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KMXT 2015 Bear Crawl Results
 bear_logo.jpg What a day we had at the Bear Crawl. Thanks to all of our sponsors and the volunteers who helped pull this event together. Congratulations to all of the contestants - you were brave, you were fast, you were muddy! You can find all the results here: 2015_bear_crawl_results_corrected
Jul 03 2015
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Level Elevated
Friday, 03 July 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Minus tides, sunny weather and the weekend could very well induce tide-poolers and beachcombers to consider picking up some bivalves for roasting over the campfire, but as many longtime residents know, the Kodiak Island Archipelago is not the place to go clam digging.

The reason, according to the Marine Advisory Program's Julie Matweyou, is a deadly poison that accumulates in the area's bivalve shellfish.

“Paralytic shellfish poisoning is caused by a saxitoxin that is produced by a phytoplankton, a marine phytoplankton,” she said. “The shellfish consume the phytoplankton and accumulate the toxin in their bodies. And when people or animals come along and consume the shellfish they can become sick from the PSP toxins.”)

And when Matweyou says sick, she means it can also be fatal. In fact, a poisonous algae bloom is the leading suspect in the deaths of nearly a dozen large fin whales in Kodiak Island waters at the end of May.

Here's what she says to look out for if you do ingest clams or cockles gathered locally:

“So tingling, numbness, nausea, headache, floating sensation,” she said. “And in severe cases of toxin ingestion you can become paralyzed and ultimately have respiratory paralysis which would lead to death.”

Matweyou says bivalve shellfish in Kodiak area waters are pretty much always loaded with dangerous levels of PSP, but even more so in the summer when the water warms and the plankton bloom. 
Jul 03 2015
Borough Assembly Renews Recycling Contract, Moves Forward on Village Metal Removal Project
Thursday, 02 July 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kodiak Island is a hub for sustainability and the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly discussed one project at last night’s regular meeting that aims to continue that way of life.

The Coastal Impact Assistance Program Grant Village Metals Project is an initiative to remove metal debris and hazardous waste from villages around Kodiak. Bill Roberts, acting in place of the borough manager, explained the Borough’s search for firms to carry out the project.

“The Borough went, put this out to bid, to try to get a contract bidder to remove the metals. We got only one bid and it was non-responsive. I believe it was just way out of our budget,” says Roberts. “Kodiak Island Housing Authority approached the Borough and said ‘We have a lot of expertise in the rural cities and the village of Karluk, and we think we could help you to remove this metal at a reasonable expense.’”

The Memorandum of Agreement at the regular meeting was for a transfer of authority over the project from the Borough to the Kodiak Island Housing Authority. The cost listed in the agenda is in the $2,300,000 dollar range. It is a grant-funded project.     

Roberts says they’re using money from a previous grant while waiting for progress on the memorandum. He says they recently removed 80 tons of metal debris from Larsen Bay.

“It was set up through KANA and Kodiak Island Housing and what we got was a backhaul on a barge that was taking equipment there and it cost us a grand total of $15,000 to get rid of 80 tons,” says Roberts. “This afternoon I was told by Bob Tucker that we got another 50 to 60 ton load out of Larsen Bay for the same price of $15,000.”)

Roberts says it’s a win-win situation and the debris removal so far indicates the affordability of future cleanups.

Assemblyman Dan Rohrer says he’s glad to see the project advancing, especially after hearing worries about being unable to make progress by grant deadlines.

“Having attended the rural forum, not this most recent one, but the time before, people in our rural communities were very concerned about the lack of movement on this project. We’d had a bidder that it just wasn’t practical to go with them,” says Rohrer. “So, anyways, I really appreciate staff looking outside the box and negotiating with Kodiak Island Housing Authority to come up with a solution.”

The motion to transfer the project to KIHA carried.

The discussion about responsible waste management continued with a proposal to renew the Borough’s contract with Threshold Services, a recycling organization that also provides jobs for individuals with disabilities.

Threshold’s director, Ken Reinke, stepped up to speak during the meeting.

“We finished this last contract year with 781 tons. The previous contract year was 711 tons. A lot of it was because of the Westward Cannery shutting down, but still we had a substantial increase in community recycling, which is really good,” says Reinke. “We also did over 6,000 hours of helping people with disabilities with jobs and training.”

The Borough received over thirty emails in support of the contract. Assemblywoman Chris Lynch is the president of Threshold’s board of directors and thanked the public for its feedback.

“While that’s important for knowing where we stand for the award of a possible contract, it also gives us a feel of how many people really appreciate recycling, and we’d really like to concentrate on that and expand that and hopefully build a bigger and better recycling program every year,” says Lynch.

The assembly noted it was able to reach a bid negotiation with Threshold that satisfied both parties. It agreed to renew the contract.  The borough assembly’s next regular meeting is scheduled for August 6 and a special meeting is planned for July 30 with a work session to follow.
Jul 02 2015
Sockeye Angling in Pasagshak Drainage Closed
Thursday, 02 July 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Anglers hoping to hook a tasty sockeye salmon on one of the Kodiak road system's most accessible waterways can start looking elsewhere, if they haven't already. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced that the Pasagshak River drainage will be closed for sockeye salmon fishing beginning tonight, after midnight.

In explaining the closure in an emergency order, the department says only 436 sockeye have been counted at the Pasagshak weir, and based on historical run timing, it is unlikely to meet the escapement goal of 3,000 reds needed to make it up to the spawning grounds.

If the Pasagshak run improves and the escapement goal appears obtainable, Fish and Game may reopen the drainage to sockeye angling by emergency order, otherwise, the closure remains in effect through the end of the year.
Jul 02 2015
Pinks Begin Surge as Reds Lag
Thursday, 02 July 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Pink salmon have started to surge in the Kodiak management area, with yesterday's daily catch exceeding sockeye salmon by about 500 fish.

There were 13,449 pinks delivered and 12,922 reds according to figures released by Fish and Game this (Thursday) morning. Nearly 6,000 chum were caught on Wednesday, with 2,735 silvers and 141 kings.

Sockeye harvest to-date is just over 425,000. Just under 100,000 chum and just over 76,000 pinks delivered, while the harvest of silvers is nearly 37,000 and for kings it is nearly 2,700.

All-species harvest through July 1st stands at 638,410 salmon taken in the Kodiak area. 
Jul 02 2015
Gunman in Massachusetts Coast Guard Shooting Indicted
Thursday, 02 July 2015
Coast Guard Petty Officers Lisa and Anna Trubnikova. Lisa Trubnikova, left, was killed in an attack by a fellow Coast Guardsman in February, which left her wife seriously injured. (Anna Trubnikova photo via Facebook) 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A Barnstable, Massachusetts, grand jury Wednesday indicted the man accused of shooting and killing a Coast Guard petty officer, shooting her wife and a police officer in Bourne, Massachusetts, on February 5th of this year. 

Adrian T. Loya was arrested at the scene for killing Petty Officer Lisa Trubnikova, age 31, and seriously injuring her wife, 30-year-old Petty Officer Anna Trubnikova. 

The accused, also an active duty Coast Guardsman, and the two women had previously been stationed at Coast Guard Base Kodiak, where Trubnikova family members say Loya became obsessed with Lisa Trubnikova.

According to Cape News in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Loya was indicted on charges of murder, armed assault with intent to murder, aggravated assault and battery, armed home invasion, assault and battery on a police officer, illegal possession of a large capacity firearm magazine and six other felonies.

During the police response to the incident, Bourne Police Officer Jared MacDonald, a former Coast Guardsman himself, was shot and seriously wounded.

Loya, who is being held without bail, will be arraigned in Barnstable Superior Court. 
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