We need more flights to Bethel, there needs to be a relief of pressure

Good afternoon. There has been a higher demand for more flights leaving Bethel and coming into Bethel over 1/2 a year, especially after more recent months. We have had a large influx of travelers as Bethel is expanding their infrastructure with the construction of a Hospital and New School.

Travelers have been booked out of hotel, motel, home rentals, BNB’s, cottages, etc. in Bethel due to the high number of people needing places to stay and fighting for rentals.

Those who are on medical have to ask current seat-holding customers to give up their seats when they can. Even when agents ask people to give up their seat, no one is willing. The reason is because people can’t as they have been waiting for days to get home. Folks had their tickets planned out for months or years in advance and it’s expensive. Especially, for extended flights that are more than 2-3 or are having to connect to “NON-Alaska Airline Party Airlines.”

Then you have many more than a few who have been here months due to weather backed up flights. Then it starts going downhill, they can’t afford the costs of keeping hotel, food, daily expenses while they are waiting to get back-forth to Bethel. This results in homelessness and struggling because they have no family to help them. Then at that point they lose everything and don’t have the strength to pull themselves out of their own demise to come home anymore.

My request is simple and clear along with the reasons why we need more flights.

Please, can we have our 3 flights per day back, sometimes 4 flights per day. If the flights are oversold, overbooked, over scheduled… there needs to be a relief of pressure. 

We tried the days of getting rid of Combies, but that only lasted a few months. Now, we are stuck with the constant issue of full flights again.

This increase is only for a couple of years, until the projects in Bethel are complete. The decrease in air traffic will come as we no longer will need to fly in workers to build facilities. I do not foresee or currently know of any buildings going up within 2028-2029. You know I always could be wrong, but it’s the future – you never know when a great opportunity arises.

Again, we just need 1-2 additional flights here from Bethel to Anchorage. Everyone from this region would greatly appreciate the security that their only air service option is looking out for them. Thank you, 

Alissa Nadine Rogers

Bethel, AK

To confront a legal problem you need an attorney

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is how much we need each other. Businesses need workers. Children need teachers. The sick need doctors and nurses. Most of us need a professional hairdresser.

And to confront a legal problem — you need an attorney. Regrettably, thousands of Alaskans face legal challenges every year without the resources to hire an attorney or access to limited legal aid. Filling that gap falls to attorneys willing to volunteer their time pro bono.

On January 16, 2023, attorneys across the state will be spending their Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday as “A Day On, Not a Day Off” by volunteering for the fourteenth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Legal Clinics.

At these free in-person clinics in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Bethel, Alaskans with civil legal problems can expect first come, first serve consultations with an attorney. Attorneys will be available to provide advice on a wide variety of issues, including family law (child support, custody, divorce, guardianship), housing (eviction, foreclosure), public benefits (Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security), employment, personal injury, probate, estate planning, and Native allotments. Times and locations will vary by community. For more information visit www.alaskabar.org/mlk.

Alaskans with low or moderate incomes can also submit legal questions at alaska.freelegalanswers.org. This free legal clinic is available any time of the year, but will be have extra staffing on MLK Day to serve those unable to attend one of the in-person clinics.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Legal Clinics are sponsored by the Alaska Bar Association, the Alaska Court System, and Alaska Legal Services Corporation and honor Dr. King’s spirit of service and advocacy for equality and social justice.

Becky Krusem, Chair

Alaska State Bar’s Pro Bono Service Committee

School choice can bring academic success in Alaska

You likely don’t need me to tell you that children all over the country are suffering the academic consequences of the pandemic, and Alaska is not an exception. A 2022 survey revealed that 52% of American families were looking for a new school. To put it in personal terms, in a classroom of 25 students, 13 families are not satisfied with the education their children are receiving.

A great K-12 education for every child is no small undertaking, and we know there are many learning environments that help different students achieve their potential. Every child is different, with different abilities, talents, personalities, and needs. In a place like Alaska, families need the flexibility to choose the school that will set their child up for success, whether it’s their zoned traditional public school, or a public charter school, public magnet school, private school, online learning option, or homeschooling.

If it’s been a while since you had school-age children, you may not realize just how different the landscape of options is than it was a decade ago. A 2022 survey from The Harris Poll revealed that since the pandemic, homeschooling and public charter school were the first and second most popular options for parents who decided to switch their child’s school. What’s more, around 6 in 10 parents said their child was happier with this change. On the other hand, interest in open enrollment in traditional public schools, as well as magnet schools remains high. Private school choice programs have expanded in many states in the last few years, and learning pods and microschools are a new and growing option.

But time is of the essence. Due to the explosion of education options in many places, application deadlines often fall as early as January for the upcoming school year. The upcoming National School Choice Week (January 22-28, 2023) will streamline things for parents through a national public awareness campaign and thousands of events hosted by schools around the country. Parents who have chosen a school they love can also empower others by sharing their own experiences. 

All families can help their kids to achieve academic success, the first step is to choose the perfect school fit, and the best way to do it is by being aware of the local options and regulations. To learn about the academic alternatives in Alaska, parents can visit schoolchoiceweek.com/alaska.

When parents in Alaska and across the country are exploring and choosing schools later this month, I hope they can count on all of our support.

Shelby Doyle, Vice President of Public Awareness

National School Choice Awareness Foundation

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