Letters to the Editor

Thank you for finding our loved ones

To the Search & Rescue Volunteers of Alakanuk, Emmonak, Kotlik, and Mountain Village

Thank you so much for volunteering your time and resources to help search for our daughters, Patience and Haley, last month. Your willingness to help on short notice is much appreciated and helped contribute to their safe return and a positive outcome. We could not have found them without you. Special thanks goes to Jason Fancyboy and Jeff Unok of Kotlik who found them, fed them, made sure they were warm, and delivered them home safely. God bless all of you that helped with their safe return! Thank you so much, the Alstrom and Moses families.

Audrey Alstrom
Anchorage, AK


The 2017 Bras n Bros fundraiser event sponsored by the VFW Auxiliary Post 10041 at the end of January was a success due to the involvement of several state, city and local agencies and businesses PLUS the selfless contributions of time from many individuals.

THANK YOU to the Robert V. Lindsey VFW Post 10041, YKHC and YKHC Injury Prevention, Lynden Air Frieght, Bethel Police Department, Bethel Fire Department, Immaculate Conception Church, the Magic Man, Mike Calvetti, Gold Rush Liquor and Swanson’s Store.

With everyone’s support, the VFW Auxiliary raised over $8,000.00 for scholarships, funeral and medical assistance, Americanism, Veteran’s recognition and Veteran’s family support.

LaTesia M. Guinn
VFW Auxiliary Bras n Bros Chairperson
Post 10041, Bethel AK

Let’s stand as one, not as divided tribes

It has been a while since I last wrote. To my displeasure of some leaders of this region, I don’t need to name names as you know who you are. There are a select few of us without getting compensated are trying our best to help this region.

I personally have spent countless hours of phone conversations with some respected and tireless elders and real leaders that affect our economically depressed region. I applaud those that had the courage to attend last week’s first YK Delta Intertribal Conference. Alcohol was the main topic first day and many of the attendees were affected by this very hard topic.

From my perspective it was a good turnout.

Many spoke out mostly because there already have been many preventable and premature deaths. Young and old have died from alcohol since the liquor store opened. I would like for the City of Bethel to reconsider their position with the two that are open now. The AC and BNC’s licenses to operate. Needless to say the BNC’s store has not been operating after the leaders of that corporation advocated publically that it is time. Time for the younger generation to learn how to drink moderation and what not.

One old man from Bethel testified when the Wild Goose was open back in the late 70’s which was heartbreaking. As for the AC liquor store, what has it brought to our delta? Are they going to send food, attention, comfort, and especially LOVE to those children that are being neglected? The money that AC liquor store earns is only benefitting a Canadian company. I can only imagine if they earned 2.7 million last quarter to date this delta contributed over 5 million dollars by now.

It is time that we stand as one not as divided tribes. These organizations that you tribes erected have their own agendas. We tried and cried wolf but never got heard but turned the other way. With that being said I hope you tribes can come together. We can all agree to disagree as united tribes and great people of this Yupik, Cupik, Cupig, and Athabaskans of this great region.

Steven M Alexie
Napaskiak, AK

You, Women’s History, and the Power of Social Security

March is Women’s History Month — a time to focus not just on the past, but also on the challenges women continue to face. Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women, and in the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Knowing this, you can be the author of your own rich and independent history, with a little preparation.

Social Security has served a vital role in the lives of women for over 80 years. With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. With the national average life expectancy for women in the United States rising, many women will have decades to enjoy retirement. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a female born today can expect to live more than 80 years. As a result, experts generally agree that if women want to ensure that their retirement years are comfortable, they need to plan early and wisely.

You can start with a visit to Social Security’s Retirement Estimator. It gives you a personalized estimate of your retirement benefits. Plug in different retirement ages and projected earnings to get an idea of how such things might change your future benefit amounts. You can use this valuable tool at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

You should also visit Social Security’s financial planning website at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners. It provides detailed information about how marriage, widowhood, divorce, self-employment, government service, and other life or career events can affect your Social Security.

Your benefit is determined based on your earnings.  You can create your personal my Social Security account to verify that your earnings are correct. Your account also can provide estimates of future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

If you want more information about how Social Security supports women through life’s journey, Social Security has a booklet that you may find useful. It is Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know. You can find it online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10127.html.

Robin Schmidt
Social Security Administration
Alaska Public Affairs Specialist