State enters negotiations to sell Malaspina
The state has started negotiations to sell the Malaspina to a company owned by a business that operates a new multimillion-dollar cruise ship terminal at Ward Cove in Ketchikan.
Trade war, COVID and now Ukraine invasion eat into Alaska seafood sales
First a trade war, then a battle against an infectious virus and now a real war are all affecting Alaska seafood exports. Shipments to China fell from as high as 30% of Alaska’s total seafood export value in the 2010s to 20% in 2020. “The U.S.-China trade war has displaced $500 million of Alaska seafood,” Jeremy Woodrow, executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, told legislators last week.
Commentary: Alaska cannot afford to sit out this war
Larry Persily writes: The state of Alaska, Congress and the president, individual companies and people do not all have the same capabilities and authority to show their disgust and dismay at Russia’s unprovoked, murderous attack on Ukraine, a sovereign nation at war with no one until Russian President Vladimir Putin decided he had to prove that he is the toughest, meanest kid on the planet.
State asks if anyone wants to buy the Malaspina
The Alaska Department of Transportation is asking anyone interested in taking ownership of the nearly 60-year-old Malaspina to speak up by March 7. The state has been spending about $75,000 a month to keep the unused ferry moored and insured at Ward Cove in Ketchikan for more than two years.
Governor proposes new program to replace onboard cruise ship monitors
Almost three years after pulling pollution monitors — called Ocean Rangers — from large cruise ships, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed legislation to replace the onboard state personnel with regular inspections by shoreside staff while ships are in port and underway.
House speaker questions ferry system’s hiring expectations
State Transportation Department officials last week told legislators the ferry system needed to quickly hire at least 166 new crew in order to meet minimum staffing levels for this summer’s schedule starting in May.
State will provide financial aid for homeowners hurt by pandemic
Alaska’s state housing agency has distributed more than $243 million in financial aid the past year to help renters hurt economically by the pandemic and will soon embark on a $50 million federally funded program to help homeowners, too.
Ferry system may reconsider charging more when ships are fuller
State ferry management said they are working to be more responsive to community and passenger concerns, including reconsidering the use of “dynamic...
Legislature considers restoring, raising sportfishing guide, operator fees
A bill that would restore the state licensing fee on sportfishing guides and operators — which expired in 2018 — is slowly working its way through the Legislature.
State has money left over to help businesses hurt by pandemic
The state is working through a couple of challenges in its plan to distribute tens of millions of dollars of federal relief funds to municipalities and businesses. Applications for grants to local governments far exceeded the available funds, while grant applications from eligible tourism-related businesses and others fell far short.
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