Saturday, August 31, 2013

More Western Alaska feudal politics

View some of the 'TED Talks' and you'll see that social entrepreneurship is alive and well in the world and has answers for serious social and economic problems. The problem is that the people in power didn't think of them first and can't get credit for them so they mostly go nowhere. And in the case of places like Western Alaska, with myriad social ills, the powers to be have agendas at odds with social entrepreneurship. 

A leading social entrepreneur in the region, Tim Smith, can vouch for the dysfunction, in spades. He wants to restore salmon runs as the President of the Nome Fishermen's Association. The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation who own a fleet of factory trawlers who catch thousands of salmon as by-catch opposes his efforts.

If we as a society find it useful or expedient to trample social entrepreneur's work and personal integrity into the tundra, the mud, the dust, or whatever is underfoot, the rest of us should know it. Notwithstanding that there are global kudos, awards and grants for social entrepreneurs. In the current issue, Tim contrasts his clear writing and selfless social conscience.with corporate smear mongers and personal bottom liners. How are we to react, how are we to believe in our future? The only future there has ever been for us is when we work together reasonably and reject the unreasonableness.

Another fisheries social entrepreneur tries to come to Tim's rescue with the following piece. We just hope the courts follow the reasonableness test.

Nome Nugget OPINION page, Letters — Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013
Dear Editor,
The August 23 hearing before Judge Timothy Dooley, due to an obviously perjured complaint by Kyan Olanna of NSEDC, could turn Nome into kangaroo court land.  Using the courts for personal vendettas makes a mockery of justice.
Across Alaska and outside, fishing industry folks have followed CDQ matters for years.  We’ve watched the failures to share CDQ wealth with Western Alaska communities.  We see the personal extravagance of highly paid key members in the CDQs, the waste of public funds, and abusing the process of awarding United States fishing rights.
Tim Smith simply stands up to represent the public’s interest, especially because Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young failed to ensure openness, transparency, and accountability.  Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich also foolishly allow “The Untouchables,” because vote-getting seems more important than ensuring ethical and transparent use of public resources.
But Kyan Olanna makes it personal, defamatory, and even violates the laws lawyers themselves are to follow about telling the truth in court filings.  She obviously makes up false claims to ask a court for a “stalking or sexual assault” protective order against Smith. Olanna knows this does great personal harm to Mr. Smith.  False accusations carry stigmas too.
But NSEDC forgets that mocking justice might work once, against Smith, but the rest of the fishing industry is constantly watching.  Justice is not blind, either.  We hope the judge ends her vicious game and Nome’s Police Department also gets it straight that Smith is a great public citizen.
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Groundswell Fisheries Movement, Stephen Taufen – lives in Kodiak, and represents public citizen interests across Alaskan fisheries.