With global concerns about the effects of this virus, many are not seeing the physical, mental, family, relationship destructions of our communities by the use of alcohol.
People are crying out in fear of this virus. Many are taking advantage OF THIS PANDEMIC to profit while many are doing the best they can to help prevent the spread of this menace. The media has expressed this virus on a daily bases for the past six months and brought fear and concern for the lives of the people. The people need to take heed to the warnings and mandates concerning this virus. But overall, we should not fear, but walk this time of the pandemic with wisdom and discipline.
I want to express the concern of many … hopefully on a daily basis about the effects of alcohol usage that hurts the body plus the mental condition of the user and the people influenced by the user, especially the children and the elders. We should be crying out for other destructive sources and activities like alcohol, child abuse, child sexual abuse, etc.
Besides, alcohol use, child abuse and child sexual abuse needs to be addressed more so than alcohol, but we wanted to address the alcohol usage because many times it encourages a child abuser to abuse.
Many of our elders have gone through different pandemics in their lifetime. Many have seen domestic problems in every level. One destructive problem to the body, family, and the mind has been alcohol. Many have caused trauma to the children. Abuse, physically and sexually. This has created a destructive society. (This is only one source, but it is used by many and abused by too many.)
Our elders do remember the days when mind altering drugs were not a part of life. Survival was the focus in every part of the lives of the people. Respect was a way of life that was taught by the leaders. The chiefs communicated with the community, spoke in public gatherings, they had genuine care for the people.
They were not there for the money, they were not there for the image, recognition, credit, acknowledgement, etc.
Here is a question … an ongoing issue, that could very well be fixed. To some it is not an issue, but…
Back before the Bethel Council voted to close the liquor store;
Why do we continue to have an issue with the use of alcohol?
-Issue meaning, increased FAMILY ABUSE (you cannot deny the fact),
-Increased crime after liquor store was opened (you cannot deny the reports) but another license was submitted regardless.
-More deaths involving alcohol (you cannot deny the reports)
-More cases with Women’s Shelters (you cannot deny the reports)
-More surrounding villages crying for help because of it.
-It was a continued council meeting agenda item (before this pandemic)
-Then there are more domestic violences, etc.
Why do we continue to have an issue with the use of alcohol? Of course we do have people that disagree that this is not an issue because they are users and they confess that they are good citizens.
We know many are affected by the use everywhere.
One person shuts down a whole community. As of today we have villages that are continually in “lock-down” because there is a user with a gun.
One person brings grief, sorrow, unwanted results to many.
Mental trauma in children effects the condition of our future.
One is wanting that mind-altering liquor because it makes him dance, another wants to relax, another wants to socialize, another wants to enjoy dinner with a glass of wine, another drowns the bad memories, and of course there are the businesses, both licensed and unlicensed, etc. …
In all reality, we can dance, relax, socialize, eat, and fix spiritual conditions, do business without alcohol.
Why is it an issue to introduce prohibition? It hurts nobody to remove the source, it helps in every part of our lives and our community and of course the world by removing the source.
We know it takes away the revenue of the seller. There are other ways to earn money.
Then there is the Alcohol Board … they are doing the best they can to create a positive use of alcohol. They are men, women, just like we are. They decide based on their own personal beliefs. They could very well have controlled drinking habits. Government officials drink. They want to dance, relax, socialize, enjoy dinner with a glass of wine, and drown their bad memories with this mind-altering drink.
But, in all reality, IT IS AN ISSUE. Prohibition removes the issue.
But then, what we used to call good has become bad, and what we called bad has become good.
What we as Christians call sin is accepted by the majority, and what we call a righteous act is considered WRONG by this present-day society.
Leaders (I believe) in every village have made policies, ordinances, regulations, in reference to the destructive effects of alcohol to the individuals, to families, to communities. But sadly, SOME members of the leaders themselves are the users and abusers of the problem. Don’t get me wrong, SOME, not all.
Few years back, YKHC started the advertisement of the negative effects of tobacco, both the smokeless and cigarettes. Here was this one leader of that organization pinching snuff in full view of the public at the airport, then pulls out a cigarette and walks out to smoke.
What kind of a “billboard” is that when you are running an advertisement against a product and using it while your company is running flyers, video presentations, call-in numbers for help, against this product?
One Health Aide told my wife not too long ago, “We in the village are not a part of YKHC,” while that person had a wad of snuff bulging in his mouth.
That defeats the purpose of the effort to improve health and save lives.
Last year, AVCP had a Public Safety listening session at The Cultural Center. ACVP member villages were invited, council members, tribal police, tribal staff, and other interested parties.
It was a very emotional meeting. The main reason for the need for Public Safety had to do with the need for Public Safety, in which every testimony testified of intoxicated people hurting families, and the communities as a whole.
At the end of the meeting, it was very sad to see the members representing their communities going to the liquor store and you know what happens.
According to some people’s understanding, on the job is to do the job according to the policies. But once they punch out, they can do whatever they want. Which is true. But as public figures, leaders, enforcers … shouldn’t that be the life of that person, especially village officials and village law enforcers?
I will close with this question, what is wrong with introducing and enforcing prohibition?
This is not final!
This was reprinted by request.
