Wealthiest Man in Alaska

Original Article from:
Alaska Journal of Commerce -- WealthBuilder Column
Tim Pearson, June 13, 2004

Abe David

The Wealthiest Man in Alaska
by Tim Pearson

The wealthiest man in Alaska lives on Nunivak Island. His name is Abe David and he possesses the ability to turn straw into gold. Actually, he can make it even more valuable than gold.

Abe is a hunting and fishing guide extraordinaire. I met him this past week on the way out to the Nash Harbor science and technology camp on Nunivak. He told the following story:

One summer he had two clients from the Lower 48 – he thought they were friends – and took them out fishing. They were having mixed success, so with ever present good humor, he figured he’d show them how to do it. Abe being Abe, he hooked a big Dolly Varden on his first cast.

In the excitement of landingthe fish, he slipped off the rock he was on and fell into the icy water. The fish got away and he got drenched. His clients had a good laugh, but they laughed even harder when he stuffed his pants and shirt full of dried beach grass. No matter. The day wore on, he became warm and his clothes even dried out.

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Later in the day he left the men in camp and when he came back he saw only one of the partners. He discovered that they had had a falling out and the other man had walked out of camp. They went looking for him but couldn’t find him. In fact, they really couldn’t find him – not a trace. After doing their best, they returned to Mekoryuk for a larger search party. Abe had a sleepless night knowing his client was out in the cold alone on the tundra.

The next morning as Abe looked out his window preparing to search again, he saw his client walking into town. The client had left camp, taken a nap on the tundra, became disoriented when he awoke and started walking along the river – away from town. Night fell and when he saw the lights of Mekoryuk behind him, he turned around and walked back in.

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Then the client sprawled out on Abe’s front porch and told Abe, “It works.” He opened his pants and shirt to show that they were stuffed full of dried grass. He was scratchy, but warm. Like the hollow hairs of reindeer and caribou fur, the hollow stems of the dried grass served as the traditional natural insulator against hypothermia. The grass went home with him as a souvenir of his Alaskan adventure.

You pick up wisdom from hanging around Abe. It is who he is. He’s passionate about making a difference. He’s the field coordinator for the Nash Harbor sea kayaking camp, an educational, cultural, and adventure subsidiary of Nunivak’s village corporation, NIMA. Ten high school students from the YK Delta will be using it for a June science program. Other adventure and cultural activities will also occur through the summer. It’s part of a long-term, sustainable economic initiative for an island community of 215 in the Bering Sea.

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However, for Abe, it’s about something much, much larger. It’s about being an entrepreneur. Abe’s favorite phrase: “It’s a saleable project.” It’s about being in charge of one’s own economic destiny. Abe’s favorite comment: “We’ll show you how it’s done. Just give us a chance.” It’s about passing on life lessons. Abe’s favorite summary on seizing life by the horns: “I wish I had started earlier. I could have done so much more.”

In the entry way to the NIMA Grocery store on Mekoryuk, there is a xeroxcopy of an old photo from the 1950’s or 1960’s of ten small kids standing in a group. They’re all of five to seven years old and are dressed in parkas, mukluks and mittens. Hand-typed captions identify the kids’ professions: council member, VPSO (village public safety officer), heavy equipment operator, carver (two) and preacher.

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Abe stands in the back row: pilot. Kids turn into the future. Straw turns into warm survival. Wisdom turns into economic ventures and wealth. Abe is a wealthy man. Lest you doubt me, he’s the one who has a millennia-old summer fish camp between Nash Harbor and Mekoryuk. Value: priceless.

So then, what straw do you have at hand?

Tim Pearson is a Professional/Business Coach who helps people design meaningful careers and build great companies. He is at www.timpearson.net and can be reached at: (907) 562-1568 or by e-mail at tim@(remove this) timpearson.net.


NIMA Looks to Education

By Margaret Bauman
Photos: Tim Pearson / Martin Leonard III
Alaska Journal of Commerce
Publication Date: 08/30/04

On a pristine island in the Bering Sea, inhabited mainly by reindeer and musk oxen, the Cup'ig Eskimo residents of Mekoryuk are hedging part of their economic future on an innovative college biology program.

