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LegHead (ledj-hed) Report
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Valentine's for KWRCC
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 When you go shopping this week you can help the women and children at the Kodiak Women's Resource & Crisis Center. KWRCC has a long wish list of items that would help their families in crisis. You can help by purchasing one or more of the items and dropping them off at KMXT, 620 Egan Way by 5pm on Friday - we'll make sure everything gets to the KWRCC for Valentine's Day. Find a copy of the list here:  kwrcc_wish_list_jan_2016 

 
Dec 08 2015
Elder Assistance and Recycling are Recipients of KCF Largess this Week
Tuesday, 08 December 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
This morning the Kodiak Community Foundation announced its next round of grants in its 2015 month of giving.

The Kodiak Area Native Association received a $1,000 grant for its Elder Assistance Program. It will allow elders to stay in their homes longer while employment opportunities are created in villages for youth or adult helpers who are hired to do hourly household work such as mowing, weeding, and snow removal.

Threshold Services was given a $533 grant to pay for replacing the signage at its Von Sheele Way recycling center. Threshold Executive Director Ken Reinke said the grant will not only allow the replacement of the sign out front, but enlarge the signage in the drive-through drop-off area, which he said would help recyclers tremendously.

A total of seven grants will be given to Kodiak organization by the community foundation this month. The first two were presented last week; The Kodiak Girl Scouts will use theirs for outreach and development in the villages and the Baranov Museum will expand its arts and crafts program.

Additional grant recipients will be announced next week and the week after.

The Kodiak Community Foundation began building its funds three years ago next month, and its endowment has grown to $175,000. This year's grants, totaling $5,900, are being funded out of the endowment's earnings.

More information about the foundation can be had at their web site, kodiakcf.org. 
 
Dec 07 2015
KIB Assembly Discusses Ordinances to Alter RV Park Code and Reestablish Tax Penalty
Monday, 07 December 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Housing is limited and expensive in Kodiak, but local government has been moving towards changing that since the announcement of the Jackson Mobile Home Park closure. At the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly regular meeting last week, the borough viewed ordinances to amend several codes, the first of which may encourage more recreational vehicle parks to open.

Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said they haven’t seen any new RV parks around town for various reasons, but those include regulations that make establishing parks more difficult. He says to remedy that, the Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission made alterations to the borough code.

“Some of those changes are where RV parks can be located, allowed for broader location of RV parks. It broadened the definition of what an RV is. It altered some of the development standards of the parks, is allowing individuals who build out a pocket the ability to live in an RV while their permanent structure is being completed, and there are a number of other things as well.”

The assembly considered two versions of the ordinance, one of which Assemblyman Mel Stephens suggested. It points out the changes the commission made to the code and where to find the original wording.

Stephens called the alterations a “housekeeping matter.”

“For instance, if I eliminate a sub-section A, you leave the A in the book, and book publishing, when it publishes the code, then writes next to A, ‘deleted by ordinance 2015 dash whatever it was.’ Therefore that signals me that, if I’m interested in what that said, I need to go back to that ordinance and look at it.”

Staff recommended that the assembly move the ordinance forward onto public hearing at the next assembly meeting, and the motion carried six to zero.

The next ordinance on the agenda was also a change to borough code, and Cassidy explained that it would re-instate a part of that code that had been lost in the shuffle.

“It will penalize more heavily those who don’t file personal property tax forms. There’s actually a number of folks who have historically in many cases ignored our personal property forms. We will add in a fine of 10 percent of what is owed to the already existing penalty of $300. That 10 percent was in the original code, but inadvertently left out during a past revision.”

The fine would be 10 percent of the assessed taxes, and Cassidy clarified that the ordinance only applies to people who had already received personal property notices from the assessing department.     

Borough Assessor Bill Roberts said the borough needs the fine.

“There have been some companies out there who, by not filing, we force file them. And they were hiding so much equipment from us that they were making out and we didn’t catch them until they came up in our yearly review. And we realized that we needed to make it a little more spendy. The 10% was originally in there. I got a little heavy-handed with my red pen.”

The assembly changed some wording in the ordinance and then agreed to pass that altered version onto the next meeting. The next assembly work session is scheduled for Thursday and its next regular meeting for December 17.
 
Dec 04 2015
Storis Film Screens at Anchorage Film Fest Sunday
Friday, 04 December 2015
1.87 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
Though the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis was broken up for scrap in a Mexican wrecking yard several years ago, the former “Queen of the Fleet,” which was based in Alaska for 50 years, will return to the state on Sunday – at the Anchorage International Film Festival.

“Storis: The Galloping Ghost of the Alaska Coast,” a long-form documentary film, was made over the last few years by Damon Stuebner of Juneau. 

A former journalist, Stuebner was approached a few years ago by the group wanting to turn the Storis into a maritime museum. He said the more he looked into the cutter's illustrious history, the more impressed he became:

“Almost everything the ship did had the precursor of the first or the only or the last. It was the first ship to do this, or the last ship to do that, or the only ship for this. And that just really fascinated me,” he said. “And the more I dug into the history the more fascinating I thought it was, and I just felt there really should be something there as far as getting the history down, and the more I discovered how great a visual history the more I realized, yes, there really should be a documentary done on it.”

While working on the film in his spare time, Stuebner found that the former crew of the Storis were more than willing to share their stories with him.

