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Galley Tables

Jan 06 2015
Changes Come to Pick Click Give as Program Matures PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 January 2015
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Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO
    Annual giving in the Pick. Click. Give. program has grown robustly since its 2009 launch, though the total number of donors appears to be tapering off.  
    This year, program officials have brought back the Double Your Dividend sweepstakes to attract donors, and organizations will be charged a new 7 percent administrative fee.
    There’s been double-digit percentage growth in the amount given to Alaska nonprofits through Pick. Click. Give. since its launch.  
    The program makes it easy for Alaskans to give part of their Permanent Fund Dividends to charities. Almost 27,000 people donated about $2.8 million in 2014. 
    However, the growth in the number of people giving is down.
    “So we sometimes wonder if people are thinking back to the dividend that they just received a couple of months earlier,” says Heather Beaty of the Alaska Community Foundation manages Pick. Click. Give. 
    The payout in 2013 was about half of last year’s, the third biggest in the history of dividends.
    “We have speculated that having a lower PFD amount may have affected the rate of participation,” she said.
    Tim Blust is a bookkeeper with Discovery Southeast, a Juneau nonprofit with an outdoor education mission. Last year, he goosed his organization’s books a little with a personal donation through Pick. Click. Give.  
    In the fall, he got a coy phone message from Beaty. 
    “My 12-year-old son immediately said, ‘Dad, you must have won!’ And I said, ‘Won what?’”
    His son was right. Blust was one of 10 winners of the Double Your Dividend drawing that Pick. Click. Give. donors entered. 
    The sweepstakes launched last March, the final month of the dividend sign-up period. It was meant to counter low giving caused by technical problems in what’s usually a busy January. 
    It’s hard to suss out exactly what effect the sweepstakes had, but Beaty says, “We did see Pick. Click. Give. participation go up quite a bit while we were promoting the sweepstakes. So we decided to go ahead and implement it again this year hoping that it continues to encourage more Alaskans to make donations through Pick. Click. Give.” 
    One change this year affecting participating organizations is a new 7 percent administrative fee. The fee is meant to replace temporary grant funding, largely from the Rasmuson Foundation, used to get the program going. Organizations will continue to pay a separate $250 filing fee. 
    Last year, the legislature unanimously created the new fee while also relaxing some requirements. 
    The sentiment among several local nonprofit officials was that it’s too bad to lose the revenue, but worth the convenience. 
    Rasmuson President and CEO Diane Kaplan said in a recent blog post that the new fee is a sign of the program’s sustainability and maturity.
    Dividends are expected to grow again in 2015. The value of the dividend is based on a rolling, 5-year average of Permanent Fund investment gains and losses.  
Jan 05 2015
An Ignoble End to an Iconic Vessel PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 January 2015


The ferry Kalakala, shown here in happier days when it plied the waters of Puget Sound as a Washington State ferry. The Kalakala spent decades beached in Kodiak's Gibson Cove as a seafood processing plant, before being towed back to Washington. Money never came for repairs, though, and the current owner announced plans to scrap the aluminium streamliner later this month. Photo Kalakala Foundation 



TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The historic ferry Kalakala has reached its final destination.
    The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1xLaDYb ) the owner plans to have the rusting hulk scrapped later this month in Tacoma.
    The 276-foot ferry went into service in 1935 and carried cars across Puget Sound until 1967. In the days before the Space Needle, the silver art deco style vessel was the post card symbol of Seattle.
    Then, it was towed to Alaska and used as a fish processing plant, first in Dutch Harbor, and then for decades in Kodiak's Gibson Cove.
    It was towed back to Seattle in 1998, but plans by several owners to restore it never came up with enough money.
    The Kalakala ended up on property owned by Karl Anderson. He has spent about a half million on it and says it will cost another half-million to prepare it for demolition. 
Jan 05 2015
Public Hearing on Subdivisions, Zoning and Land Use Resume Dec. 12 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 January 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Next Monday, the Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission will continue its series of public hearings on the update to the borough code. It's a meeting KMXT will broadcast live, starting at 6:30 p.m.
    The special meeting will be to hear public comment on titles 16, 17 and 18 of the borough code. Title 16 contains the regulations for subdivisions; Title 17 are the zoning regulations and Title 18 are the borough lands regulations. There were three public hearings held in October, and borough Community Development Director Bob Pederson said the commission would like to hear more from the public.
    “They have been very well attended. Somewhere on the order of 30 to 40 people at a meeting – and I'm doing that from memory. We've received good public comments and quite a number of those have been incorporated into supplemental staff recommendations to the planning and zoning commission and the additional information that we've presented to P and Z.”
    Telling Alaskans – even those who chose to live in an organized borough – what they may or may not do with their land through zoning laws can be a hot-button issue:
    “And it often is, because it is establishing regulations for the use of land to have rules by districts that people can live by and make their investment-based decisions on. There's are always policy decisions where there can be good argument on both sides of a question, and ultimately, P and Z wades through those, filters those and makes a recommendation on to the assembly that then has the tough job of making the final decision on those issues.”
    The public can comment on any of the three portions of the code up for revision at next week's hearing. Some attracted more comments than others, and Pederson thinks the commission might be able to start moving one title further along the process and keep going on the rest as long as need be:
    “It's hoped that following the public comment on the 12th that we may be able to close the public hearings on Title 18 and move into the deliberations where P and Z looks at the language and makes any changes they deem appropriate and at the end of that process, when they've finished all their work, it will be forwarded  on to the assembly for final legislative action.”
    Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Alan Schmidt said that each change suggested by the public will be brought up before the commission and considered. Next Monday's meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the assembly chambers, and KMXT will broadcast it live. 
Jan 05 2015
Bears Use Defense to Hold On Against Kardinals PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 January 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The Kodiak High School Bears girls teams were challenged by the Kenai Kardinals over the weekend, but swept the Central Peninsula team in Northern Lights Conference action. In two defensive struggles, Kodiak won 28-22 on Friday and then 33-28 on Saturday. The Bears are 2-0 in the NLC and 4-1 overall this season.
    The Kodiak boys finished up the ACS tournament in Anchorage dropping the fourth-place game to the Kotzebue Huskies 53-39 on Saturday. Jemuel Mangalus and Max Mutch with 10 apiece had more than half of the Bears' points. Host ACS won the tournament, defeating a tired Barrow, which had been on a week-long road trip, playing a game a day. 
Jan 05 2015
St. Nicholas Safe After USCG Help PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 January 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The fishing vessel Saint Nicholas made it safely back into port Friday evening after it began taking on water about 60 miles southeast of Kodiak earlier in the day.
    On Friday morning the Coast Guard received a call from the Saint Nicholas' crew reporting that their pumps could not keep up with the flooding. A Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak responded and lowered a dewatering pump to the Saint Nicholas, which was able to control the flooding and proceed to port. 
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