Business Digest

Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2007

Marna Schwartz joins medical center staff

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JUNEAU - Pediatrician Marna Schwartz has joined the permanent staff at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's Juneau Medical Center.

Schwartz is a former Alaska resident who returned to Juneau to work for SEARHC. Prior to her career in medicine, she lived six years each in Juneau and Anchorage.

She earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

A former pediatrician with the King County Department of Public Health in Seattle, Schwartz also worked as a pediatrician at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and a number of other small private practices in western Washington.

While in medical school, Schwartz did a pediatrics rotation at the Alaska Native Medical Center and worked at clinics in McGrath and Unalaska. She also worked briefly for Southcentral Foundation's Anchorage clinic and at Glacier Pediatrics in Juneau.

Schwartz's special interests include developmental pediatrics, adolescent health, infectious disease and baby, child and teen health care.

Patriot Express Loan initiative launched

JUNEAU - The Juneau branch of the U.S. Small Business Administration launched the Patriot Express Loan Initiative on Wednesday.

SBA Patriot Express Loans are available up to $500,000, and can be used by members of the military community: veterans, service-disabled veterans, active-duty service members in the military's Transition Assistance Program, reservists, National Guard members, spouses of any of the above and widows of service members or veterans who died during service, or of a service-connected disability.

They can be used for most business purposes including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business real-estate purchases.

Patriot Express Loans feature SBA's lowest interest rates for business loans, generally 2.25 percent to 4.75 percent over prime depending upon the size and maturity of the loan.

The SBA's Web site for the program is

For more information, contact Amy Lea at 586-8714.

Forest Service makes timber sale decision

TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST - Tongass National Forest officials announced Wednesday a decision on the plan for the Soda Nick timber sales.

They also released an environmental assessment of the project, which includes small timber sales about 15 miles southeast of Craig on Prince of Wales Island.

The decision is designed to provide sales for purchasers needing small amounts of timber over time. The island has roughly 20 family-owned mills that fit this category. Up to 3.9 million board feet of saw timber will be made available on about 257 acres.

No new permanent roads will be constructed, although one-half mile of temporary road will be built for the project. All temporary roads will be decommissioned after the firewood gathering period, about one to three years after harvest.

The Forest Service conducted extensive research as part of the process, requesting comments on the project via letters, public meetings and meetings with tribal councils.

The Soda Nick decision is subject to appeal. Appeals must be filed within 45 days of the date that legal notice of this decision is published in the Ketchikan Daily News, planned for June 16.

Notice of appeals must be filed with the Forest Supervisor, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Tongass National Forest, 648 Mission St., Ketchikan, AK 99901.

Seafood exports up in Eastern Europe

JUNEAU - The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reports that while European Union countries are the second largest export destination for Alaska seafood, those countries have potential to develop into a more significant market.

In 2006, the region received about $50 million in Alaska seafood exports in 2006, the institute said.

Exports of Alaska seafood products to the countries of Eastern Europe have increased nearly 800 percent (from 1,900 metric tons to 16,800 metric tons) from 1998 to 2006.

The volume increase was accompanied by a substantial surge in value, from $3.4 million to $47.5 million.

The increase was attributed to improved economic conditions over the past 15 to 20 years, with some countries experiencing phenomenal economic growth and increased personal wealth.

The changes have been accompanied by shifts in food markets as people see products that were not previously available or affordable. Additionally, some countries in the region are becoming centers for seafood reprocessing activities.

In some countries, such as Poland and Lithuania, accession to the European Union in 2004 has driven increases in reprocessing activity for products bound for Western European. Reprocessing has historically taken place in countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark or Germany but shifted east to take advantage of cheap labor in the new EU countries.

• Do you have news to share about your business? Contact Empire reporter Brittany Retherford at or 523-2276.

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