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KMXT 2015 Bear Crawl Results
 bear_logo.jpg What a day we had at the Bear Crawl. Thanks to all of our sponsors and the volunteers who helped pull this event together. Congratulations to all of the contestants - you were brave, you were fast, you were muddy! You can find all the results here: 2015_bear_crawl_results_corrected
May 26 2015
Kodiak Assembly Asks Navy to Change Exercise Plans
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly has added its voice to those communities, tribes and other organizations opposing summer maneuvers by the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Alaska.
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Before the 4-to-2 vote on Thursday night, the assembly heard a presentation by Emily Stolarcyk of the Eyak Preservation Council in Cordova. She said while it's true naval training the Gulf has happened before, it hasn't happened on this scale:

“They were held off in 2012 and 2013 by NRDC and then it didn't happen in 2014 because of sequestration," she said. "So this is the last year, and so understandably, the Navy would really like to do these trainings.”

Stolarcyk appealed to the assembly's desire to protect fisheries in her argument against the summer training.

“No one is saying 'Don't train.' Everybody understands the need for training. What we're saying is the timing of this training, to have it start June 15th, when we really have millions of salmon migrating through this area to their streams, to their rivers, is really poor timing," Stolarcyk said. "We'd like to actually see it moved to a different time of year that doesn't coincide with any fishign season, and we'd also like to see them moved 200 miles off shore.”

One of the dissenting votes came from Assemblyman Aaron Griffin. At the end of the meeting, Griffin, who served in the Air Force in Alaska, explained his vote:

“We bombed the crap out of Interior Alaska. That was a an environmental impact of that, no doubt. But I wanted my pilots to be ready to rock and roll when Russia decided we were going to be like the Ukraine," Griffin said. "And that is really what the Navy is looking to do. They are preparing for what happens if things don't go so well in the arctic.”

Assemblyman Larry LeDoux also voted against the resolution, which passed 4-to-2. In addition to asking the Navy to postpone its Gulf training until after the middle of September, it asks that the Navy not use live ordinance or sonar in protected marine areas.
May 26 2015
Survival Skills Put to Test in Crab Fest Race
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The 36th Annual Norm Holm Memorial Survival Suit Race drew a half-dozen teams on Saturday. The Crab Fest staple pits the four-member teams in a race down the Saint Paul Harbor ramp, where the they must all don survival suits and then swim to a life raft tied up to A-Float. The clock doesn't stop until the last team member is on board.

Oscar's Dock and the railing above the tidal grid were lined with cheering throngs as the team “Rescue Swimmers” won handily this year. Made up of team members Dave Burns, Jon Kreslee, Keola Marfil and Justin Munk, they clocked a time of only 1-minute 22-seconds. 

Eighteen-seconds behind in second place were the “Wu Tang for Da Children” team of Celest Beck-Goodell, Carl Burnside, Cole Christiansen, and Axl LeVan, who cleared the water in 1-minute 40-seconds. Right behind them in third-place, at 1-minute 48-seconds, was team “Dirty Deeds,” featuring Robert Frets, Elinore Millstein, Chloe Nelson, and Nathan Schauff.

Rounding out the field were the “Fish and Game Flounders,” “The Refugees,” and boosters of “Kodiak High School Soccer.”

We have full results after the jump. 
May 26 2015
Thomet Sets New Marks in Leading Bears to Region III Title
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Rack up another Region III track and field title for the Kodiak High School Bears. Led by distance runner Levi Thomet and thrower Kordell Pillans, the Kodiak boys racked up 154 points to easily outdistance second place, and host, Kenai Central High School.

In his trio of wins, Thomet, a senior, broke Trevor Dunbar's records in the 800-, 1,600-, and 3,200-meter races.

Pillans hurled the 12-pound shot 48-feet 6-inches to capture first place in the shot put by 6-feet 11-inches. Pillans' win in the discus toss was even more impressive, hurling the 1.6-kilo disc 147-feet 9-inches, more than 26-feet farther than second place.

Levi Fried was on the top step of the podium in the 400-meters, narrowly edging out a colony runner by 13-100ths of a second.

Kodiak's 4-by-400 and 4-by-800 relay teams also took gold, and were second in the 4-by-200.

