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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.
Jun 15 2015
Daily Mirror Up for Sale
Monday, 15 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Employees of two daily newspapers in Alaska were informed Friday afternoon that their owners have put the for sale sign in their windows.

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner and the Kodiak Daily Mirror have been owned by Media News Group of Denver since 1992. In a letter to employees, Chief Executive William Dean Singleton, a co-founder of Media News Group with the late Richard Scudder, said both the News Miner and the Mirror are profitable and healthy, even during the recent turmoil in the media industry.

Singleton said a Bozeman, Montana, firm has been hired to find new owners, but if the “right buyer” can't be found, Media News Group will continue to own the papers. Singleton said the process could take months.

No sale price has been disclosed. 
Jun 15 2015
Council Vows Action on Agressive Downtown Vagrants
Monday, 15 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Vagrancy in downtown Kodiak continues to be a concern to many, with two more residents speaking up at Thursday night's city council meeting. Both singled out the same spot in town as ground zero for the problem – the area around the Gazebo at the Spit. 
“A trip down to the gazebo or to St. Paul Harbor will show you how pervasive problem this is. Not only are there more and more inebriates, but they are becoming more and more aggressive,” said Jack Mann. “My wife and I go by the gazebo almost every day in our skiff, and the other day there was a couple having sex right at the edge of the gazebo. And it was my friends the inebriates.”
Alexus Kwachka suggested that the community might examine how it could be enabling the inebriates and the vagrants.
“You know I think we need to dive into the Brother Francis Shelter. We need to look at what the role is and how many people we're supporting and how many people are coming back,” Kwachka said. “I think helping people is fine, but what we're doing is sustaining people, and that is outrageous. I mean to the point of wanting bulldoze our downtown park? You know? It's crazy.”
Mann agreed, and read from a newspaper article supporting the enabling argument:
“This is from the Alaska Daily News: 'Alaska is one of the few states where being drunk in public is not a crime. Police contend with donated tents and food, soup kitchens and sleep off centers for cold nights, and weak laws governing public drinking. Being a homeless alcoholic can be a viable lifestyle,' and that's what we're getting to here,” Mann said. “We're creating a viable lifestyle, I feel.”
Mayor Pat Branson responded that the city is seeking solutions.
“Just to point out that the city is not a social service agency. But we have been collaborating and meeting with the homeless coalition the human service coalition and the council was discussing this issue as well Tuesday night. So it's a multi-layered problem, and there's no silver bullet for solving inebriation, especially publicly. But we're also looking at loitering laws. There are other communities that have the same problem. And if we look at what they're doing: more presence downtown; the gazebo is just an invitation for people to hang out there during the day.”
Though the mayor and other councilmen asked the public for suggestions on battling the vagrancy issue, Councilman Rich Walker was a little more direct.
“We're going to take our town back. We're going to do whatever we can, and what we have to do, to take our town back. And I would guarantee that.”
Councilman Charlie Davidson agreed that the city should, and will take action, but he cautioned that citizens should be prepared, because he said a final solution will not be cheap. 
Jun 15 2015
#BabySalmonLiveHere: Snap a Salmon Pic
Monday, 15 June 2015
baby_salmon_instragram_pic.jpgInstragram photo by Erin Harrington / erinfish with caption: "I know i should expect it by now but still excited every time I discover that #babysalmonlivehere. This time in the creek running alongside the highway in #Seward."

Kayla Desroches/KMXT
You might have noticed the minnows swimming in the rivers around Kodiak, especially as the weather warms up. One project hopes that you’ll not only notice them, but snap a picture and put it online. 

Kodiak local, Erin Harrington, is the executive director of the Salmon Project and an organizer behind the state-wide Baby Salmon Live Here campaign. She says the campaign’s goal is to help Alaskans find moments of discovery around small salmon.

“Every Alaskan kid for example can tell you where they see minnows in their neighborhoods, where they’re playing, where they’re exploring with their families, where they’re camping on the weekends,” says Harrington. “But we aren’t always making the connections between what we often call minnows and juvenile salmon, but those places where we see these little itty-bitty fish are in fact part of the larger salmon-scape in Alaska.”

