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Galley Tables

May 29 2015
6.7 Quake Shakes Kodiak and Beyond PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 May 2015
The AP/Dave Bendinger-KDLG/ Jay Barrett-KMXT
A strong earthquake struck offshore of Kodiak Island late last night, but officials say there was no tsunami threat or immediate reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-6.7 quake struck at 11 p.m. Thursday and was centered in the ocean about 35 miles beneath the seabed and about 160 miles southwest of Kodiak City. 

Officials say the temblor was felt on the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Kenai Peninsula and even Anchorage.

The Kodiak Police dispatch office says the quake was felt at the station, but it received no reports of damage.

The National Tsunami Warning Center says there is no tsunami danger.

Alvin Peterson in Chignik Lagoon told KDLG radio in Dillingham it’s the strongest earthquake he’s felt in decades.

“Well, it was almost comparable to the '64 earthquake. The house was rocking pretty good,” Peterson said. “Understand there was some rock slides and stuff falling off the shelves and breaking. Definitely rattled everybody’s nerves.”

The quake was initially reported as a 6.8 magnitude but was later downgraded slightly. Residents all around the region took to Facebook last night to discuss the earthquake and its effects. Many of those commenting said the earthquake’s unusually long duration was a bit shocking. Peterson says the same.

“Heard a couple reports, lasted almost a minute,” he said, “but it was pretty long, and pretty violent.”

Closer to the coast, residents in Chignik Bay headed for the tsunami shelter last night to be on the safe side. Fire chief Guy Ashby, speaking this morning, says the quake got a slow rolling start:

“It started off like maybe a three. Shook a little bit, and then you could start hear it building. And it start shaking a little harder, kept building,” Ashby said. “It probably shook, rough estimate, 35-, 40-forty seconds.”

The USGS says there have been numerous aftershocks of magnitude-3.0 or greater.
May 29 2015
City Council Talks Budget, Grants, and Jackson Park Meeting PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 May 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

At its Thursday night regular meeting, the Kodiak City Council heard the ordinance to adopt the city’s fiscal year 2016 budget and move it along to the second reading.

City Manager Aimée Kniaziowski read from the budget packet memo. It says, when compared with the fiscal year 2015 budget, the coming year’s budget has the same decrease for combined revenues as it does for costs related to city funds.

“Expenses for all city funds excluding capital projects is expected to also be $38,034,750," says Kniaziowski. "Which again is an overall decrease of 8 percent from 2015. Fewer transfers in capital equipments account for the largest decrease in expenses for the combined all departments, all funds.”

The City Council announced that the second reading will take place at its next regular meeting on June 11.

The Council also passed a resolution to raise the minimum annual increase of grant awards for nonprofits, which Kniaziowski says it had discussed at a previous work session.

“They were restricted to no more than 10 percent more each year despite their needs and as the program opened up, we saw that there were inequities in it, and your decision was to go ahead and remove that requirement that only 10 percent increase would be available," says Kniaziowski.

Furthermore, Mayor Pat Branson updated those present on discussions going on behind the scenes in the borough and city governments regarding Jackson Trailer Park.

“I met with the borough manager and the community development director this week and I think we’re all pretty concerned. I know we’re all pretty concerned about the situation and I know that the manager is bringing up tonight to the Assembly about how fast they want to track this with relaxing some codes. And they’ve made some other progress as well," says Branson.

Branson says the city council hopes to discuss the issue at a joint work session with the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly. She says they can look at possible dates after the Assembly’s meeting with the P&Z Commission regarding the matter, which she says will take place on June 11.

May 28 2015
Kodiak Fishermen to Protest Navy Training PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 May 2015
A graphic of the protest planned for Saturday. Via Tom Lance at the Sun'aq Tribe

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

In response to the news of Navy training this summer in the Gulf of Alaska, Kodiak fishermen together with the Sun'aq Tribe will hold a water-based protest Saturday afternoon.    

