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It's Throwback Thursday!
profile_pic_copy.jpgIt's here! Our one day only, special edition, membership drive. Join us in celebrating the past of public radio today -- on the air and in the studio! We'll be featuring vintage programming, old school tunes, and live music. Stop by for some food, pledges and photo-fun at any time today.  It'll be especially fun from 6 - 7pm when White Twang will be doing their thing in the studio! Hope you can make it. 
 
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We need phone volunteers to help take pledges on Thursday during our one-day membership drive! Shifts start at 6am and go until 7pm, and are two hours long. If you would like to contribute to public radio in more ways than one this fall, give us a call at 486-3181.

 
Sep 24 2014
Two of Three School Board Candidates Attend Forum
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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    Last night the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce and KMXT sponsored a candidate debate forum for those seeking Kodiak Island Borough Assembly, Board of Education, and Kodiak City Council.
    We’ll hear first from two of the three school board candidates, challenger Duncan Fields and incumbent Katie Oliver. Incumbent Jeff Stewart, who was appointed earlier this year to fill a vacancy, did not attend the forum.
    Fields, a prominent figure in fisheries politics, introduced himself first, giving the reasons he was seeking a school district seat.
    “Frankly, I’m running for the school board because I think the Kodiak School District needs a change in direction," he said. "Perhaps that’s why most of us enter public service. We want tot work towards change. If the status quo was fine, why get involved?”
    He added that he believes dissatisfaction with the school district is as high as he’s seen it in his 50-plus years in Kodiak. He cited the borough’s new website and its vision statements.
    “And these are kind of the organizational documents for an organization or entity. And one of the vision statements is the community will take pride in the Kodiak Island Borough School District," he said. "Currently I have a sense that the district is not doing so well actualizing its belief that the community is an integral part of the school. And I just don’t think the district is doing well of meeting its goal of community pride and community support.”
    Oliver, who also graduated from Kodiak Schools, and has two children in the system now, explained why she is interested in remaining on the school board.
    “I was originally drawn to service on the school board because I believe in the idea that all children have the right to a quality education. And I strongly believe that a strong public education system is the cornerstone of a democratic society," she said. "I know that sounds lofty, and maybe a little aloof, but in the end of the day, that is the essence of it.”
    She said challenge for the school board is to nurture students and make teachers feel valued and respected, given the budget situation.
    “I believe our district is doing a good job the first aspect, which is student achievement, which is the primary focus of the school board. We have high-achieving students, we have diverse and strong programs, and every assessment metric I have seen has kodiak kids outperforming their peers statewide, which is a testament of the quality of our schools and staff," she said. "I think it is also fair to say, that with regard to number two, we are struggling with the need to ensure that teachers are supported and feel valued and respected. I hear that.”
    The candidates also took questions about the school district’s role in shaping programs and in retaining experienced, quality teachers. Oliver cited statistics showing Kodiak’s teacher turnover is just slightly more than the statewide average, while Fields said the “brain drain” is probably the primary reason he decided to run for the school board. We have those full responses and the entire school board forum linked above.

 
Sep 23 2014
Candidates Line Up for Busy Debate Tonight
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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    With two weeks until election day, it will be a full evening of candidate forums tonight, as candidates for school board, city council and borough assembly face off in the borough building.
    All three governing bodies have a much larger candidate pool than in recent years, especially for the assembly. The unpopular “decorum ordinance,” which the assembly recently repealed, has been cited as a reason for so many people throwing their hats into the ring.
    There are five challengers in the assembly race, former school superintendent and Alaska Department of Education director Larry LeDoux, Brenda Schwantes, Dan Rohrer, Rebecca Skinner and Jascha Zbitnoff. They will take on incumbents Dave Kaplan and Tuck Bonney, but not Assemblyman Mell Stephens, who chose not to seek re-election. Three seats are up for grabs this year, and all terms are for three years.
    For the school board, there are three candidates for two open seats. Incumbent Katie Oliver is be joined on the ballot by Jeff Stewart and Duncan Fields. The second open seat was once filled by Todd Haley, who left Kodiak earlier this year.
    There are two challengers for the two incumbents on the city council. Marnie Leist and David Haught are looking to unseat Terry Haines and Randy Bishop.
    There are a number of people running for the various borough service area boards, but they are not part of tonight’s debate.
    The municipal election two weeks from today, on Tuesday, October 7th.
    KMXT will broadcast all three forums live tonight, starting at 6 p.m.
    As a result of tonight’s candidate event, the Kodiak City Council work session has been rescheduled for Thursday, before its regular meeting.

