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Apr 22 2014
Talk of the Rock: Borough Representatives in D.C. PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

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          Today on Talk of the Rock we will hear from Borough Mayor Jerrol Friend, Borough Manager Bud Cassidy and Borough Assemblywoman Carol Austerman. The three recently returned from a lobbying trip in Washington D.C., where they met with a number of agencies to discuss Kodiak's projects and needs in the coming years. The trio was also joined in the nation's capital by Assemblyman Dave Kaplan. 

 
Apr 22 2014
Community Members Speak Out During School Board Meeting PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

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Maggie Wall/KMXT

           Morale among Kodiak’s teachers is at an all-time low and communications within the district and with parents leaves a lot to be desired.
           Those were just a few of the concerns expressed by residents who spoke during Public Comment periods during last night’s regular meeting of the Kodiak Island Borough School District Board of Education.
           The meeting was the first since the recent contract and performance review of Kodiak School District Superintendent Stewart McDonald.
           The Borough Assembly Chambers was packed, though only a few people spoke publicly about a problem. References were made by those who did speak that teachers and other school district employees fear that speaking out publicly would adversely affect their employment with the district.
           Anticipating what was coming, School Board President Katie Oliver spoke to the issue shortly after the meeting got underway:
          
"It's also my recommendation and intent to schedule at a near future public meeting, a discussion item about the process of inviting and accepting public input into the evaluation of district employees...I think it's important to honor the time and energy that community members put into correspondence with the district and I think we can bring clarity to the process, particularly in the area of timeline and in the area of the goals that the board sets, which provides a framework for evaluation. And I think we can have a conversation about the extent to which we consider written comments that are anonymous and unsigned. So as your president, that is my intent and recommendation -- future executive session, future discussion item on the process."

           Ron Gibbs was the first to speak. He said he did not come to the meeting to attack or tear down, but rather to make suggestions on how the district might handle what he called an increasing opportunity for improvement.
           "We value the commitment that you have made, and respect the efforts that you make on behalf of the district. Unfortunately, comments made by board members do indicate a disconnect between the board's perceptions and what is actually happening in the schools in the community."

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Apr 22 2014
Amidst Fiscal Uncertainty, School Budget Passes PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Maggie Wall/KMXT

 

           The Alaska Legislature continues to struggle to come up with a funding plan for the state’s education system. That has put a real wrench into plans for the local school budget.   
            Because of deadlines and timetables, the Kodiak Island Borough School District must present a budget for next year to the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly on Thursday. To meet the Thursday deadline, the school board had to approve its proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget at last night’s regular meeting.
             So, how do you prepare a school budget in the range of $50 million when the bulk of your funding comes from the legislature and the legislature hasn’t yet figured out how much it will provide in funding?
             The Answer:   You base the budget on what you do know, pick a mid-range figure for what the state will provide, and you hope for the best.
             The school board and borough assembly will meet in a special joint work session on Thursday. Hopefully, by then they will know what the legislature will fund so they can adjust the proposed budget based on actual figures.
              The school board approved a $51 million budget for Fiscal Year 2015 which begins July 1.
The budget assumes the legislature increases the Base Student Allocation by $185, and it asks the borough for $522,000 more than the current year.

 
Apr 22 2014
City to Hear Capital Projects Update Tonight PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

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           It’s a full agenda for the Kodiak City Council’s work session tonight. The seven-item list includes a discussion of sales tax exemptions, as well as discussion about depreciation funding for city assets.
           The council will also hear an update on capital projects and talk about the possibility of allowing the Kodiak Football League to build a permanent snack shack structure at Baranof Park to sell concessions during athletic events. City code currently prohibits such permanent structures for the purpose of displaying, selling or soliciting the sale of goods or services, but it does allow permits to sell concessions using temporary structures. The football league uses one of these permits annually, but the hope was to build a permanent structure that could then be rented out during the off season or used for city purposes.
           Tonight’s work session will start at 7:30 p.m. and take place in the multipurpose room of the Kodiak Public Library.

 
Apr 21 2014
Judge Denies 5 Defense Witnesses in CommSta Murder Trial PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 April 2014

 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP)

 

           A judge Monday refused to allow five defense witnesses to testify in the trial of the man charged with killing two co-workers at a Kodiak Coast Guard communication station.
           One rejected Kodiak witness was detained for trying to carry a gun through security at the Anchorage federal building.
            The five were called in the trial of 62-year-old James Wells, who's charged with shooting James Hopkins and Richard Belisle.
            One defense theory is that the killings were random and that a suspect who should have been investigated is Jason Barnum, a man with striking tattoos who five months later was charged with attempting to kill an Anchorage police officer.
            U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline ruled that Barnum had no connection to the victims and disallowed testimony about him.

 
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