Business Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Car dealer to host torch relay

JUNEAU - A local car dealership will play host to Olympic torchbearers as they come through Juneau next year.

Lewis Chevrolet-Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac Inc. recently signed on to be a host dealership for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Torch Relay.

Chevrolet is a co-sponsor of the relay, which begins in Atlanta on Dec. 4, 2001. Chevrolet will help select 3,505 torchbearers to carry the Olympic flame more than 13,500 through 46 states. Juneau is one of 125 cities the torch will pass through before it reaches Salt Lake City, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, by Feb. 8, 2002.

n the fall, the Lewis dealership will erect a countdown clock in front of its store marking off the days until the torch comes to town.

Several days before the torch makes its Juneau debut, the dealership will showcase the Corvette Signature Z06 Car, signed by Olympians, local dignitaries and celebrities, which will travel across country ahead of the torch signaling its arrival in each new city, the release said.

When the torch arrives, the dealership will host a viewing party as well as display a torch used for a past Olympic games, the release said.

Local real estate agent to speak in Sitka

JUNEAU - A Juneau real estate agent will be one of the featured speakers at the 2001 Real Estate Conference in Sitka this October.

Peggy Ann McConnochie will present topics such as contracts, real estate business ethics, marketing, financing difficult clients and negotiating.

McConnochie, who has taught required licensing classes in Alaska since 1996, owns Alaska Coastal Homes Inc. in Juneau and is active with the Southeast Board of Realtors, Alaska Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

Conference courses are designed to meet the criteria for required and elective continuing education for continuing education licensure.

The cost for the full 20 hours of the conference is $299, or $169 for 10 hours. The conference will be held Oct. 25-27 at the Westmark Shee Atika. for more information call Jennifer Balda at 907 747-7733.

City rejects plan to adopt seasonal sales tax

SKAGWAY - A ballot proposition to institute a seasonal sales tax during the summer tourism months was rejected by the Skagway City Council.

The proposition would have replaced the 4 percent annual sales tax with a 5 percent sales tax that would be in place for the six months between April and September. The sales tax would be zero between October and March.

During the summer months, the town of about 860 people swells with hundreds of thousands of tourists.

The proposal would have brought in an additional $700,000 during the tourist season and meant about $226,000 less during the off-season. City Council Member Dan Henry said city services are stretched thin from visitor-related costs.

Henry said the citys emergency services are a rubber band that is being stretched too tightly.

Following more than an hour of public testimony, the council voted unanimously last week not to put the matter before voters this fall. Most of the testimony was in opposition to the plan.

Steve Hites, a local businessman, told the council that the tax would strain already tenuous relations between Alaska and cruise companies.

Two processors agree to salmon settlement

ANCHORAGE - Attorneys representing Bristol Bay fishermen in their antitrust lawsuit against seafood processors say an agreement has been reached with two more companies.

Nelbro Packing Co. and British Columbia Packers Ltd. agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle the claims, Anchorage attorney Bruce Stanford said.

The settlement agreement, which must be approved by the Alaska Superior Court, would bring total settlements obtained in the case so far to more than $15 million.

Lawyers for Bristol Bay fishermen filed the suit in 1995 alleging more than 40 salmon processors and importers kept salmon prices artificially low from 1989 to 1995. The lawsuit sought $500 million in actual damages and $1 billion in punitive damages.

Seafood processors and importers have maintained that the low prices paid for Bristol Bay red salmon were the result of market competition from farmed salmon, not a conspiracy.

Judge Peter Michalski threw the case out in July 1999, saying fishermen hadnt provided evidence of collusion among the processors.

The fishermen appealed Michalskis decision to the Alaska Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case in June.

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