Dennis Zaki hasn’t made it to Bethel yet, let alone Emmonak. He is stuck at what he calls the "Jay Hammond International Airport." That’s what a lot of us have begun calling the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. The Weather across Alaska has been ferocious for weeks. First, very cold – now warm, windy and wet.
It looks like three of the four huge low pressure systems that smacked Alaska this past week have done their work, so Dennis may be heading on over to the lower Yukon tomorrow. By the time Bethel and Emmonak and the lower Yukon airports and airfields open, there will probably be a backlog of relief supplies coming in from other Alaska Native villages, the huge Alaska Native community in Anchorage, from donations made through our Alaskans for Truth international relief network (handled by Mudflats, so far), and other sources.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin looked really, really, REALLY pissed Friday, when having to answer a couple of questions at her long-delayed energy plan rollout in Anchorage. When I find video or a still picture of that look, I’ll post it.
Except, maybe, it has already been cold enough this winter.
Our blogger network raised close to $7,500.00 last week for Emmonak and lower Yukon village relief. Mainstream news sources and politicians have become aware of the dire situation there, through dissemination of the stories collected by Nick Tucker, and printed in Monday’s issue of the Bristol Bay Times. It was one of Alaska most notable progressives, Camille Conte at Anchorage’s KUDO radio, who initially took this up, on Tuesday. Conte, or "CC," as she’s been known on Alaska radio for awhile, was already honored by the Nation Magazine as one of 2008′s most valuable progressives. She’s off to a roaring start in 2009!
Through last week, Alaska bloggers joined Native organizations in getting relief ready to be brought into Emmonak as soon as it could get there. By the end of the week, it was too late for Palin to try to hijack the narrative, but – believe me – she will try to do that over the next few days. Watch.
AK Muckraker, at the Mudflats, noted something very, very interesting about a high-level Palin administrator bringing attention to the potential for an Emmonak disaster, back in the summer of 2008. Here’s what he said:
Given the gathering storm of a questionable fishing season, and the escalating price of fuel in our state, there will be serious stress placed upon communities and residents who will struggle with the coming winter’s challenges. Last week I had asked our Troopers and Fire Marshalls to outreach both to these communities, and to your departments in a cooperative effort to mitigate issues that will arise like: theft, domestic violence, substance abuse, suicide; and, accidental death that all can come from sinking reserves of fuel, money and hope. Teamwork will never be so important.
That was in a letter by one of Alaska’s state-level commissioners, the Public Safety Commissioner. He wrote it to the person who now heads up the ad hoc Palin "rural sub-cabinet," which has been useless.
The date of the letter – July 12th, 2008. The writer, Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan.
He was fired on July 12th, 2008.
That very same day.
So much for "Teamwork will never be so important."