“The amount of generosity that a lot of veterans had in opening up their scrapbooks and their home movies to me…. I remember I came back from one trip and there was a package of 16 mm movie film on my doorstep. Someone had actually just sent me their original footage,” Stuebner said. “So I was just absolutely very gracious with the amount of help that people gave me on it. I don't think I could have done it without them.”

And in meeting with former crewmembers, Stuebner discovered that the Storis, during its 60-plus-year history, was a multi-generational vessel.

“I had spoke with crew members who, they had their uncles or their sons or their cousins, spouses serve on the ship at different time periods, or in some cases, together,” he said.

He also found out that the Storis was truly, and literally, one of a kind.

“It was the only ship built of its design and class, and yet it was in service for almost 64-and-a-half years. That is an incredibly long time for a ship of only one design to be in service,” Stuebner said. “And yet to have it patrol in all of the northern waters – that really the most surprising thing for me.”

If you find yourself in Anchorage this weekend, the first showing of “Storis: The Galloping Ghost of the Alaska Coast” will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Anchorage Museum. A second screening will be on Wednesday evening at 7 in the Alaska Experience Theater. 
 
Dec 04 2015
Kodiak Island Borough Assembly Discusses Procurement Process
Friday, 04 December 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

New machinery and its procurement were two of the more controversial topics at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly regular meeting Thursday night. Assemblymembers talked at length not only about purchasing two new machines for the Kodiak Island Borough landfill, but also about the process of selecting them.

A skid-steer loader moves garbage in the landfill, and borough staff reports that it needs replacement.

At the regular meeting, the borough manager said the borough staff received five bids from companies interested in providing the machine, and staff recommended a contract for the Case SR270 model from Yukon Equipment, with a price tag of almost $66,500.

As Assemblyman Dan Rohrer explained…

“Staff is recommending that we purchase the skid steer that was not the lowest bid item. So, there are two skid steers that were bid lower than this item. They are arguing that those don’t meet the spec requirements.”

Several assembly members had questions about the machine’s specifications and apparent discrepancies between the desired power of a potential machine and the abilities of the SR270. Rohrer also took issue with the specifications, but said he leaned towards voting in support of the staff’s suggested model.

“I struggle because the way that staff put this together is challenging at best for me, but as I look at it, I do feel that I have adequate information to be able to make a decision and determine that the Case SR270 is in fact the lowest bidder based upon the specs of the SR250.”

Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner said she was concerned that the specifications were incorrect.

“Some of the specifications that are on here weren’t discussed at all, which leads me to believe they weren’t really that important, and some of the very important specs like the breakout force, there’s discrepancies between the proposed comparison model, which doesn’t even have the required 8,700 pounds of breakout force, and there’s potential errors in the comparison spreadsheet.”

At the end of the discussion, the motion to move forward with the contract carried 4 – 2 with Skinner and Assemblyman Mel Stephens voting against. There also appeared to be an agreement among assembly members that the procurement process needs to be revised.

Here’s Assemblyman Larry LeDoux.

“I want a good process, I want good recommendations from staff, I trust the staff, but they’re only as good as the process, and the process is bad, so I can’t trust the product. And that needs to be fixed immediately.”

The same issue carried into the next item on the agenda, which was a contract for the procurement of a hydraulic excavator. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy explained that the excavator would be critical in putting garbage into the landfill’s lateral expansion.

He said staff originally recommended a bid of roughly $200,900 from Construction Machinery.

“We have since received a letter from the initial bidder who’s concerned that this particular piece of machinery does not meet all the specs. We did say in our advertisement that all minimum specs must be met, so based on that, Mr. Mayor, I am coming before tonight you to say that we do not make a selection tonight, that we re-bid this piece of machinery.”

The assembly had not seen that letter and took a recess so that Cassidy could print a copy for each of the assembly members.

After having read the email from one of the competing vendors, Stephens explained it does not say the recommended model fails to meet specifications.             

“It says the CAT’s a better machine, let’s look at the life of the contract, we think we’re really better. You do not, do not change your recommendations in a legitimate procurement process based upon representations like this.”

The rest of the assembly appeared to agree, as the motion to enter a contract with Construction Machinery carried 6 – 0.  

Rohrer used part of his statement during assemblymembers’ comments to speak about the process of machinery procurement. He said the Kodiak Island Borough does not buy much equipment.

“In fact, in many cases, it’s years between times we procure equipment. It’s not like the city of Kodiak who has an annual procurement of replacement vehicles… and so I think your involvement directly in that rather than us expecting basically half of our employee force to become experts at procurement, the reality is our manager has to or someone in the finance department.”
    
The next assembly work session is scheduled for Thursday, December 10 and its next regular meeting for Thursday, December 17.
 
Dec 03 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report - Dec. 3
Thursday, 03 December 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 

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Coming up this week, sad news from the state's capital where the newly elected mayor, Greg Fisk, a fisheries consultant, was found dead in his home Monday, the annual Yukon lamprey run is on, but don't blink or you'll miss it, and the fish board member from Dillingham won't be allowed to participate in all the action at the Bristol Bay finfish meeting going on now. All that and smuggling turtles in your pants for fun and profit – lots and lots of profit, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KTOO's Lisa Phu, Jennifer Canfield and Mikko Wilson in Juneau, KIYU's Tim Bodony in Galena, and KDLG's Molly Dishner reporting from Anchorage.  

 
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