Kudos to the Alaska State Senate for holding out on the one billion dollars owed to oil firms in subsides. The millionaires and billionaires in the lower 48 who own these oil firms are having hard times too and their need for this money outweighs any needs the state may have for this money. Education and public safety could not possibly be as important as the needs of the millionaires and the billionaires. The State Senate in their true leadership roles understand the greatest needs of the state and what the state’s top priorities are. That is why they are elected to the senate in the first place. I hope the State Senate keeps up their outstanding performance in giving the billion dollars to those who are in the greatest need of this money.
John Suter
Chugiak, AK

Local knowledge leads to better management of resources
Last week KYUK had news regarding better management of fish is nothing new using fish ears. While I was growing up, eating fish head was something I enjoyed every summer. And my late father use to pick that bone from near the brain of the fish and told me that this very particular bone is what guides the same fish to where it was given birth to.
I am pretty sure that his father taught him that theory. And his father’s fathers taught them as well. Getting to my point, we as natives have general knowledge of our surrounding, our habitat and our upbringing. Local knowledge such as how fish return from our YK delta elders need to be incorporated into or used as tools.
Like my grandfather on my maternal side use to tell me that salmon return – particularly reds and chums – alternate strong returns every other year. If I am not mistaken chum showed stronger run last summer so I expect reds this year might return stronger.
I also wrote few springs ago regarding king salmons as it pertained to strong runs steadily returning after last summer.
Our good lord willing we should expect stronger runs as the deep sea fisherman’s bycatch has been somewhat heavily monitored. Kings, from my understanding, have returned every 5-7 years with some jacks following the migration after spending only a year in the ocean.
I strongly believe local and elder knowledge will also lead to better management of our local natural renewable resources.
Steven Alexie
Napaskiak, Alaska

On Vacation? Social Security is Still Here For You
Summer is here and millions of vacationers are packing their bags to visit a new locale and soak up some sunshine. You might be traveling quite a ways. You’re used to staying connected to important information like your bank accounts and social networks, especially on the go. Social Security is there in the same way — easily accessible when you’re away from your home or office.
When you’re going on vacation and want to be sure your Social Security benefits arrive, use my Social Security. When you open a personal and secure my Social Security account, you can access it on your terms. We put you in control of your financial future.
A my Social Security account is important whether you receive benefits from Social Security or not. You can:
Request a replacement Social Security or Medicare card if you meet certain requirements; Check the status of your application or appeal; Get your Social Security Statement; or Get a benefit verification letter stating that:
You receive retirement, disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Medicare benefits; or You never received Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicare; or You received benefits in the past, but do not currently receive them. (The letter will include the date your benefits stopped and how much you received that year.); or You applied for benefits but haven’t received an answer yet.
There’s also more you can do with your my Social Security account. We’re always adding new features and resources to make your life easier and give you greater control over your benefits. Placing the “Application Status” feature behind the my Social Security portal provides a secure service delivery channel that allows us to provide detailed status information about your claim without requiring a confirmation number.
With the new Application Status, you can see: the Re-entry number for in-progress online applications; detailed information about the current status of the application or appeal; the location where your claim is being processed; and scheduled hearing information for appeals.
Whether you’re vacationing or on a staycation, Social Security’s online services are at your fingertips. With an easy-to-access my Social Security account, you can use our multiple online services while barefoot on the beach. How convenient is that? You don’t even have to put your lemonade down at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Robin Schmidt
Social Security Administration
Alaska Public Affairs Specialist