Business

Alaska Air Group reports record quarterly profits

Alaska Air Group, Inc. announced record profits when its third quarter earnings were released Oct. 25.

The airline company reported $150.3 million in net earnings for the quarter, compared with $131.1 million in the third quarter of 2011. Total revenue for the quarter was $1.3 billion.

“This is the highest quarterly profit in our history and it’s the 14th consecutive quarterly profit that we’ve reported,” Brad Tilden, president and CEO, said.

Alaska Air Group manages Alaska Airlines and the smaller Horizon Air.

KPC anthropologists research Dena’ina, Yup’ik perspective on mining’s impact on Bristol Bay

Two Kenai Peninsula College anthropology professors concluded that a degradation of the water in Bristol Bay could have devestating nutritional, cultural and religious impacts on the villages in the region.

Their study, part of a larger impact assessment carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, was in response to a request by nine villages in the region who are concerned about the impacts of mining on one of the largest sockeye salmon fisheries in the world.

HEA energy fair set for Saturday

 

Homer Electric Association is offering its members an opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in energy-saving appliances, home improvements and alternative energy.  

HEA will host its fourth annual Energy and Conservation Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at West Homer Elementary School. A similar event was held Nov. 3 in Kenai.

Borough considers fisheries economic study

While scientists, managers and stakeholders gathered in Anchorage to identify gaps in the state’s king salmon data at a symposium, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members mulled their own perceived lack of data.

Gunnar Knapp, an economics professor with the University of Alaska Anchorage, talked to assembly members Oct. 23 about the lack of data supporting the economic role commercial and sport fisheries play in the borough and how the borough might gather that data.

Demand for health care means stable, high-paying job opportunities in industry, say state economists

As members of the baby-boom generation age into Medicare at 65, for those inspired to care for the elderly, Alaska’s health-care industry will blossom like no other with good-paying, long-lasting jobs, according to analysis of industry growth patterns by state Labor Department economists.

Symposium yields no easy answers on season’s low king salmon counts

 Salmon researchers, managers, and users gathered in Anchorage Oct. 22 and 23 to talk about what happened to chinook salmon around Alaska this summer.
The simplest answer is that chinooks didn’t show up. And no one knows exactly why.
“We’re not sure what is causing the downturn, and in many cases, we do not have the basic information needed to understand the causes,” said Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Bob Clark, summarizing some of the two-day symposium’s findings.

Southcentral utilities plan to import gas to meet projected 2014 shortfall

Like it or not, new gas supplies will have to be imported into Southcentral Alaska to deal with pending shortages. They won’t be cheap, either.

Utilities in the region have asked for proposals from suppliers of liquefied natural gas or compressed natural gas to help ensure local supplies, a utility group told the Regulatory Commission of Alaska Oct. 24.

Gas fields in the region, which date from the 1960s, are being depleted, and production will be inadequate to meet local demand for space heating and power generation by as soon as 2014.

School district earns two financial reporting awards


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has earned two financial reporting awards: a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting and the Meritorious Budget Award. One of 120 school districts nationwide, and one of only two school districts in Alaska, KPBSD received the Association of School Business Officials International’s Meritorious Budget Award for its 2011-2012 budget document.

Rock and Mineral Show scheduled for Nov. 9-11


The 11th annual Rock and Mineral Show put on by the Chugach Gem and Mineral Society and sponsored by the  Alaska Miners Association will be Nov. 9-11 at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel.
The show will include displays; talks; demonstrations; vendors with rocks, minerals, jewelry, books and more; and activities for the kids.
It’s all free.
The show will be from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 9; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 11.
The Sheraton Anchorage Hotel is located at 401 E. Sixth Ave. The show will be on the second floor.

Last day to buy tickets for car raffle is Nov. 8


The last day to buy tickets for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center car and Honda ATV raffle is Nov. 8.

Tickets can be purchased at the visitor center or from board members right up until the drawing happens at the ticket-drawing party beginning at 6 p.m. that day. Only 500 tickets are being sold and every 25th ticket drawn wins a prize. 