It began this summer with a 10-day concentrated college-level biology course for 10 students from the Yukon Delta. Over the next few years, the Nunivak Island Mekoryuk Alaska (NIMA) Corp. hopes the summer program and related jobs will lead to steady employment on the island, which lies within the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

The camp is operated through Nunivak Island Cultural Education and Adventures LLC, a subsidiary of NIMA. It is located some 35 miles west of Mekoryuk, at Nash Harbor, on the north side of the island.

"The main purpose of the camp was to create economic opportunities for shareholders on Nunivak Island," said Terry Don, who managed the camp. "We are looking to expand our operations next year. We hope to double or triple that number (of students)."
Don is also vice chairman of the NIMA board of directors.

KuC Students Hiking

The program included lectures, plus day hiking, backpacking and sea kayaking to augment classroom instruction. The academic staff included Native elders in residence, who supplemented scientific knowledge with local and indigenous knowledge of Nunivak Island.

The outdoor classroom, the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, is known for its abundance of seabirds, shorebirds, whistling swans, emperor, white-fronted and Canadian geese, black brant and other migratory birds, plus salmon, musk oxen and marine mammals.

Muskox in the Dunes

The core curriculum of the course is a blend of Western academic and traditional subsistence sciences. Field projects are designed around real-time needs for data for the community and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as for long-term scientific efforts at the wildlife refuge. http://fc.bethel.uaf.edu/~summer_science/

"NIMA did a great job pulling the camp resources together," said Martin Leonard III, an associate professor at the Kuskokwim campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Bethel. Leonard is also the executive director of the outdoor center, which offers alternative education and village-based economic development. "They are doing work force development at the village level, everything from computer training to hospitality, guide training, first aid and training for transportation specialists," Leonard said.

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The university has received funding through the National Science Foundation for a five-year program to develop science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Leonard said. "We are providing education resources to develop students here so they can get four-year degrees in engineering and science."

Leonard also said he hoped the summer biology courses would be a springboard not only for the participants to attend college, but to also get them substantial jobs in the area in engineering, mining and management of the wildlife refuge area.

"We are hoping they will get a good start on their four-year degrees," he said. "In the past, there has not been a lot of good science and math instruction in rural Alaska."


Don envisions the program attracting a wide range of students.
"Part of the academic emphasis is attracting students in the Delta for exposure for a post-secondary course, but I don't think we will restrict the applicants to the Yukon Delta area," Don said. "Our goal is to provide the service and have it available to anyone. We'll be accepting applications from whoever is interested."

Don said it was a report from the Denali Commission citing the serious economic problems of Nunivak Island that prompted him to explore creative economics. "Our approach to education (through the subsidiary) emphasizes both the traditional Native way of knowing as well as the Western scientific approach," said Wayne Don, Terry's brother and program manager for NIMA's board. "Nunivak Island provides the ideal wilderness, historic and cultural setting for students to develop expertise in both disciplines." Wayne Don is also an assistant professor of military science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Martin's EPIC

Participants in the education program also included the Alaskan Outdoor Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Nuniwarmiut Piciryarata Tamaryalkuti (the nonprofit cultural heritage organization for the village of Mekoryuk), the city of Mekoryuk and the Mekoryuk School, among others.

"NIMA has really stepped up to the plate," Leonard said. "They know they have a resource out here on the island, and we're happy to be part of it. We have five years to get it better and better. We think the resource is that valuable."

Ed Shavings and First Tourist Arrivals

In a related development, NIMA also jumped into the tourism business by offering guided tours three times this summer to cruise ship travelers with Cruise West, which stopped at Nash Harbor. Together, the Don brothers approached Cruise West, which had been operating tours in the area for several years.

Cruise ship visitors offered NIMA an opportunity to train a handful of its young residents in tourism hospitality. Following courses in hospitality training and a wilderness first aid responder course, NIMA sent the young people off to guide several dozen visitors on an area tour, plus a little sea kayaking. "We had people from Australia, England, all over the planet," he said. "We took them on tours of the old village and campsite, hiking and kayaking. The guides actually did very well. They had a blast, interacting with the folks that came ashore. (Cruise West) agreed to come back next year."

