Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial
Thumbs up: Clients of Access Alaska will get free admission and help attending University of Alaska Fairbanks sporting events this year. It’s a nice gesture by UAF to bring in fans who can’t always easily attend the games.
Access Alaska provides help to disabled people to keep them as independent as possible. The participating sports programs include hockey, swimming, volleyball, basketball and riflery.
Thumbs up: Several people with Interior roots received awards at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage last week.
Bernice Joseph was named AFN Citizen of the Year for 2012. She lives in Fairbanks, where she works as vice chancellor of rural, community and Native education at UAF. She grew up in Nulato.
Mary Jane Fate received both the AFN Public Service Award and the Shirley Demientieff Award. A longtime Fairbanks resident, she was born in Rampart.
James Gallen received the Glenn Godfrey Law Enforcement Award. He was born in Fairbanks and raised in Northway. He now works with the Alaska Cold Case Unit in Anchorage.
Poldine Carlo was given the first annual Hannah Paul Solomon “Woman of Courage” Award. Carlo, of Fairbanks, helped found the Fairbanks Native Association. She was born in Nulato.
Susan Paskvan received the Culture Bearer Award for her work in preserving the Koyukon Athabascan Denaakk’e language. Paskvan, of Fairbanks, was born in Koyukuk.
Thumbs up: The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Food Day last week illustrated the rich variety of local foods available in Alaska. With a little extra effort, they can provide a fresher, healthier diet.
Food Day featured a “Taste of Alaska” table with a huge variety of dishes made primarily with vegetables, meat, seafood and fruit found in Alaska.
Food Day also featured a fun “Surf vs. Turf” cook-off between the deans of the fisheries and agricultural schools. Fisheries Dean Michael Castellini’s halibut won, but it was a close contest between it and the reindeer cooked by Ag Dean Carol Lewis.
Thumbs up: The Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced last week that it would pay a $40 per share dividend to its stockholders. For the majority of shareholders who hold 100 shares, that’s $4,000 each.
ASRC certainly has become a significant and welcome source of income for its 11,000 shareholders.
The regional for-profit Native corporation for the North Slope was organized to receive the land and cash that Congress provided in the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Thumbs down: There’s a big new study of the Anchorage port project’s ailments, but no one will be able to read it before voting on whether to give the project another $50 million.
Of the $453 million in a proposed state bond issue on the Nov. 6 ballot, $50 million would go to fixing the port development’s problems.
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan said last week that he has been briefed on the study, but he can’t say anything about it yet. He signed a confidentiality agreement.
Thumbs down: The rules for use of fur, feathers and other animal products in traditional Native arts are fairly simple, but it’s sometimes hard to understand why they are written as they are.
A Tlingit carver in Southeast Alaska recently got in hot water with federal agents for using raven and flicker feathers in his art. He paid a $2,000 fine.
Here’s the simple part: There’s no legal season in which to kill ravens or flickers. So no one should use their feathers in art. It’s an easy rule of thumb. There’s an additional prohibition on waterfowl, which people can shoot but whose feathers also are off limits. It’s still not too complicated.
Perhaps there ought to be some provision for parts that are salvaged from already-dead animals. To date, government agencies haven’t wanted to open that obviously tricky box.
One also might question why ravens are off limits. There’s no shortage, and far less populous creatures are hunted legally.