Twelve people who were homeless or familiar with life on the streets have died outdoors in Anchorage this spring and summer, most of them in woods and parks. Only one death has been classified as a homicide.
- Anchorage’s 12 homeless deaths this year Published: August 22nd, 2009 10:07 PM
- What’s killing the homeless in Anchorage? By LISA DEMER Published: August 22nd, 2009 10:23 PM
1) There are far more homeless than those living rough or in shelters.
2) The list for AHFC (Alaska Housing Finance Corp.) rental assistance or housing in Anchorage is 10 months long at least.
3) Even last December the state was bragging about all the jobs available [sic] bringing in many individuals and families from Outside directly to the shelters and “camping out”.
4) If a person has a cut artery or broken leg, they can be taken / go to the hospital for treatment. If a person has a psychological crisis, they cannot receive any treatment or support, even by going to a hospital. The only humane way is to have them arrested for “trespassing” which takes them to police HQ for someone to decide if they can go to the hospital. Otherwise, wait for the person in crisis to assault themselves or someone else, then call the police.
5) Inebriates do look after each other, in many cases. This past winter bus riders noticing someone fall or lying down on the pavement would alert the driver who calls community service patrol. Some will ask passersby to call CSP for themselves or their friends. This means that we can all be alert for those in trouble and be accessible for those seeking help. (CSP on speed dial)
6) CSP is a contract service and evidently only available from 2 PM to 10 (?) PM. They aren’t available in the early morning. Fortunately, Anchorage police, if possible, will respond to get people off the street during morning “rush” hour on icy streets.
7) Many homeless and street folks cannot get proper health care. In this country, medical care, Rx are rationed to those with money and knowledge of how to access health system. Or, to those with money and knowledge to force IHS and VA to provide competent service.
Museum to open tuberculosis exhibit
The Anchorage Museum will open an exhibit Jan. 21 called “The Forgotten Plague: Alaska’s Fight Against Tuberculosis.” Dr. Robert Fortuine, who has written books about the topic, will give a talk during the opening from 1 to 3 p.m. The exhibit — which includes photographs, stories, artifacts and more — will remain open through April 1.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Alaska’s greatest killer was tuberculosis, now commonly known as TB. Considered by many to be a death sentence, the disease was particularly severe among rural Alaska Natives. In 1900, tuberculosis was recognized as one of the state’s greatest health threats, and the Bureau of Education established a health care system to fight the highly contagious disease.
Eventually, Alaskans gained control over the disease thanks to the combined efforts of many agencies, doctors, nurses and volunteers. The Forgotten Plague presents photographs, stories, artifacts and voices from Alaska’s battle against tuberculosis to tell a complex and compelling story of a tragic disease that is still not eradicated. The Forgotten Plague is sponsored by the American Lung Association of Alaska, the James T. Grabman Memorial Fund and the Rasmuson Foundation.
Site Search Tags: museum, deadline, booksBureau+of+Education, TB, tuberculosis, Fortuine, Alaska
More local news via the world-wide web tools (Google Alert – alaska bird flu) [see earlier post, Test results (maybe)]
Anchorage lab certified to test for bird flu
Anchorage Daily News – Anchorage,AK,USA
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A state lab in Anchorage is ready to join a nationwide effort to detect early on whether a deadly bird flu virus has reached the North …
Bird flu worries prompt new Alaska animal test law
Reuters India – Mumbai,India
… and wild birds during the summer and fall providing timely results from Alaska, the focus of much of the federal government’s bird flu surveillance efforts.
By ANNE SUTTON, The Associated Press
Published: June 13, 2006
The Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Health Laboratory was certified last week to test for avian influenza in what will be thousands of fecal and intestinal track samples collected from wild and domestic birds around the state this year.
The National Animal Health Laboratory Network approved the lab, making it one of 47 state-funded labs around the country that will conduct the bird flu surveillance testing….
The lab will test for H5 and H7 subtypes of the virus. Any positive results will be sent on to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for a full analysis to see if it matches the highly pathogenic virus that has killed or led to the slaughter of millions of birds in Europe, Asia and Africa….
In announcing the certification today, Gov. Frank Murkowski also signed into law a measure that gives the state veterinarian legal authority to isolate sick animals. Until now, the state has had to depend on the voluntary efforts of animal owners….
Forty years ago on February 19, 1971, an Alaska Army National Guard aircraft crashed at the 14,880 foot level of Mt. Sanford, 200 miles east of Anchorage in the Wrangell Mountains. The aircraft was an Army U8-D and was to be the first multi-engine aircraft for the Alaska Army Guard. It was on a ferry flight to Ft Richardson, Alaska from Fresno, California when it crashed. The crew was MAJ [Major] Steve W. Henault, US Army; LTC [Lieutenant Colonel] LTC William Caldwell (Bill), AKARNG; and MSG [Master Sergeant] Herbert Alex (Herb), AKARNG. All died in the crash. One rescuer also succumbed in the attempt.
