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Salmon Project Will ‘Drop’ Books This Fall

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Folks who enjoy salmon-themed literature will be pleased to know they’ll have an opportunity to score a free book this fall. Erin Harrington is the executive director of the Salmon Project, which is the organization hosting a statewide book drop. The “drop” she says, will involve distributing almost 1,200 books to roughly half a dozen communities around the state.
The book being distributed is King of Fish – the 1,000 year run of salmon.
“Which is by David Montgomery, who is a geomorphologist down at the University of Washington, and wrote this book a little over a decade ago about salmon and the interactions between salmon and people across ranges in Europe, North America, on both the east and west coasts of the United States and Canada and then up around the corner, just barely touching on B.C. and Alaska. So it’s a really fascinating book that looks at more than 1,000 years of the way people have interacted with this fish and relied on it. And then it looks at some of the lessons that can come out of those other geographies which have largely lost their salmon.”
Harrington said the book drop idea was modeled after the popular Big Reads, which promote community literacy and conversation by distributing different texts for free. Continue reading

The Alaska Fisheries Report

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Coming up this week, the United Fishermen of Alaska announced its Fishermen of the Year and Hall of Fame awards; we’ve got a wrap up of the Cook Inlet salmon season, and the plan to eradicate pike from the Kenai Peninsula is finally moving forward. We had help from KRBD’s Megan Pedersen in Ketchikan, KYUK’s Ben Matheson in Bethel, and KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran in Kenai.

No Change to Election Results After Canvassing

Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Kodiak Island Borough municipal elections have been canvassed – meaning all outstanding votes have been added to the totals from the October 7th election.
Provided by the borough clerk’s office, the results show that the election results were decided by less than 2,000 people. Only 1,968 votes were cast out of a registered voter pool of 9,100, meaning just 22 percent of eligible voters turned out. However, that is actually five more percentage points than last year, and nine more than 2012.
The precinct with the lowest percentage of votes cast was Bell’s Flats, where only 11-percent, or 186 out of 1,711 voters, cast a ballot. The voters of Ouzinkie had the highest turnout, with 34 percent.
The counting of questioned, absentee and personal representative ballots changed the final election numbers, but did not change who will be sworn in tonight.
Dan Rohrer picked up another 168 votes for a total of 1,323. Larry LeDoux got another 164 votes to bring his total to 1,285; and Rebecca Skinner received another 124 votes for a total of 795.
The final tally for the two school board seats have incumbent Katie Oliver with 1,319 votes and Duncan Fields with 1,268. Oliver picked up another 186 votes and Fields another 172.
Proposition 1, which will allow the Kodiak Island Borough to issue bonds to conduct maintenance and repairs to borough schools, picked up another 173 votes in favor and 82 more votes against. It passed with almost two-to-one approval with a total of 1,216 yes and 630 no.
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly will certify the election results, and the clerk will swear in the three new assembly members, tonight at the assembly’s regular meeting. We’ll carry that live on KMXT at 7:30.

Local Reeappointed to AHFC Board

Jay Barrett/KMXT
Two men have been reappointed to the Alaska Housing Finance Board of Directors, including one from Kodiak.
Marty Shuravloff is the executive director of the Kodiak Island Housing Authority, where he’s worked since 1992. He has previously served on the board of the National American Indian Housing Council and the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities. He was reappointed to a seat reserved for a rural resident or someone experienced with regional housing authorities.
Brent LeValley of Fairbanks is senior vice president of Denali State Bank. He was reappointed to a seat reserved for a finance or real estate representative.
The AHFC board provides mortgage loan financing, acts as the principal source of residential financing in the state, and functions as a secondary mortgage market. The board also provides for the financing, construction and acquisition of public buildings for lease to the state.

Weather Station Brings New Learning to Old Harbor

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Yesterday KMXT told you all about a new project for Kodiak High School and Middle School students, one that partners them with NASA scientists to try and forecast earthquakes.
The work is being done through  Trillium Learning’s American Bridge Project, and brought the world’s first two Global Earthquake Forecasting System sensing platforms to Kodiak last month. One was placed on top of the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium, and another was sent to Old Harbor.
The platforms collect electrical and magnetic signals, among other data, but also include a full NOAA-class weather station on each platform.
“So we can tell how much wind, wind gusts, rain, humidity, temperature – all these things are actually being recorded.”
That’s Ron Fortunado, the president of Trillium Learning. He said the students working with the platform in Old Harbor went nuts when they learned about the weather stations included in the project, something he didn’t expect.
“Because they don’t have a weather station down there.”
Instead, Fortunado learned that Old Harbor relies on weather forecasts from Kodiak airport.
“If they knew what the weather was like down here they would know whether or not to send a plane or not, or a maritime or fishing fleet – we would know better about what the conditions were and stuff like that. So with a weather station down there, localizing in a place based manner, now they’re going to use it to do all sorts of climate studies in their environmental science classes and things like that.”
Fortunado said he had no idea how important and useful a weather station would be for the community of Old Harbor, and is glad the earthquake forecasting project can be beneficial in multiple ways.

Lecture Will Highlight Early Language Learning

Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Folks will have an opportunity to learn about early Alutiiq language learning this Thursday during a lecture at the Alutiiq Museum.
Well before current language revitalization efforts, Russian colonists were some of the island’s first non-Native Alutiiq learners. According to a press release from the Alutiiq Museum, the language was solely oral for thousands of years, but with the arrival of those Russian explorers, Russian Cyrillic characters were used for publishing written word.
Daria Safronova is a local Russian archivist and will talk about those early appearances of Alutiiq on paper and some of the research she’s been doing. She’ll share historical documents and some of the earliest examples of Alutiiq text.
The lecture, Russian Alutiiq Cyrillic Archival Treasures, is free to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Alutiiq museum as part of the Fall lecture series.