As we enter the second week of public awareness of the Lower Yukon midwinter crisis, the Palin administration, finally reacting, is very aware that this story gained national attention through a few liberal AM radio program hosts, and progressive Alaska bloggers, centered around Alaskans for Truth.
That group, started in response to the September 2008 takeover of the Palin administration's publicity and administrative apparatus by Bush administration cleaner and hitman Ed O'Callaghan, is the most active and persistent team of critics in Alaska of Palin's policies, actions and ethical methods. I'm a proud member.
Dennis Zaki is in Bethel to report. He is there because he and members of Alaskans for Truth raised $8,200 to get him there, and to attempt to effectively distribute relief to communities in the lower Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. Zaki is arriving as relief from other sources is pouring into Emmonak from other Native communities, and from around the country and world.
Part of the reality of Alaska is that well over two thirds of the state's population lives in metropolitan Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Most of Alaska's wealth comes from outside of those three communities. From rural and virtual wilderness areas, from the sea, the rivers, and from underneath the earth's surface.
Just as the rural communities, Alaska Native majority villages and other tiny communities couldn't exist without support coming from the large communities, so the large communities couldn't exist as they do, without benefitting from Alaska's rural resources.
Whenever a new problem surfaces or an old one resurfaces from Alaska bush communities, people in the large towns and cities whine about the attention being paid toward these small towns, villages and 1,000-year-old settlements. This kind of whining has been going on since White people got to Alaska:
Why didn't Aleuts like to resettle to the unpopulated Pribilofs, to catch seals for the Russians in the 18th century? Ingratitude.
Why did Tlingits resist 19th century colonization and the Russian settlement at Sitka? Ignorance and superstition.
Why did Aleuts and other Alaska Natives resist forced relocation from the Aleutians to unhealthy abandoned canneries in Southeast Alaska during World War II? Stupidity. [A higher percentage of Alaska Natives removed to these "camps" perished than did Alaska Natives removed by the Japanese during WWII to their camps.]
Why did Inupiat Natives resist Edward Teller's plan to detonate three to five hydrogen bombs within site of Point Hope, where these Natives had resided for over 1,000 years? According to Teller, lack of understanding and possibly hidden affiliations to Communist relatives across the Bering Straits.
In early 2008, when sexual abuse of Alaska Native women - quite often by White men - was once again brought out in the public, why were the motives of the victims questioned? Because, according to Republican supporters, these women like playing the "victim card."
And now, as the growing impoverishment of rural Alaska becomes highlighted because one individual sent a detailed letter to the Bristol Bay Times, and progressive Alaskans asked questions and sought help -- what are the whiners saying?
My mom always said "the world doesn't owe you a living!!!". Since when did the government take us to raise? Where is ALL this entitlement attitude coming from? Natives should be the last ones to come asking for aid being the "proud independent" people they're supposed to be.....
How much property tax do people in Emo pay? It's common in Anchorage for people to pay $3,000 or $4,000 in taxes. Sure our fuel and groceries are cheaper, but we pay for that privilege. We also have congestion, pollution, noise, crime and gangbangers. I'd love to live in a village where it's peaceful and there's no car stereos and booming exhausts and kids shooting each other in traffic. That's a quality of life that we can't afford here in Anchorage. It's all a tradeoff.
i wonder if they will add up how many new tv's, ipods, and baggies of dope they find when they are there. ahhhh, silly me, i'm sure i'm wrong about such things.
A buddy of mine made a killing bootlegging liquor in Emmonak not too long ago. Did he contribute to their problem? Perhaps, but he didn't force them to buy from him. Yeah, let's bail out the poor natives of Emmonak just like our government is bailing out these people involved in the so-called home mortgage "crisis" for making poor decisions with their money...
Write to Obama.... he'll bail you out.
the only population in this state that cannot choose where they reside are inmates. Everyone else has a CHOICE on where they live. IF you choose to live in the bush, then better be prepared for high prices and high unemployment. If you cannot handle that, then MOVE. That is what the rest of our countryman do when they can no longer live in an area for whatever reason. NO one should have to subsidize someone elses standard of living...
The attention drawn to this midwinter fuel and food crisis in the Lower Yukon and Kuskokwim river deltas, is going to influence policy debate in the upcoming legislative session, as shown by this morning's first Anchorage Daily News article from the session (the comments posted above are in response to that article.)
Alaska State Representative Les Gara (who beat ex-Representative Ethan Berkowitz, but narrowly lost to Tlingit Diane Benson in an AK-AL poll last week), has chosen this time to remind Alaskans that some wanted to address rural needs in 2008. But Gov. Sarah Palin and a few legislative Republicans in close 2008 races, chose to push Palin's "spreading the wealth around" $1,200.00
energy rebate bribe to every Alaskan.
Palin and the urban GOP won last year's round.
Who wins this year's is up in the air.
image - Emmonak kids - by Dennis Zaki