House education budget bill passes without appropriation

Editor's note: This article and headline have been updated to reflect the bill transmitted by the House to the Senate includes about $118 million in funding for education compared to the initial version of the bill which would have provided $1.3 billion.

INSIDE REAL ESTATE: The good, and not-so-good of 2017 in Anchorage building

The good news from the Municipality of Anchorage building safety activity report for 2017 is the total number of housing units increased from 341 in 2016 to 460.

The not-so-good news for potential homebuyers is that the increase comes from multi-family and duplex permits. Single-family permits had an increase of only six units. Clearly, Anchorage is trending towards more urban and higher density housing while the marketplace is still seeking the affordable single family home.

FISH FACTOR: Millennialls a major potential market for Alaska seafood

Millennials are now the nation’s “peak spenders” and they are gravitating towards healthier eating which favors more seafood.

“We see year over year that there is this cohort aged 35 to 54 that is going to be spending far more across categories, including food expenditures, than any others,” said Will Notini, consumer insights manager at Chicago-based Technomic, a leading market tracker for over 50 years.

Northrim attorney calls size of request for Rogoff loan docs ‘ridiculous’

Extracting communications related to former Alaska Dispatch News owner Alice Rogoff’s $13 million loan from Northrim Bank will take upward of 1,600 hours, the bank’s attorney complained to the judge in the latest bankruptcy hearing Feb. 5.

At issue are Northrim loan documents that involved bank committee meetings and voluminous communications after Rogoff borrowed $13 million to help pay for the Anchorage Daily News.

Board seeks change to pot tax; Drummond bill would clear records

The Alaska House Finance Committee heard testimony Feb. 6 on the Marijuana Control Board’s role regulating the industry and an appeal to change the current tax structure of $50 per ounce.

The Finance Committee was hearing about at House Bill 273, sponsored by Rep. Sam Kito D-Juneau, a measure that extends the life of the Marijuana Control Board beyond the June 2018 sunset.

BP bounces back from 2016 with $3.4B profit in 2017

While BP Alaska leaders are celebrating the success of stemming production decline from the aging Prudhoe Bay oil field despite belt-tightening in the industry, the company’s global executives on Feb. 6 celebrated the announcement of a $3.4 billion profit in 2017.

AEDC: recession fading despite ongoing state financial issues

Anchorage is pegged to lose about another 1,000 jobs this year, but the analysts that track the numbers closely believe it could be the last year of a shrinking economy in the city.

Anchorage Economic Development Corp. CEO Bill Popp said during the group’s annual forecast luncheon Jan. 31 that the job losses this year will continue to be widespread amongst the various sectors of the city’s economy. However, the workforce reductions are expected to be smaller in almost every industry than what has been endured in the past two years of recession.

Mallott, Sullivan meet with top Canadians on transboundary issues

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and Sen. Dan Sullivan watched Super Bowl LII together in Ottawa and spent time strategizing on their approach to the next day’s meetings.

They were there to discuss issues as far-reaching as ocean debris, missile defense and the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canadian federal officials as well as provincial and First Nations leaders, according to Sullivan, but the priority topic brought up in every discussion was that of Canadian mines at the headwaters of rivers that terminate in Alaska.

Movers and Shakers for Feb. 11

KeyBank has named a number of new local branch managers across Alaska. In their respective roles, they will be responsible for day-to-day operations, as well as providing financial services, including investments and mortgages, to both small business and consumer clients.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Bill to pay off credits fulfills state side of bargain

This week, the Walker Administration introduced a bill to pay off up to $1 billion of outstanding oil and gas tax credits by issuing bonds to pay for them at a fair discount. By purchasing these tax credits held by small oil and gas exploration companies, the bill will free up frozen credit markets to allow new exploration and development to continue.

This bill is part of Gov. Bill Walker’s economic stimulus plan calculated to put Alaskans back to work, and will ultimately result in increased production, leading to increased revenue for the benefit of all Alaskans.

Nome gets fresh review as possible US Arctic port

Federal officials will take another look at the historic Alaska community of Nome as a possible port serving ships heading for the Arctic.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it has signed an agreement with the city of Nome to examine whether benefits justify costs of navigation improvements, said Bruce Sexauer, chief of civil works for the Corps' Alaska District.

"The study will look at economic and social reasons to see if expanding the port is in the federal interest," he said.

Permanent Fund value hits $64B at fiscal year midpoint

It was a good news-bad news kind of day for Alaska Permanent Fund managers.

While the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. reported strong returns of 8.45 percent and a total Fund value of $64 billion in the first half of the 2018 fiscal year on Monday, domestic markets were also down sharply for the second consecutive trading day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Monday at 24,345, down more than 7 percent from the start of Friday trading.


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