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Old 05-29-2008, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
12,615 posts, read 12,779,903 times
Reputation: 7514
Well, Travelmate38 has been very honest, and I do agree with most of the points he has made, although not word by word in relation to each.
Quote:
1. The winters are long, dark, cold depressing. If you go somewhere sunny and warm about the middle of January, you will realize just how much the dark and cold is affecting you. It is not good for your health.
For some reason, my wife, two sons, and I are not bothered about such things, perhaps because we participate in outdoors activities winter and summer. But a lot of people are just like he says.
Quote:
3. Your kids have 92% chane that once they are done with school they will leave.
Some do, some don't. Mine are still here, and work in Fairbanks along their girlfriends.
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4. Lots of psychotic people live here. Jousting with snow machines and chainsaws is not out of the realm here. Rejects from the lower 48 who could not fit in down there, come here. Not all people, I'm not stereotyping, but a high percentage. And if you're not nuts when you get here, many go nuts after a few years.
That's mostly true. This has been proven over and over through the years.
Quote:
5. Lots of drugs, gangs, and "gang culture" here now, especially in Anchorage.
Quite true, specially around Anchorage, although "some" of the trash has reached Fairbanks. Lots of drug use, but gangs have a harder time because of the large police force.
Quote:
6. Summers, ahhhh, everyone yells about how great the summers are. We get about 12-14 days like today (sunny and warm) the rest are overcast, drizzly, wet or down pouring rain. If you state differently, you're lying to yourself! Just when you get sick of the overcast, drizzle, winters hits again.
We get more sunny and warm days around Fairbanks.
Quote:
7. The average Alaskan does not live a full life expectancy. People become obese, unhealthy, resort to alcohol, then die young.
Somewhat true. The long winters, if one stays indoors, turns you into a couch potato. Boys and girls can easily turn into Alaska tomatoes, which are "plump and juicy" (some folks say)
Quote:
8. When the economy goes through a rough patch here, people bail so fast it will make your head spin. They have no interest in riding out the storm. They pack up and go, just like the hispanics do in the lower 48 when the constructions jobs are gone. They bail!
Somewhat true. The AK economy has been boom and bust. It has happened in the past, and it will happen again. Folks who always want the newest and the biggest toy, house, etc., end-up over-stretching their budgets, and get stuck with a lot of things and no money to pay for them. They just run South.
Quote:
9. Everyone is going to come here, hunt the land, fish, garden, do all the Alaskan stuff. It almost never happens. Just like other places, people get aught up in paying the bills and working their butts off to survive. All those dreams become distant memories in the rear view mirror.
True for some folks, although I fish, hunt, enjoy Alaska's outdoors, and still manage to save and invest, although I already retired once and am working on my second retirement.
Quote:
10. Health care in Alaska stinks. Under-qualified medical personell. Reject doctors from the lower 48 come here because they got the boot down there. For many years if you went to the ER in Palmer with any sort of major medical problem, chances are you would die in there. I actually believe they were so incompitent in that place, they killed people.
I don't know about Palmer, but it's true that the medical system in Fairbanks stinks. One hospital system controls everything, mainly because the lawmakers in Juneau created a law that stops any other company or person from building another hospital. This is not the fault of the existing hospital system, but of the legislators in Juneau.

Most of my coworkers go to Seattle or to Anchorage for surgery. In fact, a dental crown canal alone costs around $1,200+ Just imagine going to the ER (for a medical emergency) and staying there for four or five days? You better have a good insurance, That's all I can tell you. Would you believe that it's cheaper to fly out of Alaska for surgery tan staying here? Believe it or not, some of my coworkers get surgery done in Seattle, spend a week vacation there, and then come home. The insurance pays for the surgery, but not for flying back and forth, of course But if you have relatives there and want to visit them.... guess what?
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:46 AM
 
Location: The Woods
14,237 posts, read 12,578,514 times
Reputation: 5771
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmate38 View Post
Everyone is going to come here, hunt the land, fish, garden, do all the Alaskan stuff. It almost never happens. Just like other places, people get aught up in paying the bills and working their butts off to survive. All those dreams become distant memories in the rear view mirror.
Well that's why I've taken the approach of ensuring my bills (land mostly)are all paid before I move up there. I'll most assuredly be doing all that stuff, because I can assure you that there ain't any jobs to speak of where I'll be moving to, so there won't be much choice in the matter (well except the fact I chose to do so )...

Oh, the Interior is a lot sunnier during the summer than the southern parts of the state. You do sort of make up for that lack of much rain though with the wild fires that happen in the Interior, so it's a trade off I guess...more sun, more wildfires.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,223 posts, read 7,306,749 times
Reputation: 2189
Yep. I know lots of peeps too who fly down to SEA for medical or even Vancouver, BC. It's just cheaper and better quality.

I think alot of people have pie in the sky views and ideas of Alaska, alot of it they probably get from sensationalized television or books, and then they get up there to find it's quite different. The deal is that although the nature and wildlife is beautiful and your quality of life improves in that respect, you pay for that in other ways: mainly in financial and material sacrifice. Can you do with less? Can you do more with less? Is the payoff worth it? Many do and enjoy it and stay. Many do and it wears on them after a while. And many simply realize that as age creeps up, dealing gets more difficult, be it with cold, dark, healthcare, money, whatever, and they end up leaving. It's not a bad thing. It's called being smart and knowing what you are willing to compromise and when you've reached your limit.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:40 PM
 
15,558 posts, read 14,652,747 times
Reputation: 6543
You know, I have to take issue with the statements in this thread along the lines of how the only reason people leave Alaska is because they can't hang.

