan Canavan, the Special Olympics volunteer community director in Kodiak.

“I got this picture frame from Dan,” says Tregarthen. “And it has my photos on it and red roses, flowers, stuff, and I didn’t realize the whole crew was there.”
Canavan says the Special Olympics mirror the source of its name closely. The competition is fierce, and the athletes bring impressive talent from their various countries.

“I think what it did was raised that awareness that through sports, that we are serious athletes, competing at a very high level and really vital members of the community,” says Canavan. “I think Kodiak gets that and they support us in a big way.”

He says the local Special Olympics athletes will work towards qualifying for the next World Games.   
Aug 05 2015
Alutiiq Museum Releases Book About Archaelogical Site
Wednesday, 05 August 2015
kalunek_picture.jpgA picture of the Kal'unek cover. Via the Alutiiq Museum

One Kodiak Island settlement has served as both a rich archaeological resource and fueled the Alutiiq heritage renaissance now underway in Kodiak. The Alutiiq Museum recently published a book called “Kal'unek” with the University of Alaska Press. The nearly 400-page volume focuses on archaeological discoveries near the community of Karluk and delves into the site’s lasting effects on those involved.

3.59 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

The Alutiiq Museum’s Director of Research and Publication, Amy Steffian, says the site at the mouth of the Karluck river - Karluk One - opened to excavation in 1983, when few people knew about Kodiak Island’s Alutiiq history.

“Many people would not even claim their Native heritage because there was so much disenfranchisement and disrespect, and there was this sense that the pre-historic culture that had preceded the people that live today was impoverished,” says Steffian. “That these were poor people who suffered and who didn’t have a vibrant artistic life and certainly when we set out to study this site, it became pretty clear that that was false.”
Steffian says it became extremely exciting to the Alutiiq community to see the objects coming out of the ground and have access to them. She says sharing that was the second part of the book.

“It’s really two stories. It’s the story of the site and its contents and it provides an ethnography, it talks about how people lived 600 years ago, 400 years ago in that time period, but it also tells how this kind of anthropological, archaeological study when done in partnership with the community, when done with support and involvement, can be a very powerful experience.”

She says that the museum worked with many contributors on “Kal'unek,” from researchers to people who had excavated on the site.

“And also with members of the community who’d cared for the collection in the museum as volunteers or as paid employees and we asked everyone to write about a thousand words that summarize their experience so that we could tell the story not only of the site and its history, but of the impact of this research on the community broadly,” says Steffian.
And she says they’ve built a picture about Alutiiq life using a variety of resources, from oral history to Russian texts. As far as the artifacts go, they stand out for being especially well-preserved.

Executive Director April Laktonen Counceller explains the fresh water that leaked into the site helped prevent oxygen from touching the artifacts until excavators could unearth them.

“Thinking about a 500-year-old house where the grass that they used to keep the floor dry and clean still being green and then within just a couple of hours, the oxidation happening,” she says. “Of course, they didn’t collect probably the dirt and the grass, but they collected the more resilient items like the wood masks and the baskets. I mean, it’s just amazing the types of things that survived.”
Counceller says she was involved in the project through the Kodiak Alutiiq New Words Council, which draws on the knowledge of Alutiiq elders. She says the members who had helped create words for modern technology turned their attention to ancient objects.

“By creating words for items where the words were once lost, we were able to kinda put our mark back on that pre-history and say this is our pre-history,” she says. “Our people have long been discussed by outside archaeologists, anthropologists. For the elders, it was really important to claim ownership over the past by giving back new words to those old items.”

She says they didn’t always invent now words or combine existing ones. For instance, they use applied the modern word for knife to an ancient one.

“That helps show the cultural continuity,” explains Counceller. “That we don’t need to come up with a completely unrelated word. We can use an existing word so that people can leverage the language they already have.”

Counceller says there are many more words listed in the book.

“Kal'unek” stands out as a thorough study of Alutiiq culture and, as Steffian says, “the goal was to make it a joint project where everyone was involved and people of all heritages and interests had access to the material.”
Aug 03 2015
The U.S. Coast Guard Turns 225
Monday, 03 August 2015
pby-5a_catalina_us_coast_guard_1943_alaska.jpgPBY-5A Catalina in Alaska, 1943. Via Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Today is the 225th birthday of the United States Coast Guard. And to celebrate that event, the new commanding officer of Air Station Kodiak, Captain Mark Morin, joined KMXT to talk about Coast Guard history and his experiences in Kodiak.

He says he started in his current position this June, but his time as a pilot in the Coast Guard brought him to Kodiak in the mid-1990s.

“A lot of the kids that we knew, a lot of the people that we knew have grown up, have some moved away, some are still here,” says Morin. “So, it’s great to engage with them again and to see them as adults now, because my wife was a teacher and taught a lot of the local community - the kids here at the schools - so, it’s nice to run into these folks and see them being productive citizens here in Kodiak.”
Morin says flying through the local weather is as challenging as ever, but says he loves Kodiak’s ruggedness. And, according to Morin, the Coast Guard has been fighting the wind and the rain on Kodiak Island since the late 1940s.

“This was a Navy station built to commission in 1941 and then, in 1947, we had a Coast Guard detachment of PBY Catalina aircraft, which were the kind of aircraft that had a boat-type bottom that would land on the water and would conduct search and rescue out here in this region and then, in 1972, it officially was turned over – the base was turned over – to the U.S. Coast Guard.”

And he explains the United States Coast Guard has been around since the late 18th century, but not as one organization.

“1790 was the birth of the Coast Guard, and we weren’t called the Coast Guard back then,” says Morin. “We were called Revenue Cutter Service, Lighthouse Service, Bureau of Navigation, Steamboat Service, and then Life-Saving Service. So, there were like five agencies back then.”

Morin says the Coast Guard as we know it was established in 1915.

“We took all of those agencies that overlapped in different authorities and we called it the Coast Guard, commissioned it as the Coast Guard, and obviously, the rest is history. A hundred years of modern day Coast Guard, if you will, up until now.”
You can hear more of the conversation with Captain Morin on Tuesday’s Talk of the Rock. 
Aug 03 2015
Drums of Waste Dumped Around Kodiak Island
Monday, 03 August 2015
drum_via_facebook_friends_of_kodiak.pngPicture of one of the drums. Via a post by Jennifer Culbertson on Friends of Kodiak/Facebook

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Someone has dumped drums of hazardous waste in the Buskin River State Park. That’s according to Preston Kroes, an Alaska State Park Ranger, who says they discovered two 55-gallon containers last month.

“Either sometime over the night on July 12 or early morning July 13, a couple of barrels were dumped along the Buskin river approximately 80 feet from the river,” says Kroes. “And they contained what originally we thought was just diesel fuel, and it turned out to be diesel salt water, more consistent what would have been from a vessel’s bilge.”

Kroes says some of the drums spilled and required cleanup. And there have been more tossed around the island.

“The ranger investigating it all had determined that around the Kodiak borough there had been an additional 18 other barrels kind of in the same timeline dumped, and we’re kind of going under the assumption that they were from the same subject that was doing all the dumping,” says Kroes.

He says there could be somewhere between 18 and 21 drums in total and that park rangers are not certain about the motivation behind the illegal disposal. 

“We’re assuming it was just to save the cost from the dump fee. It could have just been that that’s what they thought they needed to be or that was their only option. We’re not sure.”

Kroes says that if you have any information, you should call 486 6339 and ask for Park Ranger Jennifer Culbertson or leave a message on her extension.

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