Response to comments on Calista’s PAEC endorsement decisions

Quyana Cakneq to all the Shareholders that have commented on the Calista Public Advocacy and Engagement Committee (PAEC) endorsement decisions. The Committee members are all Shareholders, from Emmonak to Chevak, Kwigillingok to Akiachak, and beyond.
Taking time to learn about various candidates and voting issues is important. Each voter must have truthful and accurate information to make the best decision possible.
Support for the YK Delta and rural Alaska, from infrastructure to public safety to educational funding and more, is not bound by political parties. Each party has supported the YK Delta in varying degrees over the years.
For our part, the Committee provided the same list of questions to each candidate. Each candidate was provided the opportunity to speak with Committee members to provide information and answer questions.
The YK Delta’s socio-economic statistics have not improved in many decades. As a result the Committee is focused on issues and not political party.
In the end, what’s important is that each eligible voter takes the time to vote. Our Alaska Native Voice is critical to the support of rural Alaska. Who is voted into office makes a difference in what projects are moved forward, funding for education and public safety, and more.
Quyana again for taking the time to read the Committee’s decisions. Piurci. With respect…
Robert Beans, PAEC Chair
Calista Corporation

Dunleavy for Alaska responds to Bill Wielechowski’s ridiculous media stunt
Today (10/29/18), in an orchestrated media stunt, Democratic Senator Bill Wielechowski attempts to distance himself from his own public comments describing his firsthand experience with Mike Dunleavy’s good nature and willingness to work across party lines to get things done for Alaskans.
Chair of Dunleavy for Alaska Terre Gales said “Mr. Wielechowski’s demands are utterly frivolous — and it’s a poor reflection on Mr. Wielechowski that he now wants to run away from his own public comments that he made freely and for thousands of Alaskans to hear, simply because they do not align with Mark Begich’s nasty attacks and misleading portrayal of Mike Dunleavy.”
Dunleavy for Alaska will continue to air its advertisements in accordance with the law. Dunleavy for Alaska legal counsel will respond to Mr. Wielechowski and any attempts on his part to interfere with DFA’s media contracts will be met with swift legal action.
This communication was paid for by Dunleavy for Alaska, 200 W. 34th Ave #836, Anchorage, AK 99503. I am Terre Gales; chair of Dunleavy for Alaska and I approve this message. The top contributors of Dunleavy for Alaska are Francis Dunleavy, Houston TX, Bob Penney, Soldotna, AK, and Alaska Frontier Constructors, Anchorage, AK. This NOTICE TO VOTERS is required by Alaska law. I certify that this ad is not authorized, paid for, or approved by the candidate.
Dunleavy for Alaska
Anchorage, AK

I will be voting YES on Ballot Measure 1
Ballot Measure 1, initiated by Alaskan citizens, is under attack from well funded opposition. Ads are full of misinformation and some downright hysteria.
Let me just focus on the “ruining the economy” claim. Our family fishes for salmon. Salmon provides us with a fine lifestyle. Commercial salmon provides for crew members, boat builders, gear and electronic stores, tradesmen, processors, boat yards, etc. Commercial sport salmon adds to our economy: guides, sport shops, tourism… You get the drift. Let’s not forget personal use and subsistence fish and how much recreational and protein value is in our freezers. Thousands of Alaskans benefit economically right now from salmon.
We in the last frontier have the advantage of knowing that major salmon runs in Europe, on our eastern seaboard, and all up our Pacific coast have been decimated. We can see what our frontier’s future will hold if we don’t upgrade our watchfulness for this incredible gift – salmon.
I truly believe that we are also lucky enough to live in a time of advanced technology. We can figure out how to mitigate and how to build responsibly.
Follow the money on the TV ads, the slick mailings, the endorsements. Decide what is “foolish” and short sighted. I’ll be voting YES on 1
Claudia Anderson
Kodiak, Alaska

