June 19, 2012
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
There were 12 in attendance today, including: Kat McElroy, David Poppe, Bonnie Reed, Tara, Virginia Young, Bub Coghill, Maryellen Robinson, Mary Alexander, Jeannie Bennet and Rebecca, Bill & Emily Troxel.
We enjoyed lentil with ham and chicken soup, fresh watermelon, mixed green salad, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and raisins and pecans for lunch.
WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT, by this week’s chair-person: Rebecca Troxel.
PRAYER was led by Jeannie Bennet, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no additions to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes were posted at the WIN link at www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Jeff “Bub” Coghill, Jr. is our new VPSO. This is his first time attending WIN.
Envisioning Wellness: Jeannie suggested that we ask Brent Mitchell to give a presentation about the summer internship program he is doing for Soil Conservation Service; he has a youth group working on trail restoration and removal of invasive weeds. She noted also that Jan Allen is doing litter patrol around Nenana with another youth group. She wonders if, in the absence of a grant to support these kinds of youth activities, there would be entities in our community willing to financially support the endeavors—for instance buying ice cream treats to reward work parties. She suggested Ice Classic, the Native Council, churches and individuals. Kat reiterated that WIN is seeking suggestions for presentations.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: May your words always be soft and sweet for someday you might need to eat them. – Earnest Goodenough
Jeannie: They had nine volunteers for Project Overhaul on Saturday, and took two loads of trash down to the landfill. Also, they had a good turnout for the Freecycle, lots of participants, including some new ones who have not been to Freecycle previously.
Mary School board met two times last week with a facilitator to formulate board goals, some of which include providing more professional development for staff and including parents when they do staff trainings. Another Joint City, School, Native Council meeting is being scheduled for July.
Rebecca GVEA have been around town cutting back trees; they tool care of several trees down her alley. She understands they will be back with a chipper to dispose of tree parts if you have any, they should be hauled out to the street and GVEA will chip them when they equipment arrives.
Bub: Gave a brief overview of his new position. He is hired thru TCC and governed thru the AST. He will continue receiving ongoing training from the troopers. He’s been doing some traffic stops. ATV safety will be a big focus; his intention is to maintain a strong but fair presence in the community. He discussed the push to enforce DUI and DV laws this is across all Alaska, not just in our community. This sparked discussion regarding alternatives to legal/criminal justice responses to family violence. He would like to see our community create a prevention/intervention program. However, if he sees domestic violence, he is bound by law to arrest. He mentioned that the Native Council is looking into obtaining a part-time Behavioral Health Aide. This might be a good place to begin to develop a local intervention response team. He said there are currently 327 state troopers in Alaska. There is a push to double the number of VPSO’s to fill in the law enforcement gaps. He will be provided a cell phone; meanwhile to contact him, go thru the emergency line, 832-0911. He wants to make attendance at all public meetings and functions a regular part of his work routine and will try to attend WIN on a regular basis.
Tara: Has been learning traditional smoked moose hide tanning from Alex at the Cultural Center; any interested community members are encouraged to join in with them.
Kat Is back at work. Planted five Valiant grape vines in her garden and will let people know how that goes.
David: No calves born yet. By his calculation, calving should have begun this week so he assumes the first breeding didn’t take and calves will arrive next month. His mother in Iowa has taken a turn for the worse. Hospice Care may be the next logical step; family are keeping him appraised.
Virginia: Auditors are conducting the annual audit at the school. Her peonies are coming along well. She has more and more ladybugs.
Bonnie There is a group of elders touring the Senior Center today.
Maryellen: The state DBH tobacco grants coordinator will be here next week. His name is Larry Kairaiuak; he will be at WIUN with her. It was suggested we put him on the agenda to give us an overview of the4 state efforts to reduce tobacco use in Alaska.
PINK continue planning their Prevention Carnival for June 30th, Noon-4 PM. The city will be supplying their dunk tank. She has also arranged to have a Bucking Salmon, Bouncy House, the Wrecking Ball and water balloons.
Tara: Asked Maryellen if she has heard anything about a push-back in Soldotna against the no-smoking in public buildings city ordinance. She said it was being framed as a religious freedom rather than individual rights issue. Maryellen said she has not. She noted that there usually is some push back when people begin to effect change in community norms.
Tara also provided us with a good alternative Wellness Thought: The only true measure of courage is your generosity of Spirit.
ADJOURNMENT: 2:10 PM.