Petition to Repeal Boro Ordinance Denied

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
A referendum to repeal an ordinance passed by the Kodiak Borough Assembly earlier this month will not make it on the October municipal election ballot.
A letter to the repeal’s backers from Borough Clerk Nova Javier said the petition application was rejected by the borough’s attorney because needed paperwork was not provided and the ordinance itself isn’t actually subject to referendum. Continue reading

Talk of the Rock: Adventure Writer Daniel Fox

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Last week KMXT told you about California-based writer, explorer and Wilderness Systems sponsored kayaker Daniel Fox, who spent six weeks kayaking around the Kodiak Archipelago. Today on Talk of the Rock, we’ll hear the full conversation with Fox, including a discussion about his website, the Wild Image Project and his Minute of Nature video series.
Fox’s work focuses on inspiring connections with nature using images, video and written narratives, and he said Kodiak provided ample material in all those.

Lipka Joins Baranov Museum

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
The Baranov Museum has welcomed a new face to its staff these days. Last week Jill Lipka began work as the new curator of education, replacing Sarah Harrington, who left the museum earlier this month. Lipka comes from an extensive background in museums and art, including five years with the Alutiiq Museum and most recently an art administrator for the Kodiak Island Borough School District.
Lipka said she’s grateful to have an opportunity to work for the Baranov, and is finding constant inspiration by everything in the museum, which is located in the historic Erskine House.
“I cannot tell you how excited I am. Everything I look at is a brand new story that I can take and put into an outreach program. This is my passion – combining objects and stories and just sharing to anybody who’s willing to listen.”
Lipka said she hopes to continue a number of arts education programs started by past museum curators, but has been talking with Museum Director Tiffany Brunson about other outreach opportunities to get the community involved with Kodiak’s history – or even just their own history. Continue reading

Car Seat Safety Checks Offered This Weekend

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children, and Alaska has a higher percentage of car seat and booster seat misuse than the national average.
“The national average is about 85 percent. In Alaska, statistically, we see a misuse rate of anywhere from 88 to 94 percent.”
That’s Sara Penisten, a registered nurse and state coordinator for Safe Kids Alaska – an organization aimed at preventing childhood injury in a number of ways, including properly installed car seats and booster seats.
Penisten said Safe Kids Alaska sent three instructors to Kodiak a few years ago to train and certify people to be child passenger safety technicians. The national certification is good for two years, and allows certified technicians to be a community resource and help properly install, inspect and adjust car seats and booster seats. This weekend two instructors will return to the island to provide additional education to technicians and offer a free seat checkup event. Continue reading

Council Advances City Management Expansion

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
At last night’s Kodiak City Council meeting, an ordinance approving the hire of an assistant city manager was moved forward. Aimee Kniaziowski explained why she needs help in the city manager’s office.
“I certainly support this. We’re certainly a large enough community as I mentioned on Tuesday. What this will allow is more work to be done and I can move from daily triage to actually getting some of these key things done,” she said.
She said the new position would be assigned to perform human resources and risk management duties, as well as oversee other projects for the city.
The motion, which would change city code to create the position of assistant manager, passed on a 4-to-0 vote, with Councilmen Gabe Saravia and Randy Bishop absent.
The pay range for an assistant city manager would fall between about $87,000 and $131,000. Earlier in the meeting citizen Betty MacTavish said creating another high-level position within the city is not a wise move fiscally.
“That definitely would not reduce costs of running the city, but increase them,” she said. “We have businesses closing all the time in our city. I just looked online and there’s 45 homes for sale. This does not look like an active, vibrant city to me. So we need to be really good stewards of the citizens’ money.”
The ordinance will next come back before the council for a public hearing and a final vote at the next regular meeting, scheduled for August 28th.

Community Needed In Garden Building

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Kodiak’s first community garden is quickly becoming a reality, but it will take volunteers from the community to make it happen. Dave Kaplan is a project coordinator for the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District, the organization behind the community garden project. Kaplan said the borough and city have provided land for the garden, which is located on Larch Street, behind the boulders across from the small park. He said Kodiak Soil and Water have purchased the lumber, hardware and liners needed to build 24 raised beds in that area.
“And on August 2 we’re asking that we have a little community effort – anybody who wants to volunteer, so we can construct the beds, the raised beds, and get this thing rolling.” Continue reading