Manchester with Mayo

Climbing Rt. 135 towards Manchester
We had a rather frosty ride last Saturday.  According to the thermometer in my car, it was 35 degrees at the ride start in Wayne, and with the winds at 20 mph, we started out with wind chills estimated at about 24 degrees - I'm not sure I believe that, but it was definitely cold.  I think I started out with four layers and I might have finished with more.  The winds never let up, but it did warm up to 40.  Those of us who rode were glad the sun was out, and we did have some great scenery along the route.  We even swung by Tubby's Ice Cream at the end of the ride but, alas, they weren't open yet.  Can't imagine why.  Hope you can all come out this Saturday as May is Bike Month, and we kick things off on Cinco de Mayo with a ride exploring the back roads north of Manchester and Wings Mills.  See you then!

Saturday, May 5th - MANCHESTER
"Cinco de Mayo in Manchester" - a posted roads tour from Manchester to Wings Mills.
START:  9:30 AM, at the Manchester Elementary School parking lot on Rt. 17, near the junction of Rt. 17 & Rt. 202.  The school is on the left next to the fire station just after you turn off Rt. 202 onto Rt. 17 West.
DISTANCE:  23 miles.
TERRAIN:  moderate, with one long hill.
HIGHLIGHTS:  We'll ride some paved (albeit sandy) back roads along some streams in and out of Wings Mills and take in some pre-foliage hilltop views.
LEADER:  Jim Merrick.

A big day

We should know very soon now whether Southeast Alaska salmon seiners will go through with a permit buyback.

That's because 5 p.m. today is the deadline for permit holders to return their ballots to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

If a majority of the 379 ballots comes back in favor, 64 permits will be retired using a $13.1 million federal loan.

Seiners remaining in the fishery will then pay a tax of up to 3 percent on the dockside value of their catches to settle the loan over 40 years.

So, a big day. Any predictions how the vote will turn out? Deckboss doesn't dare.

Hello there you young whipper snappers! Aunt Flo may be in town but I am in a good mood. Leaving for the weekend to go play the gig in the flyer in PA with Jerry Zolten of Crumb's Chimpin' the Blues fame. Should be a good time..happy to leave the city for a few days. Why does leaving for a weekend involve the same amount of packing as leaving for the summer? Books, contact lenses, bikini, facial hair remover, tampons, diapers, a human skull, keys, a monkey..two swords..I mean REALLY!

Anyvag, our band website is now up and running again! John spent like two days revamping it while I encouraged him by saying stuff like, "Can't you do this any faster?" and "I look fat in that photo take it down dick!"

So...Here is the new site!

All fisheries to remain closed

Another year, another bummer announcement on Prince William Sound herring.

Wayne's World

Cycling in Wayne, KVBC ride, 2011
We had a great ride along the Kennebec River Rail Trail last Saturday, thanks to Jim Floyd.  After a bit of a raw start along the river, it actually warmed up and the rains held off in a most cooperative manner.  By the time we got back to Hallowell for a stop at Slate's bakery, the sun came out and we had a great post-ride get together outside in their courtyard.  I don't know if we woke up the Earth but we sure woke up the rain gods for the rest of the week.  The forecast is that they should be done by Saturday, which bodes well for our second ride, starting at the Wayne Elementary School on Pond Road.  Meanwhile, stay dry, and hope to see you Saturday!

Saturday, April 28th - WAYNE
"The Wayne Way" - a tour of the lakes and waterfalls around Wayne, Leeds, and Fayette.
START:  9:30 AM at the Wayne Elementary School, 48 Pond Road, Wayne.
DISTANCE:  20 miles.
TERRAIN:  moderate, with some surprisingly flat sections.
HIGHLIGHTS:  some very nice scenic shore roads, meadows, and waterfalls - great touring country. Possible post-ride ice cream stop, too.
LEADER:  Jim Merrick.

A safer flight into Dutch Harbor?

The state is getting a $35 million federal grant to extend and rehab the runway at the Unalaska airport, the Alaska congressional delegation says.

