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


Duly Noted


A group of elementary students slept at Haines School for a “peep-over” Friday, when the library’s chicken eggs were expected to hatch. Organized by school librarian Leigh Horner, who kept her personal chicken eggs in the library as a learning tool for students, the event was Horner’s spring reading contest prize. About 100 students were eligible. Alas, there was no peeping. The eggs were not fertile. The students made pizza, played flashlight tag, and rode scooters in the gym. Seventh-grader Gabrielle St. Clair helped out and parents Pam Long and Jen Allen chaperoned.

Ray Staska and son Ryan Staska returned from Arizona after celebrating the 90th birthday of Ray’s mother, Jane Staska, of Tucson. They also visited Ray’s brothers, Richard and Robert Staska. Ray and Ryan then went to Hood River, Ore. to visit Ryan’s sister, Ranee Staska. The trio went whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River.

Debra Schnabel made a five-day trip in the Lower 48. After time in Chicago on business, she took Amtrak’s Southwest Chief to Flagstaff, Ariz. She hiked down the Grand Canyon via the Kaibab Trail, stayed at Phantom Ranch, and hiked up Bright Angel Trail the next day. In Las Vegas, she and friend Mel Sather of Anchorage celebrated their shared birthday by free-falling 855 feet off the Stratosphere casino. Equipped with a jump suit and harness, Schnabel was led to the edge of a platform on the 108th floor, before taking the plunge. A video of the jump shows a calm Schnabel falling through the sky. Though her landing “wasn’t very graceful,” a small crowd of spectators cheered when she touched ground.

Haytham Mohanna, a Palestinian exchange student at Haines High School, accompanied art students from Juneau’s Thunder Mountain High School to present the Alaska Legislature with an origami peacock at the Capitol April 14. Mohanna made trips to Juneau, where he and TMHS art teacher Heather Ridgway taught students origami and helped create the peacock, a symbol of peace and human rights in Palestine. The project, which included about 150 hours of folding paper, took three months to complete.

Rebekah Green is back from Washington and Oregon, where she visited colleges and met up with both sets of grandparents. Grandfather Jerry Thorn of Whidbey Island, Wash. drove with her to visit Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. She then visited grandmother Brenda Thorn, as well as grandparents Bill and Gerry Green of Lynnwood, Wash. The trip also included a train ride to Portland, where she visited George Fox University in Newberg, Ore. Dad Jim Green, who was on business in Washington printing the Alaska Weather Calendar, met up with Rebekah at George Fox.

Rosalie Loewen is the author of “The Boto’s Child,” one of 15 stories in “Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction,” an anthology published recently by Ashland Creek Press. Loewen read part of her story to a crowd of 30 at the library as part of library week’s author event April 17. The book is available at The Babbling Book. Her story was inspired by her time living in Brazil, where Boto dolphins (also known as the Amazon River dolphin) are revered by people of the Amazon. Myth has it that the dolphin can turn itself into a person. In her short story, she puts a spin on the myth. Loewen’s other works of fiction have appeared in magazines including Cirque Journal and Alimentum Magazine.

About 90 people attended the Indian dinner fundraiser April 19th at the school, raising $2,100 to help send the Young Eagle Scientists of the Takshanuk Watershed Council to New Delhi, India to present local eagle research at the four-day international conference in August. The group includes middle-schoolers Tiaya Ruggirello, Elena Saunders, Xi Xiao White, Skye Posey, and Dominic Stossel, and chaperones Jackie Ruggirello, Kate Saunders, Tigger Posey, Amanda Randles, and teacher Pam Randles. Parents practiced cooking a week before the dinner, which included moose tikka masala, salmon curry, curried eggs, yellow dal, and banana fritters. Pam said other fundraisers are planned in upcoming months. Check out the group’s research at

The minute of breakup of the Tanana River at Nenana was 3:48 p.m. on April 25. This year marks the contest’s 98th anniversary of the lottery to guess the month, day, hour and minute the ice goes out on the river. This year’s jackpot was over $363,000. Haines Quick Shop employee Eric Ferrin estimates that 700 tickets were sold in Haines. Your Duly Noted columnist guessed 3:33 p.m. April 25, just 15 minutes off.

Klover Cinocco made a voyage from Skagway to Tenakee Springs aboard a 35-foot sloop Tuesday. The trip, made with mom Knikki Cinocco and husband John Briner, included stops in St. James Bay, Haines, and Funter Bay. Klover, 6, was in Haines last weekend visiting dad Mark Allen.

Former museum director Jerrie Clarke played the purser for the Virgin Valley Theater Group’s production of “Anything Goes” in Mequite, Nev. Clarke works at Lost City Museum in Overton, 40 miles from Mequite. She reports a beautiful bloom of cactus flowers this year. Clarke said she has extra room for friends who come visit.

Four officers of the Haines Emblem Club #463 returned Sunday from ASAEC State Convention in Sitka. In attendance were club president Jamie Knudsen, marshal Kandus Strong, treasurer Kathy Warner, and past club and state president, Michelle Stigen. The four-day convention was April 24 in Alaska, and all 11 clubs were represented. Haines Emblem Club took home third place for the drug awareness award and first place for press book. The press book also has won first place at the national level in previous years. Festivities included a Mexican fiesta night, Chinese New Year dinner, favorite holiday luncheon and installation of new officers. Local club president Knudsen was installed as a state officer as press correspondent for District 2.

Haines High grad Tejon Buttram Tihonovich and Melissa Teeters were married March 15 at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, Calif. Tihonovich works as a foreman for a commercial building construction firm in Puyallup, Wash. Teeters is a student with aspirations to design children’s clothing. She surprised her husband by renting a Lamborghini sports car for the wedding.

Hospice of Haines’ annual spring rummage sale held Saturday at the ANB Hall netted $10,400, said program director Beth MacCready. About 60 volunteers put in over 500 hours of work in a three-day period to prepare. After 17 years of running the rummage sale, Mardell Gunn is retiring.

A record 67 bridge players attended the duplicate bridge sectional tournament last weekend at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. The tournament was sponsored by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and hosted by the Haines Duplicate Bridge Club and ACBL Unit 427. Players included 14 from Haines, 24 from the Yukon, and 18 from Juneau. Others hailed from parts of Canada, Gustavus and the Lower 48. ACBL director Roger Putnam of Redmond, Wash. oversaw tournament movements, provided rulings, and kept contest records. Top pairs included 1) Chris Bookless and Mark Davey of Whitehorse; (most ACBL masterpoints for the second year in a row); 2) Bob and Sally Lix of Haines; 3) Roger Schnabel and Fred Shields of Haines; 4) Darwin Wreggitt of Whitehorse and partner Irene Szabla of Nova Scotia; 5) John Gaguine (highest-scoring Juneau player) and partner Rob Miller of Haines. In all, 66 players won ACBL masterpoints, the recognized achievement award for ACBL duplicate bridge play.