Dear Calista Shareholders,
I learned about an opportunity to sign a petition titled, “Calista Shareholders Right to Meaningful Dialogue on Donlin Gold Mine”. It seems for years or decades, this issue of the development of Donlin Mine has been up for debate causing our people to be divided . I decided to sign the petition and encourage all Calista shareholders to sign it too.
The petition calls for Calista to have a special meeting within 90 days of their receipt and to conduct a vote of the shareholders on whether Calista should continue to develop Donlin Mine with partners in our region.
Like many people, I remain on the fence of development. An issue this large should include the voices of shareholders who reside in the community or have family roots in the region and areas impacted. These are our assets and our lands and if development occurs, those who may be impacted should have a voice on the matter.
As a shareholder, I would like to see real projections of increased revenue for the Corporations including directors, staff and shareholders. Shareholders deserve to be informed of all the potential impacts and projections of revenue.
I am fully in support of a democratic approach as it will better inform shareholders about the pros and cons of the matter and help resolve tensions over development of the proposed mine and put the debate to rest. I encourage all shareholders to sign the petition as a decision on this issue should reflect the majority representation.
Search Shareholders for Economic Prosperity on Facebook and sign the petition online! There is also a chance to win $500! Whether or not we are for or against Donlin, a shareholder vote is the practical and fair process for this complicated issue.
Elsie R. Boudreau
Originally of St. Mary’s, AK
Shareholders for Economic Prosperity responds to letter
Shareholders for Economic Prosperity is supporting a petition to call a special meeting of shareholders to vote on the development of Donlin Mine within 90 days of submitting the petition if at least 10% of shares are represented.
We want to be very clear that this petition is not a proxy and should not be confused with such a document. SEP does not want to vote your shares or even tell you how to vote on this issue. SEP has no agreements or arrangements with any candidates, is not collecting any proxies for any candidates and has no idea whether any candidates support the petition.
SEP’s endorsement of any candidates is separate from the Donlin petition. SEP is not even interested in including a Shareholder Vote on Donlin to be part of the 2020 Calista Annual Meeting. SEP is simply interested in making sure that the shareholders have a voice in an issue that will affect all of us for generations.
SEP recently received a letter from Calista’s General Counsel. In it, the letter accuses SEP of having made incorrect statements. Upon review, some of the statements in the letter that were pointed out require clarification.
Here is what was posted:
“Last year, the Calista Board of Directors amended the Election Procedures, reducing the time candidates have access to shareholder data for campaigning to the last 20 days of the election.”
Here’s what would have been more appropriate:
“Since at least 2018, Calista’s “Election Policies And Procedures And Rules Of Conduct For Shareholder Meeting” have not required Calista to make a list of the shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting generally available until 20 days before the meeting. In the event that Calista fails to provide the list 20 days before the meeting, Calista’s Election Policies and Procedures specify that Calista’s failure to provide the information will have no effect on the vote.”
Here’s what was published:
“[a] shareholder vote further protects the board of directors from accountability and liabilities in the development should the investment result in loss of subsistence resources.”
Here’s what would be more appropriate:
“The decision on the Donlin Mine, no matter which way we ultimately go, is too big of a decision for us to entrust to a small number of people. The decision should be made by all of us because the development will affect all of us, whether positively through increased revenue or negatively due to jeopardizing subsistence and natural resources. The board of directors should not have to make this enormous decision for all of us. We shareholders should make the decision.”
Here is what was stated:
“[a] shareholder vote is the only truly democratic approach to complex and controversial issues like the Donlin Gold Mine”
We believe the following clarifies this statement:
While we recognize that there are many democratic processes that are possible, we continue to believe that a choice this big needs to be made by each of us and by each of us voting. Such a vote will reveal the shareholder desires and put this debate to an end. If the decision is made by a small group of people, the divisions on this issue within our communities are likely to fester. If there is a shareholder vote, then we know where our communities stand and what our people want.
To reiterate, SEP is not soliciting a proxy for votes to be cast on an issue or for candidates. SEP is simply supporting a petition for a Shareholder Vote on Donlin Mine and this should not be confused with a proxy to solicit votes in the upcoming Annual Meeting of Shareholders at Calista Corporation.
Shareholders for Economic Prosperity
The Office of Professional Standards investigates allegations of Trooper Misconduct and Provides Accountability
Investigator Ben Evans holds a Special Commission from the Department of Public Safety. He has served as a DPS Administrative Investigator since 2015 and was promoted to the Office of Professional Standards supervisor in 2018. Prior to joining the DPS, Inv. Evans was an investigator for the Alaska Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Unit where he investigated violations of tax, PFD, and child support laws. Inv. Evans originally came to Alaska in 2004 as a member of the US Army.