Down By The River

The 2012 KVBC Wake Up The Earth ride started out overcast and cool. The weather forecast indicated that the rain would hold off until the afternoon, qualified by the actual conditions as "maybe." As for riding the Kennebec River Rail Trail, there was no "maybe" about it, and the ten of us took off.

In truth, there was more auto traffic on Earth Day than I would have liked, but for a stretch through Hallowell the way was fairly clear. Once back on the Rail Trail we were again car-free.
An Earth Day information booth crew welcomed us at the Gardiner end of the Rail Trail.

We continued down river to a private boat landing, then regrouped for the return - to Slate's Bakery.

As we returned, the skies began to clear and the sun broke out. We took our place out in the bakery's courtyard as the Earth woke up, and planned our rides to come.
Join us in Wayne on Saturday, April 28, for the next Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club ride!

Okay so it's been a while now..Things are pretty good..wish it would be summer again..hard to believe i was in a bathing suit on Mount Booby in the park tanning and now i'm back to a winter coat and scarf. I have a bikini under my coat of course.THAT IS HOW I ROLL! We are revamping our website and have an IndieGoGo campaign..trying to raise money for our new album/CD..john's next comp and his book of old photos. I need to win the lotto dammit! Or find a sugar daddy.

Here are some pics of fun stuff and more OWS stuff and all that..May 1st should be something! Note the name of my server at the diner..They are among us!!!

All of you.

Another sorry salmon season expected on Yukon

State and federal agencies have come out with the Yukon River salmon outlook for this year, and it's not great.

No commercial fishery for Chinook salmon is anticipated, due to a "below average to poor" run projection.

Managers also expect to ban the sale of Chinook caught incidentally in the summer chum fishery.

Conflict expands over rockfish catch shares

As expected, more fishing vessel owners are asking for a say in the big rockfish lawsuit Kodiak processors have brought against federal fishery regulators.

United Catcher Boats, a Seattle-based trawl association, today filed this motion to intervene in the case.

This declaration from UCB executive director Brent Paine also was filed with the court.

Big news on Steller sea lions

A line in the North Pacific divides the Steller sea lion population into eastern and western "distinct population segments."

This just in from the National Marine Fisheries Service:

April 18, 2012

NOAA proposes removing eastern Steller sea lions from endangered species list; agency seeks public comment

JUNEAU — NOAA is proposing to remove the eastern Steller sea lion, currently deemed "threatened," from the list of endangered wildlife, after a status review by its biologists found the species is recovering sufficiently.

"This proposal reflects the continued recovery of the eastern population of Steller sea lions and the strong conservation partnership among NOAA Fisheries, the states, the fishing industry, and other stakeholders," said NOAA's Fisheries Service Alaska Regional Administrator Jim Balsiger.

More here.

The East River String Band Cd, LP, comp and book campaign!

So I just began one of those indiegogo campaigns online. John and I have a new CD/LP we want to have out by the fall...John has a two CD-disc comp of his rare 78's he is putting out..PLUS an awesome photobook of antique photographs from his crazy collection he is trying to get out after the summer in September...Crumb is helping with the layout and there will be a CD included in the book of music from some of the bands pictured. All of these awesome projects take money..loads and loads of we ain't too proud to beg!
Here is the link to out IndieGoGo campaign..

The salmon situation

At last week's ComFish trade show in Kodiak, fisheries economist Gunnar Knapp delivered this important presentation, Trends in Alaska Salmon Markets.

It's a concise overview of the salmon industry's remarkable resurgence in recent years, and some potential trouble on the horizon.

Anyone seriously interested in this business should review the entire report — it's a fast-moving 101 pages.

Here are three key points Deckboss took away from it:

• Strong harvests and surging prices have nearly quadrupled the dockside value of Alaska salmon since the terrible 2002 season. But when adjusting for inflation, the value remains well below levels seen in the late 1980s and early 1990s (see the graphs on pages 47-48).

• Japan once was practically the only destination for frozen sockeye, the state's most valuable salmon species. Now the market is diverse, with a great deal of sockeye going to the Lower 48, the European Union and China (see graph on page 17).

