April-Issue-3 2014

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Archive »Transportation

EDITORIAL: FAA needs to expedite rules for unmanned aircraft

When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos dazzled “60 Minutes” interviewer Charlie Rose a while back with his supposed plan to deliver products with drone aircraft, he glossed over the obstacles that stand in his way.

Alaska class ferry design complete, construction upcoming

The first pieces of the newest state ferries should start to come together late this summer if all continues to go as planned, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Deputy Commissioner Reuben Yost told the Senate Transportation Committee April 15.
Cruise ship staging area will be ready for first arrivals

Cruise ship staging area will be ready for first arrivals

JUNEAU — The staging area at the city cruise ship docks downtown is near the end of a major overhaul and should be ready by the time the first ship reaches the docks in a few weeks.
Group wants to ship crude oil through Skagway’s port

Group wants to ship crude oil through Skagway’s port

JUNEAU— Alaskans know Valdez as the state’s oil port of choice, but an independent Yukon oil producer is planning to make Skagway No. 2 on the list of Alaska oil ports.
Senate approves new finance plan for Knik Arm Crossing

Senate approves new finance plan for Knik Arm Crossing

The Senate passed the latest Knik Arm Crossing financing plan April 12 despite concerns voiced by some Democrats about traffic projections and spending habits involving the long-awaited and debated mega project.

Archive »Tourism

Cruise ship staging area will be ready for first arrivals

Cruise ship staging area will be ready for first arrivals

JUNEAU — The staging area at the city cruise ship docks downtown is near the end of a major overhaul and should be ready by the time the first ship reaches the docks in a few weeks.

Archive »Construction Articles

Outlook: population, jobs will continue slow, steady growth

Outlook: population, jobs will continue slow, steady growth

JUNEAU — Alaska’s economy seems in good shape and is continuing in a long-term, slow-growth trend, although questions around the national recovery hang over Alaska as well as the rest of the U.S., according to the Northrim Bank annual economic outlook report.
Senate approves new finance plan for Knik Arm Crossing

Senate approves new finance plan for Knik Arm Crossing

The Senate passed the latest Knik Arm Crossing financing plan April 12 despite concerns voiced by some Democrats about traffic projections and spending habits involving the long-awaited and debated mega project.

Archive »Oil & Gas

ConocoPhillips to reopen LNG plant, resume exports

ConocoPhillips to reopen LNG plant, resume exports

ConocoPhillips is restarting its liquefied natural gas plant on the Kenai Peninsula and will resume shipments of LNG in May, the company announced April 14.
Slope gets busy from CD-5 to Point Thomson

Slope gets busy from CD-5 to Point Thomson

JUNEAU — North Slope oil fields are busy places these days. ConocoPhillips told a state legislative committee in Juneau that it expects to see 50,000 barrels per day of new North Slope production in 2018 based on projects now under construction and planned.
CIRI seeks customers for Fire Island phase two expansion

CIRI seeks customers for Fire Island phase two expansion

Cook Inlet Region Inc. wants to double the size of its Fire Island wind farm, but first it needs someone to buy the extra power.
Energy Department seeks methane hydrate proposals

Energy Department seeks methane hydrate proposals

The U.S. Department of Energy is soliciting for another round of research into methane hydrates, the potentially huge energy source of “frozen gas” that could step in for shortages of other fossil fuels.
Refinery tax credit subsidy approved by House committee

Refinery tax credit subsidy approved by House committee

JUNEAU — The House Finance Committee approved a tax credit subsidy plan for in-state refiners but has scaled it back from what Gov. Sean Parnell originally proposed. House Bill 287 was voted out of the committee April 14.
Group wants to ship crude oil through Skagway’s port

Group wants to ship crude oil through Skagway’s port

JUNEAU— Alaskans know Valdez as the state’s oil port of choice, but an independent Yukon oil producer is planning to make Skagway No. 2 on the list of Alaska oil ports.
Why high oil prices have actually been good for airlines

Why high oil prices have actually been good for airlines

NEW YORK (AP) — Airline executives frequently complain about fuel costs. But the truth is higher prices actually have been good for business.

