A new report shows Alaska’s visitor industry accounts for 45,000 peak season jobs and more than $3.7 billion in direct and indirect spending in Alaska. The visitor industry contributes nearly $179 million to state and municipal governments.
The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development contracted with McDowell Group to gauge the impact of Alaska’s visitor industry during the period of May 2011 to April 2012. Data used for the study includes visitor volume and expenditures collected through the department’s Alaska Visitor Statistics Program.
The outlook is for increased cruise and non-cruise visitors in 2013. The “Economic Impact of Alaska’s Visitor Industry” report includes regional visitor industry spending, employment, and labor income estimates. The report can be found online at http://commerce.alaska.gov/ded/dev/toubus/research.htm.
Alaskan veterans who are retired or have been honorably discharged can elect to have their status as a veteran placed on their driver’s license or state identification card beginning Friday. Through legislation passed in 2012, Alaska now joins 28 other states in offering this option to veterans. It’s a chance to honor veterans and a convenient way to show they are a veteran to receive discounts merchants offer.
Applicants can also elect to have their name and address shared with the State of Alaska Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, Office of Veterans Affairs, so that veterans can receive benefit updates.
To receive the designation, veterans must show the Department of Motor Vehicles a military retiree ID card or other applicable discharge forms that prove a discharge under honorable conditions.
The Alaska Marine Stewardship Foundation hired Dave Gaudet, long-time marine debris analyst and program coordinator, as the director. Gaudet initially started working for the organization in 2009.
Under his management, the foundation’s marine debris cleanup program has grown into a large organization which has partnered with local communities to conduct almost 100 projects to remove more than two million pounds of debris from Alaska beaches. This includes large and increasing quantities of Japanese tsunami debris.
The newly renamed Alaska Marine Stewardship Foundation (formerly the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation), is focusing its efforts on marine debris from the coastal areas, a program that has been successful for years. Gaudet will spearhead the effort and plan the course for coming years.
Gaudet is a former biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and a Bristol Bay fisherman.
Nine candidates have signed up to be on the ballot for the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors’ 2013 election. Deadline to file was March 1. HEA directors are elected by the members in their respective district, with members voting only for the candidates residing in their district.
This year, candidates for the open board seat in District 3 (Kasilof south to Kachemak Bay area), include incumbent Bill Fry of Homer and Kris Lethin of Seldovia. Ballots will be mailed to HEA members April 1. Completed mail-in ballots must be received by April 30 in order to be valid.
HEA members will also have an opportunity to vote at the annual meeting which will be held May 1 at the Kenai Central High School.
The Pioneers of Alaska are hosting a free community dinner on March 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Homer United Methodist Church. Everyone is welcome.
The Homer Fish & Game Advisory Committee will meet 6 p.m. March 12 at the NERRS building in order to hear a presentation from the department on recent moose surveys, as well as new tanner crab management proposals.
Outgoing officers will be recognized for their service. For more information contact Dave Lyon at 399-2340.
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