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View Diary: Sen. Murkowski pondering 'hold' on Sally Jewell's nomination over rejection of remote Aleutian road (189 comments)

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  •  A thousand years ago, (14+ / 0-)

    Your 14-year old daughter with a burst appendix would be dead.

    We try to do a little better than that these days, that's what so special about now.

    •  Helicopters, for one thing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha

      Don't need roads for medivac any more.  Why do you want a 11th Century solution (road)?

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:30:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As noted in my post... (18+ / 0-)

        ...four people, including the patient, were killed in a medevac flight that didn't make it out of King Cove. That, and other crashes, is what first spurred the attempt to find alternatives.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:55:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is that photo of the real island? (4+ / 0-)

          that is awe inspiring

          "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

          by eXtina on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 05:03:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's a questionable presumption (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eXtina, Eikyu Saha, splashy

          that the road would be any safer, or even passable, in the same conditions.  Or that the "all weather" airport at the destination would be "safe", or actually even be open, either.

          The excuse doesn't wash . . . there's some other reason for the road, and "medical emeregency" is a drummed up cover story.

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 05:12:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)

            That doesn't make sense. I know I can drive an ordinary passenger car in conditions that are absolute no-fly for any helicopter. 50-mph winds, whiteout snowfall, freezing fog, freezing rain. I've driven in all those conditions, and one assumes that the town would be using vehicles a little more capable than the '72 Corolla I used to drive. :-)

            If I were emergency services in King's Cove, I'd want the road. It's always good to have options, and I'm the one people call when their child is dying.

            That said, the majority of the townfolk don't want the road because they don't want to mess up the wildlife habitat, and I'm quite sure that Murkowski does indeed have corporate friends that think it would be very interesting to have the first exception to the no-roads regulations.

            I'm glad to see FWS is pushing back, that is their job. I don't assume Murkowski's motivations are entirely corrupt. I don't know what the best public-health decision is...

            •  Why, Republicans, why? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Around here, they have just built a beautiful bypass of our city even though many of us don't particularly want said bypass, and spent millions of dollars doing so.  I-69 is being extended from Indianapolis to Evansville even though the farmers along the path of the road do not want it.  

              How can they say that you're being conservative with spending when they shove multi-million dollar projects down our throats?  Why not offer a tax cut, perhaps named after the NIMBY cities and counties who do not want the infrastructure?  

              "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

              by Yamaneko2 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 07:52:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  If they can't get a helicopter in (1+ / 0-)
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              how are they going to get a plane out (at the other end of the road)?  And if the weather is so bad that nobody can fly, what are they going to put on that road in those same conditions . . . a snowplow, a grader for the washouts, and a tow truck to pull the ambulance out of the ditch?  And what then about the next village, 20 miles further down the coast?

              It does not compute.  Something else is motivating this . . .

              Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

              by Deward Hastings on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:18:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Come here and take a look (3+ / 0-)

                before you start pontificating.  It really irritates us Alaskans how folks with absolutely no knowledge of Alaska think they know it all.

                The topography here creates microclimates.  The weather on one side of a mountain ridge can be completely different from that on the other side, especially in the area around King Cove (not King's Cove), which is exposed to weather that Cold Bay (a bay protected by mountains from the prevailing winds) is not.

                And these folks haven't lived there for a thousand years;  ten thousand years or more, according to archeological data.

                "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

                by HarpboyAK on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:55:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You might have an answer to my question (0+ / 0-)

                  From the diary:

                  Using a Hovercraft for 30 emergencies from 2007 to 2010 proved to be too expensive for the village, which is served by a clinic run by the Indian Health Service. The clinic has medical personnel, but no physician.
                  Why doesn't the village have a physician?

                  It seems a local clinic could be staffed for less than building a road.

                  30 emergencies from 2007 - 2010.

                  It's my opinion that the people who live there are an "endangered" culture and a road will surely result in additional changes to their culture.  It's a fair bet that a road that is built for emergency use only, and must be maintained, will eventually be used for other purposes.

          •  I'm thinking that too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Putting a road in is the start of developing the area for corporations like the oil corporations.

            You put a road in, and even if it's supposedly only for "emergencies" we all know that it will be used for all kinds of things. That's just how it goes.

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 01:08:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Somebody is going to make money putting in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              a road..
              And those somebodies often make political contributions.

              Just another factor/possible motivator to keep in mind.

              I confess to not being that familiar with living in Alaska,
              but I am familiar with how politics works.

              As they say; money is the mother's milk of politics.
              It seems to often be the prime motivating factor these days.

      •  Even in the 'lower 48', medevac choppers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        have way too many crashes. Combination of weather, equipment, etc.

        All I've read of the EIS, AD News comments and articles, suggest only the Coast Guard choppers from Kodiak as feasible air transport. Rarely, even they don't go out in risky weather. Fits the years ('80 - '83) my ex was the first Director of Hazardous Waste for AK DEC. He flew a whole lot of different aircraft chasing down probable waste sites all over the state. Some remote WWII navy sites he got to by CG choppers.

        Local support is mixed, without actually counting - didn't have all the response as far as I could tell, seems to be a stronger for the road.

        Big issue is whether it would ONLY be for medevacs or also for an estimated 10 - 15 taxis per day.  The purpose of those include more timely access to the CB airport. One comment was regarding how much time students lose per year due to how far ahead they have to leave to make flights. If some traffic is out there daily, it would be maintained in winter weather. Plenty of concern about other use - hunting, etc.

        Did find out there is telemedicine in KC. Could only be private HC service.

        I am on a fence about whether the feds should offer AK most of the money for whatever solution, and require the state to contribute some from the Permanent Fund. I think the residents need to start planning for the time there is no PF dividend check...

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:52:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I Am Not an Aviator (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But I do know that we tend to greatly over-estimate the capabilities of helicopters.  They're machines operated by people, and have very specific limitations and vulnerabilities.  Anywhere, Anytime, in Any Weather is a fantasy.  Sometimes, ground medevac/casevac is the quickest and wisest course of action.

        This issue is tough, as it involves two competing progressive interests: the rights of a diesenfranchised minority vs. protection of the natural environment.

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