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Nov 12 2015
City Council Talks Priority List for Capital Improvements Program PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak City Council is working out which city-wide projects are the most important for the fiscal year 2017. At its work session Tuesday night, it discussed its capital improvements program priority list, which it will send along with funding requests to the legislature and Governor Bill Walker.

As of Tuesday, the top five priorities in order of importance were: the Mill Bay Road rehabilitation project, Shelikof Street bulkhead parking, Shelikof street pedestrian improvements from Pier II to downtown Kodiak, the state municipal matching grant and harbor facilities grant programs, and state revenue sharing.

According to the meeting packet, the money the city is requesting for the Shelikof street pedestrian improvements from Pier II to downtown would go towards a visitor center at the pier. Councilman John Whiddon took issue with the price tag of $1,100,000.

“I have a real hard time advocating for number three given the nature of the project and just the expense, so if there’s an opportunity here for something in the smaller range to replace that, in the quarter million dollar range, I think we’re being fiscally responsible and really reflecting the times, and take number 3 and go back over between now and next year, take time to review that and maybe re-scope that to a more valuable level.”

City manager Aimée Kniaziowski said there are smaller projects that could use the financial help.

“One of the small projects I thought about that’s not on here - we were not successful before ... asking for funding … to help us purchase a new ambulance. We looked and looked for one. And we cover the entire road system all the way out to the missile launch facility at no cost to the borough. Those are very expensive.”

She said she would speak with city staff about other possible projects.

The council also discussed a loitering ordinance, which Kniaziowski said covers a request from the Downtown Revitalization Committee and others concerned about some of downtown Kodiak’s disruptive transient population. As discussed in past meetings, some community members who work in the area have complained of harassment. Kniaziowski explained the ordinance would seek to remedy the problem.

“It would prohibit assault, obstruction of sidewalks and buildings, panhandling, sitting or lying on a sidewalk between certain hours of the day. It also adds a fine schedule so that these individuals that were cited, they would be paying a fine.”

Kodiak Police Department Chief of Police, Ronda Wallace, said having the ordinance in the city code with language specifying which behaviors are prohibited would support KPD efforts downtown.

“This gives us the ability that we go down and we find these actions that have happened, we see them, we can cite the individuals. So, you have your first and your second and your third offenses, and then what I imagine can happen from there is that, if these aren’t acted upon, then there could be a summons that could come out, or there could be an arrest warrant that comes out.”

The Kodiak City Council also discussed limitations on mobile home park operators’ right to terminate, which Councilman Gabriel Saravia and another council member brought to the table for consideration. The document is under the landlord-tenant act in state code.

Kniaziowski paraphrased that the code says the municipal government can force the owner to give additional time before tenants are evicted. They also may establish a mobile home relocation fund and require that the affected tenant be given a longer notice period or compensated from the fund for the cost of relocating.

“The Jackson Mobile Home Park is outside the city limit as we all know, but this did come up as I understand it, that there was a tenant that was concerned that, okay, if we locate to a place in the city - if they close down, then what happens? So, that was requested to be brought forward.”

Council members seemed split over whether to pursue enacting the code now or to wait for when the need arises, and the council decided it would get legal advice.

The city council also reviewed the letter the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group would like to send to the University of Alaska president to request that the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center stay open despite budget cuts. The city council approved the draft without discussion.

The Kodiak City Council’s regular meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the assembly chambers.
Nov 12 2015
Alaska Fisheries Report 12 November PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 November 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Coming up this week – fishery managers are wondering where the Kodiak and Chignik Tanner crab have gone to, the hatchery that burned near Petersburg is back up and running, and selling salmon in the desert. We had help from KRBD's Leila Kiehry in Ketchikan, and both KFSK's Joe Viechnicki and Angela Denning in Petersburg. 

