Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Matiashowski to head Dept. of Administration

JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski on Tuesday appointed Ray Matiashowski to head the Department of Administration.

Matiashowski has served as deputy commissioner for the department since February 2003.

"Over the last 14 months, he has been involved in some very important projects, including the disentanglement from the ACS telecommunications contract," said Murkowski in a press release. "He has also been involved in consolidating the state's human resources services, improving information technology and computer services and negotiating new public employees labor union contracts."

Matiashowski, 43, formerly of Ketchikan, replaces Mike Miller, who resigned from the position on April 1 to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Matiashowski served as legislative staff to Ketchikan Sen. Lloyd Jones from 1987 to 1992. He also has worked as a real estate broker, insurance broker and stock broker in Ketchikan.

May 25 confirmed as election date

JUNEAU - The U.S. Department of Justice has approved the city's date of May 25 for a special election.

The agency told city officials Tuesday that it waived its right to object to the date. The federal government reviews Alaska election dates to be sure they don't disadvantage Natives, such as by holding an election during a subsistence season when many people might be out of the area.

The special election asks voters whether the city should refrain from bidding the proposed high school at Dimond Park, to be funded partly by 1999 bonds, until conditions of enrollment, operating budget and the building's size are met.

Enbridge files gas pipeline application

ANCHORAGE - A Canadian energy transportation company has filed an application under Alaska's Stranded Gas Development Act to negotiate a contract to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the Canadian border.

Enbridge Inc.'s president and chief executive Patrick D. Daniel said the company plans to be a leader in the pipeline's development, but the project will need cooperation from several parties.

"We strongly believe our application provides a competitive alternative to other pipeline proposals. Ultimately, this project will be developed by the parties that can bring together a wide array of public, private and commercial interests," Daniel said in a statement.

With the application, Enbridge can begin formal negotiations with the state on building the pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to the Yukon border.

Gov. Frank Murkowski's office called Enbridge's application a significant step forward in the project.

The state is in negotiations with the major North Slope producers, BP Exploration, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil on another stranded gas application.

Washington company eyes veneer mill

KETCHIKAN - A wood manufacturer based in Washington state is eyeing the failed veneer plant at Ward Cove in Ketchikan.

Walt Schrader, president of Hoquiam, Wash.-based Forrest Products, said his company is sorting through wood supply and mechanical issues related to plant, which is own by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

Forrest Products has a sawmill in Hoquiam that produces timbers and studs.

"Log inventory is going to be pretty important to the (veneer) mill, so that's the first concern," Schrader said. "The second concern, of course, is completion of the mill. Some of the parts and pieces are missing."

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