APRIL 2017 OFFICE NEWS
John, Bev & Will Steger visit Long Pond | Some hope for Gopher Football
The April news comes to you late from the Elk Farm in Minnesota, where a visit from Bev Hoffman threw everything off schedule and into chaos, as would be expected. The actual arrival of good weather greeted Bev and John the day they arrived and the wildlife cooperated to allow them to record a bunch of bird and animal sightings on the farm. But perhaps the most unusual sighting was the arrival of Will Steger for an overnight visit at the farm. Steger is well known among old timers for his Arctic expeditions from the 80's and 90's, usually made by dog team. His team was the first to travel to the North Pole without mid-trip support. He also crossed Antarctica and Greenland, among other long trips. One of his longer trips ended at St. Mary's, near Bethel on the Yukon River. If you haven't read any of his books you ought to. He signed a copy of "Crossing Antarctica"; that had been riding around in his car for awhile.
Steger's interest in the farm stemmed from his current activity which is exploring ways to protect the environment. He heard about efforts at the farm to preserve natural habitat and wildlife, and wanted to take a look. His visit overlapped Bev's visit, so naturally there was a photo session in front of Steger's ancient car . It has 230,000 miles and might be nearing the end. For those not on Facebook, here is a shot of a couple old guys walking the Elk Farm courtesy of Bev. It will come as no surprise that a guy who has traveled both poles by dog team has some good stories to tell.
The life cycle at the Elk Farm is in full swing. Breeding, nesting and hatching are daily events, and the numbers of most critters appear to be up from previous years. Jack romps around the farm like a dog possessed with all the scents combining to tantalize him. He flushes pheasants and turkeys most every day. Hopefully he will ease up a bit when he explores at the Angstman cabin soon, where he might flush a grizzly bear instead of a bird.
Facebook friend Robin Suhsen posted these photos of Long Pond one evening. Her house sits across the pond from the Elk Farm, so these photos show the full moon over the farm.
ALO managed to settle one case during April, involving a young girl in a village near Bethel who was touched improperly by a man at a public location in her village. The settlement was agreed to by the man's employer.
Anyone who has followed the News for a while knows that University of Minnesota sports are a focus of attention. Right now it's the women's softball team, as they get ready for the post season tourney. But its football that has caused the most anguish for 60 years. Finally this week the Gophers have some good news. Former Bethelite Amanda Hensch won a state title with Bethel in basketball, but many who watched figured her significant athletic skills were more suited for other sports. She was strong and fast, and liked to run over people. She eventually married a former Gopher defensive back named Fred Rodgers and immediately knowledgeable Gopher fans started thinking about offspring. Cameron soon arrived and at age four he scored his first touchdown last week in Chaska, Minnesota. Amanda was on hand for the video play by play. That's called waiting for the hole to develop. Help is on the way for the Gophers.
ALO's primary concern in the early going under Trump has been the environment. It seemed like everyday a new event was announced that put big money development ahead of the environment. Trump and many of his appointees fall in the climate denier camp, and their early steps proved it. But just recently Secretary of State Tillerson signed a document in Fairbanks, Alaska which called for international action to combat climate change which is caused by human action. You read that right. A Trump appointee contradicting his boss. And this from a former Exxon CEO whose company contributed heavily to the problem. Of course we now know that Exxon privately recognized global warming a long time ago and started preparing for the eventual public reaction to it. Its hard to say if Trump actually recognizes the significance of this defection, but if he does, Tillerson might be another short timer in this administration.