Alaska Journal of Commerce June-Issue-2 2015

  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:24
    SITKA — The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted on series of cuts to the Bering Sea groundfish fleet on June 7 without two of its members from Alaska. It’s the second time recusals have influenced the outcome of a controversial issue with a close vote, and the council is willing to take up the issue with Congress to reexamine the entire determination process. “It’s time to rethink how we go about making these decisions,” said council member Simon Kinneen, “particularly when they have effects on council process.” Kinneen was recused from the June meeting based on his employer,... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:21
    FAIRBANKS — What may be the world’s biggest conference on Arctic science will be held next March at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. About 800 to 1,000 scientists and government officials from around the world will be gather on UAF’s campus, said Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Hinzman. The meeting — actually dozens of meetings and workshops — will happen over the university’s spring break, which means dormitory space will be available with students temporarily off the campus. The spillover will be a boon for Fairbanks hotels and restaurants. Hinzman took over management of... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:19
    Gov. Bill Walker is considering ending the state’s relationship with TransCanada Corp. in the big Alaska LNG Project and taking over a full 25 percent share of the project. In an interview June 7 in Fairbanks, Walker said that he is weighing the takeover option along with keeping TransCanada in the consortium under the current structure. Under that arrangement TransCanada would ship state-owned gas though its share of pipeline capacity. A third option Walker is weighing is the state taking a 40 percent share of TransCanada’s interest in the project under the current contract with the state... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:18
    ​Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a series of 10 articles by the Journal of Commerce recognizing the Anchorage Centennial and examining the events and the industries that have shaped Alaska’s largest city. The series will be released as a single special edition of the Journal in time for the Solstice celebrations June 20 and will be available at centennial events throughout the summer. The drive along the lower Kenai Peninsula affords views few places can offer: snow-capped and active volcanoes rise above blue, fishing boat-dotted water like a defensive line collapsing on a third-string... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:16
    SITKA — The North Pacific Fishery Management Council made its second controversial compromise of the year on June 7, again related to bycatch in the Bering Sea and again after lengthy, impassioned testimony and a jagged voting circumstance full of recusals and surprise votes from an Alaska council member Ed Dersham. “We got screwed,” said Myron Melovidov, chairman of the St.Paul-based Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association. “Plain and simple.” The council passed a motion amended by Washington State council member Bill Tweit, originally submitted by Alaska Commissioner of Fish and Game... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:14
    FAIRBANKS — Using a sophisticated interactive computer model, 155 Alaskan citizens, all volunteers, worked mightily through a sunny Fairbanks weekend June 5 through 7 to close a gaping state fiscal deficit. Income and sales taxes, changes in oil taxes, budget cuts, use of Permanent Fund income, were all thrown into the stew pot. Most of seven working groups engaged in the project failed to close the gap, although most came close. Some who closed the gap saw it reappear a few years later. The meeting was the “Sustainable Future” conference on the University of Alaska campus organized by Gov... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:12
    Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency will continue as a federal judge denied the agency’s motion to dismiss June 4. U.S. Alaska District Court Judge H. Russel Holland concluded that while the EPA may not have established the three “anti-mine” groups as described by Pebble in its complaint — the Anti-Mine Coalition, Scientists and Assessment Team — agency staff could have utilized them to draft the pending determination to block development of Pebble’s copper and gold claims near Bristol Bay. The mining organization’s attorneys argued during a May... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:11
    The revised eavesdropping program that the U.S. Senate finally passed on June 2 and sent to the president doesn’t go as far as some civil-liberties advocates wanted, but it’s the first time that Congress has placed limits on the government’s ability to spy on Americans after 9/11. That alone should bring a measure of satisfaction to Americans who fear that the national-security apparatus of the government in Washington has gone too far in the direction of snooping, at the expense of the legitimate privacy rights of U.S. citizens. The USA Freedom Act, as it is now called, will end the... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:10
    Salmon fisheries are opening up this month from one end of Alaska to the other. Total catches so far of mostly sockeye, were under one million fish, but will add up fast from here on. A total haul for all Alaska salmon this season is pegged at 221 million fish. A highlight so far is a 40 percent increase in troll action at Southeast regions, where nearly 300 fishermen are targeting king salmon. That’s likely due to a boosted price averaging $7.54 per pound, up $1.88 from last year. Speaking of high prices — Alaska halibut fishermen are fetching well over $6 per pound for their catches at... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:08
    People who are eligible to list and sell real estate as a business and profession are licensed in the State of Alaska. They must pass a general knowledge test on real estate as well as a portion on real estate laws specific to Alaska. However, none of the knowledge they are required to have deals with the intricacies of buying and selling real estate as a business practice. Two circumstances come to mind that create confusion with the consumer, as well as those who practice. The first is how to manage a back-up offer on a property that already has a pending sale. A pending sale is a... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:07
    Fort Wainwright is getting nine Gray Eagle unmanned combat aircraft, according to a June 8 release from Alaska’s congressional delegation. The Gray Eagle Company includes 128 military personnel that will relocate to the Fairbanks-area U.S. Army base, the release states. Army officials told the delegation that there are plans to construct a permanent unmanned aerial system, or UAS, facility at Fort Wainwright if the funding is included in the 2017 fiscal year budget. In the interim, the aircraft will be stored in an existing facility. The delegation members said the announcement confirms... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:02
    Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes brains and guts enough to step out of a comfort zone. It requires going against the grain, letting go of pride, and a dash of innocence. Starting a business is the worst, most difficult, wonderful, magnificent thing you’ll ever do — but as in the new book “Miss Jessie’s” by Miko Branch, sometimes it’s also quite hair-raising. Jessie Mae Pittman was born in 1919 to a sharecropper family in North Carolina, and grew up hating fieldwork. To avoid picking cotton, she taught herself to cook and later became renowned for her skills. That... Read More
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:01
    The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced recipients of the 2015 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Service awards. David Newman, professor of physics, received the teaching award; Hajo Eicken, professor of geophysics, received the research award; and Pat Holloway, professor of horticulture, received the service award. All three will be honored at a reception this fall. Newman joined the UAF faculty in 1998, after working for five years as a Wigner Fellow and then research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He teaches courses across the physics curriculum.... Read More