Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2000

New trash service opens

A new trash collection service has received approval from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to operate on the central Kenai Peninsula.

Greg Sether and partner Janis Rodgers say Cook Inlet Refuse Inc. has approval to pick up residential and commercial trash in the Kenai-Soldotna area. Their service area reaches from Nikiski to Crooked Creek Road in Kasilof and to Swanson River Road in Sterling.

Sether said he already has nine customers, and collects trash with a one-ton pickup truck. If demand grows large enough, he said, he can quickly obtain a larger truck with hydraulic equipment to pack the load. Given interest from out-lying areas, he could also seek regulatory approval to expand his service to additional areas.

For more information, call 260-3540 or 398-7027.

Seldovia Native Association plans hotel

Seldovia Native Association Inc. has acquired lease rights to build a hotel next year at the Dimond Center Mall in Anchorage.

It is working with McDowell Group to develop a marketing strategy and with Kumin and Associates on architectural design for the planned Diamond Center Hotel. The hotel will have 111 spacious rooms and suites, all with Jacuzzi's and data-port work stations. It will have high-tech meeting rooms and facilities designed for board of directors meetings. Seldovia Native Association plans a spacious lobby for reading, sitting and conversation.

The hotel will provide free shuttle service to Alaska Native Medical Center and Anchorage International Airport. Proximity to the Dimond Center Mall will provide guests with shopping, theaters, bowling, ice skating, restaurants and access to the Dimond Athletic Club.

Scaffolding class offered

Associated Builders and Contractors of Alaska will offer a class on scaffolding April 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Anchorage.

Dave Bond of R&R Scaffold Erectors will cover tubular-welded-frame scaffolds, system scaffolds and tube-and-cap scaffolds. He will help participants gain a thorough knowledge of Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and of proper methods for erecting and dismantling scaffolds.

To register, call 565-5600 by April 21.

Restaurants can set payment plans for permit fees

Food service businesses can now arrange payment plans for the Department of Environmental Conservation permit fees due Jan. 1, according to Rep. Gail Phillips, R-Homer.

The due date used to be July 1, Phillips said. DEC changed it to Jan. 1 in response to complaints from business owners. Some said that time of the year was so busy that they often forgot to pay.

Phillips said some Homer businesses have complained that the Jan. 1 due date arrives in a season when they have few sales or none. Phillips said she contacted DEC, which offered to arrange payment plans. To arrange a plan, call Beth Hart at DEC's Fairbanks office at 451-2113.

NBA earnings rise

National Bancorp of Alaska announced first quarter net income of $14.4 million, up from $12.7 million in the first quarter of 1999.

Its deposits on March 31 were $2.1 billion, essentially unchanged from March 31 last year. Total loans were $1.67 billion, up from $1.5 billion on March 31 last year. Total assets were $2.97 billion, up from $2.89 billion on March 31 last year.

National Bancorp of Alaska owns all shares of National Bank of Alaska.

Funny River chamber plans annual meeting

The Funny River Chamber of Commerce and Community Association plans its annual meeting May 11, including the election of board members and officers. The association seeks nominations for eight board seats and for a new vice president and secretary. Association dues were due Jan. 1 and became delinquent March 31. Only members whose dues have been paid will be eligible to vote.

FBI probe of Alaska Airlines practices expanded

SEATTLE -- An FBI investigation of Alaska Airlines maintenance practices in Oakland, Calif., has been expanded to the company's base at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

A San Francisco-based FBI agent, a top investigator for a grand jury probe of maintenance records in Oakland, interviewed Seattle-area Alaska mechanics Tuesday, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said. The investigation was recently expanded to include circumstances surrounding the crash of Alaska Flight 261 on Jan. 31.

The investigation dates back to at least December 1998, when FBI agents seized records in Oakland and Sea-Tac. Since then, the probe and questioning of mechanics has been largely limited to California.

Alaska Airlines spokesman Greg Witter said Tuesday said he did not know about the FBI's. presence in Seattle.

''We're cooperating fully with every federal agency and official, involving everything and anything having to do with the Flight 261 tragedy or the 1 1/2-year-old investigation of our Oakland facility,'' Witter said.

Speaking on condition that he not be identified, a mechanic at the Sea-Tac maintenance hangar told the newspaper he was interviewed for more than two hours Tuesday by an FBI agent on such topics as ''the deterioration of maintenance'' practices. Alaska Airlines has lost experienced mechanics, and those who remain are fighting pressure to cut corners on repairs, he said.

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