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  • Writer's pictureMyron

August 2015

August news comes late because of a long trial being conducted in Bethel court. That case will likely make it to the jury soon and results will be posted. Meanwhile, September has been very rainy so far, making the splendid August weather a distant memory.

ALO settled two cases in August. One case in Nome involved the unfortunate arrest of an innocent person because of mistaken identity. A Nome police officer saw a woman arrive on the jet and believed her to be a person with an outstanding arrest warrant. Without checking her ID or even asking her name, the officer took her to the police station, under arrest, where he discovered his mistake. The woman had protested her arrest but wisely decided not to resist the arrest, instead calling her family for bail money. While there was some dispute whether this situation created a legal claim for damages, the city did the right thing and offered a modest settlement for the error.

The other settlement was a major settlement against the State of Alaska over the death of an infant in Anchorage foster care. The child had been placed in foster care in Anchorage after medical issues required that the child be transported from Bethel to Anchorage and the state wanted the child to stay in Anchorage for follow up care. The State is held responsible, by law, for the negligence of foster parents it chooses in such situations. This article explains the case more fully. ALO gets taken to task from time to time in the comment section of online publications. This case featured a number of comments, but this one

has a plan for future employment for the lawyer handling claims such as the one reported. Perhaps the most memorable online comment concerned an article about Jeff King's moose hunting violation which was a highly publicized case handled by ALO in Fairbanks federal court. One concerned citizen wondered how King could possibly win the case because he had the worst lawyer in the state.

More important legal news concerns the arrival of former ALO intern and dog handler Jane Imholte back to Bethel. Jane was always a favorite at ALO, and spent the past few years honing her skills as a public defender in Minneapolis. Now she has been admitted to the Alaska Bar, and will be a PD in Bethel. Jane will bring energy and passion to the court room now that she is back in Alaska where she clearly belongs. Jane is probably the only legal intern in history who was hired after an interview conducted entirely on an ATV while touring the Elk Farm in Minnesota.

President Obama's visit to Alaska caused quite a reaction in rural Alaska. ALO got a chance to see a bit of the fuss in Dillingham when stopping there a couple of days before the big event. During a trip to the grocery store, three secret service agents were spotted, as they tried to blend in with the rural crowd. Despite wearing civilian clothes, they were obvious as they wandered around the store. There were also a number of large windowless vans spotted around town, and locals said they were delivered by a large cargo plane parked at the small airport.

The Angstman party was at the family cabin the day Obama was scheduled to be in Dillingham and then fly to Kotzebue. It took only a little checking on Google Earth to learn that the flight path between those two places would carry the president right over Chauekuktuli Lake, a mile or two from the cabin. Such an event has never happened before and not likely to happen again, and expectations were running high, until clouds rolled in that morning and ruined the plan.

Friends of ALO did get involved. Dog racer John Baker invited Obama to stop at his dog yard in Kotzebue, and the two of them showed up in many photos with the President holding a sled dog pup.

ALO does a blog for Baker's webpage, but was somehow left off the invitation list. Obama clearly had a good time in rural Alaska, eating dried salmon, doing Native dances with kids, and checking out a subsistence fishing operation. Other than a few idiots who made online comments on news articles, he was well received. He even stopped for pastries at one of ALO's favorite breakfast stops in Anchorage, the Snow City cafe.

Prior to his visit, the President approved the renaming of Mt. McKinley to its original name Denali. The state of Ohio was not happy about that change, so Don Lehmann named a peak near the Angstman cabin Mt. McKinley as sort of a consolation prize. Don, a regular visitor to the cabin, is probably the only person ever who has climbed both the former Mt. McKinley and the new one.

This month's mandatory moose comes once again from Jeremiah Frye who lives in the Matsu Valley. He must live in a real moose hotspot, cause he gets great photos. This one is a dandy.

Its not often ALO gets mentioned in home work assignments. This young lady from Nome watched her parent's recent legal case and it made an impression.

Meanwhile politics rages on. The discussion continues to be dominated by Donald Trump, which makes it more theater than anything. But there are real issues as stake. Here is a chart of where some candidates stand on important issues.

Of course, the most recent debate hardly mentioned these topics but instead focused on vaccinations, Planned Parenthood and marijuana. Unfortunately many of the GOP candidates have no positions on the pressing issues of the nation, so they prefer to talk about less weighty topics that play well with the media and their base.

One last topic for discussion is the Kentucky court clerk who has been compared to Rosa Parks for her stand against gay marriage. She is actually more like the bus driver who demanded that Rosa Parks move further back in the bus. She wants to discriminate, illegally, and she should be fired.


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