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  • Writer's pictureMyron

June 2016

Stony River Wood Door | Wildlife in Alaska and the Elk Farm

ALO monthly news readers who comment on content often say they enjoy stories about cases from the past. Many of ALO's best stories are too long and involved for this format, but a few fit in. A favorite comes from the village of Stony River, a small community on the upper Kuskokwim River. Stony is a lively place, and occasionally violent. One time an ALO client was charged with felony assault for shooting three times through the front door of an occupied log cabin. The structure was small, so the shots couldn't have missed the man inside by more than a few feet.

The trial was held in Bethel. No names will be used in this story, but many local readers will be able to make some reasoned guesses as to the identity of the defendant. The main witness was a state trooper who responded to the shooting. He testified in the typical detached police officer fashion, and he described the scene. He arrived at the village and went to the cabin involved. His inspection revealed three bullet holes in the door of the cabin, and corresponding damage to the interior. The District Attorney asked the cop if he seized any evidence at the scene. "Yes, I removed the door from the cabin" With that another trooper brought a homemade wooden door into the court room.

The District Attorney asked the trooper to approach the door and identify the three bullet holes, which he circled with a marker. The trooper stated the holes could be identified by the fresh splinters, especially on the back side of the door. From a distance, the door looked a little rough, and perhaps a bit pock marked. When the DA was through with his examination, it was time for cross examination of the witness. It started with a casual stroll to the old door which was propped against a table in the court room. The questions went something like this. "I notice there are a number of other holes in this door. Do you have any idea how they got there?' The trooper said they appear to be old bullet holes, based on the faded splinters. "Would you mind coming up here and counting them?" He counted to 63, noting that some could have been double holes which would have made the number higher. "Did you ask the owner about the holes?" The witness said he did, and he learned that someone had shot through the door every month or two for years.

The jury found the defendant not guilty. The DA likely regretted bringing the door into the courtroom.

ALO received an award recently, sort of, and it is well worth looking at. It should be noted that ALO does very few divorces, and certainly is not rated highly in that field. However, these type of awards are quite common in the legal arena, and they are mostly phony. They are money making schemes for the promoters and false advertising for the lawyers who sign on. There are numerous such for-profit scams, and some of the Alaska attorneys who appear on the various top ten lists would be in the running for the bottom ten if a fair vote among other attorneys was held. All of the top ten lists have one thing in common, the attorneys listed paid for the honor. ALO will not be named on any such list anytime soon.

Speaking of awards, here is someone who deserves one. Dolly has a bunch of relatives scattered all over Alaska. Her Gramma in Galena, Virginia Johnston, is the real deal. This brief account of her early life won't make any headlines anywhere, but it does demonstrate how comfortable life is for many today compared to the recent past.

This article recounts an episode from Alaska flying history that intersects with ALO. Boyuk Ryan is the head of Ryan Air where Andy works, and is a long-time friend. Mike Hoffman is a flying buddy, who spent the Fourth of July weekend at the Angstman cabin. As a follow up to the story, the lost pilot died in the crash of his plane, not too far from Unalakleet.

And now for Mother Nature. This turkey found its way to Dave Price's shed roof

and deck recently near the Elk Farm.

This video of a Golden Retriever will delight anyone who has ever had a goofy dog that screws up from time to time.

The bugs in Bethel haven't been that bad this year, but other places in Alaska have a few.

This owl photo from Beth Manning of Fairbanks is worth looking at.

Ditto for Jan DeNapoli Cosmutto's fox pictures. While you are on her page, click through her whole album of excellent photos.

This month's mandatory moose is a rare shot of triplet calves.

Speaking of moose, a recent flight back from the cabin featured a first. Moose, caribou, black bear and grizzly bears were spotted, but the grizzlies put on the best show. They were engaged in adult activity right under the airplane, which in Alaska is known as a six-legged bear.

Finally, a weather report from Alaska. Records of course are often broken, but when a temperature record is broken by 8 degrees it is worth noting. Blueberries were harvested on the Fourth of July, and swimmers stayed in the lake at the cabin for a long time, unheard of in previous years. Maybe there is something to this global warming hoax.


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