Tyler Swinton was part of the Alaska All-Star basketball team that traveled to Las Vegas and Anaheim, Calif. last month. Tyler attended statewide tryouts and made the team of nine incoming high school seniors. According to head coach Keenan Hollister, he considered character as well as skill and looked for players who could be “leaders on their teams next season.” The team practiced 10 days before traveling south to the Las Vegas Live tournament. Tyler’s team split their games 3-3 before heading to Anaheim for the Adidas Double Pump tournament. The boys won their first five games before losing in the final round. Tyler enjoyed the experience of playing with and against talented players for three weeks of “non-stop” basketball. Tyler’s uncle Doug Olerud surprised Tyler when he flew to Vegas to attend his first four games. Family friend and former resident Cam Skaugrud, who lives in Peoria, Ariz., also saw one of Tyler’s games. Tyler is back in Haines and enjoying open gym during weekday mornings before school starts.
Former summer resident John Bune spent two weeks in Haines with his brother-in-law George Cummings. He focused on catching up with old friends, including Fred Shields, Marge Ward, Dave and Inez Gross and Mark Sebens. The men took a trip to Gustavus where they enjoyed a whale-watching tour aboard the Taz with Tod Sebens and went charter fishing with Mike Halbert. John was last here in 2002 and arrived with a list of dozens of friends he wanted to see. During the fair, he saw even more people than he’d anticipated. He enjoyed a round of golf with Tyler and Ralph Swinton and was invited to brunch at the home of Debra Schnabel where he caught up with Debra’s parents, John and Erma Schnabel and met John’s niece, Barbara Dale Hansen and her husband Roger, who were visiting from Medford, Ore. John overnighted in Juneau, where he saw Jane Sebens before heading back to the 105-degree heat of Austin, Texas.
Burl Sheldon and Nancy Berland celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary Saturday with friends at their Mud Bay home. They cooked up sockeye salmon and crab and reminisced about their “surprise wedding” ten years earlier. Both Nancy and Burl’s mothers had been visiting Haines at the time and the couple invited friends to a party in their honor. Only Tim Shields, who acted as marriage commissioner, and his family, were in on the secret. Saturday’s party was a happy reminder of the special day, and included fair weather and frolicking whales offshore.
Margaret Piggott attended the 50th anniversary of the Arctic Institute of North America’s Kluane Lake Research Station, located on the south shore of Kluane Lake. Margaret was invited to participate in the weekend because of a taxonomy course she took in 2002. She enjoyed learning about a range of scientific research related to glacial systems and ecosystems of the Slims River and Canadian glaciers. Margaret searched for two plant species unique to the Slims River Delta, the Plantago maritima (seaside plantain) and the Aster yukokensis, that may have been disturbed during the recent road construction project. She wasn’t able to locate either species but plans to return at a later date. Fresh snow covered the mountains for part of her visit.
Earlier this summer Sean, Lisa and Zachary Cone spent two months in Europe with their former exchange student Stephan Fojtl. They stayed with Stephan and his family at their home outside Vienna, Austria and toured the area with excursions to swim in the Danube River and visit the family’s lake cabin in the Burgenland region. They also visited the Salzburg castle, where Zachary was wowed by the vast displays of swords and torture devices. They traveled with Stephan to Paris and stopped off at EuroDisney, which Sean noted had the looks of a Disney property flavored with the aloof attitude of the French employees. From Paris they took a high-speed railway to Munich where Stephan was especially impressed with the BMW factory and museum. The Cones welcomed a new foreign exchange student into their family for the coming school year. Reik Fischer arrived in Haines Friday from his home in northern Germany. Reik connected with Haines students through Facebook before his arrival and was met in Juneau by Caullen Taylor, who rode the ferry north with Reik. Reik is looking forward to playing basketball and has already attended open gym.
More than 65 children and adults attended the finale of this year’s Summer Reading Program at the Haines library Friday. Children’s librarian Holly Davis organized varied entertainment including songs from Tom Heywood. Recently hired library aide Jedediah Blum-Evitts greeted kids and handed out colorful temporary tattoos. This summer’s theme was “One World, Many Stories” and featured beginning language instruction by community volunteers. Participants on Friday sang a Hebrew alphabet song with Holly and learned “Japanese jumping jacks.” Yann Brown helped the group sing in French and Ania Koverdan counted to five in Polish. Carol Waldo brought two young men who are visiting from Lithuania. Algirdas Daunoravicuis and Andruis Pasuinas shared Lithuanian greetings and explained the symbolism of their country’s flag. They presented Holly with a children’s book about Lithuania. This year’s Summer Reading Program set new records with more than 10,000 books and chapters read by over 150 youth participants. The Summer Reading Program is supported by the Friends of the Library and the Waldo Memorial Fund, which was established by Bill and Carol Waldo to support youth programming at the library.