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Oct 24 2013
UFA Board Meeting in Sitka PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 October 2013

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    The United Fishermen of Alaska’s Board of Directors is meeting in Sitka this week.
    President Jerry McCune says the board will work on priorities for legislative and government-agency action.
    “We’re always looking for little tweaks in the (state) Division of Investments or things that would be more helpful to fishermen for their loans, especially with a lot of young folks getting online now. That was one of the reasons we fought so hard to up the (loan) limit for permits to $200,000, because prices nowadays are a lot higher today than when it started out.”
    The United Fishermen of Alaska is an umbrella organization of about 35 commercial fishing and processing groups.
    McCune is also president of Cordova District Fishermen United.
    He says the UFA board will discuss Alaska Board of Fisheries appointments. It’s been a hotbed of controversy over the balance among gear-group, subsistence and sport representatives.
    “Right now it’s pretty much up to the governor to pick who’s going to be on the board of fish. Sometimes you end up with really, really good board members and other times people realize it’s way over their heads with what they’re talking about statewide.”
    Some governors’ nominations have been blocked by the Legislature.
    The board won’t take up election endorsements during this meeting.
     President McCune says it’s too early because the latest redistricting plan is being challenged in court.
    “Of course that might be just down in Southeast and north. But it would make a change in who’s running against who and who would end up where. So I don’t think we’ll probably bring up any of that until (next) fall.”
    The UFA is urging its members and others in the business to attend another meeting later this month. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is holding its “All Hands” Meeting October 28th through 30th in Anchorage. It will include updates on marketing efforts as well as species-specific sessions.

 
Oct 24 2013
Park Hours, Animal Control on City's Agenda Tonight PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 October 2013

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             Park hours could be coming to places like Baranof Field and East Addition Park in the near future. Tonight the Kodiak City Council will hold a regular meeting and discuss, among other things, whether or not to implement hours of operation for Kodiak’s many public parks. In an effort to better staff the parks, and mitigate potential vandalism, the city hopes to have winter and summer hours opening at 5 a.m. and closing at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., respectively. Tonight will be a first reading on the matter, and public hearing will be held at the council’s next regular meeting on December 12.
              Scheduling conflicts will prevent the council from holding any meetings in November, which means it’s a busy agenda tonight. The council will vote on a series of authorizations, including two professional services contracts. First up is a contract with CH2M HILL for composting design. Last week the borough assembly approved a land transfer to the city on an area the city hopes to build a Class A composting facility. With that land secured, the city hopes to start the planning and design for that facility. Another contract up for authorization is for the Monashka pumphouse design.
              Tonight the city will also authorize the removal of an inactive AT&T satellite dish near the new Kodiak Public Library and vote on the new animal control contract with the borough.
              Tonight’s meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the borough assembly chambers and will be broadcast live on KMXT. Public comments are accepted at the beginning and end of each meeting and limited to three minutes per speaker.

 
Oct 23 2013
Teen Court Looks For New Members PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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             Kari Millstein was never particularly interested in the legal system. But in eighth grade some members of Kodiak Teen Court spoke in one of her classes, and Millstein decided to see what it was like. Now, Millstein, a senior in high school, is president of Teen Court, a teen judge and looking at the possibility of law school when she graduates next spring.
             Kodiak’s Teen Court is a state-approved program where students in eighth grade and higher can become judges and attorneys in real criminal cases. The cases typically involve youth 18 and under who have chosen to go through Teen Court. Some cases come from the Alaska State Court system, as well as the Alaska Department of Juvenile Justice, and more often than not they include misdemeanor offenses and MIPs, which are minor in possession of alcohol offenses.
             Millstein said Teen Court has been an influential experience in her life and taught her a lot about the legal system. She served as an attorney before becoming a judge, and said it’s definitely a weird experience to defend, prosecute and legally judge some of her every day peers.
            “It’s hard not to seem sort of condescending, and I don’t want them to think of me as someone who thinks I’m so much better than they are. I just want them to know that I’m here to help. Because it could have just as easily been me in that situation, and maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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Oct 23 2013
Diaper Bank to Provide Relief for Low Income Parents PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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            It’s no question that many things are more expensive when you live on an island, including necessities for young parents. Emily Arnick works with the Cama’i Home Visiting Program through the Kodiak Area Native Association and estimates the average supply of diapers for one child per year costs $1,296 in Kodiak. She said a minimum wage job only pays about $14,024 per year, meaning almost ten percent of a parent’s income could go toward diapers alone.
            Arnick said that’s a huge amount of money and could cause unwanted stress, especially for a single parent.
            “Which ultimately affects a young child’s development because if mom is stressed that kind of carries over to the child. If she’s having to work two jobs then that’s less job that she can spend with her young child to teach them colors and letters and you know all those kinds of things. So I just started kind of thinking about it and thinking about it and you know there’s food banks and there’s you know other things, I wonder if there’s diaper banks.”
            That’s right, diaper banks. While it might sound silly, it’s no joke, especially when programs like WIC and Food Stamps don’t cover the cost of diapers for parents struggling financially. And as Arnick discovered from her research, it isn’t a new idea, either. 
            “There’s a few diaper banks popping up around the country, I think there’s two others in Alaska.”
            Now there are three. After seeing the need here in Kodiak, Arnick decided to start Kodiak’s first diaper bank.

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Oct 23 2013
Oliver New School Board President PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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    The Kodiak Island Borough School Board has a new set of officers following the municipal elections three weeks ago. Katie Oliver is now the body’s president, with new school board member Rick Kniaziowski assuming the vice presidential role.
    Debra Kirk is the board’s clerk and first-year member Todd Hailey is the treasurer. Norm Wooten is the only board member without a title, though he does hold the institutional memory of the board, having served for many years.
    Commander Michael Mullen is the board’s Coast Guard advisory representative, and Frano Nero is the student advisory representative.

 
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