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12 Days of Giving

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. 


We want you to know that we appreciate your generosity at any time of year. But this year, 2014, we've fallen significantly short of our membership goals. And without you, there is no us. So please, don't wait for your neighbors to step up, contribute today by calling 486-3181 or online at kmxt.org.  

Aug 14 2014
Ferry Officers Reject State's Offer
Thursday, 14 August 2014

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    The licensed captains and officers who operate Alaska Marine Highway System vessels have rejected a tentative contract agreement with the state.
    The International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots voted down the proposal by mail-in ballot. Union representative Ron Bressette says the votes were counted last week.
    “I’ve been a member of the Masters, Mates and Pilots since 1992, worked out on the ferries myself and up until now we’ve never rejected a tentative agreement. So this is a first for me.”
    Bressette declined to say whether the vote was close or if an overwhelming majority of members were opposed to the deal. MMP represents about 100 Alaska Marine Highway workers, including captains, chief, second and third mates and pilots.
    Union leaders had recommended approval of the deal, reached June 29, a day before the workers' old contract expired. Bressette says many members were frustrated that the agreement included no pay increase in the first year, a 1 percent raise in 2015 and a 2 percent increase in 2016. Second mates would also get a 3 percent raise in year two.
     “They feel that the wage increases that we negotiated were not adequate.”
    Bressette hopes to meet with state officials Friday to discuss what to do next. Options range from negotiating a new agreement to binding arbitration. He won’t rule out members going on strike.
     “We’re making the preliminary steps to be ready to go on strike, you know, start the planning process and that. That option is available to us.”
    Department of Administration Spokesman Andy Mills says the state’s negotiating team is looking forward to hearing union members’ concerns and figuring out the best way forward.
     “Obviously when both sides are having a negotiation at a table, I don’t think either side takes anything completely off the table. But I don’t actually think we’re that far apart. It’s about polling the members and finding out what are those differences.”
    The other two unions representing Alaska ferry workers also have tentative agreements with the state. The Inland Boatmen’s Union of the Pacific will tally its members’ votes on August 26. The Marine Engineers Beneficial Association has not yet mailed ballots to its members.

Aug 14 2014
Begich Advocates For New Coast Guard Cutters
Thursday, 14 August 2014

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           U.S. Senator Mark Begich was in town last week on a campaign swing. The Alaska democrat is seeking re-election this year and opened a campaign office on the island. Begich also stopped by KMXT to talk about a handful of topics important to the Kodiak community, including plans for the Coast Guard.
           Kodiak is home to the largest Coast Guard base in the country and Begich chairs the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. He said he’s worked hard to make sure funds are going toward new cutters and maintaining old ones.
            “Two years ago we passed a bill that actually put some money toward the first stage of planning for a new ice breaker, but we also made sure there was money for the Polar Sea and Polar Star to make sure those ships continue to get renovated and operational. Because the Coast Guard wanted to get rid of those and we thought, those are two strong hulls that should just be renovated – spend $60 million on one and  upwards to $80 million or more on the other one, but the end result is these new ice breakers can cost $700 plus million so it’s very cheap to take care of those first two, which we’re in the process of doing. One we’ve already done, one we’re about to start the next planning stage of revamping it.” 
               While money is put aside for planning and building a new ice breaker, Begich said there certainly isn’t enough and that will be a challenge for future years to make sure that project goes through.
                He said the Coast Guard bill also includes three new fast cutters for Southeast Alaska.

Aug 14 2014
Cultural Orientation Offered in Alutiiq Studies
Thursday, 14 August 2014

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    As we told you yesterday, there’s a new certificate endorsement for students who complete five classes in Alutiiq studies at Kodiak College. One of those courses is called Cultural Orientation. Assistant Professor April Laktonen-Counceller tells us more.
    “The Cultural Orientation class is sort of the keystone course for all of the programs we’re developing in the Alutiiq Studies Program because it pro vides that broad overview. And it’s really good for anyone that has a job where they come into contact with Native people on a regular basis – which is pretty much everyone here in Kodiak, right?”
    She said the course in the past has helped many people navigate the sometimes complex and confusing world of Native organizations.
    “The people who have taken that course in the past have said that ir really gave them an understanding in how to communicate cross-culturally as well as understand all the different interconnected organizations that work within the Alutiiq region. We have the regional non-profit, KANA; we have the regional corporation, Koniag; all the village corporations. How do those interact and what does that have to do with our cultural revitialization. It’s very inter-disciplinarian – it’s a lot of fun.”
    Laktonen-Counceller says it would be worth it to check with your employer if you’re interested in taking the class, as they may pay for it.
    This is also a good course if an organization wants to make sure their employees are culturally competent. We do have organizations in town that will sponsor their employees to take these classes to make sure that they are providing the highest level of service to the Native community.”
    Classes at Kodiak College start later this month. The Alutiiq Cultural Orientation class gathers from 4 to 5:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Aug 13 2014
Oil Tax Reduction Repeal Debated
Wednesday, 13 August 2014

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    Tuesday night the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce and KMXT presented a debate on Proposition 1, which would repeal the oil tax reduction passed last year by the state legislature.

Aug 13 2014
New Certification Available in Alutiiq Studies
Wednesday, 13 August 2014

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    The University of Alaska just approved a certification program for students studying Alutiiq language. KMXT’s Jay Barrett spoke with Kodiak College’s April Laktonen-Counceller about the certification and class requirements.

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