I can’t tell you how many times I have watched people get teary-eyed and emotional when they talk about leaving Kodiak for good. 

KODIAK — “We all should be like Margaret Hall,” Pat Branson told the crowd attending Margaret’s 100th birthday party Saturday at the Afognak building. Branson, director of the Kodiak Senior Center, worked with Margaret, who was on the board of directors.

Jami Gibson has been on both sides of the mentoring aisle. While an inmate at Hiland Mountain Correctional facility in Eagle River, she was part of the Transformational Living Community where she was mentored by Kristine Gugel, Mentor Net coordinator.

Fisherman Curt Waters seeks to be about his Father God’s business by showing the love of Christ in any way he can. He’ll hand a latte to an unsuspecting person, telling him that God told him to do so. If someone is having a bad day or suffering from a particular ailment, Waters unabashedly p…

KODIAK — Early next month, students and chaperones from Kodiak Island villages will come to town for the very first Regional Learning Academy sponsored by the Kodiak Island Borough School District and Rural Schools and various partners.

On September 8, late in the salmon season, boats gathered near Harvester Island for a solemn occasion. Friends and family of Steve Polson spread his ashes in a place he loved. The ceremony took place after a memorial service at the American Legion.

The flashing Christmas lights on our neighbors’ window frames, roof dormers and fascia seem in place, now that snow is frosting the spruce branches and roof tops on the evening before winter officially begins. The sound of shovels scraping against cement and wood and children gleefully greet…

Churches don’t have a monopoly on gift-giving. There are numerous secular service organizations and individuals with no church affiliation that dig deep into their wallets, pantries, freezers and closets in order to make Christmas brighter for the less fortunate. It’s a generosity that is pe…

KODIAK — Woody Island, a seasonal haven for campers, retreat-goers and land owners, is now a residence for year-long islanders. These new occupants will be happy with a field of grass, a sack of feed, shelter from the storm, and a gentle touch of human kindness from time to time.

KODIAK — With a keen realization that you can’t take life for granted, Donna Bell gratefully counts her blessings this Thanksgiving. She treasures each heartbeat, savors every sunset and seasonal change on the mountains and appreciates all of the organs and limbs of her body, even though the…

KODIAK — Kathrynn Hollis-Buchanan pops up everywhere. She’s at the Kodiak College teaching accounting and helping out at Kodiak Furniture and the Spa, as well as volunteering at KMXT and the Kodiak Christian School. 

KODIAK — For Matthew Van Daele and his wife, Mary Ruskovich, bears have been a significant part of their nine-year marriage. The couple met as students at the University of Idaho (Moscow) on the day that Matt was training bear cubs for a research project. 

Serving inner-kids in Florida, victims of a war in the Congo and the persecuted Christians in Nepal has steeled the faith and softened the heart of Kodiak Assembly of God youth minister Borghy Holm.

KODIAK — Back in the day, Al Burch, Jim Major and Bix Bonney were household names in Kodiak. Al and his brother, Oral, ran the big boats, Dusk and Dawn, and later operated a draggers association. Jim and Bix were cannery operators. Giants of a bygone era.

KODIAK — Jeannine Marsh’s life changed drastically with the death of her adoptive father, Joe Jensen in February. Five days after Joe’s death, Jeannine’s life changed even more. She got a call from Diane Nichols of Nashville, Tennessee, who claimed that the two were half-sisters sharing the …

KODIAK - It didn’t take long for St. Paul Lutheran Church’s new pastor, Rev. Mark Behenna, and his wife, Jessica, to acclimate to Kodiak Island life. In a relatively short time, Mark conducted a funeral service in one of the Island villages, made friends with clergy in the Kodiak Ministerial…

KODIAK — A song plays in the music chambers of my head. I can’t come up with a name or specific lyrics, but it has something to do with the sea. The haunting melody makes one think of that vast, endless body of water that is all too beautiful as the sun sinks into the void, but very lonely a…

KODIAK — In Moscow, a city with a population of some 14 million, Jacob Dunlop found individuals who stood apart from the teeming masses, taking the time to answer his questions, share their mutual thoughts on art and culture and show the American high school student that Russia is not a cold…

KODIAK — A jubilant Pastor Jun Belen and his congregation at Kodiak Filipino Bible Church were overflowing with gratitude to God and His instruments of love and goodwill as they celebrated the 18th anniversary of their church which has found a permanent home on Selief Street.

KODIAK — Absence makes the heart grow fonder and so does time. Ella (Inga) Torgramsen remembers of her childhood in the village of Old Harbor joyfully, in spite of hard work and going without. 

KODIAK — While caring for her ailing husband, Red, Sandra West thought that she would be able to handle his death with faith and stability. But when the inevitable came, things were different. “I had fooled myself, thinking I would be just fine,” said West. “I was very wrong. I did not deal …

KODIAK - President Trump’s slogans have made their way to the Middle East. During the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, visitors Tracy and Pam Hodges saw signs exclaiming “Trump is making Israel great!”

Shrouded in fog and rain, Kodiak was blessed with California “Sonshine” this spring when students of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry of Redding showed up to encourage, evangelize and entertain. In fact, the team of 30 was credited for bringing good weather, too. The skies cleared …

Since the new city library opened five years ago, patrons have seen that a library is much more than a depository for books, CDs, DVDs and periodicals. It is also a combination of a museum, a performing arts center, an art gallery, an internet cafe, an international coffee house, and, for th…

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Crab Festival, folks will undoubtedly remember highlights of festival years: Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Guy Powell, dressed in a neoprene wet suit, pulling up king crab (stored in a submerged pot) to the delight of wide-eyed touri…

St. Herman’s Seminary graduations are a big deal. Some of the finest in Orthodoxy’s Who’s Who are invited as guest speakers: theologians, professors, seminary deans, authors. If the Orthodox Church published its own People Magazine, these speakers would be on the cover.

Beaming with a smile, John Butler looks like the runner who just handed the torch to a younger, more energetic athlete. But John is still in the “race,” with every intention of enjoying the laps even more than he did before.

Kodiak is renowned for its generosity. Whether there’s call to help victims of a fire that destroys a local home or an earthquake in South America, the people of this town lend their support. Much of the hospitality is channeled through the churches. 

Audiences who saw the Kodiak Arts Council production of Mary Poppins felt somewhat like the Banks family as they waved goodbye to the flying nanny. They were sad to see her go but grateful that she had spent a season in their household. 

What would theater be like without them? Those people behind the scenes who prepare the costumes that make Mary Poppins so exquisite, who build the sets that make London look quaint, and engineer the technology that make toys appear life-like?