A Response? You decide!

by

I was just about to shut my computer down for the night, then I decided I should check email.

To my great surprise I see three emails that I was not expecting.  The first two were from Jollie, Tara L (CED) and the last was from Moller, John (GOV).

Responses?  On a Saturday?

After my first stunned reaction I click on the first one from Ms. Jollie.  Here is what I saw/read:

“I will be out of the office until October 22. If you are emailing about fuel supplies in remote Alaska, this is the most current information as of October 9, 2009.

The Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) is working to ensure adequate fuel supplies are available in Alaska’s remote, off road, villages. To that end, DCRA has made, and continues to make, an intense effort to contact off road communities regarding the status of fuel deliveries to their community. DCRA does not influence the selling price of fuel.

DCRA has identified 583 entities that cannot receive fuel delivery via the road system. These entities include Cities, Village Councils, Corporations and Schools that must stockpile large amounts of fuel for winter use. As of 9/29, DCRA has made 1,188 attempts to contact these entities. Of the 583 total entities, DCRA has successfully contacted 517, or 89%. Of the 583, 442, or 76%, report they have received their winter supply of fuel, or are in their normal cyclic delivery schedule with either a source internal or external to the community. Our work continues.”

In my absence please direct questions to Scott Ruby, DCRA Deputy Director. Scott may be reached at 269-4569 or at scott.ruby@alaska.gov.

Tara Jollie

Director

Division of Community and Regional Affairs

Obviously an auto response.  Let’s move on to number two:

“I will be out of the office until October 22. If you are emailing about fuel supplies in remote Alaska, this is the most current information as of October 9, 2009.

~SNIP~

In my absence please direct questions to Scott Ruby, DCRA Deputy Director. Scott may be reached at 269-4569 or at scott.ruby@alaska.gov.

Tara Jollie

Director

Division of Community and Regional Affairs

The exact same auto response.

(*Note these are NOT direct responses to emails that I sent, these are responses to emails that were sent by other concerned people that were cc’d to me*)

First thing I notice is that the first auto response is sent at 10:16 p.m. but the original email was sent at 2:27 p.m.  (Counting on my fingers… 2:27, 3:27, 4:27 etc..)  OK that’s like nearly 8 hours later.  Last time I checked auto responses were sent IMMEDIATELY when the email is received, right??  Unless this is some wierd State of Alaska/Government email anomally.  But then if you were going on vacation or whatever would you have it start on a Friday NOT a Saturday?  I’ll let y’all ponder that….

So let’s look at the first sentence:

“I will be out of the office until October 22. If you are emailing about fuel supplies in remote Alaska, this is the most current information as of October 9, 2009.

OK there’s the dead give away that it’s an auto response as if having it repeated a second time in another email didn’t give that away. October 22nd. Ok SURELY this is a coincidence right?? I mean she is going to be out of the office until the day I leave Ugashik to go and wait to have this baby. Coincidence I am certain.  Just like I am CERTAIN that there must be some legitimate pressing personal matter that is taking her out of the office…surely she just isn’t tucking tail and running away because of a few emails….Right?  I am certain there must be a legitimate reason or she must have had this leave time scheduled in advance and just forgot to turn on her email vacation response prior to 10 p.m. on a Saturday.

I mean this HAS to be an auto response right?  It’s not like she’s sitting at her computer firing off a COPIED response to all the emails she’s receiving hours after receiving them.  (* Found out that someone else who had been cc’d on an email received the same COPIED Auto Response to an earlier email one minute after I got mine*)

Next sentence….  If you are emailing about fuel supplies blah blah blah….. so obviously she has received a few emails inquiring about fuel supplies….ya think?

Moving on…

The Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) is working to ensure adequate fuel supplies are available in Alaska’s remote, off road, villages. To that end, DCRA has made, and continues to make, an intense effort to contact off road communities regarding the status of fuel deliveries to their community. DCRA does not influence the selling price of fuel.

