December 19, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 50


If the Haines Borough enters into contract negotiations with David Sosa, the manager’s leave needs to be pared way back from the 48 days past managers have received. Combined with 12 paid holidays, manager leave amounts to three months off per year, with pay.

That’s wildly excessive. The borough’s most recent manager experience demonstrated that our full-time borough is not well-served by part-time leadership.


Those celebrating winter solstice this weekend might instead consider holding off their party until Jan. 14.

That’s when it starts warming up around here, according to the University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute.

Saturday, Dec. 21 is winter solstice, the year’s darkest day, but it keeps getting colder in Haines until Jan. 14, when the average daily temperature dips to 22.1 F., according to the institute’s summary of local weather records. The reason for the lag is that although the sun will start coming back Sunday, it won’t actually start heating things up here for almost another month.

The same happens, in reverse, each summer. The year’s longest day occurs around June 21, but because the Earth absorbs energy from the sun and only slowly releases it, temperatures keep warming in Haines until July 26, when the daily average temperature reaches 58.8 degrees F. before it starts dropping.

This year, July 26 fell on the Friday of the state fair, a balmy day when fairgoers sought out protection from the afternoon sun in the shadow of McPherson Barn. If you find yourself huddled under a pile of blankets on Jan. 14, at least you’re safe from a sunburn.


It’s a shame that plywood is back up on the Coliseum Theater building in the center of town. Here’s an idea for a permanent display in its storefront windows: Products made in Haines.

Visitors and people passing through may not realize we make hot tubs here, as well as totem poles, ornate furniture, craft beer and boutique vodka. A pair of local craftsmen have even started making wooden skis, with an eye toward ramping up production.

As manufacturing is generally regarded as the highest form of business, it’s appropriate that we celebrate and showcase such efforts in our hometown.


The workers here at the paragraph factory have earned themselves a holiday.

We’re taking our annual two-week hiatus from publishing and will return with 2014’s first edition on Jan. 9.

Peace on Earth and shop at home.

-- Tom Morphet