Bartlett continues effort to build a youth psychiatric treatment center in Juneau

first_imgJuneau | Mental HealthBartlett continues effort to build a youth psychiatric treatment center in JuneauJuly 14, 2016 by Lakeidra Chavis, KTOO Share:Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)When residential psychiatric treatment services for youth aren’t available in the state, children are sent out of Alaska. But Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau is trying to change that by building a treatment center in the state’s capital.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2016/07/14RPTC.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.According to reports earlier this month, about 120 children have been sent out of state for high-level psychiatric treatment. In 2004, the number of children sent out of state was six times that. That number has dwindled largely due to a statewide initiative that ended two years ago.Bartlett Regional Hospital began planning to a build treatment center in Juneau in 2004. Now, things have changed.“A lot of the discussion was more about an acute care level of service,” said Mark Johnson, one of the hospital’s board members. “And so this kind of changes the service to a different level, and I think it takes a bit of time for that discussion to take place in the community.”That different level of service is a residential psychiatric treatment center, or RPTC, which has a longer treatment model and focuses on children who’ve experienced severe trauma and suffer from multiple mental illnesses.“There is a need, there are kids who need this level of service, it is not available in this region right now,” he said. “There’s not enough available in this state right now, and when the kids have to be sent somewhere else it’s very challenging for the families of those kids.”Although RPTC services are offered around the state, there is none in Southeast. Bartlett hopes to change that with a 28-bed facility.Sally Schneider is the hospital’s chief behavioral health officer and oversees the project, which is still in the feasibility stage.“We started looking at what is called a residential psychiatric center that allows children a longer spectrum of care, to be able to better their development needs,” she said.But running these services is expensive, and some other organizations in Alaska have tried to provide these services, then down-sized or shut down. According to the state Department of Health, the cost of providing these services has increased by 25 percent in the past 11 years, while reimbursement rates from the state have barely changed.Brita Bishop is a program manager with the state’s Division of Behavioral Health and helped coordinate the Bring Back the Kids Initiative, which helped reduce the number of kids being sent out of state.“In terms of what we’re seeing in kids who are going out of state, what we’re seeing at this point is that it’s not the kinds of children and youth that are easily served in other community programs,” Bishop said.“And so if we are going to develop additional services in Alaska, one of the things I’m concerned with is that we develop the services we actually need.”An example, Bishop said, is a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, who also suffers from intellectual disabilities and has other behavioral needs. They’d seek out-of-state services because the child’s needs are so specific.Bartlett officials will present an update to the Juneau Assembly in September. Aside from finding potential land, they’re asking if providing this type of care in Juneau makes sense financially.Share this story:last_img read more

Bartlett Regional Hospital now recognizes broader gender identities

first_imgHealthBartlett Regional Hospital now recognizes broader gender identitiesNovember 17, 2016 by Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO Share:A copy of Bartlett Regional Hospital’s new outpatient registration form asks for sex assigned at birth and gender identification with expanded options. (Photo illustration by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)Bartlett Regional Hospital announced Thursday that at registration, its patients will now be asked for their gender identity. Patients will also be notified that they are protected against sex discrimination.The hospital said in a press release the changes are in response to federal regulations tied to the Affordable Care Act that require health care providers treat people in a way consistent with their gender identity.The hospital’s registration forms now ask for “gender assigned at birth” and “gender identification.” Options include female, male, intersex, female-to-male transgender, male-to-female transgender, other and an option to decline.Denise Plano, Bartlett’s director of quality, says it’s an important rule that the hospital is pleased to comply with.Share this story:last_img read more