Has made, continues to make, an INTENSE EFFORT!!  Wish I could know what Ms. Jollie’s or the DCRA’s definition of INTENSE EFFORT is?  Because not responding for months and months to inquiries seems lacking to me…JMHO ;-)  Hmm DCRA does NOT influence the selling price of fuel…doesn’t that sound like what I had in my email to her?  Let’s check…

From: Ann Strongheart <nunamiquayouth@yahoo.com>

Subject: Fuel Watch

To: “Tara Jollie” <tara.jollie@alaska.gov>, “John Moller” <john.moller@alaska.gov>, “Attorney General” <attorney.general@alaska.gov>

Date: Friday, October 2, 2009, 11:30 AM

Ms. Jolie

~SNIP~

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.

Yep that pretty much looks like something I had in my email to her.  The next section throws out a whole lot of statistics.  Wow that’s a lot of numbers!  1,188 attempts to contact, 517 contacted, 442 reporting that they have their fuel or look to have it delivered.  Then we finish it off with…Our work continues!  Can you really say OUR when you are leaving for unknown reasons?

So 442 reporting that they are set or will be set for the winter which is 76% of the villages or wait how did she word it…it was such a mess of important sounding words….aww yes here it is…Alaska’s remote, off road, villages that includes: Cities, Village Councils, Corporations and Schools.

Is it just me or does it seem like there are a whole lotta numbers and a whole lotta words that don’t really answer any questions?  Ok I know they say that they are calling around and they have all these numbers and percentages but other than saying:  OUR WORK CONTINUES…ummm whatelse is the DCRA doing? (besides staying up late on a Saturday evening sending out COPIED Auto responses to emails?  Guess I am NOT the only one up late on a Saturday sitting at the computer!)

Then Ms. Jollie goes on to say:

In my absense (no she is not tucking tail and panicking and running away!) Please direct questions to blah blah blah.  Contact information blah blah blah.  Passing the buck!!! Not going to answer all of these emails, caving under the strain blah blah blah

And there ya have, the DCRA’s Director’s Response!  It seems like magic that we even got this much of a response.

Well let’s move on to Mr. Moller’s response:

From: Moller, John (GOV) <john.moller@alaska.gov>

Subject: RE: Fuel Watch Meeting Oct 2, 2009

To: “Ann Strongheart” <nunamiquayouth@yahoo.com>, “General, Attorney (LAW sponsored)” <attorney.general@alaska.gov>, “Jollie, Tara L (CED)” <tara.jollie@alaska.gov>, “ombudsman ak” <ombudsman@legis.state.ak.us>

Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009, 9:54 PM

Dear Ms. Strongheart:

I understand your concerns with the continued high cost of energy. There are a number of programs that are available to help Alaskans in need. Attached is information about programs available through the Division of Public Assistance, which includes help in paying for heating expenses through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP) and the Alaska Heating Assistance Program (AKHAP).

In some areas of Alaska , these programs are operated by Alaska Native organizations. Attached is a flier that provides information about Heating Assistance, and it includes the list of Alaska Native Organizations that are operating Tribal LIHEAP/Heating Assistance programs. Kodiak Area Native Association and Bristol Bay Native Association’s programs are new this year and they are in the process of getting their offices ready to begin accepting applications.

The Women, Infant’s and Children’s program is administered by community grantees. Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. in Dillingham operates the WIC program in the Bristol Bay and Dillingham area. They can be reached at 842-2036. Families can get more information about the WIC program and how to apply at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/programs/nutri/wic/Participants/Default.htm

I hope all Alaskans apply for these programs that apply to them if they are in need. I hope you find this information helpful.

Regards,

John Moller

Rural Advisor

Office of Governor Parnell

907-465-3500

Before I start analyzing this one I’ll share my reply:

Mr. Moller,

Quyana for your response to my email. You offered some information about some programs which I will be sure to pass along.