• While long-term prospects for wild Alaska salmon are good, some recent developments don't bode well for prices this year. These include rapidly growing world farmed salmon supply, sharply lower farmed prices the past six months, and recent declines in foreign purchasing power.

"Both economic theory and past experience suggest that if farmed salmon prices fall and the value of the Japanese yen and the Euro fall, it will be difficult for wild salmon sellers to continue to sell wild salmon for the prices they could get in 2011," Knapp says.

Wake Up the Earth!

Time for our first ride of the year! (Well, actually our second ride, as Larry & I broke in the year early with a Leap Day Ride to Slate's Bakery in Hallowell in February.) We will likely have warmer weather this Saturday, if the remarkably Spring-like weather we've been having will hold for next weekend. Jim Floyd will be leading our "Wake Up the Earth" ride along the Kennebec River Rail Trail in Augusta as we kick off another year with the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club. We might note that we should be passing by the Slate's Bakery on Saturday, too - in case you feel you missed out on something last February (which you did). In any case, I hope you can join us! And take note that this weekend the Bicycle Coalition of Maine will host the first of two Great Maine Bike Swaps: the first on Sunday, April 22 in Bangor; followed by one in Portland on Sunday, April 29. Let's get rolling!

Illustration: The Luckhursts on their tandem pass through downtown Hallowell on a KVBC breakfast ride along the Kennebec River Rail Trail. This particular rendering came out looking rather Mediterranean. Still, I have yet to hear from any Italian touring company seeking to use the image in their advertising.

April 21st, Saturday - AUGUSTA
"Wake Up the Earth" - an early Spring/Earth Day ride along the Kennebec River Rail Trail through Augusta, Hallowell, and Gardiner.
START: 10:00 AM at the Augusta trail head of the rail trail - the municipal parking lot off of Water Street adjacent to the Maine State Housing Authority (353 Water St.) in the shadow of Memorial Bridge:
DISTANCE: 20 miles
TERRAIN: flat (and we mean flat)
HIGHLIGHTS: the first ride of the season, a pleasant run along the Kennebec River, with some great natural scenery mixed with some urban vistas, kicking off another great year of cycling.
LEADER: Jim Floyd.

Kodiak shooting victims named as FBI investigates

From the U.S. Coast Guard:

April 13, 2012

Coast Guard mourns loss of two shipmates

JUNEAU — The Coast Guard Investigative Service continues to work with the FBI, Alaska State Troopers and the Kodiak Police Department to investigate the shooting deaths of two Coast Guard employees that occurred Thursday at Coast Guard Communications Station Kodiak.

The Coast Guard has been informed by the FBI that they are treating this investigation as a double homicide. There is no evidence to suggest these deaths are the result of a murder suicide. No arrests have been made and all residents are advised to use reasonable safety precautions and to report any suspicious activity to their local law enforcement agency.

The victims have been identified as Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins, an electronics technician, and Richard Belisle, a civilian employee and retired Coast Guard chief petty officer.

"As an organization with roots in saving lives and a focus on protecting people, this tragic event has shocked us all," said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, 17th Coast Guard District. "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families, their loved ones and the entire Kodiak community."

"Our Coast Guard team from across the nation has been extremely supportive and we have sent a number of crisis response personnel and resources to Kodiak to assist the victims' families, friends and coworkers as they cope with this tragedy," Ostebo said.

Alaska seafood export value surges

The value of Alaska's seafood exports grew 35 percent to $2.5 billion in 2011, the governor's office just announced.

And where did all that seafood go? Here's a Top 10 list:

CountryValue (millions)
The Netherlands$159.4

Here come the hooligan!

The commercial season for hooligan, also known as smelt, opens May 1 in Upper Cook Inlet.

A total harvest of up to 100 tons will be allowed, says the Department of Fish and Game.

Legal gear for the fishery is a dipnet. More details here.

No go for West Behm Canal herring

Sitka isn't the sac roe herring fishery to come to a less than satisfying conclusion this week.

The Department of Fish and Game yesterday announced that the West Behm Canal purse seine fishery won't open this year.

The announcement cites the lack of a large enough buildup of mature herring to a support commercial fishing.

The preseason quota was 748 tons.

It's all over in Sitka

Coming into the season, Sitka Sound herring seiners had a record 28,829-ton quota in front of them.

But the blockbuster harvest wasn't to be.

Today, the Department of Fish and Game closed the season after a scratchy harvest of 13,534 tons, or less than half of that big quota.

The department said the decision was "based on the completion of major spawning in Sitka Sound."

Of course, Sitka herring are valuable only if harvested before they spawn and drop their prized roe.

Well, Deckboss imagines we'll be debating this curious herring season for quite some time.

Maybe a smaller harvest is for the best, given the poor price Sitka herring fetched last year.

Thoughts, anyone?

Two shot dead at Kodiak Coast Guard station

Here's a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

April 12, 2012

Two fatalities investigated at Communications Station Kodiak

KODIAK — The Coast Guard is working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate the shooting deaths of two members at Coast Guard Communications Station Kodiak.

As a safety precaution the base and local schools are on lockdown until we can ensure no threat exists.

"It is possible that the suspect remains at large," said Capt. Jesse Moore, commanding officer, Coast Guard Base Support Unit Kodiak. "Since we don't have all the details, we strongly advise all Kodiak residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement officials."

"We are deeply saddened that we lost two shipmates," Moore said. "This is a rare occurrence and we are going to do everything possible to ensure we find out exactly what happened."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our lost shipmates and we will provide all the necessary support and guidance they need as they grieve their loved ones," Moore said.

The names of the deceased will not be released until next of kin notifications are complete.

Mar Bar photo "exhibit" at Blue and Cream.

Well, I call it an exhibit in quotes as there were barely any photos on the walls and the models, Dj's, drink servers and bouncer really had nothing to do with Mars Bar in the slightest. The photos of the model posing by the window and jukebox are utterly ridiculous as is their "look book" on their website. It was packed to the brim with hipsters and models and people shopping for clothes. Now, while everyone there was nice to me and I got complimented on the clothes I was wearing..I have never felt more out of place and I took a bunch of cell pics and two videos and left when it wound down after 8. I knew it would be depressing to see photos of my favorite bar hung up at a place that sells $200 t-shirts..I really did not expect it to be so...utterly awful. It was just an excuse for people to shmooze and the place to make some sales. Note the prices on the photos up for sale. I doubt the subjects will see a penny of it. Blue and Cream are free to open up a fancy clothing store on the Bowery of course..however Mars Bar should not be used to get them business..the quaint little divey bar down the block that they saw fit to use to their advantage when it closed. Anyway, at least they let me in. I did try to sneak into the Varavatos store later for some other opening and got kicked out. Heh. here are like dozens of pics and two videos..enjoy..if you can! I posted one pic of me looking scared. I WAS SCARED!

'Threats and challenges'

A new annual report from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute sees several "threats and challenges for Alaska in the global marketplace."

Among the listed items:

• Chilean salmon farmers have greatly increased production and are on track to fully rebound from devastating outbreaks of the ISA virus, infectious salmon anemia.

• Funding could be reduced for the Market Access Program, which helps promote American products abroad. The federal program has allocated millions of dollars to ASMI in years past.

• Aquaculture continues to increase its percentage of world seafood supply, with Alaska's share now down to 1.3 percent.

• With increases in the value of state's wild salmon, halibut and other species, Alaska producers face "price resistance" in the marketplace.

• Alaska always has been an expensive place to operate, and it's getting worse with rising fuel and transportation costs.

Up from hibernation

Hello there.

To whoever is still out there, hello! And glad to see you again. How long has it been, a few months, since I last graced this space with ‘long, rambling, and probably not worth reading’ words? Thanks! It’s always nice to be missed.

 I’ve been busy! But it has been a really great last couple of months!

Here’s to recap: Work – work – Bali! – work- friends getting married – work – work – Hong Kong! Cousin getting married – work – work – Bali again! work – work – more friends getting married.

