• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 6s

King Cove residents react to road decision

By Bonney Bowman 6:56 AM December 24, 2013

"The secretary chose to look away from the people and say, 'You know, we're going to take care of the birds but we're sure not going to take care of you folks,'" said Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

ANCHORAGE – Some say it’s a decision that could mean the difference between life and death for people in southwest Alaska.

Monday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell denied a plan to build a 10-mile road connecting King Cove residents with emergency medical care.

When something goes wrong for residents in King Cove, they go to the local medical clinic. But if it’s something serious, emergency medical care is a plane or helicopter ride away — if weather permits.

That’s why a road is wanted and needed: to connect King Cove and the larger airport at Cold Bay. It’s been a battle people at King Cove have been fighting for 30 years.

On the front lines is lifelong resident Della Trumble, who heard about the decision Monday morning.

She said she felt, “shock, number one and just basically anger, I have to be honest with you. We’ve worked so hard.”

Trumble has seen the problem firsthand.

Over the years, more than a dozen of her friends and neighbors have died waiting to get emergency medical care.

“I couldn’t make my doctor appointments three months in a row because I couldn’t get to Cold Bay,” Trumble said.

King Cove does have a medical clinic, but it can’t handle major emergencies.

“I don’t care how much you upgrade that medical clinic,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. ”You’re not going to have an anesthesiologist out there, you’re not going to have somebody that can handle a heart attack.”

Jewell said she denied the road project to protect the millions of birds and other animals living in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

But Murkowski said other states have roads through preserves, like the highway through the Florida Everglades.

“The secretary chose to look away from the people and say, ‘You know, we’re going to take care of the birds but we’re sure not going to take care of you folks,’” Murkowski said.

The proposed road would have been 10 miles long with one lane, made of gravel and only for medical use.

Trumble said there has to be a way to balance the needs of the community while protecting the environment.

“We will fight until we get access and that is what we will do,” she said. “This isn’t over.”

A year ago, Murkowski threatened to hold up Jewell’s appointment to the cabinet if she didn’t personally visit King Cove to learn about the problem.

Today, Murkowski said she regrets voting to approve Jewell now that the secretary has denied the road project.

Latest Stories

  • News

    In Kenai, search continues for missing family

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 30, 22:46

    Kenai police are making a last push to find a missing family of four and their dog. Rebecca Adams, her two daughters and her boyfriend, Brandon Jividen, have been missing since late May. Kenai police conducted what could be their last search for the family Thursday. They focused their efforts on the large wooded area […]

  • News

    LNG project open house draws large crowd, many questions

    by Dave Leval on Oct 30, 22:39

    It’s the biggest project for the state since the trans-Alaska pipeline. Backers of a proposed LNG pipeline hope they have more support for it. People packed the Crowne Plaza of Anchorage for the latest open house Thursday. The Alaska LNG Project would build a gas liquefaction plant near Prudhoe Bay. The natural gas would then travel […]

  • News

    Judge rules on National Guard document release

    by Emily Carlson on Oct 30, 21:30

    On Friday, Alaskans will get a glimpse into what Gov. Sean Parnell knew about the Alaska National Guard scandal, and when he knew it. Thursday afternoon, a Superior Court judge ruled the state must provide a detailed log of hundreds of pages of emails by Friday at noon. Judge Greg Miller lectured state attorneys on Alaska […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 30

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 30, 20:06

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound: It will be turning mostly cloudy along the coast with a chance of snow and rain by afternoon. Western Kenai will have mostly dry conditions tomorrow. Southeast: There will be rain showers for the panhandle. Interior/Slope: The Interior will have mostly cloudy skies with a flurry or two. Heavy snow […]

  • News

    Keeping kids safe on Halloween

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 30, 19:20

    The key to Halloween safety starts with the costume, and Dooley’s Tuxedos and Costumes in Anchorage has dozens of options for little ones. Many manufacturers have avoided adding masks and instead found a unique way to create characters. “We have a lot of ones that come with the hoods,” explained owner Starla Heim. “They don’t want […]

  • News

    ConocoPhillips unveils shrinking capital budget plans

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 30, 18:10

    While oil giant ConocoPhillips announced a reduced capital budget during a Thursday earnings call, a spokeswoman for the company said there are no plans to decrease spending in Alaska. “Capital reductions reflect the tapering off of major project spending as well as reductions in some of our less mature unconventional areas,” said Amy Burnett, a […]

  • Politics

    Campaign 2014: Forrest Dunbar

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 30, 16:14

    This week, KTVA is running a series of interviews with the main candidates for office. Today, the focus is on Forrest Dunbar. He grew up in rural Alaska, became a wildland firefighter and a fisherman, joined the Peace Corps and wound up with degrees from Harvard and Yale. Quite the resume for a 30-year-old guy, […]

  • News

    Survey ranks Alaska low in energy efficiency

    by Associated Press on Oct 30, 14:32

    A new survey on how states are improving energy efficiency programs ranks Alaska near the bottom. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has been tracking energy inefficiencies for eight years. It issues an annual survey on whether states are making progress. This year’s survey ranked Alaska 47th in the nation. Much of Alaska’s low […]