Sunday, April 23, 2000

Former KPC workers sue company over severance
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Several dozen former Ketchikan Pulp Co. workers have sued their ex-employer for allegedly failing to honor an agreement to pay severance benefits after the pulp mill closed in 1997.

ASEA membership approves new contract with state
JUNEAU (AP) -- The rank-and-file of the state's largest public workers union has ratified a proposed contract negotiated with the Knowles administration.

Legislature overrides UA lands veto
JUNEAU (AP) -- State lawmakers Friday managed to override Gov. Tony Knowles' veto of a bill adding 250,000 acres to the University of Alaska's land endowment.

Airport officially named after Senator Stevens
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage International Airport on Friday officially became Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Prudhoe discovery well on national historic register
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The discovery well for the Prudhoe Bay oil field has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Native association clearing land for parking lots
SOLDOTNA (AP) -- The Ninilchik Native Association is preparing to build two parking lots on its property next to the Deep Creek state recreation area.

House approves school bonds bill
JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House has approved its version of a capital construction bond package for schools, the University of Alaska and harbors but the measure may come up again on Monday.

Fairbanks man killed in snowmachine accident
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man was killed Sunday morning when his snowmachine careened off a bluff in the Broad Pass area, near Mile 203 of the Parks Highway.

UAF's Geophysical Institute names new director
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A long-time scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been named the new director of the school's Geophysical Institute.

North Slope communities to share NPR-A compensation
BARROW (AP) -- The North Slope Borough and four of the borough's communities will share $28 million in compensation for development impacts of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

NANA dissidents ordered to stop recall effort
KOTZEBUE (AP) -- The state has ordered a group of NANA Regional Corp. shareholders to halt their efforts to recall the Native regional corporation's board of directors.

Diesel spill reported in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel spilled at a permafrost test site just outside the city, state environmental officials said Friday.

Tough choices remain for lawmakers
JUNEAU (AP) -- As the Legislature takes an Easter breather a few days before its planned adjournment, a thicket of thorny disputes still stands between lawmakers and the final gavel.

Cruise lines drop request for air-quality exemption
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The cruise ship industry has backed away from insisting that it be protected from air pollution fines in Juneau this summer.

Grizzly bear breaks into Anchorage Zoo
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- ''Trouble'' isn't saying why he broke into the city zoo. The 300-pound grizzly is too busy having a temper tantrum.

Utilities face stepped-up pressure to protect eagles
SEWARD (AP) -- Utility companies are under increasing pressure from federal wildlife officials to decrease the number of eagles being killed by power lines.

Phillips vows to kill cruise ship tax
JUNEAU -- A House lawmaker who recently proposed imposing new taxes on the public and the state's industries promised Friday to kill a proposed $50 head tax on cruise ship passengers, calling it a horrendous attack on a single industry.

Search suspended for missing jet ski rider
JUNEAU (AP) -- The Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday for a 16-year-old boy missing near Juneau after being thrown from a personal watercraft.

Nenana gets state loan for dorm for boarding students
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The city of Nenana has been awarded a $4.5 million loan to build a dormitory for rural students that will study at the city's high school.

Former Dept. of Corrections nurse arrested in pot bust
PALMER (AP) -- A former nurse in the state Department of Corrections was arrested last week after Alaska State Troopers say they found a large marijuana growing operation in her home.

House rejects Social Security number requirement
JUNEAU (AP) -- Social Security numbers would no longer be required for purchase of sport fishing and hunting licenses under a bill approved Friday by the House.

Fairbanks car broker under investigation
FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A car broker is under police investigation for allegedly failing to pay off bank loans on cars he received as trade-ins.

Crab boat skipper, crewmember arrested for theft
UNALASKA (AP) -- A crab boat skipper and one of his crewmembers have been arrested in Unalaska for allegedly stealing $168,000 in cash from a King Cove processing plant.

Community Calendar
The Community Calendar lists events and meetings of nonprofit organizations. Deadline for submissions is noon the preceding day. To have your event listed, or to change any information, call 283-7551 or fax 283-3299.

