Monday, October 6, 2008

Dan Barry from Akiachak, Alaska

Dan Barry's report this week is from Western Alaska, from one of the villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta around Bethel. (An earlier post about the region is here). The dateline is Akiachak, and Barry's report is based on his trip around this town of 585 with the local police chief, 23-year-old John Snyder. Barry reports on the high cost of living and the high rate of alcoholism in Akiachak, while hinting at the high incidence of suicide, too. Here is an excerpt that details the lack of waste facilities:

A few years ago, two-thirds of the village was finally connected to water and sewer lines; this is the one-third still waiting. Many residents, including Mr. Snyder, bathe with water retrieved from the Kuskokwim River and use honey buckets as latrines. Some of these malodorous buckets sit like garbage cans along the roadside.

Read the full, colorful story here, including discussions of the challenges of rural law enforcement, and tribal leaders' views of Sarah Palin.

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