Outside money floods Dunleavy campaign
Anybody remember the crowd’s reaction to Mike Dunleavy at AFN in mid-October?
Dunleavy didn’t give Alaska Federation of Natives attendees much to cheer about. People did clap politely after his opening remarks, which included that his wife Rose and daughters are Alaska Native.
Dunleavy should be proud of Rose. She’s nice. I like Rose. My family likes Rose. Everybody likes Rose. A ticket agent, Rose has warmly greeted Alaska Airlines passengers for years, including people flying home to Kotzebue.
If I could vote for Rose, I would. But Rose is not on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Dunleavy is. He’s way different from Rose, who grew up in Noorvik. The Kotzebue region is conflicted over Dunleavy versus Mark Begich for governor. After all, Rose could be Alaska’s First Lady.
That may sound promising, but Dunleavy’s voting record as state senator does not bode well for Alaska. Dunleavy could be Alaska’s “death by a thousand cuts” with cuts to education, elder care, Medicaid expansion, infrastructure, you name it. (He’s already voted to cut massively as a senator, including 700 teachers and support staff statewide, and more.)
“I’ve seen (Dunleavy) vote to cut the prosecutors we need to put criminals in jail,” writes Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage. “Today more criminals are in our communities, committing more crime.”
Dunleavy’s proposals don’t add up. He’s voted to slash education in Alaska, then contradicts himself by saying he’ll build expensive boarding schools in rural Alaska, drawing students from outlying village schools, which then could close. He claims he won’t cut your PFD, until soon enough there’s not enough money for any PFDs. He’ll disappear our reserves AND slash the state budget maybe even more than the 40 percent the legislature’s already cut. Realtors and bankers should fear he’ll crash an already fragile economy.
While Begich got strong responses at AFN, especially on subsistence, Dunleavy repeatedly got stone silence. (Natives have excellent detectors.)
Unlike Dunleavy, Begich acknowledged Gov. Bill Walker’s “amazing, courageous action” to drop out of the race, prompting Native leaders to heap praise on Walker.
“I can attest to your heart and your hard work and your caring for this state. In my book, you’re the greatest governor we’ve ever had,” said Kiana’s Wayne Qaniqsiruaq Westlake, president of NANA Regional Corp.
Dunleavy made Walker’s emotional withdrawal all about Dunleavy, whose campaign called it “a bitter, partisan attack.” How is that bitter after Native leaders had just honored the governor so movingly? Dunleavy should have appealed to Walker voters at this crucial moment, not alienate them.
The Northwest Arctic is pushing back on Dunleavy. “I’m not voting for governor because he has nice family members, or because we’re family,” Sandy Shroyer-Beaver wrote on her Facebook page. “I want to vote for someone who treats all Alaskans equally.”
Shroyer-Beaver was Northwest Arctic regional school board president for years and a board member when Dunleavy was superintendent. She helped end the Dunleavy-instigated practice of pushing out perfectly good teachers.
What about Dunleavy’s temperament? Nick Jans, a well-known best-selling author who taught in Northwest Arctic village schools for 20 years, says he once considered Dunleavy a friend.
“I genuinely enjoyed his company,” said Jans. “We hung out when I was passing through Kotzebue. As he moved up the food chain, though, he became increasingly authoritarian, easy to anger, and generally inaccessible on a personal level. An aloof, bullying side in him emerged, which I witnessed and heard many others comment on. Not to mention he got strange at times in a way I can’t quite quantify but made me uncomfortable about him in a leadership role.”
Jans remembers another Dunleavy story. “I once watched Dunleavy totally melt down into an almost out-of-control rage in a bar when a tableful of experienced teachers all told him a program he was pushing wouldn’t work. It started as a jovial, honest conversation, and when he first started raising his voice, we thought he was joking. When we realized he wasn’t, we all told him to come off it and relax.”
Dunleavy claims rural Alaska largely because he’s lived there. But Bush “cred” rings hollow without a corresponding legislative record.
Begich’s lieutenant governor running mate, Debra Call, a Dena’ina Athabascan leader, can influence policies favorable to all Alaska.
Instead of to Alaska and rural Alaska, Dunleavy will be beholden to Outside corporate money and his wealthy brother in Texas. They’ve been bankrolling independent Dunleavy advertising efforts, saturating Alaska with signage and media spots designed to overwhelm Begich.
We’ll see if Outside corporate money can buy Alaska’s governor’s mansion.
John Creed began his education career in Alaska in 1979 as a village teacher in Noatak for Northwest Arctic schools. Today he is emeritus professor of journalism after 30 years of teaching for the University of Alaska in Kotzebue.

