Business

KRSA plans big changes to fish event

For the first time in its 20-year history, the Kenai River Classic will target silver salmon instead of king salmon.

After two years of catch-and-release chinook salmon fishing, the Kenai River Sportfishing Association changed the annual three-day fishing invitational from July to August in an effort to ease fishing pressure on struggling chinook stocks said Ricky Gease, executive director of KRSA.

The 2013 Classic will be held
Aug. 19-21.

Gease said participants and sponsors were consulted to make sure an August event would fit in with their schedules.

K-Bay Caffe now open on Pioneer

K-Bay Caffe & Roasting, the coffee roasting and drive-through espresso company, opened a new downtown café on Nov. 16 at 397 Pioneer Ave. next to the Refuge Chapel and the Grog Shop.

A grand opening party is at 7 p.m. Friday with live music by Uplift! and complimentary samples of coffee available. 

A reception starts at 6 p.m. 

Owner Michael McGuire said he plans for the downtown K-Bay Caffe to be an entertainment and social alternative that isn’t a bar or a restaurant, especially for teenagers and young adults.

State, UAF host strategic minerals conference

 ANCHORAGE — State officials and the University of Alaska Fairbanks will again host an Alaska Strategic and Critical Minerals Summit.

The event is scheduled for Friday in Fairbanks.

The Department of Natural Resources says the focus will be on the state’s strategy for exploring, developing and processing strategic minerals and related activity by business and university officials.

Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan says a goal of the second summit is to stimulate private-sector investment, activity and responsible resource development.

Tutka Bay Lodge recognized in ‘Trip of Lifetime’ category


Tutka Bay Lodge has been recognized as a 2012 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards winner in the Trip of a Lifetime category. 

Representing a “complete escape,” Tutka Bay Lodge is located at the southern end of Kachemak Bay. It was chosen from 4,000 nominations based on high style, excellent service and a one-of-a-kind stay for guests, according to a press release.

Task force meets, talks health of salmon in inlet

The first meeting of the Upper Cook Inlet Task Force generated questions about allocation issues, marine mortality, historical catch rates and the overall health of salmon in the inlet.

Board of Fisheries members Tom Kluberton of Talkeetna and Vince Webster of King Salmon co-chaired the meeting that focused on defining the scope of the Upper Cook Inlet king salmon problem and looked for suggestions both from task force members and a room full of affected users.

Chamber plans events


The Homer Chamber of Commerce has several events planned in the next few weeks:

n The next chamber mixer will be from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 29. It is hosted by North Wind Home Collections, 173 W. Pioneer Ave. For more information, contact Debbie Speakman at 235-7740. The public is invited.

Booksellers, Kobo partner in ‘read freely’ philosophy


The American Booksellers Association is partnering with  Kobo to make ereaders and ebooks available at independent bookstores nationwide, including the Homer Bookstore. Kobo, a leader in ereading, is committed to a “read freely” philosophy so their ebooks also can be read on iPhones and iPads, Androids, Nooks, laptop and desktops computers. 

Currently Kobo has two readers available — the Mini for those who want to read on the go, and the Glo which has a lighted screen.

Miotke joins sales team at Story Real Estate

Amanda Miotke has joined the sales team at Story Real Estate.

While Miotke is a new Realtor, she has a lot of experience in the real estate business having worked for the last six years at Kachemak Bay Title Company.

Chris Story, broker of Story Real Estate, said that he saw Miotke’s “great character, follow through and commitment” in her work at the title company, the same characteristics needed to be a successful Realtor.

CommuKnitty Stash relocates to Main Street


CommuKnitty Stash has moved off the Sterling Highway and onto Main Street — 3581 B Main St., to be exact, between Napa and Homer Hounds. Store hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 1-7 p.m., with an 8:30 p.m. closing on Wednesdays. 

Handknitted and quickly sewn warm items for victims of Hurricane Sandy are currently being gathered to be sent to New York the end of this week. CommuKnitty Stash will pay the shipping.

Healing Hands Massage expands, hosts open house


After almost three years at the East End Village location, Healing Hands Massage owner Jessi Dullinger is expanding the business by partnering with Mary Hayden and adding a second treatment room. Dullinger and Hayden mark their new partnership and a remodel of the space with an open house from 3-7 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited to stop in to see the new space, enjoy some snacks and sign up for door prizes totaling $700. 

Winter shopping derby starts today, ends Feb. 10


The first Homer Chamber of Commerce Winter Shopping Derby starts today. Similar to last summer’s shopping derby, participants buy a $10 shopping derby ticket for a chance to win $1,000 in Homer Bucks, the town’s local currency. Each time derby ticket holders spend from $1 to $100 at participating merchants, they get their ticket stamped. Collect four stamps and the ticket holder gets a second chance to win. Each week a new winner will be drawn for prizes donated by local chamber member businesses.

Losses grow in Alaska’s fisheries disasters

ANCHORAGE, — Alaska’s Commerce commissioner says the disaster from poor king salmon returns was worse than first estimated.

In a letter to the state’s congressional delegation, Susan Bell says commercial fishery permit holders lost an estimated $16.8 million in direct revenue.

She says that doesn’t include the economic effect on crew members who help harvest salmon, or processors and support businesses. She says it also doesn’t account for revenue lost by communities from fish and sales tax.

Roads to Resources effort emerging from planning stages

The Roads to Resources proposal set forth by Gov. Sean Parnell as a funding mechanism to jump start work on four surface transportation projects in Alaska is slowly gaining steam, according to officials close to the work.

In late 2011, the governor announced a $28.5 million budget proposal aimed at increasing access to resources currently outside the state’s road system.

Malone Insurance Agency earns top independent agency award from Allstate


 

Malone Insurance Agency has been named the Top Independent Allstate Agency in Alaska by Allstate Insurance Company for their achievement, high standards in customer satisfaction and customer retention in 2012. 

The award recognizes the Malone Insurance Agency as one of the Top Independent Allstate Agencies in auto and property insurance for Allstate Insurance Company and is a testimony to the Malone Insurance Agency’s dedication to assisting customers with their insurance needs, according to a press release.

Operator, student honored with rural water awards

Two Homer residents have been honored by the Alaska Rural Water Association.

At its 14th Annual Training Conference in Anchorage in October, the association named Jerry Lawver of Homer the “Water Operator of the Year” for an area with a population of more than 1,000 and chose Fiona Hatton, a third-grade student from McNeil Canyon Elementary School, as one of three student winners in a water conservation poster contest.

Uncertainty in some economic sectors benefits Alaska’s financial institutions

By Molly Dischner

Morris News Service - Alaska

By many metrics, Alaska’s financial institutions are doing well.

All of the state’s banks posted an increase in total assets for the second quarter of 2012 compared to the second quarter of 2011.

First National Bank Alaska saw the largest second quarter increase: 6.8 percent.

That number crept up some more in the third quarter, said Director of Corporate Communications and External Affairs Cheri Gillian, reaching the bank’s highest-ever level.

Conservation drill cuts load by about 1.5 percent


Officials from regional governments and utilities estimated an across-the-board energy load reduction of 1.5 percent on Oct. 30, between 6-8 p.m., during the fourth Energy Watch conservation drill.

“Southcentral Alaska consumes approximately 70 BCF (Billion Cubic Feet) annually. The 1.5 percent consumed during the 2012 Energy Watch Test equates to approximately 1 BCF,” said Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan.

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