Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kenny Lake to hold another Community Revenue Sharing meeting on June 15

The state of Alaska DCRA responded to my neighbor's email complaint about the lack of public notices required under the "Minimum Qualifications" for the revenue sharing program. Their response (posted below) assures him the KLCL has done a "great job" with the program in the past and assures him this "oversight" was a "rare occurrence."

After asking several people I know who live in Kenny Lake, I'm still convinced only a few people in Kenny Lake have knowledge of the existence of this revenue sharing program. It appears to me that even fewer residents know that individuals (not just 501cs) in the community can apply for funds that are "irrevocably dedicated to a public purpose."

The issue for me now is finding exactly what criteria constitutes a public purpose. WISE certainly does not belong to the "people as a whole." I don't know anyone in Kenny Lake who benefits from WISE activities and programs. I do know several people and businesses in Kenny Lake that are affected by WISE activities and programs, but affected does not necessarily mean a positive benefit to the people of Kenny Lake, and, there is evidence to suggest WISE actions actually have a negative affect on the community as a whole.

Here's my "problem" with this whole funding scene. The Wellmans own and operate a private Bed & Breakfast that's in direct competition with other business owners in Kenny Lake; this is an important factor in my estimation. How does Patty Ryan at the Golden Spruce, Lisa Boone at the Merc, Ada Wilson's Native Arts, the upholstry shop or the new greenhouse on the Old Road get a positive benefit from public funds going to the Wellman's property (or, for that matter, Billy Williams Ag project)? In addition to it being in their private home and commercial business, it is the office for WISE and the religious School of the Earth, and it may also be the office for the new Wellman Council (which needs to be explained) and the new Willow Creek Watershed Consortium. That they have a firm hand in every organization in Kenny Lake that receives community revenue is enough to make me think we, as a community are in dire need of more transparency and must find a way to include more public input into local "government" funding.

Since we are an un land taxed, unincorporated, non Borough affiliated area, I wrongly assumed this was one of the few "free" places left in the states. We are being sucked into the regional government plans as easily as a fished is slipped back into the river. Local residents are none the WISER, and since the League is a membership organization (now corporate) which requires an application to join, it does not fulfill the constitutional role of a locally elected government entity. The current leadership of the KLCL (excluding the new treasurer) does not adhere to basic constitutional requirements for legitimate government agencies, as is evidenced by their total lack of response to requests for information about their purpose and programs. Apparently their superiors at the State government and their BLM "partners" in the Federal govt support this "new" policy of communitarian balancing.

I would also like to explore the foundation for Janelle Eklund's (President of WISE) private tourism business (Copper River Country Nature Tours) that uses the exact same name as was developed by her and her friends during our Regional Tourism Branding workshops. (And the use of the word "country" is of particular interest since most locals and local companies call themselves the Copper River Basin or Valley.) Then there's the whole Copper River Country Stories Mapping Project, the tourist map that eliminated all the local service and goods providers from the map, ongoing for the past 2 years now, under the lead of WISE buddies at the Copper River Watershed Project. The CRWP is served by One Northwest, whose 2007 Report tells us:
In 2007 we . . .
. . . served 246 organizations.
. . . created 28 new websites.
. . . launched 11 constituent relationship
management databases.
. . . developed 13 new email newsletters.
. . . hosted 1,249 lists with our email list service.
. . . provided service to 195,986 subscribers to
those lists.
. . . provided the 2,767 subscribers to ONEList with
online organizing strategies, tips, and techniques.

So what we have here are a few local (globally connected) businesses that control Kenny Lake. They know how vital a community website is to sustaining local businesses and local residents. They know that over 60% of Alaskan Tourists use the internet to pre-make their travel plans. They know that Alaskan businesses miss out on at least 60% of the market when they do not have an online presence. They know unenlightened local businesses and unevolved local residents cannot compete against their tightly controlled, well connected and well funded group of Enlightened Ones. They surely know the value of Public-Private Partnerships, a term most locals have never heard once in their lives. And yes, they all "volunteer" for various causes and events, but they also make a lot of money off their directly related for profit tourist businesses.

Cost: $119 for Adults

$70 Children under 12

Tours start June 1 and end September 1.

Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment is a partner with Princess Tours. Inc. and a partner with Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. If you want to book a tour as a Princess Tour customer, you can book your tour by calling 1-800-426-0442 . You can also visit Copper River Princess Princess Activities web page for more information. Look for “Copper River Country Nature Tour.”


Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment (WISE) is a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching science and environmental education. It is our dream to bring a sense of wonder, excitement, and a stewardship of nature so people can carry those special moments with them throughout their life. With this solid foundation, citizens will be able to make informed and enlightened decisions about where they live and their environment around them. Our strength lies in collaborating with many groups and organizations to provide a quality education experience in science and natural history. WISE depends on sponsors, partners, tour receipts and memberships for delivery of its programs http://www.copperrivertours.org/aboutwise.html

The "need" for a Community Website in our area is well established in our Regional Tourism Branding and Marketing Plan. If I had a faster connection I'd open and quote from this:

Grant No: 07-79-05590

Jun 30, 2007 ... Regional Tourism Branding. We developed the “Copper River Country” brand, and a new marketing strategy for the region. The marketing plan is ...
www.commerce.state.ak.us/oed/dart/pub/EDA_Report.pdf

pub·lic (pub′lik)

adjective

1. of, belonging to, or concerning the people as a whole; of or by the community at large: the public welfare, a public outcry
2. for the use or benefit of all; esp., supported by government funds: a public park
3. as regards community, rather than private, affairs
4. acting in an official capacity on behalf of the people as a whole: a public prosecutor
5. known by, or open to the knowledge of, all or most people: to make information public, a public figure
6. Finance owned by shareholders whose shares can be freely traded, as on an exchange: a public company

public purpose legal definition
n
A governmental action or direction that purports to benefit the populace as a whole.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
pur·port (pʉr pôrt′; also, and for n. always, pʉr′pôrt′)
transitive verb

1. to profess or claim as its meaning
2. to give the appearance, often falsely, of being, intending, etc.

Origin: Anglo-Fr purporter <>
Can definitions change? http://www.indianexpress.com/news/govt-expands-definition-of-public-purpose-as-it-works-on-a-new-land-acquisition-law/30142/

This blog had visitors from the DOA in Juneau this past week. The State of Alaska came in directly to the page I wrote about the revenue program. Yet my email to Tara Jollie at DCRA, where I requested the proper procedures for administering the program and the exact process for contesting the results of the unpublicized community revenue sharing meeting on May 11, 2010, has not been answered. My quest for evidence of a a public purpose for WISE and the legal standards by which we can judge if WISE programs serve a public purpose is ongoing.

I remain unconvinced that Gay Wellman's private for profit and non-profit tourist businesses serve any LOCAL public purpose. I say it's not a coincidence that the two men who objected to my proposal to build a community section at kennylake.com have both been top receivers of these community funds for the past four years, including $12,000. out of this years' pot. Isn't it interesting that the WISE nature tours just happen to go along the same creek the WISE ones decided they needed an extra $4000 to "study" this summer?

----- Original Message -----
From: Jollie, Tara L (CED)tara.jollie@alaska.gov
To: *********
Cc: "Doyle, Anne M (GOV)" anne.doyle@alaska.gov; "Machulsky, Mara M (CED)"
mara.machulsky@alaska.gov

Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 10:49 PM
Subject: Public notice postings

May 21, 2010
Dear Mr. ******,

DCRA staff talked to several members of the Kenny Lake Community League including its treasurer and president.

The FY 11 Community Revenue Sharing Program public meeting notice for Kenny Lake was advertised in the local newspaper “Copper River Record”, on the local radio, and emailed to community members. However, there was an oversight on the posting of the public meeting notice in three prominent and public places for at least 5 days before the meeting.

President Gay Wellman agreed today to hold another community meeting on June 15, 2010. That meeting will be noticed in at least 3 prominent and public locations for at least 5 days before the meeting. She will be providing DCRA with copies of the notices.

The Kenny Lake Community League has done a great job with its revenue sharing in the past. DCRA considers this posting oversight a rare occurrence and after the second public meeting is conducted, this issue should be resolved.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If DCRA can be of further assistance or if you have other questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,
Tara Jollie
DCRA Director

From: "Doyle, Anne M (GOV)" anne.doyle@alaska.gov
> Date: May 18, 2010 4:29:39 PM AKDT
> To: *********
> Cc: "Jollie, Tara L (CED)" tara.jollie@alaska.gov, "Machulsky, Mara M
(CED)" mara.machulsky@alaska.gov
> Subject: Public notice postings
>
> Dear Mr. *******,
>
>
>
> Thank you for your email to Governor Parnell regarding your concerns with
the notice postings for the Revenue Sharing meeting on Tuesday, May 11th. We
have requested the Director of Community and Regional affairs, Tara Jollie,
to work with you in this respect. She can be contacted at 907-269-4580 or
tara.jollie@alaska.gov.
>
>
>
> Thank you, again, for your email to the Governor’s office and please do
not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
>
>
> Anne Doyle
>
> Executive Secretary
>
> Office of Governor Sean Parnell
>
> PHONE: 907-465-3500
>
> FAX: 907-465-3532
>
>
>
> anne.doyle@alaska.gov
>
> www.alaska.gov

