May in Minnesota was wetter than any time in recent history. Heavy rain came frequently, and low spots everywhere were filled with water. The Elk Farm was soggy, causing issues with farming and travel on the many trails through the woods and meadows. Many of the fields were not planted by June 4th when the Angstmans departed, and that's pretty late to be planting in Minnesota.
The other side of that equation was the abundance of waterfowl and shore birds on the farm. It was difficult to make a trip down the one mile driveway without seeing birds. The geese, ducks, swans and cranes were everywhere.
Add to that the turkeys, pheasants and raptors, and bird dog Tanner was busy.
One of the highlights was spotting a black bear on the deck of the cabin while looking through the window to see what was making all the racket. Here is the bear a few minutes later on the trail cam.
A rare visitor to the Princeton area is the ibis, shown here courtesy of a fancy new telephoto lens purchased for an old camera that barely got used anymore because of the cell phone camera.
Visits from Ben, Sarah, Sunset and Mary spiced up the month. Sunset and Mary tried tubing for the first time with predictable results.
Former ALO employee Jane Imholte also showed up with tales of defending Minneapolis folks on the wrong side of the law. To her credit, Jane still pines for her time in Bethel, where she was one of the favorite staff members at ALO.
Minnesota legal news included this story about a guy who might have some explaining to do when St. Peter goes over his resume, assuming St. Peter has a access to the internet. A deposition is an under-oath interview conducted by attorneys in a legal dispute. ALO always advises it clients to be truthful at depositions, because what is said is transcribed and checked carefully by the attorneys. Clearly, this witness didn't get such a warning, or else didn't listen.
As always, legal work continues from the farm. The most interesting case was a dispute between neighbors in Nome. ALO's client has a dog team a few miles out of town and his neighbor doesn't like it. The legal action claimed that the owner of the dog team stalked his neighbor by walking around on his several acre lot, sometimes at night, in a manner that frightened the neighbor and his wife. It was determined that the neighbor had his own issues, employing such tactics a shooting off a mortar like device in his yard from time to time, and chain sawing at 5:30 am for the purpose of proving a point. The judge correctly ruled that ALO's client did nothing improper, and in fact was more concerned about the neighbor's activites. Not content with that result, the neighbor is moving forward with a suit to require the owner to move his dogs. Stay tuned for more on this slice of Alaska reality.
ALO also had a rare win in a hearing in front of the Department of Motor Vehicles. DMV gets involved in most DWI cases, conducting a hearing to determine if the driver will lose the driving privilege. The standards are low, and this is only the second time in 40 years that ALO has saved a driving license in such a situation.
Another Alaska issue that has potential legal implications is salmon fishing on the Kuskokwim River. King salmon have been scarce for a while, and they are considered the top fish for making smoked salmon strips. This is a volatile issue, because there are lots of interests at stake-subsistence, commercial and sport. Many locals folks believe subsistence should continue despite the evidence that kings are dwindling. ALO hasn't harvested king salmon for many years, because there are lots of other salmon to fill the freezer. No one will starve on the Kuskokwim if no kings are taken, so caution is needed in this year's harvest.
Dog Farm helper Steve Olive departed Bethel for Florida in May. Here is his message upon departing.
That message is intended for the many folks who consider Bethel to be a sub-standard place to live. Steve was a great helper, and the best picture he took is worth another look.
No mandatory moose this month, but how about a mandatory elephant. That is a thought provoking video. The elephant in the video is being directed by a trainer standing off to the right, in contact with the animal's ear. That doesn't detract from the fact that the animal can be trained to do this, and has the coordination to do so. ALO webmaster Rich Gannon used to have goats, and this video captures some of his sentiment toward those fine animals. Here is a Minnesota wedding photo that didn't work out quite right.
Finally more thoughts about lawyer advertising. One firm from Bethel has spent a ton of money on ads over the years, and now they have upped the ante by placing TV ads on Anchorage television. A few firms have employed that method over the years and usually they are the subject of lots of jokes among their fellow lawyers. But jokes aside, consider why a law firm would have to advertise so heavily. Is it because they can't get business the traditional way, through referrals and return business? The traditional method works only for law firms that provide good service and good results. Maybe that's the problem.