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Dec 16 2013
Post Doctoral Fellow Finds New Home in Kodiak PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 December 2013

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abhijit-240.jpgBrianna Gibbs/KMXT

           Abhijit Chatterjee never thought he’d call Alaska home. But his academic interests laid out a path that ultimately led him to Kodiak where he is currently a post doctoral fellow at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center.
           Chatterjee grew up in Kolkata, India, where he earned his bachelors in chemistry and then later pursued a bachelors and masters in food technology and biochemical engineering. In 2007 he embarked on a huge adventure, and decided to move well beyond the borders of India to pursue a PhD in civil and environmental engineering at university of Alaska in Fairbanks. 
            “I shouldn’t say that I wanted to come exactly here because Kolkata (Calcutta) is a pretty tropical place and in summer time temperature goes above +40 Celsius, and in Alaska it’s -40 Celcius.”
            But during his master’s thesis, Chatterjee was working on a water treatment project that involved removing metals using a bacterial absorption process called bioabsorbtion. He said he was always interested in pursuing a PhD in the United States and found the program at Fairbanks fit his interests most. 

Dec 16 2013
New Police Chief Sworn in to Office PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 December 2013

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            The city’s new Police Chief, Ronda Wallace, has held her new position for almost a month, but Thursday night she was officially sworn into office.
            “And that I will faithfully and honestly, that I will faithfully and honestly, perform the duties of chief of police, perform the duties of chief of police, so help me god, so help me god. Congratulations. Thank you.”            

            That was City Clerk Debra Marlar administering the oath of office to Wallace during Thursday’s regular city council meeting. City Mayor Pat Branson said it is a Kodiak tradition to administer the police chief’s oath of office during a public ceremony.
            Former police chief, T.C. Kamai, was also at Thursday’s meeting and took part in another Kodiak tradition – presenting the chief with their new insignia, or emblem. 
            “It is the custom within the culture of the Kodiak Police Department that an outgoing chief present his rank insignia to the incoming chief. So we’d like to do that tonight and I’ve asked Chief Wallace’s husband to assist me in doing this. It’s my hope that these insignia bring you as much courage, wisdom and luck as they brought me.”
             Kamai retired from the police department in September after 25 years of service.

Dec 16 2013
State Fines Greenpeace Ship for 2012 Incursion PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 December 2013

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esperanza_thumbnail.jpgLauren Rosenthal/KUCB
    A state board has fined Greenpeace $15,000 for traveling through Alaskan waters without a marine pilot.
    The violation occurred during Greenpeace’s “Save the Arctic” tour to protest Shell’s oil exploration in July 2012.
    Greenpeace had sent the Esperanza, their 237-foot, Dutch-flagged research vessel. The Esperanza were supposed to study corals and sealife in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
    Along the way, the vessel stopped into a few Alaskan towns. That’s where it ran into trouble.
    Crystal Dooley is a coordinator for the Alaska Board of Marine Pilots.
    “Pilotage is compulsory at all entrances from seaward to Alaska’s bays, sounds, rivers, straits, inlets, harbors, ports, or other estuaries or passages within three nautical miles of the state's coastline,” she said.
    Dooley says the Board of Marine Pilots got an anonymous tip that the Esperanza may have broken that rule at Point Hope.
    Dooley says they looked up data from the vessel’s Automatic Identification System receiver. It showed that the Esperanza anchored inside the mandatory pilotage zone.
    The Board of Marine Pilots voted to fine Greenpeace in October.
    Greenpeace attorney Deepa Isac says the organization is still sorting through the violation. They have retained a lawyer in Alaska, and they may file an appeal.
    Isac says the Esperanza crew is experienced in traveling through Arctic and near-shore environments.
    “They always look into what is required locally in all the areas that they go,” she said.
    The Alaska Board of Marine Pilots is not investigating any other violations from Greenpeace’s trip to Alaska.

Dec 13 2013
Council Approves Hours of Operation for City Parks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 December 2013

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            Kodiak’s city parks will now have hours of operation. Last night the Kodiak city council passed winter and summer hours that run from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to 12 midnight, respectively.
           But those weren’t the hours the council faced at the beginning of last night’s meeting. The original hours suggested for the summer were from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
           Councilman Charlie Davidson moved to amend those hours and allow for later usage, specifically during the summer months with more daylight. Councilman Terry Haines also supported later hours.
           “Well I’m going to support this amendment because I think it reflects the reality of our citizens in the summer time. Some of them don’t even get off work until 10 p.m. at night. And I think that we should have our new facilities as accessible to our public as we can.”
           Councilman Randy Bishop disagreed with those later hours and said the goal of implementing hours is to protect the city’s investments.
           “And we’ve yet to have a summer to see the use or usage it will have. Until then I don’t think, and I’ve talked to a lot of people, and the younger generation says move it to midnight, the older generation says keep it at 11 p.m. So it’s a ying and yang. But my personal opinion, I think we should keep it at 11 p.m. And if it’s a controversy I think we can later revisit this issue.”

          But Davidson countered that the areas could still be protected without limiting access.

Dec 12 2013
Harbors Will Light Up for the Holidays PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 December 2013

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Marina Cummisky/KMXT

            As we get further into December, Christmas lights have been going up around Kodiak, lighting up buildings and houses in the darkening evenings. The festive cheer will soon be spreading to both the St. Herman and St. Paul harbors, as part of the Harbor Lights Festival.
           Toby Sullivan is the executive director of the Maritime Museum, and helped organize the event.
           “The Harbor Lights Festival is a celebration of the season, and what we’re doing is encouraging boat owners to decorate their boats with lights during the next few weeks here, through the end of the year.”
            Sullivan said there used to be a boat parade in Kodiak, where boat owners would decorate their boats with Christmas lights, and drive them out to Spruce Cape and back for onlookers to enjoy. This parade has not happened for about ten years, mostly because of weather hazards.

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