Sunday, 23 August 2009
Death in Sarah Palin's Alaska
The ADN published a list of homeless people who died in the past few months in Anchorage.
Twelve people who were homeless or familiar with life on the streets have died outdoors in Anchorage this spring and summer, most of them in woods and parks. Only one death has been classified as a homicide. (Click here for the full list)
Another article asks: What's killing the homeless in Anchorage?
The city's homeless alcoholics are struggling with a complicated disease and can't see the consequences of their actions, said Melinda Freemon, director of the Homeward Bound residential program that helps them get off the streets. Many are in emotional tatters. They can't think beyond getting the next bottle of booze, the next meal, a place to camp.
Freemon says they are dying because of the "long-term health effects of chronic alcoholism ... the cumulative effect of years of living in unsafe conditions."
Anchorage, she said, is sorely lacking in help. People must wait months for a treatment bed. The number of detox spots in the area has dropped from 35 to 10.
This is the story in Anchorage. I would like to know about the rest of Alaska.
Another thing I would like to know is if the deaths of homeless people in Alaska, who clearly have mental health problems, are in any way related to the $650,000 "lost" and recently found in Sarah Palin's last budget.
Housing programs for the homeless received a $650,000 boost after it was discovered the money had been incorrectly deleted from then-Gov. Sarah Palin's budget proposal.
The board of directors for the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority approved the money and it was included in a budget forwarded to Palin's office.
There, the money was apparently compressed into a smaller sum with another pool.
David Teal of the Legislative Finance Division says the lapse escaped everyone's attention until after the session.
Most of the deaths in Anchorage ocurred before the quitter governor resigned.
A lot of deadly stuff goes on in Alaska. The figures for suicides and alcoholism are staggering.
The tally of deaths during Sarah Palin's short time in office is mounting. Some deaths (254) were the result of mismanagement of Medicaid and Medicare state programs (funded by bad, bad federal money). Now it seems that money destined for the homeless with mental health problems has been lost then found again. In the meantime, 12 people died in Anchorage alone.
How many more examples of mismanagement and inefficiency have yet to surface? How many more people have paid with their lives for Sarah Palin's inability to govern? She's no longer the governor, but the effects of her 31 months in office continue to be felt by the most vulnerable among Alaskans.
These things make any speculation about her teeth, facelifts, hair extensions and all the rest of it seem very trite indeed. But such speculation serves to highlight Sarah Palin's priorities in and out of office. How could such a shallow person cause so much damage in such a short time?
I will have to continue to write about her frivolous side together with the more serious issues or my head would explode.