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Nov 25 2014
School Report Cards Discussed
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
It's not just students that receive report cards – entire schools can get them too. At their last meeting, the Kodiak school board was updated by Ron Bryant about the Report Cards to the Public.
Bryant is the director of school and student services; he used Peterson Elementary, a recently-named “Blue Ribbon School,” in his example to the board.
“This is usually written by the administrator of the school, the principal of the school, just giving highlights and details on how their school performs during the year. Just hitting some highlights from Peterson Elementary, you can easily see as to why it's the high-performing school that it is,” he said. “During the course of the year they have emphasis on positive behavior support framework which is the basis of their school. When you walk into the school in the hallways you'll see posters telling kids what the school's expectations are, and the students strive hard to meet those expectations.”
Bryant said the schools are also rated on three areas, such as attendance, academic achievement, and progress of the students in learning.
“In this case, how many of the students made progress in their SBA scores from the previous year to this year,” Bryant said. “And in her case, or in Peterson's case, 100 percent of the students made progress. All of her students showed improvement from the previous SBA to this year's.”
Superintendent Stewart McDonald interjected that the state requires significantly better performance year-over-year to attain such a ranking.
“They actually have to have significant improvement. They break it down to rankings on this graph and chart, and they actually have to jump to that next level to show that progress,” McDonald said. “In other words, they can't just get a few extra points.”
Teachers, of course, have the largest part to play in student learning progress, and in Peterson's case, according to Bryant, the staff is top-notch.
“In that particular school, 13 bachelors, 10 masters. We don't have any education specialist degrees or doctorates earned, but 88 percent of the cases taught are taught by 'highly qualified' teachers.”
“Highly qualified” is a rating given teachers who have demonstrated the mastery of a subject. He said the remaining classes that did not show a teacher was 'highly-qualified' likely stems from new classes students have requested. He said core subject classes all have teachers who are highly qualified.  
Nov 25 2014
Local Foundation Seeks Suggestions for First Gifts
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
You have until Friday to help the Kodiak Community Foundation decide the five organizations or causes that will get a share of the group's first distribution of cash. The first award will be given a week from tomorrow, according to Sarah Harrington, on what has come to be known as “Giving Tuesday,” in response to the rampant consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber-Shopping Monday.
Additional gifts will be given each Tuesday in December. While the Foundation is relatively new and still in the process of building its nest-egg, Harrington said the money for the December gifts a gift in itself.
“The entire idea behind the KCF is that we should be building money, accepting donations that will all go into an endowment so that we'll have grant money into perpetuity, really. So it's Kodiak's 'Permanent Fund' would be another way to look at it,” she said. “So the 5K$ we're giving away is actually a gift from the Rasmussen Foundation, and so they're helping us catch a little more attention as we're building our beginning dollar.”
The $5,000 from the Rasmussen Foundation isn't the only gift the organization is offering Kodiak. All donations to the Kodiak Community Foundation are tripled by Rasmussen. 
“So if I donate $50 to the KCF, they're actually going to receive $150 worth, just because of that single gift. Because RF is matching two-for-one, up to us finding $25,000,” Harrington said. “So if we raise $25,000, we'll actually get $75,000 because they'll give us another $50,000.”
You can help the Kodiak Community Foundation with their decision-making process by finding them on Facebook or going to their website, Kodiak C-F.org, and filling out their short survey.
“Two minutes long. It's just two questions and fill in the blank. And so we're looking for feedback from the community for suggestions of who might benefit from funding. And we're encouraging people to think outside the box. It could be an activity, it could  be a project,” she said. “We also ask for suggestions for non-profits who could be strengthened or supported from the funding that might be having a hard time getting grant money from other places.”
The suggestions can be for projects in communities other than the city of Kodiak. Harrington said there's already one suggestion for replacing a church floor in Akhiok. This week is the last opportunity to give input. 
