August 4, 2011 |

BREATHE?

A new sign at the Port Chilkoot Dock welcomes cruise ship passengers, and serves as a reminder for Haines residents to "BREATHE."

"It just occurred to me that what we need in our community, more than anything else, is for everyone to just relax," said Debra Schnabel, a former borough staffer who is a contractor for the Haines signage project.

The Haines Borough Assembly in April approved a contract with Boiler Room Custom Metal Work of Seattle for $21,378 plus freight for the fabrication of two kiosk signs as part of the project. That followed borough manager Mark Earnest authorizing $9,510 to MRV Architects of Juneau for preliminary design services and the assembly’s approval of $14,052 for final design work.

New maps at Dalton City and the Small Boat Harbor, with a cost of less than $10,000, did not require assembly approval.

As of last week, one of the kiosk signs was installed at the visitor center and the other at the Port Chilkoot Dock.

Each sign has a contextual map, but the dock sign includes a Ray Troll design and the "BREATHE" message on the side facing the street.

"I thought, ‘Wow, I would be the first one to complain if I came by and saw a big, blank piece of metal staring at me,’" Schnabel said.

She then contacted Troll, a Ketchikan artist, who provided the design for $300. She said Troll’s outdoor scene has "no connection" to the word on top that is targeted to the community.

Schnabel said she requested feedback from several residents before deciding on "BREATHE."

"I think it’s an attractive sign," said resident Andy Hedden. "The ‘breathe,’ I guess, I’ll have to get used to, but I like the idea of it, and it makes you look at the sign and think for a second."