This view greeted the Angstmans upon return from Minnesota to Alaska in mid-November. It is understandable that reverse snowbirds will sometimes encounter rude consequences but traveling from unseasonably warm temps in Minnesota to record snow falls in Alaska is a challenge for an elder. The plan will be to log 5 miles walking in the snow, which should speed the acclimation process.
Snow removal and homeless shelters are the talk of Anchorage right now. Last year’s snow removal fiasco is fresh in the memories of most, and despite assurances that those problems were eliminated, this season started out with little change. This video captures a hint of the reaction at City Hall.
As for the homeless, numerous deaths already have been reported among that group as winter hit. Once again government action on this problem is tangled because of political issues between the Anchorage assembly and the mayor. The mayor has put off addressing both snow removal and the homeless issue because of his adherence to a small government philosophy. Small government might be a reasonable goal, but small bad government is not.
ALO managed to settle one case during the recent stay in Minnesota. An elderly lady from rural Alaska was in Anchorage for medical attention, staying at a hotel near the airport. The hotel has a main entrance and a side entrance, and the side entrance made for a much shorter walk to her room. Her adult daughter was escorting her. Here’s how the side entrance looked at the time of the accident. The ALO client fell and broke her wrist, requiring surgery. The hotel paid up and immediately repaired the steps.
Speaking of legal work in Minnesota, for the first time ever ALO was able to take part in a deposition while sitting in a deer blind using a headset. The Zoom connection allowed a mute setting on the microphone, and another attorney was doing the talking for the ALO client being deposed. It’s hard to say what would have happened if a big buck walked by, but none did.
Minnesota has a long time fall time tradition that requires some discussion. Church fund raising dinners have been a fixture in small Minnesota congregations for at least 100 years. The most famous one historically was the Crown Lutheran turkey feed, which served several hundred people each year. That feast no longer is held, falling victim to Covid one year and not being revived after that. But others have held on, and two drew the Angstmans this year. The Milaca Lutheran dinner featured lutefisk, ham, and meatballs. It’s $20 for the full package, but if you choose not to ask for lutefisk, it’s $15. The same menu was offered at the Glendorado Lutheran church, with the same pricing. How many people can claim they earned $10 by simply not eating lutefisk this fall? That is an appealing discount. Here was the Glendorado meal which was quite good. The average age of those in attendance at both places was easily 70 and the first dinners were served at 3 pm, which would not have pleased Jerry Seinfeld.
In additional Glendorado news, this is the guy who wounded five police officers as reported here last month. He used to live very close to the Glendorado Church but now resides in a jail cell somewhere. Looking at his mug shot, it's not hard to believe that he's crazy enough to shoot a bunch of policemen, but it is hard to believe anyone would sell him a gun.
Bethel resident Katie Basile made the news this week, featured in an article - "On a tundra brimming with boots and coats, Bethel photographer Katie Basile captures creative fashion in Native earring designs" in the Anchorage Daily News. Katie was a neighbor as she grew up in Bethel and has been a friend since that time. Her school years were noteworthy in that she was the only girl in her age group in the neighborhood, which had a number of boys including Andy Angstman. She was slightly younger that the boys, but tagged along without a problem and her feisty attitude made her a key part of the neighborhood gang. This was a group that spent a lot of time outdoors, much of it in the area around the Angstman house known as Old Friendly Dog Farm. Katie soon learned that good-natured ribbing was part of the program at the Dog Farm, and she held her own in that department. Even today she is able to drop a pointed barb at any wise elder who deserves it.
Longtime readers of the ALO news will recall that Katie holds a world record that will likely stand forever. In high school Katie had no steady boyfriend, so she was always available as an attractive prom date. The gang of boys that roamed the neighborhood usually had no girlfriends, and couldn’t help but notice she was a prime candidate for the prom. She ended up going to the prom with four different guys in her four years of high school. What makes that situation a world record is that all four of those guys appeared at her wedding a few years later, and none of them were the groom.
Katie’s artwork shows up in this article - "Beauty is always bigger than the pain" by Unalakleet resident Laureli Ivanoff who is published regularly in High Country News. Trees are in short supply in Bethel, so Katie returned to Old Friendly Dog Farm recently to photograph the birch in that photo, one of dozens planted around ALO over the years.
Mandatory Moose & Other Characters
This month’s Mandatory Moose had the Halloween spirit and scored a treat.
Kristoff Druva provides regular photos for ALO, this time a black bear.
And Minnesota neighbor Dave Price got this video of otters who appear daily on his dock at Mud Lake. They use the dock for play, and as a handy toilet.
Lack of Meaningful Action
Two Republican members of Congress recently spoke out about the status of their party. Ken Buck and Chip Ray are not happy with the current status within the Republican party. They correctly point out that the party has done very little in recent years except obstruct the work of Congress. When the extreme right consists of wackos like Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert, it stands to reason that reasonable discourse will be in short supply. And with a slim majority in the House of Representatives, that fringe group has far more clout within the party than would normally be the case. These articles are important reading for anyone concerned about the lack of meaningful action in Congress - "GOP Congressman Chip Roy Declares the GOP is Useless, in Floor Speech Democrats Are Probably Turning Into a 2024 Ad Right Now" (Vanity Fair) and "Rep. Ken Buck to retire from House, cites election denialism by others in GOP" (The Washington Post).
Some Bad Ideas
And finally, some thoughts about Donald Trump’s legal cases. ALO has had thousands of clients over the past 50 years, but never has a client showed up that decided it would be a good idea to verbally attack a judge or opposing counsel. If a client chose to do that, it would be a bad idea for a bunch of reasons. One of the main reasons is that the judge and opposing counsel have an opportunity to make a person regret such conduct. The average person in court would be harshly treated if he said things about the judge or opposing counsel like Trump does, but Trump slides by. In the process, he damages the court process for all who follow. Regardless Trump is treated with kid gloves. His time is still coming however. Trump faces jail time from more than one judge in cases now pending. Judges subjected to the abuse Trump has employed might quietly wait for the opportunity to come down very hard on the former President. It would be well earned jail time.