Terry Don said the NIMA board would hold a planning session with Cruise West on ways to customize the tour to the travelers' desires next year. "We want to see what their customer base wants and to fine tune our product," he said. "We're hoping to offer them experiences they can't have anywhere else."

Text © The Alaska Journal of Commerce Online
Photos © Tim Pearson, Martin Leonard III

Other Web resources:

• NIMA Corporation http://www.nimacorporation.com

• Nunivak Cultural Programs http://www.nunivak.org

• Alaskan Outdoor Center http://www.alaskanoutdoorcenter.org

• Alaska Journal of Commerce


Bethel Multi-use Recreation Facility

Recreation Facility Plan

Project Date: August-October, 2005
Project Manager:Thea Agnew and Chris Beck
Client:City of Bethel
Location: Bethel

Project Description

Bethel is the growing hub of the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, a thriving region that is home to over 20,000 people. Foremost in the goals listed in Bethel’s 1997 Comprehensive Plan are desires to continue to expand and stabilize the City’s economy, and to expand opportunities for healthy recreation where community members can mix with one another, strengthening the already strong bonds that tie the community together. The proposed Multi-Use Recreation Center is intended to become a vital center that enhances Bethel’s social and economic well-being.

The goal of this project is to prepare a multiuse recreation facility plan for the community of Bethel, Alaska. Input on the use and design of the facility will be gathered from a broad, diverse group of residents and visitors to develop a facility plan. Two community-wide workshops and two planning team meetings will be conducted to gather public ideas and opinions over the course of three months. At the project’s conclusion, the report will be presented to the Bethel City Council. The facility plan will incorporate ideas from the public for the multi-use facility to improve the Bethel economy in a significant and long lasting way (e.g., by making portions of the facility available for lease to businesses).

The plan will be sufficient to lead to the design of the building and then to its construction.

Public Participation Notices

Planning Team Meeting #2

  • Monday, October 3, 2205 – 12:00 – 2:00 PM, City Council Chambers, Bethel City Hall
    Planning Team Flyer (71 KB)

Second Community Workshop

  • Monday, October 17, 2005 – 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Location to be announced

Facility Plan Presentation

  • Tuesday, October 25, 2205 – City Council Chambers, Bethel City Hall


Public Comment

If you would like to comment on the Bethel Multi-Use Recreation Facility Plan, download our Comment Form.


Eco- Tourism Company

by Terry Don

NIMA Corporation, Mekoryuk’s Village Corporation made their foray into eco-tourism and the education industry last summer 2004 with the creation of Nunivak Island Cultural Education and Adventures, LLC. (NICEA, LLC).


Although the corporation had explored the idea for a number of years, they were searching for the right opportunity to introduce the concept. The opportunity came knocking on their door in January 2003 when Cruise West, a Bering Sea eco tourism carrier called and asked that NIMA support their plans to land at Nash Harbor, a historic settlement located 25-30 miles west of Mekoryuk. Although Cruise West has been operating in the Bering Sea for a number of years, Nunivak was never considered an option on the route; that is until a storm forced them to divert and take refuge near Nash Harbor. During this time as they were waiting for the weather to break they decided to take passengers ashore to do a limited tour. The impromptu tour was so popular with the first group that they decided to make Nash Harbor a formal stop on the ten day Bering Sea Cruise which includes the Aleutian and Pribolof islands, Saint Lawrence, Providenia, Yanrakynnot and Nome.

View video of 2006 tourists visit!

Cruisewest nima boat

Capitalizing on this tremendous opportunity, NIMA created NICEA and made plans to build a camp, which would support the eco tourism operation at Nash Harbor.

In addition, NICEA also created a science curriculum in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim campus. The course was developed primarily by Martin Leonard and Dr. Corky Corkern, it is called Biology 104 Natural History of Alaska. The course is taught in residence at the Nash Harbor camp and combines western science and indigenous knowledge of the area to create a unique learning environment and also serves as a forum to encourage rural student participation in math, and science. Elders in residence are employed in the camp and provide a unique perspective for the students to interact and leverage their learning from both a western and cultural approach. Participation in the program requires an application, letters of recommendation, demonstration of academic achievement, potential and an above average level of fitness.

