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Nov 24 2014
No Answers Yet on Food Safety at Narrow Cape
Monday, 24 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A representative from U.S. Army Missile Defense Command said it is unlikely that the organization will be able to send someone to the next Kodiak Local Emergency Planning meeting.
In a letter to Kodiak Island Borough assistant planner Jack Maker, the public affairs specialist from the Missile Defense Command said that they would prefer someone not from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation speak before the group, but they wouldn't be able to make it themselves.
According to Missile Defense spokesman John Cummings said sending a representative from Huntsville, Alabama is quote, “difficult to support.”
He did attach a brief summary of activities AAC, the Army and Missile Defense and its clean up contractors have been doing since the explosion on August 25th. 
In it, Cummings says clean up has been conducted six days a week, and additional manpower has been added to try and complete it in December.
Cummings did not address questions about what explosive or other hazardous material that still needs to be cleaned up, or if food gathered from the area will be safe to eat. Berries grow in the area and cattle and buffalo graze there, sometimes right up to Kodiak Launch Complex infrastructure. The Pasagshak River, an important salmon stream, is nearby.
Cummings did write that after clean up is complete, the next step will be to conduct an environmental investigation to determine if any residual contamination remains. He said in his letter that would include water and soil. Requests for proposals from potential clean up contractors have already been issued.
As for the failure of the rocket to launch, Cummings said an investigation is ongoing and could take a few more months to conclude. He said ACC personnel are removing KLC debris and have informed the state of Alaska's Division of Risk Management that they will be pursuing a claim through the state's insurance pool to pay for rebuilding the launch site.
Cummings said a website has been set up to take questions about the Narrow Cape clean up. http://KLC-INFO.mil-tec.com
 
Nov 24 2014
Four Locals on Walker-Mallott Transition Team
Monday, 24 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Alaska's governor- and lieutenant governor- elect gathered members of their transition team in preparation for taking office a week from today. Bill Walker and Byron Mallott's list numbers scores of names from every corner of the state, in 17 different categories. Four Kodiak residents were selected.
Jeff Stephan, the executive director of the United Fishermen's Marketing Association, was named to the economic development team, and KANA Executive Director Andy Teuber will serve on the health care team. Jason Metrokin, a Kodiak man who is president of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, was selected for the Natural Resources team.
Outgoing State House Representative Alan Austerman and Erin Harrington, organizer of “The Salmon Project,” were named to the fisheries transition team, which has 26 members.
Former Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd is also on that team. It includes a mix of fishing interests, including several people from commercial fishing and several from the guiding industry. For example, United Fishermen of Alaska President Jerry McCune of Cordova is included, as is Ricky Gease, the executive director of the Soldotna lobbying group, Kenai River Sportsfishing.
Four members are from fisheries-dependent Southeast, including former legislator Albert Kookesh of Angoon, Mark Jensen of Petersburg, Linda Behnken of Sitka and Greg Indreland of Yakutat.
There are six from the Kenai Peninsula and seven from the Anchorage area. Only two representative hail from Western Alaska, which has suffered through very low salmon runs in recent years. They are Ragnar Alstrom of Alakanuk and former State House Representative Mary Sattler of Bethel. While there are three from Dillingham, Norm Van Vactor, Robert Heyano and former Fish Board member Russell Nelson, there are no representatives from the Alaska Peninsula or Aleutian Islands.
All these folks, and more from the other subcommittees, met over the weekend in Anchorage to begin preparing for a smooth transition from the Parnell administration. We have a list of all the Fishery Transition Team members and a link to the entire list after the jump.

Read more...
 
Nov 21 2014
View from the Ground Could Help Forecasts
Friday, 21 November 2014
2.7 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB
Predicting storms in a fast-changing environment isn’t easy. But the National Weather Service is slowly working on a plan to improve their forecasts in Alaska — and across the country — by adding in the view from the ground. 
 
Nov 20 2014
School Board Opens Communications
Thursday, 20 November 2014
2.42 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough School Board wrapped up a nine-month process of reviewing and amending the board communication policy at its meeting this week. The previous iteration of the bylaw required all communication directed to any school board member to go through the superintendent's office first. And that was whether it came from parents, a citizen or a district employee.
Some have linked the strict rule with stifling conversation with school board members and a decrease in morale among district employees. At Monday's meeting, Kate Wynne was one of two people who addressed that issue.
“So the one thing that seems fundamentally important, yet fundamentally missing, is open communication. And it's not unique to this school district or to any organization,” she said. “But it also seems that any mechanism that promotes civil discourse and real honest understanding with out the fear of punitive consequences has to help improve morale. It just has to.”
Duncan Fields, the newest school board member, ran on a platform of more open communication, and pushed for that in the bylaw change.
“The inappropriate kind of communication is for a board member to interfere with a staff's job, or try to direct staff, or influence staff in terms of decision making. The appropriate kind of communication that I have a responsibility as a board member to have with staff is 'what do you see as problems, what are your challenges, what budget issues do you have?' Those kinds of questions,” he said. “And I don't see that as appropriate to be channeled through the superintendent's office.”
Fields offered an amendment to the last sentence in the latest revision to say board members “should” channel questions or communication to staff through the superintendent's office, in place of “will channel.” It passed unanimously.
School Board President Katie Oliver said she talks to people about the district daily.
“And that's a good thing. That's what I signed up for when I ran for election. And I consider talking to people about the district as being fundamental to my service as a school board member,” she said. “If someone wants to have a private conversation with me as an individual, I will honor that. I'm limited in my ability then to find a resolution to a situation that is confidential by request, but I'm happy to listen.”
Citizens wanting to address the school board as a whole, should still sent that communication through the central office to be archived in compliance with the district's record retention policy. 
 
Nov 20 2014
Fish Work Group Looks For Reps
Thursday, 20 November 2014

1.64 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 

Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

            Kodiak’s Fisheries Work Group is calling on various fishing gear types, sectors and community members to take part in an upcoming. In October the North Pacific Fishery Management Council released a series of alternatives and options for Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch management, and the work group, which is made up of city council and borough assembly members, is looking to hear what folks think about those various options.
            During the work group’s meeting last week, Councilman John Whiddon suggested bringing representatives from various sectors to the table for discussion.
            “I don’t think we can profess to understand trawl economics or processor economics and what the implications actually mean. But the various components – the processing sector, the harvesting sector, have a much better understanding than we do – why not have an open discussion with them about these various elements of the motion and how it relates to the industry, how we can collectively come to a decision that doesn’t necessarily disadvantage any of them – I understand that there’ll be need for compromise at some point. But I think that we need to engage meaningfully with the people that actually do the work.”

Read more...
 
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