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Apr 15 2015
UAF Study Researches the "Graying" of Alaska's Fisheries PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Danielle Ringer, researcher on the Next Generation of Fisherman Study. Via Alaska Sea Grant

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The aging of the fishing industry is a source of concern to coastal communities and some employers who wonder where they'll get new workers when their current ones retire. A research project that focuses on Bristol Bay and the Kodiak Archipelago hopes to analyze this issue in an ongoing study, and a researcher from the study will share its progress at a lecture tonight at the Baranov Museum.

University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student, Danielle Ringer, is the research assistant on the Kodiak portion of the Next Generation of Fishermen Study, which began in May 2014. Among the project's objectives is to collect data on young people's views of fishery careers and to analyze factors in attracting newcomers.

One of the methods of doing that is to talk to a whole range of people involved in the fishing industry.

“Yes, the project is looking at the next generation of fishermen and that means youth and new entrants, but I think to understand that issue, you need to talk to the experienced folks," says Ringer. "You need to learn about what fishing was like many years ago when they first got in and to be able to make comparisons to how that is now.”

Ringer says she's done interviews with fifty-one people so far, at least one from every gear group and fishery in Kodiak. She says she'll be visiting Old Harbor and Ouzinkie to conduct more interviews and bring a student survey to the schools there.

The research team is currently working on preparations to talk with students around Kodiak and discuss their views of the fishing industry.

Ringer says one of the study's objectives is to make policy recommendations, which may come from community members and experienced fishermen or existing models abroad.

“There's a lot of different fisheries policies and things like that that have been sort of created to address the graying of the fleet internationally," says Ringer. "And so if we can look at those, figure out what is our set of possible tools that we can use and what would work in these communities perhaps.”

Ringer will give an update on the project at a lecture tonight at the Baranov Museum. It will begin at 7 p.m.
Apr 14 2015
New Name for Kodiak's Rocket Launching Facility PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
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The Kodiak Launch Complex logo will soon be changing. 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
With a new focus for the services the Alaska Aerospace Corporation hopes to provide from its launch facility in Kodiak, comes a new name. Goodbye Kodiak Launch Complex, hello Pacific Spaceport Complex - Alaska.

“It's the same spot, doing the same business, but the business of space launch is really about access to the Pacific from the Kodiak Launch site.”

Mark Greby, the corporation's vice president and chief operating officer.

“It's an Alaskan business; but the customer base is not necessarily Alaskan, and we want to make sure that as we reach out to future customers that we are defining that we service the Pacific region.”

Greby said the decision was made to make the announcement today at the 31st International Space Symposium in Colorado Springs because of the number of industry players in attendance.

“It is the big space symposium of the year that has both national and international attendees there. It is the big kahuna of the business conferences associated with launch providers and launch operators. We have had a regular presence there where we see a lot of our customers and potential customers all at once.”

The name change is effective immediately. 
Apr 14 2015
The Humane Society of Kodiak Tops Pick.Click.Give Pledge List in Kodiak PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Graphic via Pick.Click.Give.org
Kayla Desroches/KMXT
Nine Kodiak nonprofits recently gained more funds for their areas of operation through Pick.Click.Give.

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The Alaska organization, Pick.Click.Give, partenered with the state department of revenue in 2007 to allow residents to donate part of their Permanent Fund Dividend to their cause of choice. Their pledges grow every year. 
Cathy Day is the Interim Program Manager for Pick Click Give. She says the PFD deadine was on March 31 and that the program did better than ever.  

“I think we all had hoped that we could raise 3 million dollars,” says Day. “But we even exceeded our own expectations, so we had a 25% increase in donors this year and 20% increase in the dollars raised, and we got to 3.3 million, which is just fantastic.”

She says the 540 eligible organizations will split the money. 

This year in Kodiak, 564 donors raised a total of $33,850 for local organizations.

The Humane Society of Kodiak came out on top with $9,975 from 177 donors. Humane Society President, Linda Lance, says they will invest the majority of that money in the organization's Spay/Neutar programs for shelter and community animals.

