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Kodiak ( ) is one of 6 communities and the main city on Kodiak Islandmarker in Kodiak Island Boroughmarker in the U.S. state of Alaskamarker. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was estimated at 6,228 in 2008.

Originally inhabited by Alutiiq natives for over 7000 years, the city was settled in the 1700s by Russian immigrants and became the capital of Russian Alaska. Harvesting of the area's sea otter pelts led to the near extinction of the animal in the following century and led to wars with and enslavement of the natives for over 150 years. As part of the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to this day. A Lesser economic influence includes tourism mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, Halibut, the unique Kodiak Bear, elk, Sitka deer, mountain goats invite hunting tourists as well as fishermen. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a web site to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area. The city has four public elementary schools, a middle and high school as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. An antenna farm at the summit of Pillar Mountain above the city historically provided communication with the outside world before fiber optic cable was run. Transportation to and from the island is provided by ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway as well as local commercial airlines.

History

Street of Kodiak in 1965


The Kodiak Archipelago has been home to native cultures for over 7000 years. In their language, "Kadiak" means island. The descendents of these peoples still occupy the island and are considered Alutiq, a term used to describe both their language and culture. In 1763, the Russian explorer Stephan Glotov discovered the island followed by the English Captain Cook fifteen years later who first penned "Kodiak" in his journals in 1778. The Russian fur trapper Alexander Baranov established a settlement and built a warehouse on what is now the city of Kodiak in order to harvest the area's vast population of sea otters for their prized pelts. The warehouse still stands as the Baranov Museum. Because the First Native cultures revered this animal and would never harm it, wars with and enslavement of the Aleuts occurred during this era. Eastern Orthodox missionaries settled on the island by the end of the 1700s continuing European settlement of the island which eventually became the capital of Russian Alaska. The Russian-American Company was established as a partnership between the two countries in the following century to continue the sea otter harvest. By the mid 1800's, the sea otter was almost extinct and 85% of the First Native population had disappeared from violence and exposure to European diseases. When Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a center for commercial fishing and canneries dotted the island in the early 1900s until global farm-raised salmon eliminated these businesses. New processing centers emerged and the industry continues to evolve even today. During the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, animals such as the mountain goat, Sitka deer, rabbits, muskrats, beavers, squirrels and others were introduced to the island and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refugemarker was created.
As Kodiak was incorporated in 1941, the US feared attack from Japanese during WWII and turned the town into a fortress. Roads, the airport, Fort Abercrombie (now a park), and gun fortifications improved the island's infrastructure. When Alaska became a state in 1959, government assistance in housing, transportation, and education added additional benefits. A tectonic tsunami struck the city in March 1964 with waves that killed 15 people and caused $11 million in damages. It also wiped out the neighboring Eskimo villages of Old Harbor and Kaguyak. The Standard Oil Company, the Alaskan King Crab Company and much of the fishing fleet were also destroyed.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Because Kodiak is an important environmental asset which affects the fishing industry, particularly salmon fishing, and because the island is coveted by hunters worldwide for its unique Kodiak bear and other game animals, there are strict laws governing fishing and hunting activities as well as hiking near spawning streams. Both the Department and the city maintain websites and publish helpful brochures to help communicate these strictly enforced laws. All of the city's hotels and businesses have these materials in prominent areas for guests and licenses can be purchases in the city's main sporting goods store as well as online.

Demographics

Kodiak Harbor after a storm in July 2009


As of the census of 2000, there were 6,324 people, 1,996 households, and 1,361 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,832.7 people per square mile (706.8/km²). There were 2,255 housing units at an average density of 652.5/sq mi (251.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.40% White, 0.69% Black or African Americans, 29.1% Native American, 31.73% Asian, 0.93% Pacific Islander, 4.36% from other races, and 5.42% from two or more races. 8.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Transportation

Kodiak's airport attracts both local and regional airlines, air taxis, and charter floatplanes and helicopters which provide transportation to residents and tourists on and off the island. The Alaskan Marine Highway provides further transportation via a ferry called the M/V Tustumena. The ship can carry a capacity of 210 people and services between Kodiak, Homer and Seward Alaska. Floatplane and bushplane companies regularly take tourists to remote areas and wilderness lodges both on the various islands of the Kodiak Archipelago and the Katmai coast for bear viewing, hunting and hikes. The city business community also has a fleet of privately owned taxis as well as kayaks, mountain bikes and ATV's for rent.



Community events

A sculpture in the city's tiny shopping district was donated by the Kodiak Crab Festival


The City of Kodiak is home to a number of annual events that draw locals and people from off-island. The most well-known of these is Kodiak Crab Festival. Organized by the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce the event takes place over Memorial Day weekend. It includes a county fair-style main event, with carnival rides, food and game booths, and group activities. In addition, a number of events are organized over the three-day weekend that include a kayak race, a marathon, an ultra-marathon, a mountain run called the Pillar Mountain Run and others.

Education

The city has four public elementary schools, one middle school and one high school as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. Within the public school district, there are eight rural schools.Kodiak Bear sports have a long tradition dating back into the 60's when Joe Floyd was successful in coordinating high school athletics as well as intramural sports. He was a coach for several sports as well as an athletic director for several years. There have been an total of eight ASAA affiliated State Championships in the variety of 2 Boys Track, 1 Girls X-Country, 1 Girls Basketball, 1 Boys Basketball, 1 Boys Baseball, and most recently a string of three consecutive titles in the Boys Cross Country teams (2006-08). The boys cross country team led by Trevor Dunbar 3 time state champion and now running for the Portland State on a full ride. Kristy Klinnert was the Alaska State Cross-Country Running Champion from 1983-1987. She set and still holds the State record in the 3200. For two years in a row, she won the State Championship in the mile and 3200. In 1986, Kristi was named the Alaska Sports Person of the Year.Kodiak is also home to Saint Herman's Orthodox Theological Seminary, a theological school founded in 1972 under the auspices of the Orthodox Church in America. Students from villages all over southern and southwestern Alaska study at St. Herman's in order to become readers or clergy in the Orthodox Church.

Media

KUBD-LP (TV Channel 11), the local CBS and ION affiliate.

KMXT-LP (TV Channel 9), AlaskaOne

KMXT (100.1 FM) the community public radio station

Kodiak Daily Mirror (Monday through Friday newspaper)

Military installations

The United States Navy operates a small training base near the city called Naval Special Warfare Cold Weather Detachment Kodiak which trains United States Navy SEALs in cold weather survival and advanced tactics.

The U.S. Coast Guard has a major presence in Kodiak, Alaska.

  • USCG AIR STATION KODIAK


  • USCGC ALEX HALEY (WMEC 39)


  • USCGC SPAR (WLB 206)


  • USCGC MUNRO (WHEC 724)


  • AIDS TO NAVIGATION TEAM KODIAK


  • COMMUNICATION STATION KODIAK


  • NORTH PACIFIC REGIONAL TRAINING CENTER (NPRTC)


  • MARINE SAFETY DETACHMENT KODIAK


  • NAVAL ENGINEERING SUPPORT UNIT (NESU) DETACHMENT KODIAK


  • ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS SUPPORT UNIT KODIAK (ESU)


  • LORAN STATION KODIAK


References

External links



FOX News http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,347911,00.html?admin=1


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