Water birth concept not so new
The first documented underwater birth was in 1803. It was noted that a woman exhausted from a long labor went into a hot tub to relax and had her baby soon after.

Midwives offer moms the option of staying at home during birth
Five minutes after the birth of her second child, Breezy Stevens, her husband, 5-year-old daughter and the newest addition crawled into bed and cuddled.

Teens turn spring break into learning experience
Say "spring break" and "students" in the same sentence, and many people think of hedonistic vacations. But for some young people from the Kenai Peninsula, spring travels have become occasions for serving God and humanity worldwide.

How juries are chosen
Cash isn't the only prize Alaskans receive for filling out a permanent fund dividend application.

Photo feature: Easter parade
Enola burket, front and Mandy Grenier show off their Easter bonnets Friday at the Soldotna Senior Center.

LNG production very chilling prospect
The Nikiski plant used to liquefy Cook Inlet natural gas is little more than a turbo-charged version of your kitchen refri

Forcenergy plans big boost in production
Cook Inlet oil production could nearly double in the next few years if Forcenergy Inc. finds the reserves managers hope for on its Redoubt Shoal prospect.

Natchiq pursuing projects for Nikiski site
It has been a quiet winter at the Natchiq Module Assembly Site in Nikiski.

Platform upgrade, North Slope improvements planned this year
Phillips Petroleum Co. plans a $30 million upgrade to its Tyonek Platform on Cook Inlet following renewal of its license to export liquefied natural gas to Japan.

Refinery's future hangs in balance
Tesoro Petroleum Co. has averaged a 3 percent return on capital employed in Alaska, and that is unacceptable, said Ron Noel, vice president of Tesoro Alaska Petroleum Co.

Russian Far East oil fields: On the brink of a major boom?
For years Alaskans have been talking about the promise of Sakhalin's oil and gas fields, but production is little more than a trickle.

Oil, gas spending aimed at stretching production
Unocal's Cook Inlet oil and gas operations are not presently for sale, the company says, and its capital program aims to slow natural declines in production.

Marathon fuels customers in Alaska, Japan
Marathon Oil Co. ranks among Cook Inlet's top producers of natural gas, with production last year averaging 140 million cubic feet per day.

Nikiski operation boosted by 30 years of investment
Tesoro built the Nikiski refinery in 1969, with an initial capacity to process 17,500 barrels of Cook Inlet crude per day.

Some hanging on for long haul
Doing business in the Russian Far East has been a roller-coaster ride for Alaska investors.

New company could be world's largest nitrogen products maker
The Canadian fertilizer company that plans to buy Alaska Nitrogen Products in Nikiski began in 1992 as a spinoff of Cominco Ltd. -- owner of the Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue.

Alaska partners look west
This may be the year that business opportunities for Alaskans blossom in the Russian Far East. But no one is willing to bet the farm.

Arco banking on National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
It remains to be seen whether Arco Alaska Inc.'s National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska leases will bring another boom in construction for the Natchiq Inc. yard in Nikiski.

Unocal: Borough's biggest taxpayer
Kenai Peninsula Borough officials say Unocal is by far the borough's biggest payer of property taxes.

Top 10 Kenai taxpayers 1990 & 1999

Future projects spell big bucksx
Tally the projects, and there is a lot of money being spent in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Top 10 borough taxpayers 1990 & 1999

Kenai Arts and Humanities Council, Peninsula Art Guild, artists, craftspeople making most of e-commerce
In a community where the economy has traditionally been based on the oil and gas industry, the arts are often overlooked as a cog in the wheel that drives our prosperity.

Theater idea gains steam in Kenai
Another public-private partnership to spur economic development in the city of Kenai is on the minds of Mayor John Williams and the arts community.

All roads -- and runways -- lead to home for new airport manager
Rebecca Cronkhite loves to fly. And despite the fact that she spends every day at the Kenai Municipal Airport, she never has time to.

Top 10 Soldotna taxpayers 1990 & 1999

Reasons for flying changing with times
The trend is downward.That's the word from Rebecca Cronkhite about traffic at the Kenai Municipal Airport. However, that downward trend doesn't mean there aren't bright spots on the horizon.

