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May 21 2014
Crab Fest Brings New Activities, Events
Wednesday, 21 May 2014

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            Kodiak’s annual Crab Festival starts tomorrow and it will be a different one than most folks are used to. Last year Golden Wheel, the long-time vendor for rides, said they would not be returning for this year’s festival. That left folks like Summer Wood, the community relations director for the Chamber of Commerce and Crab Fest Manager, scratching their heads on how to ensure the weekend will be fun and entertaining.
            Worry subsided when the Anchorage-based Tons of Fun Entertainment committed to the festival, and Wood said the company will be filling the midway this year with interactive rides and activities.  
            “They have 13 different things which will include things like a climbing wall, bungee runs, a bucking salmon, a bucking bull – a lot of kind of competition things. And there are some bouncing houses for kids. And if you’ve ever seen the show Wipe Out, some of their interactive activities are kind of based off that show. So there is the Meltdown and I think it’s called the Wrecking Ball. So those are some new activities I think even adults will be excited about.”  

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May 20 2014
State Seeks Public Input on New Ferry Design
Tuesday, 20 May 2014

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            People will have a chance to provide input on a replacement vessel for the ferry Tustumena. Tuesday night the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will hold an open meeting at the Kodiak Public Library to give folks an opportunity to add their voice to the department’s replacement process and hear what plans are already in the works for a new ferry.
            Much needed repairs to the Tustumena last year kept the vessel out of the water for months on end and left many places in south central Alaska with reduced or no ferry service. That ordeal reemphasized to the state the need for a new ferry. While a new vessel is still a few years out, the final design is scheduled to be completed by summer 2015.
            Tuesday's meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the library’s multipurpose room and is open to the public.

 
May 20 2014
Former Resident Edits King Crab Textbook
Tuesday, 20 May 2014

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           A former crab researcher and Kodiak resident just spent the past three-and-a-half years editing a reference book devoted to the biology and fisheries of king crab. Brad Stevens was in Kodiak visiting a few weeks ago and said the book is the first textbook to focus entirely on king crab.
          Stevens lived in Kodiak from the 1980s until 2006 when he and his family moved to the east coast. He currently works as a professor of environmental science at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Stevens has been researching crab around the world for more than three decades primarily the reproductive biology and aquaculture potential of the species.
          “And I had thought about putting some of this into a book at one point but when I worked for NOAA it would have been difficult for a number of reasons. One is I just really didn’t have time for it and I’m not sure that they would have considered it part of my job. Although we did do some publishing, this was a major undertaking.” 
           Stevens said it wasn’t until 2009, when he joined the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, that pursuing a reference book seemed feasible.  

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May 20 2014
Talk of the Rock: Brad Stevens Talks King Crab
Tuesday, 20 May 2014

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           The Kodiak Crab Fest kicks off on Thursday and on this week’s Talk of the Rock we’re going to hear a little bit about the science behind the crustaceans that inspired the annual festival.
           Brad Stevens was a long-time crab researcher here in Kodiak before he moved to the East Coast in 2006. Stevens returned to Kodiak a few weeks ago for work, and to share his recent project – a reference book devoted to the biology and fisheries of king crab.

 
May 20 2014
Assembly Approves Back Pay For Underpaid Staff
Tuesday, 20 May 2014

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           Last week the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved a pay increase for certain borough employees, in addition to retroactively paying them salary differences.
           The vote on the matter was a long time coming and the result of a employee classification and compensation study done by Fox Lawson and Associates last May. The assembly accepted the study at that time, but it took a full year to make its way back to the assembly for implementation.
           That delay wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the study found that certain borough employees were underpaid. In essence, that meant the borough was knowingly underpaying those staff members for a full year.
           That’s why the ordinance approved Thursday night included retro pay, which would offer the salary difference for those employees back to January 1, 2014. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said the back pay isn’t a bonus – but rather the market wage that borough employees should have been paid.
            Karl Short, the finance director for the borough, said the January 1 date was a compromise struck during the assembly’s last meeting. Originally the thought was to pay the employees all the way to July 2013, when the study was accepted.      

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