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Nov 12 2013
Assembly Approves Dock Work, Tackles Contract Issues PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 November 2013

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             Work on the long awaited new dock in Anton Larsen Bay should begin in the near future. On Thursday the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly voted for Jensen Yorba Lott to begin architectural and engineering services for pre design work on the dock replacement project. Thursday’s 5-2 vote wasn’t without a bit of disagreement, though not over the actual dock.
             The vote was actually a change order approval for an already existing contract with Jensen Yorba Lott. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy explains:
            “There are occasions when we need architectural and engineering services and we just don’t want to go out for RFPs every time we need the service so we go out for a master project.”
             Cassidy said Jensen Yorba Lott was selected for that master contract. Basically the contract means the company will help the borough with pre design work as needed for a handful of projects. The borough manager is allowed to award contracts up to $25,000 without assembly approval, and since the original contract didn’t have a dollar amount, Cassidy was able to award it.
              Cassidy said the reason the dock replacement project was before the assembly was because the $43,760 pre design price tag would put the contract over $25,000, and now needed assembly approval.
             Assemblyman Mel Stephens took issue with the fact that the assembly didn’t have a say in the original contract.
            “The manager has authority only if the value of the contract does not exceed $25,000. And so while no specific numbers were included in this particular contract when it was signed, I think any reasonable person looking at it would say that the value of the contract was almost certainly above the manager’s $25,000 authority.”

Nov 12 2013
Alaskans Respond to Philippine Typhoon PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 November 2013

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Casey Kelly/KTOO and The AP
    Alaska’s Filipino community is pulling together to help the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the country early Friday morning. Thousands are feared dead and injured from the storm, one of the most powerful ever recorded.
    The storm knocked out power and communications to much of the central Philippines, and Filipino expatriates in Alaska and the Lower 48 continue to struggle to make contact with friends and loved ones back home.
    The Filipino population in Alaska is just over 19,000, according to the 2010 Census, making it the largest Asian group in the state.
    Anchorage contractor Vince Fronteras told the Anchorage Daily News that people in the Philippines were just getting back on their feet from an earthquake when the typhoon hit.
    Dante Reyes is president of Juneau’s nonprofit Filipino Community Inc. He’s from Aklan province, where close to 10,000 homes were destroyed.
    “We’re still waiting for some reports coming in from our relatives and from some of our friends what happened to them, or are they okay, or fine or something like that. So, it’s really hard.”
    Reyes’ organization held a membership meeting on Saturday, where he says they decided to cancel the organization’s free Thanksgiving Day meal. Instead, the group will donate the $3,000 dollars budgeted for the event to relief efforts. In addition, there will be a fundraising dinner next week at the Filipino Community Hall in Juneau.
    Filipino groups in Anchorage, Kodiak and elsewhere around the state are planning events to help raise funds for typhoon relief.

Nov 08 2013
Bayside Name Change Will Honor First Fire Chief PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 November 2013

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            The Bayside Fire Training Center is getting a new name. Last night the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly voted unanimously in favor of renaming the center to the Earl Smith Jr. Memorial Fire Training Center.
             Earl Smith Jr. was the first fire chief at Bayside in 1983, and, according to a borough resolution, was instrumental in recruiting and training volunteers. Smith also played a key role in funding the construction of the Bayside Community Training Center and Fire Training Center.
             The assembly held a public hearing on the name change, and Scott Arndt spoke in favor of it. Arndt said he had the pleasure of serving on the Fire Protection Service Area No. 1 Board during Smith’s tenure.  
            “He was a mentor to many current and past firefighters and officers at Bayside. I think this is very fitting. And well deserved.”
             Assemblyman Tuck Bonney said he also knew Smith very well.
             In 1998 Smith moved to Lemmon, South Dakota, and battled cancer in the years that followed. He passed away in February and Bonney said he would fully support memorializing him in the name change.   

             “I don’t think there’d be anything better that we could honor him by but by doing this. Because the person that I knew in him certainly deserves it.”
             Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said there will be a dedication ceremony at the training center on Memorial Day 2014. Arndt said he believed Smith’s wife, Donna, will travel back to Kodiak with Smith’s family for that dedication ceremony.

Nov 07 2013
Louisiana Scholar Talks Poe This Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 November 2013

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            Even Edgar Allan Poe’s most adoring Kodiak fans couldn’t hold candle to Dr. Jerry Kennedy. Kennedy, who is a Boyd professor at Louisiana State University, has published seven books about Poe, and has an interest in the gothic writer that spans back decades.  
            “Back in graduate school for sure. And then wrote a dissertation. And have been working basically for the last 40 years, not exclusively on Poe. I work on 19th century American literature, and also 20th. I’ve done quite a bit of work on Hemingway and the American writers in Paris. But my work on Poe is probably the best known and sort of the center of my long time interest because there’s something about Poe that I just keep coming back to and discovering new things in Poe.”
            Kennedy will be in Kodiak this weekend and hold two lectures related to Poe. The lectures are part of the Big Read Kodiak, a multiple month celebration to promote literacy. Kennedy said his presentation on Friday will take a slightly counterintuitive approach to Poe.

Nov 07 2013
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 November 2013

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Coming up this week, the sportsfishing guide industry on the Kenai wants to ban commercial setnet fishing in Cook Inlet; we have a couple of items about the Marine Stewardship Council, and a new face, but a familiar name at the helm of Trident Seafoods. We had help this week from KCHU’s Tony Gorman in Valdez, and KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham.

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