Business Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Halibut charter IFQs before North Pacific council

Subsistence halibut fishing, halibut charter IFQs, Pacific cod issues and Steller sea lion protection are before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council during its Dec. 6-12 meeting at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel.

Warm weather stalls ski opening

Rain and warm weather have forced Alyeska Resort to put off opening its ski slopes in Girdwood.

The resort originally was to open last weekend. Now, managers are hoping for cold enough weather to open over Thanksgiving weekend. Temperatures must drop to the 20s before the resort can make its own snow.

"Even though there is snow from the midway level up, it is not enough to open Chair 6. We have received minimal natural snow at the base, and the temperature has not been cold enough to make it ourselves," said Larry Daniels, general manager. "We will open as soon as we've been able to make some more snow or we get another 3 feet at the base of Chair 6."

Unocal sells Agrium interests

Newcrest Capital inc., a Canadian investment dealer, is to acquire 2.6 million common shares of Agrium Inc. and $50 million U.S. in 6 percent junior subordinated convertible Agrium debentures from Unocal for eventual resale.

Agrium issued the securities to Unocal when it acquired Unocal's agricultural products business. They have not been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933. Excepting an available exemption for the junior subordinated convertible debentures, they may not be offered or sold in the United States.

Agrium has been advised that Newcrest will offer the common shares at a price of U.S. $9.5625 per common share and the junior subordinated convertible debentures at a price of U.S. $23.6875 per U.S. $25 principal amount of debentures. Agrium has agreed to file a prospectus in Canada to permit the sale of these securities, though it will receive none of the proceeds.

Marathon drills Kenai Gas Field

The Alaska Division of Governmental Coordination will take comments until Dec. 5 on Marathon Oil Co.'s plans to drill a gas development well 6.5 miles south of Kenai at an existing gravel pad in the Kenai Gas Field. DEC is reviewing the proposal for consistency with the state and Kenai Peninsula Borough coastal management plans. For information, call Glenn Gray at 465-8792.

Local restaurants inspected

The Department of Environmental Conservation last month inspected several central 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:

Kasilof Mercantile food service 92

Country Foods deli 96

Katmai Bar 97

Katmai Restaurant 90

Louie's Uptown Lounge, Kenai 94

Louie's Uptown Restaurant, Kenai 77

Don Jose's, Soldotna 89

Peninsula Steak House 86

Soldotna Senior Center 98

Peninsula Center Mall hosts crafts fair

The Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna hosts a crafts and products fair Friday and Saturday with the theme Gifts from the Forests and Fields. There will be craft demonstrations and sessions on Internet marketing for beginners. Fair participants will be listed on the Web site. Several students in the FastTrac Entrepreneurial Training Program of the Peninsula Job Center will participate in conjunction with a market feasibility study for their products and services.

Fair sponsors include Entrepreneurs Corner, Kenai Peninsula Resources Conservation & Development District, Homer Soil and Water Conservation District, Alaska Harvester Inc. and the Peninsula Center Mall. For information, call Mark Weatherstone at the RC&D at 283-7493 or visit

Cross Timbers issues stock

Cross Timbers Oil Co. recently sold 6 million shares of common stock through Lehman Brothers Inc. It will use the proceeds to reduce outstanding debts by roughly $115 million. With this transaction, managers expect debt at year's end to be between $755-$765 million.

Xerox recognizes local sales and support agency

OfficeTech Inc., which has offices in Anchorage and Kenai, recently received a President's Club award from Xerox Corp. recognizing its 1999 Western Region sales volume. In addition to a No. 1 ranking in the Western Region, OfficeTECH received a Top 10 rating nationwide for agencies in its category.

Laidlaw's Kodiak fleet wins praise

Laidlaw Transit's school buses in Kodiak were named a Great Fleet by School Bus Fleet, a California trade magazine. The magazine considered public and private bus operations and named one exemplary fleet in each state. It examined safety, efficiency, maintenance, driver training, morale and innovation.

"Providing safe, efficient transportation is a priority for us," said Scott Greenstreet, manager of Laidlaw's Kodiak branch.

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