Tom Lance is the Natural Resources Director of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak and the organizer behind the Kodiak Protest Flotilla. He says the activity on Portlock Bank to the east of Kodiak Island will disturb migrating salmon and other species and he hopes the protest will influence a location and schedule change.

“We want to tell the Navy that, no, they shouldn’t do it there. Take it off-shore at least a couple of hundred nautical miles and at a different time when the salmon aren’t swimming by,” says Lance.

He says a better time might be late September after the primary salmon runs are done. He says although the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process is finished as far as the Navy is concerned, protesters can still make a difference.

“If enough people protest and talk to their congressional delegation, the Navy will probably have to pay attention and make some sort of accommodations for our concerns,” says Lance. “And then the last thing is that tribes are sovereign nations and they can invoke the right for a government to government consultation and, indeed, Sun’aq tribe has already asked for a government to government consultation requesting more discussion about this.”

Dave Kubiak, a fisherman who’s been in Kodiak since the 60s, says he understands the importance of Navy training, but takes issue with its effect on commercial fishing.

“It’s just really irresponsible of the Navy to have practice during the summer during salmon migration. That’s my biggest gripe,” says Kubiak.

He says he’s concerned that not many fishermen will show up due to timing.

“Everybody’s under the gun in terms of getting ready to go salmon fishing. There’s a widespread panic throughout town because the potential opener is coming up and everybody’s scrambling to get ready, so it’s not a very convenient time, but I’m hoping everybody’ll show up, because they might have some affect,” says Kubiak.

You can join the protest at 2 p.m. Saturday. Pedestrian protestors can stand on Pier II and vessels should face it, raft-up, and tune into VHF Channel 79.
May 28 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 May 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Coming up this week, the Marine Stewardship Council is optimistic the big salmon packers will be welcomed back into the fold, but will it be in time for this year's catch to be certified? A ship most fishermen never wanted to see will soon be going to the bottom itself, and good news: there was crab at Crab Fest this year. We had help from KMXT's Kayla Desroches in Kodiak and Annie Ropeik, late of KUCB Unalaska. 

May 28 2015
Alaskan Bishop Visits Unalaska, Aleutians PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 May 2015
Emily Schwing/KUCB
Alaska’s Russian Orthodox Bishop, David Mahaffey was in Unalaska last week. He has held his post in Alaska for just over a year. He says in that time, he’s placed more focus on work with the Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Training Program, or RADACT, to address issues of substance and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

“They’re doing more with our seminarians so that when they graduate and when they go back to villages, they are better equipped to deal with people with these issues,” he said. “I have petitioned the governor to have more VPSO’s in the villages.”

But Bishop David says it’s unclear how successful that petition may be in light of cuts to the state’s budget.

Bishop David said there was something particularly special about his visit to the cathedral in Unalaska, one of the oldest in the country.  A chapel in the church is dedicated to St. Innocent, who served as the first Russian Orthodox bishop in the state beginning in 1840.

“When I came here and walked in the doors of this cathedral, the feeling that I had of just the overwhelming presence of St. Innocent was to me so spiritually uplifting, I would have been happy to not do anything else, but stand in the church all day,” Bishop David said. “This cathedral has that effect on me.”
Bishop David came to Alaska from Pennsylvania first in 2012.  He says he still grapples with the distance.

“I heard something the other day… a man was telling a story about a man who wanted to be a missionary but his wife didn’t want to go where he wanted to go and he kept saying ‘well, I either pick her for a wife or I go to this country to be a missionary,’ and he said it wasn’t until her realized he wasn’t picking between the woman and the country, he was picking between the woman and God and I kind of thought ‘yes, that’s what I was doing,” he said. “I was saying Pennsylvania or Alaska when I should have been saying ‘Pennsylvania or God?’”
Bishop David says he doesn’t regret his decision. He was in Unalaska to mark the Feast of the Ascension. In Russian Orthodox tradition, the celebration takes place 40 days after Easter. 

Bishop David also made visits to other Aleutian chain communities including Adak and Nikolski. 
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