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Jul 07 2014
School Board Seeks Interim Member PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 July 2014

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    The Kodiak Island Borough School Board is seeking a new member. Todd Hailey, the board’s treasurer, has resigned and moved out of town.
    The board is taking applications from interested borough citizens until next Monday, and plan interviews and an appointment in two weeks, on July 21st. Interested applicants can submit a letter of interest to the school district’s central office.
    The new appointed member will serve until the October municipal elections, when the seat will come open for a three-year term.
    Hailey was himself appointed to the board because of a vacancy, and his term would’ve expired this October.

Jul 07 2014
Kodiak Electricity Averages 99.6-Percent Renewable PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 July 2014

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    If you’ve noticed a slight decline in your electric bill this year, it’s because very little diesel fuel is used to generate power, according to KEA boss Darron Scott:
    “Just got some recent numbers, so for the first half of this year, we’re at 99.6 percent renewable. Which has just been great. The third turbine has been a big part of that, at Terror Lake, and it’s been able to perform really well and take care of all of our peak load situations during that heavy fish processing time, you know that March-February timeframes we have really high loads. Very useful there, plus allowed to do some maintenance on our older units as well later in the spring. The wind turbines have been doing good too, and kinda combine all around.”
    On a Kodiak Electric bill, there’s a line item called the “Cost of Power Adjustment,” or COPA, which represents the cost of using diesel fuel in electricity generation. The reduction in that is what’s driving the decline in electric bills. Scott says electric rates today are actually lower than they were at the turn of the century.
    “If you went and used the average amount of electricity, which is around 600 KWH, I believe, your bill would have been in January of 2001 about $105 give or take a few cents. And now, this January of 2014, it was about a hundred dollars. Just over a hundred dollars. So about a 4.5 percent drop January 2001 to January 2014. And that’s no inflation numbers or anything. That’s just the real hard dollars that we see.”
    And because of Kodiak’s legendary weather, Scott predicts steady electric rates in the future.

Jul 07 2014
1 in 10 Kodiak Families in Danger of Becoming Homeless PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 July 2014

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    Kodiak’s Brother Francis Shelter for the homeless is receiving a $231,126 grant from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. Director Monte Hawver says the shelter has been receiving this yearly grant since the mid-90s.
    “And it’s an over-umbrella grant that basically oversees the entire structure of the shelter. It pays for everything from food to staffing to our homeless prevention program, which is a really important part of what we do here in Kodiak to keep families from becoming homeless.”
    Hawver says the individual homeless rate is fairly stable in Kodiak, but the Brother Francis Shelter also operates a homelessness prevention program, and that a large number of families are at risk.
    “Basically about 1 out of 10 families are struggling here in Kodiak and in danger of becoming homeless.”
    He said the family homelessness problem is growing faster than ever.
    “We started out a number of years ago with out homeless prevention program, which was one of the first in the country. And through the years, I can remember when we helped 50 families. I can remember when we helped 100 families a year, and I thought, ‘My gosh, that’s gotten – it’s crazy.’ Last we helped 243 families. And unfortunately as the economy changes so much, and the fisheries change so much, more and more people get left behind. And it’s just become a terrible situation for quite a few families here in Kodiak.”
    Though grants like the one from the AHFC are vital, Hawver wants the community to remember that their help is important, too.
    “The homeless assistance program grant takes care of the basic needs of the shelter, and the basic programs. But we do rely on individual and organizational local grants in order to take care of all the needs of the families of Kodiak and the individuals.”
    The Brother Francis Shelter is just one of 28 organizations in 13 Alaskan communities to benefit from the AHFC’s grant award, which totals more than $5.9 million.

Jul 03 2014
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 July 2014

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Coming up this week, the feds are recommending more seafood for young children and pregnant women; there’s still no radiation contamination to Alaskan seafood from Fukushima, and a water problem in Emmonak has a ripple effect for processors and fishermen. All that, and an exotic repurposing of a legendary crab boat in Kodiak, all coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KFSK’s Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg, KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham, KNOM’s Zacharia Hughes in Nome, and KCAW’s Rachel Waldholz in Sitka.

Jul 03 2014
Diplomas Available for those Denied Due to Defunct Exit Exam PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 July 2014

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    Around 60 people who attended Kodiak High School in the past dozen years or so that did not receive a diploma at graduation are now eligible for that piece of paper, thanks to the education bill that passed out of the legislature this year. Superintendant Stewart McDonald explains:
    “Because the state had put in place this exit exam component, anybody who completed everything but that, received a certificate of completion, which meant they met the standards for graduation, but didn’t pass all the components of that exam. Those students now that the state has repealed the high school qualifying exit exam are now eligible to receive their high school diploma.”
    McDonald said the school district is actively reaching out to those students:
    “First thing that we did, was locally, we sent out a letter to the last known address to every one of these individuals. And we received a number of them back with return to sender because we don’t have their current address. The state department of education and early development is committed to helping us find those remaining individuals that we were not able to get a hold of. So it’s going to be an effort by both the district and the state to locate everyone and make sure they know they can come and claim their high school diploma.”
    But even if those former students are unable to get back to receive their diploma, McDonald said they can now say they have one.
    “Here’s another way to look at it: If you’ve received a certificate of completion, whether you have your piece of paper or not from us, you can officially declare on any job application that you in fact have a high school diploma. Whether you actually received the actual piece of paper or not, it’s official, you have a diploma.”
    McDonald said he would be happy to do a little more than just toss a diploma in the mail if the former student so desires.
    “Every single one that we’re able to get here in person, if I can have a board member present, we will certainly recognize them with as much pomp and circumstance as we can afford at that moment.”
    Give the Kodiak Island Borough School District central office a call if you didn’t pass the now-defunct state exit exam, because they have a high school diploma waiting for you.

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