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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.
Mar 23 2015
Auctioneer, Salesman, Magician
Monday, 23 March 2015


Duane Hill, auctioneer from the Alaska Auction Company in Anchorage. Kayla Desroches/KMXT photos

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The auctioneer wore a black suit and top hat and his voice boomed out over the main ball room at the Harbor Convention Center. Duane Hill is from the Alaska Auction Company. Saturday was the 6th time he's flown in from Anchorage to host the Kodiak Arts Council's 25th Annual Arts and Adventure Auction. Hill says that being an auctioneer is more than being the showman that people see behind the pedestal trying to wring every last dollar of value out of the auction items.

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“You need to be good at accounting," says Hill. "You need to be good with numbers. If you're an auctioneer, you know, you gotta get all the stuff organized, you gotta get all the stuff in. You have to be able to move a lot of stuff. You have to be able to lift hundreds of pounds without it bothering you too much.

And he's something of a magician too.

“When I get on an airplane, little kids all the time, you know, they'll say to me, 'Is that a magic hat mister?' And I go 'Yeah, it turns merchandise into money.'”

He says that that transformation is one of the most intriguing aspects of the auction business. He's a salesman. And once you hear him on the stage, you also realize he's an entertainer. Here he is speaking at the auction between bids.

“Back there young lady... and I know you have a serious coffee addiction. You better get this...You know, it's one of the few legal addictions you can have in this country”

Among the objects Hill sold in the outcry auction was a fire engine ride for five, a seat on a 4-hour bear viewing tour, and several original pieces by local artists. One of those artists, Mark Witteveen, is known for his metallic marine sculptures. This year, he contributed a coho salmon. 



Mark Witteveen stands beside his sculpture.


“I use big hammers and wheels to stretch and shrink metal to make three dimensional sculpture," says Witteveen. "It's colored just with heat. I use a mixture of oxygen and propane and it just oxides the metal and then I use a little tiny torch to make spots."

Someone else donated a humpback whale of Witteveen's from their collection.

The Arts Council raised more than 30,000 dollars by the end of the night. 


Mar 23 2015
Local Charter Operator Indicted on Federal Charges
Monday, 23 March 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak man accused of sneaking onto Coast Guard Base Kodiak and allegedly assaulting a civilian there was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday.

Michael Ensley, age 55, was indicted on one count of unlawfully entering Coast Guard property and one count of assault. 

The alleged trespass and assault occurred last month, and resulted in a manhunt on base involving Coast Guard Military Police and Alaska State Troopers, as Ensley avoided capture for several hours. The victim of the assault was reported to have been severely injured.

Ensley faces 10-years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Ensley is the owner-operator of Happy Hooker fishing charters in Kodiak, whose catamaran Reel Fun is a common sight on the Kodiak waterfront.  
Mar 20 2015
Cannery Consolidation Concerns Brother Francis Director
Friday, 20 March 2015
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
At last night's Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting, Brother Francis Shelter Executive Director Monte Hawver talked about the issue of homelessness in Kodiak - something that has been a problem for decades.

"In the late 1980s homeless people in Kodiak were dying from exposure at an alarming rate. There were some temporary shelters ongoing, including the community Baptist Church, but people were determined there was an obvious need for a comprehensive, permane3nt shelter. Local volunteers approached the Catholic Social Services of Anchorage and with concerted effort there was a shelter built and opened in 1991."

The Kodiak Brother Francis Shelter became independent of Catholic Social Services in 2007.

Hawver says there are two distinct groups of homeless in Kodiak.

"The first group is who I call the traditional homeless. They consist of people who have fallen on hard times, either from bad luck, bad choices, many from mental illness, and unfortunately we still see a lot of combat vets. In fact the Gulf War combat vets are becoming homeless quicker than any in history, unfortunately. The second group are itinerant workers who come to Kodiak to find work, and in most cases they don't need very many services other than food and shelter and to just get acclimated to the community."

He said that over the past 20-plus years the shelter has been open many of the canneries in town have successfully hired workers from the shelter. But Hawver was cautious about the recent buying spree on the Kodiak waterfront by one large processor - likely Trident which recently purchased Alaska Fresh and Western Alaska.

"That's not to say there aren't times with problems when people come here, they get hired and then they get fired and then they wind up stuck here. Those folks can easily fall into the crowd of chronic substance abusers and that's problematic. With the expanded business model we see with some of the canneries I think that's a real concern gtoing forward. We'll just have to see how it plays out. I think depending on how it's managed, it's going to make a big difference in our downtown."

Hawver said the Brother Francis Shelter receives substantial community support, and not just from those who still live here.

"It's still amazing to me how people who left Kodiak years or even decades ago continue to support the shelter. We get a substantial amount of money from all over the country. People, whey they leave Kodiak, they never really leave Kodiak."

In response to a question by Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner, Hawver estimated individual contributions total about $160,000.
He also pointed out that the Brother Francis Shelter works to prevent homelessness, and kept 227 families in their homes in fiscal year 2014, while also finding 16 families new housing. 
Mar 20 2015
City Council Moves Forward on New Website Design
Friday, 20 March 2015


Update coming soon. The Kodiak City Council has approved a $20,000 contract for a new website. 


Kayla Desroches/KMXT
The City Council discussed re-designs for both their website and the fire house last night at its special council meeting. According to City Manager Aimée Kniaziowski, the city has spent funds to maintain the fire house structure, but it needs a more permanent fix.
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“We continue to have problems with the roof leaking. There's mold. We have major plumbing issues. We have a creek running under the building,” she said. “There are just lots of different problems with it. And my biggest concern of course is the risk of any kind of a failure due to a seismic event.”

Kniaziowski, speaking for herself, city engineer Glenn Melvin, and fire chief Jim Mulligan, recommended that the council authorize a professional services contract with Stantec for $99,435. This contract would involve drafting a pre-design for a new fire station to be used when funding becomes available. 

Some council members expressed concern that the draft would be dated by the time funding became available. 

“My concern is that that pre-design and the site selection is going to sit on the shelf someplace the next four, five, or six years and things are gonna change,” said  Councilman John Whiddon.

Several other council members brought up separate issues that bore further discussion. The council therefore moved to postpone the authorization of the fire house pre-design. 

The city council also moved to approve a website redesign from Aha Consulting not to exceed $20,000. That budget also includes training city staff and providing website assistance in the time following the website's completion. 
Mar 19 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 19 March 2015

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Coming up this week, Sitka herring is being fished as a co-op this year, Foreign roe technicians can once again get a visa to work the salmon season here, and the sockeye forecast for Upper Cook Inlet appears to be deja vu all over again. All that, and what does it take to not blush when you hear the phrase “fish balls,” coming up on the Alaska Fisheries report. We had help from KCAW's Rachel Waldholz in Sitka, APRN's Liz Ruskin back in D-C, KDLL's Shaylon Cochran in Kenai and KUCB's Lauren Rosenthal in Unalaska.  

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