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The LegHead Report

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

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Valentine's for KWRCC


 When you go shopping this week you can help the women and children at the Kodiak Women's Resource & Crisis Center. KWRCC has a long wish list of items that would help their families in crisis. You can help by purchasing one or more of the items and dropping them off at KMXT, 620 Egan Way by 5pm on Friday - we'll make sure everything gets to the KWRCC for Valentine's Day. Find a copy of the list here:  kwrcc_wish_list_jan_2016 

Dec 17 2015
KPD Releases Information About the Investigator on the Pletnikoff Case
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Police Department issued a press release Tuesday afternoon which it wrote was prompted by questions it received from the Kodiak Daily Mirror in November. The press release provided further background information on the investigator the KPD hired to examine the case of Nick Pletnikoff, a young autistic man who was pepper sprayed during an encounter with police officers almost three months ago.

The press release details the experience of the investigator, Greg Russell, and describes Russell’s existing professional relationship with a KPD employee prior to the beginning of the investigation. According to the release, KPD Lieutenant Ray Ellis conducted background checks for Russell on police officer candidates located off-island. The city has removed Ellis from any contact with the investigation in order to avoid the appearance of “impropriety,” although the press release says Russell claims no conflict of interest and Ellis was the officer in charge of KPD on the day of the incident involving Pletnikoff, not a responding officer.

The press release also says the city expects Russell to complete the investigation in the next few weeks.
Dec 17 2015
Kodiak Electric Association Opens New Headquarters
Thursday, 17 December 2015
kea_building.jpgThe new Kodiak Electric Association headquarters on Mill Bay Road. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Electric Association recently completed its new building, which was designed by ECI / Hyer
Architecture. Construction began in June 2014 and staff starting working there in October.

KEA is responsible for Kodiak’s electric grid, which runs mostly off of hydro and wind power, and so its new headquarters is shaped with the same “green” mentality.

2.1 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

KEA’s new headquarters on Mill Bay Road is minimalist and streamlined, with lots of large spaces and fresh, white surfaces. Executive Assistant Katrina Refior first leads me into several meeting rooms on the first floor.

There are distinguished-looking chairs pushed in around a table and the room boasts big windows to let in the light and heat, but it’s the 90-inch TV that impresses me the most.

Downstairs, we enter through the work area where the operations crew begins the day, and we pass an entire wall of whiteboard to get to the engineering room. Inside, system engineer Colin Young explains that the long machine on one table is a plotter that can print gigantic maps, and then he points out a computer monitor in one corner where we can see wind turbines functioning in real-time.

“So, like, all these squiggly lines. This our frequency. You can see we’re peaking out here. The green lines are fly wheels.”

“So what does that mean? How fast it’s spinning?” I ask.

“How much power it’s putting out, and then the frequency tells us a lot about the health of our system.”

We drop by a kitchen with a stove, two microwaves and two fridges, enough for the roughly thirty staff members in the building and those with shifts that stretch through the night.

There’s also a mud room with a huge shower for when workers return from dirty jobs, like installing utility poles in hard-to reach locations.  

“So, when our guys come in, they’re working in rain and snow and mud and lots of good ol’ Kodiak conditions, they can come in here, wash down their equipment so they don’t track everything everywhere.”

And Refior says the building’s design is sustainable.

 “Like, LED lights that are going to last a long time, twenty years at least I think, and in-floor heat – it’s always better - a heat pump, rather than using heating oil.”

You can check out all these features at KEA’s open house Friday. Drop by 1614 Mill Bay Road between 3 and 6 p.m. for tours, and cookies from Java Flats.
Dec 17 2015
Alaska Fisheries Report 17 December
Thursday, 17 December 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Coming up this week, there's controversy over releasing hatchery chums in Southeast, the Kodiak Maritime Museum starts the groundwork – literally – on its new display, and the lamprey fishery on the Yukon is a nice payday before the holidays. All that, and the dangers of fishing with explosives, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KIYU's Tim Bodony in Galena, KCAW's Robert Woolsey in Sitka, and KFSK's Angela Denning in Petersburg. 

