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12_dog_image.jpgTis the season when communities band together and support those in need. This year, that includes your public radio station. December 12 - 24, make a special holiday contribution to KMXT and you'll recieve a special 12 Days of Giving ornament for your tree -- special edition keepsake, friends. We all love those. 

 

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Sep 22 2014
Assembly Finalizes State Project Wishlist
Monday, 22 September 2014

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    At Thursday night’s Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meeting, the capital improvements list was approved. It’s the borough’s “wish list” for project funding that is sent to the governor and our legislative delegation each year.
    Borough Manager Bud Cassidy informed the assembly of some recent changes to the list:
    “Based on your comments at the last work session, we’ve done a couple of things. You met with both representatives from Senator Steven’s office as well as Representative Austerman, and they suggested a few changes and you agreed. So what we did was eliminated two projects; one was extending public utilities to Swampy Acres, and also elimination of the Antone Larson switchback project. We also moved up to number three, third priority project is the Antone Larson Road extension.”
    That project would take the road out to waters ice-free during the winter to better serve islanders on the West Side.
    The top priority for the assembly was $1.8-million more for the landfill’s expansion, which includes its own wastewater treatment plant.
    Project 2 on the Borough’s list is asking the Governor to include $50-million toward construction of the ferry that will someday replace the Tustumena. Total cost is expected to be $250-million, and the ship is currently in the design phase.
    As Cassidy noted, the Anton Larsen Bay Road extension was moved up to number three, with a request of $6-million.
    A half-million dollars are being sought to study the feasibility, planning and design of providing water and sewer service to the 256 residential parcels in Monashka Bay, which is currently outside the City of Kodiak’s reach.
    Four-million dollars is being requested for road improvements and paving, $180,000 for traffic flow improvements at East Elementary School, and the same amount for parking improvements at Peterson Elementary.
    Though he voted for the list, which passed unanimously, Assemblyman Mel Stephens said juggling priorities year-over-year might not be the best practice.
    “If a project has a certain priority in one year, it’s hard for me to fathom why that priority should change the next year. There’s certainly reasons why that might come about, but what tends to happen is people come in and get behind a particular project and ‘oh, lets move this up one and let’s move this other one down one.’ I don’t really know if that’s the most effective way to present our CIP list.”
    He also asked that more complete back up documentation be provided in future CIP lists.

 
Sep 22 2014
Cruise Ship Schedule Includes a Dozen Visits
Monday, 22 September 2014

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The Holland America Lines cruise ship Statendam, on an early season visit to Kodiak in 2006. It will return nine times to Kodiak in 2015. KMXT file photo

 

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    The Kodiak cruise ship schedule for 2015 has been announced by Discover Kodiak, the island’s tourism promotion bureau.
    There are a dozen visits on the tentative scheduled, beginning on May 5th, when the Crystal Cruise Lines Crystal Symphony arrives. The Holland America Lines Volendam will make a stop here on what is called a repositioning cruise, where it sails from the Far East back to the Western Hemisphere for the summer. It is scheduled to pull into port on May 9th.
    Later in the month, the Statendam, also owned by Holland America, will begin twice-monthly visits on Wednesdays that will last through mid-September. The Statendam will dock at 7 a.m. on each of its visits and depart at 2 p.m.
    The last cruise ship of the season will be Silver Seas Lines Silver Shadow, calling on September 19th.
    The ships have a passenger capacity between 382 for the Silver Shadow, 922 for the Crystal Symphony, 1,260 for the Statendam, and 1,432 for the Volendam, but it is unlikely to be full on its repositioning cruise.
    Discover Kodiak cautions that the schedule is tentative, and could change by the start of next season.