Although, I can’t help but notice that you didn’t answer a single one of my questions. So here they are again. I hope that you will be able to address them. I am assuming that since you are the Rural Advisor to Governor Parnell that you will have access to the necessary information to answer them, even though they were originally directed at the DCRA and Ms. Jollie.

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 .

Quyana Cakneq in advance for your response and attention to this matter.

Ann Strongheart


Let’s take a closer look at Mr. Moller’s response.  I;ll paste it here and put my thoughts and translations  in blue.

Dear Ms. Strongheart:

I understand your concerns with the continued high cost of energy. (I am tired of receiving emails and hearing about your complaints concerns! ) There are a number of programs that are available to help Alaskans in need. (I am giving you all this information in hopes of distracting you and getting you off of my back !  No it is NOT passing the buck to another government agency in hopes that you will pester them with your steady stream of emails and questions!) Attached is information about programs available through the Division of Public Assistance, which includes help in paying for heating expenses through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP) and the Alaska Heating Assistance Program (AKHAP).  (Please contact them and stop emailing me! because it’s hard work coming up with such a long run-on sentence that seems this impressive with lots of words!)

In some areas of Alaska , these programs are operated by Alaska Native organizations. (If you don’t already know your AVCP does this type of stuff for the Y/K Delta!) Attached is a flier that provides information about Heating Assistance, and it includes the list of Alaska Native Organizations that are operating Tribal LIHEAP/Heating Assistance programs. (Please print these out and distribute them and quit pestering me to do my job!) Kodiak Area Native Association and Bristol Bay Native Association’s programs are new this year and they are in the process of getting their offices ready to begin accepting applications.  (Maybe you can help them too since you are in Ugashik for the winter and hand out these flyers for me!)

The Women, Infant’s and Children’s program is administered by community grantees.  (WIC, you are pregnant and have a toddler!  Let’s see if I can distract you by throwing them in this email also!) Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. in Dillingham operates the WIC program in the Bristol Bay and Dillingham area. They can be reached at 842-2036. Families can get more information about the WIC program and how to apply at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/programs/nutri/wic/Participants/Default.htm (You are in that area now, so I am going to put their specific contact information here just for you!  DISTRACTION!! DISTRACTION!!! Leave me alone please! DISTRACTION!!)

I hope all Alaskans apply for these programs that apply to them if they are in need.  (Can you mumble that again?  I hope ALL Alaskans apply?) I hope you find this information helpful.  (Please don’t notice that I didn’t answer any of your questions and that I am simply trying to placate you and distract you and hopefully get you to start pestering another government agency and leave me alone!)

Regards,

John Moller

Rural Advisor

Office of Governor Parnell

907-465-3500

************

I will discuss these responses or lack thereof in the future.

-AnnS


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11 Responses to “A Response? You decide!”

  1. elsie09 Says:

    It’s just really kinda hard to believe that the various departments of the State of Alaska run on such ill-conceived, open-ended, non-responsive communications between themselves in the same manner of these being sent to Ann.

    Do they get ANYTHING done if they communicate between themselves and their various departments like they seem to do with Ann and their other constituents?

    Do any of them actually gather and process data, report it thoroughly and efficiently in a timely fashion, and follow up on ANYTHING?

    Obviously, these two representatives of the State of Alaska CANNOT be ANYONE who actually makes things happen for the good of the citizens there, nor do they appear to me to really matter in the big scheme of things.

    So, here’s my next question:
    Who, in all the bureaucracy and hierarchy of Alaska state government, actually knows how to handle business efficiently, to act responsibly, and to communicate intelligently?

    Surely, there must be some bright lights burning there, in somebody, somewhere, in Alaska government?

    Who has the answers to the questions being asked?

    Who will step forward and act in a responsible manner to handle the very honest questions pouring forth about the critical needs of the rural citizens this winter?

