Gunshots, thunder or explosives? Those were among theories circulating to explain a series of loud booms heard around town early Tuesday morning. As many as 10 booms were heard around 5:30 a.m. by residents in an area that stretched at least from Piedad Road to 1 Mile Mud Bay Road. Some guessed the sounds were shots of bear hunters on the west side of Chilkat Inlet. Ripinsky hillside resident Terry Pardee said it was still dark when the booms came and they didn’t sound like gunfire or thunder to him. "It didn’t sound like anything natural. It was man-made," Pardee said. He and others said the sound seemed to come from the west side of town. Workers at the state road crew and local construction firms said they didn’t know what made the noises.
Tia Heywood’s poem, "What the Chair Remembered," was selected for publication in the September edition of Teen Ink magazine. Tia wrote the poem as a student at Sitka Fine Arts Camp three summers ago, and submitted it for consideration this year. The short poem imagines the experiences of an old purple armchair as a family grows up around it. This is Tia’s second published work in Teen Ink.
The American Bald Eagle Foundation hosted its second annual open house for locals Saturday. The turnout of 169 visitors was "more than a cruise ship day," according to director Cheryl McRoberts. Visitors enjoyed free entry and a behind-the-scenes tour of the food prep, medical area and bird mews. Raptor handlers Ed Podgorski, Dan Hart and Jamie Perry gave tours to groups of 15, and students who recently completed a 12-week training course presented their birds. Students Lydia Haxton, Lyric Wiggins and Lindsey Jobbins were each presented with a digital photo of themselves with the raptors, as well as their own personalized raptor-handling glove. ABEF also registered 13 students for the next 12-week course beginning in February. The program is designed for students ages 9 through 17 who will meet for two-hour sessions each Saturday. Raptor handler Podgorski will teach the program with help from volunteer Tracy Mikowski. A retired zookeeper, Mikowski recently relocated from Michigan with her husband. Students will learn how to safely handle raptors, including Dylan, ABEF’s Eastern barn owl and a young merlin that will arrive from Anchorage in the next few weeks. The program is still accepting applications.
The women of the Haines Acapella Women’s Chorus have resumed rehearsals at the Sheldon Museum Thursdays at 6 p.m. Led by Nancy Nash, the group welcomes new singers throughout the year. Ladies enjoyed two new selections at their first rehearsal: "Let Us All Sing" based on Dr. Seuss stories, and a rendition of "This Little Light of Mine."
Haines Brownies gathered Saturday to plant flower bulbs at the school and around town as part of their first fall meeting. Led by K.C. O’Connor and Edie Granger, the Haines Brownies are girls in second and third grade and so far have 19 members this year. The Haines Daisy Scouts, designed for kindergarten and first grade girls, are in search of a parent leader this year.
Library representatives from Haines and Klukwan traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to report on projects funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Haines Library director Patty Brown was impressed with the exceptional speakers, and enjoyed the pre-conference hands-on workshops that focused on showcasing cultural talents. Patty attended a drum-making workshop. Education coordinator Jolanta Ryan made a loincloth from pounded bark and attended a lei-making workshop. The Klukwan library, represented by Carrie Valentine and Ann Myren, and the Haines library staff made presentations highlighting their successful grant-funded local programs.
About 50 residents came out Monday for Tom Morphet’s slide show of his seven-week bicycle tour of six European countries. The show focused on bicycle travel, both as urban transportation and for long-distance touring. A European common currency, the removal of border checkpoints, Internet travel arrangements and budget airlines make travel through multiple countries easy and economical, Morphet said. The Netherlands was the most interesting of the countries he visited, he said, and the Danes were the friendliest people. Other stops were Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden.