Colleen James, a forensic nurse at South Peninsula Hospital, was honored at the Nov. 15 Lights in the Night Awards Banquet in recognition of her substantial and significant contribution to child advocacy in Alaska. This award was given to James at the 2016 Alaska Conference on Child Maltreatment in Anchorage by the Alaska Children’s Alliance, an accredited chapter of the National Children’s Alliance, according to a press release from South Peninsula Hospital.
Despite a number of proposals and public comments in favor, the Board of Fisheries made few changes to the Lower Cook Inlet’s winter saltwater king salmon fishery.
During its final Lower Cook Inlet cycle meeting Saturday in Homer, the board took up a variety of proposals related to the fishery, which typically takes place between Oct. 1 and March 31 in the saltwater south of Bluff Point.
South Peninsula Hospital welcomes pulmonologist Dr. Marek Martynowicz to the specialty clinic provider staff. His special medical expertise is in the management of interstitial lung diseases and special bronchoscopic techniques. He currently practices at Internal Medicine Associates in Anchorage.
Dr. Martynowicz attended medical school at the Silesian Medical Academy in Katowice, Poland. He completed his post-doctoral research fellowship at the Samuel Stratton Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and the Albany Medical College in Albany, N.Y.
Two Alaska Native tribes on the Kenai Peninsula will receive approximately $1 million over the next five years to help address substance abuse and mental health disorders among Alaska Natives.
After a soft opening in early October, Scotts Family Pharmacy plans to pull out all the stops for a grand opening celebration set for Saturday.
The event takes place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the pharmacy located at 4014 Lake St., Suite 101, in the building that many long-time Homer residents call the old blue bank building on the corner of East End Road and Lake Street.
Among the events planned:
• Lunch will be served starting at 11 a.m., while supplies last.
• Free consults and services will be offered.
• Hot beverages will be served.
Alaska’s money managers are off to a solid start in the first months of the state fiscal year.
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. announced Monday that it earned a 3.86 percent return, or $2 billion, in the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year on its namesake fund, which had a total balance of $54.8 billion on Sept. 30. Of that, $9.7 billion was in the Fund’s Earnings Reserve account.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration will explain upcoming changes to the sales tax code through several community meetings.
The borough assembly approved an ordinance with multiple changes to the sales tax code in September, including provisions requiring nonprofits with regular storefronts and vendors who do not accept food stamps but sell food to charge sales tax. The changes are set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
Small Business Saturday is coming up on Nov. 26 to celebrate America’s small businesses. Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010, and is now a recognizable day to observe similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Homer Chamber of Commerce is championing this day and the “shop local” message all year.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as up to 500 employees or $7.5 million in average annual receipts. Most of our small businesses range in size from 1-300 employees areawide.
Still reeling from back-to-back increasingly poor seasons, Upper Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishermen got more bad news: the commercial harvest forecast for 2017 is a paltry 1.7 million sockeye, and that is if it comes in as forecast. In 2016 the harvest was 26 percent below forecast.
The overall forecast is for a return of 4 million sockeye system-wide, 1.2 million fewer than the 20-year average, and the forecast for the Kenai River of 2.2 million sockeye is 1.4 million fish less than the 20 year average of a 3.6 million sockeye return.
The shakeup in state House control seemingly gave Gov. Bill Walker allies in leadership positions on fiscal issues, but the upcoming session will still be an uphill battle on the Alaska LNG Project.
Anchorage Democrat Reps. Andy Josephson and Geran Tarr will co-chair the House Resources Committee, the first stop for any oil and gas tax bills on their way through the legislative process.
The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s Nikiski fabrication facility, located just north of the ConocoPhillips LNG facility on the Kenai Spur Highway, will shut down within 60 days. It is operated by ASRC’s subsidiary ASRC Energy Services.
ConocoPhillips puts its Nikiski LNG plant up for sale
Plant’s sale won’t have
immediate effect on
Kenai Peninsula’s economy
By BEN BOETTGER
Morris News Service - Alaska
Amid a saturated liquefied natural gas, or LNG, market and falling prices, ConocoPhillips announced Thursday that its Nikiski LNG terminal is for sale. Officials say the local economy might not be greatly impacted in the short term, though.
Obama to name Behnken
to halibut commission
In a final round of appointments before his second and final term comes to a close, President Barack Obama announced on Nov. 3 his intent to appoint Linda Behnken to the International Pacific Halibut Commission.
Behnken is an Alaska fishing fixture and has served as an interim commissioner since July. The commission’s upcoming Nov. 29-30 meeting will be her first.
NOMAR to host Santa
at 23rd annual open house
NOMAR will host its 23rd annual Christmas open house with Santa on Nov. 27.
Store hours on that day will be from noon to 4 p.m. Santa will be there from 1-3 p.m.
Santa “will meet with your kids to discuss how good they have been this year and just what they might like Santa to bring them,” according to a NOMAR press release. “This is a great time for you to get that special picture, so be sure to bring your camera.”
The open house includes gift ideas, free gift wrapping, door prizes and a treat for the kids.
Tonight’s chamber mixer
to showcase Second Star
Second Star, the luxury lodge in Homer for special events and dream vacations, will host tonight’s Homer Chamber of Commerce business mixer. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the lodge, 5620 Kachemak Drive.
Not only is the event a chamber mixer, but Second Star also is sharing this evening as a holiday open house and wedding fair.
Second Star gets its name from the line in J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” describing how to find Neverland: “Second star to the right, straight on until morning.”
AOGCC to hold hearing on fracking notice proposal
By BEN BOETTGER
Morris news Service - Alaska
Alaska’s oil and gas regulatory oversight body, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, is required to make public the locations, depth and operating data of oil and gas wells, but not information about how the wells may be treated with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. This may change if the commission rules in favor of a proposal requiring public hearings for fracking permits.
By ELIZABETH EARL
Morris News Service - Alaska
Gov. Bill Walker’s lead oil and gas adviser Tuesday emphasized the importance of a fiscal plan to ensure the state’s future.
John Hendrix, the former manager of Apache Corporation’s Alaska operations, has been advising Walker on oil and gas issues since July, particularly on navigating the low-production and low-price environment.
By STEPHANIE PROKOP
Morris News Service-Alaska
Oral arguments are scheduled for today in the Superior Court Third Judicial District in Anchorage for the lawsuit filed by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and former state Sens. Rick Halford and Clem Tillion.
The plaintiffs are demanding a full dividend payout for 2016 and have asked the court to order the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. to transfer funds from the Permanent Fund earnings reserve account to the Dividend Fund. Proceeds would then be disbursed to eligible residents in the form of a supplemental PFD check.
By Elwood Brehmer
Morris News Service - Alaska
Gov. Bill Walker took umbrage with the conclusion drawn by Alaska business groups that his policies have almost failed the state’s private sector.
The governor wrote a six-page point-by-point rebuttal to the “D” grade he received on the Alaska Business Report Card put out jointly by the Alaska Chamber, the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, the Resource Development Council for Alaska and Prosperity Alaska.
Alaska’s halibut season wrapped up Monday with continued strong prices and 97 percent of the statewide quota of 17.51 million pounds caught by the commercial fleet.
Surprisingly, more than a quarter of the 461,125 pounds left in the water was in Area 2C, Southeast Alaska, where ex-vessel prices ranged between $6 and $7 per pound and fishermen reported the best fishing in many years, with a larger size average.