Business Briefs

Posted: Friday, June 23, 2000

ACS to acquire Internet Alaska Inc.

Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc. announced its forthcoming acquisition of Internet Alaska.

ACS, through its subsidiary ATU Communications, and each of its other shareholders, will purchase 100 percent of Internet Alaska's outstanding and issued stock.

Internet Alaska was the first commercial Internet Service Provider in the state.

Calling card con exposed

Alaska Communications Systems has received reports of a telephone scam that seeks to obtain a customer's calling card number in order to make unauthorized long distance charges.

The caller phones the customer identifying himself as an ACS or PTI employee. The caller may tell the customer that his calling card number was obtained by an unauthorized user, or that the network lost the customer's calling card number.

ACS recommends that customers who receive such calls never provide any calling card or other proprietary information about their telecommunications services. ACS or PTI employees do not call customers to inquire about any of their card numbers.

If customers do receive a call that appears to have fraudulent intent, please call ACS customer service at 1-800-478-7121. Customers also should notify local law enforcement.

UFA appoints new officers

The United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) recently announced its officers for 2000-01.

President Bob Thorstenson Jr. serves as one of three UFA board members directly elected by individual fishers. Thorstenson is a fourth-generation fisher. His main objective for the coming year is, "to get the federal government out of subsistence management," he said.

The UFA's other near-term objectives include getting commercial fishers involved in this year's elections and increasing public awareness of the critical role the seafood industry plays in Alaska's economy.

Oliver Holm is the UFA vice president. He also is the president of the Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association. Holm chairs the Kodiak Advisory Committee.

Richard Davis, of Juneau, is the new secretary-treasurer. Davis serves on the Seafood Producers Cooperative Board of Directors.

In addition to the officers named above, the new UFA Executive Committee includes representatives from Alaska Trollers Association, At-Sea Processors Association, Concerned Area "M" Fishermen, Cordova District Fishermen's Association, Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association, Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, Southeast Alaska Seiners and Upper Cook Inlet Drift Association.

BUY ALASKA wins national award

BUY ALASKA, a program that supports Alaska consumers and businesses, recently was named a winner of the Vision 2000 Models of Excellence Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

BUY ALASKA provides business referrals to buyers and sales leads to businesses. The program also educates the public about the power of local purchasing and advocates for businesses in Alaska. Betsy Lawer, chief operating officer and vice chair of the First National Bank of Anchorage, said that BUY ALASKA has helped shift nearly $100 million to businesses in Alaska.

BUY ALASKA is administered by the Alaska Small Business Development Center in partnership with the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation and businesses across Alaska.

For more information, visit the BUY ALASKA Web site at

Bank contributes to special camp

The American Lung Association of Alaska (ALAA) recently was awarded $5,000 by First National Bank to help provide scholarships for low to moderate income children to attend Champ Camp 2000, a special camp for asthmatic children.

CIRI names new president/CEO

The Cook Inlet Region Incorporated (CIRI) Board of Directors has named Susan A. Anderson to the position of president and CEO. Anderson joined the CIRI Foundationin October 1991 as the assistant executive director.

Former CIRI Foundation executive director, Dr. Lydia Hays, served the foundation for 17 years and has moved to the part-time position of senior vice president of special projects for Cook Inlet Tribal Council.

Alaska Railroad issues 1999 report

According to the Alaska Railroad Corporation's annual report, the railroad experienced growth in all segments of its business in 1999. Revenues totaled more than $90 million, the highest in 15 years under state ownership.

However, the cleanup of two derailments resulted in a $3.8 million loss for the year. The railroad estimates it will spend $11 million in cleanup costs in the next five years.

Era Aviation announces promotions

Era Aviation has promoted three people at its Anchorage base of operations and hired a new person to develop its business interests in the western United States.

Marcia Davis has been promoted to the position of vice president and general counsel. Davis began working for Era in 1999 and brings more than 18 years of legal experience to the position.

Terry Bennett has been promoted to the position of vice president, safety, health and environment. Bennett has worked for Era for 11 years and brings 32 years of aviation and aviation safety experience to the position.

John Holland has been promoted to the position of marketing coordinator for Era's Alaska rotary-wing division.

Jason Bynum has been named marketing manager and will be based in Reno, Nevada.

Wells Fargo touts ARMs

Rising interest rates over the last year may be a reason more home buyers are financing their home purchase with an adjustable rate mortgage, according to Wells Fargo banking officials.

Unlike fixed-rate mortgages, ARMs fluctuate with changing interest rate conditions, rising or falling based on the current interest rate environment. Available in 1-, 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-year increments, ARMs traditionally offer a lower introductory interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage. However, following the expiration of the introductory lock rate, interest rates on ARM loans can increase or decrease, usually between 1 to 2 percent a year and 4 to 6 percent over the life of the loan. For more information about mortgage products and services, call 1-800-222-3408

Alaskan Brewing honored again

Alaskan Brewing Company continued its winning streak at major beer competitions by earning two gold medals for its beers at the World Beer Cup Awards Gala in New York City. Alaskan Extra Special Bitter won a gold medal in the English-style Strong Bitter category. Alaskan Smoked Porter won a gold medal for the third time in the Smoke-Flavored Beer category.

The World Beer Cup International Competition is a global event recognizing excellence in 70 beer style categories with gold, silver, and bronze medals. This is the second international competition to honor Alaskan Brewing Company in the last two months. Founded in 1986, the Juneau-based brewery distributes its products throughout the Pacific Northwest and northern California.

Bank board declares dividend

Northrim Bank today announced its board of directors declared a 5-cent-per-share dividend for shareholders of record as of the close of business on July 10, to be paid on July 25. This is the bank's 22nd consecutive quarterly cash dividend.

KeyBank receives high rating

For the fifth consecutive rating period, KeyBank National Association has received an "Outstanding" rating for its Community Reinvestment Act lending practices from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This is the top rating on a four-category scale by the bank regulatory agency.

Recognition was given for KeyBank's leadership role in promoting economic growth within the Alaska communities it serves along with participation in community development programs and involvement in civic and community service activities. Successful community development projects during this examination period include the Palmer senior citizens' residential facility, Colony Estates, Forest View Apartments in Dillingham, and Hampstead Heath in Anchorage.

Fewer than 10 percent of all bank-based financial services companies reviewed in the last two years received "Outstanding" ratings. An even lower percentage of large, multi-state banks received the top rating.

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