Stevens, Austerman Field Constituents’ Questions


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Kodiak’s legislative delegation, Senator Gary Stevens and Representative Alan Austerman, along with Homer Representative Paul Seaton, held their first legislative teleconference on Thursday.

Calls during the half-hour teleconference ranged from a Seward man asking for help with trooper inaction over his stolen car to fisheries legislation.

Stevens, the senator for both Seaton’s District 35 and Austerman’s District 36, said the legislature has gotten off to a fast and furious start this year:

(Call In 1 23 sec "So we’re dealing with … a lot of attention right now.")

John Velsko, Homer’s representative to the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council, called in and thanked the delegation for their support of maintaining dual-tug escorts coming out of the oil terminal in Valdez. He then put on his commercial fisherman’s hat and expressed concern over a couple of bills in the legislature that may further restrict commercial fishing in Cook Inlet:

(Call In 2 26 sec "House Bill 266 is … the established commercial fisheries.")

The bill is sponsored largely by representatives from the Matanuska-Susitna area.

Seaton responded that the personal use dipnet fisheries on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers are rife with issues:

(Call In 3 42 sec "You know there’s some … been a real problem.")

Rhonda Maker of Kodiak also phoned in, asking the delegation to exert what pressure it can to urge the state government to oppose catch shares before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council:

(Call In 4 30 sec "I would appreciate … efforts in that way.")

Austerman asked Maker to do him a favor when she goes to Washington D.C. this month to protest catch shares:

(Call In 5 13 sec "Rhonda, in your message … You’re right about that.")

The next constituent call-in will be on March 11th, and will again be broadcast live here on KMXT.

I’m Jay Barrett.


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