My Philosophy of Education

Like many people I have spent much of my life working to draw forth the potential from within in order to find and lead a good and rewarding life. This has been my education.

Students need to engage in positive social connections that lead to personal and emotional development. From this comes forth an interest and a will to strengthen relationships with their peers and community and to experience a spiritual connection to their homeland.

The curriculum should be based on a student’s talents, interests, cultural, and the common history and identity of their people.

The teacher should be working to develop a higher and more insightful level of instruction that leads to a greater degree of growth within the student.

The core of education is where people are exploring and making meaningful connections from their various resources that will serve to elevate the lives of those within their communities.

But one has to believe in those who have guided you before you can believe in yourself.

From this process of personal discovery and enrichment through education will come the academics which can only further ones learning in their journey through life.

Brad Cole

Tuluksak, AK

We need to pass H.R. 6800 now

If you’re like me, COVID-19 has changed your life. It probably has made you anxious, stressed, and worried. With school back in session, the anxiety and stress has only increased for families.

On top of that, we’re also witnessing multiple Alaska businesses go under or shut their doors. Our communities are dealing with increased need for social services. Moreover, we all know someone that is unemployed, laid off or worse yet, has the virus.

Unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. The recession has cratered sale tax revenues for Alaska’s local governments. At the state level, Alaska is facing a 11% budget gap this year and a 15% gap next year. This means that in the next year, we could see massive cuts. Everyone’s quality of life will suffer.

This isn’t just an Alaska problem. It’s a national problem. That is why we need to come together to urge Senators Sullivan and Murkowski to put partisan politics aside and fund the frontlines. There is too much at stake and too much to lose with inaction.

This legislation has been sitting in the Senate since May of this year. It provides $1.2 trillion in relief to states and local governments. For Alaska, this aid will provide approximately $3 billion to help us through the next budget year. This funding includes relief for our schools, police and fire departments, nursing homes, care facilities, and more. This aid will support working Alaska families including our veterans. Without it, our veterans and Alaska frontline workers could be thanked for their heroic services with a layoff letter or pink slip. Let’s not let it get to that point.

Contact Senators Sullivan and Murkowski today and tell them we need to pass H.R. 6800 now!

Jake Metcalfe

Anchorage, Alaska

Thank You Alaskans from the PFD office

To the residents of Alaska,

The Permanent Fund Dividend Division would like to take a moment to say, “Thank You!” to Alaskans for participating in one of the most successful filing seasons to date. The prompt delivery of this year’s historic July 1st payment was only possible because of the many Alaskans who allowed us to utilize effective and efficient paperless communication methods.

If you chose to file online, “Thank you!” If you chose direct deposit, “Thank you!” If you chose to sign your application electronically, “Thank you!” If you allowed us to communicate with you via e-mail, “Thank you!” Your decisions allowed us to work more efficiently, ensuring we were able to pay the greatest number of Alaskans possible during the July payment run.

Over the past three years, Alaskans have decreased paper filings by over 48,000 applications while increasing electronic signature usage by 172,000 individuals. As a result, our paper processing workload has declined by nearly 220,000 pieces of mail. This year’s numbers are the best yet, with 605,000 Alaskans filling online and 562,000 of those individuals providing a digital signature.

Not only have you allowed us to use staff more efficiently, you’ve allowed us to shift resources into other critical areas. Be on the lookout for future improvements as we work diligently to expand the myPFD portal while continuing to broaden our paperless offerings.

Moving forward, we will continue to strive for improvements that benefit all Alaskans. But as we work to provide a quicker, easier, and more accessible application, we must carefully balance these changes with the ever-present need to ask questions which ensure the integrity of the program. We are thankful for your understanding as we make these adjustments each year.

Most importantly, thank you for the trust you’ve placed in us as we work to provide Alaskans with the best customer service, most efficient application process, and maximum number of timely payments. Without your cooperation, moments like the one we experienced together this July would not have been possible. Thank you, Alaska, for the role you played in making this year’s distribution process a resounding success.

Lucinda Mahoney, Commissioner

Alaska Department of Revenue

Native place names

Nunakauyaq is the ‘real name’ (atpi-a) for Toksook Bay (on Nelson Island), while Tuqsuk is a new name given after the river going from the Bay to Negta (Nightmiut) when a part of people moved from the latter village to the new site (David Chanar, p.c.).

