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 After last week’s column about snow mold, followed by a stretch of pleasant weather, I decided it was time to cover a few Q&As. (I’m writing this from a safe distance, of course).

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Psalm 4:1-8 (NKJV) — “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? Selah But know that the Lord …

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There is a great white shark in the fish tank with me. Well, not really, but this is the best metaphor I could come up with trying to translate the old saying “there is an elephant in the room” into a marine theme.

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A few days ago, I took a walk around the garden. The sun felt warm and nourishing. As I pulled a weed next to a tired spinach plant, I glanced down at the ground and spotted a purple crocus. Yawning in the sunlight, it was a beautiful sight, in spite of the company it kept (twisted blades of…

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Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this …

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One-hundred-two years ago, a strain of influenza virus spread across the globe, eventually reaching Brevig Mission in Alaska. Five days after the flu hit the Seward Peninsula, 72 of the 80 villagers in Brevig Mission were dead.

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Psalm 40:1-3 — “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lo…

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Last night I went out for a drink with a couple of friends. As we arrived, the band was just leaving after playing for an empty room all evening and we had our choice of, well, all of the tables.

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Spring is near, but Old Man Winter might have other ideas. So when the weather outside is frightful, it may be time to consider exercise options. That is, head to the gym, the pickleball court, a Pilates class, chair yoga or any number of fitness zones around Kodiak.

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Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV) — “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spi…

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On the cusp of Interior Alaska’s springtime, Melinda Webster will not experience it this year. She’ll miss most of summer, too. Webster will soon head north of Earth’s land masses, to spend the next half year cradled in ice.

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The World Health Oganization has declared the coronavirus outbreak an international emergency. On a local level, the threat of the virus has altered our lives. It has made us more aware of hygiene, has limited our visits to crowded events and has changed the way we greet each other.

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March has come in like a lion but we will get out all of our green and wear it on Tuesday, March 17, for the Senior Center’s St. Patrick’s day luncheon. On the menu will be corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and carrots, and berry shortcake. Come to the center that day to enjoy a great lunch …

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The Marten was an 82-foot wooden power scow rigged for crab, a twin-shafted boat with a white wheelhouse on the stern of a white hull. A Kodiak fisherman named Jim Fisk had owned and skippered her for years, but in February 1975 he had Jeff Alexander, 21, running the boat with three men on d…

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Last week I introduced the Big Three — nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) — as part of our crash course in fertilizers. Today we’ll cover the secondary elements: calcium, magnesium and sulfur, plus the rest of the supporting cast.

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Alaska shellfish farmers and divers fear they won’t be “open for business” much longer if they’re forced to pick up the tab for federally required lab tests as outlined in Governor Dunleavy’s budget.

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Nate Becker lives with his family on a quiet stretch of the Yukon River as it flows into Alaska. On a recent ski trip, I visited the Beckers’ home along with two geologist friends. Nate had a question for them.

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Acts 15:16-17 — “After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord,…

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Today, I was woken up by the sounds of playing children. There is a lot of shouting and screaming involved, a lot of stomping of running feet, doors opening and slamming shut, and a lot of energy. As the kids were outside in the snow, I spent some time watching as they were totally engulfed …

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Seafood coming from and going to China is piling up in freezer vans and cold storages indefinitely as the coronavirus continues to cause commerce chaos around the world. 

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I adjusted my goggles over my eyes and hair and started doing laps in the pool at Furnace Creek in Death Valley. The pool is fed by a natural, underground spring, and manages to stay at a cozy 85 degrees, which is pretty refreshing considering the average high temperatures in the area can re…

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Jeremiah 31:33-34 — “‘This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds     and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or a man his br…

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While skiing with two friends on the frozen Yukon River a few weeks ago, I visited the eight people who live between the towns of Eagle and Circle, which are 160 river miles apart.

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We just skied 100 miles of the frozen Yukon River, two friends and I, until it got too cold for our skis to glide, and we flew back to Fairbanks on a plane that landed on both skis and wheels.

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Psalm 91:1-4 — “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely, he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with …

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I consider myself an environmentalist. I have heard a lot of sneers and jokes about those “tree-huggers” and “animal lovers” who would rather save a bird than eat, rather look at a bunny in the forest than have a road built there to go faster to the next place of interest, rather have a fiel…

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February is a lot of things. There’s President’s Day and Black History Month and National Cherry Month. Oh, and it’s time to start tomato seeds.

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Lost in the headlines about the hits to seafood sales from the Trump Administration’s trade war with China is another international barrier with Russia that’s been going on far longer.

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Aromatherapist and owner of Kodiak-based Emerald Isle Essentials breaks down the dos and don’ts of essential oils, which have gained popularity in recent years for their healing properties. 

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During these endless days of snow, it is tempting to daydream about the warm summer that lured many Kodiakans into the mountains just a few months ago. During the Adjust Your Altitude Challenge organized by Discover Kodiak, hundreds of islanders climbed seven peaks and enjoyed warm weather, …

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While buying healthy food on an island like Kodiak is often more expensive than in other places, two locally based experts offered simple advice for living a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank. 

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Some Kodiak residents may be waiting for warmer weather and thawed roads to hop back on their bikes, but according to a local cycling guru, Kodiak offers excellent riding year round. 

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1Thessalonians 4:13-18 — “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According t…

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February is here and we’re one month closer to the gardening season. What’s the best way to get through the last vestiges of winter? How about starting seeds indoors? What kind of seeds you ask? Well, it’s time to start plants like celery and lobelia, but I’m thinking bright and cheery here:…

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Psalm 71:5-9 (NIV) — “For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, dec…

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Today, I am celebrating writing my 250th article for the Kodiak Daily Mirror. I started these contributions in 2008 with my first article titled “Mother and Father in one,” talking about shrimp. In the same year I also started the Kodiak Ocean Science Discovery Program to connect students an…

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I shared this story years ago because it helped introduce a topic that confuses many people: Seed starting. And since we are approaching that time of year, I’d like to share it here. If anything, to lift us out of a winter slump by thinking about green, growing things.

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Matthew 25:34-40 — “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,…