Nov 10 2015
KMXT Sues Kodiak City for Documents in Police Brutality Case PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of public radio station KMXT, has filed suit against the City of Kodiak, seeking the release of public documents related to the detention, handcuffing, pepper-spraying and assault of Nick Pletnikoff, an autistic man, by three Kodiak Police officers in mid September.
The suit is the result of the city denying the station's Freedom of Information Act request citing its own investigation and privacy issues over releasing the names of the officers involved.
Other law enforcement agencies, such as the Alaska State Troopers, release names of officers in 72 hours, even after fatal officer-involved shootings. The station is also asking the court to order the release of all audio and video tape recordings made by the officers, either from their wearable or vehicle dash cameras or voice recorders, as well as all other pertinent documents.
KMXT contends that the release of such information would contribute significantly to the public's understanding of the incident, which occurred September 16th when the 28-year-old Pletnikoff was detained by the three officers just yards from his home while checking his mailbox. No reason for the officers' actions, which left Pletnikoff bloodied and bruised, has ever been officially given, though Pletnikoff's mother Judy Pletnikoff said she was told by an officer at the time that it was because her son wouldn't answer their questions. 
The incident that day is listed in the official police blotter only as “suspicious circumstances.” Nick Pletnikoff was not arrested or charged with any crime.
The case was filed in Kodiak Superior Court. 
Nov 10 2015
TOTR: Marine Workforce Development and Kodiak College & Career Fair PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
6.23 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Host Kayla Desroches talks with LA Holmes and Terry Haines about a new class as part of the Marine Workforce Development department at Kodiak College. Then, she speaks with representatives from KANA about the upcoming Kodiak College & Career Fair.
Nov 10 2015
Group to Replace Madsen Bear PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
chervenak_and_bear.jpgChairman of the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust, Paul Chervenak, with Madsen Bear. Via Chervenak

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Many parks and museums can boast at least one bronze statue to honor a famous figure. Maybe the monument is a noble steed and its famous rider, his saber raised as if mid-charge or a hand pointed ahead. Or maybe it’s a symbolic figure, like New York’s Statue of Liberty.

As for Kodiak, the city has a statue that honors one of its most famous figures: the Kodiak brown bear. Right now, a life-size fiberglass bear is located outside the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. It’s about sixty-years old, and it looks its age according to Paul Chervenak, the chairman of the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust, a nonprofit that works towards Kodiak brown bear conservation.

“Of course, just sunlight would do it, but wind and rain, salt, so the actual statue itself is cracking. There’s been some vandalism and damage, or maybe just accidents, people wanting to have pictures taken with it, so they’re climbing on it and breaking the claws off, etc. And we’ve tried to repair it and keep it up, but it’s sort of [a] losing battle.”

There’s a price tag, but as with a lot of the statues in other communities, this bear is more than a piece of art.

According to the funding page, the statue commemorates Kodiak’s first registered bear guide, Charles Madsen, one of the people to encourage the protection of the Kodiak brown bear after the popularity of hunting in the early 20th century started having an effect.

According to Chervenak, who guides big-game hunters, sport-fishermen and wildlife viewers, he can relate to the significance of the Madsen Bear.

“I am a firm believer in giving back, especially to what I derive my business from. This particular project is special to a lot of us, but it really represents what guides and sportsmen have done for the Kodiak bear.”

Chervenak says the Brown Bear Trust has gotten involved in a project to replace the aging statue, which has moved all around town over the years - from the old Kodiak hotel to the spit, along with other locations.

Chervenak says the replacement project is called Rebuild the Bear.

“We started talking about it about a year ago and we started checking into the cost of – potentially bronze would be the nicest and most durable. The cost was pretty high. We happen to have a very wonderful offer from an artist who would help do a lot of it. So, it actually made it a potential reality.”

The Kodiak Brown Bear Trust is in negotiations with the artist, Stan Watts, and the foundry he owns in Utah, Atlas Bronze Casting.

Chervenak says the group has an idea of the steps it takes to make a bronze sculpture.

“They make a clay replica and so, this bear is gonna be life-sized or bigger than life-sized, probably close to ten feet tall. They’ll do it out of clay, they’ll let us view it, make any changes we want so we get a true Kodiak bear, and then after they have the clay sculpture, they then cast it in bronze.”

Chervenak says the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust has turned to social media and corporate donations to cover the $40,000 it will contribute through fundraising.

Chervenak says they launched a social media campaign about ten days ago using IndieGoGo, a crowdfunding website. So far, they’ve raised more than $8,000. However, that only covers a fraction of the overall cost.

“The artist is trying to line up donors through people he knows to cover the rest of it. I mean, the total project will probably be $100,000 to $125,000 by the time you create it, ship it here and install it, and so he’s covering that end of it.”

Chervenak says the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust will probably sign a contract with Watts this week.

Check out the crowdfunding website here.
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