    When will “business as usual” become a new norm to meet and interact with the public, post notices of meetings in a timely fashion, report via the Internet with meeting notes posted after meetings, and try to indicate some measure of concern for the citizens of Alaska who happen not to live in the cities there?

    When will “business as usual” be actions taken by responsible, responsive, intelligent, concerned, hard-working, diligent people who find answers to the hard questions and implement changes for the greater good?

    Bleah.

  2. alaskapi Says:

    Actually, Mr Moller did, within the state’s part of the equation answer an important question.
    ———————————–

    ‘Let Us Help You Stay Warm
    The Heating
    Assistance Program
    The Heating
    Assistance Program
    Family Size Gross Monthly
    Income
    1 $2,537
    2 $3,414
    3 $4,292
    4 $5,169
    5 $6,047
    6 $6,924
    7 $7,802
    8 $8,679
    For each additional household
    member, add $877

    Contact Information:

    Division of Public Assistance
    Heating Assistance Program
    400 Willoughby, Suite 301

    Juneau, Alaska • 99801-1700

    1-800-470-3058

    heatinghelp.alaska.gov

    The State of Alaska has heating assistance programs
    for low-income families and individuals that may be
    able to help you with your home heating costs. The
    income guidelines have increased so you may qualify
    even if you have been denied in the past for being over
    income.

    It’s easy to apply. Application forms are available by
    contacting our office at the address below or from:

    · WIC Clinics
    · Local Public Assistance Offices
    · Senior Centers
    · Home Heating Suppliers
    · Village Fee Agents
    · Tribal Heating Assistance Organizations

    You can also download an application on the web at
    heatinghelp.alaska.gov.

    Applications accepted until
    April 30, 2010.

    APPLY NOW! IT’S EASY!
    CALL 1-800-470-3058 ‘

  3. alaskapi Says:

    He included a list of tribal organizations which offer assistance as well-
    It is an impressive list – especially given the rather peculiar situation tribal entities have to cope with regarding being organized as corporations…

    “TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT ADMINISTER THEIR OWN
    HEATING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

    Please Contact Them Directly For A Heating Assistance Application.

    Tanana Chiefs

    Kuskokwim

    Association of Village
    Conference

    Native Association

    Council Presidents
    1-800-478-6822

    907-675-4384

    1-800-478-3521

    Serving: All residents in Alatna,

    Serving: All residents in Aniak,

    Serving: All residents in Akiacuaq,
    Allakaket, Anvik, Arctic Village,

    Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek,

    Akiaq, Alarneq, Atmaulluaq,
    Beaver, Bettles, Birch Creek,

    Georgetown, Lime Village, Lower

    Chaputnuaq, Cev’aq, Ekvicuaq,
    Boundry, Canyon Village, Central,

    Kalskag, Red Devil, Russian

    Emaangaq, Mamteraq, Naparyaar,
    Chalkyitsik, Chandalar, Chicken,

    Mission, Sleetmute, Stony River and

    Akula/Kasigluk, Qipneq,
    Circle, Circle Hot Springs, Dot Lake,

    Upper Kalskag

    Quigilnguq, Masserculiq, Mikuryaq,
    Eagle, Evansville, Farewell, Fort

    Asac’araq, Naparyarraq, Napaskiaq,
    Yukon, Galena, Grayling, Healy

    Niugtaq, Negtemiut, Nunapicuaq,

    Aleutian/Pribilof

    Lake, Holy Cross, Hughes, Huslia,

    Tatalgarmuit, Neggeqlim Painga,

    Islands Association, Inc.

