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Jun 10 2015
Jackson Trailer Park Discussions at Two Meetings This Week PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission and the Assembly will be discussing singling and jointly options for how to deal with the scores of trailers and residents who will be displaced from Jackson's Mobile Home Park in less than a year.

Wednesday night, the P-and-Z will review the current mobile home park zoning codes and discuss a number of options the borough may have to assist those who will be forced to move.

Some of the options identified in a memo from Planning Director Bob Pederson include: relocation of mobile homes to existing vacant lots, relocation of mobile homes to other mobile home parks; expansion of existing mobile home parks or construction of a new one; temporary storage of mobile homes; and other options for code amendments to address affordable or workforce housing.

In his memo to the mayor, assembly, commission and manager, Pederson notes that his list is a work in progress, and they should expect more in the future.

During the P-and-Z work session, public comments are scheduled at the beginning of the meeting, but no public testimony will be taken during the review of the packet, including the mobile home park code discussion. It will begin at 6:30 in the borough conference room.

On Thursday night the Planning and Zoning Commission will join the Assembly at its work session to resume the mobile home park discussion. It has been put first on the work session agenda. Public comments will be taken immediately after the discussion about trailer parks.

The Assembly's Thursday night work session begins at 7:30, also in the borough conference room. 
Jun 10 2015
Navy Holds Community Forum in Kodiak PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Navy representatives held a community forum in Kodiak yesterday to address concerns about its training in the Gulf of Alaska, which they say begins Monday. They say many people believe this month’s training will include bombs, sonar, and exercises that will disturb commercial fishing, but say much of that is misinformation.

Chief of Plans for Alaskan Command, Captain Raymond Hesser, says while Environmental Impact Study documents approve the use of various pieces of weaponry, the Navy won’t actually be testing all of it during Northern Edge 15. He says this year won’t stand apart from past trainings in that way.

“So, ten days of the air-sea integration, that does not include any bombs or missiles, and it typically doesn’t. Okay. So those airplanes will be flying out just to coordinate and get used to operating in a maritime environment with Navy ships. And that’s the training objective,” Hesser says.

Hesser says the Navy’s exercises will not disrupt commercial fishing.

“Mitigations are establishing operating areas where exercise planners know to avoid fishing activity and other activity that we know would be of particular concern for a Navy ship doing its multi-mission stuff,” says Hesser. “So, again, I’ll tell ya, I can’t tell you exactly where the operating boxes are, but I will tell you that they’re not on the shelf.”

Fisheries biologist, Andrea Balla-Holden, says they will use sonar and that it’ll have a minimal affect on fish. She presented a graphic that outlines the range of fish hearing.

“There is no overlap in the frequency of the sonar used by the navy with the salmon, with the halibut, cod, snappers, and a variety of other great species, I didn’t put it all up there. And that’s just to try to indicate and to show you and convey that they don’t actually hear all of the sonar,” says Balla-Holden.

The graphic does show that herring can hear the sonar, but Balla-Holden says most fish cannot. She also says the sonar will have no affect on fish physically, while explosives could. While there will be no missiles or bombs, she says the explosions from naval gunfire will take place from the surface to five feet below it and its impact depends on different elements.

“The effects, which can include injury if you are close to the source, would be only occurring if you are very close to the source, but it is not a guarantee, it is not an absolute because it depends on the other factors. Smaller fish can be more affected than larger fish,” says Balla-Holden.

She says the explosions weaken as they continue down below the surface. The speakers at the community forum emphasized the training won’t be nearly as damaging as imagined.

And Hesser says they could have acted earlier to prevent misinformation.

“We never actually had questions about the exercise in the past and so we’ve never actually gone out before the exercise and done the public engagements like we’re doing right now,” says Hesser. “I think it’s a product of kind of the campaign that went against the exercise recently and a product of not doing the exercise for four years.”

Hesser says they’re doing their best to clarify matters now. They spoke in Cordova before visiting Kodiak for a second public forum and Hesser says the Navy will carry out its exercises between June 15 and 26.
Jun 09 2015
Austerman Replacement Process Opens in July PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough clerk's office has laid out the procedure for filling a soon-to-be vacant seat on the assembly. Assemblywoman Carol Austerman resigned last Thursday, but it won't become effective until the end of the month.

That means the borough can't start advertising the open seat or start accepting applications until July 3rd. The application period would last two weeks, or until Friday, July 17th.

The timeline proposed by the clerk suggests July 23rd as a possible date to interview applicants for the seat at a special work session, with a special meeting immediately following for the assembly to vote on and appoint a new colleague, and administer the oath of office.

Whoever is chosen will have their first meeting at the July 30th work session and serve until the October Municipal Election is certified, where the remaining year of Austerman's uncompleted term will be on the ballot. 

In 2016, that seat will again return to the regular three-year cycle of elections. 
Jun 09 2015
Another Crawdaddy Found in Buskin PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 June 2015
1.37 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Jay Barrett/KMXT
There's somewhat of a slow motion invasion of a fresh water crustacean happening in Buskin River and Buskin Lake. It has a hard shell, two claws and tastes great in pies. 

“Crawdads, crawfish, crayfish, it all depends where you grew up,” says Blythe Brown of the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District. 

The most recent crawdad to be captured was turned in this week by a Coast Guardsman who found it in the Buskin River. It measured seven-inches long. 
If you happen to find one, contact Brown. If you come across a lot of them, you can always try the suggestions here: (http://www.cajuncrawfish.com/how-to-boil-crawfish.htm) 
Jun 09 2015
Talk of the Rock - Sen. Gary Stevens Discusses Legislative Logjam PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 June 2015

9.39 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup


Kodiak Senator Gary has been in the Alaska Legislature for over a decade and has never seen a financial morass such as the one that faces Alaska today. In this Talk of the Rock interview he expresses his optimism that the House and the Senate will agree on a budget that will avoid a shutdown of state government at the end of June and that Erin's Law will be passes in an acceptable form. He also talks about how he fell out of favor in the Republican party over his stance against SB21, which restructured the state's oil tax. 

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