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Business Digest

Posted: Thursday, May 03, 2007

Resource Dataannounces new staff

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JUNEAU - The software development firm Resource Data has hired one new employee at its Juneau office, the company recently announced.

Ed Hand is a senior programmer and analyst at the company. He has a wide range of experience in information technology, project management, database modeling and Web development.

Resources Data also has offices in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Boise, Idaho. It is one of Alaska's leading custom computer software applications development firms with over 85 programmers. It provides services in finding database, Internet and GIS solutions.

Rainbow Foods' egg stance recognized

WASHINGTON - The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, Wednesday lauded Juneau's Rainbow Foods for its exclusively cage-free egg policy.

"Our cage-free egg policy is an important part of our commitment to raising the bar on animal welfare issues," said David Ottoson, Rainbow Foods owner.

"The HSUS commends Rainbow Foods for its cage-free egg policy," commented Paul Shapiro, factory farming campaign director for The HSUS.

"By refusing to sell eggs from caged birds, the company is helping to improve animal welfare and encourage the egg industry to end its confinement of laying hens in battery cages."

Numerous companies, schools and even local governments have joined a snowballing national movement against confinement of layer s inside tiny cages.

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is ending his use of cage eggs. Burger King is beginning to use cage-free eggs. Several grocery chains, including Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, have stopped selling cage eggs.

Companies such as AOL and Google have ended the use of cage eggs in their employee cafeterias. And local municipalities in Maryland, California and Florida have condemned battery cage confinement.

Airlift Northwestto be honored

JUNEAU - In celebration of the company's 25th anniversary serving Alaskans, Airlift Northwest is being honored in a Juneau Chamber of Commerce "After Hours" event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16.

Airlift Northwest first started operating in Alaska after a house fire in Sitka killed three children before they could be transported by air to a regional burn center for care. The tragedy inspired Michael Copass, the company's president and medical director, to find a better air medical transport system for residents in Alaska and Pacific Northwest.

The event will be held at the company's office and hangar at 8429 Livingston Way. Light refreshments will be served, door prizes awarded and tours of the company's Learjet 35A available. For more information, call 790-4944.

New ferry service opens in Glacier Bay

GUSTAVUS - Glacier Bay Lodge and Tours recently announced a new ferry service operation from Glacier Bay to Juneau utilizing a 72-foot high-speed catamaran called Fairweather Express II, FXII. The new vessel also will host a new whale watching and dinner tour that will begin May 25.

The catamaran has 149-passenger capacity for service from Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay to Auke Bay. It will depart at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays beginning June 6 and will turn around for the return trip at 8 p.m., arriving back at Bartlett Cove at 11 p.m. The ferry will operate through Sept. 2. The cost is $70 per adult one-way and $40 per child one way plus tax.

"FXII" will also host a new whale watching and dinner tour on Thursday and Saturday evenings to Point Adolphus.

Glacier Bay National Park is a 3.3 million acre park home to 16 tidewater glaciers. To book lodging at Glacier Bay, the new ferry service or whale watching dinner and tour, visit www.visitglacierbay.com or call 1-888-BAY-TOUR.

$11 million available to small businesses

JUNEAU - The federal program, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, has announced that it is accepting applications for fiscal year 2007 to purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements, announced the Business and Economic Development Department of Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. The program is for use by agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

The deadline to apply is May 18 for the grant portion of the program and July 2 for the guaranteed loan or combined loan and grant portion.

The program is designed to help small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy costs and consumption. Program requirements include stipulations that projects employ "pre-commercial or commercially available technology." Projects funded must be practical applications and not research and development.

Types of projects under the renewable portion of this program could be solar, wind, micro-hydro, geothermal, and biofuels projects. They also could include commercially available biodiesel production equipment to fuel commercial equipment.

The funding for the program is being made available through grants, guaranteed loans and combinations of both. For renewable energy systems, the grants range from $2,500 to $500,000. For energy efficiency improvements, grants range from $1,500 to $250,000. More details are available on at www.cfda.gov or by calling 761-7722.

• Do you have news to share about your business? Contact Empire reporter Brittany Retherford at brittany.retherford@juneauempire.com.



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