    Kaltag, Koyukuk, Lake Minchumina,

    Arviq, Quinerraq, Marayaar, Nunam

    1-800-478-2742

    McGrath, Manley Hot Springs,

    Iqua, Algaaciq, Nunakauyak,

    Serving: All residents in the

    Medfra, Minto, Nenana, Nikolai,

    Tuulkessaaq, Tuntutuliaq, and

    Aleutian and Pribilof Islands

    Northway, Nulato, Rampart, Ruby,

    Tununeq
    Shageluk, Stevens Village, Takotna,

    Kodiak Area Native

    Tanacross, Tanana, Telida, Tetlin and

    Bristol Bay Native

    Association

    Venetie. TCC also serves Native

    Association

    residents in Tok, Delta Junction, and

    907-486-9800

    907-842-2262

    Healy

    Serving: All Alaska Native residents

    Serving: All residents in Aleknagik,

    in Port Lions, Larsen Bay, Old

    Chignik, Chignik Lagoon, Chignik

    Harbor, Akhiok, and the city of

    Kenaitze Indian Tribe

    Lake, Clarks Point, Dillingham,

    Kodiak

    907-283-3633

    Egegik, Ekwok, Ekuk, Iguigig,

    Serving: All Alaska Native residents

    Iliamna, King Salmon, Kokhanok,

    Tlingit-Haida Regional

    in Kenai, Soldotna and Sterling

    Koliganek, Levelock, Manokotak,

    Housing Authority

    Naknek, New Stuyahok, Newhalen,

    Yakutat Tlingit Tribe

    907-780-6868

    Nondalton, Pilot Point, Port Heiden,
    Serving: All residents in

    Portage Creek, South Naknek,

    907-784-3070

    Angoon, Craig, Hoonah, Hydaburg,

    Togiak, Twin Hills

    Serving: All residents in Yakutat

    Kake, Kasaan, Ketchikan, Klawock,

    City and Borough

    Klukwan, Metlakatla, Pelican and

    Orutsararmiut

    Saxman. THRHA also serves

    Seldovia Village Tribe

    Native Council

    Native residents in Douglas, Haines,

    907-234-7898

    907-543-2608

    Juneau, Petersburg, Sitka, Skagway,

    Serving: All Alaska Native and

    Serving: All residents in Bethel

    Tenakee, and Wrangell

    American Indian residents in
    Seldovia and Seldovia Village ”

  4. elsie09 Says:

    Thanks, alaskapi, but where do the state reps give specifics about bulk fuel shipments this summer/fall? Wasn’t that the original question Ann asked months ago? Which communities are provided for, as regards receipt of their winter fuel, and which ones are left hanging as the rivers begin to freeze?

    I’ve worked in state government, and remember how carefully that overwhelming massive amounts of data is gathered, controlled, recorded, monitored, etc. The numbers are in SOMEONE’S office right now, I’m willing to bet, of exactly WHICH communities didn’t get their shipments of bulk fuel. Yet, queries about specifics in that regard appear to be ignored.

    Where are the minutes to the Fuel Watch meeting on October 2? Are they posted anywhere? If not, why not? What was discussed there? What was learned there? Who attended this meeting? What decisions were reached? What actions remain to be taken? Which communities are in danger of having too little fuel to get through this coming winter?

  5. alaskapi Says:

    Information , in this huge state, with people spread so far and wide, is hard to come by.
    As MOST of the state is off the road system , I always find it odd that state officials make much of off-the-road Alaska… ???
    It’s what and who we are.
    We use the internet, we use VHF, we use planes, we use boats…
    We use barges to get fuel and supplies in.
    We already know that.
    We live with that.

    I am hoping that the remaining 11% of communities not successfully contacted are doing ok with deliveries and that the 24% who have responded, but not been able to verify whether they are set for the winter, are on the way to being able to do so.

    Those ‘percents’ are made up of my neighbors.
    I am happy the state has made formal outreach this year.
    I want to know if my neighbors are ok.

  6. alaskapi Says:

    elsie09
    :-)

    I said Mr Moller answered ONE question.
    I think it is important to note when officials DO respond with requested information.