View slideshow from Kuskokwim Campus 2005 Summer Science Field Camp

In addition to the academic rigors, students are also taught sea kayaking and are required to complete a strenuous sea kayaking and hiking trip as part of the final portion of the science course. Students who successfully meet all the academic and programmatic goals receive 4 accredited science credits through the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more on the science course you log on to http://fc.bethel.uaf.edu/~summer_science/

With one year under their belt, NICEA is poised to begin operations for this summer. Cruise West has committed to making four stops at Nash Harbor which are scheduled for June 12 and 22, July 28, and August 7th. NICEA will also host another science camp session, which will run from 14-28 June. An added bonus this year is the participation of the Rose Urban Rural Exchange Program http://www.roseurbanruralexchange.org

Rose has committed two teachers who require recency credit to participating in this summer’s science program with plans for next summer of incorporating interested Rose participants into the science curriculum.

For more information on Eco-tours or summer science camp you can log on to http://www.nimacorporation.com.

The Project manager for NICEA is Wayne Don wdon@nimacorporation.com

REady for HikeBerthaskip Snaith presenterKayaks at Nash HarborCopy of nash05 417


Rose Rural Urban Exchange

City students take cultural leap to remote village
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS: Program aims to bridge rural, urban divide.

The Juneau Empire

(Published: March 27, 2005)

JUNEAU -- Five Juneau-Douglas High School students recently got a taste of ice fishing, mushing, trapping, muktuk and beaver tail in Russian Mission, a Yup'ik Eskimo village on the Yukon River near the coast.

The weeklong experience in mid-February was federally funded through the Rose Urban Rural Exchange of the Alaska Humanities Forum. Since the program began five years ago, about 300 students from cities and villages in Alaska have visited each other, said program director Panu Lucier in Anchorage.

An exchange between students from Floyd Dryden Middle School and Napakiak also is taking place this year.

In mid-April, students from Russian Mission -- a village of 330 people 375 miles west of Anchorage -- will visit Juneau, where they will experience bowling, movies, malls and perhaps walk on the Mendenhall Glacier.

"The ultimate goal is to create a sustainable sister-school relationship between urban and rural classrooms," said Ali McKenna, a JDHS English teacher who accompanied the students to Russian Mission.

Juneau and Russian Mission are both isolated communities in their own ways, said Chris Jans, a Russian Mission teacher.

The humanities forum is willing to continue to fund exchanges between participating schools, Lucier said. The goal is for urban students to learn more about rural lifestyles and Native cultures, and for village students to see what it's like to live in a city, she said.

"It sounded like something really different that you wouldn't be able to do anywhere else -- live in a tiny Alaskan village where everything's so in touch with everything," JDHS sophomore Joey Bosworth said.

That and a week out of school was hard to resist, students said.

Students usually stay with host families, but Russian Mission was holding a winter festival when the Juneau students visited, so they lodged with teachers.

The Juneau students said they didn't spend time in the classrooms, but they did see the students at their school work because that included subsistence activities, which then became the basis for studies in the usual academic subjects.

The Juneau students mostly were outdoors, following children or teenagers along their beaver and lynx traplines, ice fishing, mushing and snowmachining or skiing to cabins and staying overnight.

The Juneau students said they expected a barren, flat landscape and were surprised to see hills and trees. But it was the people they remembered most.

"You walk down the streets -- well, they're not really streets -- and everyone says 'hi.' They know who you are," JDHS sophomore Jill Carlile said.

"And by the end of the trip, you know everyone in the village," JDHS sophomore Lindsey Kato said. "The little kids were precious."

The Juneau students chopped wood at remote cabins and cleared the snow off the roofs. They learned that driving a team of dogs is more fun than riding in the basket, where your face gets coated in icy snow churned up by the dogs.

