Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chambers set luncheon schedules

* The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meets Tuesday at noon at Froso's. Vinnie Catalano will discuss the Alaska State Harley Owners Group Rally coming to the Kenai Peninsula June 10-11. For more information, call 262-9814.

* The Kenai Chamber of Commerce meets Wednesday at noon at the Merit Inn. The scheduled speaker is Kenai Peninsula College Director Gary Turner with a school update. For more information call 283-7989.

Pharmacy launches drug take-back program

In response to news of pharmaceuticals contaminating water supplies and teenage abuse of prescription drugs, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy has launched a drug take-back program to help patients safely dispose of medication that may be dangerous to others of the environment.

"As members of the community, pharmacists are in prime position to ensure the safe and proper handling of medications, from dispersal to disposal," said Tom Hodel, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy owner and a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Patients of any pharmacy may dispose of unused medication at Soldotna Professional pharmacy, free of charge, by bringing the drugs in the original container. The pharmacy will dispose of the medication using the Sharps TakeAway Environmental Return System. Medications that can be accepted include creams, powders, inhalers, capsules, tablets, liquids less than 4 ounces and over-the-counter items.

Syringes, liquids greater than 4 ounces and any controlled/narcotic medications, such as Xanax, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone or Ambien, can not be returned due to federal law.

For more information, contact Soldotna Professional Pharmacy at 907-262-3800.

Auto repair shop moves to Nikiski

Anderson Enterprises/5-Star Muffler/Auto Repair and Alignment, formerly G&M Chevron, has moved to Halbouty Road in Nikiski. The shop is a Carquest Technet Dealer.

Mark Anderson established G&M Chevron shortly after arriving on the Peninsula with his family in 1988. In 1999, he moved the business to his home in Nikiski and renamed it Anderson Enterprises, later building a new shop for the business. Anderson's sons help with the business. Brandon, an Army veteran, is the manager and a mechanic while Travis, a college honors graduate, works as a part-time mechanic when not globetrotting or commercial fishing. Paul Carlson, an Air Force and Vietnam veteran, is the lead technician.

For more information on services and products available, call 776-7642 or e-mail

New Kenai Peninsula loan officer named

First National Bank Alaska Board of Directors recently appointed Cameron Poindexter loan officer. Poindexter began his career at the bank as a management associate. In that position he learned job responsibilities in both the lending and operations sides of the bank. Poindexter will join the Homer Branch beginning May 17.

Poindexter, a lifelong Alaskan, earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He volunteers with the Alaska FFA Association, Caring for the Kenai and the Alaska Envirothon.

Established in 1922, First National is Alaska's largest Alaskan-owned and operated bank, with ATMs and 30 branches in 18 communities throughout Alaska.

B&B Association to meet

The Kenai Peninsula Bed and Breakfast Association will meet Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Kenai Cultural and Visitors Center. This is an important work meeting to bring all members up to speed on the following upcoming events: Summer Solstice Music Festival; State B&B Association Workshop; State B&B Association Board Meeting; Familiarization Tour of KPBBA B&Bs; HOG Rally Breakfast and various communication and advertizing mechanisms.

For additional information contact president John Steckel of Red Cabin Bed and Breakfast at 283-0836. All members are urged to attend and guests and prospective members are always welcome.

Peninsula builders to hold parade of homes

The Kenai Peninsula Builders Association, in conjunction with the 31st annual Home Show, will present the annual Parade of Homes on April 24 and 25. Participating builders must hold a residential endorsement and have proper liability insurance. Contact the association at 283-8071 for entry information.

Nominees Sought for North Star Awards for International Excellence

Gov. Sean Parnell is calling for nominations for the annual Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence. The awards will be presented in late spring to honor export, investment and exchanges in the international arena.

Alaska businesses, schools, and other organizations that improve life in Alaska through their international activities may nominate themselves or others in several categories: export of goods, export of services, foreign investment, education, the travel industry, transportation, cultural exchange, humanitarian exchange and scientific exchange. Awards are given in several categories in any given year but are not necessarily given in all categories each year. The Export Council of Alaska and others will assist the State of Alaska in reviewing nominations.

The companies and organizations honored in 2009 were the Alaska World Affairs Council, Condor Airlines, ADS-B Technologies, the Ketchikan-Kanayama Exchange, The Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository in partnership with Koniag Native Corporation, and Rotary District 5010.

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on April 30. The nomination form and instructions are available at: For more information, contact Patricia Eckert at 907-269-8118.

Rural energy conference planned

The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) announce the 2010 Rural Energy Conference to be held April 27-29 at the Westmark Conference Center in Fairbanks. This year's conference theme is "New Energy for Sustainable Communities."