Archive »Alaska Politics

UA items top $2.1B budget

The University of Alaska was a big winner when the Senate passed its $2.1 billion version of the state capital budget.
Senate draft of fisheries act begins circulating

Senate draft of fisheries act begins circulating

The newest version of the Magnuson-Stevens Act out for discussion adds subsistence users and Tribal governments to the fisheries management law and has the potential to create new Community Development Quota in the Arctic, but it has not yet been made widely available to the public for review.
Wage law can be changed no matter how it passes

Wage law can be changed no matter how it passes

JUNEAU — Whether a minimum wage increase is approved by voters or lawmakers, the result will be the same: The Legislature will have the power to make changes.
Senate approves new finance plan for Knik Arm Crossing

Senate approves new finance plan for Knik Arm Crossing

The Senate passed the latest Knik Arm Crossing financing plan April 12 despite concerns voiced by some Democrats about traffic projections and spending habits involving the long-awaited and debated mega project.
House Finance committee advances gov’s pension plan

House Finance committee advances gov’s pension plan

JUNEAU — The House Finance Committee advanced Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan for addressing the state’s pension obligation April 15, but the issue was not yet settled.

Archive »National Politics

CBO: Subsidy costs revised to $1T over 10 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsidies will cost a little less than previously thought, according to a new report released April 14.

Archive »Finance

Outlook: population, jobs will continue slow, steady growth

Outlook: population, jobs will continue slow, steady growth

JUNEAU — Alaska’s economy seems in good shape and is continuing in a long-term, slow-growth trend, although questions around the national recovery hang over Alaska as well as the rest of the U.S., according to the Northrim Bank annual economic outlook report.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Financial health is as important as staying physically fit

This year, I’m sure many of us made New Year’s resolutions that have to do with improving our physical health.

GUEST COMMENTARY: IRS stonewalling puts audit shoe on other foot

If the Internal Revenue Service was auditing you, and you whined that getting all the documentation agents wanted was too hard and would take you years, what do you think the response would be?
Management fees eroding many 401(k) retirement accounts

Management fees eroding many 401(k) retirement accounts

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s the silent enemy in our retirement accounts: High fees.
Wage law can be changed no matter how it passes

Wage law can be changed no matter how it passes

JUNEAU — Whether a minimum wage increase is approved by voters or lawmakers, the result will be the same: The Legislature will have the power to make changes.

Archive »Editorials

EDITORIAL: FAA needs to expedite rules for unmanned aircraft

When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos dazzled “60 Minutes” interviewer Charlie Rose a while back with his supposed plan to deliver products with drone aircraft, he glossed over the obstacles that stand in his way.

FISH FACTOR: Off-year pinks mean 2014 won’t match record salmon haul

Alaska’s total salmon catch for 2014 is projected to be down by almost half of last year’s record haul.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Financial health is as important as staying physically fit

This year, I’m sure many of us made New Year’s resolutions that have to do with improving our physical health.
The Bookworm Sez: Putting off procrastination

The Bookworm Sez: Putting off procrastination

You’re hoping someone has a match.

Archive »Popular Politics

New ‘face,’ but some old problems for ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Abruptly on the spot as the new face of “Obamacare,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell faces steep challenges, both logistical and political.

Archive »Fishery Stories

Senate draft of fisheries act begins circulating

Senate draft of fisheries act begins circulating

The newest version of the Magnuson-Stevens Act out for discussion adds subsistence users and Tribal governments to the fisheries management law and has the potential to create new Community Development Quota in the Arctic, but it has not yet been made widely available to the public for review.

Data collection to begin as council moves toward Gulf ratz

Upcoming discussions on plans to rationalize the Gulf of Alaska trawl fisheries will consider adaptive management and the potential for community fisheries associations.

New transit approved for Bay; canyon research continues

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council took final action at its April meeting in Anchorage to change the rules for vessel transit through Bristol Bay.

FISH FACTOR: Off-year pinks mean 2014 won’t match record salmon haul

Alaska’s total salmon catch for 2014 is projected to be down by almost half of last year’s record haul.

Appeal scheduled for decision to reject setnet ban initiative

Oral argument in the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance appeal of Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s decision to reject a proposed ballot initiative to ban setnetting will be held in Anchorage April 22.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture buys defunct Port Graham Hatchery

KENAI — Pink salmon fishing in the Lower Cook Inlet could soon be revitalized as the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association finalized its purchase of the Port Graham Hatchery on April 14 after nearly two years of planning, permitting and logistics.