Yes, we all know those who come up thinking that it's somehow going to fix their lives. It doesn't, so they leave. Somehow I think that's going to be happening more and more. But a lot of other people move for different reasons; I know several people who live in the interior who have moved after living there a long time, and every one of them has more than proven their ability to "make it" in the North. One couple I know want to spend their retirement years closer to their children and grandchildren--which I think is a real common reason. One guy I know realizes that if he spends the rest of his life in the bush, he will most likely be doing so alone, and he plans on spending his winters elsewhere from now on (and ladies, he's a keeper). A lot of the younger people who move up are adventurous types in the first place and who can blame them for wanting to experience as much of the world as possible before they settle down?

Many of our own young people leave; mine did. They all have their reasons; academics was a factor in the Prince's decision to live elsewhere.

Personally, I had every intention of going back this spring after visiting my place in the Cascades, but I'm still down here. My reasoning includes the fact that the caneberries get more sun here and are therefore sweeter--better quality of daiquiris. Hemp oil for cooking is also more readily available. I also don't want to get a telephone call in the all too near future that makes me wish that I'd had just another month, week, hour, whatever---because that time is now. Aging parents are another reason some of us choose to spend more time "down south".

But, to address the OP's original post, I can't compare the kind of growth and development that's going on in Wasilla to the parts of Alaska I'm more familiar with, so I've got two different answers specific to the two different places I'm most familiar with. People moving up to the Su-Valley tend to be of the non-wanker variety and they don't rake my nerves so much. SE....is too much like the lower 48 anymore, with the exception of maybe Haines and Petersburg with regards to the more populated areas. Sorry to have to bust a myth, but southern SE Alaska is has no shortage of those who wouldn't have a snowball's chance of making it in the lower 48. When I look at those people it's a bit tough to buy the self reliant Alaska thing....

I think that most of us have been so soured by people moving into our communities carrying carpetbags and thinking only about what they can take that we forget that others who come and go have valid reasons for doing so.

That said, I understand that carpetbag sales are on the rise in the -48 Wal*Marts.

Last edited by Metlakatla; 05-30-2008 at 09:12 PM..
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,905,929 times
Reputation: 644
Default old folks, specialty hospitals, and opportunity

When long-time established Alaskans end up leaving the state I've been seeing at least three different reasons: old folks, specialty hospitals, and opportunity.

Old folks goes two ways, as in people who are getting old themselves and people who's folks are getting old. People family situations are largely beyond their control, and when it comes time for someone to take care of mom or dad moving them up here usually isn't the option. And as far as getting old yourself goes, it's no joke digging out from a couple feet of snow a couple dozen times a winter when you're worried about fracturing a hip.

For some it's just bad luck medical-wise. Even in Anchorage there isn't much in the way of specialty medical care, and no specialized hospitals. Medicine these days is too complicated for any one hospital to be expert in everything, let alone in a remote, medium-sized town like ANC. As far as the rest of the state goes, even more so. The fact of the situation is that if you need specialized medical care, you're probably not gonna get it in AK.

For the recently graduated, leaving Alaska is almost a right of passage. Outside of certain limited fields there just isn't much opportunity compared to the lower-48. If you're lucky and determined, you can get the training and experience that you'll need to return to a good job here. It's unfortunate, but the facts of the matter is that the job market in AK is too small and in many cases too specialized to absorb all the local kids. It's especially apparent in the smaller towns. For someone to get a "good" job, one with decent wages and benefits, someone else has to die or retire first.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:26 AM
 
45 posts, read 150,335 times
Reputation: 17
Travelmate 38, I'm just curious....where are you moving to?
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
14,719 posts, read 23,815,850 times
Reputation: 12651
Quote:
Originally Posted by My2cats1 View Post
Travelmate 38, I'm just curious....where are you moving to?
I think it's just a ploy to keep newcomers from moving here. In reality he loves it here, and is not leaving at all!
I love the cold, the dark, the rain, the fish, the prices don't bother me, I grow a garden, swim in the local lakes in the summer (by the way...swimming in the rain makes the water feel real warm), don't let the wanna be gang bangers bother me, and would only consider Sweden as a place to move. Which put's me in the same exact environment I have here. The sun burns me, the humidity kills me in the lower 48. I could never move there and feel I would die much sooner in that type of conditions than in a colder climate. And besides...with the climatic change warming us up...it's just gonna get better here!
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
12,615 posts, read 12,779,903 times
Reputation: 7514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rance View Post
I think it's just a ploy to keep newcomers from moving here. In reality he loves it here, and is not leaving at all!
I love the cold, the dark, the rain, the fish, the prices don't bother me, I grow a garden, swim in the local lakes in the summer (by the way...swimming in the rain makes the water feel real warm), don't let the wanna be gang bangers bother me, and would only consider Sweden as a place to move. Which put's me in the same exact environment I have here. The sun burns me, the humidity kills me in the lower 48. I could never move there and feel I would die much sooner in that type of conditions than in a colder climate. And besides...with the climatic change warming us up...it's just gonna get better here!
Yes, more "global warming" would be great for Alaska, but this year it has been quite cool in the interior. Last week we had a couple of nights of frost
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,905,929 times
Reputation: 644
Default burning light in the sky

If global warming is responsible for the ten-ish rain-free days we've had in a row here, I say...bring it on!

We're getting to the point where that burning light in the sky is growing familiar, and some people are working on their second sunburn already.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:59 PM
 
763 posts, read 1,457,400 times
Reputation: 222
We hit 56 here in Homer a few days back.
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