Ruth Moody will be giving a free vocal workshop this Sunday at the AB Hall in Skagway. This...
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Bethel’s rural status is not immediately at risk. But once the population hits 7,000, it will be presumed to be non-rural unless it proves to have rural characteristics.
The federal subsistence board is in a multi-year process of reviewing how it decides which communities have the critical rural priority for accessing resources on federal lands as described under ANILCA.
That process was the subject of a meeting in Bethel Wednesday, but most people gave their thoughts on Bethel.
Alan Joseph said that the population thresholds are somewhat arbitrary.
“Say if the community became non-rural at 7,000 it would be like telling Yup’iks in Bethel that at 12 o’clock that that stop being Yup’iks,” Joseph said. ”You have to look at the way the people live and decide to keep it that way.”
There are communities above 7,000 people still considered rural, like Sitka and Kodiak. To remain rural, they have to show rural characteristics. Mary Gregory made the case that subsistence is at the core of many people’s lives.
“If you come to my house right now you will find 10 pikes hanging in my kitchen trying to dry out and a string of tomcods that are also hanging and my house smells like fish because I’m a 99.9 percent subsistence food user,” Gregory said. ”A lot of people are like that, especially the elderly people who live here.”
Ignacious Louie Andrew recognized that change has accelerated in recent years, but the basic native values are still strong:
“We have gone through a tremendous changes, but as we continue to change, subsistence traditional native practices and values will provide a continuity to the past,” Andrew said..
Bethel specifically sees a lot of turnover, according to Roberta Chavez.
“People come and go to bethel all the time you see them moving here, leaving here,” Chavez said. ”The people that remain have been here since time immemorial and they have the right to continue to live that way.”
There are a total of 10 meetings happening all around the state. Comments will be analyzed and brought to the Federal Subsistence Board. Steve Kessler works as the Forest Service’s subsistence program leader and says the comments are important to the process.
“Are these thresholds guidelines the correct ones to use, or should we be using something else,” Kessler said. “Should we be aggregating communities in some other way?”
“What does the public think the federal subsistence board and the secretaries of interior and agriculture ought to be using to determine which communities are rural?”
The board will meet in April and could propose changes to pass up to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture, who ultimately make the call. You can give comments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for comments is Dec. 2.
Tribal citizens returned Benjamin Miyasato, Lawrence “Woody” Widmark, and Harvey Kitka to the Sitka Tribal Council, in elections held Tuesday (11-13-13). Former council member Thomas Gamble also won a seat. He last served in 2008.
Louise Brady and Stephanie Edenshaw were the runners-up, falling short by just a few votes. Despite having open voting at the Sheetka Kwan Community House for two weeks prior to election day, turnout was disappointingly low. While around 1,900 people in Sitka are eligible to vote in the council elections, Tribal officials estimate that only 140 people cast ballots to fill the four open seats.
Ben Miyasato, who will reclaim his seat as vice-chairman, received the most votes, with 107.
Miyasato says, “what surprised me was that the turnout was extremely low but at the same time that is sending a message that they’re not happy with their tribal government which is understandable given the financial difficulty they’re under. We hear your message.”
Also noting the low turnout, Gamble has this message for tribal citizens. “…I guess just this message to the tribal citizens that in order for positive change to happen their involvement is going to be requested continuously.”
The election results will be certified at the next council meeting on November 20th. The new terms for elected officials will begin December 1.
More than seven years since their previous releases, Sony and Microsoft are debuting new versions of their popular game consoles — PlayStation and Xbox. Hard-core gamers are excited, but once that initial rush is over, Sony and Microsoft will have to work a lot harder to expand beyond that market.
Anchorage has become embroiled in an appropriations debate. Legislative money for tennis courts – or ice rinks. Some assembly members want to crack down on towing firms. The municipality is exploring a plan to unify the fire and police dispatch. The Anchorage Assembly has been working on Title 11, regulating taxis. Alaska Airlines says it will allow passengers to use more electronic devices. Food trucks have become popular in many American cities. Anchorage is seeing them too – but there are questions about these mobile kitchens as Sean details.
HOST: Michael Carey
- Paul Jenkins, Anchorage Daily Planet
- Daysha Eaton, KSKA
- Sean Doogan, Alaska Dispatch
KSKA (FM 91.1) BROADCAST: Friday, November 15 2013 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Alaska Public Television BROADCAST: Friday, November 15 2013 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday November 16 , 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
"When we pull back the curtain now, the mess is disturbing," says House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., of the latest revelations. These documents call into question whether contractors can fix the website as promised by the end of November.
Sea cucumber fishing is winding down for commercial divers in Southeast Alaska. There is another opening Monday but the fleet is very close to reaching its overall quota and boats have begun calling it quits. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is reporting a catch of just over one-million, four-hundred and sixty-four thousand pounds to date.
“We have about a million and a half pounds harvested. That includes some areas that went over their GHL’s a little bit so there’s still approximately 70 thousand pounds in the Ketchikan area to be harvested and a little bit left in the Juneau area,” says Justin Breese, Assistant Area Management Biologist in Ketchikan.
Divers get short, weekly openings to target cucumbers. Each fishing area is closed once the fleet reaches the guideline harvest level or GHL there. The first opening was October 7th.
Breese say this year’s cucumber price has averaged around five dollars a pound, “Which is pretty good and it drew quite a few people out and that’s one of the reasons a lot of some of the smaller areas got more effort than they were anticipating in several different smaller areas.”
Nearly 200 divers have participated in this year’s sea cucumber fishery.
President Obama admitting to fumbling the ball on the healthcare website. But is 'sorry' enough - or does someone have to be sidelined? Host Michel Martin talks to the Barbershop guys about the week's news. Writer Jimi Izrael, Corey Dade of The Root, law professor Paul Butler and healthcare consultant Neil Minkoff weigh in.
The House has approved a Republican-sponsored bill that would allow insurance companies to continue offering policies that would be canceled under the Affordable Care Act. The Keep Your Health Plan Act was adopted by a vote of 261-157, with the support of 39 Democrats.