This Week in Alaska Business History April 14, 2002

PHOTO/James MacPherson/AJOC
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

April 14, 1982

Kerttula expects rail plan to emerge

Associated Press

JUNEAU -- A plan for running a state railroad will probably roll out of the Alaska Legislature this year, Senate President Jalmar Kerrttula, D-Palmer, said Tuesday.

Kerttula’s prediction came after the Senate Transportation Committee approved his 55-page bill creating an Alaska Railroad Authority to run the Alaska Railroad.

"I think this bill has a very good chance of becoming law," Kerttula said.

A separate bill pending in Congress would turn the federally owned Alaska Railroad over to the state. State lawmakers want the railroad, but they want some land ownership questions answered before the operation is transferred to the state.

Anchorage Times

April 14, 1982

Salmon recalls end, state officials says

Associated Press

JUNEAU -- A series of recalls of Alaska canned salmon that began after apparent botulism poisoning in February appears to be over, a top state officials says.

"All the salmon that was in any way potentially suspect has been recalled, and these cans will now be inspected through a newly tested ’dudding’ process before being returned for sale," Commissioner of Environmental Conservation Ernest Mueller said in a press release Monday. "Unless new or different defects are found, the recalls are over."

The recalls expanded to cover eight Alaska canneries and more than 50 million half-pound cans of salmon last week.

The cans were suspect because of holes or other defects believed to lead to the possible formation of deadly botulism.

The death of the Belgian man after eating Alaska canned salmon apparently infected with botulism led to an embargo on Alaska salmon in Europe.

10 years ago this week

Alaska Journal of Commerce

April 20, 1992

MAPCO Express takes it to Tesoro

By Ed Bennett

For the Alaska Journal of Commerce

The already-crowded retail gasoline market in Anchorage will see still more competition by fall with the addition of four more outlets by MAPCO Express Inc.

The company says the cost of building the combined gasoline stations and convenience stores, and the remodeling of two existing Anchorage outlets, will total about $12 million. Dick Birkinshaw, MAPCO’s regional manager for Alaska, estimated the six projects will require 20,000 hours of construction work and will create about 55 full-time jobs when complete.

The four new outlets will bring the number of MAPCO stores in the Anchorage bowl to 16. The company also operates one store in Eagle River, another in Wasilla, and three in Fairbanks.

Tulsa, Okla.-based MAPCO entered the Anchorage retail market in 1987 with the purchase of the Topper’s chain. In so doing, it immediately challenged Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Co., which had supplied most of the Topper’s outlets. With the closure last June of the Chevron refinery in Kenai, MAPCO and Tesoro are the only Alaska retailers who still refine their products in state.

Alaska Journal of Commerce

April 20, 1992

KTUU-TV attracts interest

By Margaret Bauman

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Word that KTUU-TV Channel 2 Broadcasting Co. is for sale for $22 million is already attracting interest in the Seattle area, says Greg Zaser, president of the popular Anchorage television station.

"We have had a couple of parties come to us and show a lot of interest," said Zaser, whose station has a corner on the market for news programs and carries 18 of the 30 regularly scheduled prime-time programs most popular with people aged 25-54.

Prime-time ratings show KTUU with five times the audience of competitors for the early edition local-news shows and six times the audience of its lone competitor for the late-edition local news.

"We would hope to find an owner that has the integrity we have had and the commitment to the community we have had," said Zaser in a telephone interview from his Bellevue, Wash., offices. The owners have hired Earl Reilly Enterprises in Washington state as brokers to arrange interviews with prospective buyers.

-- Compiled by Ed Bennett.

04/14/2002 - 8:00pm