Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 9:39 PM on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Business Briefs: March 17, 2011

Candidates file for HEA board of directors election

Five candidates have signed up to be on the ballot for the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors 2011 election. The deadline to file for a seat on the board was March 4.

HEA directors are elected by the members in their respective district, with members voting only for the candidates residing in their district.

This year, candidates in District 1, which includes Kenai, Nikiski and parts of the Soldotna area, are incumbent David Thomas of Kenai and Kelly Bookey of Kenai.

In District 2 , which includes Soldotna, Sterling and Kasilof, the only candidate is Dick Waisanen of Soldotna. Incumbent board member Tim Evans of Soldotna submitted a nomination packet, but announced on March 11 that he has decided not to seek re-election and his name will not appear on the ballot.

In District 3, which includes south of Kasilof and the Kachemak Bay area, incumbent Mike Wiley of Clam Gulch and Malcolm Gaylord of Homer will be on the ballot.

The ballots will be mailed to HEA members April 1. Completed mail-in ballots must be received by May 4 in order to be valid. HEA members also will have an opportunity to vote at the annual meeting, which will be May 5 at Soldotna High School.

GCI waives long distance charges for calls to Japan

ANCHORAGE — General Communication, Inc. residential customers with land lines or cell phones can call Japan for free in order to contact loved ones who may have been affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"In times of crisis we realize the importance of being able to talk with those at a distance," said Paul Landes, senior vice president, consumer services. "GCI has made this decision so our customers have the ability to reach out to their family or loved ones in Japan who may be impacted by this horrific and tragic event."

GCI customers may call Japan for free from March 15 through April 10. GCI customers who called Japan between March 11 and March 14 will receive a credit for the call.

Free long distance to Japan is available to residential customers and post-paid wireless customer calling from the GCI network.

Alaska Communications helps connect to Japan

ANCHORAGE — Alaska Communications earlier this week announced it is offering international calling and texting support for Alaska residential wireless and wireline consumers trying to connect with loved ones in Japan, following last week's earthquake and tsunami.

Effective March 11 through March 31, wireless postpaid and residential wireline customers with international calling plans will not be charged for international long distance calls up to 60 minutes or text messages from Alaska to Japan.

Customers will either see no charges reflected on their monthly statement, or they will see a full credit applied to their statement for activity between March 11 and March 31.

"Connecting with family and friends is most important at times like this. We want to help our customers connect with loved ones in Japan in any way we can and make it as easy as possible," said Marla Thompson, Alaska Communications vice president of consumer sales and service.