Business

Permanent Fund starts fiscal year with 3.86 return

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.

Borough plans sales tax workshops

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.

Chamber champions 'shop local' message; it's an investment in community you call home

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.

Forecast for 2017 Upper Inlet sockeye run bleak at best

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.

New House Resource chairs ready to take on oil credits, AK LNG project

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.

ConocoPhillips puts its Nikiski LNG plant up for sale

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

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 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

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

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.

Oil adviser gives outlook

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.

Oral arguments in PFD lawsuit slated for today

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.

Walker protests 'D' for business grade

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.

Kodiak earn distinction as top halibut port this season

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.

Anchor Point area gets better insurance rating; residents may get lower rates for their insurance

The Insurance Services Office, or ISO, has reclassified the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area to a better ISO rating. The service area’s rating has improved from a 7/9 to a 5/5Y rating, Fire Chief Al Terry said in a press release last week. The new rating affects insurance rates policyholders pay for fire insurance on commercial and residential buildings. Anchor Point area residents may see reduced fire premiums due to the better rating.

Assembly approves Soldotna hospital expansion

Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna is moving forward with plans to update its obstetrics wing and to install the Kenai Peninsula’s first catheterization lab.

The hospital has been looking to update the obstetrics department for years and has observed a growing need for a catheterization lab — cath lab for short — in which patients can receive cardiac services like angiograms and pacemaker implantation. Central Peninsula Hospital patients who need such procedures have to go to Anchorage to get them at present.

Borough's health-care task force finalizes recommendations.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s task force on health care reached a set of final recommendations last week.

The Healthcare Task Force, which has been meeting for more than a year, unanimously approved an 11-page report to the borough administration and assembly with recommendations for how to move forward into health care reform and make care more affordable for peninsula residents.

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