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The LegHead Report

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LegHead (ledj-hed) Report
weekdays at 12:20 p.m.


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 When you go shopping this week you can help the women and children at the Kodiak Women's Resource & Crisis Center. KWRCC has a long wish list of items that would help their families in crisis. You can help by purchasing one or more of the items and dropping them off at KMXT, 620 Egan Way by 5pm on Friday - we'll make sure everything gets to the KWRCC for Valentine's Day. Find a copy of the list here:  kwrcc_wish_list_jan_2016 

 
Oct 15 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 15 October 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 

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Coming up this week, a dive fisherman dies just off the coast of Kodiak, the Opilio TAC is down, way down, and how Filipinos came to play such a large role in our seafood industry. We had help from KTOO's Matt Miller in Juneau, KUCB's Greta Mart in Unalaska, KDLG's Dave Bendinger in Dillingham, and guest contributor Anjuli Grantham in Kodiak.  

 
Oct 15 2015
Kodiak Group to Clean up Marine Debris on Shuyak Island
Thursday, 15 October 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

An upcoming marine debris removal project will combine camping and environmental cleanup. Tom Pogson of Island Trails Network says the group has received funding from NOAA to fly a handful of volunteers over to Shuyak Island to do marine cleanup there, most likely starting summer 2016.

“The goals of the project are to completely clean Shuyak, to characterize the debris that we’re gonna get there so that we can identify the primary sources of the debris and then by analyzing the debris that we get there, literally sorting it and classifying it, we hope to identify ways in which we can minimize the kinds of debris that are on Shuyak which are gonna be somewhat representative of what’s in the rest of the Kodiak archipelago.”
    
He says Island Trails Network chose Shuyak in part because it’s one of the gems of the Alaska State Park system.

“It’s managed for its natural values. It’s surrounded by productive fisheries, marine mammals, and all of the biota that is negatively impacted by marine debris. In addition to that, repeated aerial surveys and repeated, actually, cleanups there, have shown that a lot of marine debris accumulates on Shuyak.”

He says probably more rapidly than they imagine, which may have something to do with Shuyak’s position as Kodiak’s easternmost large island. He says it’s located at the point where the tidal stream from Cook Inlet splits and goes around Kodiak…
    
“Half of it going into Shelikof Strait, the other half going essentially along the south coast of the whole archipelago. It’s also right there at the edge of the gulf current, so I suspect that a lot of marine debris is carried by the gulf current and then driven ashore on Shuyak by the storm winds, which are almost always easterly.”

He says they’ll also be able to assess how quickly marine debris gathers using the 12-mile southeast coastline of Shuyak as a comparison point.

“It was pretty well cleaned in 2013 and 2014 by two different projects. By the time we get there, we’re gonna be able to completely clean it. And we know how much material came off that shoreline in 2013 and 14. Here we are 3, 4 years later. We’re gonna see how much stuff is there now.”

Pogson says he found out about receiving funding the same day the marine debris barge arrived, which shipped the debris off Kodiak Island and set off to do the same along the coast. Pogson says the group will receive about $128,000 from NOAA over two years and they will provide about $230,000 from their own resources.

Pogson also explains they will try to do the project in a way that will involve the community as a resource.

“A lot of people love sorting the marine debris, they love seeing what’s in the bags. It’s a bit of a treasure hunt. We do need people in the community to help us understand how we might be able to minimize or reduce the amount of debris… how we can reduce the kinds of debris that we’re gonna find up there as a bigger picture to how we can get a handle on the problem in our area.”
    
He says they will also need six volunteers to fly to Shuyak for two week stretches.

“We’re gonna have strategic base camps on different locations on Shuyak and volunteers are gonna be able to come for two week stints and camp and we’re gonna travel to the cleanup sites from camp and sea kayaks and access all the shorelines of Shuyak – so it’s a two week camping and cleanup trip.”

Pogson says he’s just beginning to identify how to approach the project and says they should start looking for volunteers more towards the holidays.     
 
Oct 15 2015
Reservoir Near Normal After Rainy Weather
Thursday, 15 October 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

For the last few weeks, City officials have asked Kodiak residents and the processing industry to conserve water due to the lowered Monashka reservoir. But after the rainy weather Kodiak has had since late September, City Public Works Director Mark Kozak says the reservoir has almost returned to full capacity.

He says the middle of last week was especially notable for its heavy rain.

“In that couple day period, the reservoir actually came up a full eight feet. It continued to rise, and so now the main reservoir is about five feet low of the spillway. And looks like with the rain that we have projected over the remainder of the week, that we kind of expect it to be full if not spilling by the weekend.”

He says they’re comfortable telling people and members of the processing industry to return to their normal water usage.

“Their efforts really helped. There was a transition in the fisheries, so it’s real hard to put a direct number to it, but we saw a drop-off in water consumption as things were so low, and it really made a lot of difference in stretching out that time until we started getting rain.”

