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Have you listened to West Side Stories?

The LegHead Report

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

Dog Eared Reads


Fish Radio with Laine Welch

 Weekdays at 12:20 p.m.

Galley Tables

KODK is back on the air. Thanks to Steve and John at APBI in Anchorage who helped us get a loaner transmitter and to Joe Stevens and Willy who ran up the mountain in this nasty wind after running a bunch of tests to get it ready to do it's thing...90.7 FM is back bringing you spectacular alternative public radio programming in Kodiak.
Apr 28 2015
Stutes and Stevens Decline to Sign Bycatch Letter to NPFMC
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
When a dozen Alaska legislators sent a letter earlier this month to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council asking for a dramatic reduction in Bering Sea and Aleutian Island halibut bycatch, the names of Kodiak's legislators were missing.
1.06 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup


Rep. Louise Stutes said a lack of input from her constituents prompted her decision not to sign.

"My feelings were, 'I'm a messenger here,' I carry the message of my constituents, whether it be Kodiak or Cordova or Yakutat. And I wasn't going to sign onto a letter like that without input from them, from all the different sectors,” Stutes said. “And unfortunately we were right in the middle of budget time, and I didn't have an opportunity to get that input."

Sen. Gary Stevens said it was more of a gear-type debate that he had no place in, and admits some fishermen may not like his stance on the issue.

"And I know some people are probably going to be offended and say, 'Why didn't do this or do that?' But you really can't pit one fishery against another fishery,” Stevens said. “The decision is made elsewhere in any event, and so I chose not to sign it, and that's where I am on that issue."

Figures cited by the dozen legislators in their letter to the Council's chair pointed out that halibut are a very mobile fish, with studies showing that 70-percent or more of those tagged in the Bering Sea are later caught in the Gulf of Alaska. Both co

Stevens says the Bering Sea trawl fleet has been working to reduce bycatch and needs more tools to reduce it further. Stutes says the waste is straight up cheating halibut fishermen.

"Personally, yes, I think the halibut bycatch absolutely needs to be reduced,” Stutes said. “I think that when you have a targeted fishery, like halibut, and you have halibut IFQs and you're prevented from fishing your IFQs because of the huge amount that has been taken in bycatch, there's a significant issue there. And I think it absolutely needed to be reduced."

A dozen coastal Representatives and Senators from Ketchikan to Cook Inlet to Bristol Bay, the Y-K Delta and Nome did sign on to the letter. 
Apr 27 2015
State Senate Approves Budget Compromise
Monday, 27 April 2015
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Senate has voted to accept a budget proposal that, without the support of House Democrats, could leave state government partially funded.

The House's Democratic-led minority has opposed cuts to education included in the budget, as well as the budget's rejection of negotiated pay raises for labor union contracts for next year, among other things. Democratic support is important in the House to authorize a draw from the constitutional budget reserve to cover costs of state government.

The budget proposal would use money previously set aside for schools to help cover this year's deficit. To fund schools for the coming fiscal year, the committee proposed a blend of funds, including $157 million from an in-state gas pipeline fund.

A draw from reserves would be needed to fund state government next year. 
Apr 27 2015
Legislature May Be Winding Up, but Stutes Predicts Special Session
Monday, 27 April 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Alaska Legislature enters its second week of overtime today with a vote pending on a spending plan in the Senate today. It advanced from the conference committee Saturday night.

Saturday afternoon, Kodiak Rep. Louise Stutes was still unsure if progress would be made.

"We're still trying to work things out and give a little and get a little,” she said. “But it's … Like I said, I wish I had a crystal ball."

Senator Gary Stevens was wary over giving in too much to minority demands that less money be removed from education funding.

"As you know, as always happens this time of year, the minority in the house is saying, 'What are we going to get out of this?' And so what they're trying to do is increase the budget. To put money back in the budget. Which is really problematic,” Stevens said. “We'll see how it works. Undoubtedly a compromise always takes place at some point But I think there's a real disinterest in putting all the money back in the budget because that just means it speeds up the time when we run out of savings."

But even if the House and the Senate agree on an operating budget today, Stutes isn't packing her bags just yet.

"I feel quite confident in saying that if we don't have some kind of determination on medicaid expansion, the governor will call us back immediately,” Stutes said. “He's not going to let us out of here without addressing Medicaid Expansion."

The legislature was due to adjourn after 90 days two Sundays ago, but constitutionally, can stay in session 121 days. When a special session is called, the legislature can only address those issues the governor lists in his order. 
Apr 24 2015
New Isle Bells Composition Honors Father, Benefactor
Friday, 24 April 2015
Marina Cummiskey/KMXT
Kodiak’s handbell choir will be ringing in the spring with a unique performance this weekend. Isle Bells has been preparing for 2015’s Spring Ring concert for close to two years.
1.42 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Isle Bells director Ella Saltonstall participated in a 2013 workshop with David Harris, the current director of the Raleigh Ringers, and ever since, she has been working for an opportunity to bring Harris back to Kodiak. 

“He is, in the handbell world, a world-renowned conductor, for our instrument. He has taken community handbell playing to a new level and is someone who is just able to take our music to different places, just because of his musical background and many years with our instrument.”

With Harris conducting, Isle Bells will be performing an original song, one that has a special meaning to Saltonstall and the Kodiak community.

“So, this concert, we’re premiering a song I had commissioned in memory of my dad, who died twenty-three years ago. The bells, which the choir plays on, were purchased with money that my dad left, so I felt like it was time to write something that honored that legacy. The bells in itself are a legacy where we are able to share music with people, but this song has been on my mind for a while.”

In the fall of 2014, Saltonstall contacted a composer about the possibility of him writing a song for Isle Bells. About six weeks later, Saltonstall received “Kodiak”, an arrangement for handbells describing the island throughout various melodies. 

“I had just given him a brief description of my dad, and emailed him about four links to blogs, and websites that had pictures of Kodiak. He was able to create this entire song just from having all these beautiful images that everyone, that’s been to Kodiak, or visited Kodiak, everyone has collectively put on the internet. It’s been able to benefit his ability to envision what life on Kodiak is.”

With sections of the song like “going out to sea”, and “snow-capped  mountains’, the melody  tells a story about  Kodiak life, and the sights residents see every day. 

The handbell choir’s Spring Ring is taking  place at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium on Sunday, April 26th, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the Arts Council office prior to the performance.  
Apr 24 2015
Invasive Animals on Remote, Unpopulated Island Topic of Monday Talk
Friday, 24 April 2015
Cattle on Chirikof Island, about 80 miles southwest of Kodiak Island. Alaska Marine NWR photo 
Kayla Desroches/KMXT
You may have heard of Chirikof Island’s roaming cattle. On Monday, staff members from the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge will give a talk in Kodiak about the island. 
0.55 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Steve Delehanty is the Refuge Manager and is located in Homer. He says Chirikof birds and plants will both be topics of conversation, and Refuge employees are still working on the cattle issue.

“Maybe the most important new piece of information we have is an actual count of the cattle on Chirikof Island done from the air last fall. It is a little over 2000.”

He says they will also address plans for 2015 regarding the arctic fox population, which is not native to the island.
“We are undergoing an eradication effort like we’ve done on many islands across Alaska Maritime Refuge out through the Aleutians, for example, to try and restore bird habitat and make it a healthier place for wildlife and the native species of the island.”
You can hear about that and more at the meeting on Monday, April 27, which will be at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge's downtown visitor center.
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