Please do not renew liquor licenses

Good morning, my name is Lillian Kiunya, I am from Kwigillingok. I am a mother, aunt, grandmother, a school community advocate and child protection team member for the NVK.

I am opposed to the renewal of the license that is set on the table for the liquor store in Bethel or any other liquor store in Bethel.

There are too many deaths in our regions, homelessness in Bethel has grown, alcohol use being the contributor.

The human servicing agencies in Bethel are overloaded, there is no resources in the surrounding villages outside the hub community of Bethel, where the majority of the resources are to work with families with because of the increase of alcohol related issues, such as alcohol related deaths, domestic violence, child neglect, illegal selling of alcohol.

There has been an increase in alcohol coming into the dry community of Kwigillingok and the surrounding villages. Even Kwigillingok and the neighboring village of Kongiganak have had deaths related to alcohol.

The State Troopers cannot enforce the law against the illegal sales of alcohol through bootlegging in the rural communities.

The agencies Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation and Association of Village Councils Presidents receive funds to provide social services to tribes in our regions, but with the increase of alcohol abuse, and deaths, they services are not as they should.

I understand the use of alcohol is by personal choice, but there are too many victims that are not receiving the needed services because of someone’s choice, and an increase of people bringing in alcohol because of easy access to dry communities.

Please, I beg you, please do not renew the license for the Bethel Spirits or any other renewal license for sale of alcohol in Bethel, Alaska. Thank you.

Lillian Kiunya
Kwigillingok, AK

Lions Club Egg Hunt Thanks

On behalf of the Bethel Lions Club, thank you to all that helped make the annual Easter Egg Hunt a success. Thank you Swanson’s and A.C. Stores, Bethel Fire Station and YKHC Dental, W.I.C. and F.I.T. Departments for the various prizes and thank you to Long House Hotel for the bunny costume. And thank you to National Honor Society, Jr. ROTC and Leos for the young energetic volunteers. It was a perfect, not too cold and not too muddy day for this wonderful family fun tradition.

Susan Taylor, Lions Vice President
Bethel, AK

Hello out there

Happy New Year to you all. May your year be better than the last, but don’t forget – if you want something, you have to put some effort into it.

It was good to go to the Koyuk get-together, really nice to see/visit people again. Sure do miss having get-togethers here in Unalakleet. I think it would do Our Community some good.

I was reading in Matthew 12, and how I keep trying to stress how PEOPLE mean more than ANYTHING on this Earth. Matthew 12:25, 11 & 12 say: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and in every city or house divided against itself shall not stand; What man among you, that shall have one sheep (favored pet), and if it fall into a pit on Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.

Do you realize that if you share what you have with other people, you will continue to be blessed with the things you may need? But if you are stingy with things, those things become desolate/go away. God said we are all made in his image, and that we all matter more than anything else.

If you see a person that is looking/feeling down in the dumps – it isn’t hard to say I love you, or to ask them if you could give them a hug, even if you don’t know them. It only takes a couple of minutes out of your life to do that. Who knows – you could be saving a life. People have come up to me and said, “You know that day you gave me a hug or said I love you. I was thinking about suicide, but you saved my life. Thank you!” I might just say, “Yup”, or “You could do the same to someone else.”

I thought since I need other things to occupy my time since my children went AWOL on me – if someone is willing to pay my way to their village, and a place to stay, I’m willing to go there and show an interested person how to start a Saturday Market. Someone in your village probably has my phone number.

Anyway, I happen to travel/escort someone on Alaska Airlines to Seattle for his appointment. I was pretty disheartened and ashamed to say that the Airline is REPRESENTING Alaska. We get to check in 1 or 2 bags, coming back to Alaska. They wanted you to pay to put your bag on the plane. Then they had 3 gates, one of which you chose to go through this super long line (probably a good ½ mile or so long) to hit the detectors so you could go to your gate.

Heading toward C & D gates to get to the N gate, you walk down stairs to take a tram. Then you walk back up 2 flights of stairs where you wait to board the plane. At the gate there are a few chairs along one wall, 6 or 8 of them along the small partition wall. Otherwise you stand or sit on the floor.

To me if I wasn’t from Alaska, I would wonder how people get treated here. That shows the respect that Alaska Airlines gives us. That, and it costs less to fly out-of-state than in-state. Then they make you give up your drink over 3 or 8 oz., just to have to buy some on the other side. Don’t you wonder what they do with all those confiscated items? Probably use them on their airlines, sell them to other vendors, or bring them home.

Oh, then you go back down 2 flights of steps to go up steps again to board the plane. This was at 4:45 to 5:00am. Imagine how the Elders feel or even the parents with young children. Although I did get bugged at some younger people for not respecting their Elders.

I woke up after 3am (having fallen asleep before my companion came home) to thinking I gave up my bed to one of my good friends, only to find younger girls on my bed. Almost threw a cow, their elders sleeping on the floors when they are younger and acheless. How the hay anyway? And it happened the next night too, what the hay? If you were my kids you’d be doing dishes for a week without a fuss, unless you wanted to do the floor too.

Remember, everyone is precious in the eyes of Our Lord, and should be in yours too. Every single one of you matter, otherwise you wouldn’t be around. I am grateful that I get to interact with everyone of you. Quyaraq Jesus. It’s snowing, take care you all. As always…

Karen Nanouk
Unalakleet, AK