Gilbert Keywehak

Mt. Pleasant, MI

Freedom of speech

Our State is run by people who are and have been breaking Federal laws. We need an investigation done from the law enforcement on up. The Ombudsmen is corrupted. We need different law makers because they are not doing their jobs protecting our freedom liberty and Justice.

The public attorneys are working for the district attorneys law enforcement and even the Judges are corrupted. Giving us fake charges. This is not a free country when we can’t even live our American Dreams and criminals in high places are allowed to run Alaska like dictators.

I got hurt by law enforcement and went to jail for nothing. I have the proof I’m innocent but law enforcement have almost killed two of my kids and the State try to steal them. Nothing was done.

I’m filing complaints again. I have been going to court for over a year for nothing and to jail as they all work together to hurt me for my freedom of speech. We are not free people here in Alaska and our law makers must be corrupted too. God help us. Amen

Darlene Otten-Carl

Wasilla, AK

Protecting Alaska’s Fisheries

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Alaska has faced its share of monumental challenges. The testing of all incoming travelers, providing relief for devastated tourism businesses, creating a new unemployment program from scratch. Yet none compared to the challenge of protecting our critical seafood industry and the communities that rely on their economic production.

We commend Alaska’s seafood industry for successfully navigating the most difficult season Alaska has ever experienced. Captains, deckhands, processors, and hatcheries worked tirelessly to protect coastal communities, jobs, and the health of Alaska’s people and economy. Local leaders, healthcare workers, and state officials devoted countless hours to developing policies and reviewing community protection plans.

From the beginning, it was obvious this would not be an easy road. Many believed that holding a fishing season was simply not possible. To their credit, many skeptics later joined our effort, pitching in to work toward a common goal. The cooperation between industry, communities, and the State was truly a bright spot in an otherwise bleak summer.

Along the way, we faced challenges, both expected and unexpected.

Early on, communities across Bristol Bay were understandably concerned about the annual influx of 13,000 seafood workers in a region with very little hospital capacity. Thankfully, the responsible actions of the fisherman, processors, and local communities saved the day. Had any of these entities dropped their guard, the results could have been disastrous, but ultimately, the extra healthcare capacity we built up across the region proved unnecessary.

In Cordova, processors like Trident Seafood and OBI Seafoods worked hand-in-hand with the community. Streets were blocked off, flights were chartered, and a medical response team was stood up to coordinate testing and medical consultations with each processor. Even the local U.S. Forest Service pitched in, organizing socially distanced field trips to local tourist sites and trails for seafood employees.

There will be more challenges ahead. The historic accomplishment of managing a season during a pandemic has been tempered by disappointing salmon returns in a number of regions. Both the Copper River and much of the Southeast saw runs that were far below average.

In Ketchikan, the poor returns and extra burden of operating during a pandemic have been especially difficult on the fleet. With lawsuits delaying changes to the AK CARES grant program and Ketchikan’s season opening later than most, many fishermen were on the water when they became eligible. Some were able to apply thanks to help from family and friends, but others were not so lucky.

It’s clear than in the months and years ahead, innovative solutions will be needed, but we are confident in our ability to face these challenges with the same Alaska spirit that brought us through this year’s fishing season. The Department of Fish and Game, local hatcheries, and local communities will continue to work together to ensure the sustainability of one of our most precious resources.

The importance of the seafood industry to Alaska cannot be understated. As our number one export and one of our top three economic producers, seafood has always been a core component of Alaska’s economy. All Alaskans benefit from the billions of dollars of economic activity, reduced shipping prices, and tens of thousands of jobs created each year.

It goes without saying that a COVID-19 shutdown of our fisheries would have been felt in every corner of our state. But that didn’t happen. Thanks to the hard work of our seafood industry and communities and the invaluable contributions of our many State agencies, the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Alaskans were protected.

There is no doubt that the lessons learned and cooperation fostered between the State, coastal communities, and the fishing fleet during this pandemic have better prepared us for the challenges ahead. Each of us is committed to the success of Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, and we thank every Alaskan working to keep our fisheries the best in the world.

Mike Dunleavy, the 12th Governor of Alaska; Clay Koplin, Mayor of Cordova and CEO of the Cordova Electric Cooperative; Dan O’Hara, Mayor of the Bristol Bay Borough and owner of Bay Marine Surveyors in Naknek; Rodney Dial, Mayor of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, after previously serving as an Alaska State Trooper and U.S. Army Ranger

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