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NOAA Fisheries taking comments on Gulf Rationalization. What do you think?

The LegHead Report

legheadreport.jpg LegHead (ledj-hed) Report weekdays at 12:20 p.m.

Fish Radio with Laine Welch

 Weekdays at 12:20 p.m.

Galley Tables

Burn ban in effect Borough wide
Due to current dry and windy conditions, there is a borough-wide burn ban in effect. No incinerator or open burning is allowed at this time.
Aug 13 2015
Girl Scouts Program Encourages Girls in Science and Math
Thursday, 13 August 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Part of the effort to get girls interested in science and math is making opportunities available to them. This Friday, the Girl Scouts of Alaska will host a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – or STEM - program at Kodiak College.

Billeen Carlson is the Girl Scouts’ Member Services and Program Specialist for Kodiak, Prince William Sound, and the Kenai Peninsula and says the organization offers a safe and supportive environment for girls to stretch their leadership muscles.

“There’s a lot of unspoken assumptions about gender roles and in those environments, girls have a tendency to hang back and let their male counterparts jump forward in whatever the event is,” says Carlson. “And this isn’t any fault of anyone’s. This is just something that has kinda trickled down in our culture and girls just don’t have a tendency to put themselves forward. Some of them do, but not most of them.”

Carlson says Girl Scouts USA has made a big push to provide STEM programs for girls and engage them in science and math.

“Research shows that girls are more interested in STEM careers if they know how their work is going to help others. Most of the time, we try to get locals who can show what they’re doing and how what they’re doing applies to the girls and the girls’ communities.”

Friday’s program will take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and feature a variety of topics, from geodesic domes to the neuron. One presenter is rising college junior and Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge intern, Leila Pyle, a former girl scout herself.

She’ll lead a salmon dissection and create colorful salmon prints with students.

“I love combining art and science and doing different environmental education through art,” says Pyle. “And I think that art is a really powerful communication tool and that science is very complicated and nebulous and there’s a lot of things that people have a hard time understanding, but art can be used to break through that barrier and give people a sense of wonder about things that are around them and make them want to know more.”

Students will rotate through 45-minute workshops, and the program is open to girls between ages 5 and 17, whether enrolled in Girl Scouts or not. For more information call Billeen Carlson at 907-399-1674 or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Aug 12 2015
Talk of the Rock: Ka'lunek
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
afr_logo_screen_size.gifHost Kayla Desroches sits down with Alutiiq Museum staff to talk about the organization's new publication, Kal'unek, which focuses on the archaelogical site Karluk One. Exeuctive Director April Laktonen Counceller, Curator of Collections Marnie Leist, and Curator of Archaeology Patrick G. Staltonstall discuss the site's social, archaelogical, and linguistic impact.

4.97 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Aug 12 2015
City Council Hears from Nonprofits on Grant Applications
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak City Council discussed grant money and met with nonprofit representatives at last night’s work session. Two of the organizations present were the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Councilmembers sat with groups’ grant applications in front of them and asked questions pertaining to the requests.

Bill Morrow from the American Red Cross stepped up first. Councilmember John Whiddon asked about a statement that said part of the requested $10,000 would go towards the salary of the disaster program manager.

“Would that disaster program manager who’s responsible for Kodiak – are they here in Kodiak – or are they in Anchorage?” said Whiddon.

“Actually, that’s me. I’m the one who’s responsible here. I go back and forth between the Mat-Su, Anchorage, and Kodiak.”

“But do you live in Anchorage?”

“No, I live in Wasilla,” said Morrow.

“So, that money would be spent on someone who doesn’t live in Kodiak,” said Whiddon. “I’m just trying to clarify.”

Morrow said the Red Cross has an office in Kodiak and he’s been in the city three times over a few days. He also said there are ten volunteers on the island.

Major Michael Bates from the Salvation Army also spoke. In response to a question about the number of individuals in the transitional housing the organization provides, he explained there have been twenty people who have benefited from the service in the past year. And he described those best fit for transitional housing.

“Meaning they’re gainfully employed – I’d like to sit that - and they have a goal set already. When I talk to them, I determine that, because if they transition to someplace, I don’t want to start from scratch. People who are gonna transition to somewhere, they have to have some idea of where they’re going and how they’re getting there,” said Bates.

He said that most of those who transition leave Kodiak for places like Anchorage, Kenai, or Wasilla.

“With the housing that’s limited in the community of Kodiak, of course we all know it’s very limited, so that’s a tough endeavor all in itself. People don’t want to stay here and move into the community transitioning from our facility. That’s very difficult for them.”

Bates said the branch does not receive support from the Salvation Army as an umbrella organization and draws funds instead from local government grants and community resources like the thrift store.

The council determined it would calculate the overall grant funds and then move forward from there before the next regular meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 13.

