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

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May 20 2015
Vessel Safety Checks and Survival Suit Racing Raises Boat Safety Awareness
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
nicole_boat_safety_check.jpgVessel examiner Nicole Clark doing a safety check with boat owner, Stormy Stutes. Photo by Drew Herman

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when taking your vessel out into Kodiak waters, it’s safety.

This week, the Coast Guard in Kodiak is trying to raise awareness for National Safe Boating Week 2015. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the volunteer branch of the coast guard, will offer several different opportunities this weekend, including free Recreational Vessel Safety Checks.

Flotilla vice commander Eduardo Vitorino says it’s a voluntary exam and your results are your own.

“It doesn’t get sent up to anywhere and they’re not gonna give you a ticket," says Vitorino. "All it is is just for you to take that paper and read it, and be like ‘alright, well, I guess I need to get a fire extinguisher.’ You look at the checklist, you go get your fire extinguisher, put it on the boat, and if there’s nothing else, give us a call back, we’ll come back, and do another one and give you a copy of your passing and give you a sticker.”

In other words, there are no consequences except for the ones you’ll face out at sea if you don't have a fire extinguisher or the other items Vitorino says are required by federal guidelines.

“There’s flairs, your nav, have your type 4 life jacket – or throwable as we call it – it can be a ring buoy or it can be the square one, seat cushion type that’s on your boat," says Vitorino. "And then the number of life jackets that’s required to be on the boat depends on how many people you’re taking out.”

Vessel examiners will be in uniform at both St. Herman and St. Paul harbor this Saturday roughly between 11 and 2 p.m. They’ll be available for questions and safety exam requests and say they also accept appointments.

Auxiliary volunteer and vessel examiner Nicole Clark says the Norm Holm Memorial Survival Suit Race will also take place Saturday. Team members will meet at the St. Paul Harbor launch ramp and Clark says racers swim about fifty feet to a raft wearing survival suits over their clothes.

Vitorino and Clark say the key is teamwork and you need to get all your team members onto the raft to be successful.

“You run down to the dock, you put your survival suit on first, then check your buddys’, make sure that they’re good to go, and then jump in the water, and figure out or coordinate a way to get your team out to the raft," says Vitorino.

"The hardest part of the race is getting up onto that life raft at the end," adds Clark. "‘Cause you’re tired from swimming and you’re heavy from being wet. It’s kind of a fun version of what you would be doing in a survival situation.”
Vitorino and Clark say the race begins at 1 p.m. and observers are welcome. If you’re a participant, they suggest you bring a towel in case you get wet.

To make a boat safety check appointment, you can contact vessel examination coordinator, Alan Morris, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or (907) 942 7132. You can also find out more about federal guidelines here.
May 19 2015
Talk of the Rock: Crab Fest
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
10.8 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Today on Talk of the Rock, Host Kayla Desroches talks with Stephanie DeLaGarza about Crab Fest. DeLaGarza works with the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce and has been integral in organizing the famous Kodiak festival. They'll chat about rides, food, and the list of activities on the schedule.
May 18 2015
The Spit is Ready to Go for Crab Fest
Monday, 18 May 2015
trident_construction.jpgA picture of Trident's construction next to the Spit. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

With Crab Fest fast approaching, vendors and rides will need all the space they can get by St. Paul Harbor – not only for themselves, but for the people who’ll line up at the booths.

Part of preparing for Crab Fest means clearing the Spit to make room.  

Public Works Director, Mark Kozak, says Trident Seafoods is busy building a processing plant in the location of the old Alaska Fresh Seafoods building next to the Spit, but confirmed Monday that construction won’t get in the way of festivities.

“Right now it looks like everything is supposed to be cleared by the end of the day,” says Kozak.” And, so we are anticipating that won’t be a problem. Most of it’s been cleared off, just a few vehicles left to move, and then we’re gonna do a final clean-up early tomorrow morning and it should be ready to go for the festival.”

Executive Director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, Trevor Brown, says a section of the land will be fenced off, but says it’s justified since it’s part of Trident’s investment in the community itself.

“The fenced area is I believe about a 300 foot by 40 foot section and that section had to be dug up to replace the city water and sewer and Trident basically paid for that out of their own pocket to replace thatm," says Brown. "So, we’re losing a little bit on the Spit. I think we can get most of that out of the way anyway, for what’s coming.”

Brown says there’ll be rides in the Spit.

