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


Duly Noted


Brian and Jacqui Clay of Haines are proud grandparents. McKinley Grace Elizabeth Jones was born 8:11 p.m. Friday, May 9, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. She weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 19 inches long. Parents are Samantha Clay and Nathan Jones of Haines.

Six Haines High School graduates were among the graduates of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz ., last weekend. Ryan Olsen earned a degree in exercise science. Ryan returns home to Haines this summer to fish with brother Chris Olsen, and is applying to physical therapy graduate programs for the fall. Parents Tina and Dean Olsen attended his graduation. Payson Schnabel graduated with a degree in construction management. Parents Nancy and Roger Schnabel attended the ceremony, as well as grandfather John Schnabel and aunt Debra Schnabel. Renae Miner earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management, and will be entering a management-training program at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Dad Randy Miner was among attendees. Will Hickman earned a bachelor’s of science degree in environmental science. Will plans to work for the Department of Fish and Game in Haines this summer. Ryan Smalley earned his degree in political science. Hannah Brower majored in physics and astronomy. Parents Kathy Friedle and John Brower attended her graduation.

Gregg Bigsby spent the weekend in Las Vegas, where he saw the Rolling Stones play at the MGM Grand as part of their “50 Years & Counting” tour. Gregg last saw the band in 1964 in Seattle with his friend Jim Symbol, who also joined him for the Vegas show. “It was just amazing,” said Gregg. “They put on a great show.” The pair enjoyed complimentary MVP seating in the second row of the 15,000-seat arena.

Mayor Stephanie Scott presented prizes Saturday for the inaugural Mayor’s Energy Award. The private sector energy project was awarded to George Figdor for his electric car, converted from a diesel-powered Volkswagen Rabbit, and his off-grid home powered by wind and solar generators. The public sector award went to the collaboration between the Haines Borough School District, Seven Echoes Homestead and Alaska Arts Confluence to develop the “Small Scale Green-Living Building Construction Course.” Taught by wood shop teacher Ed Hays, the construction class led high school students through design and construction of a small cabin, which was purchased by Carol Tuynman for use at the homestead. The winners were chosen through a “people’s choice” contest at the Earth Day celebration. Scott said, “I hope this annual presentation of local private and public sector can provide a platform for sharing some of the common sense, cost effective solutions to rising energy costs implemented by residents and organizations in Haines.”

Recent artwork by Alexandra Feit is featured in a gallery show at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council through the end of the month. Alexandra paints using wax mixed with pigment to create works inspired by nature. The show includes 13 paintings from the past two years. The combined show also features the work of Tlingit jewelry artist Rudy Isturis Jr.

More than 40 volunteers gathered at the Tlingit Park playground Wednesday to spruce up the grounds and apply sealant to cedar structures. Friends of Tlingit Park organizer Leslie Evenden said volunteers included members of the Haines Borough’s parks and recreation committee, Haines Venturer Scouts and the Haines Uglys, who tackled the project with gusto. Participants included Kim Larson, Chuck Mittman, Preston Kroes, Tanya Carlson, Jon Hirsh, Scott Sundberg, Meredith Pochardt and Darsie and Courtney Culbeck. The Friends of Tlingit Park are gearing up for the 10th birthday of the playground. Residents are invited to celebrate at the park with cupcakes 1 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at 1pm. “It’s a fun way to bring people together and celebrate our community,” said Evenden.

Tracy and Chuck Gage are the new owners of the Salmon Run Campground on Lutak Road. They relocated to Haines from southern Oregon with daughters Courtney, 14, and Carly, 9. The family first visited Haines in 2011, and immediately felt at home while staying with Barb and Jerry Blood, who they met through church. They returned last year, and stayed at the campground, where plans for purchasing the business started to fall into place. “We love it,” said Tracy. “We’re really looking forward to enjoying all the seasons, and you can’t beat the view out the window.” The family is also getting to know their home with a new member of their family, their 5-month old Saint Bernard “Yogi.”

All four of the Stelting girls – Denise Fields, Linda Nelsen, Nancy Fincher and Ruth Rubelt – were in town last week for a “memory trip,” their first visit here together since 1963. The daughters of Herb and Teresa Stelting lived year-round on Glacier Point from 1948 to 1960. They spoke at the Sheldon Museum Friday and also spent time catching up with friends and classmates Tom Bieleski, David Land, Jeff David, Doris Bell, Gene Strong, Carol Waldo, Louie Meacock and Sandra Martin. The trip was a metaphoric spreading of the ashes of their mother, who died in December. “We decided to do this while we all still can,” said Denise. They made a day trip to the site of their old homestead, beachcombing and toasting their mom’s memory with water from the creek that was their family’s drinking water source. The family of six lived in a cabin measuring about 12 by 20 feet. The girls came to town once a year in to attend Easter services and participate in the Easter egg contest at Hakkinen’s grocery store. They moved to town so oldest daughter Denise could attend high school, then headed south in 1963 for Herb to receive medical treatment. The sisters now live in Oregon and Idaho. A second book about their life on the remote moraine, “Children of Glacier Point II” will be available at

Although the Friday night dinner at the Great Alaska Home Brew and Craft Beer Festival in Haines May 24 is sold out, 130 tickets remain for the beer tasting the following day. Some 1,400 tickets were made available this year, compared to about 1,250 participants last year. Tickets are available through the

An inaugural Barn Dance at the Haines ANB Hall attracted about 35 dancers ages 8 to 63. “It was so exciting,” said organizer Diane Sly. “Everybody came to dance.” Gene Kennedy called the dances, and said “there was a lot of sweat pouring off brows” by the end of the two-hour party. Tara Bicknell called the Texas two-step, and Spencer Douthit brought home Gene’s book of calls in preparation for next month’s dance, on Saturday, June 8. The band, comprised of Katya Kirsch, Len Feldman and Tom Heywood, “was wonderful,” said Diane.

Lynn Canal Conservation has named Thom Ely its 2013 Conservationist of the Year. The award was made at LCC’s annual meeting April 25 for “outstanding public testimony on conservation issues as well as business support for conservation work.” In addition to Ely’s involvement on local, state and national conservation and government issues, his company Sockeye Cycle raised $10,500 in 2012 for the Alaska Conservation Foundation from customers through its water bottle donation program. The company matched that amount and gave an additional $10,500 to local conservation groups, watershed councils and youth environmental education programs.

Lee Heinmiller, Leanne Converse, Bob and Carol Duis, Kim Strong, Pat Warren, Beverly Klanott and others helped out at the annual Culture Days celebration last week in Klukwan. Two days of activities included workshops on Native foods and storytelling and Tlingit language games. Twenty students from Angoon and ones from Haines High School and Mosquito Lake School participated. Among dishes they sampled were Beverly’s herring egg salad and Jones Hotch Jr.’s Native fried rice, made with black seaweed, dry fish and veggies.