Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2000

HEA wins communication awards

Homer Electric Association won eight communication awards at the Northwest Public Power Association's Excellence in Communications competition. Awards were received for HEA's newspaper advertisements, TV spots, in-house video, member newsletter and employee newsletter.

NWPPA awarded the "Short Circuit," HEA's employee newsletter, first place in its category, and the member newsletter, "Kilowatt Courier," an honorable mention in the consumer newsletter category. In addition, HEA-created newspaper advertisements took first-, second- and third-place honors, and HEA's Y2K preparedness video received second place in its category.

"This is the third year in a row we have received recognition from NWPPA. Eight awards in one year is a great honor. It is a reflection of Homer Electric's commitment to quality and excellence in communicating with our members and our employees," said Sandra Ghormley, HEA's manager of marketing and member relations.

Utilities were categorized by size and judged on communication pieces created in 1999. HEA competed in the "10,000 to 24,999 consumers" division among a total of 105 entries in its category. There were a total of 368 entries submitted for the competition.

Pierce named vice president of Unocal Alaska


Charles Pierce

Charles Pierce has been appointed vice president of Unocal Alaska.

In his new assignment, Pierce will focus on business strategies and the assessment of upstream growth opportunities for Unocal Alaska. He will be based in Anchorage.

Pierce, who joined Unocal in 1984, has held various positions in drilling production, reservoir engineering and project management in Texas, Thailand, Egypt and the Netherlands. Since 1996, he has had responsibility for business development and commercial issues in Bangladesh and India. He most recently served as the project manager for Bangladesh gas export, including project advocacy, partnership negotiations and U.S. government relations.

He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas.

Former Clarion marketing director moves up

The former marketing director of the Peninsula Clarion has been named president of the Florida Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives.

Jay Weimar, now the director of display advertising for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, oversees the retail, national and marketing departments of the newspaper.

FNAME is comprised of the 31 daily newspapers in Florida, totaling 3.2 million in daily circulation and more than 4 million in Sunday circulation. The group works to increase the sale of advertising in newspapers and promote partnerships within the advertising industry. Now in its 71st year, FNAME is recognized nationally as one of the top newspaper organizations in the country.

Weimar has worked in the Times-Union advertising department for seven years. The Times-Union and the Peninsula Clarion are among the newspapers owned by Morris Communications Corp.

KPTMC announces tourism awards

Seward's Fourth of July Mount Marathon race, hosted by the Seward Chamber of Commerce, received the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council's new award for Event with the Greatest Community Impact.

The award recognizes the importance of festivals and events to peninsula tourism.

During KPTMC's Sept. 23 banquet, the Business Most Committed to the Success of the Tourism Industry on the Kenai Peninsula award went to Alaska Wildland Adventures, owned and operated by Kirk Hoessle. The award for Individual Most Committed to the Success of the Tourism Industry on the Kenai Peninsula went to Marion Nelson. Nelson has served on the boards of the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council and KPTMC and represents the Milepost on the peninsula.

Boutique opens at River City mall

Claudette's Folkart & Collectibles has opened in the River City Book Store mall at the Soldotna Y featuring antiques and collectibles from the area's finest artisans.

Visitors will find stained glass by Lonnie Galloway, folk dolls by Claudette Barber, handcrafted furniture and bird houses by Marianne Hyman and "Out of Alaska/Out of Maui" stationary and greeting cards by Christe Lowe.

A grand opening is Nov. 4.

The boutique offers one-of-a-kind pieces and features one artist each quarter. It will specialize in gift baskets and custom silk pieces. Future plans include "Make it and Take" classes where participants can learn a skill and have a night out.

4D adds 3 to staff

4D Carpet One in Soldotna has added Claudea Templeton and Catherine Bliss to its sales staff.

Templeton has eight years experience in the floor covering industry. Bliss is a design consultant specializing in kitchen design. She has five years experience in floor coverings. Both women come from Anchorage.

Also new to the staff is Karen Cowan, 4D's receptionist.

Production plans fuel tanker order

Polar Tankers Inc. of Long Beach, Calif., the shipping unit of Phillips Alaska Inc., has ordered a fourth Millennium Class tanker to carry Alaska crude oil to the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. The contract is valued at $197 million.

