In my 12-plus years at the Kodiak Daily Mirror, the word that I have typed the most: Bears. 

Over the past few weeks, the word “Bear” has appeared more on Kodiak social media sites then on the KDM sports pages.

It’s a bear-pocalypse.

If you haven’t noticed, and I’m not sure how you haven’t, bears have invaded the town. Our behemoth four-legged pals are not making a lot of friends as they trounce from house to house looking for table scraps. It’s hard to tell if it is just one extremely active bear or a sleuth of them.

These entries were all posted on Friends — Bears — of Kodiak on Tuesday:

“Bear alert! Between the high school and Near Island Bridge on Rezanof … got into my garbage and my neighbors closest to the bridge! Be bear aware!”

“Bear @ main post office … beware”

“Bear outside by the track right now, be safe neighbors.” 

“A bear just knocked out our dumpster at the Seaview Apartments … we can’t see the bear, but we can hear it.”

“Bear on Willow/Thorsheim. Just went in my parents’ driveway towards the back of their house.” 

“Bear in basketball court at park off Mission Rd and Father Herman@11:25 pm,”  

“Watch for bear on mission … went to take my trash out and we scared the (emojicon) out of each other, holy cow they are everywhere!”

It’s just a matter of time before a bear walks up to the McDonald’s drive-thru window, while dribbling a basketball, and orders a Big Mac and a shake.  

Things took a turn for the worse on Wednesday when this post appeared on Friends of Kodiak: “Aggressive bear attacked our dog on Spruce Cape Road near Benny Benson.”

As a dog owner of two, I can only imagine. Gizmo and Pepper Jack send their condolences to the injured pooch. 

Even more sadness — sorry to gloom up your Thursday —  The Clarkston Zoo lost a critter on Tuesday. 

Valentino — one of our three ferrets — joined her brother, Edgar, in our pet cemetery. The mom of the house found the little one lifeless in her cage mansion after I went to bed.

Unlike Edgar, who struggled in the later stages of his life, Valentino’s passing was unexpected. She was old, but still moving around the house like a young kit — I’m told that is what baby ferrets are called.

The zoo is now down to two dogs, two ferrets and a cat. Sounds like a good name for a television show. 

Week 6 picks

Gizmo came back down to earth in Week 5, putting up a 5-10 record. I went 9-6. 

For the season, I’m at 43-34 and Gizmo stands at 29-48. 


Philadelphia (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4) — The big news out of Philadelphia this week is Jay Ajayi’s season-ending ACL injury. The Eagles have three running backs who will replace Ajayi and have been linked to trade talks with Le’Veon Bell and Lesean McCoy. The Giants will feed Odell Beckham Jr. and pick up a needed win against the defending Super Bowl champs. 

Derek: Giants

Gizmo: Eagles 

Tampa Bay (2-2) at Atlanta (1-4) — The Ryan Fitzpatrick-era in Tampa Bay might be over. The star of the first two weeks of the season is now backing up Jameis Winston, who was suspended for the first three weeks of the year. Neither team’s defense is any good, so the first to 50 points could win this one. 

Derek: Falcons

Gizmo: Bucs 

Buffalo (2-3) at Houston (2-3) — Buffalo was supposed to be the worst team in the league and here they are in Week 6 with the same record as the Houston Texans. Weird. Deshaun Watson is due for a big game and this is a great spot for it. 

Derek: Texans

Gizmo: Texans

Chicago (3-1) at Miami (3-2) — Chicago is just one of four NFC teams to have a winning record, while the Dolphins are riding a two-game losing streak. The Bears come off of their bye week ready to take control of the NFC North. 

Derek: Bears

Gizmo: Dolphins 

Pittsburgh (2-2-1) at Cincinnati (4-1) — No matter how good Cincinnati is, the Bengals must first get past the rival Steelers to take control of the AFC North. Not an easy task. Pittsburgh has won the last six meetings, as well as nine of the last 10. 

Derek: Steelers

Gizmo: Steelers

Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland (2-2-1) — Cleveland has not won a lot of games over the past few seasons, but they have had success against the Chargers. The Browns have won two straight over the Chargers in Cleveland. Can Baker Mayfield make it three in a row over the Bolts? 

Derek: Browns

Gizmo: Browns

Indianapolis (1-4) at New York Jets (2-3) — Isaiah Crowell has had an interesting start to his season — a crude touchdown celebration, which led to an endorsement deal, and setting a New York Jets rushing record. The former Brown rushed for a franchise-record 219 yards on 15 carries in last week’s romp over Denver. Crowell will not be that efficient against a Colts team that chucks the ball around the field with Andrew Luck. 

Derek: Colts

Gizmo: Colts  

Seattle (2-3) vs. Oakland (1-4) in London — The Seahawks and Raiders kickoff the NFL London International Series in Week 6. The Titans, Chargers, Eagles and Jaguars will also make the long trip overseas in the next three weeks. Seattle lost to the L.A. Rams last week, but exploded for 31 points, mostly because of its resurgence running game with Chris Carson and Mike Davis. This will be the first time Marshawn Lynch will go up against his former team. Should make for an interesting game. 

Derek: Seahawks

Gizmo: Raiders

Arizona (1-4) at Minnesota (2-2-1) — With Arizona winning, there will not be a winless team in the NFL this year. The Vikings’ defense returned and now will face rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. Another banner day for the Purple People Eaters. 

Derek: Vikings

Gizmo: Vikings 

Carolina (3-1) at Washington (2-2) — The Redskins looked bad on Monday Night Football. The Brightside is they still lead the NFC East. Christian McCaffrey has been a workhorse back this season, showing he is more than just a pass catcher.

Derek: Panthers

Gizmo: Redskins  


Los Angeles Rams (5-0) at Denver (2-3) — The Rams draw Denver and San Francisco before a matchup up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 8. Good chance they will still be undefeated when that happens. 

Derek: Rams

Gizmo: Rams

Jacksonville (3-2) at Dallas (2-3) — Jacksonville’s vaunted defense is given up 101.2 rushing yards a contest. Ezekiel Elliott leads the league with 480 yards rushing. The Cowboys, though, don’t have anybody else. 

Derek: Jaguars

Gizmo: Cowboys 

Baltimore (3-2) at Tennessee (3-2) — There are only three games this week that feature two teams with winning records, and this is one of them. Joe Flacco failed to figure out Cleveland’s D and will struggle against a solid Titans’ D. 

Derek: Titans

Gizmo: Titans

Kansas City (5-0) at New England (3-2) — A pair of Super Bowl contenders collide in Foxbourgh for a Sunday Night Football clash. Kansas City thumped New England, 42-27, to begin the 2017 season. With two star-studded offenses, this has the potential to be a big-time shootout. The Chiefs were 5-0 last season before hitting a midseason slump. That is not going to happen this season. 

Derek: Chiefs

Gizmo: Chiefs 

San Francisco (1-4) at Green Bay (2-2-1) — It has been a rough season for San Francisco, a team I thought would finish second in the NFC West. Injuries are part of the game, but it seems like the 49ers have suffered the most this year. Green Bay, which also dealt with injuries last week in a loss to Detroit, will bounce back this week. 

Derek: Packers

Gizmo: 49ers


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