Nenana Wellness Coalition
July 29, 2014
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.
We had ten participants today: Kat McElroy, Jessica Durtsche, Virginia Young, Donald Charlie, Laura, Trina Lawrence, Nancy Thierheimer, Clinton Wiehl, Harriet Borst and Miles Martin. We enjoyed baked ham with pasta and garden vegetable medley, mixed garden salad, and dates stuffed with cream cheese for lunch.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson, Virginia Young.
PRAYER was lead by Virginia Young, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no additions to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list with no reported issues.
Envisioning Wellness: Kat reported that she had made a direct verb al request of our current Village Public Safety Officer to come speak with us at WIN. Don Charlie had also encouraged him to come. VPSO Clinton Wiel had explained to Kat that his days off are typically Sunday and Monday so Tuesday is his first day back on the job, which makes for a busy day, but that he would attempt to come to WIN.
Clinton showed up about halfway through the meeting and was able to tell us a bit about himself and how he views his mission in Nenana. Clinton is a graduate of the TCCC program here in Nenana. He is glad to be back in Nenana and he and his wife have rented a place just south of town. Clinton is a Field Training Officer and in that capacity, he will have VPSO trainees with him, learning the ropes. In essence at any one time Nenana shall have two VPSO’s stationed here.
Clinton said that a VPSO is like the Alaskan version of a Sheriff. His job description covers all aspects of public safety: law enforcement, emergency medical response, fire and search and rescue. He said that as an Alaskan public safety officer, he is required to respond 24/7 to any domestic disturbance calls. As Nenana has EMS/Fire response teams, he will not have to be the sole responder to those emergencies, as is the case for many VPSO’s in remote Alaska. He is not involved in wildlife enforcement but he is responsible for boat safety. As a lifelong Alaskan, he said, he isn’t that concerned with non-commercial boat registrations. He was raised on the Yukon River. But he sees his job as helping people stay safe. Asked if it helps a VPSO knowing the people of a community where they serve, he described that as being a two-edged sword. It is good to know who people are, their personalities, but it is important to be impartial, to not play favorites. He says that is why he tends to be a bit of a loner socially, to maintain some distance.
Clinton answered questions for us and we had an enjoyable visit.
For Envisioning Wellness next week, Kat is slated to show the DVD Drunk In Public which depicts the life and death of a public inebriate in California, and explores some of the dynamics that lead to and support addiction and some barriers for professional helpers as well as people experiencing addiction to accessing/providing help. Tim said she would make up flyers; Miles said he would post the flyers.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Yeshua said to him, “If you are able to believe, everything is possible to the one who believes.” Mark 9-23, Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Miles: The Shields are no longer going to be able to do the food box delivery. Miles wonders is anyone is interested in taking that task on. This is something he would like placed onto the agenda.
Laura: Is a certified massage therapist and is open to do massage therapy either in the office at the RV Park or at your home. She does deep tissue, myofascial release, hot stone massage and neuromuscular body work techniques. She charges $40.00 per hour but also has a sliding fee if needed. Her number is: (720) 327-3653.
Harriet: Her son, Michael, just completed his third round of chemo-therapy for liver cancer. Please keep him in your prayers. Meanwhile, her grandson cut hius leg with a chain saw down to the bone , requiring surgery to repair the damage.
Kat: Having received her ETT certification, Kat has joined the Nenana EMS and is learning how to do dispatch for the 911 service. David is busy with hay: cutting, crimping, teddering, baling.
Jessica: Is busy every day after work and on weekends pickling and canning cucumbers, zucchinis and tomatoes, making pickles and relishes, and salsas. She and Ryan went down to Soldotna and caught six salmon which they also put up.
Nancy: Monday night she attended Game Night at Meda Lord Senior Housing, 6:30-8:30 PM, and it was really fun. They played chicken feet dominoes and Scrabble. Some people worked ion a puzzle. They had food and it was a nice big group.
Virginia: The farm tour Saturday went well. They had about 45 people come by. She was one of two farms toured in Nenana. Her harvest is all finished for the season; now it’s just a matter of keeping the plots weeded and the grass clipped. She is harvesting from the first several hundred plants she put in seven years ago. Every year her harvest will be larger as each next seasons plants come into production. “Peonies are the Cadillac of flowers,” she said. She is hauling dirt today. She had that 60 foot trailer on the place she is buying on 4th street demolished and hauled away. In five more years, Virginia will need to hire several people for harvesting her blossoms: pickers, sorters, runners. We had a short discussion about economic development such as the peony projects in rural Alaska and how to create value added. Smoke-tanned moose hide seems to be a natural product for local economic development; this would require a cohort of people who believe it could be done who are willing to do the organizational front work.
Donald: Reports that the renovations are moving along on the tribal hall. The new birch wood floors are in place and look good, as are the new LED lights. They replaced the old exhaust system which was so noisy with overhead fans and are putting in new benches. They had a funeral there this weekend for Don Wright, born and raised in Nenana, he wanted to come home to be buried. Plans are being made for Percy Duyck’s funeral (at 1 PM on Saturday, is this writer’s understanding). The Native Council continues renovating existing houses; they are remodeling one into a duplex and another into a four-plex to help create new housing in Nenana
Don’t forget to attend the Doyon community meeting to hear about the Nunivak Two drilling project, 6:00 PM, Friday, July 31st, at the tribal hall.
ADJOURNMENT: 2:10 PM