The Kodiak girls were fourth overall, with 75 points. The host Kenai Kardinals took the championship with 153 points. They were led by senior stand-out Allie Ostrander, who swept the 800-, 1,600-, and 3,200-meter distance events.

Lady Bears who had podium finishes include Richelle Walker in second with a 113-foot 6-inch discus throw, Yuri Ahn who was second by just a third of a second in the 300-meter hurdles, and about a second in the 100-meter hurdles. Zoe Bigley was second in the 1,600-meters, and the 4-by-100 relay team, which took third.

The state championships are this weekend at Dimond High School in Anchorage. 
May 26 2015
Crab Fest Food: The Bruin Burger
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
tom_abel_bruin.jpgSno-Bruins volunteer, Tom Abell, recieves customers' orders at Crab Fest 2015. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Crab Fest hit town this weekend, and one of the stars of the festival was the bruin burger.

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On the first day of Crab Fest, there’s a line trailing away from the window of the Kodiak Sno-Bruins food cart. The nonprofit fries up the Kodiak staple every year for the festival.

But what is the Bruin Burger? We asked a few people in line.

“It’s basically a flattened out dough with some burger, cheese, a little egg and oil to hold it all together and then they just deep fry it…”

“Meaty and cheesy…”

“Deliciousness, it’s deep, fat friend amazingness…”

“A hot pocket of friend goodness.”

According to a couple of people in line, it sells out fast.

“'Cause sometimes at the end of the crabfest, it’s almost gone, so everybody’s trying to buy it first day of the crab fest,” says one customer.

“Talked to a few people around here and they said, yeah it sells out within Saturday,” says another patron. “People come and get dozens of them and bring them back to the tribe and everything like that. It’s that amazing. I’ve walked around and everything looks so good, but I’ve always learned follow the line. The one longest line is the best one.”

The bruin burger isn’t just a fried guilty pleasure or fairgrounds treat. It’s also fundraising gold.

Inside the Sno-Bruins food cart, volunteers arrange, fry, and package up bruin burgers. The bruin burgers look like square burritos with the ends tucked under, and they fill the table tops.

22-year club member and volunteer, Tom Abell, stands at the window speaking with customers. He takes a break to explain the origins of the Kodiak Sno-Bruins.

“It started out in 1968 and Karen Sayling who passed away this last month was the person that thought of making the bruin burger, just to raise a few dollars for the club to have a banquet at the end of the year, the snowmobile season and etcetera , and it’s bloomed into the people gotta have their bruin burger every year,” says Abell.
Proceeds go toward the Sno-Bruins’ promotion of winter sports, their safety education efforts, and their donations to local nonprofits. A couple of the young people volunteering in the food truck are from groups like the soccer team and the Kodiak branch of Health Occupations Students of America

One person mans the fryer.

According to Abell, that’s the only treatment the bruin burger gets the day of Crab Fest.

“They cook 1100 pounds of the meat one day, which is secret ingredients, I can’t tell you that – it’s just meat – and then the next two days on Saturday and a Sunday, they roll them up, and they bring them in and defrost them and deep fry them and sell them out the window,” says Abel.

Abell says they sold about 2,500 bruin burgers the first day. According to a for mer Sno-Bruins volunteer who stands in the line outside, buying one is a given.

“It’s one of those things that it’s crab fest, go and get a bruin burger,” he says. “I think it’s kinda ‘when it Rome.’”

Especially if it’s your first visit. It’s a rite of passage.
May 22 2015
Kodiak Unemployment Among Lowest in State
Friday, 22 May 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The state Department of Labor has released its April unemployment figures, and as is usual when fishing picks up, the number of people with jobs has increased.

The department pegs the statewide rate at 6.7 percent, down from 7.5 in March and 7.1 a year earlier. 

Kodiak remains a community with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, at 4.7 percent. That compares to 5.1 in March and 5.5 a year ago.

In hard numbers, 313 Kodiak residents are seeking work, compared to 339 in March. Statewide, 25,319 are unemployed, down nearly two thousand from March.

The highest unemployment rates, in the teens and in one case into the 20s, are limited to villages in wide swaths of bush Alaska. 
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