Grand Camp of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood convened Oct. 8-11 in Yakutat. Camp 5 ANB sent President Sonny Williams and Bob Duis, while Camp 5 ANS was represented by President Mary Lekanof, her daughter Nancy Keen, and Anastasia Wiley. Serving the past year as ANS Grand Secretary, Carol Duis, who also attended, was reelected to a second term. Haines ANB donated an art print from Alaska Indian Arts; Haines ANS gifts were a case of fresh pack sockeye from Joe and Georgiana Hotch and the proceeds of the Fourth of July ANS garage sale. All delegates worked on committees, enjoyed time with friends and Yakutat hospitality, and bid on various raffle and auction items to support Grand Camp activities. Bob and Carol Duis won a pair of moccasins made by Andrea Cesar of Juneau and a Native Foods basket from Petersburg, site of the 2014 Grand Camp.
Joe Ordonez worked with the BBC on the filming of a children’s TV show in Haines last weekend. The show, called “Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature” is a myth-busting show that features wild animals all over the world. The Haines portion focused on brown bears and bald eagles. Even though they did not see a brown bear in the wild, the group enjoyed a spectacular day along the Chilkoot River where they learned about bear ecology. The second day featured a specially-permitted rafting trip through the heart of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, with Scott Ramsey as boatman.
Guard Kyle Fossman of Haines will be playing for the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves Saturday, Nov. 2, against the Brigham Young University Cougars in a nationally-televised exhibition game. The game starts at 5 p.m. and will air on DirecTV channel 374 and Dish Network channel 9403.
Eileen McIver returned this week from a month-long trip to visit family and friends in Cleveland, Ohio. A major highlight was attending a taping of “The Price is Right” game show, which was hosted by Jerry Springer. Though McIver didn’t get to “come on down” or win a party boat, she and mom Beth McIver were interviewed by the local Cleveland news station while they waited eagerly in line to get in. McIver also served as a bridesmaid in friend Melissa Manginelli’s wedding and succeeded in smuggling large quantities of food into a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game, despite the TSA-like security screening. On the way back to Alaska, McIver made a pit stop in Wenatchee, Wash., to visit former Haines resident Jill Heikel. McIver took Heikel’s dog Oakley – who came from the Haines Animal Rescue Kennel – on a walk.
Rosalie Loewen’s short story “The Boto’s Child” will appear in Ashland Creek Press’ “Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction” when the collection is released in February. The story – Loewen’s first to be published in a book – takes a traditional Brazilian folktale and puts it in a modern context.
Jim and Anna Jurgeleit explored Italy and Austria during a three-week trip that included visiting daughter Elizabeth, who is studying abroad in Florence. The couple also visited Rome, Milan and Cinque Terre. Anna said she had a hard time picking a favorite food from the trip. “Everything is good there. The local wines were amazing,” she said. The two tried to take a train to Kundl, Austria, but a strike by train employees forced them to go by bus instead. In Kundl, Jim and Anna visited with Ricci Margeiter and her parents Ali and Maria Margeiter. Ricci stayed with the Jurgeleits eight years ago as a foreign exchange student.
Matthew Gunnar Whitley was born at 7:59 p.m. on Oct. 17 to parents Katie and Jim Whitley at Bartlett Regional Hospital. He was two weeks early and weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce. Matthew was medevaced to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage due to complications from pneumonia, but returned to Juneau a week later. The family will return to Haines Nov. 1. Matthew’s new relatives include brother Jonathan Slade Whitley, grandmother Kate Harrop, and grandparents Marsha and Jerry Whitley of San Antonio, Texas. Harrop apologizes to her neighbors who had to endure her barking dogs while she was away in Juneau looking after her daughter and grandson.
Trudi Blume-Miller and daughters Gabi and Aliza Miller visited Portland, Ore., for a week to see family. They stayed with Trudi’s parents, Gordon and Patsy Blume. The trio did “the usual girl stuff,” Trudi said, including shopping at the Clackamas Town Center and watching “Despicable Me 2” in theaters.
Haines Borough Harbormaster Phil Benner and assistant harbormaster Joe Parnell attended the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators Conference in Valdez Oct. 21-25. Benner and Parnell attended educational seminars on industry issues, and Benner was elected president of the association. Parnell provided a 45-minute comedy routine as entertainment at the conference banquet.
The Benassi clan – Mario, Natalie, Lili, Mario Jr. and Joshua – traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the Oct. 19 wedding of Stephana Benassi and Kyler Swanson. Family friend David Benjamin also tagged along. Josh said he most enjoyed dancing and drinking with family and friends at the wedding. He also squeezed in a trip to his favorite Colorado Springs restaurant The Birddog Barbeque, where he wolfed down a “Smokehouse” pulled pork sandwich. During the trip, Josh also got to meet his niece, 6-month-old Ella Zoriah Swanson, for the first time.
Haines Senior Village residents and friends gathered in the common room there for a potluck to remember the late Jack Hodnik and honor longtime recycling volunteer Bruce Gilbert, said village manager Anne Hanssen. Hanssen cooked a porchetta roast, a Hodnik favorite, using spices supplied by Simon Ford. Resident Mike Wilson is taking over recycling efforts there. Guests included Doris Peck, Edna Hales, Nora Krake, Shirley Collins, Bill and Cheryl McRoberts, Marilyn Allen, Georgia Haisler, Suzie Tandy, Joan Snyder and Bruce and Gail Gilbert.
The Chilkat Valley Community Foundation is accepting applications for a $600 mini-tech grant. The grant is sponsored by Kingfisher Consulting, LLC, and is for a project that incorporates some aspect of technology, such as new equipment, training or software. Deadline for application is Nov. 15. For more information, visit www.chilkatvalleycf.org.