Very little was published in coeval accounts. Many current National Guard members are unaware of these events in Alaska aviation history. The Alaska Army National Guard was the first in the nation to begin an aviation component. The plane was coming from the Army. It had been stationed in Panama and re-fitted and overhauled in California.
U-8D plane, similar to that ferried to AKARNG.
En route to AK the U8-D [See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechcraft_L-23_Seminole] developed engine problems, declared an emergency, and landed in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The Army in Fresno was still responsible for repairs to return the U8-D to airworthy condition. However, on the repair flight to Whitehorse with the U-8 engine, the DC-3 itself lost an engine and landed at Ft Lewis, Washington.
Finally, when word was received at Ft Richardson that the U8-D was nearing airworthiness, Henault, Caldwell, and Alex flew to Whitehorse to continue the ferry mission. After a few delays, all was OK and they launched February 19 from Whitehorse to Kulis ANGB [Air National Guard Base], Anchorage.
MAJ Henault [http://www.smokejumpers.com/obituaries/item.php?obituaries_id=545 ] was the Pilot in Command/Instructor Pilot conducting a multi-engine plane transition as well as qualifying LTC Caldwell in the U-8. Caldwell was only a single engine qualified pilot at that time. Henault was not in the Guard but Active Duty US ARMY stationed at Ft Richardson. MSG Alex was the first aviation mechanic for AKARNG,.
The evening of February 19 was the annual Adjutant General’s Ball at the Elmendorf AFB Officers Club. A radio call came in from LTC Caldwell asking that his wife be contacted and advised that they would be running a little late. Could she please lay out his dress blues for attendance at the annual AG’s Ball?
This was the last known contact with the U8-D, approximately five minutes prior to impact.
A search was launched on Saturday. Ordinarily the flight would have been through Northway. A check of all local airports along the route had been conducted with negative results. On Sunday, an Air Force C-130 located the wreckage on Mt Sanford.
Rescue and recovery attempts were made but due to continuous poor weather, the mission was greatly delayed. Weather in Anchorage dropped to double digits below zero that following week of Fur Rendezvous. Ray Genet, the Talkeetna mountain climber, Mt McKinley’s first guide, and Rex Post, a Pan American World Airways captain on leave, also a mountaineer, were dropped off from an Army helicopter at the 15,500 foot level in an attempt to reach the wreckage.
Genet had been on the mountain about a week before the weather broke, allowing him access to the aircraft. He had holed up in an emergency snow cave within about 400 yards of the aircraft. Post got altitude sickness and died on the mountain. [http://www.smokejumpers.com/obituaries/item.php?obituaries_id=39]. Genet had frostbitten hands from the recovery effort. He died in 1979 while descending Mount Everest. [http://wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Ray_Genet]
Later, the US Army, the AKARNG, and the families decided that if all the remains could not be recovered, they would all rest in place on the mountain. They remain so today. “Whiskey Charley” is in the left seat, Herb is in the seat behind the P/CP [pilot/co-pilot] seats and Steve lies about 100 feet below the severed right wing.
A real tragedy and great loss to the AKARNG, Caldwell and Alex were very dedicated soldiers. The Nome, AK Armory was later dedicated to LTC Caldwell for his time and service as the Commander of the 1st Scout BN [Scout Battalion].
Alex was the grandson and son of Eklutna traditional leaders and his children also served in the AKARNG. In the mid-1980s, there was an effort to dedicate the AKARNG Aviation Hanger at Ft Richardson (Bryant Airfield) to MSG Alex, but nothing came of it.
The 20 ft air traffic control tower was built in 1961. It is Building 4800. The State Historic Preservation Officer lists the tower as site AK-ANC-01095
Today, the 50 year-old air traffic control tower at the airfield is about to be modified and its distinctive pattern (the last such tower in Alaska) obliterated. Alaska National Guard heritage, which is also Alaska heritage, is little known outside of the living participants’ memory. And, of course, so much of our National Guard history is oral, not written, such as the Alaska Territorial Guard of 70 years ago. We’ve never had trained scholars to gather and analyze the oral histories. The documents and structures of this heritage are not kept, much less preserved for current and future Alaskans and NG to learn from.
It would be nice if the 40th anniversary of this loss could be remembered by the state and would stimulate further interest and professional research.
My thanks to David J Mock, John Spalding, and other Alaska veterans and to the family of Herbert Alex (sister Julia Cooper and daughter Eleanor Wilde, also a NG veteran) for their first-hand accounts which went into this post.
