Who is responsible?
Letter to the editor
Who is responsible?
1) In the past few years there have been meetings and conferences addressing the issue of suicide and suicide prevention. I remember one of the possible reasons there are a lot of suicides in our region, as brought up from those meetings, is a lack of youth activities and community events involving our young people.
With that in mind, what are the community leaders and tribal agencies doing to address this lack of activities in our region?
It seems like service agencies with the City of Bethel, AVCP, ONC and YKHC should be working together to sponsor regular scheduled events for our youth that could include family participation. I do believe that by working together and acting like “Our community kids are our future,” we will see a positive impact towards the prevention of suicide and less acting out of our community youth.
2) Code and law enforcement — who is responsible? I remember, as a kid of 16, I got picked up with a few of my friends, after 11 p.m. and brought to the police department for curfew violation. Parents had to collect their kids and we learned to follow that law after that.
I also remember when I had my own vehicle on the road as a cab. I had to have my vehicle in tip top shape for safety of my customers. Back then the BPD had a hard worker that did a good job of ensuring all cabs followed the many safety codes. Some of which are: all windows be safety glass, all doors and windows be in working order, all lights be working and should be on at all times, day and night for safety reasons.
Over the past two years I have filled out complaint forms at BPD on cabs in violations like steering wheel balls, duct tape holding marker lights and other parts on the cab, all with no action having been taken. I have been making calls to certain cab companies informing them of the need to turn on their lights due to fog, rain, sunrise or sunset or even late evening darkness and the cabs companies would say, “Who are you to tell me what to do? Stop bothering us.” I let them know that it’s the rule for vehicles for hire and that it is a safety issue.
It seems like the BPD and the Alaska State Troopers would at least pull them over to inform them of the safety issue and the need for them, as cab drivers, to have their lights on at all times.
3) People holding the position of activities coordinator? I remember when, at one time I held the position of activities coordinator for the Eddie Hoffman Senior Center; I planned an event I called “Sing for the Elders- Song Fest.” It was a three-day event where performers volunteered their time and talent to take part in singing for our Elders.
Local airlines donated air fares for out of town performers, local merchants donated various items for the event and it was a big success. The Elders were happy and participants were happy and it did not cost the center any money to make this event happen.
I think all the different agencies in our community and the surrounding villages can plan similar community events, using donations and volunteers, performers to do the same thing. It is events like this that make communities healthy and makes everyone who attends feel like a part of the community.
These are just a few issues that are of grave concerns to me as a citizen of “Beautiful Downtown Bethel,” my home town.
It is my hope that this letter motivates and encourages community leaders and service agencies to take more responsibility for the health and welfare of its people, especially our youth.
Thank you for your time.
— Wilson Green, Bethel