Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times

Christmas came a week early for many in the Southcentral Alaska village of Tyonek, but gifts arrived not on a sleigh but a Skyvan flown by Alaska Air Taxi. James Bowers with JW Industries Group, a contract agency that provides logistical support services for the Tyonek Native Council, said two efforts came together with a single plane trip, bringing new wood-burning stoves to many in the community, as well as a turkey for virtually everyone's holiday table. "Everyone was just so pleased," Bowers said. Bowers said the effort was initially focused on bringing about 65 modern wood-burning stoves to the village through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-funded effort. Much of the village was built in the 1960s, Bowers said, and as a result, the stoves were barrel stoves --...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
Mark Horne is a man on a mission. Or two. He wants to eliminate the use of foreign crewmembers loading and unloading material from vessels in Alaska -- work that is guaranteed to American workers by the federal government. And he wants to see longshoremen get more work. If his new company, Sundance Stevedoring LLC succeeds, that's a bonus, Horne said. Sundance Stevedoring LLC's main goal, Horne said, is to end the practice of stevedore companies turning down work -- work longshoremen would gladly take but companies turn down because they don't make enough profit from them. The work has to be offered to all contracting stevedoring companies, labor organizations recognized as exclusive bargaining representatives of U.S. longshore workers, as well as private dock operators. If they all...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski knows she lives in an Arctic nation. Convincing some of her colleagues in Washington of that is another story, she said. While some in the state may disagree with her politics on national issues, few can say Murkowski ignores the state’s northern issues. Almost weekly, a release comes out of her office touting her calls for more U.S. Coast Guard resources, funding for studies of infrastructure needs, and her thoughts from her latest trip to the Arctic Council. “We in Alaska recognize we are an Arctic nation,” Murkowski said in an interview last week. “But it’s tough to get that recognition from some of our colleagues in other states. The senators from Iowa don’t necessarily think that they are in an Arctic nation, but they are by virtue of the state of Alaska.”...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
Maude Blair, formerly with NANA Development Corp., is the new vice president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, one of the most powerful voices in the Alaska Native community. AFN president Julie Kitka made the announcement this week, saying the organization was looking forward to welcoming her. "Maude is extremely talented and will bring valuable knowledge and experience to the staff leadership of AFN," Kitka said in a release. Blair most recently served as a staff attorney at NANA, where she provided legal support to the NANA Regional Corp. Board of Directors and senior management, including advising on corporate governance, Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and general business issues. At NANA she worked with both internal and external stakeholders on issues ranging from corporate...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
Dillingham’s location as well as its long ice-free season make it an attractive place for large vessels to haul out for the winter. But thus far, two things have stood in the way of large barges and other vessels wintering over in the Southwest Alaska town -- the lack of large vessel haul out equipment and the lack of a tax cap. “Dillingham is situated in a strategically beneficial location for storing large marine vessels such as tugs and barges, landing craft, tenders, ice barges and the like,” said Yeganeh Ataian, president and chief executive of Bristol Alliance Fuels, one of the major fuel suppliers in the Bristol Bay region, in a statement read to the Dillingham City Council. Ataian cited the areas regular tides, its proximity to primary shipping channels, and a longer ice-free...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
Bristol Bay Native Corp. recently signed an agreement with an exploration company to look more closely at the mineral prospects on the Alaska Peninsula in the Chigniks. The move might catch the attention of some in an area where the Pebble Mine prospect has generated significant controversy and concern over the need to protect the salmon resource of Bristol Bay. But Tiel Smith, the corporation's vice president of land and regional operations, said while the corporation came out in opposition to the Pebble Mine plan in 2009, it didn’t take a position on any other resource development in the region. “While we have had plenty of discussion and work on the Pebble prospect, we continued to maintain our good relationships with industry,” Smith said. When a conversation sparked between Millrock...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
Ever since the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) updated its Bristol Bay Area Plan for land use management in 2005, there has been debate about what should and should not be considered the best use of the land. And as the proposed Pebble Mine became clearer in scope, some Bristol Bay residents became more and more concerned about what the plan's revisions were designed to accomplish. In 2009, several tribes and entities in the region filed suit against the 2005 plan, which covers some 12.6 million acres of above-ground and 6 million acres of submerged and tideland in the region. An agreement reached with the plaintiffs called for DNR to address errors found in the plan and consider other issues raised by the plaintiffs. Fast-forward to January: DNR completed this process,...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
The firm hired by the Pebble Partnership to review the company’s substantial environmental baseline studies will hold a second set of independent science panels starting May 6. The panels will be held in Anchorage, and will be filmed and broadcast via web-stream live. Remote participants can submit questions and comments by email during the event. The Keystone Center, which was commissioned to complete the review, is now accepting registrations for the science panels, which will be broken up by topic over two days. On May 6, the panel will focus on vegetation and wetlands, while the May 7 panel will focus on wildlife, habitat and threatened or endangered species. Independent scientists have been asked to review Pebble Partnership’s studies, and panelists and committee members serve...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times
Entry-level fish processors working at Coastal Villages Seafood's plants will get $10 an hour to handle fish crossing its lines, the company announced this week, believed to be the highest starting wage for processors in the history of Alaska's seafood industry, the company said in a release. "We hire Alaskans, and we pay more," said Coastal Villages Region Fund Executive Director Morgen Crow. The seafood company is a subsidiary of the fund, a nonprofit corporation with 20 member villages along the west coast of Alaska from Scammon Bay to Platinum. "But the best thing we are doing is providing hundreds of jobs right in our region." The company is celebrating its 15th straight year providing a commercial salmon market for resident fishermen in the Kuskokwim Bay area. Last year, 83 percent...Carey Restino | Bristol Bay Times