Invited speakers include Gov. Sean Parnell, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Mark Begich, Congressman Don Young, Sens. Lesil McGuire and Bill Wielechowski, Reps. Charisse Millett and Bryce Edgmon and Denali Commission Federal Co-Chair Joel Neimeyer.

Technical sessions will focus on four areas: Management and Economics, Current Technologies, Forward/Future Technologies and Energy Conservation.

Conference registration information is available by calling the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at 907-474-5402 or by visiting their web site: A limited number of travel grants are available for rural utility personnel.

Economic Development District seeks survey participants

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District requests your participation in a business survey to identify the gaps or barriers to economic development in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. The 15-minute survey is open to all Borough residents and businesspeople. Results of the survey will be used to help the economic development district better assist your needs.

The survey can be accessed online at:, and then by clicking on the "KP Gap Analysis Survey" link on the left side of the page.

Face-to-face and phone interviews are also available. For any questions or to setup an appointment, please contact Thomas Sloan at 283-3335 or

Small business development center plans seminars

Typing and keyboard basics -- Attendees in our QuickBooks 2009 Basics/Advanced must have skills in typing and keyboard basics so Alaska SBDC is partnering with New Frontier VOTECH. They will offer the $60, four-night class in Suite 14, Red Diamond Center from 1 to 3 p.m. starting Friday.

Getting started with Quickbooks -- Learn to use QuickBooks 2009 as the best tool to collect and organize your business data so you're prepared when tax time rolls around. Our four-session, 11 chapter class is from 5:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, May 4, 18, 25 and June 1, in Suite 12 at SBDC in the Red Diamond Center. Seating is limited. Registration and $155 fee is due April 23. Register online via, click on "Workshops-Kenai Peninsula." Participants must have typing/keyboarding basic training.

Business Start-up Seminar -- This seminar will identify skills, knowledge and resources needed for the basic process of starting a business on the Kenai Peninsula. Bryan Zak's presentation will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Small Business Development Center in Suite 12 in the Red Diamond Center on May 12. Registration is $20.

To register online for a workshop, visit and click Training Event, Kenai Peninsula, select the seminar you'd like to attend and enter your information.

For more information, contact Bunny at 260-5629 or e-mail

Homer meadery, winery win big

The Ring of Fire Meadery in Homer won five medals at the 2010 Mazer Cup International held earlier this month in Boulder, Colorado. Owners Rachel and Laurence Livingston believe this is important for all Alaskans because two of the winning meads (honey wine) were made locally in Homer with local honey and local fruit from the southern Kenai Peninsula, in particular, from Homer, where Ring of Fire resides.

The winning medals are: gold for the local pressed-apple Cyser; gold for the Vanilla Bean Mead; and gold for the Local Raspberry Melomel; silver for both Kulani's Big Island Mead and our Mac Nut Honey Mead, Da Bruddah. With more than 170 meads from all over the U.S. and world, this is a unique feather in Alaska's cap.

"This is a great honor for local Homer Alaska-grown agricultural products" said the Livingstons. "To make these winners we use local labor to pick, crush and press these locally grown apples and other fruits. We are expanding our local Homer Alaska apiary and the local honey we produce goes into the production of these incredible award winning meads. Who would think that local Alaska honey and local Alaska apples were capable of winning the gold!"

Ring of Fire also boasts their product as one of the few fermented beverages in the world that does not contain added sulfites or preservatives. As the Ring of Fire expands, they encourage fruit growers and harvesters from all over the state to contact them as they are very interested in paying premium dollar for local fruit.

Also this month, Bear Creek Winery of Homer won five medals at the prestigious Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in New York (

The Finger Lakes Contest had over 3,000 entries from all 50 states as well as Canada and overseas. Nearly 700 wineries in all competed. It is a benefit for "Camp Good Days," a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children whose lives have been touched by cancer.

"This is great for Alaska, our fruit and berries are unmatched. Folks are taking notice, some bottle shock took place, I would think" said Bill Fry, co-owner of Bear Creek Winery.

Earth Day event planned

The KPC Sustainability Club will be hosting its second annual "Earth Day at KPC" celebration. This will be an opportunity for community members to visit an array of presentations, information booths and interactive displays with tips for environmental stewardship and self-sufficiency. There will also be panel discussions, live music and poetry, a silent auction of local art and tickets on Alaska Solar Tour bus. Refreshments will be served.

The event will take place from 2 to 9 p.m. April 22 in the McLane Commons and the Brockel Building Foyer of the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna.

Booths and displays will include Kenai Resilience, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Re-Group, Earth Ships, Caring for the Kenai, Kenaitze Indian Tribe, Kenai Watershed Forum, Cook Inlet Keeper, SolarWind Energy, Gary's Electric, Kenai Peninsula Association for Renewable Energy, Central Peninsula Garden Club and Alaskan Wind Industries.

For more information, contact Krista at 262-0337, e-mail; or Dave at 262-0346, e-mail

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