Juneau makes collection of property mapping data easier to access online

first_imgJuneau | Local Government | Science & TechJuneau makes collection of property mapping data easier to access onlineJune 23, 2017 by Carter Barrett Share:Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2017/06/23GIS.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.It’s been about a year since the City & Borough of Juneau made reams of land, property and mapping data readily available to the public through a web-based application.Conservationists, landscape architects and second-grade teachers are using the city’s Parcel Viewer system.Each second-grade student painted their own section of the map. The project was to help them learn about mapping, Tlingit history and patterning. (Photo courtesy City & Borough of Juneau)At the bottom of stairwell at Juneau City Hall, a group of second-graders are looking at a tall patchwork of paper grids posted to a wall. Each kid worked on a grid, coloring in blue for water and green for land, and they patterned in symbols for traditional Tlingit uses of the land – hunting, berry picking, fishing. With geographic information systems technology, or GIS, the city’s cartographer, Quinn Tracy, produced the map grids that made the second-grade class project possible. Nancy Lehnhart with the school district created the lesson for all of Juneau’s second-grade classes.  “We created a map together and he could very easily, when I said, ‘I’d like to see some creeks and rivers but not all of them,’ he could kind of back off, you know, it so easy with the GIS program he uses and his skills to make quick changes and get me right what I needed,” Lehnhart said.  Parcel Viewer is a free online application that shows an aerial view of Juneau with each piece of property — the parcels — outlined in yellow.  These boxes are interactive, show property lines, the landowner, zoning, assessed value, topography and more.“For the average Juneauite a question the lands and resources division often gets asked is, who owns this property? Who manages this property?” Juneau lands specialist Rachel Friedlander said.  Before Parcel Viewer, getting this information was arduous and time consuming. Juneau land information has become very accessible since the city took the system public a year ago.“GIS and remote sensing in general would make Ponce de Leon or any 15th, 16th century, 17th century explorer super jealous, because basically it’s a whole another way of understanding the landscape,” Friedlander said. Running Parcel Viewer costs the city $9,800 annually, regardless of it being a public or private program.Parcel Viewer has been a time-saver for Allison Gillum, the executive director of the Southeast Alaska Land Trust.“To look at different parcels and just as basic as locating them, finding out where they are and seeing the surrounding areas,” Gillum said. “Is it surrounded by wetlands? Is in next to the refuge? It helps visualize where things are, and gets us started when we’re looking and evaluating properties for protection.” Parcel Viewer has been useful for Chris Mertl, both as a landscape architect and as the chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.  “Previously, I remember working with the GIS department, and you had to work with them bringing all these layers together,” Mertl said. “Now that it is a public domain, or within the public domain, and you have access and can control the layers, I find that it’s a great tool. For us, we use it all the time for our master planning, and I think it’s a great resource.”As the technology advances, it’s almost possible to update maps in real time. Drones may be used in the future to take aerial photos of rapidly changing landscapes. “That will be more nimble, more efficient, less expensive and more available,” said Greg Chaney, CBJ Lands and Resources manager. “That’s where I see us coming on and that’s not going to be that far in the future, maybe even five years.”Everything from the assessed value of a house, the owner of a property and the year a building was constructed are online.  The information is available to the public  by going online epv.juneau.org. Share this story:last_img read more