    I have the same questions about the lack of open information regarding the status of fuel availability as you , Ann, all the rest of us , do. Those questions have NOT been answered…

    As Mr Ruby was much more informative in his response to Mr Hopkins at the Rural Blog on ADN, perhaps he will turn out to be a better contact than his boss…
    hope, hope, hope…

    ( note to self- not gonna hold my breath though)

  7. Ivyfree Says:

    “I want to know if my neighbors are ok.”

    I want to know if my fellow Americans are okay. I wonder why Ann got a response from Mr Moller when I didn’t- maybe because I mentioned that I was from Washington?

    I’d like to know specifically which communities are facing an Alaskan winter without adequate food and fuel supplies.

    And I still think it would be nice if Russia was able to help.

  8. alaskapi Says:

    The September report Ann references:
    ——————————————————-

    “Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA)

    Report to the Commissioner

    September 18, 2009

    From Director Tara Jollie

    Fuel Watch

    Report 5

    Outreach Phase:

    Toll free 800 number has not received any calls to date.

    Community Outreach: The primary activity this period was DCRA staff calling/contacting communities to verify fuel supplies and financial arrangements had been taken care of. As of 9/17/09, 411, or 71%, of the 580 entities identified have been contacted and pertinent information noted on the master database. The total number of entities was significantly increased this past week when Rural Schools that are not on the road system was added to the database.

    On Friday, September 11, DCRA and Crowley teleconferenced to discuss status of their delivery route. Originally 13 communities were identified with potential financial issues. As of the 9/11 meeting, Crowley, AEA, and DCRA staff helped eight communities resolve the financial issues for ordering fuel. Since that meeting, financial arrangements have been finalized for Kwethluk, Inc. and Tuluksak. Contact with the remaining three communities is proving difficult.

    Bulk Fuel Bridge Loans were approved for Port Heiden, Tuluksak, and Ekwok. There are no pending applications at this time. Applications are potentially forthcoming from Akiachak, Kwethluk Inc., City of Nunapitchuk, Kokamute Corp. (Akiak), and Nunakauiak Yupik Corp. (Toksook Bay).

    DCRA Problem Solving Efforts: The following notes summarize issues in the communities of concern:

    Akiachak IRA

    Financial arrangements have not been finalized

    $103,000 order has been placed with Crowley

    Administrator after multiple contacts with Crowley and DCRA staff , including one on-site visit, agreed to submit a loan application to AEA. The barge to delivery this fuel will be loading on September 21st. Financial arrangements need to be completed by September 18th. DCRA provided loan applications and offered assistance on 9/16, Administrator said he will complete and submit applications. Bethel LGS staff continues to offer assistance in completing the application.

    Akiak (Kokamute)

    Financial arrangements have not been finalized

    $213,000 order placed, $61,000 paid

    The City of Akiak owes the corporation a substantial amount. The Corporation is waiting for this payment to pay off this order. The corporate manager is very resistant to the idea of applying for a loan to the state. Crowley, DCRA, and AEA staff have all contacted him. The City has not applied for or received their Community Revenue Sharing and/or PILT funding for FY10. DCRA staff is attempting to contact the City to get them to complete the application so these funds can be released. It is unlikely the information (FY10 budget and FY08 CFS) has been completed or could be quickly enough to allow release of the funds. Multiple attempts by both Crowley and DCRA to staff in Akiak have been unsuccessful.

    Kalskag (Upper and Lower)

    Financial arrangements have been finalized

    Report on 9/11 that the communities are out of gas.

    Barge is scheduled to arrive in 10 days. Barges coming downstream emptied all their product already so they don’t stop for flaggers. DCRA staff will let the community know what is going on next week.

    Kwethluk, Inc.

    Financial Arrangements are tentatively in place.

    Corporation Administrator applied for $561,000 loan with Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo indicated they thought the loan could be approved by the 21st. Barge is loading on the 21th for that community. Corporation signed an agreement that if the Wells Fargo Loan was not in place within 14 days of delivery then they would submit a loan application to AEA and if necessary the Bridge Loan program. Bridge Loan program assured Crowley they would approve the loan if it came to that. Crowley accepted this as assurance enough to load and delivery fuel. Delivery is expected to occur on September 21 or 22nd.

