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News Round Up [June 26, 2017]

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A Scottish Expedition to Antarctica (Real Photo)


Alaska Native corporation in Sitka faces shareholder protest as revenues drop and CEO pay rises

Alaska Dispatch News by Jeannette Lee Falsey

The Alaska Native corporation Shee Atika in Sitka is in turmoil.

At the urban corporation's annual meeting last month, shareholders showed their displeasure with its leaders by turning their backs on board members and waving signs calling for removal of the board and the chief executive.

Company officials, alarmed by shareholder unrest, had two local police officers watching over the proceedings.

Shee Atika, one of more than 200 village corporations set up in 1971 under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, once appeared to be one of the most successful. In 2010, annual revenues stood at over $180 million. The corporation's roughly 3,000 shareholders received benefits that year — dividends, scholarships and funeral assistance — worth close to $22.5 million.

But since then, the loss of federal contracts has sent revenues plummeting to a recent low of $2.3 million in 2014. Shareholder benefits have fallen when taking inflation into account. The company lost money for five straight years before bouncing back to more than $1 million last year. The return to profitability was based not on bringing in new business, but on selling an asset — corporation land in Cube Cove on Admiralty Island — to the federal government.

Kinville and a large number of shareholders are also angry that the salary and benefits of CEO Ken Cameron, a shareholder and former dentist, have tended to rise even as the company's bottom line, or net income, remained in the red. Some shareholders grew more alarmed at the disconnect between Cameron's fortunes and the company's when Shee Atika announced in January plans to cut $1 million in costs, including official travel, office supplies and funeral benefits. [Read the rest]

Marijuana board to revisit on-site consumption in July

KTOO by Associated Press

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Marijuana Control Board will discuss three different options for on-site marijuana consumption proposed by board members at its next meeting.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports the board will meet July 11-14 in Fairbanks, to discuss proposals by board member Loren Jones, Solodtna Police Chief and board Chair Peter Mlynarik, and member Brandon Emmett.

Jones’ proposal is it is legal only to try marijuana or a marijuana product at an establishment and then leave.

Mlynarik’s proposal is it is legal to eat cannabis products such as candy, cookies, brownies, etc., but a consumer cannot “inhale” or smoke marijuana on the premises.

Emmett’s proposal is it is legal to smoke and eat cannabis products at an establishment, but consuming marijuana not purchased at the location is prohibited. [Source]

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Hydaburg Man


The US Coast Guard announced on Saturday that they were suspending the search for the missing Hydaburg man, 20-year-old Francis Charles of Hydaburg following negative results.

Hydaburg SAR contacted the watchstanders at the USCG Sector Juneau Command Center and requested assistance in the search for Charles on Thursday evening.

Charles had failed to return to Hydaburg from a fish camp at Eek Point on Thursday afternoon, and Hydaburg searchers had located Charles’s unoccupied 18-foot skiff near California Island. Boots, suspected of belonging to Charles, were found floating near the beach at Round Point, on Blanket Island. [Source]

Trump's Carrier deal is not living up to the hype — jobs still going to Mexico


More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved. The deal, announced with great fanfare before Trump took office, was billed not only as a heroic move to keep jobs from going to Mexico but also as a seismic shift in the economic development landscape.

Nearly seven months later the deal has not worked out quite as originally advertised, and the landscape has barely budged.

"The jobs are still leaving," said Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999. "Nothing has stopped."

In announcing the deal with Carrier, Trump said he was sending a signal to corporate America that the rules would be changing in his administration. Moving jobs to Mexico or elsewhere offshore would no longer be tolerated.

"They can leave from state to state, and they can negotiate good deals with the different states and all of that. But leaving the country is going to be very, very difficult," Trump said.

But experts, business leaders and economic development officials agree very little has changed since then. Ford announced this week that production for its next-generation Focus is being moved out of Kentucky, and will be going to one of Ford's existing plants in China.

And Bedel acknowledges that the Carrier deal, once held up as a prototype for the new way of doing things, was "a special situation" because it involved paying a company not to leave.

"We offer incentives for businesses to grow here, to add jobs to what they already have or to bring a full new company here," she said. "We don't do retention very often, because you don't want to get into that situation where a company says, 'I'm going to leave if you don't.'"

Of course, that was exactly the situation with Carrier. [Read the rest]

Russian Witch Hunt Boomerangs on Democrats as Senate to Probe Loretta Lynch


The grand inquisition on whether the Russians assisted President Donald Trump with stealing the election from Hillary always had the potential for problems if the wind reversed itself against the Democrats.

It has been an unprecedented, evidence-free witch hunt with the goal of reversing the results of the will of the voters under the Hitlerian big lie of foreign interference in order to toss Trump out of office.

Now it has come around full circle to bite the Democrats in the ass and oh my, are those teeth sharp.

On Friday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee just opened up an investigation into former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

In a letter to Ms. Lynch, the committee asks her to detail the depths of her involvement in the FBI’s investigation, including whether she ever assured Clinton confidantes that the probe wouldn’t “push too deeply into the matter.”

Fired FBI Director James B. Comey has said publicly that Ms. Lynch tried to shape the way he talked about the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and he also hinted at other behavior “which I cannot talk about yet” that made him worried about Ms. Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions.

The probe into Ms. Lynch comes as the Judiciary Committee is already looking at President Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey. [Source]



Question of the Week:

Why are smart phones so big these days?

[Mystery News Link]



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