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Have you listened to West Side Stories?

The LegHead Report

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

Dog Eared Reads


Fish Radio with Laine Welch

 Weekdays at 12:20 p.m.

Galley Tables

KODK is back on the air. Thanks to Steve and John at APBI in Anchorage who helped us get a loaner transmitter and to Joe Stevens and Willy who ran up the mountain in this nasty wind after running a bunch of tests to get it ready to do it's thing...90.7 FM is back bringing you spectacular alternative public radio programming in Kodiak.
Jul 02 2015
Fourth of July, 1915: Looking Back at One Filipino Cannery Worker
Thursday, 02 July 2015
rodill_and_husband.jpgDiane Rodill and husband / research assistant, Paul Lewis. Photo by Anjuli Grantham

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Canneries in Alaska grew in the beginning of the 20th century, and many Filipino immigrants found work there. Diane Rodill’s father was one of the men who went to Larsen Bay to work in the canneries.

Rodill, who lives in Seattle, says her father traveled all over the world to locations including Alaska, but she had no idea before she started researching his life.
“He knew about all these places and he knew all these languages and of course, because he never told us why, I never understood that, and I used to ask him questions and he would say things like, oh, you ask too many questions,” says Rodill. “I didn’t stop asking, but I didn’t get a lot of answers either. So, he was very complex. He was intimate and yet at the same time distant.”

And then about four years ago, she spotted a familiar face in a Baranov Museum photo. Anjuli Grantham is Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the Baranov Museum and she describes the picture as depicting cannery workers putting on a pageant at a Larsen Bay July Fourth parade. Some are dressed in drag.

“These photos are really spectacular,” says Grantham. “One thing that makes them special is that they’re the oldest photos that we know of depicting Filipinos in Kodiak. So, we ordered these photos for this project and a couple of weeks later out of nowhere, I get an email from a woman who at the time was living in Washington D.C. and she is researching her father. She has a photo of him dressed as a woman in Larsen Bay, Fourth of July, 1915.”

As it turns out, the shared subject of the photo was Rodill’s father Denis.

Rodill describes him a rascal who broke ship rules and lied about his age on his marriage license.

“He was always bending the rules to his favor. Whatever he had to do, he was willing to break the rules,” says Rodill. “He felt the world was his oyster.”

“And I think he had to in many ways. Because, really, being a Filipino in this day and age, it was very restrictive,” says Grantham. “He had no rights to citizenship, he had no right to even own a house when he first arrived in the U.S., legally, so I think that not only was he a rascal, it was his way of being able to survive and even thrive in what was a legally and socially racist nation.”

You can hear more about Denis Rodill and how his story connects to Filipino history in the early cannery years of Alaska tonight at 7 p.m. at the Baranov Museum. You can also tune in to hear KMXT’s full conversation with Diane Rodill on Tuesday’s Talk of the Rock at 12:30 p.m.
Jul 02 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 02 July 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Coming up this week it's all about the salmon. From Southeast through Cook Inlet, Bristol Bay and up the Yukon, it's all about the salmon. We had help for this week's Independence Day edition of the Alaska Fisheries Report from KDLG's Molly Dischner in Dillingham, KCAW's Rachel Waldholz in Sitka, KNOM's Matthew Smith in Nome and KBBI's Quinton Chandler in Homer. 

Jul 01 2015
CDQ Group Turns Fishing Boat Into Pribilof Ferry
Wednesday, 01 July 2015
1.69 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Jay Barrett/KMXT
To call the small village of St. George, taking up just a corner of its namesake island in the middle of the Bering Sea, isolated doesn't quite do it justice. Surrounded by water, the community has no harbor; it has a small airport, but weather often makes in impossible to land an aircraft. And when you can fly in, say from neighboring St. Paul, you have to wait a week for a return flight.

Prices are high, jobs are few, and despite being in the middle of the richest fishing grounds in America, the community sees little profit from it. But the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association has put into motion a plan to hopefully reduce the isolation, lower prices, and bring some fishing dollars into town – with ferry service between St. George and St. Paul, 40 miles away.

APICDA's CEO Larry Cotter said the project has been in the works for some time, but finding the right vessel was an issue. When one of APICDA's own boats, the fishing vessel Atka Pride, was about to go up for sale, the decision was made to put it to work instead.

“Given the fact that we had the vessel and given the fact that the situation in the community is pretty darn desperate. Without a functioning harbor they're having to fly all of their food into the community,” Cotter said. “Putting the vessel to work just made a lot of sense.”

Saint George Mayor Pat Pletnikoff says the ferry service will be a welcome addition to the island.

“It's a small effort, but it's huge in implication for what kind of service Saint George needs to survive. And we're grateful to APICDA for that,” Pletnikoff said. “We're grateful to APICDA for recognizing that Saint George deserves an opportunity.

