Business

Assembly reduces Planning Commission

The number of Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission members will decrease to 11, but not until 2020.

After initially voting it down, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly resurrected and passed an ordinance that revised the apportionment for Planning Commission membership at its Tuesday meeting. The commission, which approves or denies plats and advises the assembly on land use issues, currently has 13 members. After July 31, 2020, it will have a maximum of 11.

HEA answers questions about its proposal to withdraw from RCA

Homer Electric Association officials, including board members, have been holding member outreach meetings on the Kenai Peninsula seeking support for what it calls “local control” — removing HEA from regulation by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. But HEA also wants members to make an informed decision, said general manager Brad Janorschke.

“I think it’s more important we have dialogue and ask questions,” he said at a Homer meeting held Sept. 28.

Cook Inlet salmon seasonfalls short of expectations

Once again, the 2016 Upper Cook Inlet salmon season fell far short of expectations.

The 2016 commercial harvest of around 3 million salmon was 12 percent less than the most recent 10-year average harvest of 3.5 million salmon of all species, but even lower for sockeyes.

The dollar value was also lower, coming in at $22.3 million, 23 percent less than the 10-year average.

While all five species of salmon are caught and sold in Cook Inlet, sockeyes have made up almost 93 percent of the value for at least the past 20 years.

Alaska Federation of Natives celebrates 50 years

On the morning of Oct. 18, 1966, Emil Notti, an Athabascan born in Koyukuk, called the first gathering of the Alaska Federation of Natives to order. Almost exactly five decades later, he is slated to give the keynote speech today at the 50th annual convention in Fairbanks.

“No, it does not feel like 50 years has gone by,” said Notti, now in his 80s, reflecting on a whirlwind of change.

Board of Fisheries to hold work session in Soldotna

Later this month, Kenai Peninsula residents will get a chance to air their concerns to the state Board of Fisheries in Soldotna.

The Board of Fisheries will host a work session from Oct. 18-20 at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, with an informational session held on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. The first day, Oct. 18, will be set aside completely for public testimony, and the second two days will be to discuss agenda change requests, which are proposals submitted outside the regular three-year cycle, petitions, officer elections and board business.

HEA board appoints Levine new director

The Homer Electric Association board of directors at a meeting last Wednesday appointed Homer resident Jim Levine to fill the vacant seat on the board in District 3, representing Kasilof south to Kachemak Bay areas, HEA director of member relations Bruce Shelley said in a press release on Friday. The seat became vacant when District 3 board member Don Seelinger resigned this summer.

Caelus announces 6 billion barrel discovery

Caelus Energy announced Tuesday that it is sitting on 6 billion barrels of oil on the western North Slope, a prospect CEO Jim Musselman said he expects will continue to grow.

The prospect is Smith Bay, a remote inlet of state-owned water more than 100 miles west of current Slope infrastructure.

Musselman and the rest of the Dallas-based independent’s leadership team acknowledge development will not be easy, but if seen through to fruition it could produce up to 200,000 barrels per day.

Hilcorp plans new gas wells near Ninilchik

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas has approved a Plan of Operations for Hilcorp Alaska to develop a new pad outside Ninilchik to support natural gas drilling operations.

The Alaska subsidiary of the Houston, Texas-based company has been expanding operations in its Ninilchik unit holdings since acquiring the unit in 2013 from Marathon. Last year, the company applied to the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas to build a new gravel pad in its Deep Creek Unit, located southeast of Ninilchik, to support new exploration wells there.

Alaska Railroad prepares for first U.S. shipments of natural gas

ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Railroad is making final preparations for the first U.S. rail shipments of liquefied natural gas, a fuel that could be used to alleviate air pollution problems in the state’s second-largest city.

The railroad Tuesday sent two loaded 40-foot LNG containers from Anchorage to Fairbanks as part of a demonstration. Seven more round-trips over four weeks will follow, said Tim Sullivan, manager of external affairs.

Bankers keep eyes on uncertain future

Alaska’s bankers keep eyes on uncertain future

By DJ Summers

Morris News Service - Alaska

“There was cautious optimism in the first six months of the year,” said First National Bank Alaska Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michelle Schuh. “Now I think people are just being cautious.”

Market may be officially over, but growers still plan to sell

Market may be officially over, but growers still plan to sell

By KYRA WAGNER

FOR THE HOMER NEWS

Yes, the Homer Farmers Market is “officially” over. No more credit card machine, no more music, no more Market memorabilia.

But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a place to get fresh and local. Our growers still have plenty to offer. Robert Heimbach for instance, has no idea when he will run out of cabbage, carrots and beets. As Robert eloquently put it, “I ain’t quitting. I don’t have the luxury of quitting.”

Senators file lawsuit over governor's veto

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) ­— Gov. Bill Walker illegally vetoed Alaska Permanent Fund earnings that were required to be transferred to dividends, a lawsuit filed Friday by a state senator and two former state senators claims.

Facing a multibillion-dollar deficit, Walker in June cut in half the annual checks that give all residents a share of the state’s oil wealth. He kept enough money in place to award qualified Alaskans a $1,000 payout rather than an anticipated $2,100 check.

Armstrong Energy CEO aims to prove North Slope is still 'target rich'

Armstrong Energy CEO aims to prove North Slope is still ‘target rich’

By Elwood Brehmer

Morris News Service - Alaska

ANCHORAGE — If all goes as planned, the upcoming North Slope drilling season could be the winter of Bill.

Bill Armstrong, CEO and founder of his namesake company Armstrong Energy LLC, and his team will be working to shore up estimates on what many believe to be one of the largest oil discoveries ever on the Slope.

Legislative panels address hot pot topics

Legislative panels address hot pot topics

Welcome to the conversation, legislators.

Senate and House Judiciary Committees called a joint informational meeting at the Downtown Anchorage Legislative Information Office on Sept. 14 to discuss the hottest and longest running topics in the Alaska marijuana industry: namely timeline, board politics, banking, unlicensed sales, and marijuana social clubs.

The Legislature, which has been mostly absent from discussions surrounding recreational legalization, bowed under the weight of the state budget crisis.

You won't want to miss Harvest Meal potluck

The days are getting shorter. That simply means that there is more to try to cram into smaller days, right?

One thing you need to cram into these shorter days is the last official Homer Farmers Market and its Harvest Meal Potluck.

The Harvest Meal gives you the chance to knock out several things on your list of to-dos at the same time. You get to:

1. Eat a great meal;

2. Celebrate another year of bountiful harvest;

3. Celebrate community with friends;

4. Enjoy live music by the String Alongs;

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