Now here's another group I never heard about yet. Their Annual Report confirms the region has an established need for aggressive online marketing campaigns.
The Copper River/PWS Marketing Association
A beautiful image of Cordova Alaska

The Copper River / Prince William Sound Marketing Association incorporated in 2005 after an overwhelmingly successful election of the Area E drift gillnet salmon fleet to self assess a 1% marketing tax on their annual catch. This election established Alaska’s first Regional Seafood Development Association (RSDA) and ushered in a new era for Alaska seafood marketing. Regional marketing allows individual fisheries to promote their regional seafood products in the marketplace and introduce the world to specific Alaska seafood brands. This model allows each region to tell the story of their fishermen and fishery, highlighting the attributes that set their fish apart from the rest. The CR/PWS Marketing Association works to promote all wild Alaska salmon, while educating consumers about the taste, texture, oil content and flavor variations that make our salmon so special. The story of our region reaches far beyond the premium salmon we produce to encompass the rich history, environment and people that have fished these pristine waters for generations and call Prince William Sound home. http://copperrivermarketing.org/index.php/about_us/the_association/

Annual Meeting - May 5th at 10am - Published on Apr 21, 2010

Join us on Wednesday, May 5th at 10am at the Masonic Hall for our annual meeting.
Does Sam McCallister, a Captain of a dipnetter fishing boat operating out of Chitina, pay this 1% marketing tax? Here's another funding program that appears to think marketing is important:

Alaska http://www.americantrails.org/resources/funding/bywaysfund06.html

Bike and Pedestrian Trail at Homer Terminal - Alaska's Marine Highway - $63,000

On-board Traveler Information Display Signs - Alaska's Marine Highway - $74,760

Statewide Communications Plan - $76,000

Corridor Management Plan Implementation: Glenn Highway - Year 4 - $25,000

Marketing Southeast Alaska's Inside Passage - Alaska's Marine Highway - $54,560

DVD Brochure - Alaska's Marine Highway - $69,530

Kodiak & Aleutians Interpretive Plan - Alaska's Marine Highway - $48,600

Auke Bay Coastal Trails Interpretive Program-Alaska's Marine Hwy - $75,000

Total for Alaska (8 Projects) - $486,450

Alaska's Grant History

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/stwdplng/scenic/org-funding.shtml

Alaska and its byway communities have received over $4.8 million in federal funds for 34 scenic byways projects between 1993 and 2004. A few of the projects that have been funded include the:

Construction of the Bird Creek Scenic Overlook and the McHugh Creek Overlook on the Seward Highway.
Construction of the Bird Pt. Overlook & related pedestrian improvements on the Seward Highway.
Preparation of corridor management plans for the AMHS and the Seward, Dalton, Glenn and Sterling Highways.
Restoration of Historic Mining Buildings in Hope.
Construction of Kawabe Park in Seward.
Restoration of the Pt. Retreat Lighthouse along the Alaska Marine Highway in Southeast Alaska.
Construction of improvements to interpretive centers in Moose Pass and Cooper Landing.
Development and installation of Byway markers along designated roads.
Design and maintenance of a web site for the Seward Highway All-American Road.
Interpretive planning for the Seward Highway, the Alaska Marine Highway and the Glenn Highway.
Design and installation of interpretive panels in the Palmer Commuter Center.
Design and printing of the Official State Highway and Scenic Byway Map.

PDF  documentView a complete list of NSB Grants awarded to Alaska's Byways

The Scenic Byway plan was blocked by Glennallen and Kenny Lake locals several years ago. So where are the local efforts NOW to bring this whole planning issue into the public arena for discussion and debate prior to any actions taken on behalf of our entire community?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So DCRA states the Kenny Lake Revenue Sharing meeting violated the law.

It was a rare occurrence. So the organizers get a do-over. No penalty for breaking the law.

I would ask, "If no problem occured in the past, how did the KLCL totally fail this time to notify ALL the constituents? Reviewing the video of the revenue sharing meeting reveals no discussions of the projects appealing for funding."

I would contend this illegal meeting was rubber stamping of pre-agreed funding. I also note there was no funding for the community water well.

the tent lady said...

Hmm. What did occur in the past? I still don't know exactly what year this revenue became available either. And I never heard of it once in my 4 years living here. I've been to several League meetings and read the public notice board at the Merc every time I go there. I'm guessing the only "problem" they had this time was people starting noticing.

So you're saying the video doesn't show them discussing their honest proposals at all? whoa. That never occurred to me. And hah, isn't the community well the only other legitimate purpose the League has other than to organize the fair?