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May 02 2014
Assembly Advances Compensation Ordinance PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 02 May 2014

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           Last night the assembly approved an ordinance that would adopt and implement a new employee classification and compensation plan. The plan was actually the result of a study done by Fox Lawson and Associates last May, but it took a year to make its way back to the assembly for a vote.
           Bill Roberts works for the borough’s assessing office and said the plan had to go through a quorum of the personnel advisory board.
           “That was a problem, we finally got it in November. There was some people that had questions. Couldn’t re-meet with that board until I think February or March, so now you have this thing instead of being before you in August, you have it before you now.”
            That wouldn’t be a problem, except for the study found some borough employees were underpaid, and part of the implementation would bring their salaries in line with similar jobs around the nation.
            The ordinance was amended during last night’s meeting to implement the plan as of January 1, 2014, meaning borough employees that were underpaid according to the study would be retroactively paid for the past five months.
            While that amendment was ultimately approved, Assemblyman Tuck Bonney voiced objection to the retroactive pay.
             “I do support the study. It gives Bud the tools he needs to hire people. But like I said before I can’t support the retro. And somebody said to me, we have a responsibility to borough employees. Well I have a responsibility to the community of Kodiak, and that overrides everything. And I don’t think quarter million dollars in bonus money is in the best interest of this community.”
              Assemblywoman Carol Austerman said she didn’t feel like borough employees should be punished by the borough process when it was known more than a year ago that certain positions were underpaid.
              “And it’s the reason that the assembly implemented the salary study however many years ago now at this point because it took an awful long time to get the original salary study done. So I think that we have drug our feet knowing full well that we’ve underpaid some of our employees for a very long time.”
             If it had gone through faster, Austerman said the money would have gone to the employees anyway.
             The assembly voted 5-2 on the first reading of the classification and compensation ordinance. It will now move to a public hearing and second vote at the assembly’s next regular meeting.  

 
May 02 2014
Unalaska Delta Western Unionization Ceretified PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 02 May 2014

Annie Ropeik/KUCB
    It’s official: Delta Western fuel supply workers in Unalaska are unionized. The National Labor Relations Board certified the workers’ vote to join the Inland Boatmen’s Union last week, according to an IBU statement.
    The workers had voted by an eight to 15 margin to join the union in early April. An NLRB representative oversaw the election.
    The next step will be to negotiate a contract for the workers. The IBU will head up that process.
    The road to unionizing began in February, when Delta Western workers walked off the job in
protest of alleged workplace mistreatment. They went on strike again in March and filed a federal complaint with the NLRB, saying their managers were using illegal methods to punish them for striking and to keep them from organizing.
    The group petitioned to join the IBU soon after. They’re now the only unionized Delta Western terminal in Alaska.

 
May 01 2014
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 May 2014

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Coming up this week, Togiak herring season is open, but there’s something less than a mad rush to get nets in the water; winter king trolling has wrapped up in Southeast, and the possibility of a herring transplant. We had help from KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham, KCAW’s Robert Woolsey and Emily Foreman in Sitka, and KFSK’s Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg.

 
May 01 2014
Logging Concerns Linger, Prompt Informal Meeting PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 May 2014

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           This weekend a group of people are trying to rekindle a discussion about land use and logging in Kodiak.
           It’s been about six months since dozens of Chiniak residents packed the borough assembly chambers to oppose a proposed land sale between the Kodiak Island Borough and A-1 Timber Consultants, Inc.
           The 800 acres of borough land that was up for consideration was estimated to bring $2 million of revenue to the borough, but after heated public comments regarding current logging practices in Chiniak were expressed, the idea was taken off the table and no formal motions were ever made by assembly members to pursue the matter further.
            While that land sale has seemingly died, the animosity toward logging expressed by community members during the October meeting is still alive and well.  That’s why some community members are holding an informal meeting to discuss the matter this weekend.
            Bonny McWethy helped organize the event.
            “It came about because people were concerned about the logging and the roads in Chiniak.”
            She said it will be pretty informal with a few facilitators to help direct the converstaion. Overall the goal is to give everyone a chance to voice their opinions on the matter.  
            “We’re aware this is a very controversial issue and there’s a lot to it. It’s very complicated and we would like to invite everyone to come to the meeting. We want to hear all sides, we don’t want to be blind to anything, blind to anyone’s needs.”
            The meeting will be this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Fisherman’s Hall.

 
Apr 30 2014
Community 'Spring Cleaning' This Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

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           This Saturday is community clean up day here in Kodiak. Joyce Gregory is with the Kodiak Lions Club and said it’s an opportunity for people to spruce up different areas – sort of an island-wide spring cleaning, if you will.
            She said free clean up bags will be provided at the high school parking lot Saturday morning.  
            “Everybody meets there at 9 a.m. and we have a large borough map and everybody kind of tells the area that they’d like to go clean up, usually around their own home. There are some organizations that have specific areas that they clean up every year, like up on Pillar Mountain or white sands beach or whatever. And then they go out and clean it up and leave their bags alongside the road.”
            Summer Wood is the community relations director for the Chamber of Commerce and said different organizations will be picking up bags alongside the road, but there are some changes to how that will be done this year. 
            “They can leave them on the side of the road, but no roadside junk. They can leave their trash bags on the side of the road and we have guys we call swampers – Alaska Waste, Threshold, Kodiak Lawn Care and Jay Brant Construction – they go out and will pick up these bags and then take them to the dump.”
             In the past large junk items were picked up, but this year Wood said those won’t be able to be picked up and will be left on the side of the road.

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