Re: Request to Cancel all 2020 Sport Fishing and Rafters Season to prevent spreading of COVID-19
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly through Alaska. It is only a matter of time before COVID-19 invades our communities. Kuitsarak Inc. is concerned for our residents. With this concern in mind, Kuitsarak Inc., who is the land owner of our corporation lands suspends the entire 2020 Season to all Sport Fishing, Guides, and Outfits that operate in Goodnews Bay Main River and Middle Fork River.
Introducing COVID-19 to our community would have devastating consequences. Many of our residents are elders or have underlying health conditions and compromised immune systems. Generations of families live together in small houses, leaving little, if any, space available for quarantine.
Our only available healthcare services are those provided by our minimally-staffed clinic. The closest hospital is a 115-mile flight away in Bethel, and is only accessible by airplane – weather allowing.
If even one resident contracted COVID-19, the virus would spread through our community of 272 people like wildfire.
Please understand that the health and welfare of Kuitsarak’s shareholders and descendants is paramount to all other considerations. The influenza epidemic of 1918 decimated Alaska’s indigenous communities. Without taking decisive action now, Kuitsarak is concerned that its community could face the same fate.
George J. Bright Sr., Chairman
Goodnews Bay, AK
In this time of immediate need we as Alaskans can use the extra boost in finances
Honorable Governor Dunleavy:
Let me introduce myself; I am a commercial fisherman from the Lower Yukon Area Y-1, I have been involved with the fisheries in the state for over 50 years. I have been involved with education for over 35 years, have taught school in rural Alaska, managed schools and a district over the years. Continue to serve the state fishery on the Yukon River in Alaska and Canada in a public capacity as an Alternate Panel Member on the US/CANADA Yukon River Panel. Invested in a small home in Wasilla in 1988 (in which I currently reside) and paid taxes (both state and borough) over the years. Served our Country in the United States Air Force for 6 years (4 active and 2 inactive/reserve) as an Enlisted Soldier. Served as a Council Member representing the community of Alakanuk for a couple of years (left to attain a degree in education from the University of Alaska at Anchorage).
I have supported you in most of your actions as Governor of our Great State, I am one of the individuals that have commented in support of most of your decisions on ADN as YukonAviator.
Reason for this note is that: I know many People throughout Rural Alaska and they support you in providing a back pay of the Oil Wealth resources that are due them and not for operating the state as current legislators are supporting. I ask you, PLEASE VETO this current budget! You have much support from most Alaskans!
As you can see in the people I have copied this to, they are both supporters and non-supporters. In this time of immediate need we as Alaskans can use the extra boost in finances that are due us by the States’ Constitution from the State’s Oil Wealth.
John H. Lamont
Lower Yukon River
Let’s do our best to avoid this virus
History is repeating itself with this disease bringing devastation to the world with serious consequences in its path.
The virus that does not have a remedy available to stop it until such time and hopefully will be found. History repeating itself with the diseases that were brought in the early years by those that came to the indigenous people in this country.
During the early years before the new comers came to the indigenous lands starting from the arrival of the Europeans to the western hemisphere there were hardly any diseases among those that were part of the land.
Medicine was not available other than traditional medicines to cure or relieve them.
We at this time we know it is coming and we need to be vigilant about it. We must practice the best way we know or told how to avoid this disease. We do not have to have history repeat itself by trying to be very conscious and avoiding the most likely ways that can get one person to catch the disease.
As it may not be our tradition to be wary of people that come to our communities we need to practice this even it may seem wrong. This is especially true of those that arrive from areas that have very large populations or the outside for that matter. They unknowingly can pass it without knowing it.
Billy Lincoln Jr.
Toksook Bay, AK
Pruitt asks Governor to release PFD payments early to assist families, stimulate economy
Dear Governor Dunleavy:
We are facing difficult times requiring new approaches that utilize tools already available to us. Recently the Legislature debated providing Alaskans with a permanent fund dividend and a supplemental payment. This was in part due to a conversation you started during the earlier days of the Covid-19 crisis.
In an op-ed authored by former Senator Mark Begich and former Governor Sean Parnell, they agreed with you and recommended providing Alaskans supplemental support during this unprecedented time.
Rather than continue this debate, the support was put on the back burner and not discussed by legislative leadership. We heard from many Alaskans, including many from the business community, that any payment should come sooner rather than later as people are struggling under the burden of multiple economic challenges.
On the final days of the shortened session, the Legislature settled on a $1000 PFD to be paid during the regular distribution. The timeframe was implied by some in conversations; however, HB 205 has boilerplate language in Section 23 stating “for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021” and does not state a date for distribution. Furthermore, the statute AS 43.23.055 lists under section 2 of the Duties of the Department:
“(2) subject to AS 43.23.011 and (8) of this section, adopt regulations under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) that establish procedures and time limits for claiming a permanent fund dividend; the department shall determine the number of eligible applicants by October 1 of the year for which the dividend is declared and pay the dividends by December 31 of that year.”
This language suggests the only limitations for paying the dividend earlier would be Department regulations, and the speed to which the Permanent Fund Division can process applicants. I respectfully request that you instruct the Commissioner of Revenue to implement necessary regulations and prepare a payment of either the full $1000 appropriated amount, or an equally divided amount distributed over two or more months as soon as possible after the effective date of the bill July 1, 2020.
Distributing money at an earlier time would help provide Alaskans the bridge they need to survive this challenging time. The support would come after the federal payments that were often cited as an excuse by legislators for not paying a supplemental dividend. Making your intentions known as soon as possible would also help the Permanent Fund Corporation in their effort to liquidate the amount necessary to provide the money needed with a limited loss in value.
Alaskans need this cash sooner rather than later, and I believe it is within your administration’s power to get it to people prior to the traditional timeframe. Thank you and your administration for your leadership and diligence during this crisis.
Representative Lance Pruitt
Alaska State Legislature