"The decision to build a fourth Millennium Class tanker for the Alaska trade reflects Phillips' plan to increase its Alaska production from a current level of 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day to approximately 375,000 to 400,000 BOE per day for the foreseeable future," said Kevin Meyers, president of Phillips Alaska Inc. "The start-up of the Alpine field later this year will increase Phillips' net production by 50,000 barrels of oil per day. And with our plans to drill 12 to 15 exploration wells this winter, Phillips is clearly excited about Alaska's future."

The new tankers, built by Litton/Avondale Industries Inc. of New Orleans, will meet or exceed existing and proposed environmental regulations. They will have double hulls, twin engine rooms, propellers and rudders and a sophisticated navigation and control system. Ballast tanks or voids will separate cargo, fuel and lubricating oils from the ships' sides. The ships will meet pending regulations for airborne emissions and will have tin-free anti-fouling paint.

The first of the four Phillips has ordered, the Polar Endeavor, will enter the Alaska trade in early 2001.

Peninsula restaurants inspected

The Department of Environmental Conservation last month inspected several Kenai Peninsula food service establishments. A score of 100 reflects adherence to minimum levels of sanitation. A score of 100-90 is good, 89-85 is acceptable, 84-70 is marginal and less than 70 is unacceptable.

Scores for the recent inspections were:

Clam Shell Lodge, Clam Gulch, 97

Greta's Grill, Clam Gulch, 82

Bear Creek Lodge, Hope, 94

Don Jose's Mexican Restaurant Bar, Kenai, 98

Don Jose's Mexican Restaurant, Kenai, 79

Summit Lake Lodge Bar, Moose Pass, 98

Summit Lake Lodge Ice Cream, Moose Pass, 94

Odie's Odds & Ends, Soldotna, 85

Sal's Klondike Diner, Soldotna, 90

Taco Bell #15852, Soldotna, 97

Sterling Area Senior Center, Sterling, 96

Sterling Elementary School kitchen, 94

U-Haul opens Soldotna self-storage center

U-Haul recently opened a 20,325-square-foot self-storage facility at 35338 Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna.

It features 24-hour security, video surveillance, electronically controlled access, your-lock-your-key service and a credit-card payment plan. There are no deposits. U-Haul can provide insurance for stored items.

Storage units range from 5-feet-square to 12-by-25 feet. Customers who rent a truck or trailer for a one-way move can receive one month's free storage before or after the move.

U-Haul Center Soldotna is open seven days per week and on holidays. It also offers nationwide truck and storage reservations, dollies and packing supplies.

Tesoro obtains new credit facility

Tesoro Petroleum Corp. has obtained a new $250 million unsecured revolving credit facility to replace a secured $175 million credit facility that would have expired next year.

"This credit facility recognizes the improvement in the company's financial strength as well as the confidence our banks have in the company's future growth plans," said Greg Wright, senior vice president, financial resources. "Our new unsecured facility also represents a step toward our goal of obtaining an investment-grade rating."

The new facility has lower borrowing rates and less-restrictive covenants. By the end of September, Tesoro had no outstanding loans under the old facility.

Tesoro operates refineries in Nikiski, Washington and Hawaii with a combined capacity of 275,000 barrels per day. Its distribution network includes 270 branded stations, of which the company owns about 70.

AHFC seeks nonprofit and agency help

The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. has funding for nonprofit groups and public agencies to administer its Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation and Senior Housing Accessibility Modification programs.

Nonprofits and agencies chosen to administer those programs will provide zero-interest, partially forgivable loans to help eligible low-income homeowners make energy efficiency improvements or provide grants to senior households and small assisted-living facilities to improve access.

Interested nonprofits and agencies must apply to AHFC by Dec. 15. For information, call Carma Reed at (800) 478-2432.

Phillips sells coal interests for $191 million

Phillips Petroleum Co. has sold its coal interests in three transactions worth $191 million, representing a $48 million after-tax gain.

Phillips sold its 50 percent interest in the Walnut Creek Mining Co. in Texas to Kiewit Construction Co. of Omaha, Neb., its 50 percent interest in Wyoming's Dry Fork coal to Western Fuels-Wyoming Inc. of Denver, and other coal interests in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi to the North American Coal Corp. of Dallas.

"These transactions are consistent with our approach to focus on our core businesses and will further our efforts to reduce debt and strengthen our financial position," said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive.

--Staff reports

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