News from the Cabin | State and National Politics | Jack goes to a wedding
The May news is brought to you from the ALO main office in Bethel, after spending most of May in Minnesota. Upon return, the recent trend of early summer was well underway in Bethel, with trees fully leafed out and mosquitos buzzing about. There was a time not too long ago when Bethel gardeners were advised to not plant until June 1st. Now most gardens are growing nicely by then, and what passes for a lawn at ALO needs attention from a weed whip.
Several events mark the start of summer. They include the birth of wild critters. Here is this month's mandatory moose. Baby musk ox also show up in May,
as do sandhill crane colts. Google that word if you doubt it.
The cranes showed up on Sherry Winter's trail cam near Princeton. While there are no pictures, it is reported that 14 elk calves are present on the farm. Another sure sign of the season is float planes on the road in Bethel.
That is the Angstman plane 736XM. Airplanes were forced to use the main highway in Bethel after a thoughtful local citizen decided to block access to the traditional location for launching float planes because the road built there traversed the edge of a Native allotment his mom selected a while back. Of course he used the road to build his house, but then decided to block it until someone paid him a bunch of money. Meanwhile he has made the area into a mini junk yard.
Old stories from the law seem to sell well on this page. One short one comes from former Bethel lawyer Al Beiswenger who went on to a private practice on the Kenai Peninsula. He once represented a guy who, along with his partner, was accused of kidnapping a person for ransom. While the police had quite a bit of evidence, there was one piece of physical evidence seized from the suspect's van that demonstrated the level of competence displayed by the kidnappers. The victim's family had been asked to pay $5,000 for the return of their family member, which of course represented a good deal compared to most ransoms. When the police searched the van driven by the two suspects, they discovered a tape from an old fashioned adding machine with a single transaction printed. It read 5,000/2 =2500. It is always important when running a partnership to evenly divide the profits. The suspects were, not surprisingly, convicted.
Alaska's legislature has been asleep at the switch for years. A budget crisis has existed for some time, but many legislators are tied so closely to big oil that they are unable to deal with the fact that the state is not able to sustain itself except by robbing a fast dwindling savings account. The oil industry has figured out a plan, approved by the legislature, that saw the state owing the oil companies money last year. Meanwhile some folks hope for a rebound in oil prices to bail the state out, while education and many other essential services are cut drastically. A state government shutdown looms at the end of June, so stay tuned.
Things aren't a lot better on the national scene. A health care plan is being discussed. Trump recently told senators to improve on the House plan which he called mean. That despite celebrating the bill's passage a little while ago, without ever reading it of course. Now the Senate is working on a revised bill in secret, and not even allowing hearings or public scrutiny of the bill because it deprives so many people of insurance. That is high grade democracy. One last Trump point: someone needs to stop him from Tweeting. His own comments have damaged him far more than the evil press he complains about.
Finally, a video which shows the extent to which reproduction drives Mother Nature. This fish is attempting to attract a mate, and won't stop until his artwork is perfect.