Clarifying misinformation about my views on Education
I’ve spent most of my adult life as an educator, in both rural and urban Alaska. My first teaching job was in Koyuk, in the Bering Strait School District. Later on I moved to Kotzebue, where I served as a teacher, school principal, and eventually the superintendent of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District.
Like most teachers, I chose this career because I care deeply about giving students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. Unfortunately, some politicians only care about our schools and our kids during election time, when they are running for office and wish to pander to score political points. Unlike the career politicians who see education as a “political talking point,” teaching has been my profession.
In the race for Governor, my opponent Mark Begich and others have launched a misinformation campaign about my views on education. One false claim you may have heard is that “Mike Dunleavy wants to close rural schools and force students to attend boarding schools.” This is untrue. It is nothing more than a smear attack that attempts to link me to the horrible, anti-Native legacy of historic boarding schools. My wife of 31 years is an Alaskan Native, and she attended a small school in Noorvik. I have a great love and admiration for Alaska’s native cultures. Those who say otherwise do not know me—or are misrepresenting me for political gain.
Unlike my opponent Mark Begich, who spent nearly his entire life in Anchorage or Washington, D.C., I lived in rural Alaska and worked in rural schools for nearly 20 years. I have a special care and concern for ensuring that our rural kids have the same opportunities as those who live in large cities.
I have not proposed closing down rural schools. What I have proposed is that we should expand educational opportunities in regional hubs (such as Bethel and Nome) in courses such as physics, calculus, and other advanced subjects that are rarely available in small, rural communities. Older students from our smaller villages should be given the opportunity – voluntarily, of course! – to travel for brief periods of time to the regional hubs for instruction that would never be available in their local schools. This isn’t about “forcing” students to do anything, it’s about providing them opportunities and better access to advanced courses that students in Anchorage and Fairbanks take for granted.
I care greatly about the educational success of all our kids, and that is why I’ve suggested innovative approaches like this. Unfortunately, my opponents twist “caring about kids” into something that sounds sinister. It’s all for the purpose of winning elections, not because they actually care about improving education. Many of my detractors have never spent a day in front of a classroom in a rural school, and they never will.
So regrettably, while my opponents waste time talking about fake, manufactured issues, they neglect “real” issues in our educational system that should concern us all. It is no secret that our educational system is not meeting the needs of many of our children. This is a scandal and should be treated as such.
I believe we need a “back to basics” approach, where we focus on improving outcomes in core subjects: reading, writing, math, science, and vocational-technical education. We need to shift resources to teaching reading skills in the early grades. Research shows that if a child cannot read proficiently by fourth grade, he or she will be hampered in every subject for the duration of their schooling. Improving outcomes in this one area will vastly increase the chances of a child’s success for the rest of their years in school.
As a former teacher, principal, superintendent, and school board member, the idea that I don’t care about our kids is nonsense and won’t distract me from trying to improve our education system. I know that if we maintain a disciplined approach and focus on reading, writing, math, and other basic subjects, we can move the needle and improve our outcomes. If I am honored to be elected as your Governor, I will not rest until we make real progress in better preparing our students to succeed in life.
Mike Dunleavy is a candidate for governor of Alaska. A public school teacher, principal and superintendent for more than two decades in Koyuk, Kotzebue and the Mat-Su Valley, Dunleavy served on the Mat-Su Borough School Board and in the Alaska State Senate.

Zappa supports Ballot Measure 1
With the temperature dipping down below freezing, it finally feels like winter is on the way. For a dog musher, it’s the season of anticipation and many questions. When will the first snowfall be? How much will it snow? Will the snow last? Are you running Iditarod again?
After participating in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race for the past five years, I am taking one off. Many folks assume my break is because of politics. While the politics of the race have been messy since my involvement, my reasons for sitting out are much more personal. However, because I am not registered for the 2019 Iditarod, I am not regulated by Rule 53, therefore I finally have the freedom to speak my opinion.
Rule 53, also known as “The Gag Rule” was added to the official Iditarod Rules in 2015 with the sole purpose of ‘protecting their sponsors.’ More specifically, protecting their multimillion dollar donor and lead dog partner, Donlin Gold, from activist mushers, such as myself, that want the world to know just what this foreign company’s plan is for Alaska.
Their plan starts with constructing a pipeline over 300 miles along the path of the National Historic Iditarod Trail, in order to fuel the remote mine. If building one of the world’s largest open pit gold mines in remote Alaska isn’t enough to disturb you, how about ruining one of the most historic and pristine trails in our state? This is why I donated my entire 2018 Iditarod winnings, $1049, that ironically came from sponsor’s money, to the Stand for Salmon campaign. While this was an enormous amount of money for me, and about all I had at the time, it’s a tiny fraction of a percent when compared to the 11.5 million that corporations have put up in opposition. Turns out, Donlin Gold has put up the most cash to oppose to Prop 1, the Salmon Habitat Initiative. Donlin’s 1.2 million tops Conoco Philips’ 1 million, however since Conoco Philips has made more in kind donations, they are getting the top credit. In my opinion, this shuffling of the donation money is a political strategy to make it seem like Ballot Measure One will hurt Alaska’s oil industry. Another farce brought by the opposition.
The Ballot Measure is aimed at giving salmon habitat a fighting chance against large scale development projects like Pebble and Donlin. These mines would be Alaska’s biggest holes in the ground and forever change the surrounding landscape. Most Alaskans agree that these projects need high scrutiny, deserve public input, and advisory from state officials such as the Board of Fish.
As it stands now, the current regulations do very little to ensure that massive development projects are done with the highest regard for the land, animals or people that have made home in the areas since forever. Further, current regulations do not ensure that companies would be held responsible for cleanup costs, should dams fail or other disasters result. This month Alaskans have the opportunity, on the upcoming ballot, to say, ‘it’s time we do what is right for our lands.” Please join me in voting YES for Salmon, YES for Ballot Measure One.
Monica Zappa
Soldotna, AK