ALO's September news comes to you from Long Pond Elk Farm in Minnesota. The transition from Alaska to Minnesota was challenging, starting right from Bethel. At the end of the float season the ALO airplane is transported to Anchorage to have a required annual inspection and to switch to wheels. Timing the trip has often been tricky, but this year is the first where weather forced a return to Bethel. Unexpected fog in the mountains east of Bethel caused the problem, and it was a close call getting back to Bethel in time to make a quick jet trip to Anchorage on Sunday to catch a flight to Nome for a trial starting Monday.
That trial went off well, including a verdict in favor of the ALO client who was seeking damages against the local grocery store for a bad fall on the outside entry area. The trial lasted a bit longer than expected, and the judge made an exception to allow Myron to leave immediately after finishing final arguments, and before jury instructions were read. The argument ended at 11:45, a friend was standing by in front of the Nome court, and a mad dash to the airport resulted in a first when the nice lady at the counter remembered a big tip she received the night before when waiting tables at the local restaurant. She announced the flight was closed then ducked in the back to find out if they would re-open the doors. Despite some unhappy looks from TSA, the doors were opened and the plane departed about 12:17.
The win was especially sweet for ALO after opposing counsel Cindy Ducey filed a late motion urging the court to order that Myron Angstman not speak Inupiat or wear Alaska Native attire in front of the jury. She did so without the slightest bit of factual support, because, of course, there was none available. Another Bethel lawyer, not affiliated with ALO, has been known to dress in Native attire and speak the Eskimo language at trial so apparently Ducey got some names confused. Inupiat is the language of the Northern Eskimos, not even spoken in Bethel. When invited to withdraw her baseless motion, Ducey declined. Needless to say, little kindness was directed her way during final argument, a tactic that apparently appealed to the jury. Ducey has indicated there will be no appeal.
The Nome trial was one that should never have happened. Sometimes parties can't agree on a settlement for reasons that defy logic. Here, the fall was video taped by the store's security camera, the lady suffered a fractured tailbone, and many people on the jury were likely customers of the store which is well known for its slippery entry. Despite that the insurance company involved offered less than nuisance value before trial. When returning the verdict the jury took the unusual step of stating to the store that they should come up with a better plan for making their entry less slippery.
The next step was the Portland half marathon where a bunch of current and former Bethel folks took part. Myron won the Bethel geriatric walking division with an average time of under 13 minutes per mile. Sore legs lasted for two days, and the transfer to Minnesota ended Tuesday when Tanner and Henry arrived via air freight.
One small case worth mention is a commercial fishing case out of Bristol Bay. ALO had about 10 such cases this year, usually involving fishermen who were a few feet over the boundary line or fishing a few minutes after the closure. One 82 year old man was tagged for such a violation when he was observed 150 over the line. Of course these lines are not actually drawn on the water, but instead landmarks on shore are used, or else a GPS. Unfortunately this gentleman was in poor health despite taking part in this very demanding physical activity. Before his court date, he suffered a heart attack and had open heart surgery. A continuance was requested, and it was suggested to the DA that this case might not be worth pursuing. The DA wanted more info. Medical records were obtained which showed that in addition to the heart attack, the old guy suffered from renal failure and was on dialysis, had diverticulitis, prostate issues, needed knee surgery and had just gotten off life support. After a couple of months of waiting, the DA dismissed the case.
Facebook regulars saw a bunch of wildlife photos during September, but many ALO news readers are not on Facebook. Besides, some of these shots are worth a second look. Grizzly bears were abundant at the Angstman cabin in September. There is likely 30-40 miles of shoreline on Chauekuktuli Lake, and there was one trail camera set up on a point where bears like to fish. This shot defies the odds.
These look like yearling cubs, and really, no one told them to pose for the camera. If you look close there appears to be a third bear on the bottom of the photo.
Dave Price helps with farm chores in Minnesota, and comes to Alaska every other year. He took this video when he was left at the cabin alone for a few hours.
What he didn't say on the video is that the bear was rolling on the spot where Dave had peed earlier that day. The same bear took a nap on the first island in front of the cabin, and was awakened by the approaching boat just before this shot.
Next is a short video of a feeding frenzy for the polar bears near Kaktovic.
A whale was harvested on the beach and the carcass attracted a crowd. Dan and Sharon Boyette were out of town and their house sitter contributed this month's mandatory moose photo from their yard.
He and his Dad get a moose almost every year in the middle Kuskokwim. Don Rearden takes pictures and writes books. This shot, from his house on the Anchorage hillside, shows the Alaska Range across Cook Inlet.
The low spot is the start of Merrill Pass, which is the main route from Anchorage to Bethel.
Finally these words of wisdom from Abe Lincoln.