Dec 16 2015
Bayside Fire Station Gets New Chief
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
rue_picture.jpgHoward Rue. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

After much deliberation, the Bayside Fire Station has found a replacement for the former fire chief, who left in December of 2014. Howard Rue relocated from a suburb in Chicago to lead the Bayside volunteer firefighters, and he moved onto the island last week. Rue says he’s been a paid on-call fireman for 45 years. When he first tried to get into the business of fire fighting in the late 60s, he says he faced some obstacles from the system.

“I’m 5’7, I’m about 5’6 after shrinking a little bit, but when I wanted to get in the first service, there was still a height requirement and coming from the east coast, I didn’t meet the height requirement, so I just stayed being a volunteer fireman and paid on-call fireman, and just enjoyed it and stayed in that.”

He says in addition to being a fireman, he’s also been an industry employee.

“My real job has been working for Koppers Chemical in several locations throughout the country and world where I was fire chief of a couple of their chemical plants. After I retired from coppers, I was a loss control inspector for an insurance company in Chicago, where I was for eleven years.”   
He says volunteer firefighters need to be especially flexible and perform all kinds of roles.

 “One call you may be a driver, the next call you may be sitting in the seat being the first in, so it’s a bit little more of a challenge, where people really have to train and pay attention to detail so that nobody gets hurts, which is my number one thing is safety and training. So, it’s just a little bit more spread out and [they] have to be a little bit more adaptable and know their jobs well.”

He says volunteers receive a small stipend, and he’d be happy to help them transition to paid positions elsewhere, but he says every firefighter has their own reason for getting involved.

“Wanting to help people, wanting to do EMS, wanting to do firefighting, wanting to do training. As I said, there’s many different facets that people can get into and I want to offer those. I can’t speak for any individual. I liked it when I started out when I was 18. I liked the machinery, I liked the equipment, I liked the trucks and the sirens and that kind of thing.”

Rue says he needs to make sure that the time volunteers put in is valuable for them.

“As the chief of Bayside, I’m competing with a lot of things, I’m competing for members with their families, their free time, their jobs, so I have to make Bayside a place where people want to come and want to join and be a part of, and that’s my biggest goal right now is to get people involved with Bayside.”

Rue says he hopes to make the station a proactive presence in the community and imagines hosting a pancake breakfast or fish-fry sometime in the future. He invites anyone who would like to visit him and the station to stop by for a cup of coffee and a tour.
Dec 16 2015
Island Trails Network Installs Trail Signs Around Kodiak
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A trail sign could be the difference between a planned two hour walk and a surprise, six hour hike. One nonprofit is busy providing helpful signs to keep hikers oriented and on the right path.

Island Trails Network executive director Andy Shroeder (shroh-dir) says the group won a grant of about $22,000 through the State of Alaska’s Recreational Trails Program in 2014 and just began working on the signage project this year.

He says the grant has two purposes.

“One is to create and build capacity at Island Trials Network to produce signs locally and on demand to meet the needs of the trail user community and the land agencies that manage those trails. And the other purpose and outcome of the grant is to provide a demonstration project of a 100 signs.”

Shroeder says Island Trails Network has been working on setting up those signs for the last six months and has installed them at various locations including Russian Ridge and Jack and Lee Lakes in the Womens Bay area.

He says to produce the signs, Island Trails Network volunteers use a machine to carve into pieces of wood.

“Saint Innocent’s Academy loaned us a little work space in one of their garages where we have a CNC router which is really the piece of equipment that was purchased by the grant. It’s machine controlled, so we design these sign boards in the software, and the computer talks directly to the router and, just like a printer, out comes a sign with the letters and even images and logos and things engraved in it.”
He says they coat the engraved letters and logos with black paint.

After the grant ends this month, Shroeder says Island Trails Network will apply for more funding under the same program. He says they may work out a nominal amount to charge for the signs and will continue to seek donations of wood. He says they’re also training board members and interested volunteers in how to build, paint, and install the signs.
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