GoPro-stealing eagle is action-camera company’s video of the day

first_imgShare this story: Juneau | Outdoors | WildlifeGoPro-stealing eagle is action-camera company’s video of the dayJuly 3, 2017 by Tripp J Crouse, KTOO Share:A Juneau man set out to document bald eagles but got more footage than he expected.The action-camera company GoPro shared its video of the day online, which claims to be of a bald eagle stealing a GoPro in Juneau.In a web posting, GoPro said the original incident happened in May 2015.According to the post, Matt Beedle set out to document the birds. He placed the GoPro on a nearby stump and put scraps of salmon on a log.That’s when the GoPro took flight. The video shows the camera being picked up in an eagle’s claw and whisked away.Video of the Day: Matt Beedle set out to document a Bald Eagle with his GoPro but ended up capturing a bit more than he bargained for. pic.twitter.com/p7X1YOvDjV— GoPro (@GoPro) July 3, 2017Matthew Beedle is director of academics and research for the Juneau Icefield Research Program. He could not be reached for comment.last_img read more

In plea deal, charges dropped in alleged robbery for trespass convictions

first_imgCrime & Courts | Juneau | Public SafetyIn plea deal, charges dropped in alleged robbery for trespass convictionsJuly 23, 2017 by Matt Miller, KTOO Share:Felony charges have been dismissed against a Juneau man in an armed robbery case as part of a plea deal. He’s been released after time served for misdemeanor trespassing in several downtown businesses.Juneau Police Chief Bryce Johnson said they agreed with the decision made by the District Attorney’s office to drop the robbery and assault charges.“We’re trying to find out what actually happened,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, all cases aren’t just perfect. We don’t always have everything perfect lined up.”“In that particular robbery case, I think that decision that the attorney made was correct because we had open questions about whether we could prove that case against that particular defendant,” Johnson said.Eric Rivera, 23, was arrested May 30 just after a Taku Harley-Davidson employee reported being robbed at knifepoint. She reported that Rivera — who a day earlier had been fired from his job at the store — stopped by to pick up his pay stub.According to the investigating officer’s report, Rivera pulled out a knife he had purchased at the store and said, “I am sorry. I need the money.” He walked out with a bank bag containing about $5,000 cash. Rivera was arrested a half-hour later on Front Street and charged with felony robbery and assault.Taku Harley-Davidson officials declined to comment on the case. Juneau Police Department officials confirmed Wednesday that none of the money has been recovered and the case is still under investigation.Last April, Rivera was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass at the Mendenhall Tower Apartments. Video surveillance cameras and another man’s cell phone camera captured Rivera forcing open the locked exterior doors and sleeping in the lobby and common area. On video, Rivera also smacked the phone out of the man’s hand.Rivera was also charged with trespassing at Alaskan Hotel, Foodland IGA and Baranof Hotel in March and April.In early June, the robbery and assault charges stemming from the Taku Harley-Davidson case were dismissed as long as Rivera pleaded guilty to half of the criminal trespass charges. He was ordered to serve 10 days in jail with credit for time already served.As is usual practice, Rivera’s public defender declined to comment on the case.Rivera has served his sentence and is already out of custody.Share this story:last_img read more

