State Commercial Fisheries Director Jeff Regnart resigns-Sept. 16

Alaska’s fishing industry was dismayed last week by the sudden news that Jeff Regnart, Director of the State’s Commercial Fisheries Division, will leave the job Oct. 2.
“I’m resigning due to family reasons, aging parents; I just can’t be in the state full-time like this job demands,” Regnart explained.
Regnart started as an Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game field tech in high school. Over the next 30 years, he worked his way to management positions at Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay.

Consider long-lasting financial gifts to grandchildren

On Sept. 13, we observe National Grandparents Day. If you’re a grandparent, you might get a card or a little present from the grandkids. However, you will probably get greater pleasure from the gifts you give them. And if you’d like to make a financial gift, you’ve got some attractive options. How you choose to […]

Hulking humpie harvest stinks up pink market- Fish Factor- Sept. 9

Alaska’s pink salmon catch is pushing 180 million fish, making it the second-largest harvest ever recorded. (219 million was the previous record set in 2013). 
  The humpie haul has been pushed by record production in three regions. More than 15 million pinks were taken at the Alaska Peninsula, compared to less than 1 million last year.  Kodiak’s record pink catch was nearing 30 million, triple last year’s take; and Prince William Sound’s harvest so far had topped a whopping 97 million pink salmon.  
 All that fish goes into a competitive global market and — in a word — the pink market stinks.  There is still a glut of pink salmon products stemming from Alaska’s record 2013 catch, and devalued currencies are bedeviling sales with overseas customers.

Investors can learn much from the American workforce

We’re getting close to Labor Day, a celebration of the men and women who roll up their sleeves and go to work each day. If you’re in the workforce yourself, you can appreciate this recognition of your efforts. And as an investor, you can employ these attributes of the American worker: • Organization: The most […]

There are no secrets to investment success

Many people look for the “secrets” to investment success. Is it timing the market just right? Is it finding those hot stocks or getting in on the “ground floor” of the next big thing? Actually, these types of moves have little relevance to the vast majority of investors — even the most successful ones. So let’s take a look at some steps you can take that can be effective in helping you work toward your financial goals.

Budget cuts put snag in Chinook Research Initiative

One of the casualties of this year’s budget cuts was funding for a program aimed at discovering why Alaska’s Chinook salmon stocks have been declining since 2007.
A five-year, $30 million Chinook Salmon Research Initiative launched in 2013 included more than 100 researchers focused on three dozen projects in 12 major river systems from Southeast to the Yukon. Now, the ambitious effort has been cut to just over one dozen projects.
“When we saw we weren’t going to get a third appropriation this fiscal year, we had to step back and narrow the focus, and make sure key projects still had money to continue for at least the next two years,” said Ed Jones, a coordinator with the state Sport Fish Division who oversees the initiative team.
The project has received two $7.5 million appropriations so far, and just over $6 million remains.

A college degree is still a smart investment

Summer is almost over, which means it’s “back-to-school” time. If you have young children, you may be purchasing backpacks, pencils, notebooks and similar items.
But one day, you could be shopping for colleges — and when you do, you’ll find the bill is a little bit higher than the one you get from your local school-supply store. That’s why it’s never too soon to start saving.
Just how costly is college? For the 2014–2015 school year, the average expense — tuition, fees, room and board — was $18,943 at a public four-year school and $42,419 at a four-year private school, according to the College Board. And if recent history is any guide, these numbers will likely keep climbing.

Season of ups and downs leaves salmon short of forecasted 221 million

Alaska’s salmon season so far has been characterized by ups and downs, and it will be a stretch for the total catch to make the forecasted 221 million fish.
“It just depends on how these late-returning pink salmon at Prince William Sound perform, and whether or not pinks pick up at Southeast. It’s possible, but we would still have to harvest around 30 million more salmon,” mused Forrest Bowers, Deputy Director of the state’s Commercial Fisheries Division.
One of the biggest fish stories of the season, of course, was the surprising double runs of sockeye salmon (reds) to Bristol Bay. As soon as a slow-going first run petered out and the fishery was declared a bust, a surge of late reds caught everyone by surprise and pushed the catch to nearly 36 million fish.

Inflation and your retirement income strategy

You might not think much about inflation. After all, it’s been quite low for the past several years. Still, you may want to take it into account when you’re planning your retirement income strategy.
Of course, no one can really predict the future course of inflation. But it’s a pretty safe bet it won’t disappear altogether — and even a mild inflation rate, over time, can strongly erode your purchasing power. Consider this: If you were to purchase an item today for $100, that same item, in 25 years, would cost you $209 — assuming an annual inflation rate of 3 percent. That’s a pretty big difference.
During your working years, you can hope that your income will at least rise enough to match inflation. But what about when you retire? How can you minimize the impact of inflation on your retirement income?

DNR to decide on claims to Chuitna water rights

Two hearings this month could change the face of Alaska’s salmon fisheries forever.
On Aug. 21, the Department of Natural Resources will hear both sides on competing claims to water rights for salmon streams at Upper Cook Inlet’s Chuitna River or to a proposed coal mine. If DNR opts for the mine, the decision would set a state precedent.

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