This was originally posted at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alaska-National-Guard-Heritage/121826611217021
Mrs Elizabeth L.J. Alex http://www.alaskastar.com/stories/011405/obi_20050114024.shtml
ARMY AIR CREWS: Fixed Wing Aviation Crewmembers Line of Duty Deaths http://www.armyaircrews.com/fixed.html
A University Engaged With its Community The Search for Dena’ina … http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/alumni/upload/Spring07.pdf
The Complete 1957 Gustavus/Juneau Plane Crash Story by Rita Wilson, http://www.gustavushistory.org/articles/view.aspx?id=10000
Andrew Halcro last week wrote a succinct piece on an all too common tragedy in Alaska and New Mexico.
At first glance it had all the makings of a Hollywood movie set. But this was no Hollywood movie set, it was my front yard on Sand Lake and it was 3am on June 10. For two days, fire and police vehicles were fixtures in my front yard, as the search for a missing canoeist continued. Family members gathered outside my front window, watching and waiting as they held hands, cried and prayed….
One APD officer on the scene told me that these kinds of tragedies are all too frequently due to an unfortunate combination of events. … In this case, the costliest hole was when the two young men launched their canoe at the public access point, they walked right past a newly erected life jacket stand that offered boaters free personal flotations devices.
(May 29, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska) – The “Kids Don’t Float” and boating safety programs will continue this summer… Under these boating safety programs, children learn about boating safety in schools, and life jackets are available for loan at many lakes and rivers across Alaska. …Representative Mark Neuman of Wasilla sponsored HB 151 and Governor Palin signed the legislation in May.
Both NM and Alaska rank high in the USA for the prevalence of drownings (the number of deaths divided by the population). Alaska is a semi-arid region with a lot of riparian and coast line; New Mexico is a semi-arid region. Both states share a cultural norm that things go better with alcohol, especially if activities involve an engine (boat, auto, snowmachine). Both states seem to believe “accidents” [not my fault] are always happening but ones with bad consequences only happen to others, the less deserving.
PFDs (personal flotation devices, once referred to as lifevests) are no substitute for sobriety but they can buy time, if properly used. Even without alcohol present, PFDs are valuable. Take a look at these numbers–
1. Alaska has one of the highest boating fatality rates in the nation
a. at least 6 out of 10 are NOT wearing a life jacket
b. 9 out of 10 involve boats 26 feet and under
c. 5 out of 6 are due to capsizing or falling overboard
d. 8 out of 10 are Alaska residents
e. 9 out of 10 are adult males
f. at least 1 out of 3 involve alcohol
g. nearly all incidents involve cold water immersion
The state law allows adults to endanger themselves, but not underage children.
5. Legal requirements
a. everyone in the boat must have a life jacket of the proper size readily accessible
b. anyone under the age of 13 must be wearing a life jacket when on deck or in an open boat
c. must be suitable for the activity and wearer
1. read the label
d. must be in serviceable condition
1. free of defects (tears, missing zippers, broken buckles)
e. must be USCG-approved
A child’s coloring book encourages children to grow up to remember the law’s requirements.
It’s the LAW!
Persons under the age of thirteen
MUST wear their
PFD in an open boat
or on a deck.
Gov. Sarah Palin issued this proclamation in May to remind all of us that being safe around water, whether or not boating or fishing, is smart and more than the easily remembered “do what you otter around water, wear a pfd”
“WHEREAS, Alaska is blessed with an extensive coastline, millions of lakes, and thousands of rivers, making Alaska’s waters an important part of daily life; and
WHEREAS, our state offers many diverse boating opportunities for transportation, subsistence, and recreation, including kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and power boating; and
WHEREAS, boating can also be dangerous, and often fatal; and
WHEREAS, Alaska’s frigid waters can kill the unprepared, regardless of swimming ability; and
WHEREAS, four out of five of Alaska’s boating fatalities involve a sudden, unexpected capsize or fall overboard; and
WHEREAS, to help prevent accidents or fatalities while boating, boaters can take the simple step of wearing life jackets when in an open boat or on an open boat deck. In an emergency, life jackets provide an important advantage, and allow all efforts to be focused on self-rescue or getting help from others; and
WHEREAS, the newest designs make today’s life jackets more comfortable, functional, and affordable than ever. There is no reason to not wear one; and
WHEREAS, by wearing life jackets while boating, Alaskans demonstrate that when enjoying the outdoors, safety always comes first;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim May 16-22, 2009 as:
Safe Boating Week
in Alaska, and encourage all boaters to make their boating memories this season good ones by always wearing life jackets, carefully preparing for each trip, carrying appropriate communications and signaling devices, and by serving as a positive example on the water for other boaters.
Dated: May 7, 2009
To test a life jacket, lift it at the shoulders. If the life jacket comes up over the ears, it is too big.
Today comes this tragic reminder of the example set “on the water for other boaters.”
