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Oct 24 2013
Haunted Halloween Tradition Resumes at CommSta
Thursday, 24 October 2013

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            The U.S. Coast Guard has a long tradition of Halloween happenings in Kodiak. For more than 30 years service members have put on elaborate haunted houses in various locations on base, and invited the community to fright and delight themselves in the festivities.
            Phillip Jordinelli is the operations officer at the Coast Guard Communication Station, also known as Commsta, and said the tradition has spread to haunted ships, including the SPAR and more recently the Munro. However, he said it all began at the Commsta in the 1980s. Orginially the station hosted fall hay rides at the property along Anton Larsen Bay Road, but it quickly evolved to haunted bunkers in the area and eventually an actual haunted house in the station’s main building.
            “T-1 Building, which is the main building of the commsta in the basement. And that started sometime in the early 2000 period. So we’ve done it consistently that I’ve known of here at het main building for at least five or six years.”

            Jordinelli said 2011 was the last year the Commsta hosted a haunted house. Tragedy prevented the event from returning the following year.
            On April 12, 2012 the bodies of Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle were found by coworkers, shot to death, in a different building at the Commsta.  
           “Because of that at the time we didn’t think it was appropriate to have the haunted house, especially out of respect for the families and ongoing investigation that was still happening, it was still technically a criminal scene here. In 2013 when they made the arrest and the case was coming to closure the crew had asked if we were going to continue this tradition. We talked about it with both spouses of the persons who passed away and they said that they wouldn’t have a problem with it if we continued the tradition later. The year memorial happened in April and then at that point the morale committee, which is crewmembers of the Coast Guard here at the Commsta, had decided to continue the fundraising and at that point the commanding officer decided to go ahead with it.”

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Oct 24 2013
Maker Takes New Job With Borough
Thursday, 24 October 2013

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            The Kodiak Island Borough’s only code enforcer took a new job recently. Jack Maker served as the code enforcer for three years, but his new job doesn’t stray too far from his old stomping grounds.

            “I’m now the assistant planner for the community development department for the Kodiak Island Borough.”

             Kodiak’s long time planner, Duane Dvorak, retired in June and Maker said he started taking on some of those duties temporarily.
             “And I kind of realized I had a knack for the job, and that I felt my abilities could better serve the community in that position. It took a couple months, maybe almost three months to convince me, because I really did enjoy the code enforcement officer. But I just felt this position better suited my abilities.”
              Maker said he’ll be working closely with the new code enforcer, and is still handling some of those responsibilities as the borough looks to fill the position.
             “I kind of went from the code enforcement officer temporarily assigned the duties of assistant planner to now I am the assistant planner temporarily assigned the duties of code enforcement officer. So yes I’m doing both positions as best I can until we do find a new code enforcement officer.”

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Oct 24 2013
UFA Board Meeting in Sitka
Thursday, 24 October 2013

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    The United Fishermen of Alaska’s Board of Directors is meeting in Sitka this week.
    President Jerry McCune says the board will work on priorities for legislative and government-agency action.
    “We’re always looking for little tweaks in the (state) Division of Investments or things that would be more helpful to fishermen for their loans, especially with a lot of young folks getting online now. That was one of the reasons we fought so hard to up the (loan) limit for permits to $200,000, because prices nowadays are a lot higher today than when it started out.”
    The United Fishermen of Alaska is an umbrella organization of about 35 commercial fishing and processing groups.
    McCune is also president of Cordova District Fishermen United.
    He says the UFA board will discuss Alaska Board of Fisheries appointments. It’s been a hotbed of controversy over the balance among gear-group, subsistence and sport representatives.
    “Right now it’s pretty much up to the governor to pick who’s going to be on the board of fish. Sometimes you end up with really, really good board members and other times people realize it’s way over their heads with what they’re talking about statewide.”
    Some governors’ nominations have been blocked by the Legislature.
    The board won’t take up election endorsements during this meeting.
     President McCune says it’s too early because the latest redistricting plan is being challenged in court.
    “Of course that might be just down in Southeast and north. But it would make a change in who’s running against who and who would end up where. So I don’t think we’ll probably bring up any of that until (next) fall.”
    The UFA is urging its members and others in the business to attend another meeting later this month. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is holding its “All Hands” Meeting October 28th through 30th in Anchorage. It will include updates on marketing efforts as well as species-specific sessions.

 
Oct 24 2013
Park Hours, Animal Control on City's Agenda Tonight
Thursday, 24 October 2013

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             Park hours could be coming to places like Baranof Field and East Addition Park in the near future. Tonight the Kodiak City Council will hold a regular meeting and discuss, among other things, whether or not to implement hours of operation for Kodiak’s many public parks. In an effort to better staff the parks, and mitigate potential vandalism, the city hopes to have winter and summer hours opening at 5 a.m. and closing at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., respectively. Tonight will be a first reading on the matter, and public hearing will be held at the council’s next regular meeting on December 12.
              Scheduling conflicts will prevent the council from holding any meetings in November, which means it’s a busy agenda tonight. The council will vote on a series of authorizations, including two professional services contracts. First up is a contract with CH2M HILL for composting design. Last week the borough assembly approved a land transfer to the city on an area the city hopes to build a Class A composting facility. With that land secured, the city hopes to start the planning and design for that facility. Another contract up for authorization is for the Monashka pumphouse design.
              Tonight the city will also authorize the removal of an inactive AT&T satellite dish near the new Kodiak Public Library and vote on the new animal control contract with the borough.
              Tonight’s meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the borough assembly chambers and will be broadcast live on KMXT. Public comments are accepted at the beginning and end of each meeting and limited to three minutes per speaker.

 
Oct 23 2013
Teen Court Looks For New Members
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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             Kari Millstein was never particularly interested in the legal system. But in eighth grade some members of Kodiak Teen Court spoke in one of her classes, and Millstein decided to see what it was like. Now, Millstein, a senior in high school, is president of Teen Court, a teen judge and looking at the possibility of law school when she graduates next spring.
             Kodiak’s Teen Court is a state-approved program where students in eighth grade and higher can become judges and attorneys in real criminal cases. The cases typically involve youth 18 and under who have chosen to go through Teen Court. Some cases come from the Alaska State Court system, as well as the Alaska Department of Juvenile Justice, and more often than not they include misdemeanor offenses and MIPs, which are minor in possession of alcohol offenses.
             Millstein said Teen Court has been an influential experience in her life and taught her a lot about the legal system. She served as an attorney before becoming a judge, and said it’s definitely a weird experience to defend, prosecute and legally judge some of her every day peers.
            “It’s hard not to seem sort of condescending, and I don’t want them to think of me as someone who thinks I’m so much better than they are. I just want them to know that I’m here to help. Because it could have just as easily been me in that situation, and maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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