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News
Dec 10 2014
Bundrant Discusses Trident's Three-Point Kodiak Expansion PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 December 2014

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Jay Barrett/KMXT

     Monday afternoon Trident Seafoods announced it intended to complete the purchase of the Western Alaska Fisheries cannery in Kodiak by the end of the month. The Western plant is owned by Westward Seafoods, a subsidiary of Maruha-Nichiro of Japan.

     Trident CEO Joe Bundrant was in town this week along with his father, company founder Chuck and several company officials preparing for the purchase. He said buying Western's Kodiak property will allow for Trident to expand its processing capacity for cod, pollock, salmon and other species.

     “We're just committed to this community. And I think we have a good, solid footprint here to process the many species that come out of the Gulf of Alaska. And we're just well-positioned for the future.”

     Part of Trident's expansion in Kodiak includes the purchase last year, and tearing down this year, of the small Alaska Fresh Seafood , which is next door to the company's existing plant, which is largely in a beached World War II Liberty Ship.

     “If you drive down, you can see it's a big hole in the ground. We plan to build a nice-size freezer facility there. In the past several years I think Trident has received some not-so flattering feedback that we've been tendering fish out of the Gulf of Alaska into Akutan, another facility we have, and we intend to process that fish here in Kodiak going forward. And when the opportunity to buy our next door neighbor, Alaska Fresh, last year, became available we seized that opportunity.”

     Bundrant said Trident human resources personnel were in town now, helping Western employees make the transfer to Trident.

     Another move for employees was the purchase last of the Kodiak Plaza, a three-building apartment complex a block from their plant in the heart of downtown. The company is turning the buildings into bunkhouses and a 24-hour-a-day mess hall for its workers.

     “The demographics in Kodiak are certainly changing. In all of our other operations in Alaska we do provide housing. Room and board is taken care of. We do laundry for everyone. With the demographics changing here in Kodiak, we saw a need to provide additional housing and bring in a workforce. And that's why we invested in the Kodiak Plaza.”

     Bundrant declined to disclose a purchase price for the property acquisitions, saying that as a privately-held company, they like to keep those details private. Kodiak is the smaller of Westward Seafoods two plants, processing 45-million pounds of pollock, cod, halibut and salmon. Its Dutch harbor plant processes 245-million pounds of various bottomfish and crab. 

 
Dec 09 2014
Borough Facing Incinerator Shutdown Dilemma PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 December 2014
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The Kodiak Island Borough is facing a fast-approaching deadline to shut down its incinerator out at the landfill. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said the deadline was originally at the end of the year, but was pushed back to the end of February. 
    The number of users for the landfill's incinerator is surprisingly large and varied:
    “The types of things that we use the incinerator for, there's really five different waste streams: one's medical waste, sharps, those kinds of things from hospitals, clinics, dentist office  vets, even in our restrooms, we have the red sharps containers, incineration of pets by euthanasia, cremation of a family pet, sensitive documents as well as oily rags and absorbents.”
    “He said borough staff has been reaching out to affected businesses to let them know about the looming deadline and what options there might be:
    “We also are3 putting together a list of options. Joe Lipka has spent time tracking down the fact that there's a medical waste, an approved incinerator in Anchorage, and he's going to provide those contact numbers to those businesses that need it.”
    “And while there will be no way to cremate a house pet, Cassidy said there are other options for dealing with them and some of the other items that used to be incinerated.
    “Apparently we're allowed to bury euthanized animals, but they have to be below a bale of garbage. Deceased pets that folks what to cremate, they can send it to Anchorage. Sensitive documents Threshold has a shredder. Oily rag and absorbent materials there probably any number of companies around town that have smart ash burners that can burn that material.”
    Cassidy said that before the EPA began shutting down local incinerators, there were 6,000 in the nation. Now, Kodiak's is just one out of only 113 nationwide. 
 