Sitnasuak Native Corporation opens lawsuit against three directors

first_imgAlaska Native Government & Policy | NorthwestSitnasuak Native Corporation opens lawsuit against three directorsAugust 25, 2017 by Zoe Grueskin, KNOM-Nome Share:Detail of the Sitnasuak Native Corporation building on Front Street in Nome. (File photo by David Dodman/KNOM)Sitnasauk Native Corporation announced August 16 that it has filed a lawsuit against three of its own directors.The complaint, filed in the Superior Court for the State of Alaska, alleges that Barbara Amarok, Edna Baker and Charles Fagerstrom violated their fiduciary duties of loyalty and care by distributing an anonymous mailer that “misinformed Sitnasuak shareholders and damaged the corporation.”Sitnasuak seeks the removal of the three directors from the board, as well as damages to compensate for harm allegedly done to the corporation.The mailer at the center of the lawsuit was sent to Sitnasuak shareholders in advance of what was supposed to be the 44th annual meeting of shareholders on June 3.That meeting failed to reach quorum, leading the board of directors to reschedule for September 30 in Anchorage.On the agenda for the upcoming meeting is the election of four directors to the board, as well as a vote on an amendment to lower the quorum requirement for shareholder meetings.Sitnasuak shareholders can vote in person at the meeting, or by proxy between now and September 27.Share this story:last_img read more

Aboard NOAA ship, challenges and adventure while mapping sea floor

first_imgArctic | Federal Government | Nation & World | Northwest | Oceans | TransportationAboard NOAA ship, challenges and adventure while mapping sea floorSeptember 2, 2017 by Gabe Colombo, KNOM-Nome Share:The NOAA Ship Fairweather in 2015. (Photo courtesy NOAA)Summer is the busy season for marine research in the waters of Western Alaska, and that means plenty of ship traffic through the Port of Nome.One such ship is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel Fairweather, which recently made a third stop in Nome during a mission to map the ocean floor.Audio Playerhttp://www.knom.org/wp-audio/2017/08/2017-08-30-FairweatherPKG.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Bon Jovi’s hit single blasts from the speakers aboard the Fairweather as Ensign Patrick Lawler gives me a tour of the research vessel’s main deck.It’s a cool, sunny morning in Nome’s outer harbor, where the Fairweather — named after Mount Fairweather in Glacier Bay National Park — is anchored for the weekend.We pass a parked motorcycle beneath the ship’s massive steel crane on our way to check out the sonar equipment on board. “A lot of people have their bikes,” Lawler said. “It’s actually pretty crucial to have some way of getting away from the boat.” Lawler is a member of the NOAA Corps, a commissioned uniformed service whose officers lead NOAA research missions in the air, on land, and, of course, at sea.The Corps’ officers have backgrounds in a variety of scientific disciplines.Lawler says he had been interested in joining the military until he enrolled at the Citadel Military College of South Carolina:“I just majored in biology, and I just loved it all. And I wanted to do something similar to that, something scientific. And then I found NOAA, and I said, this is pretty perfect — I get to do it all, essentially. I grew up loving ships and boats, so driving the ship is so much fun to me.”Along with things like driving the ship, Lawler and his colleagues are in charge of the research operations aboard the Fairweather. For the past month and a half, the ship has been mapping the ocean floor near Port Clarence in order to update nautical charts. The goal is to provide more reliable routes for ships navigating along the coast of Western Alaska.Lt. Damian Manda, a NOAA Corps member from Colorado, is the operations officer on the Fairweather.“In Port Clarence, that area is one of the few safe anchorages in this region, and in the Arctic in general, for larger deeper-draft vessels if there were to be a large storm that they didn’t want to be out in the Bering Strait for,” Manda says.The Fairweather uses a multi-beam sonar to sweep the ocean floor for obstacles that could pose a hazard for such vessels. It turns out that technology can also be used to find missing ships, such as the fishing vessel Destination, which sunk in February without a trace. The Fairweather was able to locate the lost ship.And, earlier in the summer, it conducted a survey of the Yukon Delta, helping to find safe navigation channels in the constantly changing waters.Manda says some of the charts haven’t been updated since the late 1800s:“We’re often driving over areas on the chart that were marked as land or as no depths at all where there was no channel previously — or vice versa, where there was a channel, there was now land.”He says it’s that sense of constant discovery that keeps him going:“Kind of that adventure — being out here in places not too many people go. We’re definitely some of the first people to see some of the things that we do on the sea floor.” And for the approximately 10 NOAA Corps officers and 20 civilian mariners on board, that has to keep them going for a while, since missions last for months at a time during the summer season.But the crew also has access to a full range of amenities aboard the Fairweather, including a workout room, hot showers, and a lounge fully stocked with games, books, and movies.In addition, the crew changes week by week, so, Manda says:“There’s always training that’s going on, and you’re always meeting new people, and learning about their interests, so it’s always interesting to find out what their prior experiences are and find out how they ended up where we are.”Manda’s path to the NOAA Corps began at an early age.“I always had a love for maps and mapping, even since I was a child. I was always the navigator in the car, and that kind of thing.” He minored in geography at the University of Colorado and later received a master’s degree in ocean engineering from the University of New Hampshire, which houses a joint research center with NOAA. He even did an internship on the Fairweather during his undergraduate studies, which motivated him to pursue the NOAA Corps. On Saturday morning, while music blasted over the near-empty ship, Manda was off-board with some colleagues enjoying brunch at a local restaurant before heading south to continue their adventure in Kodiak.Share this story:last_img read more

