Iditarod Start | Sitka Case Settles | Roger Bohm
February news is a bit late owing to a trip to Hawaii at the start of March. What better way to watch the Iditarod than from a tropical island with waves crashing on the beach? Many people have asked how a person could keep track of the race from that far away, as they gaze into their computer screen. This year some communication issues prevented the daily analysis on John Baker's webpage, so less attention has been paid to the race than other recent years. A serious contending run by Bethel's Pete Kaiser will change all of that if he stays in the running. As of this writing, he is doing a 24 hour rest in Takotna, and his ability to stay with the front runners will be revealed within another day or two. Andy served as race judge at Rainy Pass, and will be also judging at Unalakleet where he will have a good chance to report on the status of the race. Any news flashes from there will be reported on Facebook.
Speaking of the Iditarod, the race rules made news just before the start in Anchorage when racers first became aware of a new rule that prevents racers from making certain disparaging comments about the race and its sponsors throughout the time period from signing up for the race until 45 days after the race. ALO was asked to comment publicly and expressed a lack of support for such a rule. The Kuskokwim 300 has a similar rule, but only with reference to race related events. No one has ever suggested that sponsors are immune from criticism. Some have noted that professional sports like the NFL have strict rules of the same sort, but the comparison is flawed. In those events, the league and its players are basically partners, each making millions presenting a product at the expense of sponsors and the public. Dog racers by comparison only make money if they win or if they attract their own sponsors, and they pay for the opportunity to race in most events. The K300 is an exception, having done away with an entry fee. To expect racers to adhere to the company line when they are not really part of the company is asking too much. Sponsors who may be controversial, such as the Donlin mine, should not expect to buy silence through their donation. Reasonable people, including dog racers, could have a difference of opinion on the risk involved in building a giant mine in the middle of the Kuskokwim River drainage. If so, they ought not be prevented from stating their views. Buying support is all too common in America, and it is one of the biggest problems now in Congress.
ALO settled a significant case in February, involving a high school student who was subjected to harsh treatment by the Sitka police. This article was well researched by an online outfit called Court House News Service, and details the case. A similar case was filed in February in Kodiak, and was covered well in the Alaska press.
Longevity at employment often comes up at ALO, where at least one member of the staff has been practicing law for over 40 years. Compared to this teacher that is hardly worthy of note. Miss Decker was already a stern elementary school teacher when little Myron showed up at the Princeton school in 1954. She probably is a little less stern today, at age 92, but she's is still there and from the looks of the video, a solid teacher. Would clients still call ALO 24 years from now??
The news often features pictures from the Nome Nugget, with good reason. It seems to be among the finest weekly papers around. Nils Hahn and Diana Haecker take many of the pictures, and this one seems especially timely with the Iditarod underway. This was taken during a recent dog race in the Nome area.
This month's mandatory moose was posted by Katie York, who encountered this when she opened her front door in Anchorage recently.
Comedians are having a field day with the presidential primaries. John Oliver carefully researches his stuff, and it is both hilarious and informative, and well worth watching if you care about politics even a little.
Longtime friend Roger Bohm died in February. He out lived his hunting buddy James Nicholas by less than a year. The two spent quite a bit of time in hunting camps around Bethel. Roger, from Minnesota, and his hunting partner Cornell Runestad asked for some hunting advice many years ago, and that developed into a yearly Alaska visit for quite a while. Roger had many trades, including picture framing and gun repair, after he retired from teaching in Princeton. His last picture frame job was last fall, for Dolly.
He knew it was his last one, and signed the back of it for her. Roger loved to shoot firearms, so here's hoping he is someplace where the gun laws are loose, and there is plenty of ammo