This edition of ALO News is brought to you from Anchorage after a bunch of travel ended a few days ago. The trip to Scotland was well documented, mainly with pictures of an elder taking some well-deserved naps. After that, a few weeks were spent in Minnesota at the farm, and then a few days at Sitka for granddaughter Mary’s graduation. Here she is on her big day.
Mary graduated as an honor student and much of that has to do with the excellent learning atmosphere at Mt. Edgecumbe High School. This state-run boarding school attracts students from around Alaska, mainly the rural areas, who want additional educational opportunities. Thus, it is a motivated student body with excellent staffing. After attending a few classes there, it is obvious how a student can thrive, with a healthy classroom vibe. Mary will be off to college this fall, location yet to be determined, but possibly in Juneau or California.
Last month there was mention here of settlements obtained while traveling in Scotland. Here are the promised details. One settlement involved a case which was described on KNOM some time ago - "Lawsuit Against Myrtle Irene’s Owner Moves Forward As Gold Mining and Reality T.V. Season Resumes" (KNOM). Through Covid and delaying tactics by the defense, that case was put off until now, and trial was scheduled in Nome during May. There were two defendants, Arctic Sea Mining and the City of Nome, and both settled. The total settlement was substantial for the three young women involved, reflecting the serious long term injuries they suffered. They were in a small truck that rammed into a cable stretched across the road about 4 or 5 feet above the ground, secured on one end by a huge barge and the other end by a piece of heavy equipment that was towing the barge. The site was protected by a single cone in the middle of the road, which in most situations tells a driver to swerve to avoid a pothole, which is exactly what happened here. Experts determined the truck was going 25 miles per hour at the time of the crash, and the truck cab was flattened over the girls' heads. All were fortunate to survive. This is a case that should have been settled years ago, and the delay cost the defendants a large amount of money.
Another case that settled involved a person held in the state jail in Bethel. That person had a well documented peanut allergy that had resulted in serious reactions in many previous exposures. His jail records reflected that he was to be on a strict peanut-free diet, but that was not adhered to and he had more than one exposure while in custody, the last of which was nearly fatal. The offending peanut substance was concealed from view and mixed with other food. It is known that each peanut exposure increases the risk of serious consequences. This was also a substantial settlement.
The final settlement involved the massive sex abuse case in the Mat-Su School District which has been reported here earlier - "A Wasilla teacher is charged with abusing students. Now their parents are suing the school district." (Alaska Public Media) One more ALO client settled his claim for a significant amount, leaving four more cases scheduled for trial June 19. In addition, two motor vehicle crashes settled in April, making that month one of the most productive months ever for ALO.
A snowy winter and late spring left snow in many places around Alaska well into May. Huge snowbanks in Anchorage are still visible in places, and in Nome, Nils Hahn took this photo of his morning commute to work on May 11th.
This is how the mountains look in Anchorage in May, thanks to good photo work by Paul Malin. The photo was taken from Connor Bog, Jack’s favorite dog park.
Speaking of Jack, he spent some time on Whale Island in Sitka with Don and Penny Lehmann while his keepers were traveling. Here is a photo and comment from Penny.
Jack quickly adapted to the dog-friendly Lehmann household where lap time was generously provided. Don and Penny also hosted Mary’s entire family group for her graduation dinner, boating them out from town.
Kerry Pride, a former client of ALO, toured Scotland with her parents shortly after the Angstmans did and posted her favorite photo from the trip. The driving is challenging there, and indeed oncoming traffic does appear to be in the middle of the road at times.
Mandatory Moose, a Whale & Cartoons
This month’s Mandatory Moose is showing signs of the season in Anchorage.
Photo by Jamin Hunter Taylor
This month’s cartoon also comes from Nils Hahn and is spot on.
One of the funniest comedians on earth is Steven Wright and here are some of his quotes which prove that point. IF you can find him online, his extremely dry delivery makes these quotes hilarious.
The Kuskokwim 300 sponsored a new event this year called the Delta Championship Series, which was a contest to see who would win the most points for high finishes in the many shorter races conducted in the area. This year the event was dominated by 19-year-old Ray Alexie from Kwethluk who won every event to earn the $5,000 prize - "Alexie wins the first Delta Championship series" (K300). No one has come close to winning every race in the past, and no one challenged him in any of the races this year. Dog racing is not an event without surprises. There are so many variables involved that consistent dominating performances are the exception. Ray’s record this year is astounding. Youth participation in racing has increased in recent years in the Bethel area, which is somewhat unusual for outdoor activities in Alaska where participation is generally on the decline, and his success will likely lead to more young people getting involved. Hats off to the Delta Champ!
In other legal news, Donald Trump suffered a substantial legal setback in New York when a jury tagged him for $5 million in damages for his conduct regarding a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by him many years ago. One of the claims was that she was defamed by Trump when he denied her allegations. The jury also agreed with that and awarded damages. Just to show that he considers himself above the law, Trump continued to defame the woman after the verdict. Another lawsuit on the same subject is not out of the question. Many Trump supporters question the validity of the verdict because it was rendered in New York City. Those same folks have no trouble supporting a verdict from the Deep South when a white jury votes for the death penalty for a black person on trial. It’s hard to imagine a person choosing to not attend a trial where such important issues are being decided but Trump was nowhere near the courtroom, but instead issued smart ass statements disparaging the participants throughout the trial. He would be a tough guy to represent, and an easy target for cross examination.
One other thought about Trump. His former attorney general William Barr had revealing comments about him recently. Barr is the man who covered for Trump for a long time, and who also is a rock solid conservative who watched Trump from up close while in office.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr said Friday that former President Trump will deliver “chaos” and a “horror show” if he returned to the White House in 2024.
“If you believe in his policies, what he’s advertising as his policies, he’s the last person who could actually execute them and achieve them,” Barr said of Trump at an event in Cleveland. “He does not have the discipline.”
When pressed further, Barr claimed his former boss doesn’t have “the ability for strategic thinking” or “setting priorities.”
“It is a horror show when he’s left to his own devices,” Barr said. “And so, you may want his policies, but Trump will not deliver Trump policies.”
“He will deliver chaos and, if anything, lead to a backlash that will set his policies much further back than they otherwise would be,” he added.
("Barr: Trump will deliver ‘chaos’ and ‘horror show’" - The Hill)
Major News Alert!
Final note: Expect some major news from ALO by June 1st. It will be announced on Facebook and fully covered in next month’s News.