“Tons of Fun will be out there will thirteen of their inflatables and we also have the ejection seat which will start going up today. That shoots you up in the air quite a ways.”
You can try those rides and some of the edible offerings at Crab Fest beginning Thursday and continuing until Monday, May 25. To read more about the schedule and activities, check out the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce website.
May 18 2015
Comment Collection: Jackson Park Statements at Borough Assembly Meeting
Monday, 18 May 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT
Thursday night, Jackson Mobile Home Park residents filled the Borough Assembly work session. Many say they just found out the park would be closing. Here are some of the comments from citizens who stepped up to speak.

2.86 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

“I went to the mailboxes the other day to check my mail and I counted every single mail box that there was. There’s 113 mailboxes. If each trailer only has one person residing in it, there are 113 people that are now replaced. We have no place to go.”


“We don’t find out this matter to yesterday in the newspaper, we have 360 days to move it out. How can we move it? How can we afford to move that? I hope with your help, you’ll step in if possible.”


“Basically I’m gonna be homeless in a year. I’m gonna rip everything I can salvage out of my trailer, load it in the back of my truck and, I don’t know, go out to Gibson Cove and put up a shack. Because there are houses to rent, 1,500 dollars a month. I mean, a lot of people can’t afford that.”


“What concerned me is I read the list that the buyer said the reason why he was not keeping it a trailer park. Every item on there is a result of mismanagement. It has nothing to do with the hard-working owners of that trailer park – the ones of us that pay our rent when it’s due, those of us that are decent citizens and don’t do drugs and throw garbage out in our yard. That try to be good neighbors to each other. We’re the ones being punished for all those years of mismanagement that they say they can’t afford to keep it a trailer park.”


“You’re talking about whole units of families. Where are they gonna go? It’s gonna land on the borough and it’s gonna land on the city. Brother Francis Shelter has no room. The Salvation Army has already too many people. They can’t help any more people.  What is the city and borough going to do?”


“I just want to voice my opinion in asking you guys for help, whatever it is that you guys can do because of the fact that our community - I love Kodiak with my heart. It’s an awesome community. And I just don’t want to walk around and see all of these faces, all of these people and their mothers and fathers and kids being homeless. Jobs here are already hard to find. And homes, to add onto that, homes. That’s insane.”


“You know unless we can figure something out and maybe open up a piece of land and put the trailers that the homeowners have and take it from there and make a profit off of that and we can keep it clean. Because I don’t even see the State Troopers making local runs through there. Regular runs. That’s why it got so infested, because they weren’t patrolling frequently, and that’s their jurisdiction and the only time they come is when they get a call and they come two or three at a pop, and you don’t see them for two or three weeks as far as I know. And there’s a lot of good families and a lot of good people that are living there.”

May 18 2015
At Change of Command Ceremony, Coast Guard Cutter Munro Gets New Commanding Officer
Monday, 18 May 2015
munro_cutter_photo.jpg Munro docked at base. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A Change of Command Ceremony took place at the Coast Guard base Friday as one captain handed responsibility of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro to his successor. According to Vice Admiral Charles Ray, who spoke at the proceedings, the ceremony is a long-standing tradition in the transfer of leadership.
“And the reason leadership is so important especially, probably no more so than in our coast guard than right here in this area, when you are leading a crew of folks alone and unafraid in the Bering Sea or in the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean where there is no help but what you have on your ship, it is leadership that will make the difference and carry the day,” says Ray.

During the event, Captain Jeff Thomas passed his command of the Munro to Captain Sam Jordan. Both men’s families were present as were the members of the crew, who stood at either side of the room in the base’s Golden Anchor building.

Captain Thomas addressed members of the crew in his speech and later said leaving Munro was bittersweet. He says he spent two years on board the Munro and that it takes around 6 to 8 months to win over a crew.

“You have to be able to articulate your vision and make that part of what they believe and they see the importance of why we’re trying to go a certain way,” says Thomas. “And then you sometimes have some people who don’t want to go along - I guess is the best words - and until you can win their hearts and minds and show them the value of what’s in it for them, what’s in it for the ship, what’s in it for the nation, then it makes it a whole lot easier.”

New Munro commanding officer, Captain Jordan, says the ship is his fourth command and says he’s excited about his new position.
“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to since I left Kodiak in 2010 after working at the base for three years, so I knew what I was getting into,”  says Jordan. “It was where I wanted to go. I was actually on the pier in 2007 when Munro moved up here from Alameda and I can remember standing there going “You know, I would like to be the captain of that ship someday.”

As for Captain Thomas, he says he’s heading to a district staff level position where he’ll be championing six operational commanders and making sure they have the resources they need. He says he’s previously only worked in headquarters level staff, and so it’ll be a new experience. He also says the position will bring him closer to his family in Virginia.
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