Dec 09 2014
Shell Contractor Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes in Alaska PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 December 2014
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Josh Edge/APRN
    The Alaska U.S. District Attorney's Office announced Monday a plea deal has been reached between the federal government and Noble Drilling for incidents involving the drill ship Noble Discoverer and drill barge Kulluk while under contract with Shell Oil during the 2012 arctic drilling season. 
    As part of the plea agreement, Noble Drilling has agreed to plead guilty to eight felony offenses, and will pay $12.2 million dollars in fines, which are a combination of criminal fines and community service payments. 
    The charges are a result of a U.S. Coast Guard investigation, following an inspection of the Noble Discoverer in Seward. During the investigation, the Coast Guard found a number of maintenance and record-keeping issues. Yvonne Lamoureaux is an assistant U.S. Attorney:
    "For example, oil record book entries for the Noble Discoverer report that the oil water separator, or OWS, was used during periods of time when in fact the OWS was inoperable,” she said. “In addition, Noble failed to record that the OWS was inoperable and failed to record that its oil content meter, which is part of that required pollution prevention equipment was also non-functional."
    Lamoureaux also says Noble failed to log numerous transfers and storage of machinery space bilge water and waste oil.
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis says Noble will also be placed on corporate probation for four years:
    "They will be under supervision from the United States Probation Office, and during the term of their probation, if they have any other violations of law, they could be subject to having probation revoked,” he said, “which means that they could have additional fines imposed, charges that may not have been brought in this case could then be brought at a future time."
    Additionally, Noble Drilling will enter into an environmental compliance plan, which Feldis says is meant to ensure incidents of this nature don't happen again.
    "After the investigation began, Noble came to us and notified us of changes that were underway within Noble to, of course, remedy these criminal acts. And those have continued and the environmental compliance plan required under this agreement will build upon things that Noble has now been doing since this investigation started."]
    In a written statement, Noble Drilling says it has already begun enhancing training programs and compliance policies, as well as mechanical and operational upgrades to the Noble Discoverer. 
    An independent auditor will review the plan and its implementation.
 
Dec 09 2014
Trident Buying Western's Kodiak Plant PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 December 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Trident Seafoods announced Monday it had signed a letter of intent to purchase the Western Alaska Fisheries processing plant in Kodiak from Maruha-Nichiro-owned Westward Seafoods. 
    They expect to finalize the deal by Dec. 31, Trident said in release on Monday.
    The Western processing plant handles pollock, cod,  salmon and other species. It's located on Shelikof Street, about a half mile from Trident's Kodiak plant on Marine Way.
    Trident CEO Joe Bundrant, son of the company's founder Chuck, said he was excited to expand the company's presence in Kodiak. Saying he was born in Kodiak, he has a vested interest in Trident's “ongoing commitment to Alaska’s sustainable fisheries and the community.”
    Western Alaska Fisheries originally merged with Westward Seafoods in 2001. It processes 45 million pounds of seafood per year, which is dwarfed by Westward's main plant in Dutch Harbor, which handles 245-million pounds per year.
    A purchase price was not mentioned in announcing the letter of intent to purchase. Both Joe and Chuck Bundrant are in Kodiak working out details of the deal.
 
Dec 08 2014
Kodiak Mayor Honored for Decades of Service PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 December 2014
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Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson receives the Vic Fischer Local Government Leadership Award from Vic Fischer, at AML's recent conference. Photo provided 
 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson was honored recently by the Alaska Municipal League for her contributions to improve local government and communities in Alaska.
    Branson was awarded the Vic Fischer Local Government Leadership Award at the recent Alaska Municipal League Local Government Conference. 
    The Vic Fischer Award was established in 2000 by the  Alaska Municipal League board of directors in honor of Mr. Fischer, who helped shape local government at the Alaska Constitutional Convention before statehood. He  has served the public in various capacities for over 50 years and has written numerous books and articles on  the history of local government in Alaska.
    Mayor Branson has served as a Kodiak elected official for 16 years, beginning as a borough assembly member where she served 12 years before being elected to the Kodiak City Council in 2010. In 2011 she was elected Mayor of the City of Kodiak and continues to serve in that role.  
 
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