Rene Pisel-Walker died Monday at her home in Juneau of complications of breast cancer. She was 49. Pisel-Walker lived in Haines in the mid-1980s, working as a waitress at Ten Mile Steakhouse. She also visited local schools as a counselor for the Juneau women’s shelter, AWARE, teaching “Good Touch, Bad Touch.” She is survived by husband David Walker, daughter Eliza and son Dawson. Cards may be sent to the family at 6467 Gray Street, Juneau, AK 99801. A memorial service will be held in Juneau later in the month.
Gov. Sean Parnell signed legislation March 27 that designates March 29 as Vietnam Veterans’ Day in Alaska. Former state Rep. Bill Thomas introduced the same bill last year. He worked with Fairbanks state Rep. Steve Thompson to introduce and marshal the bill through the legislature this year. A Vietnam veteran, Thomas said the purpose of the bill is to recognize soldiers who returned home without recognition 40 years ago. In conversation with Sealaska’s Dixie Hutchinson, Thomas says he “immediately got rid of my military clothes and bought new civilian clothes” upon his discharge, in order to avoid protesters. With this bill, Thomas said, “We’re saying, ‘Thank you, welcome home.’ That’s the big thing.”
Sisters Randi and Terry Povey vacationed on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship that suffered technical problems, the fourth Carnival ship to experience problems in a month’s time. The Carnival Legend’s troubles with steering and propulsion forced the company to shorten the cruise route and skip planned port calls in Belize and the Cayman Islands. Terry said food and on-ship activities weren’t affected and that they still were able to enjoy several shore excursions, including a trip to explore Mayan ruins and a stop in Honduras. The ship returned to Tampa, Fla., on schedule. The company offered passengers a $100 refund and 50 percent off another cruise within the next two years. The sisters vacation together every winter.
Ballerinas need not hang up their slippers for the year, says ballet instructor Kimberly Sundberg. Following last month’s impressive ballet recital, Sundberg said that her students persisted in asking for more ballet. Although it’s the first time she has taught two sessions in one year for students, “they were begging for more,” Sundberg said. “The momentum is there. I just want to keep the girls inspired.” New dancers ages 3-18 are welcome. Contact Sundberg at 766-3418 for more information.
Mandy Ramsey is leading the “Burst into Bloom” yoga dance workshop 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, April 19 at the zumba studio on Main Street. Yoga teacher Shiva Rae inspired Mandy to bring dance and yoga to Haines. Rae taught classes at the Wanderlust yoga festival in Oahu, Hawaii, that Mandy attended. Mandy, Scott Ramsey and daughter Lily met up with former resident Gayle Murray, who flew over from her home on the Big Island to visit. Bands performed at each of the yoga classes, which led to the natural blending of dance and yoga. Hawaii was a stop following the family’s two-month vacation on the south island of New Zealand. They traveled by camper van and worked as volunteers on organic farms. They also visited 32 different playgrounds and said they were impressed with a toy library program, where families could rent toys and play equipment for $1 per week.
Heather Lende, daughters J.J. Lende and Sarah Elliott, and granddaughters Caroline and Ivy Elliott, spent a week together at a Hawaii resort on the island of Oahu. Sarah says they spent lazy mornings at the beach, followed by naps and afternoons around the kids’ pool with the girls. They crossed paths with Sarah’s husband Brian Elliott in the Seattle airport. Brian was on his way to Arizona for a week of spring training baseball games and golf with friends Jesse McGraw, Karl Heinz and Aaron Thomas.
The Haines Sportsman’s Association sponsored a free Easter egg shoot over the weekend. Organizers Shane and Janis Horton said that shooters ages 6 to 70, including 16 youths, participated. Shane and Rocky Hickman set up six-dozen dyed Easter eggs along the targets, as well as balloons and tiny chocolate bunnies for the precision shooters. Every egg shot on the range entitled participants to pick a plastic egg stuffed with candy and prizes like fishing lures and coffee coins. According to Shane, “everyone had a great time and the birds got a free lunch.”
About 50 residents ages 50 to 80 gathered Saturday at the Senior Center to learn about “aging in place.” They heard from representatives who spoke about housing, health and in-home care. Presenters included Dr. Julia Heinz, Senior Village manager Anne Hanssen, Veteran’s Home supporter Mike Case and HAL manager Vince Hansen. Organizer Diane Sly, 63, says her motivation “was to become well-informed on aging in Haines.” A leading issue at the meeting was the frustration older residents experience when they are bermed in by snowplows, she said. “It was the No. 1 action item that came out of the meeting. The plows come at night and in the morning, (and) there you are with a wall of ice.”