Bristol Bay and Beyond, February 13

Feb 16, 2015

Legal pot's do's and don'ts, the Leroy B. Dick Jr. case wraps up, a look at the puny winter, and a s-w-e-e-t-h-e-a-r-t speller stops in. 

The weather allowed lucky stakers to lay claim to favored parcels on Snake Lake. Some traveled by snow-go. Some by helicopter. Our photographer got there by ski-go.
Credit Clark Fair

Credit Matt Martin, KDLG

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Credit Clark Fair

It has been an unusually tough week in Bristol Bay. Death, unexpected, touched many of our friends and neighbors.   

In another instance, some of death’s wounds are beginning to heal. The case of Leroy B. Dick Jr., came to a close when he was sentenced to 99 years in prison Thursday. Dick shot and killed unarmed VPSO Thomas Madole in Manokotak almost two years ago, on March 19, 2013.  

Assistant Attorney General Gregg Olson, who works in the office of special prosecutions and appeals, prosecuted the case for the state, which led to a conviction after a trial last November in Dillingham. Olson sat down with me after the sentencing hearing yesterday:

We know that it has not been much of a winter, at least yet, for much of Alaska and especially here in Bristol Bay. It could turn around of course … some of last week’s snow has encouraged quite a few folks to trailer snowmachines up to the Wood Tikchik State Park, and others are out trying to stake land as best as possible at Snake Lake this weekend.

Despite the brief optimism, we sent our new reporter Matt Martin out around town to see how the winter is affecting business and fun.

Alaska voters passed Ballot Measure 2 in the November general election, and that means that on February 24, the possession and personal use of some amounts of pot will be legal. Earlier this month, Dillingham’s city attorney Brooks Chandler gave the city council some advice on what to be ready for, and what options communities in the state have in the year ahead. Brooks, thank you for joining us to share some of that here:

Let’s move from one drug to another. Heroin and it’s substitutes in prescription pill form are harming Bristol Bay communities, and harming those who’ve become addicted to it. We know this much, but we struggle to know what to do about it.

A friend of ours was addicted to heroin for several years. She is clean now, and getting her life back together. She has been searching for ways to help others make the almost impossible choice to kick the addiction too, and she tells us she's troubled by the desperation she sees other users dealing with to fund their habit and stay high.   

We asked her to write us an essay about this, which she did this week, but we asked someone else to read it. We hope you understand why we’ve decided not to use either the author's or the reader’s names.  Here it is:

We'll end this week's show on a much different note. The Dillingham Elementary School held it’s annual spelling bee this week to qualify the district’s top speller for the state spelling bee next month in Anchorage. It was neck and neck as the two finalists traded the microphone back and forth until the end Wednesday night. (Dim sum was the final word spelled. Go ahead and Google it. We had to, too.) The winner sat down with our new reporter Hannah Colton the morning after:

Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits. This young fisherwoman is already hard at work subsisting on Lake Aleknagik.
Credit Apayo Moore

That's it for this week's Bristol Bay and Beyond, our weekly newsmagazine on KDLG. We hope you join us each Friday at 12pm and 6:30pm on AM670, and at 8:30 on 89.9 FM.

A special welcome to our new reporters Hannah Colton and Matt Martin

Send comments, suggestions, and other fun feedback to news@kdlg.org or dave@kdlg.org.

Have you taken a stellar photo this week that be our cover photo? Send it to us! We'll credit you, and then hound you for more photos thereafter.