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Mar 16 2015
Budget Priorities Get First Look at School Board Meeting Tonight PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 March 2015
Kodiak Island Borough building where the Board of Education meeting will take place. Kayla Desroches/KMXT 
Kayla Desroches/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough School District Board of Education will be discussing the Fiscal Year 2016 budget at tonight's regular meeting, as well as the the potential purchase of over a half-million-dollars in new computer equipment. 

Members will hear from a Citizen Budget Advisory Committee that has been meeting for the last four weeks reviewing the FY 16 budget priorities and program offerings, followed by a presentation of preliminary budget scenarios for the next fiscal year.

The board will also vote on the purchase of 420 Macbook Pros, 200 iPads and 40 Mac Minis to replace five-year-old computers that have reached the end of their institutional life. The purchase order, heavy with educational discounts, amounts to $589,854.34.

Superintendent Stewart McDonald also says that students will be addressing the school board at tonight's meeting.

“We have over 80 students involved in project-based learning. From nano-agriculture to studies on collecting some of the radioactive material that came over from the Japanese tsunami debris. A earth-science type project that's working with NOAA and the America Bridge.”

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live here on KMXT.

There are many more items on the agenda, and if you'd like to view it, you can find it here.
Mar 13 2015
Assembly, P&Z Hash Out Way Forward in Code Process PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 March 2015
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and the Planning and Zoning Commission met Thursday night in a regularly scheduled quarterly meeting, though it had special significance since the recent code revision project was halted by a P-and-Z vote last month.

"And just to be clear at the last public meeting they adopted a motion to postpone indefinitely the code update. And in the packet they have a memo from director Bob Peterson, and he basically stated that this motion ends the pending code updates as they were presented,” said Borough Manager Bud Cassidy. “So your discussion tonight really is how you want to proceed, and you've asked the commission here tonight to discuss that very topic."

P-and-Z Commissioner Scott Arndt said it was never made clear to him what was wrong with the existing zoning and land use code.

"I would really like to see what the problems have been with the existing code over the years that have brought this about. I know there are some problems but I can't pinpoint them all, and I would like to see us direct staff to start preparing that as to preceded in this code change,” Arndt said. “And as some of the members have spoke to the public, there are certain pieces of the proposed codes that I could see in actually helping the public, but there was much of it that just wasn't acceptable."

Assemblyman Larry LeDoux said the borough code is designed to help residents to live together, and if it doesn't make any sense then it is a worthless document.

"I really believe the process should begin with 'what is the problem?' That is, what's the problem with our current code. And I don't mean the big code – I mean individual issues. And you answer that question with data,” LeDoux said. “What do we have to tell us the current code, or a certain section of the code, is not working? That could be complaints from the public, it could be letters, it could be something that's happening. So no change should occur unless there's a reason for that change."

In wrapping up the work session, Mayor Jerol Friend told the audience that the ball is in the P-and-Z's court and the assembly will act once it hears back from the commission formally.

"So just to summarize here what direction is for us. First we're going to let P-and-Z meet and discuss the motion they adopted. Then P-and-Z will probably write a memo and submit it back to the assembly, so we actually don't have to have another meeting, you guys can kind of give us the gist of what you want,” the mayor said. “The assembly will review and take it into consideration and then will adopt by motion direction for the assembly. Tasking P-and-Z with however we would like that wording to come up; that is the direction I got out of this tonight."

The Planning and Zoning Commission's next regular meeting is slated for next Wednesday night. 
Mar 12 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 March 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Coming up this week, we have more fishery forecasts for you, the Legislature says no to a sanctuary in the Aleutians, and the Sitka Board of Fisheries meeting is the meeting that just keeps on giving. All that, and what's Wrangell's waterfront going to look like after a few million is spent spiffing it up? We had help from KCAW's Rachel Waldholz in Sitka, KDLG's Dave Bendinger in Dillingham, KBBI's Shady Grove Oliver in Homer and KSTK's Katarina Sostaric in Wrangell. 

Mar 12 2015
FV Alaska Pride Limps Home After Being Lowered Extra Water Pump PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 March 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A 35-foot fishing vessel out of Kodiak radioed the Coast Guard early this morning that it was taking on water near Afognak Island and its on-board pumps were not keeping up with the flooding. 

The Alaska Pride, with four crewmen aboard, suffered a puncture to the hull sometime around 4:30 a.m. In the vicinity of Izhut Bay, according to Coast Guard spokesman Kelly Parker.

An Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk helicopter was dispatched with a portable de-watering pump, which the crew of the Alaska Pride reported stemmed the flooding.

Parker said the Good Samaritan vessel Rosella was to meet the Alaska Pride and escort it back across Marmot Bay to Kodiak City for repairs.

Conditions were clear with a 10- to 15- mph northerly winds and temperatures in the teens. No injuries were reported.
Mar 12 2015
New Field Guide Commemorates 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 March 2015
2.69 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Jay Barrett/KMXT
Last year the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake drew a lot of interest to the Gulf of Alaska's coastal geology, and the mechanisms that caused the second largest quake ever recorded. In fact, the milestone attracted the membership of the Seismological Society of America to Alaska for the group's annual meeting.

Rich Koehler is an earthquake geologist with the state's Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys in Fairbanks.  He says the new guidebook can be used to educate planners, land mangers, engineers and scientists working in this seismically-active region.

"The abstracts in the volume were contributed by researchers around th3e world that came for the Seismological Society of America Conference in Anchorage last spring, and the field trip was sponsored by the International Geo-science Program. So they run a field trip every year, and we were lucky enough to have it in Alaska last year."

Though filled with scientific abstracts, Koehler says it should be accessible for the non-scientist.

"Though we go into the detail of the science, but each field locality describes sort of what happened in 1964, so the layperson can get a grasp of what the effects were in certain areas. People can learn by flipping through it there's lots of illustrations and photographs and things like that as well."

And since it was produced during a seven-day field conference, Koehler says it's a perfect companion for a field trip.

"So we have a guidebook series we produce here at GGS that we produce every time we do these big field trips. So this one was kind of special because we had a large group of international scientists all experts in their fields. It's a great little guide to take on a tour. You can drive from Anchorage and go down to Seward and Whittier and take the ferry and go over to Cordova. So if you're in any of those areas, this guidebook would provide you with figures and illustrations and texts to describe what you're seeing."

The book describes the work done to detect the evidence of prehistoric earthquakes on the scale of 1964. So, yes, the Big One has happened before, and it very likely will happen again in the future.

"Well, with the current state of the science, we have a recurrence interval of 300 to 800- or 900-years or so. So for an exact repeat of the 1964 earthquake we probably have some time, but that's not to say you can't have smaller earthquakes in the magnitude eight range or eight-plus that can rupture in that same patch, at any time."

The guidebook is available for free download from the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys website, or you can order a hard copy for $16. 
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