“The more we spay and neuter pets, the less likely we're gonna have abandoned pets or a high population of unwanted pets,” says Lance. “There's only so many people to adopt these pets, and so, keeping that population under control helps us as a community and it helps them as well.”

The organization that earned the second most pledges was the Kodiak Women’s Resource & Crisis Center with $4,875 from 70 donors. Rebecca Shields is the Center's executive director. She says they will spend most of the money on operating costs.

“It goes to serving the people that are our clients and buys supplies and food items and helps to pay the bills to keep the shelter opened and it really is an amazing gift to us,” says Shields.

Cathy Day adds that Pick.Click.Give's pledges may go up or down in amount depending on the donor's situation and their PFD. The nonprofit with have a more concrete list of donations in early October.
Apr 14 2015
City Composting Plans Funded, Firmed Up PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak City Council approved a budget increase to the new composting facility Thursday night by adding a $3-million loan it received from the Alaska Clean Water Fund. It was necessary because, as City Engineer Mark Kozak explains, the bids for the facility came in higher than expected.

"The project currently has $3.3-million available for construction. When the bids were opened, they were higher than estimated,” Kozak said. “In order or award the project, we need to amend the project budget by including the $3-million Alaska Clean Water Fund loan into the budget at this time."

Long time City Councilman Charlie Davidson said the project's cost is largely due to how long it's been in limbo.

"I just want to add information for the public that this has been an ongoing project since 1999 practically. And that's when, in the middle of those years since then, the borough has been unable to accept any more of the bio-solids coming from the waste water treatment plant. It gives the public an idea how long it takes to get this program situated,” Davidson said. “This is a mandate from the EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. It shows you the price increases with each year of delay, how much more it costs us as a result."

Thursday night the council also voted to award the construction contract to Brechan Enterprises for $3,390,350 and for construction project management to CH2M Hill for $394,000.

"It's just great to see this facility finally get up and running. We see Juneau right now shut down their incinerator, which was how they were dealing with their bio solids and are now faced with the cost of barging all of their bio solids out of town. And I'm just so glad we don't have to face those two options,” Haines said. “You know, what we're doing here with this facility, and we worked very closely with CH2M Hill, and I can't say enough great things about the people we work with them. They're on the cutting edge of this technology. What we're doing here is ecologically responsible and it's also responsible to the tax payers, and gives us a long-term solution to this."

The compost site will be on about three-and-a-half acres within the borough's landfill fences. 
Apr 13 2015
Kangaroo - It's What's for Lunch PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 April 2015
Ray Legrue, Henry's Great Alaskan Restaurant owner. Kayla Desroches/KMXT 
Kayla Desroches/KMXT
A kangaroo burger made its debut at Henry's Great Alaskan Restaurant today. 

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It was one in a series of meats that staff members tried Sunday at the in-house taste-test. Also on the list were boar sausage, elk bratwurst, and water buffallo sausage. Henry's served its employees a variety of beer samples alongside the meat, as well as plates of cheeses and crackers. The taste-testing was the final step of approval for a series of Monday specials, the first of which is kangaroo.
Ronni Filburn is a Henry's employee. She says she liked the kangaroo burger, and that it would be even better medium to medium-rare. 

“The flavor was really good, it was zesty," she said. "It was just a little on the dry side the way it was, but cooked to order, I think it would be a good addition.”
Ray Legrue owns Henry's Great Alaskan Restaurant. He says kangaroo meat is one of the items he purchased from his daughter, a chef and a salesperson for a Portland-based butchery. He says he and his team bought the samples and tried them in December, and that they invested a lot of time on planning between then and now.
“The problem was getting the logistics to get the product from Portland to Kodiak without the expense of the transportation making it something that was unmanageable.”

And Legrue says now that they've arranged importation, the next challenge is the meats' reception. He thinks locals will enjoy the kangaroo burger, especially based on his employees' feedback. He says most of the meats rated well at the in-house taste test.

“I'd say like 80 to 90 percent of the people really liked everything that we offered today. Not everybody, but that's a really good percentage for any specialty product.”

Legrue says that all the upcoming meats are farm-raised and that the kangaroo burgers will cost about three dollars more than the beef ones. 
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