Citizens group offers 14 recommendations to state on pipeline

oilgas.jpg Alaska’s leaders should exert their considerable power to direct the future of the state’s natural gas development to most benefit its citizens, even if it means investing $2 billion to $5 billion of state money to own the gas pipeline outright, an Alaska citizens group said Jan. 25.

The group, known as "Backbone -- Standing Up For Alaska’s Future," also released a 130-page study Jan.

Warm winter keeps cold-weather tests from getting off the ground

Thawing temperatures are dousing plans by Europeans who traveled to Interior Alaska to cold weather test aircraft in Fairbanks this winter.

Flight test teams from Italy’s Agusta Helicopters and Germany’s Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH may be forced to cold weather test on the North Slope if Fairbanks’ unseasonably warm temperatures persist.

"This is definitely not what we expected," said Dave Carlstrom, marketing director for Fairbanks International Airport. "The Italians were told by their boss, ’Don’t come back until you finish the cold weather testing.’ "

To fill summer's lull, resort lures Germans

FAIRBANKS -- The vision of a local entrepreneur will add flights to Fairbanks and Whitehorse by a German-based luxury airline that will boost the Interior economy -- and microbrew sales -- this summer.

"Alaska and the North has a natural allure to it, and they have to love the healing powers of the water," said Bernie Karl, proprietor of Chena Hot Springs Resort, LLC.

Bill mandates southern route

oilgas.jpg The first bill attempting to influence a decision by North Slope natural gas producers on a route for a major gas pipeline has been introduced in the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 83 is sponsored by the House Special Oil and Gas Committee, chaired by Rep. Scott Ogan, R-Palmer.

The bill would set in statute a definition of the state constitution’s mandate that state-owned resources be used to the "maximum benefit" of residents.

Successful businesses seek out equity

marshall.jpg I am continually amazed at the level of resistance to equity ownership that I run into at the start-up business level. "I don’t want to give anyone a piece of my pie, my hard work and creativity," I hear all the time. Then there’s the frontier spirit of independence: "I can do it all alone. I don’t want money that comes attached to someone who will tell me how to run my business!"

Ex-ARCO exec says gas hub would keep Alaska's options open

oilgas.jpg A former top Atlantic Richfield Co. executive is promoting the creation of a natural gas trading hub for Alaska gas in Fairbanks or Delta Junction. Ken Thompson, former ARCO executive vice president and ARCO Alaska president, shared his vision for establishing a competitive gas trading hub for Alaska North Slope gas about 541 miles south of Prudhoe Bay on Jan.

Economic indicators show mixed results for Fairbanks heading into 2001

Construction should play a strong role this year with work continuing on the replacement hospital at Fort Wainwright and at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

This summer the Interior City expects to see a 20 percent increase in hotel rooms, when 362 hotel rooms are to come on line.

Looking at a handful of years into the future, Fairbanks business leaders are hopeful that construction of a proposed natural gas pipeline would benefit the Interior economy.

Retail lags; Home Depot, eateries offer hope

Retail in Fairbanks may receive a boost this year with the proposed addition of major national retailer Home Depot.

The Atlanta-based home improvement giant is now working to buy property in the Interior city, a company official said.

"We are currently in negotiations with the property owner of a site in Fairbanks," said Home Depot spokesman Chuck Sifuentes.

He would not disclose the possible store location because the acquisition has not yet been finalized. "We’re hopeful to complete the negotiations very soon," he said in mid-January.

Court decision redefines wetlands, how Corps regulates them

viewpoint.jpg In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Jan. 9 that the Army Corps of Engineers had no jurisdiction to regulate fill of ponds on an Illinois landfill site. The decision has potentially far-reaching consequences for the Corps’ regulation of wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

The property in question was a former sand and gravel pit on which ponded water had accumulated. A public agency purchased the property with the intention of filling the ponds.

If 'Survivor' wasn't enough, consider this show

In case you weren’t sure whether a stop should be put to reality television shows, now you will be. A recent classified advertisement appearing in a California legal newspaper announced that a television producer was seeking "Lawyers (ages 25-35) who are intelligent, outgoing, attractive, and have passed the California bar exam, to star in a reality law firm television program. Send resume, video, and recent photo. This is for real."

God in court

Many lawyers think they have God on their side when they enter a courtroom, but one may actually be right about that.

Air Force general to take reins

ANCHORAGE -- Patrick Gamble, a four-star general in the U.S. Air Force, has accepted the top job at the Alaska Railroad.

Gamble, 55, was named Jan. 22 as the new president and chief executive officer by the railroad’s board of directors. He was head of the Air Force’s Alaska Command from 1996 to 1998 and is currently serving as Commander of all Air Forces in the Pacific.

Gamble, who will make $176,000, takes over from former Gov. Bill Sheffield, who is retiring.

Seafood testing, exotic species bills among those of interest to Alaska fishermen

welchlanieLR.jpg Alaska lawmakers are already putting forth bills that are of interest to the fishing industry. For example, testing seafood for safety will become more timely and convenient if Gov. Tony Knowles’ request for a new laboratory is granted by Alaska lawmakers.

Widening of Parks, Seward highways top list of state's summer road projects

transportation.jpg State transportation Commissioner Joe Perkins laid out plans for a busy highway construction program this summer, speaking before the Resource Development Council in Anchorage on Jan. 25.

One important project is widening the Parks Highway to four lanes all the way to Wasilla. Last year a $50 million interchange was completed at the intersection of the Parks and Glenn highways near Palmer.

What to do when you fall ill abroad

Travel requires some mental toughness and physical fitness. When you travel across many different time zones, you need to be in extra good shape. So what if you become seriously ill or injured while traveling abroad? Here are some helpful tips to remember.

International calling plan

A landing strip for Santa?

NORTH POLE -- North Pole officials are studying options for a new airport or to purchase Bradley Sky Ranch in hopes of creating an alternate airport for general aviation users at Fairbanks International Airport.

"Two years ago we couldn’t even get the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to acknowledge us. Today they are allowing us to put out an RFP (request for proposals) for a master plan," said Merle Jantz, chairman of the North Pole city transportation subcommittee.

Industry totals 15% of state's payroll

oilgas.jpg An economic survey of the petroleum industry’s impact on the state’s economy concludes that the industry and its contractors directly and indirectly contribute 15 percent of the state’s payroll and 8.3 percent of total employment.

For communities in the state where petroleum employees live, and where producing company regional offices and contractors are located, the percentages are higher, according to the survey.

Business Profile February 4, 2001

Name of the company: Criterion General Inc.

Established: 1992

Location: 816 Whitney Road, Anchorage

Telephone: 907-277-3200

Web site:

Major focus of services: Criterion General Inc. provides general contracting services -- new construction or remodeling -- for commercial buildings.

It's a new year, time to review finances

kukes.jpg As we enter the new calendar year, it’s always a good time to consider your overall financial plan. Any review should include the four primary sections in every financial planner’s book: investment, insurance, retirement and estate.

State scientists urge federal Steller plan go back for improvement

Go back to square one and come up with a better plan, is the recommendation Alaska scientists are making to federal fish managers. At issue is the hotly disputed BiOp or biological opinion, on Steller sea lions, which states that commercial fisheries jeopardize recovery of the endangered animals.

Commission spends $40 million on utilities, economic projects

The Denali Commission, a state and federal agency formed to coordinate funding for rural Alaska infrastructure improvements, approved $40.5 million in projects at its Jan. 18 quarterly meeting in Juneau.

The commission will have $65 million to spend overall this year. That is up from $40 million last year and $20 million the year before.


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