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Galley Tables

Dec 08 2014
Powerful Mapping Tool Workshop Open to End Users PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 December 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Wednesday the Kodiak Island Borough is presenting an opportunity for the public to get to know a widely-used mapping software, that's accessible on the web. Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner highlighted some of its capabilities at last week's meeting:
    “I encourage the public to go see how different organizations in the community utilize GIS. And I think of GIS as mapping software, which I'm sure it's more than that. But it's a you know a fascinating field. If you look around at what the borough has done with mapping, you can go on the website and look up each parcel of property and see assessed value. And having lived in other places, that's not a common thing to have such easy access to the maps and that information.”
    The GIS protocols are a worldwide standard and can be used by many different computer platforms and organizations.
    “GIS is used heavily by fish and game and fish and wildlife service, so there's so many applications where this very unique and interesting tool. So if you don't know about GIS, I encourage you to go to the event on the 10th, and if you do know about GIS, you're probably already planning to go, so.”
    The GIS Day will be on Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. at Kodiak Inn Harbor Room. It'll go until 4 p.m. with a lunch break. Admission is free. 
Dec 05 2014
Wild Alaskan Owner Vows Fight Over Right to Operate PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 December 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
On Monday, the Alaska Alcohol Beverage Control Board unanimously voted to revoke the liquor license of the Wild Alaskan, a floating bar and grill that also features exotic dancers after 9 p.m.
The issue ABC director Cynthia Franklin asked the board to considered was the "common carrier" license the Wild Alaskan sold liquor under. It allows the sale of alcohol on vehicles involved in transporting passengers or freight, such as trains, planes and boats. However, the Wild Alaskan has been anchored in one spot since the summer, and not moving around.
"What we got shut down for, Jay, is we served alcohol while on anchor. Wow."
Darren Byler is the owner and operator of the Wild Alaskan, which is the former crab boat Shaman.
"We broke no laws, we weren't serving any underage minors, we never over-served anybody that got drunk and went out and killed somebody that happens at other bars across the country."
Byler says this latest bump in the road stems from some in town who simply dissaprove of strip clubs.
"For all the haters in town, and the self-proclaimed morality police, I hate to say it, but you're going to lose on this one. You need to get back to minding your own business. If you don't like this, that's fine; we don't want you out here anyhow."
Byler says he will appeal the ABC Board's revocation of his license as far up the legal chain as it takes.
"While I'm appealing the case, I still get to use my common carrier liquor license. And we will appeal this to the Alaska Supreme Court if necessary, and that's two years down the road. For all of my regular customers who think I'm out of business, it's going to be business as usual for the next two years. And if for some reason they decide to take my license at the Supreme Court level, which I highly doubt, the charter will still be up and rolling. And we will have a 'bring your own booze out here. And our numbers will go from 12 to 50, 60 maybe even a hundred; just depends on how many people I want to put on the boat."
Byler agrees that a lot of the publicity over his business has been good  he's been on a Chicago radio show, was just interviewed by the New York Post, and in true Alaskan fashion there may be a reality series in the works but he says some of the attention has been hurtful and damaging. He said anyone who may have given false information to the ABC Board will have to pay for that. 
Dec 04 2014
U.S. House Passes Coast Guard Bill PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 December 2014
Liz Ruskin/APRN
    The U.S. House Wednesday passed a bill to keep the Coast Guard in operation. Alaska Congressman Don Young says he inserted a provision to allow long-term leases on tidelands managed by the Coast Guard, which he says is aimed at spurring development at Womens Bay.
    The bill has several provisions for Arctic operations. It requires the Coast Guard to devise a strategic plan for polar ice-breaking, and an analysis of whether it makes sense to buy or lease new icebreakers. In addition, it makes the Coast Guard decide whether it’s feasible to refurbish its Polar Sea icebreaker, now sitting idle in Seattle. The legislation also calls on the Coast Guard commandant to improve ship tracking in Arctic water by cooperating with other agencies. It does not authorize specific new funding for that effort, dubbed “Arctic Maritime Domain Awareness.”
    The bill now moves to the Senate. It is one of several bills there that would stall EPA regulations on deck runoff and other discharges from fishing boats. 
Dec 04 2014
Evictions Add Stress to the Holiday Season PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 December 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Kodiak's already ultra-tight housing situation is going to get much worse come the new year, as residents of about 30 apartments – some individuals, some families - are being asked to leave their downtown apartment building by the end of the year.
    The Kodiak Plaza building, which housed state offices at street level and apartments on the upper floors, was bought by Trident Seafoods last year to be turned into a bunkhouse and associated offices. The company's processing plant, mostly inside a beached World War II Liberty Ship, is just a block away.
    Though the sale has been known for about a year, and vacated apartments were not re-filled with renters, the 30-day eviction notices given to the remaining tenants was a bit of a shock to some, coming as it did in the middle of the holiday season.
    Marnie Leist, whose daughter lived in the Kodiak Plaza half time with her father, said evicted tenants have been going door to door seeking to rent rooms.
    “You know I live near downtown, and I got a random knock on my door, and it was a woman worked at one of the other canneries and we got to talking and (I said) this same situation happened to people I know. And she said she just found out she's on a month to month lease and everyone in the rest of that half of the building is going to have to leave by the end of the month, supposedly.”
    She said the 25 or 35 tenants needing to find a place to stay all at once would only make the housing crisis harder.
    “It's Trident's building and they can do what they want, but at the same time, we have a huge housing crisis here in Kodiak. I've met with former assembly members who've tried to work on the issue; I've spoken up about it at public meetings, and tried to raise awareness about it, to see if anything can happen. Even talking to my dad, and we're like, 'why aren't they doing anything? It's been years. It's not like this is a new issue.'”
    Leist said the building had a contract with HUD to provide low-cost housing, and that displaced tenants who use payment vouchers will be even more hard-pressed to find suitable housing.
    “You look at advertisements, most of it is 'no vouchers.' And pets, of course is an issue. I volunteer at the animal shelter, and unfortunately, a lot of people do have to turn in their pets because rentals don't allow pets. Even service animals sometimes. I know that a lot of the residents, who are forced to move out at, Christmastime are having difficulties finding places to live.”
    A phone message left with Trident public relations in Seattle this (Thursday) morning was not returned by press time.  
Dec 04 2014
Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 December 2014

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Coming up this week, about 50 crew members aboard a South Korean factory trawler are feared lost after their ship went down in the Bering Sea; a new test fishery opened up in Cook Inlet this week, and the IPHC says recruitment of halibut appears to be up a bit. All that, and the former FV Shaman couldn't muster the magic to keep its liquor license. We had help from KFSK's Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg, KBBI's Shady Grove Oliver in Homer, and APRN's Liz Ruskin in Washington D.C. 

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