The big prizes are $25,000 toward the purchase of a car at Stanley Ford of Kenai or $15,000 cash. The other big prize is a brand new Honda ATV Rancher. 

Friends join forces to create new business



Having known each other for at least a decade and after operating businesses practically next door to each other, Lynne Sergeant and Cindy Smith are joining forces. On Saturday, the two women are opening Halo Hair Design and Emporium.

The under-one-roof enterprise will showcase the hair-styling talent of Sergeant, who formerly owned Halo Hair Design, and vintage and antique items Smith became known for when she operated Winter Cache.

U. S. may soon become world’s top oil producer



NEW YORK — U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

The boom has surprised even the experts.

Alaska’s mariculture industry small, but growing; state’s oysters command top-of-the-line price

A small mariculture industry for Alaska — oyster farming for the most part — has been developing in fits and starts for years, and a small group of dedicated seafood entrepreneurs are working away at it, convinced the business can succeed. 

Consumer demand in Alaska and the Lower 48 is steadily increasing among people who see oysters as healthy food, and who are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes.

Kodiak workshop to teach seafood smoking, salting

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center is planning a workshop for those who would like to learn how to smoke their own fish, or turn their favorite smoking recipe into a profitable enterprise.

“Smoking and Salting Fish for Fun and Profit” is a workshop for anyone interested in smoking and salting fish, including home fish-smoking enthusiasts, small smokehouse operators, fishermen interested in direct marketing their fish and commercial operators.

Scientists offer advice for state salmon study

ANCHORAGE — State researchers looking for answers to Alaska’s diminishing king salmon returns were urged Tuesday to take a look at the critical days after smolt leave fresh water and to closely examine how humans may affect salmon in marine waters.

“The two leading hypotheses for things that might cause declines of chinook salmon in the ocean are climate change and fishing,” said retired University of Washington fisheries biologist Kate Myers.

Contest deadline for new business ideas Nov. 1

The Friends of the Homer Library, with support from the Homer Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Small Business Development Center, announces BIZ-Idea 2012, a contest to encourage new business ideas in Homer and the surrounding area.

Prize money will be awarded for the three winning entries, and also there will be the opportunity to learn more about small business plans and preparation.

HEA energy, conservation fairs slated for November

Homer Electric Association is offering its members an opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in energy saving appliances, home improvements, and alternative energy.  

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 3, HEA will host its fourth annual Energy and Conservation Fair at Kenai Middle School. The fair will be repeated the following Saturday, Nov. 10, at West Homer Elementary School.

Maura’s Cafe adds new ingredient: Melissa Josephs



It’s been just about 10 years since Maura Brenin opened Maura’s Café next to Bunnell Street Art Center in Homer’s Old Town. Now, after a decade of serving delicious sandwiches on fresh-baked baguettes, tasty soups to warm the chilliest of days, salads that draw upon locally grown produce, a selection of European cheeses and deli meat and a varied catering menu, Brenin is making some changes.

For starters, she’s joined forces with Melissa Josephs, former chef of Café Cups. 

Forecasters predict lots of ice, snow

Bering Sea crab fishermen need to prepare for another bad ice year, according to Kathleen Cole, ice forecaster for the National Weather Service.

“I hate to say this to them, but yeah, we’re going to have an ice year that is above normal again,” Cole said.

She said it is not expected to be quite as bad as last year, though.

“It would be hard to top that, it was such a record breaker,” she said.

Cole said the long-range outlook model at this point shows a push of cold air in January that will bring the ice down earlier than normal.

Alaska college savings plan earns high marks



BOSTON — College savings plans offered through the states of Alaska, Maryland, Nevada and Utah earned top marks from Morningstar Inc. in the company’s annual update to ratings of so-called 529 plans.

Another four plans received second-rung silver-medal ratings from Morningstar, which found that many of the state-sponsored plans reduced fees and improved investment options over the past 12 months.

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