Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hump Day

Downhill From Here

I'm officially half-way through this tour of duty.  I went over the hump when I went on duty this evening, so everything is downhill from here.  Lots of things seem to be going downhill, not always in a good way.  Mostly that's just my grumpy attitude sounding off, though.

A Wee Bit of Snow Falling

Another bit of good news is that there has been a wee bit of snow falling since yesterday.  It's a very fine, light snowfall and not expected to bring much accumulation, but after the dry spell we've been through any bit of snow seems an improvement.  According to the forecast at Weather Underground tonight, the snow is expected to continue through the remainder of week, though only providing two or three inches on the ground. 

It seems rather ironic that at a time when the Lower-48 is getting hammered by seriously winter weather we in Alaska are suffering a snow-drought.  That just seems to be the way things go when El Nino takes over the weather.

Solstice 100 Canceled

I just got an Email from Two Rivers Dog Musher's Association president Becky Alexander, announcing that the Solstice 100 race, scheduled for this weekend, has been canceled.  In spite of this nice little snowfall the trails aren't in good enough condition to support a race at this time.  This comes only a couple of weeks after the Sheep Mountain 100 was also canceled. 

HIPAS Observatory Closed

UCLA's HIPAS Observatory in Two Rivers has been closed down, according to an article in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.  The HIPAS Observatory had a similar research role as the High frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, which is located near Gakona. The two Alaska facilities, along with the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, were the only ionospheric research sites operated by the U.S. government, according to the HAARP Web site.

Was the "Bush Vet" Hounded Out of Alaska?

Triggered by a Fairbanks Daily News Miner article under the headline "Popular Veterinarian May Have Been Run Out of Alaska", there is rampant speculation that Dr. Eric Jayne, frequently referred to as "the Bush Vet", has left Alaska due to complaints filed by some of his colleagues to the State Veterinary Board. Dr. Jayne was notable for traveling to remote bush communities and providing veterinary care in communities that have no other options for animal medicine available. 

According to the DNM article, Clinton Crusberg, a veterinarian in Delta Junction, complained that Jayne performs surgeries in sub-standard conditions and fails to conduct follow-up examinations.
Crusberg complained to the veterinary board following a clinic Jayne held in Delta Junction.   “I think he does fine work but he needs to do it in the right way,” Crusberg said. “He was doing surgeries in fire halls and community centers and stuff like that. It’s just not really up to snuff. It’s just poor practice, really.”

Commenting on the DNM website, some allege that Crusberg was motivated more by the unwelcomed competition than by any concern over Jayne's methods.  Dr Jayne frequently provided low-cost spay and neuter services.  Other vets providing similar services have also been hounded by competing veterinarians filing complaints with the State. 

One area vet with whom I am acquainted wrote, "When this process happens, we have no rights....no right to find out the details of the accusations, no rights to know who complained, and no rights to defend ourselves unless the Board wishes to hear us. You are in limbo until the Board completes their investigation which may take 2 years."

At the moment it looks as though the article is based on sketchy information at best, and no one other than Dr. Jayne really knows what is going on.  Personally, I hope he just away temporarily for the holidays.  In spite of the sour-grapes distributed by Dr. Crusberg, Dr. Jayne serves a very real need.  There just aren't any vets practicing outside of the road system, so the need for good quality animal care in remote areas is very acute.

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