Kozak says this is the first time they’ve faced this type of challenge in the summer. The last time the reservoir dropped significantly was in the winter of 1999, when they were dealing with increased water consumption due to fishing and extreme cold.

And he says a lowered reservoir in summer could happen again.

“I think we need to seriously look at where do we go to increase our water holding capacity, because last winter we had tremendous amounts of rain, but that all runs down the stream and then it’s gone, so maybe we need to hold onto more water if we can to get us through another summer like we just had.”

Kozak says the Monashka system was planned in the 1970s as a three part project and the city used that design to expand the reservoir in 2003 as a reaction to the issues in 1999.

“The remaining concept includes some additional dams, but it actually expands the reservoir holding capacity substantially and we’re in what is basically phase two, so phase three is out there. That would include the Virginia Creek system, and it’s on the neighborhood of doubling again what we currently have.”

He says he hasn’t read through those plans yet, but Public Works is looking at it as a possible future project.
 
Oct 14 2015
Theater Group to Explore Relationships and Humor on the Kodiak Stage
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A local group of performers called the FairWind Players will bring a comedy double feature to the Kodiak stage this week. Jared Griffin, who teaches English at Kodiak College, stars in the first performance: “Two across,” a “comedy of crosswords and romance.”

“It’s a story of two strangers who love crosswords. They find themselves alone on a train in San Francisco. It’s really, really early in the morning. And they help each other solve each other’s puzzles and help each other solve each other’s life puzzles.”

Griffin directs the second feature, which focuses on a mother and son relationship and is called “The Outrageous Adventures of Sheldon & Mrs. Levine.”

“That show is really interesting because it’s the mother and son reading letters to each other over the course of a few years and their journeys of self-discovery and self-actualization and other fancy, psychological words.”

Griffin says, as a director, he tries to create a safe environment to let the actors experiment. Laurie Murdock plays Mrs. Levine, and she describes Griffin’s method of positive reinforcement – probably the one most desired by comedy actors.

“He laughs at things, and that encourages the actors, because he laughs. He’s really good at - when he knows there’s something funny, he laughs and of course, that makes me in my case want to be funnier and it’s reinforcing and we just want to be funny because we know we want to make him laugh.”

And she says while it’s a funny play, it might not be suited to children.

According to KMXT’s Pam Foreman, who’s involved in the group behind-the-scenes, the FairWind Players are all about exploring their options. In funny and serious ways.

“We wanted to do some stuff that was a little tougher theater than the art council does. We like tackling those tough subjects – theater that makes you stop and think. A couple of the first shows we dealt with, one dealt with the holocaust, one dealt with a pretty dramatic and difficult show about death from cancer. And then conversely, we do these goofy things.”

Like the upcoming performances.

The two plays begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the auditorium drama pod. You can buy your tickets at the door when you arrive.

And to hear even more about the plays and the people involved in them, you can listen to Tuesday’s Talk of the Rock here.
 
Oct 14 2015
Museum Apple Tree Bears Fruit for Second Year in a Row
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
baranov_apple_pic.jpgApple on the tree on the Baranov Museum property. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

These apples are sweet and tart, most of them are green although some have a patch of red, and they fit in your palm. And according to the Baranov Museum’s Executive Director, Tiffany Brunson, they’re growing on the museum’s property for the second year in a row.

“It’s probably because of the unusually warm springs that we’ve had, as well as not very many storms in the spring, so it might’ve in the past bloomed before, but the blooms were blocked off by a heavy spring storm, by high winds, or by an unseasonable frost, and we had such a nice May this year and last year that we got nice, big blooms on the tree.”

Those blooms eventually led to apples.

It’s an old tree. Brunson says they don’t have any written records relating directly to it, but they can come to conclusions based on historical context. She says the structure that houses the museum was built in 1808 and the businessman WJ Erskine and his family lived there between 1911 and 1948.

“We have pictures from about the 1920s when it was obviously young. The Erskines, especially Nelly Erskine, was a huge gardener and she introduced a lot of things to Kodiak that people didn’t think would take here. Like the mountain ash you see everywhere. A lot of people thought that those would survive in Kodiak, because it’s too wet and too cold. And the Erskines were the first to bring the mountain ash up.”

Brunson says they can assume that the Erskines were also the first to bring apple trees to Kodiak. She says, last year, the city’s park department sent a scissor lift to help them pick the apples, and those are still sitting in her freezer.

She says they haven’t harvested the apples yet this year, but notes that the tree is over a hundred years old. She doesn’t suggest climbing it.

“We haven’t really managed it as far as apple production, so it hasn’t been trimmed the way that it would if you had an orchard. So it probably does have limbs that are a little bit rotten or that are a little bit rotten. But the apples that fall on the ground or are within picking distance of standing on the ground, people are welcome to take a bite.”

Some of those apples are a little spotty or rotting, but if you search the grass for a bit, you may get lucky.
 
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