Julia Rose Fitzgerald was born Aug. 29 in Anchorage to former Haines residents Niki and Dan Fitzgerald. Julia weighed 7 lbs., 12 ozs., and measured 21 inches. Dan’s mother, Marsha Fitzgerald, was in Anchorage for Julia’s arrival and was with big sister Annika during the birth. Everyone is doing well.
Athena Gross and Jesse Alsup married Sept. 2 in Haines, surrounded by family and friends. Athena’s parents, Inez and Dave Gross, were in attendance along with her siblings John-Earl and Autumn Gross and grandmother Marianne Tompkins. Jesse’s family included parents Ron and Laurie Alsup and his sisters; Elissa Brooks and husband Chris, and Ronnie Alsup and friend Gary Hansen. The couple’s son Waylon stayed bundled up against the windy day. Friends Kaitlin Podsiki and Brian Combs served as witnesses and the Alsups hosted a reception at their Mud Bay Road home. Magistrate John Hutchins officiated.
KHNS radio host and production assistant Bill Annis has a new set of wheels. Grants from Southeast Alaska Independent Living, the Alaska Mental Health Trust and the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation helped him purchase an electric vehicle. After hip replacement surgery, Bill didn’t feel as safe on his bicycle. He approached SAIL for assistance, and they helped Bill reach out to grant sources to purchase a GEM electric cart that was for sale in Haines. Friend Don Poling helped Bill get his driver’s license. SAIL development director Sierra Jimenez said,
"Bill is a perfect example of how sometimes just a little help can make a world of difference in someone’s life. Bill’s story is exactly what SAIL is all about – giving people the tools they need to be as independent as possible and to have control over their own lives."
Haines resident George Figdor was among the more than 1,250 people arrested in Washington, D.C. while protesting the proposed, 1,700-mile tar sands pipeline, which would link Alberta, Canada and Texas. Organized by author Bill McKibben, the peaceful protest was reported to be the largest act of civil disobedience since 1977. George was trained in direct-action civil disobedience before he stood in front of the White House fence with about 120 others. Protesters were handcuffed with plastic zip-ties and led to waiting vans where they were transported to a remote detainment facility. George was released after paying a fine. He said he was moved by the "intense sense of commitment and purpose" he felt. "I felt like I was finally having an opportunity to vote on the kind of planet I want to leave for my children’s generation, and that my vote was somehow being counted."
The congregation of Haines Presbyterian Church honored their faithful pianist Teresa Land, who served the congregation for almost nine years. Each week Teresa, who teaches music at the school and in private lessons, would practice and play for the service before slipping out at the sermon to attend church at Haines Christian Center with her husband David. Teresa left her position at the church to pursue other interests.
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell joined worshippers at Haines Presbyterian Church on Sunday. He and his wife Sandy quietly joined the congregation at the back of the church, and introduced themselves during the service. He stayed for social hour and seemed to be enjoying a weekend break in Haines. State Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Haines, said Parnell’s visit was recreational.
Longtime residents Blaine and Dawne Thomsen will load a U-haul and head south to North Logan, Utah on September 15. The Thomsens moved to Haines more than 14 years ago after visiting Alaska several times. They first saw Alaska from a cruise, and later returned for an extended van trip, before deciding to settle in town. They purchased property overlooking Lynn Canal and built two houses with son Karl Thomsen. An accomplished carpenter, Dawn did the finish work and siding. They are moving to be nearer to family and medical needs. Son Ed Thomsen will meet them in Bellingham to help drive the truck and friend Irma Morgan will drive the car with Dawne. Blaine will miss the spectacular view from their home as well as the friendly people. He credits their woodstove, and the work he put into preparing wood each winter, with keeping him in shape.
Friends gathered at the Elks Lodge Friday sang a hearty "Happy Birthday" to Doris Ward. Doris was presented with a cake baked by Suzy Combast with help from Sandy Wratten and Joan Snyder. Shaped as a big open book and titled "The Doris Ward Story," the page was turned to Chapter 84 and began "It was a dark and stormy night, when friends gathered to sing Happy Birthday, Dear Doris!"
Katie Harrop Whitley will be in Haines Saturday, Sept. 10 for a visit through Sept. 24. She’ll be here with her five-month-old baby, Jonathan Slade Whitley. Katie lives in Devine, Texas with husband Jim Whitley. Call Randy Harrop before stopping in for a visit.
Maurice "Mo" Hallman died June 21 in Sitka. He was 86. Hallman lived here in the 1990s and moved to Sitka in 2005 to enter the long-term care unit at Sitka Community Hospital. Hallman grew up in Phoenixville, Pa., worked in steel mills there and served in the Army in Germany during World War II. He also worked in the merchant marine and traveled around the country as a maintenance man, settling in Haines with wife Judith Gilbertson Hallman, according to an obituary in the Sitka Sentinel.