A 56-year-old man drowned in Bristol Bay this morning, the Coast Guard said. He was fishing in an 18-foot skiff with his two teenage daughters when he went overboard while pulling in a net, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis. … The accident happened in Togiak Bay around 9 a.m. and a nearby fisherman immediately called for Coast Guard help. The skiff was only 10 to 20 yards from shore but the man was not wearing a life jacket.
judging by the crime stats. Not so much in some regions– Yukon has no commercial and no subsistence fishing allowed– no fish.
In Bristol Bay, commercial fishing is closed due to lack of canning capacity,
Glut of reds overwhelms Bristol Bay processors The major processing companies were unable to handle the glut of fish, and last Sunday, the earliest date ever, they put fishermen on catch limits; some suspended buying altogether….
But still some people are hopeful (In a Twitter update Sunday, she said she was looking forward to joining her family as they commercially fish in Bristol Bay– I head 2 West AK villages today, look forward to their busy comm fish activity! )
Case number: To be assigned
Type: Personal use fishing violation
Text: On 7-2-09, Alaska Wildlife Troopers contacted 18 year old Mitchel Halverson from Anchorage during an investigation. The investigation revealed Halverson invited non residents to participate in the taking of fish under his Kasilof River personal use set net permit then gave some of the fish to the no residents. Halverson was issued a summons for improper use of personal use caught fish. The offense carries a mandatory court appearance and arraignment is on 7-31-09.
Received Friday, July 03, 2009 7:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 7:24 AM
Location: Copper Center
Case number: 09-53514
Type: Removing salmon from the water prior to release Text: On 6-23-09 Glennallen Alaska Wildlife Troopers received a report of people on the Klutina River pulling multiple salmon onto the rocks before releasing them. Troopers contacted Matthew Conner (age 26 / Anchorage) who was observed by Troopers removing salmon from the water onto the riverbank then releasing them back into the Klutina River. Conner was issued a citation for removing a salmon from the water prior to releasing. Conner was cited to the Glennallen Court with a bail of $110.
Received Friday, July 03, 2009 8:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 9:00 AM
Case Number: 090055437
Type: C/F Closed Water
Text: On 6/27/09, Haaken T. Anderson, 37 YOA, of Dillingham, Alaska was cited by Bristol Bay Wildlife troopers for commercial fishing in closed water in the Egegik District. Arraignment is scheduled in Naknek District Court on 7/10/09. Author: PLF0
Received Friday, July 03, 2009 11:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 11:41 AM
Location: Naknek River
Case Number: 090056187
Type: No King Stamp
Text: On 6/30/09, Daniel L. Slevin, 42 YOA, of Portland, Oregon was cited by Bristol Bay Wildlife Troopers for negligently fishing without a non-resident king stamp. Bail was set at $200.00. Author: GSC1 Received Friday, July 03, 2009 11:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 11:53 AM
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Lots of redheads. such as Jack Passion
Not enough kilts, however. Don’t know if this is a UTILIKILTS : http://www.utilikilts.com/ but the collar is the antipodean possum (not the Virginia o’possum)–
- World Beard and Moustache Championships and results http://akbeardclub.com/resultsworldbear.html
- Bearded & Tschorn: USA dominates World Beard and Moustache Championships
The LATimes had more coverage of the poster contest than the Anchorage papers or the Chamber of Commerce. The program had one poster as the cover, but not that tonsorial totem pole
Just a reminder that some things should never be shaved–
The author of an excellent book towards understanding Alaska,
Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska. 1989. Publisher: University of Alaska Press. ISBN: 0912006587 has died, Dr. Robert Fortuine. I know his book but had no idea of his extensive life. Fortunately, his biography can be read at the Anchorage Daily News
Dr Fortuine was named Alaska Historian of the Year in 1990 for his book “Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska” and again in 2005 for his book “Must We All Die? Alaska’s Enduring Struggle with Tuberculosis.” He was also a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America, a founding member of the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and a co-founder of the Amundsen Educational Center in Soldotna (a Christian vocational school for Alaska Natives).
Field assignments in the Indian Health Service included successive postings as medical officer and medical officer in charge at the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation at Belcourt, N.D. (1961-63), then as service unit director at Kanakanak in Alaska (1963-64), Bethel (1964-67), on the Navajo Reservation at Fort Defiance, Ariz. (1970-71) and finally as director of the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage (1971-77). From 1977-1980, he was detailed to the U.S. State Department as international health attache, the liaison officer between the U.S. government and the World Health Organization … Until his retirement from the Public Health Service in 1987, he worked as a family physician and emergency room physician at the Alaska Native Medical Center, then spent another 12 years as a volunteer operating a weekly skin clinic at the hospital…. Since 1989, Dr. Fortuine taught first-year medical students at the University of Alaska Anchorage as part of the WWAMI Program of the University of Washington.
Another related post–
Anchorage Museum to open tuberculosis exhibit