This Week in Alaska Business History May 20, 2001

Editor’s note: "This Week in Alaska Business History" revisits events that shaped our past.

"Those who cannot

remember the past are

condemned to repeat it."

-- George Santayana, 1863-1952

20 years ago this week

Anchorage Times

May 21, 1981

Valdez refinery plans fall through
Financing problems blamed

The Associated Press
and Times staff

Insurance claims bill passes

Several bills of interest to the business community passed the Legislature in the closing days of the 2001 session, which ended May 8.

House Bill 113, requiring health insurers to pay claims within 30 days or pay interest, was given final approval on May 7, as was House Bill 184, a comprehensive, largely technical rewrite of state insurance laws. House Bill 121, clarifying laws relating to charitable gift annuities, was given final approval on May 8.

Understand airfare logic

ogawaLR.jpg What is the secret to saving on airfares? You need to understand the basic rules on how airfares are filed and what airlines are trying to accomplish. It seems so radical for airfares to go up and down; however, it is very systematic if you know the rationale behind them.

The goal of an airline is not to fill every single seat but to maximize "yield" on each flight. Here are some of the factors that affect your fares:

Business Profile: Pacific Alaska Forwarders Inc.

Name of the company: Pacific Alaska Forwarders Inc.

Established: Alaska service began in 1961

Location: 431 E. 104th Ave., Anchorage

Telephone: 907-336-2567

Web site:

Major focus of services: Pacific Alaska Forwarders Inc. provides freight transportation via less than truckload or truckload services as well as intermodal transportation.

Sitka firm builds five ferries for N.Y. waters

transportation.jpg A Sitka-based ship building company has built five new ferries for high-speed commuter use on New York City water routes.

New York Waterway has some of the new boats in service on new routes, including the East River, New York Waterway President Arthur Imperatore Jr., announced in early May.

Sale of fiber-optic cable capacity puts GCI quarterly income figures in the black

telecommunications.jpg General Communication Inc. posted first quarter net income totaling $2.4 million, compared with a net loss of $5.5 million for the same period last year.

The Anchorage-based telecommunications provider attributes the net income to a sale of fiber-optic cable capacity that closed early in the quarter.

Cruise lines tout economic impact, growth, environmental care

tourism.jpg The cruise industry represents a significant economic impact to Anchorage and passenger numbers are expected to grow this year, one industry official said.

In 2001 cruise passengers to Anchorage should climb 5 percent to 7 percent, said Al Parrish, vice president of government and community affairs for Holland America Line.

$1.5 billion capital budget approved

Except for controversial cruise ship pollution-control legislation, state legislators adjourned in a relatively orderly manner a few minutes before their legally mandated deadline of midnight May 8. Lawmakers passed several bills affecting business in the closing days of the 2001 session. Among the more significant were authorizations for about $1.5 billion in capital spending, mostly construction, for the state’s fiscal 2002, the budget year beginning July 1.

Around the World May 20, 2001


Central Peninsula hospital administrator resigns

SOLDOTNA -- The Central Peninsula General Hospital administrator instrumental in designing the hospital’s portion of the new Kenai Health Center resigned May 11 to pursue new opportunities.

"I’m working on a couple of projects. I think it’s a good time to be looking at new things," said Martin Richman, outgoing hospital chief executive.

Lease sales run hot, cool

oilbarrel.jpg Industry response to two Alaska oil and gas lease sales in Anchorage May 9 ran the gamut from cool to red hot, depending on the sale.

While a lease sale of tracts in Cook Inlet generated just $1.2 million in apparent high bids, the first-ever North Slope Foothills Areawide Oil and Gas Lease Sale attracted 184 bids from eight bidders for 170 tracts.

Knowles calls legislators back to finish cruise ship regulations

State legislators go back to Juneau in a special session June 7 to consider a bill regulating cruise ship discharges that was bottled up in the Senate Transportation Committee in the closing days of the regular 2001 legislative session.