 
Sep 23 2014
Spent Brewery Grains to Farms Protected
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Liz Ruskin/APRN
    Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with beer-makers around the country, is celebrating a recent clarification from the Food and Drug Administration about spent grains, a byproduct of the brewing process.
    Beer-makers often donate their spent grains to farms to use as animal feed.  But proposed changes to the rules for animal feed producers had brewers fearing they were going to face a pile of new red tape.
    Murkowski, who is co-chair of the Senate Brewers Caucus, took up the cause.
    In a sternly worded letter to the FDA in April, she said the rules would destroy the symbiotic relationship between Alaska’s brewers and farmers.
    But the FDA has been saying for months it was all a mistake. The agency says it never meant to apply the animal feed rule to breweries, and that’s now spelled out in the rule.
    Murkowski, in a written statement Monday, said she appreciated the FDA’s new approach. 

 
Sep 23 2014
Bears' Sports Update
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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    The volleyball team placed fifth in the West Anchorage High School “Spiketacular” tournament, which pitted two dozen teams in pool and then bracket play.

    The coach’s kids dominated the 33rd annual Soldotna High School swimming pentathlon. The event is different from most swim meets in that it combines the times from five races — the 100-yard individual medley , the 50-yard butterfly , the 50-yard backstroke, the 50-yard breaststroke and the 50-yard freestyle — and the fastest swimmer through all five races is crowned champion.
    Senior Tahna Lindquist won the girls’ division with a combined time of 2-minutes 57.51 seconds, while her brother, freshman Talon, won the boys’ in 2-minutes 36.59 seconds.
    Tahna was six seconds faster than second place, and Talon was almost six seconds ahead in his competition.
    In the girls’ standings, Kodiak’s Marina Cummiskey and Roslyn Kreigh were 5th and 8th, respectively. The Kodiak girls racked up a total of 47 team points, good for second. Host SoHi won the overall with 54 points. Colony was a distant third with 22.
    On the boys side, the Bears won the team title handily, with 70 points over Colony’s 47 and Soldotna’s 31. Dyton and Nathan Schauff and Blake and Luke James all finished in the top 10.

    On the Baranof Park gridiron, the Bears found the offensive punch they’ve been looking for all season, with a 38-6 win over Barrow, snapping a three-game losing streak. They’re now 2-4 on the season overall.

 
Sep 22 2014
Assembly Finalizes State Project Wishlist
Monday, 22 September 2014

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    At Thursday night’s Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting, the capital improvements list was approved. It’s the borough’s “wish list” for project funding that is sent to the governor and our legislative delegation each year.
    Borough Manager Bud Cassidy informed the assembly of some recent changes to the list:
    “Based on your comments at the last work session, we’ve done a couple of things. You met with both representatives from Senator Steven’s office as well as Representative Austerman, and they suggested a few changes and you agreed. So what we did was eliminated two projects; one was extending public utilities to Swampy Acres, and also elimination of the Antone Larson switchback project. We also moved up to number three, third priority project is the Antone Larson Road extension.”
    That project would take the road out to waters ice-free during the winter to better serve islanders on the West Side.
    The top priority for the assembly was $1.8-million more for the landfill’s expansion, which includes its own wastewater treatment plant.
    Project 2 on the Borough’s list is asking the Governor to include $50-million toward construction of the ferry that will someday replace the Tustumena. Total cost is expected to be $250-million, and the ship is currently in the design phase.
    As Cassidy noted, the Anton Larsen Bay Road extension was moved up to number three, with a request of $6-million.
    A half-million dollars are being sought to study the feasibility, planning and design of providing water and sewer service to the 256 residential parcels in Monashka Bay, which is currently outside the City of Kodiak’s reach.
    Four-million dollars is being requested for road improvements and paving, $180,000 for traffic flow improvements at East Elementary School, and the same amount for parking improvements at Peterson Elementary.
    Though he voted for the list, which passed unanimously, Assemblyman Mel Stephens said juggling priorities year-over-year might not be the best practice.
    “If a project has a certain priority in one year, it’s hard for me to fathom why that priority should change the next year. There’s certainly reasons why that might come about, but what tends to happen is people come in and get behind a particular project and ‘oh, lets move this up one and let’s move this other one down one.’ I don’t really know if that’s the most effective way to present our CIP list.”
    He also asked that more complete back up documentation be provided in future CIP lists.

 
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