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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

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 Weekdays at 12:20 p.m.
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Galley Tables

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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.
 
Jan 08 2015
Students and Teachers Love the Wide Open Spaces of New School
Thursday, 08 January 2015
1.39 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Marina Cummiskey/KMXT
    On Tuesday, students and teachers at Kodiak High School got their first day together in the new four-story “Tower” addition. KMXT student reporter Marina Cummiskey took her recorder to school yesterday and asked teachers and students what they thought about their new learning environment. 
 
Jan 07 2015
Joe Floyd Tourney XLVIII Starts Thursday
Wednesday, 07 January 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
     It's once again time for one of the oldest wintertime traditions in modern Kodiak history. The Joe Floyd basketball tournament. 
     The tournament kicks off at 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon, with the Lathrop and East Anchorage girls, followed by the East Anchorage and West Valley boys at 4:45. The Kodiak Bears get in on the action with the defending 4-A state champion girls team taking the court at 6:30 against Mt. Edgecumbe, but the Kodiak boys play the nightcap at 8:15 against the Mt. Edgecumbe boys.
     We've got the full round-robin tournament schedule after the jump.
Read more...
 
Jan 06 2015
Stevens Worries Marine Highway Vulnerable as Fiscal Gap Widens
Tuesday, 06 January 2015
1.15 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The new legislative session starts in two weeks, and with the price of crude oil continuing its free-fall, Alaska's senators and representatives will be scrambling to make ends meet.
    “Yeah, it's going to be a very tough year as I look at the budget,” said District P Senator Gary Stevens of Kodiak. “I'm afraid there's going to be some real serious looks at things that are importation to us. I mean everyone I talk to, you know, always says, 'well yeah, we've got to cut that budget, but don't cut my part of the budget, cut that guy's part of the budget.' And that's always the case.”
    Though the state's operating budget – that is, the money to pay state workers and keep the lights on – dwarfs the capital budget – the money for projects in various communities, Stevens foresees bleak times ahead for towns wanting to spruce up their infrastructure on the state's dime:
    “I think we're going to have a real limited capital budget this year. Not a lot of projects. I know communities would like to see it. But I've heard things from folks on finance that are quite concerned about the marine highway system and looking at some serious cuts there,” he said. “I hope that doesn't happen, and I hope we can remind them how important the marine highway is to folks here in Kodiak and coastal Alaska. But everything is going to be on the table, and things that are important to us is going to be looked at very, very carefully.”
    Stevens, a retired professor and past chair of the Senate Education Committee, says a lawsuit from Southeast may have statewide implications that could further put strain on the budget:
    “Yeah, we're facing some pretty serious things. As you know, one issue that has me concerned is the Ketchikan lawsuit that says that the boroughs and cities should have no obligation to help pay for education. That's been a major part of our education funding in the past,” he said. “So if that were to take place, if suddenly we found ourselves as a state having to pay for the entire education bill with boroughs and cities not getting involved, then there'll be even more serious cuts elsewhere. So that's quite concerning to me.”
    Governor Bill Walker is asking his commissioners and even the public for suggestions for how to balance the budget and has put a freeze on six large state projects, including the Kodiak Launch Complex. Senator Stevens suspects there'll be more austerity measures before revenues return to pre-oil crash levels. 
 
Jan 06 2015
Changes Come to Pick Click Give as Program Matures
Tuesday, 06 January 2015
1.12 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO
    Annual giving in the Pick. Click. Give. program has grown robustly since its 2009 launch, though the total number of donors appears to be tapering off.  
    This year, program officials have brought back the Double Your Dividend sweepstakes to attract donors, and organizations will be charged a new 7 percent administrative fee.
    There’s been double-digit percentage growth in the amount given to Alaska nonprofits through Pick. Click. Give. since its launch.  
    The program makes it easy for Alaskans to give part of their Permanent Fund Dividends to charities. Almost 27,000 people donated about $2.8 million in 2014. 
    However, the growth in the number of people giving is down.
    “So we sometimes wonder if people are thinking back to the dividend that they just received a couple of months earlier,” says Heather Beaty of the Alaska Community Foundation manages Pick. Click. Give. 
    The payout in 2013 was about half of last year’s, the third biggest in the history of dividends.
    “We have speculated that having a lower PFD amount may have affected the rate of participation,” she said.
    Tim Blust is a bookkeeper with Discovery Southeast, a Juneau nonprofit with an outdoor education mission. Last year, he goosed his organization’s books a little with a personal donation through Pick. Click. Give.  
    In the fall, he got a coy phone message from Beaty. 
    “My 12-year-old son immediately said, ‘Dad, you must have won!’ And I said, ‘Won what?’”
    His son was right. Blust was one of 10 winners of the Double Your Dividend drawing that Pick. Click. Give. donors entered. 
    The sweepstakes launched last March, the final month of the dividend sign-up period. It was meant to counter low giving caused by technical problems in what’s usually a busy January. 
    It’s hard to suss out exactly what effect the sweepstakes had, but Beaty says, “We did see Pick. Click. Give. participation go up quite a bit while we were promoting the sweepstakes. So we decided to go ahead and implement it again this year hoping that it continues to encourage more Alaskans to make donations through Pick. Click. Give.” 
    One change this year affecting participating organizations is a new 7 percent administrative fee. The fee is meant to replace temporary grant funding, largely from the Rasmuson Foundation, used to get the program going. Organizations will continue to pay a separate $250 filing fee. 
    Last year, the legislature unanimously created the new fee while also relaxing some requirements. 
    The sentiment among several local nonprofit officials was that it’s too bad to lose the revenue, but worth the convenience. 
    Rasmuson President and CEO Diane Kaplan said in a recent blog post that the new fee is a sign of the program’s sustainability and maturity.
    Dividends are expected to grow again in 2015. The value of the dividend is based on a rolling, 5-year average of Permanent Fund investment gains and losses.  
 
Jan 05 2015
An Ignoble End to an Iconic Vessel
Monday, 05 January 2015

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The ferry Kalakala, shown here in happier days when it plied the waters of Puget Sound as a Washington State ferry. The Kalakala spent decades beached in Kodiak's Gibson Cove as a seafood processing plant, before being towed back to Washington. Money never came for repairs, though, and the current owner announced plans to scrap the aluminium streamliner later this month. Photo Kalakala Foundation 

 

 

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The historic ferry Kalakala has reached its final destination.
    The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1xLaDYb ) the owner plans to have the rusting hulk scrapped later this month in Tacoma.
    The 276-foot ferry went into service in 1935 and carried cars across Puget Sound until 1967. In the days before the Space Needle, the silver art deco style vessel was the post card symbol of Seattle.
    Then, it was towed to Alaska and used as a fish processing plant, first in Dutch Harbor, and then for decades in Kodiak's Gibson Cove.
    It was towed back to Seattle in 1998, but plans by several owners to restore it never came up with enough money.
    The Kalakala ended up on property owned by Karl Anderson. He has spent about a half million on it and says it will cost another half-million to prepare it for demolition. 
 
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