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Apr 23 2014
Boro Reps Advocate For Kodiak in D.C.
Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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            A handful of borough representatives recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where they spent two days lobbying on behalf of Kodiak. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said it was his first time to the nation’s capital, and the borough tries to send folks down every couple of years to make sure Kodiak has a voice on the federal level.
           “For me I think the important thing is that the senators and representatives as well as the agency people that we meet with when we go back there, it’s important that they meet face to face with assembly members especially. I think they hear from managers and their staffs about issues, but they really kind of want to hear it face to face from the elected officials from a community. They expect it, and I think it was a good move on this assembly’s part to go back to D.C. There are some critical issues that we’re looking toward the federal government to fund and like I said a pretty valuable opportunity to go back and talk to them face to face.”
            It was also Mayor Jerrol Friend’s first time in D.C. He said it was well worth the journey and he felt like Kodiak was well received.

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Apr 23 2014
Ford Joins Acarregui and Ranney on KEA Board
Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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    There’s a new face on the Kodiak Electric Association board of directors. During the member-owned cooperative’s annual meeting Monday, results of the election for three, three-year seats were announced, and Clifford Ford will be joining incumbents Ron Acarregui and Cecil Ranney. Ford will replace incumbent Ben Millstein.
    Acarregui collected the most votes, with 743, with Ranney receiving 708 and Ford 624. Millstein trailed by 38, with 586.
    The board meets the fourth Thursday of every month, except November and December. Its next gathering will be at noon on Thursday at the KEA office Building.

 
Apr 22 2014
Wounded Bear Still Missing on Spruce Cape
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

 

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            There’s been a couple bears lingering around town these days but Alaska Fish and Game is warning residents about one in particular. Nathan Svoboda is the Kodiak area wildlife biologist and said there is a potentially wounded bear roaming around the Spruce Cape and Woodland Acres area. On Monday night Svoboda said the bear made its way into a chicken coop and one of the homeowners in the area shot at it. 
            “The bear ran off, came back a little while later, was found in the chicken coop again, and shot at or shot again. We’re pretty sure it was hit at least once.”
             He said the bear then ran off, and as of Tuesday afternoon still hadn’t been found, despite numerous searches by both fish and game and Alaska wildlife troopers throughout the day.
             “We did find a blood trail. We followed that for a while but we lost the trail. It either stopped bleeding or just got covered up due to the rain.”

             Svoboda said the bear is likely still in the area and folks need to be cautious, report any sightings and make sure they are taking appropriate measures with their food and trash.

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Apr 22 2014
Community Members Speak Out During School Board Meeting
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

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Maggie Wall/KMXT

           Morale among Kodiak’s teachers is at an all-time low and communications within the district and with parents leaves a lot to be desired.
           Those were just a few of the concerns expressed by residents who spoke during Public Comment periods during last night’s regular meeting of the Kodiak Island Borough School District Board of Education.
           The meeting was the first since the recent contract and performance review of Kodiak School District Superintendent Stewart McDonald.
           The Borough Assembly Chambers was packed, though only a few people spoke publicly about a problem. References were made by those who did speak that teachers and other school district employees fear that speaking out publicly would adversely affect their employment with the district.
           Anticipating what was coming, School Board President Katie Oliver spoke to the issue shortly after the meeting got underway:
          
"It's also my recommendation and intent to schedule at a near future public meeting, a discussion item about the process of inviting and accepting public input into the evaluation of district employees...I think it's important to honor the time and energy that community members put into correspondence with the district and I think we can bring clarity to the process, particularly in the area of timeline and in the area of the goals that the board sets, which provides a framework for evaluation. And I think we can have a conversation about the extent to which we consider written comments that are anonymous and unsigned. So as your president, that is my intent and recommendation -- future executive session, future discussion item on the process."

           Ron Gibbs was the first to speak. He said he did not come to the meeting to attack or tear down, but rather to make suggestions on how the district might handle what he called an increasing opportunity for improvement.
           "We value the commitment that you have made, and respect the efforts that you make on behalf of the district. Unfortunately, comments made by board members do indicate a disconnect between the board's perceptions and what is actually happening in the schools in the community."

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Apr 22 2014
Amidst Fiscal Uncertainty, School Budget Passes
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Maggie Wall/KMXT

 

           The Alaska Legislature continues to struggle to come up with a funding plan for the state’s education system. That has put a real wrench into plans for the local school budget.   
            Because of deadlines and timetables, the Kodiak Island Borough School District must present a budget for next year to the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly on Thursday. To meet the Thursday deadline, the school board had to approve its proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget at last night’s regular meeting.
             So, how do you prepare a school budget in the range of $50 million when the bulk of your funding comes from the legislature and the legislature hasn’t yet figured out how much it will provide in funding?
             The Answer:   You base the budget on what you do know, pick a mid-range figure for what the state will provide, and you hope for the best.
             The school board and borough assembly will meet in a special joint work session on Thursday. Hopefully, by then they will know what the legislature will fund so they can adjust the proposed budget based on actual figures.
              The school board approved a $51 million budget for Fiscal Year 2015 which begins July 1.
The budget assumes the legislature increases the Base Student Allocation by $185, and it asks the borough for $522,000 more than the current year.

 
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