They ate moose, beaver meat and beaver tail, eel, beluga muktuk, and Eskimo "ice cream," which is made of fish oil, berries, lard and sugar.

"It doesn't really taste like ice cream at all," Carlile observed.

"Like sweet, dried tuna fish," Kato suggested.

Beaver tail tastes like wood, the students said.

"Good wood. Really tasty wood," said Bosworth.

The exchange program began five years ago with students only. In the second year, it added teachers. And in the third year, it promoted sister-school relationships.

The King Career Center, a vocational school in Anchorage, made the exchange with Barrow as part of King's natural resources department. The city students learned about resource issues in the Bush, and the rural students learned about job opportunities in government agencies.

"It's basically getting agencies and groups together that don't communicate a lot," said Myroslava Ponomarchuk, the sister-school coordinator for the humanities forum.

"The proper approach to the solution of the gap (between rural and urban Alaska) is you've got to teach the kids how to deal with it because we're about done," said Jans, referring to his generation. "We're not the ones who are going to make a change."

Distributed by The Associated Press

Copyright © 2005 The Anchorage Daily News (www.adn.com)


Small Town Technology...Big Time Results

Give Us Broadband

For most folks, when they think about technology, the broadband and the internet, and the 'ultra' rural (as we like to denote in Alaska) communities in Alaska...a manifest destiny vision of 'the lost souls of digital divide' are oft-times conjured-up...visions of folks just 'out of the loop', without access to information resources, backwoods hobo technologists with little or nothing to offer the outside world!

It has always been my pretense that 'once connected' to the 'net' and having the ability to participate via a broadband standard, with full access and complete reliability, rural Alaskans would have a tremendous amount to offer the outsiders.

It wasn't so much that rural residents wouldn't benefit greatly, as the underserved recipients of the digital information age - that was a given. To me it was more that rural Alaskans had so much to offer than most regulators, policy makers, and urban jockeys could ever imagine.

It's been years since my rant was published on MSN...and I'm happy to call-up some new visions of 'the possible'. Rural Alaskans, known for their innovation, acceptance and use of technologies that enhance (and dutifully unaccepting of those that don't) their well-being and improve the quality of life for their communities are here and now!

I'm happy to present a few on this blog...

John and Sheila Wallace, Bethel

Greg and Kelley Lincoln, Bethel / Toksook Bay

Jim and Esther



We're real people. We have an outhouse out back. We don't have a professionally polished webpage, flashy banner ads, overblown self-promotion and lots of glitz. If you came here because you're tired of other webcast's hype and just want to connect with down-to-earth people and great music --- stick


Whole Wheat Radio is an unpretentious, interactive, independent music world community. Our webcast originates from a cramped 12x12 cabin in Talkeetna, Alaska. It's as close to Northern Exposure's funky radio station as you can get. (Yup, there's a moose that hangs around the cabin. And an adorable monkey too.) We broadcast 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year with the help of our tireless DJs - human and otherwise. We've been on-the-air since August of 2002 and have served up well over a million individual 'listens' to independent musicians' tunes.



The Delta Discovery is the newest and most widely circulated weekly publication serving the people of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and Bristol Bay regions of Southwestern Alaska.


The newspaper was established and continues as a locally owned and operated Bethel newspaper with support from the people of the region who contribute letters, commentaries and columns which shapes the news of rural Alaska.



Purchasing, Upgrade, and Training Assistance. Specializing in remote and creative solutions to the problems of Rural Alaska's needs. Alaska Technologies, LLC (ATL)


ATL provides IT services to Companies and Organizations that do not need or want an internal IT department. ATL is a FirstClass partner offering what we feel is the best eMail and internal communication product on the market. ATL provides end user and other corporate training. We design individual and group packages based upon YOUR system.


kusko.net is the community service arm of ATL and provides web and technology services throughout the Y-K Delta, connecting other community service orgs to their community and the www. Years of development, support and outright contributions to the YK Delta community through technology.


Civic Journalism...Anchorage Daily News

Editors note: This is correspondance from Tim, "Hey, "I just said I grew up in the village of Teller and that in the village you make it a point to get to know everyone" Pearson. With his ability to network, Tim is in the position to shake-up the status quo...this is the type of action rural Alaskans need to take...not many have the cajones to even try...Tim does!


