Kaitlin Podsiki and Bryan Combs were married Saturday, July 7 in Haines. Kaitlin was escorted down the aisle of the cruise ship dock by her father, Greg Podsiki, who held an umbrella over the bride. Family friend Robin Stickler married the couple. Their son, Colton Combs, 4, served as ring bearer and stood with his parents through the ceremony. Kaitlin’s parents are Greg and Teri Podsiki, of Haines. Bryan’s father is Jimmy Combs, of Juneau. Attending the bride were Kaitlin’s sister and maid of honor Teslin Podsiki; Kaitlin’s sister Melissa Ganey; Bryan’s sister Rikki Gelston, of Juneau; Bryan’s sister Chari Hurley, of Indiana; and friends Athena Alsup and Ronnie Alsup. Junior bridesmaids were Kaitlin’s niece Taylor Ganey, and Bryan’s niece Erin Gelston. Kaitlin’s niece Ashlyn Ganey was flower girl. The groom’s party included best man Jesse Alsup, and groomsmen Stuart DeWitt, brother-in-law Aaron Gelston, Kaitlin’s brother Forest Podsiki, and friends Curt Stickler and Scott Lesh. Bryan’s nephew, Garrett Gelston, was junior groomsman. Kaitlin’s grandmother Andy Witt traveled from Illinois, as did Kaitlin’s aunt and uncle Margie and Rick Witt. Penny, Scott and Alice Reed, Kaitlin’s aunt, uncle, and cousin, came from Vermont. Kaitlin’s cousin Taylor Reed, who is working in Haines for the summer, was also in attendance. Following the ceremony, guests were received at Harriett Hall, which was decorated with “magical” white lights and paper lanterns, and draped in tulle. The potluck dinner included grilled salmon and tri-tip. Helen Mooney made the sophisticated wedding cake, which was topped with a bride, a groom ready for hunting, and an unsuspecting brown bear. Kaitlin surprised Bryan with a groom’s cake by friend and confection artist Corrie Nash, who constructed lifelike Xtra Tuffs and a five-gallon bucket cake filled with custom labeled “PBR’s.”
Parents Linda and Chuck Hazen are happy to announce the graduation of Linda’s daughter, Melanie Keller, from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore. on June 30. The 1993 Haines High School grad will take her board exams in August and will be licensed to practice naturopathic medicine in October. Friend and Haines High grad Amber Walker hosted a barbecue with friends who supported Melanie through school. Following the graduation ceremony, Melanie, Linda and Chuck also celebrated with a seven-course dinner the night of graduation. “I’m a proud mama,” said Linda.
The SEARHC Behavioral Health Division has hired Emily Zimrich as a behavioral health clinician at their Haines office. A longtime resident, Emily was born in Juneau and raised in Haines. Her 95-year-old mother Hazel Englund was born in Haines to a homesteading family. Emily previously was the director of Impact Counseling Services Inc. in Haines, which she founded in 1996. She also worked in residential treatment for adolescent girls in Wyoming. She briefly worked with Lynn Canal Counseling in Haines and did contract work with a variety of mental health agencies in Alaska. “I’m happy to be a part of the SEARHC family and team,” said Emily.
Jim and Julie Shook are hosting their grandson, Taylor Cowan, for a three-week visit to Haines. Taylor lives in San Luis Obispo, Calif. where he is entering his senior year in high school. An accomplished football player, Jim also reports that Taylor is likely headed to state competition for pole vaulting, having cleared the 11’6” pole in his first year of competition. Jim and Taylor have been working together to cut firewood, and have been out fishing in Chilkoot Lake.
Al and Carol Kelly have stayed busy with their grandsons this summer. Their 17-year-old grandson Shane Daily was in Haines for two weeks. Shane worked with his grandfather on logging, painting and splitting wood while here. Shane works at an emu farm near Reading, Calif. Shane’s brother Joshua Simmons arrived for his own visit last weekend. Joshua, 12, will stay for three weeks with his grandparents.
Tickets are going fast for the house concert benefit for Hospice of Haines hosted by Ann Myren and Hospice board member Tim McDonough. Set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 12 at the couple’s Lutak home, the event promises sweet and savory snacks, and music by some of Haines’ most talented musicians. Performers will include Bob and Jesse Krebs, Tom Heywood and Heidi Robichaud. Tickets are $50 and must be reserved in advance as seating is limited. Call 766-2584 to reserve your tickets.
Sally and Bob Lix have been seen around the library pulling weeds and sprucing up the garden bed by the library. The Friends of the Haines Borough Public Library’s gardening party was rained out on Saturday, but they’ve rescheduled for this coming Saturday at 10 a.m. Bring gardening gloves and tools, if you have them. The library is also accepting donations of perennials to fill up their beds. Hostas, geraniums, columbine, lilies and other low-maintenance, locally thriving plants are welcome.
Blake Hamilton is in Haines for a few weeks before he heads back to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Blake completed his first ocean race from Annapolis to Bermuda aboard a 44-foot naval sailboat. Eight crewmembers sailed the 760 miles over 5½ days. Blake’s boat finished third in its class. Blake will spend three weeks on a guided missile cruiser based in San Diego, Calif. He will shadow a senior enlisted service member on board the vessel. The goal of the training is to teach future officers the role of enlisted personnel. Blake is entering his sophomore year and will begin classes in his determined major, Ocean Engineering.
Byrne Power is producing the first comprehensive documentary on the history of European puppetry. A 2005 trip to Europe first awakened Byrne’s creative interest in puppetry and led to the creation of Haines’ first puppet troupe. A 2009 Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist award allowed Byrne to form a traveling puppet troupe, which toured North America that fall. “I realized there is no good documentary on puppeteering,” said Byrne. “So I decided to do it myself.” Byrne’s project is entered on the nonprofit website usaprojects.org, where he is working to secure $20,000 in donations by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 16. He had raised $7,600 as of Monday, July 9. All donations made through the site are tax deductible. However, if Byrne doesn’t secure at least $20,000 by the funding deadline, the project money will be designated to the general artist fund. “I’ve been amazed by all the support that’s been out there,” said Byrne. He has high hopes for securing the remaining funds by the deadline, and is working on securing a large donation to meet the $20,000 goal. Project donations will go toward recording equipment and travel expenses, as well as editing expenses to produce a demo designed to attract further funding .To learn more about the project or make a contribution, go to usaprojects.org and search for “Gravity from Above.”
Forty-eight people on seven teams braved windy, cold weather to play mud volleyball on the Fourth. The first-place team was comprised of cruise ship visitors from California and Virginia who met that morning. Team East to West included Hannah Lowery, Kelly Koshuta, Joe Koshuta, Casey Koshuta, Michael Koshuta, Taylor Wasson and Cai Wasson. Second place went to the Mud Starz including Blake Hamilton, Josh Forgacs, Walter Clayton, Chandler Kemp, Jo Feldman and Anna Jacobson.
Dave Pahl’s Hammer Museum and Steve Kroschel’s wildlife center get mentions in “Alaska Curiosities,” a guidebook published in 2012 by Morris Book Publishing. The book calls Kroschel “Alaska’s Doctor Doolittle” and also mentions his sideline job, detonating avalanches for film crews. The book includes a history of the hammer museum and some of its treasures, including a dolerite ball hammer used to build pyramids in ancient Egypt. The book also mentions the Clara Nevada “ghost ship” at Eldred Rock. The book is written under a pseudonym.