Turn back the pages — Oct. 15, 1977
Compiled by Julie Rosier
Tanana Chief Burns — Fire Chief John Sanchez commented today that “Once again Fire Prevention week started off with a big bang.” That big bang he was referring to was the burning of the Tanana Chief early Monday morning, and the fact that Monday’s fire marks the third year in a row a major fire has taken place during fire prevention week. Sanchez stated that the fire department responded to the call about 2:50 Monday morning. At that time, the bottom floor of the boat was engulfed in flames. The fire department had some problems with their portable pumps in fighting the blaze. Sanchez said a lack of water as the pumps failed to operate gave the fire enough time to flare up. He said that at that point the fire department pulled back and reorganized to concentrate on saving the deck area where fuel was stored. An observer commented that the blaze seemed under control at one point, but as the water supply ran low the fire started up again. Although explosions were averted, the boat burned nearly to the water line. Sanchez said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Unlike the other two Fire Prevention Week blazes, no one was hurt this morning. Last year’s Fire Prevention Week was set off by the burning of Faulkner’s apartments. One woman died in that fire, and during Fire Prevention week in 1975, a fire gutted a trailer killing two people.
Escapees Back in Jail — Two men who escaped from the Bethel jail turned themselves in last weekend. Rudy One and Robert Mark were brought back to the Bethel jail Saturday — exactly two weeks after they left that facility through an open back door. The two men were picked up in Upper Kalskag by Alaska State Troopers, after saying they were ready to come in, and asking that the Troopers be called. The pair, whom Troopers had earlier characterized as dangerous, reportedly offered no resistance to the arresting officers, and indicated they were tired of traveling, according to Corporal David Jenkins. They apparently left Bethel by boat in the early morning hours of Sept. 24. Jenkins said they also had gone some distance on foot. Escape charges against the men are being filed, and an investigation is now underway into an assortment of larcenies that may have been committed by their flight from the law. Two boats and motors and a canoe allegedly used during the escape have already been returned to their owners. Still in question are shotguns, a rifle, ammunition and cooking equipment, that the men allegedly used.
Case of Corroded Honeybucket — Now that the Bethel jail’s two recent escapees are once again safely behind bars, Corey Flintoff of KYUK asked Police Chief John Winjum what has been done to prevent escapes in the future. Chief Winjum replied that the escape was due to an unusual combination of circumstances that isn’t likely to occur again. As Winjum described it, the whole situation began with some superannuated honey buckets. The recent closure of the jail seemed like a good time to replace the badly corroded buckets, but, said the chief, no new honeybuckets were available in the city of Bethel. Nonetheless the old ones were disposed of and new buckets were ordered. By the time the new contract was signed with the state and the jail was re-opened, the new honeybuckets still hadn’t arrived. Jailors were forced to leave the dormitory door open so that inmates could get to the bathroom. It was therefore possible for Rudy One and Robert Mack to get to the rear of the building and force their way out the back door. The irony of the story, as Winjum related it, was that the new honeybuckets arrived just two days after the inmates had made good their escape. The chief advises that the new honeybuckets are in place and the city jail is once again secure.
Subsistence According to a Villager (editorial) — While subsistence is easily described to mean in which a Native is making a living without much change from historical time, the legal body cannot define it from the point of view of technology. Most arguments found in articles, newspapers, and legal briefs never made a parallel description of subsistence to industrial goods-gathering society. I would like to clarify this in my defense of subsistence. I am a hardcore villager, and have always been. I am without an institutional description of subsistence, and am very much subjected to subsistence as well as the rest of the Natives across the board. It must be very clear, however, that when a Native testifies, he proves how he gathers food to survive, and that he gathers food without the use of major technology, or at minimum. Because of such absence of total over-all use of such technology to gather food up to this time, legal minds have no take-off point to measure and define subsistence. Subsistence has been too often identified with our culture, and that there is no separation between the two. From my view, subsistence is very much an inseparable method for us to survive, or to make a living.
Safety Seminars to Be Held This Fall — A series of Saturday Safety Seminars have been planned for this fall by the Division of Health Sciences of KCC. Those workshops, which will start at 9 a.m. and run right through Saturday to 5 p.m. are designed to help you become aware of some of the hazards that you could meet in different areas of your activity. Whether you are a snow-goer, a hunter, a teacher, a nurse, a housewife or a student, you can learn at those seminars how to avoid or prevent accidents or how to deal effectively with emergencies when they arise. The first workshop will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 and will be devoted to snowmobile and hunting safety. It will include demonstrations on first-aid, survival techniques, emergency repairs and other topics including gun safety. Whether you ride a snow machine regularly or only occasionally, you should make it a point to spend that Saturday with us. So many avoidable accidents take place each year.