“In both communities, we hear loud and clear that the children are going to school not ready to learn [...]That's the least of the educational worries. Did this `team of experts` ever glance at the drop-out rate in those villages? There's a prevailing attitude that education is useless. Attendance is a joke. There's few jobs, never mind ones that require an education.
They said there were few full-time jobs and they needed help paying heating fuel bills that have soared past $1,000 a month. They plead for help to repair the stock of poorly insulated and crumbling houses, some so dank that respiratory diseases and other illnesses often strike children.
I might have said both of those before. And again. The houses were built for temperate climates, many of them some time ago. They're built just plain stupid. There's a group out of UAF (Cold Climate Research insitute?) who was working on pre-fab homes that could be built easily, fit in a single plane, and doesn't leak heat like a home made of spoons, but that's a bit from being deliver-able. Oh, god, don't get me started on Kotlik's school. It's brand spanking new(ish), but it's among the worst built buildings on god's earth. It won some mondern art archetecture awards, just the heating frequently ups and dies, and teachers have to resort to Space Heaters. Oh, and the floorplan looks like it was designed by the criminally insane. Oh, and it has exposed heating pipes outside. Oh, and the facing were put on it so water apparently collects between them.
She would also like to organize an effort to provide immediate weatherization assistance to help make people’s houses more energy efficient. That might include sending in housing experts to assess the need and do some of the work.
The team will have to identify different “pockets of money” that might be used for that idea, she said.
The state Legislature approved $300 million last year to help people across Alaska weatherize their homes.
The money hasn’t reached Kotlik, Emmonak or other remote areas, said residents, many of whom had never heard of it.
One problem is that there are few energy auditors in rural Alaska to do the required assessment.
Meanwhile, the program has been a huge success in urban areas such as Anchorage, where average incomes are much higher.Uh. Yeah. And that the Y-K has less access to services is news, all the sudden? They were talking about that back last... Jan?
Politicians: Attention span of goldfish.
In Kotlik, a roadless community where buildings and homes stretch along a slough of the Yukon River, many of the houses are gray, miserable shacks with several adults and children piled together under one roof.
“I’m shocked at the deplorable housing conditions here,” Jollie said. “Shocked.”
Someone needs to get that lady into some of the lower Kuskokwim villages. She hasn't even begun to see the bottom of the barrel. I challenge the use of `miserable,` though. Some folk are happy. Not everyone, but not everyone is `miserable.`
Oh, another issue, she doesn't even notice? Housing shortage. Kotlik is growing, and will need new houses built to support that continued growth.
The team’s ideas include resource fairs in February in Kotlik and Emmonak, a village of 800.
AHAHAHAHHAHAHA! Oooooh. It hurts to laugh.
God, how do we dig these people up?
Well... well, what the hell was she expecting? Mansions? Direct flights to Achoragua? 100% employment? Igloos?
For example, she’s learned that the limited jobs in the village usually lack benefits and retirement plans, and most people plan to rely solely on Social Security income to take them through old age.
She also learned that while the federal government pays for Native medical care, it doesn’t pay for people to fly to larger cities such as Bethel or Anchorage for check-ups. As a result, many villagers who can’t afford the costly flights said they wait until they’re extremely sick to go to the doctor.“The need is much more profound than I thought it would be,” she said.
God, how do we dig these people up?