Of late, death has seized too many of Alaska's remaining giants

The unique nature of Alaska comes not from the beauty of it's land but from the independant nature of it's people. Traveling in Botswana, Africa I met a British couple that had spent two weeks in Alaska and met one 'local'. That's like visiting an art musum with your eyes closed.

I meet Herbie in 1980 after one of his legendary Iditarod sprints. Susan's daughter is in dance with my daughter, we worked stage crew on the Nutcracker just two Decembers ago. Most Alaskan's could probably tell you a story or two about these folks, they will be greatly missed.

"Statistics don't exist for this kind of thing, but Alaska must lead the nation when it comes to living legends. The state is young enough that some of its first leaders and explorers are still around. Its vastness and mystique act like a magnet for the kind of people who become legends. Its remoteness and hostile climate inspire the resourcefulness and resiliency that produce legends.

We walk with giants because they walk with us."

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December 8, 2006 in alaska, people, the north, we don't care how they do it outside! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bear Advocate an Enigma in Death

Come to Alaska, feed the bears.

Timothy Treadwell's death came just the way he had predicted. Treadwell and his girlfriend were mauled by a 1,000-pound grizzly bear last October in a remote section of Alaskan wilderness that Treadwell knew well after years of living among its bear population.

"He was a con artist, but boy, he pulled it off," Queeney said. "The man was truly a riddle wrapped in a sleeping bag. I don't know if any of us will ever know who he really was."

Eat this.

He was even a consultant on Disney's animated movie Brother Bear.

Bear researcher/preservationist/author Timothy Treadwell (Among Grizzlies: Living with Wild Bears in Alaska) also came to the Studio to offer his firsthand accounts and insights about these magnificent animals.

More here.

January 3, 2004 in alaska, animals, environment, people, the north, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

B.C. government, First Nations discuss using Native place names

The British Columbia government wants to reintroduce native place names to parts of the province as a sign of an ongoing process of recognition and reconciliation with First Nations.

More here.

December 23, 2003 in the north | Permalink | Comments (0)

Layoffs Hit Elves at Arctic SantaPark

Santa's workshop may not be the joyous place it was in years past for the tens of thousands of tourists expected to visit northern Finland this winter. Facing a blizzard of debt, Saint Nick laid off many of the elves who work at the SantaPark attraction near the Arctic Circle.

"I feel really dejected, because being an elf is part of my identity," said Milja Vilmila, who was told her job as an elf helping Santa no longer existed. "Something will definitely be missing this Christmas."

Everyone knows Santa lives in North Pole, not Finland.

More here.

December 20, 2003 in the north | Permalink | Comments (0)

Finland battles high suicide rate

Found this on Aljazeera.Net:

"The mightiest enemy of the Finns is the gloom, the sadness, the bottomless apathy... The grip of depression is so firm that many Finns see death as their only salvation."

Alaska has a similar suicide rate.

Health officials point the finger at depression and alcohol abuse as the main factors in most suicides, but locals say life in a country where the thick of winter brings seemingly
never-ending darkness to some regions, also takes its toll.

"I've often thought about the climate here, that Finns and Swedes, at least in the northern parts, live on the brink of civilisation," said Jorn Donner, a prolific writer, director and former Finnish member of the European Parliament.

"Most suicides do happen in spring, after waiting out the long winter," he added.

Read more.

December 11, 2003 in alaska, bummer, stress, the north | Permalink | Comments (0)