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Sep 20 2013
Assembly Postpones CIP List Approval PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 September 2013

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            Last night the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly decided to postpone a vote on its capital improvement projects priority list. An eight item list was before the assembly as a resolution, but concerns over one of the projects on the list, and the absence of three assembly members, led to its postponement until the October 3 regular meeting.
            Assemblyman Mel Stephens took issue with the third project on the list, which asks for $500,000 from the state to look at extending public utilities to swampy acres. The thought is that more Coast Guard housing will be built in the area, which currently has no water or sewer lines. Stephens said it didn’t make sense that public money would be put toward a private property owner.
            But Borough Mayor Jerome Selby said the hope is that the project would be a pubic/private partnership, and help soften Kodiak’s housing crisis. In fact, he said the item was put on the CIP list at the request of  the housing committee.
            “It’s a joint city, borough, Coast Guard housing committee. It is on here at the request of the Coast Guard because they are interested in doing a joint public/private construction of housing for the Coast Guard, since the probability of them being able to get funding for housing through the federal system is slim to none, given the federal budget picture. So the whole idea behind this was to be able to get some housing constructed for the Coast Guard so that they can have the option of bringing additional vessels. Because of the Arctic effort that’s now a Coast Guard responsibility, there is an opportunity to bring another vessel, I believe one C-130 and two helicopters to Kodiak, if there was housing available for them.”    

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Sep 20 2013
Bears at Home This Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 September 2013

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    There’s a limited sports schedule this weekend for Kodiak High School athletes, comprised of a pair of cross country races and a home football game.
    The Bears will welcome the Colony Knights to the Fort Abercrombie trail this evening, with the girls racing at 5 p.m. and the boys at 5:45. Tomorrow at 9 a.m., the two schools will run co-ed 4-by-1-mile relays at the Bear Valley Golf Course.
    On the gridiron, the Bears start a three-game homestand to wrap up the regular season. The Thunder Mountain Falcons from Juneau will take on the Bears at 2 p.m.
    Swimming and volleyball have the weekend off, though at least the volleyball team plans on getting wet – they’re hosting a fundraising carwash from 9 to noon tomorrow at the Wells Fargo on Mill Bay Road.

 
Sep 20 2013
NOAA Seeks Input on Halibut Bycatch Amendment PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 September 2013

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    The reductions in halibut bycatch passed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council last year have been codified and NOAA is looking for some input. “Amendment 95,” as it’s called, would implement bycatch reductions in both hook-and-line and trawl fisheries, according to Obren Davis, a fisheries management specialist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Juneau:
    “In June of last year, they took action to reduce some of the halibut prohibited species catch limits in the Gulf of Alaska. And the two major groundfish fishery components of that are the trawl sector and the and the hook-and-line sector. And we just got a proposed rule that outlines the phased in reductions that we’re proposing to undertake for these sectors beginning next year. When all is said is done, we’re looking at a 15-percent reduction in the PSC limit for the trawl sector and varying reduction for the hook-and-line sector.”
    Those varying reductions are seven-percent for catcher-processors to go into effect in 2014, and 15 percent for catcher vessels to be phased in by 2016.
    For hook-and-line fisheries, the current annual halibut bycatch limit is 290 metric tons, which would be stepped down to about 256 metric tons. In the trawl sector the current bycatch limit of 1,973 metric tons would be reduced to just over 1,700 metric tons.
    He said the different phase-in rates for the hook-and-line sector reflect how the catcher-processors have already implemented bycatch reduction measures.

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Sep 19 2013
KANA Welcomes Veterans for Medical Services PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 September 2013

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            Kodiak Area Native Association is opening its doors to a new kind of client these days. The organization, which typically only provides services to Alaska Natives and Native Americans, recently added veterans to its clientele.
Rick Epperson is the Rural Health Program Manager for Alaska Veterans Affairs and said the service expansion is the result of a sharing agreement between the VA and KANA.
            “Which gives the ability to partner with them and we’re able to purchase care for Native beneficiaries and they also agree to see non Native beneficiaries. And the Alaska VA has the ability to pay that facility for the care, which didn’t exist before.”
            Epperson said Kodiak has a rather large population of veterans, and prior to this partnership there weren’t a lot of options for those with medical needs. Many would have to travel to a VA clinic in Anchorage, or use a different service to pay for care.

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Sep 19 2013
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 September 2013

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Coming up this week, Southeast fishermen get extra time to target coho this month, NOAA wants your feedback on Amendment 95, we’ve got a review of this summer’s Yukon fisheries, and the backlash over a cartoon, all on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had stories from KYUK’s Angela Denning-Barnes in Bethel, and KFSK’s Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg.

 
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