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Apr 10 2014
Military Children to be Honored All Month
Thursday, 10 April 2014

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           April is month of the military child in Alaska – a recognition that doesn’t go unnoticed here in Kodiak. The island is home to the largest Coast Guard base in the U.S., but is also home for service men and women, and their families, who are enlisted in the Navy Seals and National Guard.
           Velma Vining is a child development services specialist on base and said the month of the military child is meant to honor the children of those families, who are often forced to move around frequently and live in single-parent homes when parents are deployed or on duty.
           “It’s really hard for kids to pick up and move away from their family, their friends and really close relationships that they’ve developed and it happens to them – it can happen ever six months to a couple years that they have to say goodbye to really close friends, and it can be hard for any age group. So these are the challenges that military kids have to face. And not only that, not only do they have to pick up and leave and change their home, they also have to say goodbye to a parent when they deploy.”
            April 15th was designated as a day to wear purple and show support for military children by Governor Sean Parnell. Vining said this is the third annual purple up for military kids observance.
            “There’s something special about the color purple. Purple symbolizes all the branches of the military because all of the different colors come together to make purple – green and blue and red for the Marines – they all come together and make purple. So it’s a visual way to show support for all military children.”

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Apr 09 2014
Shipyard May See Additional Rate Increase
Wednesday, 09 April 2014

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           There could be some rate increases for the Kodiak shipyard in the coming months. The topic was the lone agenda item during the City Council’s work session last night.
           Last year the council, under the recommendation of the Port and Harbor Advisory Board, decided to increase rates at the shipyard by 20 percent. The goal was to help bring the shipyard out of the red financially, which is where it has been in previous years.
          This January the advisory board met and proposed another rate increase to help springboard the elimination of the shipyard’s budget deficit. That proposal included a 30 percent rate increase on certain fees, including the lift, block and launch. The board also suggested drafting some sort of reduced lay-day fees for long term work, with the hope that it would encourage more boat owners to keep their boats in the yard longer, and generate more money. 
           Nick Szabo chairs the advisory board and said shipyard finances are improving, but the additional rate increase is needed.
          “We thought let’s just do a 30 percent increase this year, and hopefully that will close the gap, and then we’ll just ride with that. So that’s basically what we’re recommending.”

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Apr 09 2014
The Kodiak Children's Fair Kicks Off This weekend
Wednesday, 09 April 2014

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           This weekend is the annual Kodiak Children’s Fair, an event for young kids, parents and childcare providers alike. Jane Petrich is the director of the Kodiak Child Development Center on base and said the event began as an idea to honor those who work with children, but it has grown in size and purpose over the years.
           “It sort of morphed into this event where agencies came to where we were at the high school for years and had things to share with families and providers, all dealing with children five years and under. So it’s a really special population.”
           Petrich said the fair will include activities and games for children in that age group.
           “So they might be doing an art project, they might be making a book. I’m going to be planting seeds and talking about gardening and how that can be expanded into the life of a young child. I think the school district is there and they do some more motor activities. I know Providence is going to be there and they’re going to be setting up some mats and giving children the opportunity to do some gross motor things. There might be some water play, or sensory play. So lots of different just small activities for children to do.”
            The fair will also include informational materials for Parents and childcare providers about services for that five-and-under population of kids in Kodiak. It will also provide necessary training opportunities for those who do work with young children.

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Apr 09 2014
Kodiak 7th Grader Wins State Geo Bee
Wednesday, 09 April 2014

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    A Kodiak seventh-grader will represent Alaska in the National Geographic Bee next month in Washington, D.C.
    Thirteen-year-old Gray Harver won the Alaska Geographic Bee Friday at the Egan Center in Anchorage. Nearly 100 fourth- through eighth-graders competed for the title and the opportunity of representing Alaska in the national bee.
    Gray said he was  a little nervous in the final round, but said he was looking forward to going to the Nation’s capital.
    To qualify for the state bee, students had to take first place in their school bees and pass qualifying exams. Friday's competition included 41 girls and 59 boys from around Alaska. 

 
Apr 08 2014
New Long-Term Care Facility Filling Up Fast
Tuesday, 08 April 2014

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    Kodiak’s new long-term care facility has been open a little over a month now, and in a brief report to the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly, administrator Robert Rang said it’s already getting full.
    “The current residents have settled in a lot better than expected, staff has picked up on new workflows better than expected and we took our first new resident as of today. We have three other folks in the works during the month of April, and actually have more inquiries and potential admits to then new facility than we have beds for. So we have no concerns about being able to fill the building in a timely manner.”

    Rang said the normal new building and moving in issues faced them, but borough staff was there to help.
    “I’d like to thank – go on the record with mentioning Matt Gandel, who was the project manager with the borough, whose worked with us on any concerns we’ve had as we moved in. As with any new building there’s always some bugs you have to figure out. He’s been very easy to work with and very attentive to the challenges we’ve had with some of the building as we’ve moved in and finding things were quite operating as necessary.”
    The Chiniak Bay Elder House staff got access to the new building at the end of January, and started moving residents in from the old facility around the end of February.

 
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