Five rules for investment from Alaska’s Permanent Fund Corporation

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Business | Economy | State GovernmentFive rules for investment from Alaska’s Permanent Fund CorporationJanuary 11, 2018 by Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau Share:An Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. sign in the office in Juneau, March 14, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)Each year, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Corporation invests billions in private companies and risky startups and digs into venture capital. It’s a relatively new and, so far, really successful strategy for making money for Alaska. But, how do they pick the next big winner out of a sea of potential companies?  Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2018/01/PFD-five-rules.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Stephen Moseley is just your average fast-talking, New York investment banker type of guy.  Except, he’s not in New York anymore. He’s four hours behind the market in Juneau. I visited his blindingly white office in a glass and stone block building, just outside of downtown, where the first thing I noticed was his filing system — manila folders in neat stacks along one wall. The second? A very fancy desk.He laughed and leaned over to press a button.  “It’s the best thing, isn’t it? not only is it a stand-up desk, it’s electronic.”  As it hummed into an upright position, I asked about his investments.Moseley is the Director of Private Equity and something called Special Opportunities for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.  And, he agreed to give me a sneak peak into his portfolio.But, first, a bit of wrangling.“Well, before I reveal those important secrets, I should ask what sort of…because everyone will copy me,  you know,” he said, laughing. “What are the ground rules. Is this all on the record?”See, portfolio managers — like fishermen — don’t like to give away their secrets.  They want to show you the big fish they caught; they don’t don’t want to tell you where or how they caught it. With $11.5 billion in his back pocket, and an eye for risk, you might think it would be a little easier to talk him into investing in your project.So, I tried. I pitched the idea of delivering fast food, tacos specifically, to people in New York — via drone.“Well, first, I’d need tacos in my hand to think that through,” Moseley joked.But then, he quickly changed his mind. “I think there are rules that would actually prevent me from enjoying the tacos,” he said.So rule one? No bribes.“We can get tacos some other day, but it doesn’t sell taco investments,” he said.And, the drones don’t sell it either.“There’s a lot of cool technology out there in the world,” he said. “Much of it will never be realized, or profitable. We’ve got to think of it first as investors.”Rule two? It can’t just be a interesting gadget; it’s got to have staying power.  And, it doesn’t matter how cool Moseley might think drones are, he won’t just funnel money into his favorite things.“So the emotional reaction has no value,” he said. “There’s even sort of a cost to it, right?”Rule three? Don’t let your emotions get in the way.“My wife’s a psychologist she’d be really disappointed to hear me say that emotions don’t matter. Or even that they get in the way,” he said. “But I think that’s the honest reality. Because, not only do we need to find great investments, but we’ve got to sort through all the bad investments. And that’s why the process is so important.”Ok, so my idea for taco-drones is a dud. But, really it should be. It doesn’t meet any of the markers fund managers look for in a good investment idea. And while it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what “good” means to Moseley, his team’s portfolio has some big success stories. And, it has made more than $1 billion for the fund.I asked Moseley’s boss, Permanent Fund Chief Executive Officer Angela Rodell what exactly her team is looking for in an investment idea. Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell stands in the corporation headquarters, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO)She says, right out of the gate, the idea has to be big enough to make a difference in a $63 billion fund. So, rule four – Any investment needs to be $25 million or more. “That’s the low bar,” she said. “I mean we have looked at investments that are lower than that but they have to have sort of other unique qualities to them and by that I mean they’re rapidly scalable.”So that’s pretty basic.  But, the next hurdles start to sound a lot like fund managers looking for those fishing holes we were talking about earlier. Like, is the idea in an innovative technology sector? An emerging market? What’s the political situation? How about the regulatory environment?Fund managers are eyeing global growth.  Rodell says, they’re looking for projects in places they’re expecting  to gain a lot of value in the next few years. “They are in China, India, Africa, South America,” she said. “They just have characteristics that make it more difficult. They’re more difficult to invest in, from a legal standpoint but they’ve got an interesting aspect.”Most of these rules are unwritten. One investor told me that as soon as you come up with some hard and fast rules for investing, some good idea or project comes along that breaks all of them. And, among those unwritten rules, there’s one that’s kind of elusive.  And that’s because it really isn’t one that the Permanent Fund Corporation came up with. It’s more of a house rule.And that house rule is something that a lot of state-owned funds deal with. I call it “at a state-owned corporation, the legislature reigns supreme.”  That’s a working title. What it means is that when this state struggles to pay its bills, lawmakers start eyeing the Permanent Fund. Right now, Alaska has a $2.5 billion hole in its budget and it isn’t likely to be filled anytime soon. The legislature has already used most of its savings to cover that gap for the last few years, so there has been a lot of talk of tapping into the Permanent Fund’s investment earnings.  Right now, the Permanent Fund’s investment strategy is to invest in things with long-term returns: five years, 10 years, 20 years. It’s spread out across stocks and bonds and real estate and public and private investments. That kind of diversity is designed to limit loss. But it isn’t designed to be a short-term piggy bank. So what would the corporation do if the legislature came looking for quick cash?   “Easy thing to do is to sell stocks,” Rodell said. “It’s very liquid. Or sell bonds. And, if we were all in a private equity portfolio, we wouldn’t be able to do that. It would be very challenging. We could get some portion of it, because it’s not completely illiquid, but it is not designed to react to a short term event.”Rodell said the possibility that the corporation could need to come up with billions in cash — it fundamentally changes how and what fund managers invest it. It’s something that Rodell has to keep in the back of her mind when the corporation is considering new investments and new strategies. There is one last rule.  And, it’s one that Rodell says can be the hardest for fund managers to follow.  Rule number five is the rule of The Gambler.  “Knowing when to hold ’em and knowing when to fold ’em, right?” she said. “I hate to go back to ‘The Gambler’ but it really does take a remoteness, you know, and objectivity to also sell because investors obviously can get really attached to some of their investments. At times it’s just the nature of it because you’ve done so much work and due diligence to get into an investment.”Rodell said there are two types of selling. The first is when an investment has made all of the money it can for the Fund. “Let somebody else try to make money off of it,” she said.And the second? Well, that’s one that Rodell says can be the hardest for fund managers to deal with. And it’s part of her her job to let them know:  “This thing is a dog! And it needs to go,” she said.When an investment tanks, an investor has to know when to cut their losses and walk away. Share this story:last_img read more

