Business

Denali park opens for summer tourists

FAIRBANKS — Denali National Park and Preserve’s entrance area facilities opened Wednesday for the summer visitor season, despite some lingering snow cover.

KUAC reports the popular sled dog demonstrations also were scheduled to begin that day, though park spokeswoman Kris Fister said officials were trying to remove snow from the track used for the demonstrations.

Assembly considers $73.2 million budget

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly introduced its $73.2 million fiscal year 2014 budget on May 7.

The budget is contained in Ordinance 2013-19 and, if approved after a June 4 public hearing, would take effect July 1. The budget calls for $73.2 million in expenditures, an overall increase of $301,679 from this year’s budget, and $71.9 million in revenues.

Hilcorp dominates Cook Inlet lease sale

Bidding was modest in the state’s May 8 Cook Inlet areawide lease sale, held every spring.

Twenty-eight lease tracts were sold with high bids of $419,840 offered by six bidder groups, state Oil and Gas Division Director Bill Barron said.

Hilcorp Energy dominated the bidding, mostly for onshore tracts on the Kenai Peninsula near areas where Hilcorp is operating existing gas wells.

Apache’s seismic work still stalled by permit delays

After launching one of the largest and fastest 3D seismic data gathering campaigns in Cook Inlet’s history, Apache Oil Corp.’s work in the area has paused — victim to slow permitting processes in key areas.

The company made headlines when the work it planned to complete halted in mid-September 2012. Previously, Apache had gathered more than 300 square miles of seismic data spread across the west side of the inlet from the east Forelands area north including portions of Nikiski and up into Tyonek.

Dixon family café now open on Spit

From upscale white tablecloth restaurants to take-out sandwich shops, Homer’s creative chefs have been crafting a cuisine that, for lack of a better term, could simply be called Homer Style. It’s a food culture distinguished by an emphasis on wild seafood and locally grown vegetables, many from local high-tunnel greenhouses, mixed with a variety of styles from fusion to French.

Buccaneer spuds first well at Cosmo site

Buccaneer Energy has spudded its first well with the Endeavour-Spirit of Independence jack-up rig nine months after it arrived in Alaska waters from Singapore.

Buccaneer, which recently received the thumbs-up to drill from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, started drilling at the Cosmopolitan prospect Sunday, the company announced in a press release.

Kids test business skills on Lemonade Day

Small businesses and small, as in “young,” business owners are the driving force behind Lemonade Day, a national event that occurs Saturday. Joining the million kids in 100 cities across the nation, Homer’s participants are not only smart-minded when it comes to developing their businesses, but are warmhearted when it comes to their earnings.

Business Briefs

Winners selected in amateur photo contest

Winning photos and photographers in Nomar’s 2013 Shorebird Festival Amateur Photo Contest have been selected:

Best of show, $300: Michael Halstead of Homer;

Alaska wildlife, first place, $50: Michael Halstead of Homer;

Alaska wildlife, honorable mention, ribbon: Lauren Painter of Homer;

Alaska scenic, first place, $50: Katlyn Haas of Homer;

3 former labor commissioners back minimum wage increase

JUNEAU — Three former state labor commissioners are behind an effort aimed at raising Alaska’s minimum wage.

Ed Flanagan, Tom Cashen and Jim Sampson are behind a proposed initiative to raise the minimum wage from the current $7.75 an hour to $8.75 an hour effective Jan. 1, 2015. It would go to $9.75 an hour a year later and be adjusted for inflation annually after that.

Flanagan said Monday that it is “well past time” the state adjust its minimum wage. “It’s a floor, and it needs to be raised periodically,” he said.

Fry wins another term on HEA board

Three directors were elected to Homer Electric Association’s board during the utility’s Wednesday annual meeting in Kenai.

Dan Chay of Kenai won the race for District 1; Soldotna’s Ed Oberts was elected to District 2; and incumbent Bill Fry of Homer was re-elected to his District 3 seat.

