The Toksook Bay 20th Annual Blackberry Festival was a success this year. This success was due to generous contributions by North Star Gas, NYC, Calista Corporation, Donlin Gold, YKHC, AVCP Inc, and AVEC. We would also like to give Thanks to the following: NTC for letting us use the Multi-building for Qaspeq/Akutaq contest and Yupik Jeopardy and hauling boxes and band equipment to and from the High School. To Everts Air Cargo, Lynden Air Cargo and Ryan Air for giving us free freight for the 4wheel Honda and the chest freezer. Also to Yute Air Commuter for giving free roundtrip airfare for the Bethel Band, and for Grant Aviation for giving our band members from Emmonak a 50% discount on their fare and for giving free round trip tickets. Thank you to Nelson Island School for letting us use the gym for fiddling.
Thank You to the People who volunteered: Afelia Tuluk, Bernice Therchik-Pitka, Albertina Charles, Bertha Therchik, Gloria Alirkar, Diana Therchik, Anthony Moses, Nicholai Napoka, Sophie Kozevnikoff, June Karl, Mary Patrick, Patricia Sipary, Eliza John. Moses Chanar for running the Yupik Jeopardy, and the judges for Qaspeq and Akutaq contest, you know who you are and to the youth group that was working in concessions. Apologies are extended to those I have not mentioned, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Thank You for the People who participated in the Qaspeq, Akutaq, Yupik Jeopardy and Blackberry Picking contests.
An appreciation is extended to the bands that came and performed during our festival, The Bethel Band, Emmo 5 and Toksook Bay Tundra Mix. Also, a big thank you to our guests who came to Toksook Bay to celebrate the 20th Annual Blackberry Festival.
Once again, QUYANA CAKNEQ FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT IN MAKING THIS 20th ANNUAL BLACKBERRY FESTIVAL A SUCCESSFUL EVENT!!!!! Thank You.
Colleen Chase, Blackberry Festival Coordinator
Blackberry Festival Committees
Paul Chimiugak, Joseph Lincoln, Jr, Diana Therchik, and Gloria Alirkar
Grant the instream flow reservation on Middle Creek to the Chuitna Citizens Coalition to protect wild salmon
Dear Governor Walker:
August 22, 2018: During our talk at a coffee shop in Homer last week, you appeared confused and unaware about an important issue about which I’ve written to you before, including just last month, and about which we’ve met in-person.
The issue involves the legal right of Alaskans to reserve water in streams to protect wild salmon. Now, as the battle over the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative heats up, and as salmon runs across the state fail to materialize, your Administration is inviting contempt proceedings from the Alaska Superior Court due to its failure to obey the law.
It has been 9 years since the Chuitna Citizens Coalition filed instream flow applications to protect wild salmon in Middle Creek in the Chuitna watershed on the west side of Cook Inlet.
They submitted to DNR the required $4500 application fee, which DNR duly accepted. They have spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting for their legal right to reserve water in a salmon stream.
Yet the Walker Administration has fought them every step of the way, wasting countless hours and squandering untold public tax dollars. Equally disturbing, during this same timeframe, your Administration has issued dozens and dozens of water rights and Temporary Water Use Permits (TWUP) to large corporations to privatize our water and take it out of our salmon streams.
I am attaching the letter I sent you last month, which lays out a more thorough timeline of events, along with a January 2018 letter to your DNR Commissioner, Andy Mack, which condemns his decision to overturn his staff’s determination to grant a water reservation to the Chuitna Citizens Coalition.
I am also attaching a July 2017 email from the Alaska Miners Association to Commissioner Mack, which reveals the political basis for his unfounded and unprecedented decision.
As a Governor, as a lawyer and as an Alaskan, you have a legal and a moral duty to uphold the law. The Chuitna Citizens Coalition does not have the financial wherewithal to generate the political clout of the big oil, gas and mining corporations. All they can do is appeal to your sense of right and wrong.
The Alaska Superior Court has given your Administration until August 27 to make a decision. And there’s only one decision that complies with the law: to grant the instream flow reservation on Middle Creek to the Chuitna Citizens Coalition to protect wild salmon.
We sincerely hope you do the right thing. For Alaskans, for the rule of law and for our wild salmon. Yours for Cook Inlet…
Bob Shavelson, Inletkeeper
Senator Murkowski pays tribute to Senator John McCain
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) honored the life and legacy of her colleague, the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ), during a speech on the Senate floor, sharing stories of his impact to Alaskans, all Americans, and the United States Senate.
John McCain was a beloved colleague. He was a patriot. He was truly an American hero. He had remarkable intellect. He had an iron will most certainly, unquestionable integrity, and courage that was absolutely unwavering.
I do hope that history will remember John as an institutionalist in the highest tradition of the Senate. He was committed to thoughtful debate and regular order. He was an effective committee chairman, respecting the interests of members on both sides. He managed his bills on the floor, working hand-in-hand with the other side. These were tough bills. The annual defense authorization bill draws something on the order of 600 amendments. He was always protective of committee prerogatives. He was known to put his foot down when appropriators sought to muscle out the authorizers. And he was always looking towards compromise and bipartisanship.
And he fought for our institution because he never lost sight of the fact that the legislative branch is a co-equal branch of government, not subordinate to the White House. And he took no guff from the administration, we all know – no matter who was in charge. That wasn’t just because John liked to flex his Senatorial muscles. It was because he was a true believer in the Constitution and in its checks and balances. He was a true believer in the institutions of government and a true believer in democracy.
John certainly made his share of history—and has earned his place in it. And I think we all know how much we will miss him. His passion, his courage. His loss leaves us sad, but at the same time, I think that it offers us a beacon of hope here in the Senate as we reflect on his life and his contributions.
Senator Graham has observed that John will not be replaced by any one Senator. It’s going to take all of us, working together. It’s going to take all of us to really accomplish what John knew we were capable of and by coming together, respecting one another, one another’s principles – even when we disagree – and working through these disagreements. To compromise, that’s how we really honor John’s legacy.
So, on behalf of the people of the 49th state, the great state of Alaska, I thank you John McCain. I thank the family for the years that you gave him to us, to his country. We will take it from here, inspired by your service John McCain, by your intellect, by your integrity, and by your determination to do right.
Senator Lisa Murkowski