July 19, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 29


Haines Borough leaders need to make sure their good intentions concerning wood-pellet fuel don’t end up costing taxpayers.

It’s one thing for private individuals or companies to switch from oil to pellets in order to set an example or “do the right thing.” They’re spending their own money. But government leaders spend other people’s money, and because they do, they are obligated to be more circumspect in their outlays.

To win public support, decisions on switching to burning pellets in public buildings will need to be based on sound engineering and reduced cost to taxpayers. Saving the earth and investing in alternative fuels are laudable goals, but taxpayers vote their pocketbooks, and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.


If it weren’t for the top of the Ferris Wheel and the backdrop of Santa Claus Mountain, a person standing along the first-base line at Fair Field Tuesday afternoon might forget they were in Haines.

For the opening of Southeast little league championship, the ball diamond, its fences and buildings all appeared brand new. Flags furled in a breeze over left field, next to a working, electronic scoreboard. Coaches from out-of-town teams offered unsolicited compliments about the quality of the field and the good time they were having.

Hats off to Ralph Swinton and crew for making their corner of the town look very good.


It seems summer has hardly started and it’s already time for the Southeast Alaska State Fair.

As a small community near the region’s north corner, we’re lucky to lay claim to the fair that represents the entire Panhandle. Chat for long with out-of-town fairgoers and you’ll appreciate that this is a special event, attracting some people who come here for no other reason.

So go find that jar of pickled beets you put up last fall and enter it as an exhibit (by Saturday), put together a parade entry or just stop out at the fairgrounds and lend a hand setting up the show. All your neighbors will be out there.

-- Tom Morphet