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

The LegHead Report

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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.
 
Feb 05 2015
Stutes Wants More Consideration for Stranded Seafood
Thursday, 05 February 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    It seems the Alaska State Ferry runs from Kodiak and Southcentral before the legislative session are forcing canneries to leave a lot of fish sitting in refrigerated vans for extended periods.
    “Apparently they had 18 to 20 vans of fish on generators waiting for the ferries to come back. So that is problematic for commerce in Kodiak,” said Kodiak Representative Louise Stutes.
    “When the ferries leave Kodiak to head down to Juneau, they fill up. They go from Kodiak to Whittier and then down to Juneau and they pick up all the cars and the legislators. And they make three trips. And the problem is of course, there's no pick up of our fish that are in the vans going over to Homer during that period.”
Stutes says she's meeting with Marine Highway officials to see about tweaking the schedule slightly in the future.
    “So I'm in the process of trying of trying to, along with, like I said Capt. Falvey and Executive Director down here in Juneau Pam Varney, setting the schedule just a little bit different. So after the first trip from Kodiak to Whittier to Juneau, there will be a couple of days where they can go from Kodiak to Homer and facilitate taking the vans of fish over to Homer. And then come back and make their second trip down to Juneau. So I'm pretty excited about helping. It's really exciting to be part of a solution.”
    House District 32 Representative Louise Stutes of Kodiak. 
 
Feb 05 2015
Fishing Pioneer Honored by SeaLife Center
Thursday, 05 February 2015
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Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Since 2010, the Alaska Sea Life Center announced its Ocean Leadership Awards last week, and among them was Kodiak's Al Burch, who will receive the prestigious Walter J. and Ermalee Hickel Lifetime Achievement Award.
    “It's basically a recognition of not any specific contribution, but a lifetime of effort in helping preserve and promote good ocean stewardship.”
    That's Denby Lloyd, executive director of the North Pacific Research Board, and a member of the awards committee that selected Burch for the honor.
    “And I'll tell you it was a fairly easy decision, to say, 'You bet, Al Burch.' I mean it's almost a head-slapper to be able to recognize him as a long standing leader in fishery policy in Alaska. And I actually consider it a great honor to be able to say I was part of the panel that selected him.”
    Burch has fished Alaska waters for 55 years, starting as a shrimper out of Seward as a young man before moving to Kodiak. In that time he has served on countless national and international fishery and ocean-related boards. He was inducted into the United Fishermen of Alaska Seafood Hall of Fame in 2009 and recently retired as executive director of the Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association. He also served for 30 years on the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which is where Lloyd says they first met in the 1980s.
    “I was on staff and he was a long standing member of the Council's advisory panel. You know, a senior member at that point that people listened to and looked to for guidance. I also remember that he invited me to come out to Kodiak. So I came and got a nice tour around town, and he and his brother Oral took me out fishing on their pleasure boat and I caught the largest halibut I've still ever caught.”
    Burch will receive the award at the Alaska Marine Gala on the 21st in Anchorage at the Dena'ina Center. Other Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards to be given that night are the Alyeska Vessel of Opportunity Program, which trains fishermen to be emergency first-on-the scene oil spill responders; Alisa Aist, a student at the Polaris K-12 school in Anchorage, for her dedication to become a marine biologist.
    Two awards were give at the recent Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage. They went to Benjamin Carney, a teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School, who has coached his school's “Alaska Tsunami Bowl” team to first place since 2007, and to a third place in last year's national finals; and to Jacqueline Grebmeier and Lee Cooper for their work to understand the Arctic Ocean ecosystem. 
 
Feb 03 2015
Mullican Appointed Full-Time Chief
Tuesday, 03 February 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Kodiak's interim fire chief since Rome Kamai was suddenly suspended two months ago know officially has the full job title. Jim Mullican, who was appointed acting chief in early December, began his official duties starting today, according to a press release from City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski. 
    She said that Mullican was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and started with the KFD as a volunteer in 1999. He became deputy chief in 2011. He and his family have lived in Kodiak since 1987.
    Kniaziowski said she looks forward to the commitment and energy Mullican brings to the job. 
 
Feb 03 2015
Trial by Fire for Kodiak's Freshman Representative
Tuesday, 03 February 2015
1.25 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    Kodiak's new state house member, District 32 Representative Louise Stutes is settling into her new job in Juneau. KMXT got a chance to talk with her about how things were going her first few weeks in the state capital. 
 
Feb 03 2015
Pribilofs Plagued by Swarm of Quakes
Tuesday, 03 February 2015
1.86 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB
     The Pribilof Islands aren’t usually prone to earthquakes. But more than a dozen earthquakes have been recorded near St. Paul and St. George since Friday.
     The Pribilofs sit in the middle of the Bering Sea, past the subduction zone that causes frequent earthquakes along the Aleutian Chain.
     State seismologist Michael West says the Pribilofs have always been pretty quiet -- until now. 
     “So most of what we know about whatever fault it is that’s active is coming from the earthquakes that we’ve actually seen in the past couple of days,” he said.
     Fourteen earthquakes -- mostly around magnitude 4 -- have occurred since Friday. They’re shallow, which suggests the source is somewhere in the Earth’s crust. 
     “There’s some tension in the Earth. That is, a pulling apart, as opposed to a pushing together. But they also have a lot of side-to-side motion,” he said. “They’re messy, is the short answer.”
     The earthquakes haven’t caused any damage on St. Paul or St. George, where Jennifer Merculief works as a community health aide. 
     She helped conduct a head count and make sure all 68 residents on St. George could be ready to evacuate. 
     That hasn’t been necessary. And Merculief says some of her neighbors seem to be getting used to the trembling.
     “By the time it got to like the eighth one, people are saying, ‘Oh, just go with it.’ But for me? Honestly, it scares me,” she said. “It’s very unusual for St. George to be getting an earthquake. Since I’ve been here, I’ve never seen an earthquake on St. George, ever.”
     It’s been more than 20 years since the island saw a significant quake. A magnitude 6.7 struck north of St. George in 1991, sending a small tsunami across the Bering Sea.
     The National Tsunami Warning Center is prepared to issue an alert for Unalaska and Sand Point, but only if the earthquakes get stronger – above a magnitude 7.
     Science officer Paul Huang says that rule is based on the configuration of the seabed around the Pribilofs.
     “This is a special region in Alaska. It’s unlike the front part of the Aleutians,” he said. “The water is shallower, so we have a different criteria.”
     Huang and other scientists say there’s no evidence to suggest the earthquakes will become more severe. But at this point, they also don’t have any clues about how long it will take for the shaking to stop.  
 
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