Telling times ahead for Kenai Peninsula
The coming decade may be a telling time for what has consistently been billed as the state's most economically diverse region. There are dark signs, but also bright opportunities.

Entrepreneurs profit, consumers love the convenience, but loss of sales tax revenue concerns some
Just a few years ago, the Internet was a sparsely populated community of nerds. Today, grandmothers are "surfing" the World Wide Web looking for just the right baby blanket.

Nonprofit organizations fuel peninsula economy
Having a major impact on the Kenai Peninsula's economic profile are more than 200 nonprofit organizations. With assets and incomes worth millions of dollars, they focus on a wide area of topics including health, education, recreation, culture, the environment and religious interests.

KPC, AVTEC offer opportunities close to home
Education does not end at age 18. Adults adapting to the changing employment scene of the 21st century can upgrade skills at post-secondary schools on the Kenai Peninsula.

Synopsis of services provided by federal, state and local government agencies
Here is a rundown of the Kenai Peninsula's major government services, the number of employees and costs within the borough:

Government remains potent economic force
Problem or solution, burden or asset -- different people on the Kenai Peninsula see different things when they look at government.

Employable skills training takes its place in classrooms alongside standard academic fare
Add "resumes" to the list of the basic "three Rs" taught in school.

Frost, Stuart plan summer wedding
Jodi Marie Frost and Lucas A. Stuart have announced their engagement. The couple plans to marry in the summer of 2001.

Schluter, Rodgers to marry in August
Erika Lynne Schluter and Justin Charles Rodgers, both of Kotzebue, have made plans to marry Aug. 4 in a 6:30 p.m. ceremony at the Kenai Senior Center.

Spruce bark beetle spurs timber industry
Thanks to the infamous spruce bark beetle, the Kenai Peninsula led Alaska's timber industry during the 1990s.

Peninsula seeks to redistribute some of summer's crowds to slower months
If the Sterling Highway seems crowded in the summer, the explanation is simple. It is crowded.

Diversity key to success for Ninilchik processor
In the storm-tossed world of making a living off the sea, a Ninilchik seafood processor has managed to keep afloat.

Couple finds business keeps life in balance
With two businesses, loads of community involvement and a large family, Dave and Sharon Keating of Soldotna strive to give back to the community that contributed to their success.

Who, what, where, why and how of tourism
Where are visitors to the peninsula going while they're here

Riding out the storm
After several stagnant years in the real estate market in the early 1990s, gains have been made in more recent years.

Growing pains mark sport fish industry
Sport fishing and associated businesses such as bed and breakfasts an

Commercial fishers ride out changes
While explosive growth has marked the sport fishery on the Kenai Peninsula in recent years, Cook Inlet commercial fisheries have largely been a reliable and steady source of income for the Kenai Peninsula.

Commercial Fishing by the Numbers
Commercial fishing statistics for Cook Inlet during the later half of the 1990s. All statistics provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Sportfishing by the Numbers
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game does not count fish taken by sport anglers, but it does track days of angler effort expended on the waters of the Kenai Peninsula.

Big changes sweep booming retail industry
Economists say booming tourism, population growth and a growing tendency to shop locally have made retail trade the fastest growing sector of the Kenai Peninsula economy.

Subsistence issue may mean more change
Fish have been the lifeblood of the Kenai Peninsula since people first began arriving here.

Wet feet, clean shoes at Nikiski Invite
For many of the athletes at the Skyview High School track Saturday, the season had started last week.

School activities budget faces major cuts
The budget cuts hitting activities in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District next year, which could result in fees for sports such as football being raised from $100 to $150, are so immense and complex they took over two hours to lay out Thursday at the Borough Building in Soldotna.

Sports Briefs
Whalers fare well at East, Homer meetsPalmer girls edge Homer

Utilities face stepped-up pressure to protect eagles
SEWARD (AP) -- Utility companies are under increasing pressure from federal wildlife officials to decrease the number of eagles being killed by power lines.

Grizzly bear breaks into Anchorage Zoo
ANCHORAGE (AP) -- ''Trouble'' isn't saying why he broke into the city zoo. The 300-pound grizzly is too busy having a temper tantrum.

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