    Perryville

    Have one AEA loan for the past spring’s delivery. Need a fall delivery.

    Increasing their existing AEA loan would result in a 4-5 month pay back period (not likely to be financially feasible). AEA won’t give two different loans.

    If AEA rejects, Bridge Loan will fund Fall Delivery.

    Conversations with community about paying off spring loan then getting new AEA loan.

    Delta Western hopes to make delivery prior to Oct 1 if financing in place.

    Platinum

    Working on finalizing financial arrangements, from conversations with community it is unclear if they have adequate funding or will need to seek a fuel loan. They are currently waiting for the final cost estimate from Crowley.

    They are eligible for an AEA Bulk Fuel Loan

    Order is for $70,000 in fuel plus $7,000 in trucking charges.

    Hope to make delivery prior to Oct 1 if financing in place.

    Pilot Station Traditional Council

    $10,000 order

    Loading on 12th.

    DCRA contacted community and they said they were going to try and arrange credit with Crowley for delivery. The community has not contacted Crowley as of 9/17.

    Toksook Bay (Nunakauiak Yupik Corp.)

    The applied to AEA after they received fuel. But they are now applying for a fall delivery. It may be that they already paid Crowley for the earlier delivery so AEA will consider this new loan.

    Tuluksak

    Financial arrangements have been finalized

    Denied loan by AEA, Approved loan by Bride Loan program.

    Crowley will attempt delivery in 4th week of September.

    Barge deliveries previously reported as potential problems that were completed this past week:

    Sleetmute
    Stony River
    Crooked Creek
    Kivalina

    Barge Deliveries not yet made but should not pose a low water problem any longer are:

    Emmonak
    Nunam Iqua
    Shishmaref
    Diomede

    Barge Deliveries that are at high risk and doubtful because of low water are:

    Takotna – Working on a plan to fly fuel into Tatalina
    McGrath – City 40,000gallons, Crowley 90,000gallons, ML&P (100,000 appx), Schools 52,000 gallons. Can and will fly in at 5,000 gallons per trip if necessary.
    New Stuyahok – 1 river crossing is critical and may impact access unless rain improves conditions.
    Ekwok – Will fly in if no barge delivery.
    Shungnak, Ambler – Kobuk River Low (normal) communities are making arrangements to fly in fuel.
    Tuluksak – Will fly in fuel as needed until ice road on Kuskokwim allows trucking of fuel.
    Shageluk – Innoko River Low All Summer – Ruby Marine attempting a delivery.
    Holy Cross – Has received ½ of order – Water at landing may be a problem.

    DCRA staff will continue to work individually with all communities to help insure adequate winter fuel supplies are available to our citizens.”
    ———————————————–

    Waiting for the October update….

  9. Jim Says:

    I hope Emmonak and Nunam Iqua will get their fuel. Even after last year’s problems, they hadn’t gotten this year’s fuel before the September report?

    DCRA repeatedly asserts “staff will continue to work individually with all communities to help insure adequate winter fuel supplies are available to our citizens.” -or- “The Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) is working to ensure adequate fuel supplies are available in Alaska’s remote, off road, villages.”

    If all villages don’t get their fuel, the State could still claim it had helped “insure” or “ensure” that “adequate fuel supplies are AVAILABLE.” Perhaps this is a carefully worded statement– apparently they may claim it wouldn’t be DCRA’s fault if fuel doesn’t get delivered to some places– just because fuel is “available” doesn’t mean it will get delivered. They also talked about how they don’t influence fuel prices– perhaps some villages can’t afford sufficient or “available” fuel and therefore won’t get it.

    Unfortunately it seems not all villages will receive all their fuel. Some fuel will need to be flown in later this winter. The September report mentions it has already become necessary to fly fuel to some villages.

