Going in for their routine veterinarian appointments, some Haines pets have been greeted by a National Geographic film crew. J.R. Myers’ cats, Spunky and Sassy, were filmed during their physical exams Nov. 3 at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. The crew has been following veterinarian Dr. Michelle Oakley, who is based in Haines Junction and travels to rural communities of the Yukon and Southeast Alaska. When Sandra Tuohy took her dog Bitsy to see Oakley a few months ago, she was shocked to see a large film crew following her pooch’s vet around. The name of the National Geographic show is not clear, but Myers was told it may air in January or February and will be advertised on the Haines Community website.
Monday’s Veterans’ Day dinner at the Legion Hall was jam-packed, said Mike Case, Commander of American Legion Post #12. About 125 people attended, not including the approximately 50 elementary school students who gave a patriotic singing performance directed by music teacher Teresa Land. The children passed out handmade cards to the nearly 50 veterans in attendance. The prime rib and baked salmon dinners were delivered to veterans and widows of veterans who could not attend, while the Haines Venturer Scouts served those at the event. Gene Strong, Bill Thomas, Michael Byer, David Berry and Case were among those who spoke, and Tara Bicknell gave an update on the Veterans Village project.
Haines poker players returned from Las Vegas where they competed in The Great American Poker Challenge. The Harbor Bar-sponsored entourage included Mike Ward, John Newton, Michael Ganey, Tyrell Horton, Kerry and Joyce Town, Dean Risley, Dylan Beckish, and Ryan Cook. The weeklong tournaments took place at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, where the group competed in a series of tournaments against players throughout the country. Kerry Town placed in the top 100 in the World Tavern Poker National Championship.
Tina and Jason Ghan celebrated their 25th anniversary with a trip to Ecuador and Washington, where they visited daughters Samantha of Spokane, and Jessica of Renton. The couple spent their two weeks in Ecuador backpacking through beaches, visiting little towns along the coast, and staying in B&Bs. Tina said although they couldn’t compare to the Haines mountains, the Andes were spectacular, as was the banana bread the couple bought from a vendor selling baked goods on a bus. For Tina, it was interesting to see fowl riding public transportation with her, including a rooster that sat on a man’s lap during a long bus ride. “He was the most well-behaved rooster I’ve ever seen,” she said.
The Haines youth group Infinite Life returned from a weekend of volunteering at the Glory Hole, a Juneau homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Al Giddings and Jane Cowart led the group, with the help of Andrew Del Prete, Jesse Bordon and Zak Little. Youth volunteers included Destinee Cowart, Autumn Gross, Paige Anderson, Caleb Anderson, Scotty Hansen, Victoria Hansen, Polly Bryant, Courtney Gage, Serena Badgley, Grace Jones, Matt Green and Rebekah Green. The group brought a truckload of donated clothing and cooked a beef and macaroni dinner serving about 75 people. Badgley received life advice from an ex-convict, and Bryant lent an ear to a woman who appreciated having someone to talk to.
Former resident Amanda Vigilante, now in Fairbanks, married Patrick Murray of Fairbanks on Nov. 9 at the Northern Lights Chapel at Fort Wainwright. Nearly 40 people attended, including parents of the bride, former residents Ralph and Stacey Vigilante, of Ketchikan. Amanda’s siblings, former residents Aaron and Ashley Vigilante, of Spokane, Wash., also attended, as did grandma and former resident Linda Teague, of Albuquerque, N.M. Family of the groom, parents Mike and Manju Murray, and brother Jimmy Murray, all of Okanogan, Wash., were also present.
Haines Middle School basketball players went undefeated at last weekend’s tournament in Skagway. Coached by Ralph Swinton, Sarah Swinton and James Sage, the Haines boys’ team played against Juneau, Kake, Hoonah and Skagway. The girls’ team, coached by Lori Giddings and Tiffany DeWitt, played against Skagway, two Hoonah teams and Whitehorse.
Holly Jo Parnell returned from a month-long trip to Gilbert, Ariz. Husband Joe Parnell went with her and stayed a week, enough time to meet six of her eight siblings. Holly Jo, a self-described “Disneyland guru,” said a highlight of the trip was going to Disneyland’s “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party,” with younger sister Stacy Martin of Gilbert. The sisters partied for 15 hours. They also toured Beverly Hills and Hollywood, and went on a “seedy” Dearly Departed tour, where the duo was taken through some of Hollywood’s most notorious deaths and scandals. Holly Jo visited parents Floyd and Beulah Martin’s home in Pinedale in Arizona’s White Mountains. She also met new nephew Riley, born to Casey and Tanya Martin of Tempe, Ariz.
Business Excellence awards were presented to local businesses at the Haines Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Nov. 2. Haines Home Building won Business of the Year; Oceanside RV Park won the Customer Service Award; Venturer Scouts won the Youth Recognition Award; Uglys of Haines won the Community Service Award; and Sarah J’s Shoppe won the Rising Star Award.
After more than four years with a head full of dreadlocks, Lori Webster has cut them off. At a small dread-cutting party Monday at her house, Webster snipped off her 45 dreads, one by one, as friends Sophia Armstrong, Karen Garcia, Eileen McIver, Susan Schumacher, Tracy Cui and Krista Kielsmeier looked on. Webster decided years ago that she would cut them once she turned 30. As for how to dispose of the pile of dreads, which weighed in at about half a pound, Webster is undecided. The dreads will remain in a nest-like mound on her kitchen counter until a decision is made. Webster has vetoed ideas including: giving one to each of her friends, burning them in the wood stove, creating a homemade jump rope and many more.