 In conclusion? I’ve done up a shitload amount of work, I’ve been traveling around to keep my sanity, and generally, people just love getting married.

Legislature approves Fish Board appointees

The Alaska Legislature today confirmed Gov. Sean Parnell's picks for the state Board of Fisheries, Karl Johnstone and Orville Huntington.

Most of the governor's appointees, for posts ranging from state attorney general to the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, passed by unanimous consent.

Johnstone was among the very few names drawing an objection, meaning his appointment was put to a vote of senators and representatives meeting jointly to consider the governor's appointees.

The vote proceeded without any discussion. Here is the outcome:

Senators: 17 yea, 2 nay
Representatives: 27 yea, 11 nay

Mars Bar at Blue and Cream plus a quick Pee Phone update!

Just a quick post before I have to run..besides the Mars Bar film showing this Friday at Anthology Archives..there is also an art opening at that awful store across the street from where Mars used to be before the wrecking ball hit. April 11th from 6-8pm they will be showing photos from Mars Bar to show how down they are with the Bowery. Oh man..I am totally going to blog this! So depressing!
Also, the Pee Phone has now joined the Occupy Movement officially! Plus it loves cheap beer and tapas bars, JUST SO YOU KNOW!!
Mar Bar exhibit news HERE.

For your entertainment

Deadliest Catch begins its eighth season Tuesday night. Check your local listings, potheads.

Deckboss also recommends you catch Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a really nice movie in theaters now.

Less than half of Sitka herring quota taken so far

The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery opened for a third time Saturday, and seiners bagged 3,740 tons in a little over three hours.

State fishery managers now estimate a total of 13,776 tons have been taken so far this year.

That's less than half the preseason quota of 28,829 tons.

Not to worry, however.

The latest Department of Fish and Game update suggests plenty of herring are still in the area.

Wild in the Streets.

It is the summer of our discontent. Wait, that's wrong. It was the best of mimes, it was the worst of mimes. No, that is not right either. Well shit! Anyway, a sign I saw at Zucotti Park said "Shit is fucked up" was pretty funny. OWS and the upcoming days of action in a few weeks are going to be off the hook. Do people say that anymore? Well I do. OFF THE HOOK!
Things are going good good good..after a doctors appt Monday I will feel ever so much back to normal..hate annual exams but before they take away Medicaid I may as well take advantage..who knows what is going on with health care reform and what shall be. I can always use leeches like I used to I suppose.
AnyTart, some photos for your enjoyment! I thought the first was one was pretty funny..I mean COME ON! They had to be giggling when they put that sign up. Then a few scenes from Union Square..young punk making a sign..hippie meditating..
Then some subway signs defaced by some activist..I like the Game of Thrones one..they made it so easy for them..Then..well..after last weeks amazing South Park episode I just had to go and bread Delgado. Could not resist! I wanted to be breaded for my passport pic but I felt I would have gotten a resounding NO on that idea..
Wish it would warm up again like before. I leave town in July and I want to experience some 95 degree weather before I go. Got some good paying gigs coming up soon..One in in LI as part of a big festival in June..Jalopy in May..John is putting a book together of old postcards he dug is going to be freaking amazing! Some great stuff. I got a small role in a short film my friend is directing in a few weeks..must hit gym many many times this month!
In between all the anarchy of course..some fun shows and parties coming up plus my damn birthday looms..Age is a state of mind though right? RIGHT? sob! I am old as dirt. I feel good though! Just need that nice sunny weather now..

To the deep

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Anacapa opened fire today on the Ryou-Un Maru, sinking her in 6,072 feet of water 180 miles off the Southeast Alaska coast.

Click here for Coast Guard video and photos.

Sinking imminent?

Here's another look at that derelict Japanese fishing vessel, the Ryou-Un Maru, as seen Wednesday about 170 nautical miles southwest of Sitka. The unmanned boat, drifting northwest, got loose after Japan's massive tsunami in March 2011. CNN and other media outlets are reporting the owner of the squid boat has been identified, and that the U.S. Coast Guard today might sink the vessel as a hazard to shipping. USCG photo