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Dec 12 2013
Begich: NGO Sustainability Certification Too Subjective PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 December 2013

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    The Responsible Seafood Certification and Labeling Act introduced this fall by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski would prohibit any US federal agency from requiring the use of third party criteria or to certify seafood as sustainable. It came in response to a couple of federal agencies or contractors bypassing Alaska salmon because most of it now lacks endorsement by the Marine Stewardship Council.
    Last week Senator Mark Begich said the MSC’s certification model was too subjective, and that if the federal government wants to ensure the seafood it sources is sustainable – and includes Alaska salmon – the procedure needs to change.
    “So in order to solve that, you’ve got to take those NGO sustainable labels off – still keeping the goal of sustainable product, but not having some third-party group, through their own decision, what sustainability is. We determine sustainability by the standards we have set for our rebuilding of our salmon stock or whatever fish stock we may be talking about.”
    Begich said that a Senate subcommittee he chairs is working on doing just that – defining sustainable in federal law.

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Dec 11 2013
City Gets Grim Budget Forecast From Legislative Lobbyist PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 December 2013

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            The 2014 Legislative Session is still more than a month away, but the Kodiak City Council is already gearing up for what will most likely be another tight-budgeted year. Tuesday night the council heard from its lobbyist, Ray Gillespie, about what the next year of spending might look like for Alaska.
            “The revenues are down significantly in the last two years, about $2 billion down. Current year, which is FY 2014 we are going to spend somewhere between $350 million and $500 million more than what we brought in. that money will be taken from our statutory budget reserve fund.”
            Gillespie said the new revenue forecast, which came out last week, indicates that this next fiscal year will probably be around $1 billion deficit. He said it’s more than likely that the state will have to tap into its savings in order to cover that deficit. The state has about $17 billion in savings right now, according to Gillespie, with $12 billion in the constitutional budget reserve fund and about $5 billion in the statutory reserve.
            Governor Sean Parnell is expected to release the capital and operating budgets sometime on Thursday, and Gillespie said that will hopefully paint a better picture for where the city might stand as far as capital funding goes.
            Number one on the city’s capital improvement project list is repairing the Monashka Pumphouse, which Gillespie thinks could fare quite well this year.
            “And the application has been pending at the DEC to be funded through the municipal matching grant program, which is a very preferred position to be in. Because it scored very high. The governor usually, every governor that I’ve known who builds capital budgets, allocates a fairly sizeable chunk of money to go down that list. If you score high the chances are very good that we’ll get good news tomorrow and you will have been funded in the governor’s budget. There’s no better position to be in going into a legislative session where revenues are down.”

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Dec 11 2013
Sun'aq Tribe Election Results Announced PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 December 2013

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    The Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak held its annual membership meeting on Sunday afternoon, electing two members to the tribal council.
    Frank Peterson with 97 votes and Sophie Frets with 93 were sworn in following the meeting. Jonathan Sholl and Iver Malutin were also candidates.
    New officers for the tribe were appointed by the council on Sunday as well. Jeannine Marsh was appointed tribal chair, John Reft was re-appointed as tribal vice-chair, and Brandi Wagner was appointed as secretary-treasurer. Also serving on the council are Trisha Pruitt and Tom Johnson Jr.

 
Dec 11 2013
Smell of Boiler Backfire Greets KHS Students PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 December 2013

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    When Kodiak High School students arrived at school this (Wednesday) morning, they were welcomed by the acrid smell of soot. According to an announcement by the school district central office, a boiler backfired before classes and the smell was picked up by the building’s air handlers and piped throughout the building.
    Maintenance personnel replaced the air filters and tried to ventilate the building as best they could before student showed up, though the smell lingered.
    Tests done by the maintenance department to measure the carbon monoxide levels in the school showed they were within safe levels, and was backed up with an additional test conducted by the Kodiak Fire Department.
    Classes are being held, and school officials posted that they are following all possible safety procedures.

 
Dec 11 2013
New Library Open to the Public PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 December 2013

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            It was a moment almost seven years in the making. Yesterday morning the new Kodiak Public Library opened its doors to eager book worms and began its first day of regular operations at the new location on Signal Hill. Director Katie Baxter said the wave of visitors throughout the day was steady, which was nice after an eventful grand opening celebration on Monday night.  
            “The grand opening at the library was just a terrific celebration. It was well attended and everyone came into the building with, I think a sense of expectation, and yet when they walked through their expectations were just blown out of the water. Because everyone’s jaw just dropped when they walked into the lobby and really got a sense of place. I think they had not even imagined just how beautiful the building is.”
             Baxter estimated that there were more than 400 attendees of Monday’s grand opening. She said the line was out the door, around the block and back toward the high school. Yesterday’s opening to the public also went well, and she said she was pleased with the number of visitors.   
             “Oh it’s so nice people are coming in with cameras and families, little ones exploring the children’s room and people are certainly coming in to do their work, their business. It’s been a nice flow of people. Folks are able to come in and take their time and do what they need to do. So the staff is having a great time seeing everyone and helping folks.”)
             The new library is open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be open between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sundays.

 
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