Nunam Iqua's Fuel/Tank Farm, picture taken Spring Flood '08
Those of you who visit Anonymous Bloggers know that we have been trying for months to find out whether or not the villages in rural Alaska have enough fuel to make it through this winter. After last years crisis, we wanted to ensure that everyone got their fuel deliveries and are set for the winter.
This does not translate into the residents having enough money to buy fuel and food for this winter. We wanted to make sure that fuel was simply available. Surely that State of Alaska has a program to monitors this type of thing, especially after last winters fuel issues across rural Alaska, right?
They do, and it’s called Fuel Watch and it is run by the Department of Community and Rural Affairs (DCRA). Even Governor Parnell wants to know what the fuel situation is….
I tried sending out an email to get answers:
Dear Mr. Parnell, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Moller, and Ms. Jollie;
Waqaa! I am writing to inquire as to whether or not any of your offices have completed fuel inquiries for rural Alaska? There was mention that villages were being contacted to assess their fuel situations and preparedness for this winter.
Additionally, what happened and/or what is the status of the Yukon Fisheries Disaster Declaration that was sent to DC?
Any information you could provide me about these issues would be greatly appreciated. I am gravely concerned that this winters crisis in rural Alaska will be far worse than last winters, is there anything you can tell me that is in the works or under consideration to avert another crisis in bush Alaska this winter?
Quyana Cakneq in advance for your help in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at the below contact information.
After sending that email one of the board members at AB found this report thanks to ADN’s Kyle Hopkins.
So I read the report and had some questions. So since the report clearly states at the top:
Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA)
Report to the Commissioner
September 18, 2009
From Director Tara Jollie
Ms. Tara Jollie, Photo from KTUU
I thought well I’ll contact Ms. Jollie, I mean it does say it’s from her right? I had some questions. So I called her. I about fell off of my chair when she actually answered the phone!! So I asked her my questions. Specifically related to clarifying HER report. Did I get answers? NOPE!! Instead I got the run around and a broken record response of … “We are having a meeting today (Oct. 2, 2009) and I was planning on answering your email after this meeting.”
Ok, well now I am getting some where right?? Well just to make sure that she didn’t forget my questions I immediately sent a follow up email:
Thank you very much for speaking with me earlier on the phone. I am glad to hear that you are meeting today to discuss the FUEL WATCH for rural Alaska.
I look forward to your email in response to my questions. Here is a recap with a few extra questions:
What is the fuel status for rural Alaska?
After reading report #5 from your dept. I am assuming that only those 13 communities identified in the report are having fuel issues?? I am assuming the remaining 567 are all set fuelwise for the winter? Would you please clarify that.
I expressed my concern that even if these communities have or will receive the fuel they need for the winter that I am concerned about at what cost and how will people be able to afford the fuel. You stated that it was not your departments job and/or responsibility to set fuel prices. Which I understand but I am still concerned and would HOPE that you would bring this to the Governors attention. That simply because a community has fuel available that does not ensure that residents will be able to afford said fuel. Especially due to the poor commercial fishing this past summer.
What is the current status of the the villages listed in report #5 from your dept? Are they all set and have their fuel for the winter?
Does the public have access to the whole database? I would like to review it to ensure that all communities were identified. I am concerned b/c I don’t see Alakanuk nor Kotlik nor other YK Delta Villages listed.
Could you please include me on your mailing list for future reports on the fuel watch. I am working on a post for my blog and would like to be able to keep up to date on current fuel information. I will be going into wait to have this baby here in a few very short weeks and intend to fill my time actively advocating for rural Alaska.
I look forward to your response.
I give her 7 days to respond, then I send a courteous reminder:
Dear Ms. Jollie, (AG and Mr. Moller see below)
It has been 7 days since I not only emailed you about the Fuel Watch meetings/information but also spoke to you on the phone. You assured me that you were going to respond to my email when I spoke to you on the phone. I have attached that email again. I look forward to hearing your responses to my questions.
Like I mentioned I am working on a post for our blog (https://anonymousbloggers.wordpress.com/) and I had hoped to include information about the meeting that you said was happening on Oct. 2. But since it looks as if you will not respond to my emails I will just include what information I have managed to gather from other sources and will also mention that I have been unsuccessful getting any type of response from you or your office/department.
I plan on putting that post up tomorrow, Oct. 9, 2009 and following it up with an interview I am doing for APRN. I would really like to include POSITIVE information that I have received from you and/or your office but since y’all don’t seem to want to respond to my emails…..sigh.
I really would like to include up to date information concerning the fuel watch meeting that you said occurred on Oct 2. I am anxiously awaiting your response to my email below.
Quyana Cakneq in advance for you assistance in this matter.
AG Sullivan and Mr. Moller,
Would either of you be able to offer any answers to the questions below?
Ms. Jollie’s contact information:
You, too, can join the quest for answers!
Additionally, I include the AG and Mr. Moller in my emails that I send out, so here’s their email addresses also….
Please feel free to post any replies that you receive here in the comments or email them to me.