She says the nonprofit launched the campaign last week under the hashtag #BabySalmonLiveHere, and she encourages Alaskans to include that tag in Instagram photos of their minnow finds.

“And in doing that they will be populating a map that we have built and that lives on our website that is, as people add to it, going to become a heat map of the presence of salmon in the Alaska landscape,” says Harrington. “But also the presence of Alaskans in the Alaska landscape and where we’re living our lives and recreating and exploring in the summertime here in this state.”

Harrington says the Baby Salmon Live Here campaign connects to a larger picture.

“The sustainable future of salmon in Alaska is really about a sustainable future of Alaskans,” says Harrington. “It’s about us being able to live the lives that we do knowing that we can support our families, knowing that we can have landscapes that can care for us and resources that can care for us as well as us caring for them.”

Harrington says the Salmon Project will release a series of challenges in the next few weeks to engage people in the campaign. 

Josh Bell is a teacher at the Kodiak Baptist Mission Sonshine Preschool and says he’ll integrate the challenges into class time activities.

“What I’m really hoping will happen is I can send this home and that the kids will get excited about these challenges and take them home to their parents so that we continue to spread the awareness and that they can interact with their family and we’ll get more and more people involved throughout the community,” says Bell.

Harrington says the Salmon Project will start releasing the challenges next week. Check out the website to find out more.

Jun 15 2015
Busy Weekend for Kodiak-Based USCG
Monday, 15 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT

Saturday morning crewmen from the Cutter Munro assisted the 33-foot fishing vessel Sea Venture, which was disabled with two men on board in Chrome Bay, near the mouth of Cook Inlet. The Sea Venture couldn't be fixed and the water was too shallow for the Munro to establish a tow, so Coast Guard auxiliary crews from Homer and Anchorage respnded to tow the boat to Homer.

On Sunday, an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward-deployed to Cordova medevaced a 63-year-old woman from the cruise ship Norwegian Sun near Yakutat.

The aircrew hoisted the woman, who was suffering from severe absominal pain, and safely transported her to Cordova Community Medical Center.

Weather on scene both days was reported as light and variable winds and calm seas. 
Jun 12 2015
Borough Assembly Discusses Jackson Park
Friday, 12 June 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Jackson Mobile Home Park was the main topic of conversation at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly work session last night. While the Assembly also reviewed its packet for its regular meeting, it dedicated a chunk of time to possible solutions and next steps regarding Jackson Park. Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission was present to share their thoughts.   

Community Development director, Bob Pederson, introduced the borough staff’s research, which includes exploring relocation options and spreading the word to other park owners. For example, Pederson says they’ve talked with the owner of Rasmussen's Mobile Home Park about making room on his property.

“There is roughly about seven spaces in that smaller piece that may be possible and roughly about 22 in the track U is the sketch and so he’s been evaluating that, he may file an application for the conditional use permit to do that. So that may be another piece – all these are pieces of the puzzle,” says Pederson.

Pederson also discussed an alternative to finding a renting arrangement before the Jackson Park closure.

“Another possibility that was identified about a week or two ago was what about somewhere to maybe store these mobile homes if they have to vacate from Jackson’s by the deadline and potentially a place to put them if they haven’t made another arrangement yet,” says Pederson.

Pederson brought up a few outdoor storage spaces that mobile home owners could arrange for their trailers. The assembly also discussed ways to make the transition out of Jackson Park easier, and several assembly members agreed they should waive the fee for residents to move their homes. Assemblyman Frank Peterson said they should find out that cost.

“I’d like to see staff working with those residents in order to come up with a hard number and almost a guarantee from the assembly that we’re gonna do our best to reduce those fees on our end or eliminate them altogether so that it’s not gonna cost as much money,” says Peterson.

P&Z Commission member, Kathy Drabek, voiced her support on that point.

“We’re Planning and Zoning and we need to do an enormous amount of focus on the planning,” says Drabek. “But we do have an emergency situation right now, so I’m very glad to hear that waivers of fees are being looked at.”

If you’d like to share your thoughts or ideas, you can find assemblymembers’ contact information on the borough website. The Borough Assembly’s next regular session will be on Thursday, June 18.
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