Tim as an Anchoragite



A big Quianna!!!

You’ve astounded me. I knew I had intelligent, caring and passionate friends, but I had no idea that you were so eloquent, so civic-minded, and so fast on the keyboard. I’m both heartened and humbled.

I asked 126 of you for story ideas that the Anchorage Daily News could start covering or cover even more deeply in order to strengthen our life together as citizens and Alaskans.

26 (20%) replied. The result was 39 pages of material with an appendix. (attached)


I shared your responses on Friday, Feb. 25 with:

Michael Sexton (Publisher)
msexton@adn.com , President & Publisher, 907-257-4210
(no photo found, google/image search feb.28)

and Pat Dougherty (Editor)
pdougherty@adn.com , Senior VP and Editor, 257-4303
(photo, google/image feb.20)


of the Anchorage "“To be the best source of news and information enhancing the lives of Alaskans.”" Daily News.

They even gave me permission to run over the allotted 30 minutes by 20 minutes.

We discussed the concept of civic journalism: journalism for increased public deliberation, civic problem solving, volunteerism and innovative public policy.

The reception was guarded, but that’s all that I hoped for. The meeting started warily (who are you?) and ended cordially.


The next step on their end:

They said they’d read your responses. I didn’t push them further. You know how it goes with journalists – you want them to think it’s their own idea.

I don’t think they quite knew what to make of me. (Hey, I just said I grew up in the village of Teller and that in the village you make it a point to get to know everyone.)

I’m not sure I know quite what to make of me either. I usually don’t make such public waves, but after reading what was considered to be news this past week, I felt compelled to promote a deepening of our common civic conversation.

For my part, I will take the following 7 actions:

1. Share your responses with all 126 of the friends I surveyed so that everyone can see the quality of ideas you generated.

2. Post the document on my website so that it can be downloaded in the future by anyone at any time.

3. Share your responses with 5 key friends (Kitty Farnham, Alice Galvin, Dennis McMillian, Gwen Kennedy, and Lori Henry) who are actively trying to encourage new civic and leadership conversations across Alaska so that the audience for your ideas is amplified as much as possible.

4. Encourage other friends to send me ideas for stories that would strengthen our civic life together so that best thinking, significant heros, and positive public policy innovations can continue to be gathered and shared.

5. Challenge you to stay focused on strengthening our civic life together. So, I’ll ask you two questions:

(answer how and when you wish)

-- what responsibility will you take for strengthening our civic life together? (rhetorical, answer for yourself)

-- what action will you take to strengthen our civic life in the next 30 days? (feel free to tell me, and if you wish, I’ll

compile those too)

6. Continue to surprise myself.______

7. Follow up with an update in 30 days.


Notes from the conversation with Michael and Pat:

--Pat Dougherty says that the number one issue for the Anchorage Daily News is state finances.

--According to Pat, the ADN sees its role in Anchorage and Alaska as being “a forum for the marketplace of ideas.”

--They receive 300 to 400 Letters to the Editor a week – substantially more than many other papers.

--They have 107 reporters. The standard for a community this size would be 60-75 reporters. The number reflects McClatchy’s commitment to the role of the paper in Alaska.

--re: their comments on civic journalism: the concept’s been around for eight years and has been used and abused. It’s hard to define. They said a newspaper did spend significant resources in Maine several years ago and held multiple town meetings the length and breadth of the state on the issue of alcoholism. Even multiple times in each community. Public policy did change as a result. [They didn’t say if the Anchorage Daily News was interested in doing anything similar.]

--my best summary of what they said: they don’t think that they set or have direct influence on Alaska’s civic conversation. They do try to make sure everyone is working from similar information.

--according to Pat: the primary focus is Anchorage – like a bull’s eye – and it moves out from there depending on the story and on resources.

--Michael Sexton, President and Publisher, has been in Anchorage for 5 years. He was in Augusta, Maine previously.

--Pat Dougherty, Senior Vice President and Editor, has lived in Alaska for 30 years (Juneau and mostly Anchorage).

