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Run the Rock 2014 Registration Now Open
Our annual marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K race will be held October 11, 2014! You may now register and find more information at www.kmxt.org/run_the_rock. 
 
Jan 29 2014
Sen. Stevens Optimistic Over Governor's Education Bill
Wednesday, 29 January 2014

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    Governor Sean Parnell spoke at length about education during his state of the state address last week. As chair of the Senate Education Committee, Kodiak Senator Gary Stevens will deal directly with some or all of the governor’s education agenda.
    In the days after the Governor’s address, there was confusion over what sounded like a quid-pro-quo that in exchange for increased per-student funding for public schools the legislature would allow funding for private and religious schools. Stevens said he was confused by that too, but said Parnell has cleared that issue up.
    Speaking of allowing public funds to pay for religious and private schools, a bill introduced last year by Sen. John Coghill was not scheduled for a hearing in Senate Education. Stevens says it’s currently languishing elsewhere.
    Another item in Parnell’s omnibus education bill would do away with the current high school exit exam. That’s an item that Stevens had already introduced.
    Stevens points out that even if the exit exam is done away with in this year’s legislature, the change won’t be seen by high school students until next year.

 
Jan 29 2014
KDM Editor Sets Sights on New Opportunities
Wednesday, 29 January 2014

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           After about three years with the Kodiak Daily Mirror, James Brooks is saying his goodbyes. The editor of Kodiak’s only daily print publication recently accepted a job with the Capital City Weekly in Juneau, and will be relocating there next month.
           Brooks said he applied for the job after a friend in Juneau called him and told him about the opening.
            “It’s never something I would have thought of on my own, but she called me up and said ‘hey I think you’d be a great fit for this job.’ And I said sure I’d put in for it, because I’m happy here, but low and behold it came up. And it took me weeks to think about this and say do I really want to do this because I’m happy here, I like Kodiak and I want to stay to stay in Kodiak. But you know, you always wonder what if. And whenever an opportunity comes up, there are so many trite sayings out there to grab every opportunity you can to see something new. And I think if I didn’t try something different I’d always wonder what if.”
             Brooks said he will be assistant editing the Juneau Empire when needed, in addition to editing the Capital City Weekly.
             Before Brooks came to Kodiak three years ago he was working for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. He said it was fun to come to a smaller town and focus on local news and different industries than those in the interior.

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Jan 28 2014
NOAA Extends Deadline on Underwater Acoustics Document
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

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           The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has extended the public comment period for an acoustic noise study released last month. On December 27 the administration began soliciting comments on a study that examines how acoustic noise affects marine mammals. The comment period was initially supposed to end yesterday, but on Thursday NOAA announced the deadline would be extended until March.
            Bree Witteveen is a marine mammal specialist and said the study is basically a review of all the literature and studies done over several years compiled into a single document. She said that document was peer-reviewed by researchers in the marine mammal world who specialize in acoustics.   
            “And so NOAA is requesting feedback from the public, which they always do when they release a document like this, just to see if there’s any other insights or any other areas that they might be more inclined to look into.”
            Witteveen said the draft includes a list of marine mammals, what type of hearing they have and how they might be affected by different noises, either man-made or naturally occurring. Basically, the document identifies what noise levels are considered harassment to different animals.
            Once the public comment period closes, Witteveen said the document will probably used to draft guidelines or regulations for man-made noises in the marine environment. 

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Jan 27 2014
No Reason for Concern Over Fukushima Radiation in Alaska
Monday, 27 January 2014

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    We’ve heard a lot about potential radiation danger from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear reactor, mostly from two sources: scientists whose job it is to measure these things, and social media that is flooded with dire, unsubstantiated warnings of doom.
    There is a concern in Alaska – but it’s not about being irradiated. It’s the danger of public perception, of people thinking Alaska seafood could be tainted. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Larry Hartig told the Senate Resources Committee last week that seafood competitors “would love to discourage Alaska fish,” by spreading doubts about the safety of Alaska seafood.
    All of those concerns also attracted the attention of Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins of Sitka, who did some research of his own.
    “I live in Sitka, an island surrounded by ocean and I eat a lot of fish. If there’s radiation in the ocean, that’s concerning to me personally. I had been seeing a steady trickle of conspiracy theories on Fukushima, and the take-away from Fukushima is if you look at the hard data in the ocean, there’s no cause for concern.”
    Kreiss-Tompkins spoke with researchers with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and attended a Congressional hearing in Washington D.C. last year on the topic. He said that not only is there no cause for concern about radiation poisoning here, it’s only a bit more concerning in Japan.
    “There’s sort of a gradient of the degree of radiation in the ocean. It’s more elevated around Japan, and it’s practically non-existent off the coast of North American and Alaska,” he said. “But even off the coast of the FDN plant in Japan, the radiation is actually well below the EPA drinking water regulations. If that were fresh water, it would actually pass EPA muster as potable water.”
    Marti Brewer, with the DEC’s Division of Environmental Health, says every agency that has taken a look at radiation levels, has come to the same conclusion:
    “The available information that Alaska has access to, from other agencies – federal agencies such as EPA, FDA, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as other pacific states such as Hawaii, Oregon, California and Washington, as well as Health Canada, have demonstrated that there are no levels of radiation that are of a public health concern.”

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Jan 27 2014
Downed Tree Culprit in Weekend Power Outage
Monday, 27 January 2014

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           A downed tree left many Monashka Bay residents without power for about an hour Sunday afternoon. Around 2:30 p.m. a Kodiak Electric Association customer was attempting to fell a tree when it dropped on a power line on Lakeview Drive. KEA President and CEO Darron Scott said the customer called KEA’s 24-hour dispatch to report the incident and the company was able to send a crew over right away. He said the power line wasn’t completely damaged and the crew was able to isolate the area for repairs.
           “No, no there was a little bit of damage to the line. We were able to repair it in place, but did not take down the whole line. The tree just kind of came into the line, the line was able to support the tree before it fell all the way to the ground.”

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