I was looking for some information on water around North Pole, but because of my use of a specific word I ended up getting news articles that had nothing at all to do with what I was looking for. At the end of this post I will show you what I found instead, but first some news stories out of Bethel over the past year. I want you to fully understand the contrast of our lives here in North Pole compared to the past year.
First of all –
Bethel police said Monday that vandals had destroyed preschool classrooms and cars belonging to the Lower Kuskokwim School District.
Bethel Police Chief Andre Achee said the vandals broke into Mikelnguut Elitnaurviat Elementary School (also known as the M.E. School) over the weekend and damaged classroom property and cars parked nearby at the district office.
He said police have tentatively identified several suspects, but declined to provide further information on their identities Monday night. (Note from me: This was all done by children aged 3rd – 6th grade.)
KYUK reported  that preliminary estimates of the damage done to the preschool totaled at least $50,000. The damage to the 13 school district cars exceeded $50,000.
LKSD Superintendent Dan Walker told KYUK that it appeared people had thrown rocks at the cars. Inside the preschool, some computers were missing and some were thrown onto the floor. Water was running, toilets were clogged and several smart boards were torn off the walls, he said.
And another –
Bethel firefighters responded to the fire just before 9 p.m. that night. Bethel Fire Chief, Bill Howell describes the scene.
“The two officers on duty were able to contact a male subject matching the description provided by the witness. During the course of their contact with the male he disclosed that he did start the building on fire. The male was arrested and charged with Arson in the second degree. A warrant for his arrest was issued and he was charged and remanded at the YKCC,” said Achee.
According to court documents, Edwards told an officer he had been living at the restaurant for over a month. An affidavit says the man who was leasing the restaurant told police he was letting Edwards stay inside the restaurant and that Edwards had been cleaning it.
Edwards said he was paid a bottle of R&R Whiskey every two days instead of wages. He said that made him angry, so he started the fire. The documents say Larson said he thought about killing the man, due to his treatment, but did not want a life sentence.
(Note from me: I added the bolding to the really Bethel-y parts.)
And finally –
Alaska State Troopers said two young children are responsible for setting fire to a Western Alaska school Monday. Troopers contacted a 6-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl who they said are “directly responsible for intentionally setting the fire.”
These articles don’t even address the accidental deaths related to drinking, or the fights that turn into stabbings, or really any of the other day to day stuff. But it gives you an interesting snapshot nonetheless.
Which brings me to yesterday when I was trying to decided if the water that you can purchase from the water shacks in North Pole is filtered or just the same old sulfury stinky water we get from the taps. I typed in North Pole Water Dispensaries. I didn’t know what to call them. It turns out that the word dispensary can only mean one thing in Alaska. My search results were just a long line of the same story. A story that is still making me laugh.
Marijuana stores are welcome in the city with the motto “where the spirit of Christmas lives year round.”
The City Council on Monday rejected a measure that would have banned marijuana dispensaries in North Pole.
Even Santa Claus — yes, that’s his real name — spoke in favor of a marijuana store opening in the Christmas-themed community.
“As far as the image goes here at North Pole, how do most people perceive Santa Claus?” Claus said. “I would say Santa Claus is a pretty jolly fellow.
“I am a medical marijuana patient,” he said. “I would like to have access to medical marijuana here in North Pole and not have to travel to Fairbanks to get it.”
I guess we now know the secret to keeping Christmas forever magical.