Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Duly Noted


Krista Kielsmeier traveled to Anchorage March 2 for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod and then took a shuttle to Willow for the restart there the following day. While in Anchorage, she reunited with two former Northwestern University classmates who were her co-workers at a dorm mailroom. Krista also met up with a high school English teacher, Judy Holmes, she had not seen in 10 years. Judy, who made the trip from Iowa for her second Iditarod, admits to being “obsessed” with the event, and scored a poster autographed by musher DeeDee Jonrowe as a gift for Krista’s friend Doris Ward. Krista and Judy stopped by the Alaska state spelling bee on March 1, where they just missed seeing Haines fifth-grader Jayden Rettinger’s exit in the third round. Krista also was treated to dinner by Marie Matsuno Nash, who went to school in Haines and recently was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. Doris suggested the two women meet, and Krista always tries to listen to Doris.

Tour company owner Joe Ordonez said a hot spring waterfall he and his family discovered in eastern Guatemala was among the great places he’s seen in a lifetime of travel. Joe, wife Edie, and daughters Stella, 9, and Sapphire, 1, recently returned from a trip to Belize and Guatemala that included an Ordonez family reunion in Antigua. Highlights included snorkeling off Belize and climbing a giant pyramid at Tikal, Guatemala with Stella, Joe said. Joe said he strolled the streets of Lake Atitlan looking for Tresham Gregg, who spends time there. The lake is described by some as the world’s most beautiful.

Haines High School senior Patrick Henderson won the Southeast division of the American Legion Oratorical Contest and placed third at the recent statewide competition in Anchorage. He won $2,000. The topic was the U.S. Constitution and the duties of a citizen. Henderson was required to speak extemporaneously about constitutional amendments. He said he learned more about citizens’ rights and about elements of the constitution. “Even things that seem trivial – like having to be 35 years old to be president – have a history behind them and aren’t so trivial.” He said he hoped Haines students would participate in the contest in future years.

Director Tod Sebens said he’s assembled a cast for “Dinner with Friends,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play he plans to stage next month. Actors include Tara Bicknell, Jono Greene, Katrina Hotch and Ashley Helsinger.

Deacon Vince Hansen reports the men of Sacred Heart Catholic Church will be serving a corned beef and cabbage dinner at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the church hall. Everyone is welcome. Token Irishman Harold Hannon will assist with the cooking. Father Jim Blaney won’t be here, but while here for Pat Sloan’s memorial, he blessed the kitchen in anticipation of the event.

The Juneau diocese is in the midst of a census of Catholics in the area, both practicing and non-practicing. Catholics and those interested in the church are encouraged to complete census cards available at the church or complete one online at

Marge Ward received two bouquets, including one comprised of 90 pink and white carnations, from friends and family at her 90th birthday party Friday at the Senior Center. The celebration included finger foods, punch and cake made by Carol Clifton. Marge said the only advice she has is to “keep a positive attitude and be able to laugh at yourself once in a while.” Marge goes to the pool five times a week. “It helps even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes.” She said her goal was to be featured by Willard Scott on the Today Show when she turns 100.