So many questions have circulated across the nation and here in Alaska regarding training standards, policies and procedures that law enforcement agencies have in place. As the lead investigator for allegations of officer misconduct at the Department of Public Safety, I was shocked by the video, showing Mr. George Floyd’s treatment at the hands of the four former Minneapolis Police officers, that triggered the civil unrest and concerns.
The way Mr. Floyd was treated is absolutely not in line with how Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers are trained and expected to conduct themselves. From my years of experience, I can tell you I’m thankful I work for an agency that prioritizes the sanctity of human life, and only resorts to using deadly force when absolutely necessary.
Recent marches and protests at various locations around our state occurred peacefully as concerned citizens demanded fair and equal treatment from law enforcement and that police officers are held accountable if they do wrong. So, I write today to assure you that the DPS demands the same of its staff. The Office of Professional Standards (OPS) is here to make certain that these standards are upheld.
While the OPS was created over a decade ago, the demonstrations make it is clear to me that, by and large, Alaskans do not know the OPS exists or what it does. Its primary mission is to conduct fair and impartial administrative investigations of employee misconduct for policy violations. While we are responsible for all employee administrative investigations, the majority of our investigations are of Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers. The OPS is comprised of civilian employees in the Commissioner’s Office, not within the trooper chain of command.
Minor investigations of lower-level misconduct are done by front line supervisors. Lower-level misconduct include allegations such as showing up to work late, damaging a department vehicle, or perhaps not being courteous to members of the public. The OPS conducts investigations into allegations of more severe or complex misconduct which could result in termination or serious disciplinary actions against an employee. Severe allegations include troopers lying, losing evidence, using excessive force, unbecoming conduct, and violating the law, to name a few.
“Accountability” is one of the core values for the DPS. The OPS receives and tracks complaints for all DPS personnel. If you file a complaint with our office, it will be investigated. If you feel the conduct of an employee was inappropriate, I urge you to let us know about it. We won’t be able to tell you everything about how the complaint resolved because just like most of you, State of Alaska employees have a right to privacy regarding some of their personnel record.
You can file a complaint at any post or with any supervisor. Or, visit the OPS website at https://dps.alaska.gov/Comm/OPS/Home. There, you can submit a “Notice of Employee Conduct” form, email, or find the number to call the OPS directly.
Over the years I have visited a lot of posts and talked to a lot of DPS employees and the Alaskans they serve. I’ve reviewed thousands of pages of reports and listened to hundreds of hours of trooper’s audio and video recordings. From this I can tell you that almost every single DPS employee is a good person who is committed to serving the people of our great state. The chain of command works hard to ensure there is good order and discipline throughout the ranks. I can also assure you that no one dislikes a bad trooper more than a good trooper.
Our agency is not perfect, and our personnel are not always going to be perfect; however, we will always strive to be better. If we have an employee who has done something wrong, I want to know about it. That’s why I’m here. The only way we, as an agency, can continue to improve and provide the best level of public safety possible is for allegations to be appropriately vetted.
Investigator Ben Evans
DPS’s Office of Professional Standards
Demand for cargo is steady
Air travel has been one of the hardest hit industries in the wake of COVID-19, as passenger revenue dried up almost overnight. However, the need for cargo has remained constant as demand for food, e-commerce orders, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment has surged. Airlines are considered an essential service, and cargo is a huge component of that service.
Alaska Air Cargo still maintains service to almost every destination in our U.S. network. We have also been fully utilizing our freighter fleet to keep critical supplies moving from Seattle to destinations across Alaska. When RavnAir Alaska, who was the largest regional carrier in the state, ceased operations on April 5, we quickly launched seasonal service to Cold Bay, King Salmon and Dillingham to help those communities who lost air service. And we’re now providing summer seasonal freighter service to Unalakleet, Alaska.
And, as you may have heard, we have six 737-900 passenger aircraft that we’re planning to use as cargo freighters in the continental United States and Hawaii.
Our team has worked tirelessly with shippers to creatively and successfully move product around the country amidst rapidly changing flight schedules. I am extraordinarily proud of the entire Alaska Air Cargo team for its unrelenting efforts and can-do attitude. A stand-out example is Karen Krohn, Cargo Customer Service Agent in Anchorage, who celebrated her 45th anniversary working for Alaska Airlines. We love Karen, and it is people like her who make our Cargo team awesome.
