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Joe Joe Prince - Bethel

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:10:34 AM AKST   Updated On: Oct 28 2013 03:58:28 PM AKDT

One Alaska starts a discussion on challenges facing Alaska and possible solutions. We want to start off in Bethel, and Joe Joe Prince's story. 

On any given day you can find Joe Joe Prince out in Bethel finding its beauty. He says what people might know him for this most is taking pictures. But his everyday job is as a school bus driver. He says he’s been told “the kids love me on the bus because I treat them fairly. I’m not Mr. Mean bus driver.”

He says he tries to teach the kids how to be kind, because if you teach them young they will be nice the rest of their lives. But Joe Joe does say some children are disrespectful in Bethel.

“I’ve noticed living here these kids nowadays don’t have any respect at all. Not like the old days where everyone respected each other, but it’s a free for all for the kids,” Prince said.

He says the kids complain there is nothing to do, but according to Joe Joe, that’s far from the case. He suggests they go help an elder, go fishing, go boating, go for a bike ride or do what he does and take pictures.

Joe Joe also made a promise to himself a long time ago that he wouldn’t drink, and he’s kept true to that promise. He says the worst part of living in Bethel is the overuse of drugs and alcohol. And while some are fighting a hangover, Prince loves “going boating and fishing so their loss, I’ll go catch the fish.”

During his free time when he’s not snapping pictures you can find Prince behind the grill. He says he loves the compliments he gets from friends about his barbecue skills.
“Bethel is special," Prince said. “That’s part of the reason why I’m so friendly with everyone. Make them feel welcome here. Someone has to be the nice guy here.’