Yukonbushgrma: Eagle Gets Gravel, Salmon



Jul 14, 2009

Being in Miami, I miss most of the late night activity on the Alaska blogs so it’s nice to wake up to a note like this in my inbox!

Hey Jane!

I thought I should write you first – because I’m a bit bewildered about how this thing all came about ….

A few days ago, I heard that our Disaster Center here in Eagle was going to receive over 400 pounds of king salmon – from Emmonak!  The Center got a phone call from Sen. Albert Kookesh’s office (he is the state senator for Eagle) asking if they wanted the salmon (duh – of course!), and it went from there.  The air freight and truck transport were all paid to get it to Eagle.  I’m assuming the Senator’s office handled the details.

So – 400+ pounds of beautiful salmon arrived in Eagle, and it was all distributed or used by the disaster kitchen.  (They baked 5 of them that night in the kitchen – mmmmmm, good!)

But we do not know who IN EMMONAK was responsible for this, or who to thank!

If you can help us out with this, that would be great …… it’s a mystery to us.  All we know is that Sen. Kookesh’s office arranged to have the salmon sent from Emmonak.

I would like to send a special and personal thanks via Anon Bloggers, as I know it would be appreciated there.

best –

Anyone have an answer to this mystery?

And there’s more good news from Eagle Village!

Yesterday lovemydogs posted this on Mudflat’s open thread:

My husband spoke with Andy Bassich in Eagle today and the word is they “think” they will have the gravel to start on pads for foundations tomorrow–yay! Apparently there has been a lot of bureaucratic red tape/paperwork with the state that had to be worked through.

They have enough skilled carpenters to start on the cabins as soon as the gravel is moved.

Yukonbushgrma thinks the state had been giving them the run-around but FEMA came in and negotiated a contract for the gravel and it’s a done deal.

And some not so good news…

YBG goes on to explain that it’s not all good news. Some of the homes that were destroyed were second homes and, because they are considered vacation homes, they are not eligible for relief funds.

She is particularly sad to see one person who has done so much for the Eagle relief effort slip through the cracks. Andy Bassich has been the driving force behind this disaster recovery success story…

Andy has been our saving grace since breakup began ….. he had the idea to build these cabins, and the idea grew into a vision that was embraced by both state and federal governments! This has never, ever been done before in the history of the US! Eagle is making history here, using local knowledge and know-how to decide how to best recover from a disaster.

Andy deserves a gold medal. But guess what? He is getting nothing. He is getting paid for his work right now, but getting nothing from the State of Alaska or FEMA. Because he has a small cabin (primary residence) in Eagle, and his cabin downriver, although it is his place of business (mushing and subsistence tourism), doesn’t qualify for any disaster assistance.

Andy Bassich deserves help from somewhere! This guy came up with the idea to get Eagle’s homeless people through the coming winter, and he has been there every day to coordinate the new volunteers and make sure the work is getting done every day. And …… he’s had to worry about the gravel.

Please, help me figure out how to help Andy!

Any ideas?

~ Jane

Big Ray’s  is offering a 20% discount to Eagle Village residents and distributing gift cards to those who need them most. Gift cards are $10 – increase the quantity to donate more.

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13 Responses to “Yukonbushgrma: Eagle Gets Gravel, Salmon”

  1. alaskapi Says:

    We should follow up, from here, too but you folks from Eagle should contact Kyle Hopkins at the ADN Rural Blog and whoever you all know at the News-Miner
    Kyle has been quite responsive to expanding coverage of rural news-
    “E-mail me at khopkins@adn.com … ”
    Something we’ve needed in our largest newspaper.

    What a bum deal for Andy.
    The state won’t step up to help a small business?

    Enjoy your salmon- hugs from all of us.

  2. Gramiam Says:

    Jane, can we find out if a group can do some free labor ala “Barn Raising” and perhaps some help with the materials.

  3. Art Says:

    I think the king salmon might have come through the processor in Emmonak (Kwikpak) which is owned by the lower Yukon CFQ group Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association. I’m not positive, though.

  4. Art Says:

    Sorry, CDQ group (not CFQ)

  5. Laurie Says:

    Yukon bushgrandma:
    I PMd you this at mudflats as well.
    Someone posted this on mudflats open thread today: Might help Andy?

    From “Help A Reporter Out (HARO)”

    20)Summary: Seeking Community Problem Solvers/Alaska

    Name: Dafna Michaelson

    Category: General

    Email: groundcrew@50in52journey.com

    Title: JourneyWoman

    Media Outlet: http://www.50in52journey.com

    Specific Geographic Region: Y

    Region: Alaska

    Deadline: 05:07pm EASTERN – 16 July

    The 50 in 52 Journey is traveling America to one state per week for the 52
    weeks of 2009 interviewing people who are helping to solve community
    problems or are otherwise working to build community. We travel as much of
    the state as possible to represent what American’s are facing and solving
    in the different sections of our country. Please reply with HARO-ALASKA in
    the subject line. Include the following in the body of the email, no
    attachments please: Your Name: Your direct email: Nominee Name: Nominee
    location in ALASKA: Nominee email: Reason for nomination: Nominee
    website or links to projects etc…

  6. Jim Says:

    A week or so ago I had copied Andy’s comments about slow gravel delivery and forwarded them to Kookesh and Olson.

    Seems like there should be relief to businesses too– his second cabin is primarily for his business? There is no disaster assistance for businesses?

  7. Art Says:

    Got this from Jack Schultheis, the operations manager for KwikPak Fisheries, the processor in Emmonak:

    We (KwikPak Fisheries) collected the fish from fishermen who donated it. We processed, packed it, and we shipped it at our expense. We also sent a shipment to Ruby, same scenario.”

    Kudos to Jack, KwikPak and the fishermen!

  8. the problem child Says:

    I’m so glad to hear that Emmonak fishers are in a position to share. That is grand news, if it is true. I hope that they are not cheating themselves out of generosity.

  9. alaskapi Says:

    problem child-

    We’re trying to verify the whys and wherefores of this lovely neighborly donation to Eagle…
    As is with ALL things in rural Alaska there is a long and interesting tale attached…We’ll share when we are sure of the facts.

  10. alaskapi Says:


    Good news from Eagle…

    road and cabins…


  11. shrinkinggranny Says:

    Very good news! Thanks for posting the link


  12. alaskapi Says:


    Go Eagle!

  13. Kath the Scrappy Says:

    Exciting progress! In the KTUU link, they show one of the cabins but it’s hard to get a sense as to how big they are. One single room?

    I tried to Google “Cabin kits from Young Saw Mill” but came up empty handed. If anyone gets info on that, I would be curious. Thx again for the links!

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