Wilderness-wise Alaskans ordinarily regard the black bear as a fairly harmless beast, not nearly so dangerous as the brown and grizzly. But this summer residents of interior Alaska are changing their minds. Many are afraid to go hunting, boating or picnicking. Gold miners are afraid to mine. Homesteaders are afraid to clear their lands. City dwellers with country cabins are staying in their city apartments. Because:
At his mining camp last week William Strandberg was chewed to death by a black bear. Previously, a black bear had charged into the camp of three sleeping Fairbanks hunters and tried to drag one of them off in his sleeping bag. One of the hunters shot the bear, but not before he had mauled his victim. Two bear sows, one of them wounded, are at the moment on the prowl in Fairbanks (pop. 45,000). One of the sows, accompanied by two cubs, turned up in a backyard of the populated Hamilton Acres area. A resident shot and wounded her, but she got away, abandoning the cubs. Fearing that she might return for them, with children playing in the streets, fish and game officials shot the cubs. Plagued with bears, the Indian village of Tannanna has asked for help from the fish and game department. And as many as 20 bears a night visit the garbage dumps of the Eielson Air Force Base and the ballistic missile site in Clear.
Behind the rampage is a poor berry season and a shortage of fish, according to game wardens. The bears are hungry and, in this emergency, are willing to eat people.
Those tiny transistor radios that are heard in so many places nowadays—on the street, at ball parks, on beaches—probably fulfill some subconscious need in the shallows of the poor souls who use them publicly.
There may be sporting occasions when a transistor can be put to imaginative and constructive use—at a tedious cocktail party, for instance, one could sandwich a vital ball score or race result between a Tom Swifty and a tepid Martini—but generally we regard the instrument as an abomination.
The French attitude, we are glad to report, is Draconian. Signboards at all Paris racetracks announce that transistor radios are not permitted on the grounds, and the same ban applies to beaches and restaurants. When asked how he would explain this good taste, an official of the Soci�t� d'Encouragement pour l'Am�lioration des Races de Chevaux en France replied: "It's simply to prevent untoward noise from interfering with the pleasure of the spectators."
THE BEST YEAR OF THEIR LIVES
When Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions were suspended last April for gambling—betting on their own teams, that is—there was some feeling that the judgment of Pete Rozelle, National Football League Commissioner, might have been a bit harsh. Well, dry your eyes. Paul Hornung won't ring up any touchdowns this season, but his cash register is jingling a merry tune. And Karras' machine is in perfect harmony.