 
Sep 22 2014
Cobell Indiant Trust Settlement Check Now Arriving
Monday, 22 September 2014

Daysha Eaton/KYUK
    Alaska Natives have recently begun receiving checks from the Cobell Indian Trust Settlement. The checks are part of a nearly $950 million payout to plaintiffs in the Cobell Lawsuit, which was filed in the 1990s against the federal government for the mismanagement of individual Indian trust accounts.
    The accounts primarily contained money collected by the federal government from farming and grazing leases, timber sales, mining, oil and gas production, and other activities on Indian Trust Land.
    The Cobell Settlement is the largest class action settlement against the federal government.
    Filed in 1996 by the late Elouise Cobell and other Native American leaders, it sought an accounting of the individual Indian trust accounts and reform of the trust system, which had been mismanaged for over a century.
    Once the case settled, counsel for the Plaintiffs were tasked with distributing funds to 500,000 individual Native beneficiaries across the country, including Alaska.
    The first checks for the ‘trust administration class’ of the settlement were mailed out September 15th. Checks for the ‘historical accounting class’ portion of the settlement was issued over a year ago.
    But not everyone due a check has received one. It turns out the federal government doesn’t know where more than 30,000 class members of the lawsuit are.
    If you think you may be a class member but have not received payment, you can visit Indian Trust online, or give them a call at 1-800-961-6109. 

 
Sep 19 2014
Borough Fee Schedule Approval Postponed
Friday, 19 September 2014

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    The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly last night decided the revised fee and fine schedule needed more work. Instead of passing it, they postponed the resolution until the next meeting, and asked that fees be brought up at their next work session.
    Before that vote, Borough Manager Bud Cassidy gave a brief overview of the changes this year, including an increase in the cost of throwing away your garbage:
    “This there’s probably two major changes you’ll see in the fee schedule. One is, that we’re pulling a number of the fees out of the fee schedule and we’re going to be adding to what’s called a schedule of fines. And it’s for things like fireworks, animal control; we’ll be talking to you more about that later on,” Cassidy said. “The other big thing is there is an increase in garbage fees. Everything from roll carts to dumpsters to medical waste, those kinds of things. And that’s due to our discussions we had during the borough budgeting process and the increase cost due to the cost of the constructing the lateral expansion and waste water treatment plant.”
    Assemblyman Tuck Bonney singled out the borough’s disposal fees for cars.
    “At $475 for cars, we’re basically getting so dog gone expensive people are just going to leave them on the side of the road or shoot them up and put them down at Pillar Creed or something,” Bonney said. “And if get to a place where it’s so expensive we’re just hurting ourselves and hurting the community because people won’t use the borough and won’t get rid of their cars. So I think there’s some things we need to talk about.”
    Mayor Jerrol Friend pointed out that the car disposal fee was not increased this year, but Bonney said it was still too high. Cassidy added that most cars are taken to Nick’s Auto Wrecking and not the borough landfill.
    Bonney also said the fees the borough charges for copies were too high.
    Assemblyman Mel Stephens agreed that they should be looked at.
    “The copying fees haven’t changed, and therefore I didn’t think about them. I do think that our copying charges should be designed to simply recover the cost of them – and that does include the cost of staff making the copies and so forth. Maybe 25-cents a copy does that, maybe not,” Stephens said. “I noticed that gee, we only charge 5-cents a copy for government and non-profit. I don’t know if that’s appropriate. I think maybe we don’t have to wait a full year, but the staff might think about whether their copying charges are appropriate.”
    The assembly will take a look at the revised fee schedule next Thursday at its scheduled work session.

 
Sep 19 2014
Emergency Crackdown on King Bycatch Sought
Friday, 19 September 2014

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Daysha Eaton/KYUK

    As the Pollack season wraps up in the Bering Sea, the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Tanana Chiefs Conference want immediate action to protect declining Western Alaska wild Chinook Salmon stocks from trawl bycatch. Wednesday they filed a joint petition for emergency regulations with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to crack down on Chinooksalmon bycatch in the Bering Sea Pollock fishery for the remainder of the 2014 season. KYUK’s Daysha Eaton has more.

 
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