Gov. Tony Knowles called the special session after the regular session adjourned without action by the Senate on House Bill 260.

Federal, UAF research brings commercial fishermen closer to harvest insurance

welchlanieLR.jpg Commercial fishermen are a step closer to being able to insure against losses caused by poor harvests. Farmers have a long history of being able to insure their crops against losses caused by drought, insects or other calamities, but fisheries have never been included in any insurance plans. However, that could soon change, if all goes according to plan.

Last year, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, succeeded in getting salmon officially designated as a harvested food crop.

Shelter firm now from worker shortage

When you turned off the lights today it seemed like any normal day in 2001. But when you awake tomorrow things are going to be different. You will find your life has been fast forwarded by six years. Just like Rumpelstiltskin you are now living in year 2007.

The economic downturn of 2001 is a distant memory compared with the crisis you now face. In only six years the entire employment and economic landscape has been turned upside down. The economy is strong. Businesses are growing, but unemployment is almost nonexistent. There are help wanted signs in every industry.

Fiscal caucus seeks backing

An informal "fiscal caucus" of state legislators that includes both Republicans and Democrats hopes to forge a new long-range state fiscal plan and will be seeking public support through the summer and fall.

Twenty-five members of the 40-member state House, a majority of that body, and three senators of the 20-member Senate have participated in seven meetings of the caucus during the 2001 session, said Rep. Bill Hudson, R-Juneau.

Hudson helped organize the caucus in March and now heads the effort along with Rep. John Davies, D-Fairbanks and Sen. Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak.

Flights bring tourists north, carry Alaska cargo south, keep shipping costs down

transportation.jpg Direct flights from major U.S. cities to Anchorage for the summer tourist season are holding down costs to shippers using air freight.

"There is definitely no lack of capacity for northbound and southbound freight," said Dave Beach, manager of freight forwarder Movers Inc. "Tourism to Alaska has more than one benefit to Alaska."

As halibut comes in, prices slip at dock, not at store

Huge catches of halibut continue to cross Alaska’s docks since the fishery opened in mid-March. On April 25, for example, more than 726,000 pounds of the prized flats were delivered, the highest daily volume since a few days after the season opened on March 15. Starting on April 16, nearly 2.5 million pounds were landed throughout the state, for a total of nearly 9 million pounds delivered through April 27. That’s 15 percent of the Alaska catch limit of roughly 58 million pounds.

Business Profile: American Tire Warehouse

Name of the company: American Tire Warehouse

Established: 1974

Location: Anchorage and Fairbanks

Telephone: 907-336-7878

Major focus of services: American Tire Warehouse sells and services vehicle tires plus provides other automotive services on shocks and struts, brakes and alignments including recreational vehicle alignments.

This Week in Alaska Business History May 13, 2001

Editor’s note: "This Week in Alaska Business History" revisits events that shaped our past.

"Those who cannot

remember the past are

condemned to repeat it."

-- George Santayana, 1863-1952

20 years ago this week

Anchorage Times

May 14, 1981

As confidence builds, space gets tighter

By Mary Mills

Times Writer

Denver firms envision Internet server farm powered by Slope gas

Two Denver-based firms see a possible opportunity to serve the needs of North American companies using the Internet from, of all places, Alaska.

What’s more, they hope to do it with a large data center, what’s known in the industry as a server farm, on Alaska’s North Slope.

It’s a visionary idea, admits Mike Caskey, vice president for lands for Fidelity Exploration and Production Co. in Denver, one of the companies involved.

"In Alaska you can’t think small, or else things will never get done," he said.

Grummans to highlight aviation show

Promoters of the 2001 Alaska Airmen’s Association Statewide Aviation Trade Show say it should be the biggest and best to date. The show will be at the FedEx hangar in Anchorage on May 19 and 20.

The Grumman aircraft depicted on this year’s trade show poster are the theme and are featured as static displays for spectator viewing.

The display of amphibious aircraft features the recently refurbished and rebuilt J2F Grumman Duck, a vintage 1947 aircraft.


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