Moose salvage program shrinks operations

A well-utilized dead moose retrieval program is in jeopardy after the organization that runs the program was denied its $2.2 million funding request to the Alaska Legislature.

The Alaska Moose Federation is soliciting private donations for its moose salvage program — which was used to pick up more than 150 moose on the Kenai Peninsula last year— as well as two other programs which focus on moose conservation after their request was denied.

BP announces new investment plans

JUNEAU — BP Alaska plans to bring two new drill rigs to the North Slope by 2016, part of an additional $1 billion investment the company envisions over the next five years following the state’s rollback of oil production taxes.

BP is the second of the North Slope’s three major players, after ConocoPhillips, to announce plans following passage of the tax overhaul that was signed into law by Gov. Sean Parnell last month. Exxon Mobil Corp. hasn’t made its intentions public.

Business in Brief

Zak to speak at Tuesday’s chamber luncheon

Bryan Zak will be the featured speaker at this month’s Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center’s luncheon. 

The luncheon will be from noon-1 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Elks Lodge on Jenny Way.

Business workshops offered in June

The Alaska Small Business Development Center will host two workshops this month at the Homer Chamber of Commerce.

There will be a free “Starting a Business” workshop from 1-3 p.m. June 17. Bryan Zak, regional director will answer basic questions and offer helpful resources to give participants the tools they need to start their own business on the Kenai Peninsula.

Farmers’ Market

I have to admit my bias towards the Homer Farmers’ Market. Sure, I have been writing weekly for ages extolling the virtues of our local market, but now I am seriously entrenched.  It won’t be secret for long that my husband now has a booth there, too.  

I don’t want to show too much favoritism, so let me tell you about some of the other booths that are well kept secrets first.  

NPFMC set to take final action on trawl fleet’s king salmon bycatch limit at its June meeting

As fisheries managers throughout Alaska prepare for low king salmon returns, federal regulators are considering new limits on king bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s June agenda includes final action on a king salmon bycatch cap in the Gulf of Alaska non-pollock trawl fisheries, review of a plan to collect more information on Gulf trawl bycatch, and a discussion paper on bycatch management for the Gulf trawl fleet.
The council began meeting in Juneau Wednesday. The meeting runs until June 11.

State unemployment at pre-recession levels

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a point in April to 6 percent. The adjusted national rate for the month was 7.5 percent.

From March to April the national rate fell 0.1 percent.

The last time the state’s adjusted unemployment was as low as 6 percent was in the summer of 2007, prior to the national recession, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Alaska ferry system considers raising rates

The Alaska Marine Highway System is considering raising its rates for traveling aboard the state’s ferries in order to deal with a pared down operating budget approved by lawmakers this spring.

Officials informed the state’s public advisory board this week that the ferry system will end its discount program, according to a story in the May 23 Kodiak Daily Mirror.

“We are actively looking at our tariff system; we feel it is not a fair and equitable system in a lot of areas,” said Richard Leary, the ferry system’s business manager.

UA plans strategy for federal budget cuts

FAIRBANKS (AP) — When Carla Beam prepared a report on the so-called “fiscal cliff” for the University of Alaska Board of Regents in December, she found unexpected inspiration in a Looney Tunes clip. Wile E. Coyote’s legs would keep churning in the old cartoons, whether he was running off a ledge or still had the ground beneath him.

Today it looks like a good metaphor for UA, which will need to work harder to claim its share from a shrinking pool of federal dollars.

ACS, GCI offer expansion proposal

If the Alaska Wireless Network transaction is approved, and funding is available, rural Alaska consumers could see expanded data service for cell phones and mobile devices by the end of 2014.

Alaska Communications and General Communications Inc. made a voluntary commitment to the federal government regarding service expansions if the infrastructure merger, or AWN, is approved.

Parnell offers state funds for ANWR seismic work

The state of Alaska could put up $50 million to share costs of seismic exploration and exploration planning for a new oil and gas resource assessment in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Gov Sean Parnell has proposed.

“The Department of the Interior is now developing a long-range conservation plan for ANWR and it is disappointing to us that an updated oil and gas resource assessment is not included in this,” Parnell said in a press conference May 20.

Nail salon finds home at old VBS showroom

The former showroom of VBS Heating Products on Lake Shore Drive seems an improbable location for a nail salon.

But as it turns out, it’s a surprisingly fitting transformation.

Dee Bottineau has moved her nail salon, Dragonfly Nails by Dee, from its former location at the corner of the Sterling Highway and North Fork Road in Anchor Point to 1225 Lake Shore Drive, the old VBS building.

Farmers’ Market

There is certainly no better way to kick off a Memorial Day weekend than with a bustling Homer Farmers’ Market. Last weekend was a stunning example of what the possibilities are for the first market of the year.

I can’t count how many people asked me before the market started, “Will there be any produce available?”  

It has been a cold year, after all, so what could be growing?

Group gives Alaska C-plus on bridges

JUNEAU — A new report card deems 11 percent of Alaska’s bridges are structurally deficient and 12.5 percent functionally obsolete.

Structurally deficient bridges need maintenance or possible replacement, while functionally obsolete bridges — which might be in good shape — don’t meet contemporary engineering standards, APRN reported. 

Japanese firm inks deals in pursuit of natural gas

Resources Energy Inc., the Japanese company interested in developing a large liquefied natural gas project, has signed several agreements to explore business relationships in Alaska.

The agreements are all nonbinding so far except for confidentiality provisions. They include two Alaska Native regional corporations, an Alaska telecommunications company and Cook Inlet natural gas producers, according to Mary Ann Pease, a vice president with Resources Energy Inc.


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