Young suggests guns could’ve saved Jews during Holocaust

first_imgFederal Government | Juneau | Nation & World | Public SafetyYoung suggests guns could’ve saved Jews during HolocaustFebruary 27, 2018 by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media Share:Speaking at a conference in Juneau last week, Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young argued against gun control by suggesting Jews might not have died in the Holocaust if they had been armed.Audio Playerhttp://media.aprn.org/2018/ann-20180226-03.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia,” Young said. “How many Jews were put in the ovens because they were unarmed?”The recording was provided by Dimitri Shein, an Anchorage Democrat who is running for Young’s seat.Shein was in the audience for Young’s speech to the Alaska Municipal League and he asked Young about school safety, which prompted Young to bring up the Holocaust.The argument that gun control allowed the rise of Hitler has circulated among gun-rights advocates for several years.Here’s CNN’s Wolf Blitzer challenging then-presidential candidate Ben Carson about it in 2015:“So what is your point: If there had been guns in Germany, there might not have been a Holocaust?” Blitzer asked.“That was only one of the countries I mentioned,” Carson retorted. “There were a number of countries where tyranny reigns and before it happened they disarmed the people.”A 1938 Nazi law prohibited Jews from owning weapons, but there were numerous instances of armed Jewish resistance during the war.The Anti-Defamation League said it’s ludicrous to claim Germany’s Jews could have stopped the Third Reich with personal firearms when the military might of entire European countries could not.Young is a long-time board member of the National Rifle Association. He said last week he favors allowing teachers to carry firearms.He points to video games and the breakdown of families as possible causes of school violence.Share this story:last_img read more

Sealaska dividends boosted by other corporations’ oil and zinc earnings

first_imgAlaska Native Corporations | Energy & Mining | Fisheries | Juneau | Sealaska | SyndicatedSealaska dividends boosted by other corporations’ oil and zinc earningsApril 10, 2018 by Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News Share:A worker portions halibut at a processing line at Odyssey, one of Sealaska’s recent Seattle-area seafood investments. The corporation says those investments boost earnings and dividends. (Photo courtesy Sealaska Corp.)Sealaska Corp. will distribute more than $23 million to its shareholders Friday. It’s twice last spring’s amount, in part because the Southeast regional Native corporation’s own businesses are making more money.But the largest part of many shareholders’ checks come from other regional Native corporations’ earnings.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2018/04/10Distribution-NPR1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 created 12 regional corporations.Some ended up with large stands of trees, rare mineral deposits or other valuable natural resources. Others did not.So the act – and a later legal agreement – required those with more to share their wealth with those with less. It’s known as section 7(i/j).Juneau-headquartered Sealaska used to be one of those with more. It made a lot of money off its timberlands and shared 70 percent with other regional corporations. But in more recent years, it’s been getting considerable revenue from two of its northern cousins.One is Arctic Slope Regional Corp., which is in the oil business.“That’s been down from historic levels and is still down from historic levels,” said Anthony Mallott, Sealaska’s president and CEO.The other owns the rights to a profitable mine in northwest Alaska.“This last year, zinc prices have been headed upward. And there’s more income from the Red Dog Mine that NANA (Regional Corp.) is the landowner of,” Mallott said.Dividend totals differ. This year, they range from $13.50 to $2.36 per share. That’s because the corporation’s more than 22,000 shareholders are divided into classes.For those getting the largest dividends, more than 80 percent comes from the shared revenue pool. A little more than 10 percent comes from the corporation’s own businesses. The remainder is from the corporation’s permanent fund earnings.Mallott said they’re doing well.“The land-management (and) natural resource business is one of the leaders. We’re actively investing in the seafood side, meaning expectations that seafood will quickly be the greatest source of income for Sealaska,” he said.The corporation also continues to earn money through investments and government contracting.“They were all profitable in 2017 just like they were all profitable in 2016. And they’re all growing,” he said.“If this a trend line for Sealaska, that’s great news,” said Nicole Hallingstad, a former vice president and corporate secretary for Sealaska.She’s also run for its board of directors as an independent – and sometimes critical – candidate.“Shareholders want to support the corporation and they’re excited that the corporation seems to be on a trend of profitability,” she said.It’s hard to tell how well Sealaska’s different subsidiaries are doing. That’s because the corporation reports financial results by sector, not for each separate company.Hallingstad said that’s understandable because corporations don’t want competitors to know too many details. But she thinks Sealaska could be more transparent in its dividends breakdown for shareholders.“It would be great if there was a number that showed the earnings from our subsidiary holdings as opposed to the investment holdings. And that way, shareholders really can begin to track what our subsidiary operations are doing,” she said.About five years ago, Sealaska’s revenues dropped significantly due to more than $30 million in losses from its construction subsidiary and some other operations.The losses were spread out over several years. But Mallott said they’re no longer part of the dividend equation.Read a study of the shared resource earnings pool here: A Summary of the Economic Benefits of ANCSA Sections 7(i) and 7( j) RevenueAlaska Energy Desk’s Elizabeth Jenkins contributed to this report.Share this story:last_img read more