    So the State will ensure or insure that the fuel is AVAILABLE (What does that really mean? Despite the State, fuel is already “available.”) I think this statement is a smoke screen– the State has very little to do with making fuel available. Fuel is already “available.”

    Some villages, despite what the State has ensured or insured, probably won’t get adequate fuel cost-effectively delivered before freeze up. Apparently some villages are heading into winter without adequate heating supplies.

  10. alaskapi Says:

    I think- here- we all are in serious danger of allowing frustration with a specific state employee get in the way of moving forward. I know I am teetering on the brink…

    The “I’ll get back to you… ” routine drives most of us everyday folks wild when it comes out of a public servant’s mouth… especially when it happens over and over.

    I said on another thread-
    “We make mistakes and hire a lot of nincompoops, at times, to write laws and we get ourselves off on tangents about who ought to do what in the relationship, but in the end, the polity- the group, has business-politics, to conduct and we hire folks to conduct that business for us.”

    Sometimes the folks we hire to conduct our business hire twits to do part of the job as well…
    I would prefer the twit ” I’ll get back to you…” here would turn in her keys and go do something else but it is likely not going to happen , so I-
    1- choose not to let frustration with her derail important activities.
    2- will remember her retention by the gov when it comes time to think about who to vote for next gov-go-around…

    Giving into frustration is human but , in the end, not a workable solution to anything.
    The messes in rural Alaska were a long time in the making . Each tiny step forward FEELS too tiny but needs to be seen for what it is… a tiny step forward.
    That our current governor has followed through with outreach to determine whether bulk fuel is in place for winter , bulk fuel loans are available ( which IS a unique Alaskan program… ) and so on, IS a positive tiny step.
    That our current governor has expanded the outreach by the rural sub-cabinet to rural Alaskans themselves IS a tiny step. (Will wait and see what recommendations the subcabinet ACTUALLY makes to the governor before throwing a party though…)
    That Mr Moller has provided the lists of agencies and sources available for fuel assistance to rural Alaskans is appreciated but depressing…
    It drops us all right back to the place of knowing that poor economic conditions in too many rural communities put fuel out of reach for our neighbors even when it is available … unless they get help.
    Some of the signs on the horizon like the Leg Energy taskforce recommendations and so on, give hope that solutions that move us to affordable energy sources are possible .
    Alaskans- go here and read the draft and DO make recommendations and add ideas!!!!
    http://energy.aksenate.org/

    Time to ask where the ideas are which will support economic INdependence for rural Alaska…??
    What infrastructure is necessary to support keeping bush $$s circulating in the bush? To help our neighbors have the same chance of spending more of their few $$ at home that we have in more urban areas?
    Time to ask some other questions…

  11. Jim Says:

    Randy Ruaro sent an email with an update on the fuel status for villages. He didn’t send a copy of the entire report so I don’t know what the status is in specific places– I’ve been concerned about the lower Yukon, and also especially the Kuskokwim. Apparently about 95 percent of villages are set for winter. The bad news is, at this time, apparently 5 percent aren’t.

    It was nice for Mr. Ruaro to send an update, especially since I didn’t ask for it. This is a positive contrast to the crummy experiences described above.

    Speaking of crummy experiences, it seems the State’s press release about the Barrow subcabinet trip was last minute. I’m not sure if the word got out. Also I’ve questioned the Department of Law several times over the past few months about the travel clause in Administrative Order 247. They decided to interpret that clause in a way that allows subcabinet members to travel on State funds, but they never clarified that despite repeated communications from me. They really need to get their act together and include the public, especially concerned citizens.

    I think Ann, Victoria, Nicholas Tucker, and anyone else who would be interested in meeting with the subcabinet should contact them and let them know. I could see the subcabinet traveling to Bethel or Emmonak but not getting the word out in a timely manner so local people can meet with them. It could be infuriating to learn after the fact that they were there.

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