In the interest of full disclosure, KMXT is part of Kodiak Public Broadcasting and spoke on its own behalf regarding funding at the work session.
Aug 11 2015
Green City: Kodiak's New Crane Will Be Sustainable
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
crane_matson.jpgNew crane arriving in Kodiak. Photo by Carl Royall

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A new gantry crane arriving in Kodiak this week will not only replace its aging predecessor, but also fit into Kodiak’s plan of renewable energy. The majority of Kodiak’s isolated grid system relies on hydroelectricity with support from wind power, and less than 1 percent of that energy comes from diesel.

The new crane will run off flywheel storage systems, wind, and battery. The replacement is courtesy of Matson, which recently acquired Horizon Lines and is responsible for shipping Kodiak’s groceries and other products onto the island.

2.58 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Matson special advisor Marion Davis says, weather permitting, the crane should arrive Thursday morning.

“And it will probably take one to two months to commission it and get the dock finished and start using it, but that should put the city of Kodiak, which is very important seafood wise in the industry, really in excellent shape for the next forty years there in Kodiak,” says Davis.

He says Matson is working with the city and the Kodiak Electric Association to fit the crane into Kodiak’s electric grid.

Darren Scott, KEA’s president and CEO, says the city’s current crane is diesel fueled, whereas the new one will be electrically driven. He says they’ve installed two fly wheel energy storage systems to filter the power needs of the crane.

“They’re large basically spinning masses of energy, and as the crane picks up a box, it would draw a lot of electricity,” says Scott. “It will take that electricity - basically from those spinning masses we’ll have the flywheels - and then as the crane goes out to drop the load onto the vessel, it actually - kind of like a toyota prius with its regenerative breaks – would send power back to the grid. Well, that will help spin the fly-wheels back up, plus a little power from our system as well.”
Scott provides this example of the energy flow.

“Imagine the crane lifting the container off the boat and then imagine a big spring out there. So, the big spring is cocked and loaded and it’s ready to push out, so the crane lifts the container off the boat, the spring then releases to help it do that. And as the crane then goes and drops the container back on the vessel, in some ways, the spring is pushed back in to build up that energy again.”

He says this approach will save the system a lot of strain.

“The big power injections from the crane don’t come out to impact the rest of the system. They will just kind of stay right there with the crane,” says Scott. “And one of the good things from it is these flywheels that we’ve installed, they’ll either work with the crane and when the crane’s not on operation, they’ll actually work with our wind turbines and our battery energy storage system as well.”

 He says KEA is working with a multinational corporation to use its grid stabilizing generator.

“Taking that actual flywheel and putting a bunch of basically fancy electronics on it to work with our electric grid is kind of the next step that ABB took in their device which is called the PowerStore,” Scott says. “And then we’re using that technology to not only work with the crane, but also work with our wind turbines and battery system.”

Scott says the crane will be a good fit for the community, not only because it’s an electric solution, but also because it’s a much larger crane than the current one, which he says will make it more efficient and may help with the cost of shipping in the future.  
Aug 10 2015
Assembly Clarifies Subsistence and Rural Status Act
Monday, 10 August 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A bill that would leave the final word on rural versus urban status up to Congress has been bouncing around the Kodiak Island Borough and the Kodiak City Council this summer.

Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced the Subsistence Access Management Act of 2015, and many different groups have expressed concern that it would remove power from a local level. As such, both the assembly and council have postponed decisions on it at past meetings.

Mayor Jerrol Friend brought up the act again at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly regular meeting last Thursday and says he and others joined Senator Murkowski in a teleconference two weeks ago. He says she and her colleagues explained the act more thoroughly.

“The process that happens now is gonna stay the same process,” says Friend. “And right now I guess some of the secretaries of interior or somebody up there big in Washington D.C. actually makes the determination on whether you’re rural or not. If you are rural right now, and these guys say you’re not rural, the way this legislation says, they can’t do that. Only congress can knock you back.”

He says that the only time Congress steps in is if someone tries to make a community non-rural. City manager Aimée Kniaziowski made the same point at a Kodiak City Council regular meeting in June, when she referred to an email she received from a D.C. lobbyist.

“The intent was never to eliminate local control, but simply to reinforce what they’d been hearing from the Kodiak community, that it would take a great deal to change, take away, the status of rural for the purposes of subsistence.”

Mayor Friend says he told those at the teleconference that people have been concerned about the act.

“What they said is they were asking Bud [Cassidy] and I [to] give names. They’re trying to get meetings set up similar to what we had with the city and try to get this information out to everybody,” says Friend. “It has been a communication issue, so hopefully we’re gonna hear a little more about that. But that kinda relieved a lot of the concerns I had personally as to how that works.”

It remains to be seen if local committees and governing bodies will come to a consensus as to whether the act is a protection or a restriction.

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