State believes that Federal Subsistence Board represent bureaucratic intrusion into state management
The State of Alaska recently filed suit to restrain the federal government from closing federal lands in the Nelchina Basin to caribou and moose hunting by non-federally qualified hunters. This action unnecessarily restricts hunting opportunity for many Alaskans who traditionally use this area to harvest moose and caribou to feed their families.
It also comes at a time when moose numbers in the basin are within population objectives and caribou numbers are above population objectives. That means the populations are good and healthy and there are no conservation concerns.
In taking their action the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) over-reached their authorities under the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act (ANILCA). The FSB took their action to reduce competition for federally qualified hunters on federal lands and to improve public safety. Nothing in ANILCA allows the federal government to close federal lands to reduce hunter conflict, and the facts do not support a decision to close hunting for reasons of public safety.
The closure was also not supported by the Bureau of Land Management who is the principle federal land management agency in the Nelchina basin and a voting member of the FSB. Nor was it supported by the Office of Subsistence Management, an advisory group to the FSB. Both entities advised that the closure of federal lands is not necessary for the conservation of healthy populations of either moose or caribou.
Additionally, the BLM testified that the closure was not necessary for reasons of public safety. They also added that it would be nearly impossible to enforce given the patchwork of land ownership in the basin. In notifying the public about the closure to non-federally qualified hunters, the Office of Subsistence Management improperly stated that the closure also affects state lands.
Because of these reasons, the State believes that actions of the Federal Subsistence Board represent an unnecessary and unjustified bureaucratic intrusion into state management that is providing for the subsistence needs of both local and non-local Alaskans. And we are asking the court to recognize our authorities to manage our state’s resources for the benefit of all Alaskans and within the sideboards of ANILCA.
Subsistence is and remains a priority to the State of Alaska. It is guaranteed under state law. We understand the importance of harvesting wild fish and game to feed our families. We will continue to provide for the subsistence needs of Alaskans. In taking this court action we are simply ensuring that all Alaskans have an opportunity to feed their families when the resource can support it and to follow through on our constitutional decree that all Alaskan’s are equal and are afforded equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law.
Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
John Moller, Rural Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Mike Dunleavy
Why doing the right thing for UAA means a fall semester online
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Alaska and across the country, university administrators have grappled with the difficult question of how to move forward with course delivery and campus operations this fall.
By their very nature, universities are places where people gather in person — to learn, study, work, collaborate and socialize. The continuous flow of people in and out of campus poses an elevated risk of spreading COVID-19. The Anchorage Health Department reported more than half of new COVID infections in Alaska are from those ages 20 to 39, a demographic that makes up more than 40 percent of UAA’s student body. Additionally, the Municipality of Anchorage remains in the state of Alaska’s high alert level with greater than 10 cases per 100,000 population over the last 14 days.
The potential impacts of disease transmission on our economy are even more startling when one considers the majority of students commute to campus, work full or part-time jobs and have families, illustrating the clear integration of the university population and the local community.
For UAA administrators, this fact could not be ignored: Connection is part of the college experience. University leadership determined the best way to help students and employees safely connect during the pandemic is by leveraging alternate delivery methods for courses and remote work for most employees.
The Anchorage Health Department unequivocally supports the university’s decision to proactively limit face-to-face campus activities, an approach that also mitigates the opportunity for spontaneous gatherings to occur. Social gatherings, particularly large ones, provide the ideal circumstances for the virus to spread. The UAA public health experts consulting with the municipality can attest to the dire consequences rising COVID-19 case counts pose, threatening to overwhelm intensive care units at local hospitals if transmission is not slowed.
While UAA’s mission is first to educate, the health and safety of students, faculty and staff is paramount. This drove leadership’s decision to announce on April 1 that UAA would fully deliver the summer semester online and the subsequent decision in early May to continue with alternate delivery for fall, offering a limited number of hands-on courses that can only effectively be delivered face-to-face. In-person classes require dean authorization along with a hazard mitigation plan approved by the university’s Office of Risk Management. Use of masks will be required this fall for face-to-face courses and any on-campus operations.
In addition, because congregate housing poses an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission, UAA has limited the number of occupants living on campus to 25% of its overall capacity. This comes with a loss in revenue, but the alternative is a price too high to pay with regard to students’ health. Residence Life has also implemented a two-step COVID-19 testing requirement. Students entering the residential community at the beginning of the semester are required to have two negative COVID-19 tests. This applies regardless of whether the student’s point of origin is in-state or out-of-state and prior to attending any face-to-face classes.
The collective health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, and fans is also the reason UAA Athletics stood in solidarity with nine other schools in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in support of the GNAC CEO Board’s difficult, yet unanimous decision to suspend all fall athletic competition through at least Nov. 30. UAA leadership was unwavering in its decision to put people’s health first.
UAA has the difficult task of balancing academic rigor with safety for its students, faculty and staff, the majority of whom are also members of the greater Anchorage community. Rest assured the leadership of Anchorage’s Hometown U and the municipality will continue to work together to do the right thing for our campus community, our city and our state. We can and will get through this, together.
Cathy Sandeen, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage
Natasha Pineda, outgoing director of the Anchorage Health Department
‘15 alumna of the UAA Master of Public Health Program