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  • Writer's pictureMyron

August 2017

The August news comes to you from the Angstman cabin at Lake Chauekuktuli in Wood-Tikchik state park, where moose season is now open, and fishing season is always open. The lake is 23 miles long and a little more than a mile wide, and the Angstman cabin is the only occupied camp on the lake. If quality hunting is the goal, this is the place to be. It wasn't always that way. This account of a hunt on the same lake in 2004 sounds horrible. The guides depleted the moose population enough that they no longer hunt the lake. The critters are returning slowly, but the existence of the Angstman cabin discourages many guides from hunting the area.

A huge red salmon escapement has filled the lake with spawning fish, but for some reason there are few bears around to eat them. In past years multiple bears would work the beaches near the cabin, but overall the bear count in the immediate area is down the last couple of years. So far only one bear has been observed fishing on the beach, and there are few tracks to be seen. Dead salmon litter the beach and open water. Speaking of fish, son-in-law Ben caught the first Chauekuktuli rainbow trout ever for any Angstman family member. There always have been rumors of rainbows in the lake, but a lot of hours have been spent fishing there since 1979 without a confirmed hit until now. Sunset also caught a fish worth noting, a nine pound Dolly Varden pictured here barely fitting in a net.

Mary went on a week long raft trip down the Salmon river northeast of Bethel with a school group, as a reward for submitting a science project about spawning fish. It was a wilderness trip with a bunch of people, and a tremendous learning experience.

One case settled at ALO before hunting season. 35 southwestern Alaska clients hired ALO to make a claim against a Bethel entity for mistreatment. When the case settled, the defendant demanded confidentiality to prevent similar claims from others who may have been exposed to the same treatment. Apparently the defendant reads the ALO news and can't deal with negative publicity.

Climate deniers must be literally feeling the heat as global events have converged to challenge their poorly supported position. Scientists have long stated that global warming will lead to many changes, not just the temperature, but that is the most obvious. Soaring temps in the Pacific northwest are just one example of the global trend, and there are countless other places that have set all-time records for heat. But along with the heat, the researchers warned of other issues. Heavier rainfall for example. Think of Houston, with more than 50 inches in one storm. Fiercer storms, think of Irma with the highest winds ever recorded in the Atlantic. Both of the events are linked to warmer water and air which increases energy in the air, and allows for greater moisture content as well. Widespread drought, think of the American west, which is so dry it is on fire. There are many more examples. But it isn't enough for most deniers. But climate deniers have painted themselves into a corner with their blather, and with the denier in chief in the White House they tend to gloat a bit. But don't get too comfortable. He changes his mind frequently, and climate denial is just his most recent position. It will change.

Comics do the best job of political commentary. Here is a video of an Obama impersonator well worth watching, and please answer the question.

Here is a wonderful video from the Minnesota Land Trust site showing a family of swans feeding. The mandatory moose for August is from Don Rearden. He posted this picture of a big guy out his window on the Anchorage hillside which should win some award.

August is wildflower month on the farm. This was a banner year, and several people sent photos to post. Here is a collection.

Luc Mehl used to live in McGrath, Alaska and went to the same college as Sarah. He has become a big time adventure traveler, and one of his trips started in Aniak and ended up in Dillingham, passing near the Angstman cabin in winter. This account is entertaining.

In the long history of ALO there have been dozens of employees, including some for the Dog Farm. Needless to say, not all were stars and many would not have been eligible for rehire. Thinking back on the worst, there are a few candidates but one in particular makes for a good story. She was hired to work both in the office and dog yard, and slept in a small sleeping area upstairs of the barn. Her bathroom facilities and kitchen were in the office where she was given the option of sleeping as well. She chose the barn for privacy. After a couple of weeks Sarah had reason to obtain some stored stuff out of the barn, and came back to report a strange finding. She noticed a bad odor, and found numerous large and small containers filled to the very brim with urine, and she was grossed out. It quickly became apparent that the new helper was not using the bathroom but instead was storing her pee in the barn in every available container. At about that same time it was discovered that she was also stealing from ALO by charging personal items to the office account at the local hardware store, and using dog helper James Nicholas as her cover by getting him to sign the slips. She lasted another day or two until she was able to drain her pee supply, and then was sent packing, never to be seen again.

But then a call came in a couple of weeks later from an Anchorage man seeking a job reference. The shock at being listed as a reference wore off quickly when it was learned that the former employee was working for a rare coin dealer with a small shop downtown. The man said she was already employed but he just wanted to be sure about her references because of the high value of some of the things in his shop. He had to be alarmed at the first words he heard. "Is she alone with the rare coins at this moment?" The employer answered yes and was told one more thing before the call quickly ended. "You need to hang up the phone and run to wherever she is right now to guard your coins."


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