Chay received 651 votes to candidate Glenese Pettey’s 420 votes in District 1, which covers Kenai, Nikiski and parts of Kasilof and Soldotna.

HEA’s steam dream approaches reality

Bob Day, Homer Electric Association power production manager, gets visibly excited when he talks about the technology behind the utility’s new Nikiski Combined Cycle Conversion project.

Day said he could go on talking for hours about the technology HEA uses to capture exhaust heat from its gas-powered generation turbine, convert it to steam and then to electricity for area consumers.

It’s now the Glacier D

You’ve known it as the Glacier Drive-In. Now, it’s the “Glacier D” with new owners Lee and Jill Pedersen doing the driving. Or cooking, as the case may be.

Long-time acquaintances of previous owners Sonny and Nancy Smith, the Pedersens have been hard at work putting a shine on the popular Glacier Boardwalk eating spot in time for a May 7 opening.

The new name, “Glacier D,” comes from “the burger they’re famous for,” said Lee of building on the Smiths’ tasty burger for which the eating establishment has become famous. 

Homer Eye Care hosts designer frame trunk show

Homer Eye Care will have a Designer Frame Trunk Show from 10 a.m.-7p.m. today at its office in the Point of View Plaza, 3726 Lake St., Suite A.

The show follows Dr. Andrew Peter’s visit in mid-March to the International Vision Expo and Conference in New York and will bring new European vendors not yet discovered in Alaska to the Homer market, according to a press release from Homer Eye Care.

Seldovia Bay ferry announces 2013 schedule

This will be the fourth season the 150-passenger fast-ferry, the M/V Kachemak Voyager, will be providing a 45-minute trip between Homer and Seldovia twice a day. It begins operating May 23 and continues through Sept. 3.

Operating Thursday through Monday, the Kachemak Voyager departs Seldovia at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and departs Ramp 7 in Homer at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. 

Cosmic Kitchen celebrates 10 years

In the heart of Homer on Pioneer Avenue, what started as a simple quick-serve restaurant has grown into one of Homer’s more eclectic and popular eating spots. This week, Cosmic Kitchen at the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Kachemak Way celebrates its 10th anniversary — a milestone for a street where dozens of restaurants have come and gone since 2003.

Founded by Sean Hogan and Michelle Wilson, the couple opened the restaurant on May 1, 2013, the same day as Homer Physical Therapy, another 10-year-old business that opened on Pioneer Avenue. 

Ferries lose naturalists to budget cuts

JUNEAU — As the sun creeps into the sleeping quarters of the Tustumena, passengers who take a second to look out the window wake up to volcanic topography, sky blue lakes and wildlife that looks extraterrestrial even to most Alaskans.

That ethereal experience only lasts a few seconds; the berth’s stripped-down bunk beds and dreary wallpaper quickly remind passengers they are sailing on a ferry that is almost 50 years old.

Homer Eye Care hosts designer frame trunk show

Homer Eye Care will have a Designer Frame Trunk Show from 10 a.m.-7p.m. May 2 at its office in the Point of View Plaza, 3726 Lake St., Suite A.
The show follows Dr. Andrew Peter’s visit in mid-March to the International Vision Expo and Conference in New York and will bring new European vendors not yet discovered in Alaska to the Homer market, according to a press release from Homer Eye Care.
Some of the newest collections are Mad in Italy, an Italian company based in Alano di Piave in the Belluno province, and C-Zone Fusion Eye Fashion located in the Netherlands.

Tours of HEA’s Nikiski generation plant offered

Homer Electric Association will provide  public tours of its new Nikiski Combined Cycle Conversion Project from 1-4:30 p.m. May 1.
 The tours will be approximately 30-minutes long and provide the public with an opportunity to get an up-close look at the new power generation facility. The plant is the cornerstone of HEA’s Independent Light program and will provide up to 80 megawatts of power when it comes on line later this year.

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