Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2003

Robinson, Fritz Creek honored

The Homer Chamber of Commerce named Fritz Creek General Store the 2002 Business of the Year and named Mark Robinson the 2002 Citizen of the Year. The recipients were awarded at the annual Chamber Awards Mixer on Friday.

Robinson was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the arts, in particular his efforts to organize the Sept. 11 Mozart Requiem Memorial. Fritz Creek General Store was praised for community support and changes to the store to provide community service and healthy food options.

Merchant marine jobs available

The Murkowski administration is partnering with the Seafarers International Union to recruit and train dislocated Alaska workers for careers in the U.S.-flag merchant marines.

Together with the union and the Ketchikan-based nonprofit recruiting and referral agency, SEA Link Inc., the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development is undertaking this partnership to train and place qualified dislocated Alaskans who have previously been employed in the fishing industry into family-wage jobs as merchant mariners aboard U.S.-flag commercial vessels engaged in the Alaska domestic and international deep-sea shipping industry.

The plan is to send approximately 20 qualified applicants a month from Alaska to the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Education in Piney Point, Md., where training will include lifeboat, water safety, marine fire-fighting and nautical skills courses. Upon successful completion, candidates who have met U.S. Coast Guard requirements are guaranteed jobs as able-bodied or ordinary seafarers aboard vessels operating under a Seafarers International Union contract.

More training after an initial 60-day period at sea to meet U.S. Coast Guard able-bodied mariners certifications also will be provided.

Dislocated Alaskans with fishing boat experience who are interested in more information should contact Harold Holten at (907) 561-4988, or Ralph Mirsky at (888) 577-7453, or (907) 247-5769.

SBS offers vocational scholarship

Applications are now available to apply for the Spenard Builders Supply scholarship. A $2,000- to $4,000-scholarship will be awarded to assist an Alaska high school senior in pursuing a vocational career. The Spenard Builders Supply Scholarship Foundation works with Vocational Industrial Club of America, an organization for students involved in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations.

Seniors who are graduating from any Alaska public secondary school are eligible to apply for the scholarship. They must have at least a 2.6 grade-point-average, be currently enrolled in or have completed vocational courses, and have well-defined vocational goals with realistic plans to achieve those goals.

The deadline for applying is April 15, and a recipient will be announced by no later than May 15. Applications can be obtained through scholarship advisers at Alaska high schools, or can be picked up at all Spenard Builders Supply stores. For more information, call Pat Anderson at (907) 261-9150.

Free tax help available

Confused about taxes? Having trouble filing? Then take a moment to read this. Area locations are offering free, speedy assistance with federal tax returns. This program is staffed by volunteers that have received training from the IRS. And it's absolutely free.

This program is designed specifically to help most elderly, low-income, non-English speaking and disabled taxpayers with the preparation of their federal tax returns.

Volunteers prepare basic tax returns: Form 1040 EZ; Form 1040A with Schedules 1, 2, 3 and Earned Income Credit; Form 1040 with Wages, Pensions and Annuities, Social Security, Simple Capital Gains, Interest and Dividends, Schedule C-EZ, Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, Child Care Credit, Education Credits, Credit for the Elderly.

AARP TaxAide sites will offer priority service to taxpayers age 60 and older at the following times and locations locations:

Seward Senior Citizens Center, 336 Third Ave., every other Saturday beginning Feb. 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call (907) 224-5604 for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.

Nikiski Senior Citizens, by appointment only. Call 776-5339. E-filing is not available.

Homer Senior Center, 3935 Svedlund St., Monday to Friday, 1 to 4 p.m., by appointment only. Call (907) 235-7655.

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