Visitor industry reps fly in
Next week, representatives of the Alaska tourism industry descend on the capital city.
The Alaska Visitors Association has a membership meeting Monday and then spends April 11 lobbying legislators, with a board meeting on April 12. AVA is trying to secure a $5 million state grant for tourism marketing by the new statewide trade organization, Alaska Travel Industry Association.
ATIA has a board meeting in Juneau April 13.
The Alaska Tourism Marketing Council, a public-private entity, also meets in Juneau April 12.
AVA and ATMC are scheduled to go out of existence later this year, consolidating state-supported tourism marketing in ATIA, as part of the ``new millennium plan'' successfully supported by AVA during last year's legislative fly-in. Once AVA and ATIA memberships vote to do so, AVA's assets will be transferred to its successor.
Fish management council meets
Wednesday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for written comments and materials to be submitted to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for consideration at the council's April 12-17 meeting in Anchorage.
Written comments can be sent by fax to 907-271-2817 but cannot be e-mailed.
The council is expected to discuss seabird bycatch, options for an individual quota system for halibut charters, sea lion issues and crab management, among several issues. More information is available at 907-271-2809, or www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc.
Sales tax seminar for businesses
Joan Roomsburg, sales tax administrator for Juneau, will give a seminar for businesses 4-5:30 p.m. April 11 at the Juneau Economic Development Council, 612 Willoughby, Suite A.
Topics include registering for sales tax, types of sales included and merchant responsibility for collecting and reporting taxes.
The seminar costs $10. Registration is available through the JEDC office, 463-3662 (voice), 463-3929 (fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Firm dishes out TV programming
EchoStar Communications Corp. of Littleton, Col., has announced that it's offering a high-power, small-dish satellite programming service for television viewers in Alaska and Hawaii.
DISH Network, at $29.99 a month, is to offer 40 TV channels and 30 channels of CD-quality, commercial-free music, according to EchoStar. There also are premium movie channels for additional charges.
``By spot-beaming from our location at 119 degrees W.L., we can offer this unique service to only Alaska and Hawaii, offering consumers 70 all-digital television channels,'' said Michael Schwimmer, vice president of EchoStar. More information is available at www.dishnetwork.com, or 800-333-3474.
Stevens pursues salmon insurance
Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is trying to apply federal crop insurance to salmon fishermen.
Under Stevens' amendment to a bill now in a House-Senate conference committee, the secretary of agriculture would conduct a pilot study of whether wild salmon should be covered under insurance when stocks are low.
Stevens said Alaska managers have worked to ensure that salmon returning to spawn reach their ``escapement'' goal - the number of spawners needed to return a healthy population of juveniles to streams and the oceans.
But citing the chum shortage that devastated local economies in western Alaska in 1997-98, Stevens said: ``This is exactly the type of crisis that could be alleviated by making crop insurance available to salmon fishermen. Fishermen are farmers of the sea, and they deserve the same protections we afford farmers in the inland states.''
Hallmark promotes kid creativity
Susan's Hallmark Shop in Nugget Mall will be part of a promotion focusing on artistic expression by children.
In the ``Kids Card Contest,'' children aged 5-14 can submit birthday cards for judging. Twelve winners will be reproduced and sold nationally. Free entry kits can be picked up from Saturday through April 23.
Saturday is ``Creative Kids Day'' at Susan's Hallmark Shop, with a variety of in-store activities.
The promotion is in conjunction with Crayola.