Thanks for your continued loyalty and support.
Torque Zubeck, Managing Director
Alaska Air Cargo
The Truth About Wildlife Management in Alaska
Much of the recent media coverage on updated National Park Service regulations for hunting and trapping in Alaska has been misleading or inaccurate—underscoring a lack of understanding that conservation and respect for wildlife are inherently Alaskan values. With restricted access to conveniences most Americans take for granted, Alaskans live off the bounty of its lands and waters. In an opinion piece published in newspapers throughout the state, Sam Cotten—Alaska’s former Fish and Game Commissioner, former State House Speaker, and a longtime registered Democrat—explained why the State welcomes updates on federal regulations related to hunting and trapping in Alaska. Commissioner Cotten wrote this in 2018, but the message is still very relevant today, as the National Park Service aligns its rules for National Preserves with the requirements of federal law. It’s worth reading all the way to the end.
Alaska’s support for the National Park Service’s recently proposed amendments to hunting and trapping practices on national preserves in Alaska is not about trophies. It does not concern sport or recreation. It has nothing to do with predator control.
Alaska’s scale and geography are incomprehensible to most Americans. The state is enormous, largely without roads, and in many places as wild today as when its Native people first encountered Russian explorers some 275 years ago.
Grocery stores and jobs are scarce or nonexistent in Alaska’s rural communities. Lacking road access and affordable store-bought food sources, people in small communities scattered across the wilderness depend upon fish and wildlife for sustenance. It is for these Alaskans who “grocery shop” from the land that exceptions to standard hunting laws — both state and federal — are made.
The Alaska Board of Game, Alaska’s regulatory body for hunting and trapping rules, considers all regulations through an open public process. The board sometimes adopts exceptional regulations like those allowing harvest of black bears at den sites. The board allowed this only in a handful of remote locations where the practice is considered customary and traditional for obtaining food. The harvest is small and carried out mostly, if not entirely, by Alaska Native people who have taken bears in dens for thousands of years. The same is true of swimming caribou taken with rifles from boats, allowed only in two isolated game management units where caribou serve as a primary food source.
Taking bears in dens or caribou in the water are not widespread or popular hunting methods. Both activities are currently allowed under state and federal regulations in limited locations and neither is employed by the general hunting community. Bottom line, hunting guides do not take out of state clients on such hunts, nor do average urban Alaskans participate. Under the amendments to hunting and trapping rules recently proposed by the National Park Service, none of that will change.
Before statehood, Alaska’s fish and wildlife were managed by the U.S. government. Under federal management, salmon stocks were overfished, and in some instances wiped out, predators poisoned and bounties widespread. Management of wildlife lacked application of modern scientific principles to ensure sustainable populations of both predators and prey.
Alaskans knew they could do better.
Gaining authority to manage its fisheries and wildlife was a centerpiece for Alaska’s statehood push. When statehood was realized in 1959, Congress granted Alaska sole authority to manage fish and wildlife on all lands within its borders. The result was impressive: Under state management fisheries soon began to rebound, and wildlife populations improved markedly.
Twenty years later, Alaska’s authority to manage fish and wildlife on all lands within its boundaries was revisited and renewed under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Under ANILCA, more than 100 million acres — an area larger than the state of California — were set aside as conservation system units, primarily parks, preserves, and refuges. After the changes were ratified, Alaska’s fish and wildlife management jurisdiction remained in place.
In 2015, Alaska’s standing suddenly changed. Claiming the state’s regulations violate the Organic Act and related policies, the Park Service stepped in to override Alaska’s authority to manage its fish and wildlife on national preserves. The agency seemed to forget that state-regulated hunting and fishing are mandated uses under ANILCA, making them consistent with the Organic Act and related policies.
No scientific basis was given for the change. No biological concerns stated. In fact, wildlife populations under state management on national preserve lands overall were vibrant.
Now, with these proposed changes, the Park Service has offered an olive branch, one Alaska is grateful to receive. The issue is not about trophy hunting, recreation, or predator control. It’s about respect for rights granted at statehood.
It’s about allowing Alaska to continue to successfully, sustainably manage fish and wildlife on all lands within its borders in a way that is culturally necessary and appropriate.
It’s about recognizing that Alaska is in touch with its people, their cultures and traditions.
It’s about Alaska working with federal partners to restore and maintain a long-lasting cooperative relationship.
U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources