The eighth grade class was celebrated during the Haines Middle School promotion ceremony May 24. Attendees were welcomed by Zayla Asquith-Heinz. The Waid Morgan Award recognizes an eighth grader who demonstrates excellence. This year’s recipient, who is chosen by his or her own classmates, was Caroline Ward. Middle school teacher Lisa Andriesen produced the entertaining and lively promotion video, which included photos of the class dating back to kindergarten.
The Rasmuson Foundation announced the 2011 recipients of their Individual Artist Awards recently. Writer Rosemary McGuire received an artist fellowship of $12,000 designed for mid-career artists. According to the Rasmuson Foundation, Rosemary will spend part of the summer canoeing the Yukon River for a writing project and plans to complete a collection of short stories this winter. The daughter of Sally and Tom McGuire, Rosemary is a commercial fisherman in Cordova. Glass artist Sarah Cohen received a project grant for $5,000 to purchase equipment for her glasswork. This was Sarah’s third attempt for a project grant. Grants are designed to support emerging artists in Alaska. Sarah felt she was able to demonstrate a cohesive body of work to the selection committee this year as a result of her Spotlight Series show at the Sheldon Museum. A total of 238 applicants applied for the project grants and artist fellowships with only 30 awards given. A panel of national artists and leaders in the arts judged applications.
The Golden Mouse, a new studio and gallery, showcases the work of Sarah Cohen, Merrick Bochart and Irene Hofling. Located in the fairgrounds at Dalton City, the space is operating as a working studio as well as a gallery for the three artists. Merrick is at work on painting projects and Irene will sew and sell her clothing made from vintage and recycled fabrics. Although the gallery isn’t keeping regular hours, “between the three of us there’s a pretty good chance that someone will be there,” said Sarah. They are also hosting “Last Friday” open studio events on the last Friday evening of each month, from 6-8 p.m.
Arlene Jackson spent two weeks traveling by ferry to visit family. She spent four days in Juneau with her sister, Kathy Tibbles, who celebrated a birthday, before heading down to Ketchikan to see her son, Hans Antonsen, and his family. She attended her granddaughter Karina Antonsen’s graduation from high school and was able to catch two baseball games of her grandson, Hans Michael Antonsen. Hans Michael and his father share a birthday, which the family celebrated during Arlene’s visit. Arlene has plenty of time to relax and read on the ferry trip, and enjoyed catching up with Tony Tengs during her journey.
Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood’s Grand Camp Presidents, Richard and Janice Jackson, were in Haines last week. Both have family ties to the Chilkat Valley, and attended a potluck dinner at the ANB/ANS Hall during their stay. The dinner turned into a lucrative fundraiser when past ANB President David Light announced that he would donate $5,001 toward the building remodel project in memory of his wife, Louise Light. His donation will be used for the handicapped accessible bathroom to be built on the main floor of the building. At the same dinner Marilyn Wilson pledged $5,002 toward the remodel project in memory of her husband, Paul Wilson. According to ANB Treasurer Lee Heinmiller, the remodel design is complete and work will begin this summer. In addition to new bathrooms, the basement kitchen will see improvements and the handicap ramp will move to a more convenient location on the north side of the building.
The Summer Inn has a new innkeeper this summer. Hannah Roberts grew up in New Hampshire and graduated recently from Gordon College in Massachusetts, with a degree in philosophy. She started her Alaska stint with the inn owners, Maryellen and Bob Summers, at their home in Soldotna. The three drove to Haines where they helped orient Hannah to her new job. Outgoing innkeeper Jenty Fowler has worked at the Summer Inn two years. Jenty’s last day is June 10. She plans to stay in Haines for the summer.
Sisters Marina and Lydia Loewen enjoyed a two-week visit from their grandmother, Catherine Loewen, who lives in Kodiak. Catherine came to Haines to help her son Reuben with the girls while their mom, Rosalie Loewen, was on the east coast for her 15-year college reunion. Rosalie spent time with her college roommates in the Boston area and with her parents and sister in Wayland, Mass.
Haines writers were well represented at the North Woods Writers’ Symposium in Skagway last week. Faculty presenters included Heather Lende and Dan Henry. Participants had the opportunity to network and learn from experienced writers, and to share their work with their peers. Haines attendees included Debi Knight-Kennedy, Stephanie Scott, Maggie Stern, Carol Tuynman, Kay Clements, Mike Van Note, Deborah Marshall, Robin Grace and Charlie Henry. The welcoming atmosphere in Skagway, and the accessibility of the professional writers impressed participants. The symposium was “fantastic,” according to Debi Knight-Kennedy. “It was very inspiring to be welcomed into an encouraging community of writers.”
Michael and Michelle Byer are in Massachusetts visiting their daughter and son-in-law, Jesse and Andrew Whiteley in Belchertown, Mass. Jesse is a case manager for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Andrew is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Over the weekend Michael and Andrew participated in the 100-mile Katelynn’s Ride, a benefit ride to raise money for cancer research and treatment. Although the longest training ride he completed was 50 miles, Michael was able to “dig down and persevere” to complete the entire ride. He raised $475 for the event. Michael will return to Haines next week. Michelle plans to stay through the month.