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Oct 29 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report - October 29 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2015

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Coming up this week, NOAA's annual overview of our nation's fisheries came out Thursday and we find out where the most seafood was landed and who got paid the most for last year's catch – spoiler alert: those two top spots haven't changed in a while. Also, remembering an observer mysteriously lost at sea. And more, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KFSK's Joe Viechnicki and Angela Denning in Petersburg, and KUCB's John Ryan in Unalaska. 

Oct 29 2015
Mild Weather Could be a Beary Mixed Package PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2015
kodaik_bear_yathin_flickr.jpgA Kodiak bear. Photo by Yathin/Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The last couple of summers have been warm and this winter may also be on the mild side, which is a mixed package when it comes to Kodiak’s bears. Nate Svoboda, the Kodiak area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, says bears have benefited from the boost to their diets.

“The mild summers that we’ve had the last couple of years have been epic berry production years, so that’s really advantageous for the bears. There’s plenty of resources out there for them. We’ve had plenty of fish runs, so that’s been really good, but the berry production has been phenomenal the last two years, so that’s really been a good thing for reproduction and body condition.”

He says a warmer winter may mean that the bears will be out and about foraging further into the season.

“What we’ve found from previous research is there’s up to about 25 percent of the population, especially the male population, doesn’t den during the winter, and I would hypothesize that mild winters, like we’ve had in the past, that might be slightly higher. As long as there’s food resources available for them out there, they’ll have a tendency to keep eating and keep wandering around.”
On the other hand, if the warmer weather doesn’t provide those resources and the bears are still searching for food, Svoboda says it might affect people in town.

“Particularly if people don’t handle their waste responsibly, that’s when we have a tendency for bears, when there’s no natural foods available for them like berries and fish and whatnot, this time of year when the berry production is pretty much over and the fish runs are pretty much over, that’s when wandering into town, and people don’t handle their waste responsibly, that’s when we start to have issues.”

The last few months have been dry, the last few days fairly wet, and weather patterns so far are pointing towards another mild winter.
Oct 29 2015
City Council Member Profile: Laura Arboleda PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2015
laura_arboleda.pngLaura Arboleda. Photo by Emily Diocares

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak City Council just welcomed its newest and youngest council member.

23-year-old Laura Arboleda takes over from Terry Haines, who vacated his seat due to his responsibilities as a fisherman. Arboleda ran uncontested for a two-year tenure at the recent city municipal elections.

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At last week’s city council regular meeting, Randy Bishop, who is 28 but ran for city council when he was also 23, congratulated Arboleda on her new position.

“She is our youngest councilmember, and she makes me feel old now. But with that said, I hope to see that more young adults take this as an inspiration to see that anything is possible and, if you really do care for your community, put your foot forward. Although you may not know, you will always learn, and you have to start somewhere.”

That seems to resonate with Arboleda, who notes her investment in the Kodiak community as the primary reason she ran in the first place.

 “Seeing little kids and my little cousins grow up here - and I have a nephew now who’s going be growing up here - and I just look at them and think, I want something for them here in Kodiak when they get older. And I want them to love this place as I do now. So, just the passion I have for this place, this community, really is my driving motivation.”

She says she and her family moved to Kodiak from California when she was little, and she imagines herself raising a family of her own and retiring in Kodiak.
Arboleda is now an assistant at Residential Mortgage, but worked for three years at the Chamber of Commerce.

“Actually that kind of, I would say, ignited wanting to serve and give back to the community. That’s kind of when I started thinking about it. Not about running for city council or the politics part of it. But just what can I do to give back and to give more of my time to our community? And so, it wasn’t until a few months ago when it actually just lit up in my heart.”

She says the idea of running first occurred to her when she read about the open seat in the Kodiak Daily Mirror. She says to become more informed, she attended a few city council meetings.

“And they get pretty intense, they’re very informative, and they’re actually pretty exciting for me because you learn a lot about what’s going on in the community that others don’t know about other than when they hear it or see it on Facebook. So, I think it’s such a great opportunity when people attend those city council or borough assembly meetings because there’s so much to know and learn about.”

Arboleda explains that’s the same reason young people should want to stay updated on local government.