Passage on the Atka Pride is $300 each way, but for Pribilof residents it's $100, which Cotter says matches the one-way, once-a-week airplane fare. He says the total cost of the service for this summer is expected to be about $200,000, and he doubts it will break even.

A replacement wind turbine for the island is going up this summer to replace the unit that burned last year, so the ferry should get regular use. Pletnikoff says the 53-foot fishing boat will do for now, but if the experiment works, he'd like to see an upgrade:

“Once we're able to develop an economy, we could certainly utilize the income to expand it and get better vessels to provide this service,” Pletnikoff said. “Ideally, a high-speed catamaran in the 58-, 60-foot range would be the most suitable vessel for our transportation needs, at least surface-wise.”

CDQ groups like APICDA have community development right in their name, and, according to Cotter, direct their Bering Sea fisheries quota profits to projects like this.

“You know that's one of our responsibilities is to do what we can to help develop stable local economies,” Cotter said. “It's not easy. But this is certainly in line with our purpose.”

Ferry service has already begun, and will go through the end of August. Cotter said if the program continues to run in the future, they'll likely start in May and go into mid September. 
Jul 01 2015
Borough / City Joint Work Session One of Many Meetings on Jackson's Park Zoning Code
Wednesday, 01 July 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The joint work session between the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and the Kodiak City Council last night promises to be the first of a series of meetings about the Jackson’s Mobile Home Park closure and related code.

Jackson’s Park falls outside city limits and one of the joint session’s purposes was for the borough to update the city on the property. Robert Pederson is the director of the borough’s community development department and says the owner of Rasmussen’s Mobile Home Park is looking into accommodating more trailers.

“He’s filed an application and the site plan shows 22 mobile home spaces in that piece of property and then also there’s a smaller piece of property. I don’t recall the acreage, but it’s mentioned in that bigger packet… and the site plan shows seven units in that piece,” says Pederson.

Assembly and council members asked questions about the population in the park, mobile home additions, and property codes. Jackson’s residents face a number of challenges besides immovable trailers and limited spaces in alternative parks. Pederson says one element is that all mobile home parks besides Rasmussen’s are nonconforming.

“But they’re all grandfathered in, and they were there for a long, long time. Many, many, many of the units in those parks are also nonconforming structures or uses by virtue of setbacks or the things that have been added onto them or are too close to the other unit,” says Pederson. “They don’t have walkways or play areas or they don’t need setbacks and all those sorts of things.”

In a packet the community development department prepared, it explains how park owners and residents have made many of these changes without department permission. Nonconforming property is just one part of zoning code local government will need to examine over the next few months.

Another issue, more specific to Jackson’s, are fees that will result from moving the trailers

“Building compliance fee for the new location and then the building, location, and plumbing fees for hooking up in the new location. There’s been discussion and I believe the sense of the assembly at the work session was that we should look at waiving fees for mobile homes that are being forced to relocate out of Jackson’s,” says Pederson.

That’s one matter the city and borough will discuss in the near future.  

The Planning and Zoning Commission will have a special work session tonight at 6:30 p.m.to discuss proposed code amendments. It will take place in the Kodiak Island Borough Conference Room.  
Jun 30 2015
Sockeye Catch Low, With Hope for Future Salmon Runs
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
sockeye_salmo_jimmerman_fish.jpgSockeye salmon. Flickr/Jimmerman Fish

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

This season’s salmon catch numbers are low across the state, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Todd Andersen is an Assistant Area Biologist in Kodiak and says the sockeye salmon catches are less than expected.

“We woulda thought we had a good run coming there, but the fishing has been relatively slow,” says Andersen. “A lot of the fishermen aren’t catching all that much right now, but the short closures that we have had this year have put plenty of fish up-river within our escapement objectives for each of the systems that we manage early in the year here.”

According to the latest department figures, the current sockeye harvest is over 385,000, while the average catch at this point of the season is usually around 600,000.

Andersen says there are many different reasons sockeye catches could be lagging.

“There’s a lot of smaller fish early on, so you could go with a large run, or feeding conditions are a little different. Who knows?” he says. “Various areas in oceans where all these fish go – could be any different area – and there’s certainly migration paths. They’re a little different any given year. I think we’ll have a better picture through the later parts of the run.”
Andersen says the numbers could improve.

“The fishing just hasn’t been there yet for a lot of the cape fishermen and the set-netters. That doesn’t mean it will remain that way, though. We’ve got a long season ahead of us and the pink run will dictate how much time and how good the fishing is.”

He says Fish and Game’s automatic pink openers are scheduled for July 6, and the length of the first couple of those openers will be 57 hours due to the lower forecast for this year.
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