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July 2016

Crashes | Blueberry Martinis | Sheefish

Traffic accidents were the main topic of interest at ALO during July. Two new major cases showed up in the office, both from remote locations. A pedestrian accident in a village near Bethel involved a truck owned by a local Native corporation striking a young girl playing with a toy boat in a puddle at the edge of the road. The girl, now an ALO client, suffered a broken pelvis among other injuries, and was flown to Anchorage for a hospital stay. The other accident was at a remote location on the Aleutian chain, where many rural folks travel to work in the fishing industry. This story details what happened. ALO was asked to represent the family of one of the deceased passengers with ties to the Bethel area. The article about that crash appeared in the Anchorage newspaper owned by Alice Rogoff. Alice had her own crash, in an airplane, which also made the paper. Apparently she was landing her float plane in a bay near Homer when she decided to abort the landing and try again. She failed to gain enough altitude as she climbed out, and her float clipped a tree. A tour boat was near, and someone captured the dramatic photo of her float being torn from the plane. The plane crash landed in the water, but the pilot survived with no serious injuries.

Alaska's early, warm spring and summer produced a bumper crop of blueberries, and Jill Hoffman picked a bunch of them. When she and Mike visited the Angstman cabin she brought some along to make the first ever blueberry martinis served on Chauekuktuli Lake.



When asked the ingredients of the drink, Jill responded "Blueberries and vodka". Grant Fairbanks has spent the summer at his homestead on the Holitna River. There is a spot nearby where he has often caught sheefish for dinner. Sheefish are a form of whitefish that grow quite large in Alaska and are prized eating. He sent along this photo of Zach and Luyken with a good catch.


This true story demonstrates the issues created by long summer daylight in Alaska. Two gentlemen who had consumed a bit of booze flagged a cab in Bethel one fine day, and asked to go to a local store. Once settled in the rear seat, one of the passengers politely asked the driver the correct time. The driver responded 10:30. After pondering that a bit the passenger asked "Would that be a.m. or p.m.?"

Politics occupies much of the news these days, and the conventions produced some interesting stuff. Each party put on a string of speakers to disparage the opposition, which is to be expected, but Donald Trump took offense and has responded with a series of comments, some of which have gotten him in trouble with his own party and supporters. It seems like Trump needs a full time supervisor to tell him when to shut up. This election involves two candidates who are very unpopular with voters. With that in mind, Trump should be trying to temper his comments to maintain his current support. Take away his cell phone and close his Twitter account, and he might win.

The attack on science at the Republican convention was troubling here at ALO. A basic bottom line for elective office candidates should include an understanding that the earth is round, it is more than 5,000 years old, it is getting warmer, and it is populated by living things that have evolved for a very long time. Some of the more conservative candidates have a problem moving past the first item on that list. They can't accept the fact that human activity has made the earth less livable. This chart is just one of the many ways the earth has changed because of human activity.

There is a limit to population expansion, and it probably had already been passed. Politically ignoring that fact is reckless.

This month's mandatory moose is a rare one.

Finally, some education news. Sunset Woods has made the monthly news from time to time after moving in with Dolly and David a few years ago. She is now moving into ninth grade and was recently accepted into one of Alaska's two state-run boarding schools at Sitka, known as Mt. Edgecumbe. The four year school has educated many folks from the Bethel area over the years, and she is excited about the move. Her almost daily visits to ALO will become less frequent, but at least snacks in the refrigerator will last longer.

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