--I did screw up the courage to ask them politely when was the last time they were out in Rural Alaska:

--Pat Dougherty was out sportfishing in the Bristol Bay region in early summer, June 2005

--Michael Sexton was in Togiak two years ago, and leaves for Prudhoe Bay in two weeks.

(“We have decades of Alaska experience in our newsroom. It’s really deep.”)

--they did comment about the challenge of getting Alaskan leaders together: It’s hard to reach Alaskans and Alaskan leaders between May and September because they’re fishing or flying. And Alaskans are often traveling between September and May – focused on their own individual matters.


Tim’s observations:

--The Anchorage Daily News’s mission statement, posted above the exit:

“To be the best source of news and information enhancing the lives of Alaskans.”

--Both Pat and Michael would probably be open to traveling outside of Anchorage if there were invitations and opportunities. They both seem like nice white urban men.

--The rural / urban gap is even bigger than I imagined (and I didn’t think I was na├»ve).

--I’ve now been told by several people (in positions to know) that there is no core group of civic leaders, who cross industry and sector boundaries (private sector, federal, state, oil, fisheries, etc.), who are consistently focused on taking actions that promote the common good.

(The good news: There are no adults in the room. The really fun news: It’s up to us.)

--My bottomline take-away: we Alaskans ARE locked in habitual patterns of conversation. We talk to our friends and mostly to our friends – meaning those we know – so, I’m convinced more than ever of the importance of Kitty Farnham’s insight from complexity science that you can’t manage systems, but that there is value in disrupting systems.


So if we want to change the civic conversation in Alaska for the better, it’s up to you and it’s up to me.

Please pardon me, but I turned 45 on Alaska Day last fall.

I’m going to start disrupting the system.

Tim as a Ruralite



(907) 562-1568 v/f
(907) 952-3498 cell


Additional FYIs:

The Anchorage Dailly News:


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The McClatchy Company is a leading newspaper and Internet publisher dedicated to the values of quality journalism, free expression and community service. Building on a 147-year legacy of independence, the company's newspapers and websites are steadfast defenders of First Amendment values and advocates for the communities they serve.

Headquartered in Sacramento, Ca., the company has 12 daily and 18 community newspapers with a combined average circulation of 1.4 million daily and 1.9 million Sunday. Over the decades, McClatchy newpapers' many honors have included 12 Pulitzer Prizes, three of which were gold medals for public service.

McClatchy has an Internet subsidiary, Nando Media, that provides both content and business support for interactive media nationwide. Each of the company�s newspapers operates the leading Web site in its area, and most also offer regional portals as well.

McClatchy�s largest newspaper is the Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which it acquired in 1998.

The oldest paper, The Sacramento Bee, was founded in 1857 during the Gold Rush and is the company�s second largest.

The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC, was bought by McClatchy in 1995 and ranks third in circulation. Nando Media was created by The N&O and McClatchy acquired it when it bought the newspaper.

Two California papers, The Fresno Bee and The Modesto Bee, were part of McClatchy�s original holdings and are now the fourth- and sixth-largest newspapers in the group. The News Tribune in Tacoma, WA, purchased in 1986, ranks fifth in circulation.

In 1979, in its first moves outside its home state, McClatchy bought both the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska and the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, WA.

McClatchy�s presence in the South began in 1990 when it acquired three dailies in South Carolina: The Herald in Rock Hill, The Island Packet in Hilton Head, and The Beaufort Gazette.

In January 2004, McClatchy bought the Merced Sun-Star and five affiliated non-dailies in California's Central Valley. Those newspapers are the Atwater Signal, the Chowchilla News, the Livingston Chronicle, the Los Ba�os Enterprise and the Sierra Star, which is in Oakhurst, CA.

McClatchy�s other operations include Newsprint Ventures, Inc., a consortium that operates the Ponderay newsprint mill near Spokane, WA.

The company has about 9,300 employees, and they remain committed to the same principle that spurred founding editor James McClatchy in 1857: quality journalism is the bedrock of a successful newspaper business.

McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.

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