Greg Kim

News Reporter

Greg Kim is a news reporter for KYUK. In his past life, he worked as a software engineer in Seattle, WA. He visited Bethel in 2019 for the Kuskokwim 300, and decided he wanted to tell the stories of the people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

For the first time in history, the Bethel City Council passed an ordinance to compensate members for attending meetings. But it will only take effect if a public vote affirms the decision. The council has not yet acted to place the measure on the ballot in October. 

The ordinance introduced by Fritz Charles passed 4 to 3, with Charles, Mayor Fred Watson, Vice-Mayor Raymond “Thor” Williams, and council member Carole Jung-Jordan voting for compensation. Council members Leif Albertson, Mitchell Forbes, and Perry Barr voted against the ordinance. 

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Bethel City Council had a busy night. Among other things, it signed off on its roads plan and approved ONC's Ciullkulek Subdivision.  

The vote on the subdivision was unanimous. ONC has plans for 38 homes and a senior center near the post office, and has touted the project as new affordable housing in Bethel. The roads plan seeks more than a million dollars in federal funding under the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and would require a $175,000 city match.

Attendees at Project Homeless Connect line up for a bowl of soup.
Anny Cochrane

Bethel held its fourth ever Project Homeless Connect event last Friday at the cultural center. The purpose of the event was to connect Bethel’s homeless population with services they might not already know about. 

2019 Best in the West winners with organizers and sponsors.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Six local entrepreneurs won funding from Bethel’s Best in the West competition this year, and are taking home their portions of the $33,500 that was awarded. That's up from $26,000 last year, all to help finance potential businesses. The winners talked about what they’ll use the money on.

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Bethel City Council postponed a budget meeting Tuesday due to lack of quorum. That’s the third time in a row that not enough council members have showed up.

The delay in budget meetings started on April 30, when Leif Albertson was the only council member in attendance.

Albertson missed the next meeting, but so did every other council member besides Fritz Charles.

The Bethel Freestyle Wrestling Club at the Alaska USA Wrestling State Tournament.
Darren Lieb / Bethel Freestyle Wrestling Club

The Bethel Freestyle Wrestling Club amassed over 50 podium finishes in the Alaska USA Wrestling State Tournament last week in Wasilla. The club racked up nine gold medals, with many athletes collecting multiple medals in different categories.

Landon Smith was undefeated in the tournament, taking home gold in both freestyle and folkstyle in the Cadet 16 and under 113 pound weight class. 

The proposed location of the Ciullkulek Subdivision.
Calvin Cockroft / ONC

Last month, Bethel City Council introduced an ordinance to enter into an agreement with the Orutsararmiut Native Council to develop the Ciullkulek Subdivision. This happened the same month that the city approved the Blue Sky Subdivision agreement. 

ONC Executive Director Peter Evon says that Ciullkulek Subdivision’s focus on affordable housing makes it different from the Blue Sky Subdivision. 

Bethel's Fire Chief Bill Howell serving as Acting City Manager
Greg Kim / KYUK

Bethel Fire Chief Bill Howell is now Bethel’s Acting City Manager. City council appointed Howell to the position last week, three days after publicly firing former City Manager Pete Williams. As KYUK reports, Howell has sat in the city manager’s seat before, but never under these circumstances. 

Bethel City Council held a regular meeting on June 26, 2019.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Bethel City Council introduced an ordinance last week that would pay its council members for attending meetings. It wasn’t the first time council has considered compensating itself. Five times, a version of an ordinance to compensate city council members has been introduced; five times it has been voted down. 

Bethel Fire Chief and Acting City Manager Bill Howell
City of Bethel

Fire Chief Bill Howell is serving as Bethel’s Acting City Manager after Bethel City Council appointed him to the position on Friday. All council members attended the special meeting except Perry Barr, who was attending his daughter’s high school graduation. Vice-Mayor Raymond “Thor” Williams nominated Howell for the position, and the rest of the council unanimously agreed.