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Feb 05 2016
DOWL Solicits Public Feedback on Near Island Development Plan
Friday, 05 February 2016
public.jpgMembers of the community at the DOWL presentation. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The City of Kodiak together with its facilitator, DOWL engineering, solicited public comment on its Near Island Development Plan last night at a public presentation. DOWL senior planner Michelle Ritter said the kickoff event will be the first opportunity for DOWL to hear and incorporate public input.

A number of community members stepped up to the podium to share their thoughts and ideas for Near Island’s future. Here are some excerpts.

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Feb 04 2016
Alaska Fisheries Report - Feb. 4, 2016
Thursday, 04 February 2016

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 

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Coming up this week, the IPHC boosts coast-wide halibut catch limits, trawlers agree to a Gulf-wide stand down to address the North Pacific Council, and there'll be no enrichment for Karluk Lake. And is the second time the charm for a Board of Fish candidate from the Kenai? All that and we say goodbye to one of the founders of Trident Seafoods, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KFSK's Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg and KDLG's Molly Dischner in Dillingham. 

 
Feb 04 2016
DOWL to Present on Near Island Development Plan
Thursday, 04 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The City of Kodiak is planning an update to the Near Island Development Plan and the engineering company on the project will hold a meeting tonight to hear public feedback. Michelle Ritter, a Senior Planner with DOWL in Anchorage, says the plan identifies areas for development.

“It was a little open ended, so it will be kind of looking at the changes since 25 plus years ago and kind of looking at how to guide the development for the future. And development also includes the built environment as well as trails and parks and other uses as well.”

Near Island is no stranger to development, not all of which the public has welcomed. The City of Kodiak has been quarrying near St. Herman’s Harbor since 2009 and the excavation chips away at trail land which is popular with hikers. The city realized last year that it hadn’t had the permits required for the project and applied for – and gained - a conditional use permit from the Kodiak Island Borough Planning & Zoning Commission last summer.

Ritter says DOWL has done initial research for the Near Island Development Plan and looked at the site.

“We’ve gone out and walked it, met with some of the state quoters. We’ve looked at the existing zoning, we’ve looked at available plans for the area, really just gathered what the existing conditions are, and that’s what we’re gonna present tonight is here’s what we see – now, public and users of the area, let us know, are we missing something, what do we need to add, what do we need to consider?”

The meeting will be in Katurwik Room at the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center with an open house between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Four DOWL representatives will present the Near Island Development Plan between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and will return to the open house format between 8 and 9 p.m., during which time the public can view plot plans and make comments.

Ritter says the public will have more opportunities in the future to give feedback.
 
Feb 04 2016
Baranov Museum Closes for February
Thursday, 04 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Baranov Museum is closed starting in February, but the staff remains active. Tiffany Brunson, the executive director of the Kodiak Historical Society and Baranov Museum, says the museum closes during the same month every year and has been doing so for at least a decade.

“We generally do it just because attendance really slows down in the winter months for people who are just walking in. It helps us have some time to make any changes we need to on the exhibit floor, to do any cleaning of artifacts or cases and just a general sort of spring cleaning of February.”

She says the cases the museum uses need cleaning, especially because they’re not standard museum equipment.

“I think they were originally jewelers’ cases, so they do let in dust and things like that, so every year we have to open them and carefully remove a lot of the objects and dust them and then put everything back. So, a lot of the times we do that in February because it allows us to work while the museum’s closed. We don’t have to shove it in after the museum is closed for the day or on a Sunday or anything like that.”

Brunson says they usually dismantle temporary exhibits in February and prepare new ones to open in March. She says it’ll be a little different this time around.

“This year our temporary exhibit is actually opening for Crab Fest on Kodiak’s West Side Stories, which was a program we did last summer on oral histories, so we’re not actually taking down the temporary exhibit this February. People will still be able to see the Waves of Change, which is the 1964 tsunami exhibit in March and April. We’ll probably shut it down at the end of April, beginning of May.”

She says planning an exhibit is a big endeavor.

“It doesn’t seem like it necessarily when you come and you look at a single room that has panels and objects out, but actually doing all the research and creating all the panels and actually installing everything takes a long time. So, we’re still working on that now. And the West Side Stories one we have a relatively ambitious project planned, so.”

Brunson says patrons can still call ahead and request to see the museum.

The Baranov will also be open for special events, like a workshop on Saturday where attendees can make valentines by weaving paper in the Scandinavian style. That class will be 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
 
Feb 04 2016
Drabek Appointed to Indigenous Seat on Alaska Historical Commission
Thursday, 04 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Alaska Historical Commission will now have a representative from Kodiak to help form policy when it comes to Alaska’s history.  

Alisha Drabek is the Senior Vice President of Community and Government Affairs at the Afognak Native Corporation, and Governor Bill Walker recently appointed her to fill the indigenous seat on the Alaska Historical Commission after the last holder of the seat retired.

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott chairs the commission and Drabek explains it oversees any kind of historic preservation planning for the state.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity. I think that I’ll have a lot to contribute. I understand that the commission reviews Alaska historical publications, they make decisions about monuments or historical regulations, and I feel that my work in indigenous studies, Alaska Native language and culture is [valuable], and I can contribute that to this group.”

The commission also helps determine appropriate names for geographic features in Alaska, which has been a contentious issue in the last year.

Drabek says she first applied for the position in March, when she was executive director of the Alutiiq Museum, and found out about her acceptance a few weeks ago. She says she feels she’s able to represent Alaska and be mindful of the indigenous peoples throughout the state.

“There are 21 major language groups in our state – Alaska Native languages – and I think that I have a lot of connections across the state, so that when I am exposed to something for review, I would have knowledge of which tribal group or individual scholars that we might want to reach out to, and so I think I bring that breadth of knowledge and experience throughout the state.”

Drabek says her term runs between January of this year and July 1, 2018.
 
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