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Dec 12 2014
City Goes with Experience as Variables Mount in Juneau PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 December 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
    As we've been hearing all week as oil prices dip below $60 per barrel and the state's projected budget deficit climbs into the billions, times will be tough for budgeting in the state capital when the legislature convenes next month.
    But last night, the city council voted to help insure Kodiak gets its fair share of the pie. By an unanimous vote, the council retained the services of Ray Gillespie, who has lobbied the state legislature for the city the past three years.
    Councilman Rich Walker gave Gillespie his hearty endorsement.
    “Last few years going down to the capital city during session and lobbying for our projects, Ray has been great to work with. Ray has been just great to work with. I mean just anything you ask him to do. He's out there, he's got a lot of good advice. He knows Kodiak and he knows our issues. And even outside of going down lobbying for the money, he's there to help in a lot of different ways. I really got to know him down there, and man, he's a professional. He knows everybody in Juneau. We're very well represented with him.”
    Veteran Councilman Charlie Davidson said with so many variables in flux this year, having a familiar face keeping an eye on the city's interests is comforting.
    “Especially this year when you have a new representative and you have a very very tight budget. We need all the representation we can find to help us out this year because things are looking real scary when you see the price of oil fall lower and lower.”
    Given the vote was unanimous, other councilmen, such as Terry Haines also had good things to say about Gillespie.
    “You know we're just very lucky to have Mr. Gillespie in this capacity. He's plugged in, enthusiastic and he just seems really enjoy what he's doing. He really seems to have an enthusiasm for what he's doing. At this time Kodiak is really lucky to have somebody of Mr. Gillespie's caliber at this time when we're going into the budget realities that we are.”
    Gillespie's contract has increase some since last year. For the 2015 legislative session, Kodiak will pay him $48,735 plus expenses. The legislature gavels in on January 20th. 
Dec 11 2014
10th Anniversary of Selendang Ayu was Monday PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 December 2014
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Selendang Ayu after breaking in half off Unalaska Island—stern section in foreground, bow section in background. (NTSB photo taken December 9, 2004, day after accident.) 
Annie Ropeik/KUCB 
    This week marks 10 years since the 738-foot bulk carrier Selendang Ayu ran aground on Unalaska Island. The vessel lost power and broke in half against the shore, spilling oil and its 66,000 ton soybean cargo, and leaving six crew members dead. It was the biggest shipping disaster in the Aleutians’ recent history - and as KUCB's Annie Ropeik reports, its impacts are still evolving today.  
Dec 11 2014
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 December 2014

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Check out our logo from 20 years ago, left, which was the inspiration for our new design. 


Coming up this week, Trident Seafoods is taking a three-pronged approach to expansion in Kodiak, the salmon forecast for Cook Inlet is modest, and you have to tread lightly when you're talking about a potential permit buy-back. All that and more, coming up, on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from APRN's Liz Ruskin in Washington DC, KDLG's Dave Bendinger in Dillingham, and KBBI's Shady Grove Oliver in Homer. 

Dec 11 2014
Stephens Cautions Former Colleagues on Conflicts PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 December 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly has been kicking around funding for non-profit organizations recently, something it does every year. Recently, led by assembly members somewhat less inclined to have an open checkbook attitude to organizations doing social-service work, the path to funding has been getting a little steeper, with stricter deadlines and more stringent paperwork.
    There has also been criticism of assembly members debating and voting on funding for organizations that they are involved, even though as volunteers they make no money themselves from the borough grants.
    At Thursday's meeting, former Assemblyman Mel Stephens had a suggestion for his former colleagues who fall into that situation.
    “I'd like to throw out there for your consideration a proposal that before you next take up the issue of non profit funding at a formal meeting, that you reduce the sensitivities of the conflict of interest issue by individually taking voluntary action to resign from any board or any officer position that you may individually may hold in any organizations that have applied for non profit funding in the recent past, or likely to do so in the recent future,” he said.
    “The problem,” Stephens added, “is if you don't do that, then when you're talking about non-profit funding, you'll be placing your self in the situation where you have, as a board member or officer of your non-profit a fiduciary duty to act in that organizations best interest. And yet as an assembly member you have a fiduciary duty to act in the borough's best interest.  You can avoid that situation, which is an unpleasant situation, you can avoid it by taking voluntary action right now.”
    Dennis Simmons, who has run for borough assembly in the past, spoke just after Stephens and said public servants must have accountability.
    “I do believe that there is accountability that comes with every public service job. I think that accountability – I would like to say it's an obvious thing, the conduct a public servant should perform,” Simmons said. “But it's obvious from my perspective that it's not obvious. I think it was a profound check out time when Assemblyman Stephens said nobody's doing the very best they can. That's what I heard.”
    Those comments came during last week's Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting during citizens comments. 
Dec 10 2014
Rediscovering the Lost Villages of the Aleutians PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
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Annie Ropeik/KUCB
     Three traditional villages on the far side of Unalaska Island fell to ruin after their Unangan residents were relocated during World War II. Now, a new book tells the stories of Kashega, Biorka and Makushin villages -- from settlement, to abandonment, to the return of the elders who grew up there. 
     KUCB’s Annie Ropeik sat down with the authors of Lost Villages of the Eastern Aleutians, and she has more.  
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