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Nov 18 2014
Polar Bear Aground in Kodiak. Twice
Tuesday, 18 November 2014


The landing craft Polar Bear aground at the east end of Near Island on Monday. The day before it had gone aground near the west end of Near Island. Iver Holm photo 



Jay Barrett/KMXT
It was a rough couple of days for a landing craft in Kodiak Island waters. Sunday evening the 152-foot landing craft Polar Bear went aground on Gull Island at the west end of Near Island. But that was just the beginning of the Polar Bear's troubles, and only the first time it would go aground near downtown Kodiak.
At about 8 o'clock Sunday night, the Kodiak Police Department received a 911 call from Jeffrey Barrowcliff, a 25-year-old crewman on vessel. He said his skipper was intoxicated and the Polar Bear was aground near St. Herman Harbor.
The Kodiak Harbormaster Office and some police officers boarded the vessel and found the master of the ship, Edward Dyer, intoxicated and reportedly not yet aware that he had run aground. The 50-year-old Dyer was arrested and charged with DUI, reckless endangerment and assault.
The U.S. Coast Guard's Kodiak Marine Safety Detachment inspected the vessel on Monday and found no fuel had leaked from the Polar Bear.
After the MSD released the vessel, it's owner came to take possession of the craft, and he made it almost all the way through the channel in front of town, before running aground on the east end of Near Island.
The Polar Bear had been refloated, and according to the Coast Guard, is safely anchored up. 
A second inspection by the MSD was expected today (Tuesday). 
Nov 18 2014
Horizon Sale Shouldn't Affect Pier III
Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

           Last week, KMXT told you about the domestic shipping company, Horizon Lines, breaking up and merging with other companies.  Horizon will sell off its Alaska Routes, which include regular service between Tacoma, Anchorage, Unalaska and Kodiak, to Matson, Inc.
            During Thursday’s City Council meeting, Councilman John Whiddon asked City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski if that merger will affect the recent contract negotiated between the city and Horizon Lines. 
           “No, I do not anticipate any questions or problems or issues.”   
            Kniaziowski said she does expect the city will have to bring those contract agreements back before the council once the merger and sale goes forward, mainly for formal name changes. Other than that she doesn’t feel there should be any problems with the new contract and previous negotiations.
           “That was a lot of hard work that went into those. I think both parties feel good about them.”
            Horizon and Matson officials are saying the merger and sale process will take about a year and they aren’t expecting any operational changes to Pier III, or the construction project that is well underway.     Kniaziowksi said more information should be coming and she would certainly let the council know if she hears otherwise.
            Overall, Kniaziowski said Matson appears to be a sound company with many years of experience in container shipping. She said they seem to really value the Alaska trade lane and the input and expertise from locals in Alaska’s ports.

Nov 18 2014
City Approves New Skate Park Ramps
Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

           Two new large ramps are coming to the skate park at Baranof in the near future. During Thursday’s City Council meeting the council unanimously awarded the purchase and installment of two large ramps from the American Ramp Company.
           City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski said the ramp company was the lone bidder for the skate park RFP and the company’s bid of roughly $92,225 includes having representatives come install the ramps for the city.
            “That’s well within the budgeted amount for the project and we are certainly recommending that council authorize this purchase for full installation of these two largest ramp systems.”   
            No timeline was given for the installation, but Kniaziowski said the new ramps will replace the two large ramps already in the skate park, which are in the worst shape.
            Parks and Recreation Department staff have already rebuilt some of the smaller ramps in the skate park, and those will remain for now.
            “What we’ve done is developed a three-phased replacement plan for these elements. So in a couple years we’ll be replacing, if we have the money, we’ll come and replace those medium sized jumps and then eventually we’ll replace the small ones that city staff has approved.”
              The skate park ramp replacements are part of the final phase of the Baranof Park Improvement Project.

Nov 17 2014
Marine Highway Delays Unaccompanied Youth Ban
Monday, 17 November 2014
Ed Schoenfeld/CA
The Alaska Marine Highway System won’t ban solo travel by children and teen-agers, at least for now.
New rules announced earlier this month would have required anyone under 18 to travel with an adult. Chaperoned youth groups, such as school sports teams, were to be exempted.
Spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says those rules won’t go into place until sometime next year.
“We did receive several comments from Alaskan residents who had a strong reaction, that the policy timing was going to be a burden on families,” he said. “It was going to create difficulties during the holiday season.”
Woodrow says changes may be made to the new rules before they’re re-released. But they will still increase restrictions on traveling minors. 
Current rules allow 16- and 17-year-olds to take the ferry on their own. Those 12 to 15 need a note from a parent or guardian. And kids under 12 must travel with an adult, but it could be anyone.
The proposed new rules say all under 18 need to be with a parent, legal guardian or have notarized authorization from a parent or guardian. 
Woodrow says ferry employees do not have time to oversee children and teenagers.
“We’re trying to stress to folks that if you don’t have to put your child on the ferry unaccompanied,” Woodrow said. “We prefer you to not go that route.”
He says the ferry system will give the public more notice of rule changes when they’re reintroduced. 
Nov 17 2014
Workshop Focuses on Quality Seafood
Monday, 17 November 2014

3.37 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Two different examples of canned salmon sit on a table in the pilot processing plant at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. Participants of the Seafood Processing Quality Control Training Program has to determine the quality of samples and whether or not certain ones were spoiled. In this case, the quality product is on the right, while the salmon containing spoilage is on the left. Brianna Gibbs/Photo


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           A handful of organizations are teaming up to ensure folks employed by the seafood industry are putting out the best possible products. Kodiak’s Seafood and Marine Science Center hosted the first ever Seafood Processing Quality Control Training Program this week and last, which is sponsored by Icicle Seafoods and supported by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, or ASMI. KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs stopped by the center on Friday and filed this report.

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