Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2001

New wireless service will provide T-1 lines

Soldotna-based Tundra Communications Inc. has installed a digital microwave system between Nikiski and Anchorage to offer 84 new T-1 telephone circuits to central Kenai Peninsula customers. Tundra is testing the system now and hopes to have it running this summer. It will target customers interested in leasing multiple T-1 lines.

T-1 circuits run at 1.544 megabits per second and can be spit into as many as 24 voice or data channels running at 64 kilobits per second.

Tundra is the successor to Southcentral Communications and has provided telecommunication services to Soldotna since 1977. Outside Alaska, it has installed wireless networks for manufacturers such as Alcatel, Harris and Tadiran and national carriers such as AT&T, NEXTEL, Sprint, Verizon and Voicestream.

In Alaska, Tundra has installed wireless systems for customers such as GCI. It also builds towers and provides local services such as paging and mobile communications. Tundra also has offices in Kirkland, Wash., and Honolulu.

Seldovia Native Association starts Anchorage hotel

Seldovia Native Association held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday for its new Dimond Center Hotel in Anchorage.

The 109-room hotel, adjacent to the Dimond Center, is scheduled to open in June 2002. Present for the groundbreaking were Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch, SNA directors, staff and shareholders and Patti and Joe Ashlock, developers of the Dimond Center.

SNA began its move into tourism four years ago and already has built Seldovia Bayview Suites overlooking Seldovia Bay. It owns 85,000 acres of untouched wilderness near Lake Clark National Park, Kachemak Bay and Seldovia. Managers said its land in Chinitna Bay at the base of Mount Iliamna will be a site for future tourism projects linking Anchorage hotel guests to wilderness and wildlife.

Forest Oil earnings rise

Denver-based Forest Oil Corp. reported first-quarter earnings of $83.1 million or $1.68 per basic share, up 250 percent from the first quarter last year, mainly due to higher prices for its products.

Forest's net daily natural gas production rose 5 percent from the first quarter last year. Total average daily oil and gas production was 485 million cubic feet natural gas equivalent, down 1 percent from the first quarter last year partly due to property sales.

During the first quarter, Forest drilled and completed 16 of 20 wells for an 80 percent success rate. Forest is presently drilling eight wells in the Gulf of Mexico and completing a second well from the new Osprey Platform in Cook Inlet. A new well at the West McArthur River Field in Cook Inlet is producing 1,300 barrels of oil per day. A new well in the McArthur River Field, where Forest has a 46 percent working interest, will be tested later this month.

Forest also has been drilling in Wyoming, Canada, South Africa and Albania.

Early derby draws 85 fishers

Peter Wayne Karwowski of Anchorage was the winner of the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council's third annual Halibut 100 fishing derby, held Saturday in Homer, Ninilchik and Seward.

Karwowski, who fished with Geronimo Charters in Homer, netted $2,125 with a 69-pound, 3-ounce halibut, the closest entry to the mystery weight target of 69.5 pounds.

Second place went to Alan Goins of Ninilchik, who took home $1,020 for a 72-pound halibut taken with Greatland Charters in Ninilchik. Third place went to Grace Den Dekker of Anchorage, who won $510 with a 65-pound, 4-ounce halibut taken aboard Ninilchik Saltwater Charters.

Some 85 fishers participated in the derby, meant to boost tourism early in the season. The council said 25 fishers bought derby tickets before May 17 to qualify for a $500 cash drawing. Kevin Sutton of Soldotna drew the $500 prize.

TAPS owners seek 30-year right-of-way renewal

The six companies that own the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System have filed state and federal applications to renew the pipeline right of way for 30 years. Their applications to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management seek to extend the federal grant and state lease for pipeline operations until 2034. The present grant and lease expire in 2004.

Forest association seeks to intervene in Tongass suit

The Alaska Forest Association has filed papers to intervene in a Sierra Club lawsuit regarding the management plan for Tongass National Forest.

The association seeks relief from a U.S. District Court order banning the U.S. Forest Service from acting to change the wilderness character of any eligible roadless area until it produces a new supplemental environmental impact statement. According to the association, the Forest Service response to the order was to stop all timber harvest in roadless areas of the Tongass forest.

"If the injunction stands, some members of the Alaska Forest Association may be out of business within the next two months," the association said.

Realtors schedule classes

The Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors has scheduled several required continuing education classes June 5 at the Pacific Rim Institute of Safety and Management, 450 Marathon Road in Kenai.

"Let's Do Ethics" is from 8 a.m. until 10:40 a.m. "Contracts" runs from 10:50 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., and "Risk Reductions" runs from 1:40 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Registration is $85 before Monday or $100 at the door. To register, call 262-1851.

Quorum VP will be interim hospital administrator

Jay Seigfreid, vice president of Quorum's Alaska operations, has been named the Interim Administrator at Central Peninsula General Hospital. Seigfreid began his 20-year-plus career in health care building, opening and managing nursing homes for Adult Care Inc. and has had responsibility for operating five long-term care facilities.

He has been a CEO for two nonprofit hospitals and one for-profit hospital. As chief executive for Quorum Health Resources at Phelps Memorial Health Center in Phelps, Neb., he worked in strategic, business and facility planning.

In June of 2000, he became vice president for Quorum in Alaska, working primarily with Native health organizations. He also helped with CPGH strategic and business plans.

The hospital also has hired Barbara Norbeck as head of quality management. She has a degree in health information administration and worked at the St. Mary's Duluth Clinic in Minnesota for more than 20 years, including 19 years in quality improvement. She worked most recently as manager of health information at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer.

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