SEPTEMBER 2017 OFFICE NEWS
The September news comes to you late from the Elk Farm where fall colors are approaching their peak. After a rainy summer the vegetation is thick and there are lots of critters roaming about. Here is a video of a nice buck, and a couple of unlikely hunting partners. Every cow elk had a calf this year, which is a first for the farm, and all 17 calves were sold to another elk farmer recently. The farm currently has 17 cows and 4 bulls.
A long scheduled mid-October trial was continued just before trial was to start, and thus a trip back to Alaska was avoided. Meanwhile a couple of cases settled. One involved a maritime accident in Kodiak where a large piece of equipment fell while being hoisted and snapped the bicep of a worker underneath the equipment. The painful injury required surgery, and the defendant made his situation worse by attempting to get ALO's client to agree that the accident happened after his term of employment ended to shift the financial burden to a different insurance company.
In Bethel ALO settled a case for a client who was injured in a rear end collision on the airport highway. The at-fault driver failed to note that there was a car stopped to make a turn, and the injured driver suffered a fractured vertebrae which required a solid neck brace for several weeks. That case settled for policy limits, and there will be an additional claim against the victim's underinsured motorist coverage.
An extended family member just passed the Minnesota bar and that event brought to mind a story from 1974 in Alaska. State Public Defender Herb Soll sent a recent Minnesota law grad to Bethel to open a new Public Defender office, even though there was no office existing, no rentals available, and no staff. But clients were delivered to court every day, and they needed help. A small conference room at the court served as an office for many weeks. Pre-trial issues were handled in due course, and everything was running fairly well, while awaiting bar exam results. Then a trial was scheduled, and an emergency call was placed to Herb. "You need to send out someone to do a trial next week Herb." "We have no one available, why can't you do it?" "The Bar results are not posted yet." "Just do the trial, if you win no one will complain." The trial went forward as scheduled, and no one complained.
Granddaughter Mary won a contest at her school involving a salmon study, and her reward was eligibility for a remote raft trip for 10 days with a large group of school kids from Bethel and Aniak. The trip included more fish studies, and a true wilderness experience with competent supervision. It served one of its intended purposes, as Mary came home excited about science and nature and can't wait to go again.
September is the month for closing the Angstman cabin in Wood-Tikchik state park. Moose hunting and fall fishing are the scheduled events, and both were successful this year. The moose hunt was especially interesting. It was the last day for the full crew, and actually the last hour or so when there would actually be enough time to get a moose harvested and transported when a very large animal appeared before the oldest member of the hunting crew. Without really contemplating the consequences, the moose was harvested and then the work started. The critter was at the fork of two deep beaver streams, and carrying him out was problematic, cause the stream had to be crossed. The streams ran to the lake but there were four beaver dams to cross, the largest about five feet high. It took five trips in a canoe to get the moose to the lake, which meant 40 dam crossings, half of them with several hundred pounds of moose on board. The boned out weight of the moose was about 800 pounds, thus the live weight was more than 1600 pounds, and most of that 1600 pounds had to be transported to the lake. Dave Price came to the cabin for a vacation from his trucking job and he was part of the two man crew who moved the moose. The rack was 65 inches, and a grizzly bear dragged that off before it could be salvaged. All that's left is this photo. The moose wasn't the largest rack ever taken by the Angstman party, having twice topped the 70 inch mark, but the body weight might have been the biggest ever.
Andy caught this late season rainbow , estimated at 26-27 inches and this dolly varden, which weighed close to 8 pounds. Elizabeth Aarons came with Andy to the cabin in September and snapped this shot of a nearby lake which was popular on Facebook. Here is Andy's photo of his fishing partner at a high mountain lake near the end of the float plane season. Those photos lead to the question of mining in the headwaters of Bristol Bay which has once again emerged as a major issue. The Feds have changed their position with regard to the Pebble mine, which is not surprising in that there seems to be little concern for Mother Nature in the current administration. The main concern in Bristol Bay is the massive salmon run, but it runs far deeper that. The entire ecosystem there is fueled by the salmon, a fact which has been revealed in about 40 years of up close observations in the area. This short video from that last trip to the area shows a scene repeated thousands of times throughout Bristol Bay as salmon crowd into streams to spawn and die. Folks with no concern for the environment simply need to smarten up. Short term economic gain is not worth long term damage to nature. End of discussion.
Here is a video of Mother Nature at work. Musher Brent Sass harvested a moose and then placed a trail cam over the carcass. Here is what showed up.
It has long been wondered whether Yahoo News is news meant for Yahoos, or news about Yahoos. This article about Bethel might answer that question.
Jane Bender Hanson nominated a moose that walked the shore at Lake Bemidji for this month's mandatory moose. Several folks sent photos of this rare event, and it clearly qualifies. The Minnesota moose population is dwindling, and scientists are trying to figure out why.
It is historically rare when members of a President's own party are openly critical of the chief executive, but that happened twice recently. The Secretary of State called Trump a fucking moron in front of several government officials, and the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee said the White House was an adult day care center. Hard core Trump supporters were left with little choice but to attack their own party faithful. Trump's political problem is his continued effort to appease his rabid base, even when those decisions diminish his already limited approval. If only 1/3 of the country approves of what you are doing, you maybe should consider doing something else. That is especially true for a guy like Trump, who seems focused on ratings. Trump's crew attacked the press for reporting on the "fucking moron" report, noting the unnamed sources for the story. It is true that a story with that quote may not be newsworthy. After all, how hard would it be to find someone in the government who has called Trump a moron. A more newsworthy story would be finding someone in the government who hasn't.