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The LegHead Report

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

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Jun 18 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 18 June 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Coming up this week, fishermen all across Bristol Bay are gearing up for what is appearing to be a big run, a Valdez cannery has agreed to a small fine for discharge violations, and some relief for small-boat fishermen when it comes to carrying observers – maybe in three years. We had help from KCHU's Marcia Lynn in Valdez, KDLG's Matt Martin and Molly Dischner scattered about Bristol Bay, and KCAW's Robert Woolsey firmly ensconced in Sitka. 

Jun 18 2015
Assembly Meeting Preview: Subsistence Status and Garbage Fees
Thursday, 18 June 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kodiak’s subsistence rights and its garbage fees will be on the table for the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s regular meeting tonight. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy says the Assembly will discuss a subsistence access resolution that supports a bill Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced. He says Kodiak gears up every decade to defend its rural nature.

“There’s always a tendency to try to put Kodiak in an urban category which means we wouldn’t be able to perform subsistence use of fish and game, so her bill really discusses how an act of congress is required before there is a change from rural to urban.”

Cassidy says the bill will have lasting consequences for Kodiak, and adds the decision on the resolution will probably be postponed until the next regular meeting because a regional advisory committee wants to discuss it at more length.   

He says the Assembly will also vote to reestablish borough fees, which will include a minor increase to garbage charges.

“And it depends on what size roll cart you have, but it’s pretty modest and it really is a reflection of all the work that we’ve done out there at the landfill,” says Cassidy. “We’ve put in a 32 million dollar wastewater treatment plant that has to do with treating all liquids that come from garbage. We have to treat it to State of Alaska drinking water standards, and that was obviously a pretty expensive project.”

Cassidy also wants the public to know that they can deliver their garbage directly to the landfill even in large quantities.

“If you have 500 pounds of garbage or construction debris, you’re allowed to take it to the landfill for free on a daily basis,” says Cassidy. “We have people who drive past the landfill and dump it in places where they shouldn’t be dumping it, and in fact it’s free if you take it to the landfill.”

According to the resolution on the agenda, 501 pounds or greater will now be $215 per ton. You can tune into the assembly’s regular meeting at 7:30 tonight on KMXT, 100.1 FM or streaming live at kmxt.org.
Jun 18 2015
City Council Settles on Budget
Thursday, 18 June 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kodiak City Manager Aimée Kniaziowski read aloud from a memo during last week’s Kodiak City Council regular meeting and announced that the city’s expenses and revenue will balance out to the same number for the coming year’s budget.

“The FY2016 Budget projects combined revenues from all funds excluding capital projects to be $38,034,750, which is a decrease of 8 percent from FY2015’s combined budget revenues of $41,471,414,” she says.

Kniaziowski nodded to the challenge of compiling this year’s budget, but praised the staff’s achievement in maintaining the same departments and community assistance Kodiak has enjoyed in the past.

“I will say that we’ve managed to provide the city, the community with another lean budget and minimal staffing without affecting the services,” says Kniaziowski. We continue to be able to provide the services per both years’ budget goals and I think the staff’s commitment to the city.”

She says one of the barriers has been the loss of state aid even as costs increase.

“We’re all concerned about that,” says Kniaziowski. “Kodiak hasn’t been hit as hard as some communities, but we certainly are expecting some major reductions in intergovernmental transfers.”

The city council voted to adopt the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The city council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for next Thursday.
Jun 17 2015
Ferry Kennicott Cancels Next Two Kodiak Stops
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Sailings of the state ferry Kennicott have been canceled through Monday due to mechanical issues. The larger of the two ferries that call on Kodiak needs repairs to its vehicle elevator, and will undergo them in Whittier.

The Kennicott was scheduled to make two stops in Kodiak, Saturday at 11 a.m. And Sunday night at 10:45. Also canceled are calls to Chenega Bay, Homer, and Seldovia.

Unlike many ports in Southeast where automobile traffic can drive on and off the ferries, Kodiak and the other ports affected need the ferries to have a functional elevator to embark and disembark cars and trucks.

All passengers will be let off in Whittier and the Kennicott will resume its regular schedule on Monday, which will take it back to Southeast Alaska. 

The ferry Tustumena is leaving today (Wednesday) for a run down the Alaska Peninsula, and won't return to Kodiak until June 24th. It will then sail for the mainland next Thursday.

Stranded passengers can get more information, at FerryAlaska.com, or calling toll-free at 800-642-0066. 
Jun 17 2015
Speaker to Give Talk About End-of-Life Care in America
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
ira_via_website.jpgIra Byock. Via irabyock.org

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The United States health care system is taking away the personal touch to its end-of-life care, at least according to one doctor who’ll be flying up to Kodiak to hold a talk this Friday.

Ira Byock is Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services, located in California, and has a long experience with hospice work and caring for those with serious illnesses. He says as far as delivering personalized treatment, the country’s health care system falls short.

“I think the main thing that we could improve on in health care in the United States is having conversations with people about what matters most to them when they are seriously ill and might not survive,” says Byock. “Too often in America we assume that the fundamental nature of illness and dying in America is medical.”
Byock says a physician’s approach needs to take the individual and their family into consideration first. 

“If I’ve learned anything during 35 years of practice, it is that the best care is not a one-size fits all model,” Byock says. “Disease treatment, you can look at best practices and algorithms and look up the best treatments, but when you’re caring for a whole person, you have to do it in a way that is particular to their personality, their preferences.”

He says part of the problem is the medical arena can be too clinical in its approach.

“You know in the United States, mostly we see people as a set of medical problems to be solved and we really rely so much, almost exclusively, on the science and technology, which filters out all of  the personal attributes – all of the ethnicity, and the cultures and the traditions and the rituals - even the foods that matter a lot to people.”

Byock says patients and doctors need to know that they can – and should – maintain an open dialogue. One way to achieve that is through education.

“This stuff can be taught. This caring well for seriously ill and dying people can be taught, but it can’t be taught in one lecture. It can’t be taught in a day,” says Byock. “It really requires the same time on-service, the close mentoring that is the way medical care is taught generation to generation in the mainstream.”

You can hear Byock speak more on this topic Friday at the KANA Koniag building on Near Island from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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