Those who have stopped by city council meetings may have observed that most people who attend are older adults. But Arboleda thinks a younger demographic should have just as much interest.

“Some people think well, that doesn’t apply to me, but when you think about it, it kinda does, ‘cause all we talk about is community stuff - is things that go on in our community - and if you’re part of our community, I believe that it does apply to you in some way or somehow, maybe not to you, but a friend, a family member. We’re all connected, because we live on such a small island, somehow, someway, we’re connected.”

It can be difficult to determine why more young adults don’t attend meetings. Arboleda suggests social media as a solution.

“Any kind of ad on Facebook or just an invite, you know, for 20-year-olds, and 30-year-olds, or even high-schoolers. An invite. You don’t have to want to be wanting to run for city council or president to have to come to these meetings. You love Kodiak, you live here, come to the meetings. That’s all it really is.”

Having more young adults on the city council could be a good start. According to Arboleda, people she met around town were vocal about her choice to run in the recent election.

“It was awesome just to see people stop me at the store and be like ‘I am so happy that you’re running. To see such a young, new fresh face.’ And honestly, I was scared at first. I was like, I’m only 23. People might not take me seriously. My passion for this town might not be enough. But just being out in public and hearing people congratulate me and say thank you so much for doing this, that just inspired me even more.”

Arboleda says she’ll probably sit back and listen and learn for the next few months before jumping into the mix.

As Councilman Bishop said, you have to start somewhere.
Oct 28 2015
Meet Kodiak's New Deputy City Manager PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
mike_tvenge_by_steve_dubois.jpgMike Tvenge. Photo by Steve Dubois/Delta Wind Newspaper

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Many people can look back and see how their decisions formed what they might consider their identities. Places of residence, careers, and personal preferences - like whether you’re a Cubs or a Mets fan - all form those identities. And it’s no different for Kodiak City’s new deputy city manager.

Mike Tvenge moved from Montana to Eagle River in 1981, which is when he became an Alaskan, and he moved from construction to local government some years later, which is when he became a public official.

Tvenge probably didn’t know for certain he was going to be a long-term Alaskan the moment he landed in Alaska or a long-term public official the day he won the election to be a city council member in Delta Junction.

But here he is, from 1981 to 2015, a government employee in a small island community in Alaska. And according to Tvenge, that’s exactly where he wants to be.  

“Local government is a place where you can make changes in your community. Positive changes. And that’s what I like. I like to give back to our community, and I’m a long-time resident of the state of Alaska, and Alaska’s my home. So, this where I want to make cause and effect.”
Some local officials choose to pursue national politics sometime in their lives, but Tvenge says he doesn’t have aspirations in that direction.

“Local government is more homespun. You’re in your own community. You know what the needs are. Some people say that local government is more efficient than federal government, and I think that’s true because there’s less hurdles to jump through. It’s just easier to get things done and get the support of your local community versus a nation.”

Tvenge says he’s been getting to know Kodiak since he and his family moved here in August. And, of course, Kodiak’s most popular pastime has already caught him hook, line, and sinker.

“Really love the fishing. We’ve been getting out with rod and wheel on the rivers. There’s a lot of good action. The late runs this year really were special for us because we came later in the year, but in the interior Alaska, the fishing isn’t anything like Kodiak’s, so that was really exciting for us.”

Once he settles into his new home and his new position, Tvenge explains he’ll be able to apply his professional experiences to needs around town.

“In the trade of city management, my background is in construction and business management, so I see a fit for projects within the community, tackling day to day jobs like plowing the roads and keeping the swimming pool open, etc. Those are things that I’ve always worked on [in] maintenance… as a contractor, as a builder.”

You can see Tvenge at any given work session or regular meeting in the future, but if you want to get in touch with him, you can check out the city website for more information.
Oct 27 2015
TOTR: Terry Haines and the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
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Host Kayla Desroches talks with Terry Haines, a former Kodiak city council member who has been active in the community in different capacities including as a Kodiak City Council representative on the Kodiak Fisheries Work Group. He updates us on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council trawl bycatch management plan. He also talks about a new Facebook group he's working on and a radio play he just completed for KMXT which will be airing Friday, the day before Halloween.
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