Nov 24 2014
Governor's Transition Team Meets in Public
Monday, 24 November 2014
1.83 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Joaqlin Estus/KNBA
Over the weekend, Walker-Mallott transition teams met at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Some 230 Alaskans were grouped by topics such as oil and gas, education, fisheries, fiscal policy and health care. Their task was to work toward consensus on goals, priorities, and recommended actions for incoming Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. 
Nov 24 2014
No Answers Yet on Food Safety at Narrow Cape
Monday, 24 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A representative from U.S. Army Missile Defense Command said it is unlikely that the organization will be able to send someone to the next Kodiak Local Emergency Planning meeting.
In a letter to Kodiak Island Borough assistant planner Jack Maker, the public affairs specialist from the Missile Defense Command said that they would prefer someone not from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation speak before the group, but they wouldn't be able to make it themselves.
According to Missile Defense spokesman John Cummings said sending a representative from Huntsville, Alabama is quote, “difficult to support.”
He did attach a brief summary of activities AAC, the Army and Missile Defense and its clean up contractors have been doing since the explosion on August 25th. 
In it, Cummings says clean up has been conducted six days a week, and additional manpower has been added to try and complete it in December.
Cummings did not address questions about what explosive or other hazardous material that still needs to be cleaned up, or if food gathered from the area will be safe to eat. Berries grow in the area and cattle and buffalo graze there, sometimes right up to Kodiak Launch Complex infrastructure. The Pasagshak River, an important salmon stream, is nearby.
Cummings did write that after clean up is complete, the next step will be to conduct an environmental investigation to determine if any residual contamination remains. He said in his letter that would include water and soil. Requests for proposals from potential clean up contractors have already been issued.
As for the failure of the rocket to launch, Cummings said an investigation is ongoing and could take a few more months to conclude. He said ACC personnel are removing KLC debris and have informed the state of Alaska's Division of Risk Management that they will be pursuing a claim through the state's insurance pool to pay for rebuilding the launch site.
Cummings said a website has been set up to take questions about the Narrow Cape clean up. http://KLC-INFO.mil-tec.com
Nov 24 2014
Four Locals on Walker-Mallott Transition Team
Monday, 24 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Alaska's governor- and lieutenant governor- elect gathered members of their transition team in preparation for taking office a week from today. Bill Walker and Byron Mallott's list numbers scores of names from every corner of the state, in 17 different categories. Four Kodiak residents were selected.
Jeff Stephan, the executive director of the United Fishermen's Marketing Association, was named to the economic development team, and KANA Executive Director Andy Teuber will serve on the health care team. Jason Metrokin, a Kodiak man who is president of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, was selected for the Natural Resources team.
Outgoing State House Representative Alan Austerman and Erin Harrington, organizer of “The Salmon Project,” were named to the fisheries transition team, which has 26 members.
Former Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd is also on that team. It includes a mix of fishing interests, including several people from commercial fishing and several from the guiding industry. For example, United Fishermen of Alaska President Jerry McCune of Cordova is included, as is Ricky Gease, the executive director of the Soldotna lobbying group, Kenai River Sportsfishing.
Four members are from fisheries-dependent Southeast, including former legislator Albert Kookesh of Angoon, Mark Jensen of Petersburg, Linda Behnken of Sitka and Greg Indreland of Yakutat.
There are six from the Kenai Peninsula and seven from the Anchorage area. Only two representative hail from Western Alaska, which has suffered through very low salmon runs in recent years. They are Ragnar Alstrom of Alakanuk and former State House Representative Mary Sattler of Bethel. While there are three from Dillingham, Norm Van Vactor, Robert Heyano and former Fish Board member Russell Nelson, there are no representatives from the Alaska Peninsula or Aleutian Islands.
All these folks, and more from the other subcommittees, met over the weekend in Anchorage to begin preparing for a smooth transition from the Parnell administration. We have a list of all the Fishery Transition Team members and a link to the entire list after the jump.

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