Haines School Principal Rene Martin was named Region Five Principal of the Year. All of her colleagues from Southeast Alaska nominated her for the prestigious title. Rene was very surprised that she had won.
More than 100 students participated in the first Haines Career Day. Middle and high school students participated and were given the opportunity to see what careers are available in our community as well as outside of our community. Organizer and school counselor Kristen Brumfield said more than 65 community members participated, ranging from the government sector to the fishing industry. One of the speakers, Harry Rietze, owner of Haines Packing Company, talked with students about the fishing industry and running a cannery. He also had a timed race to see who could build fish boxes the fastest. “The kids and staff really enjoyed themselves and we appreciate the community effort,” Kristen said.
Spencer Douthit and a group of his friends, including Andrew Cardella, Jake Bell, Jason Eson, Nick Schlosstein, Erik Stevens, Kyle Clayton, Bartek Pieciul and Jeffrey Moskowitz (“Moski”) celebrated Spencer’s last days of bachelorhood in Skagway last weekend. The group listened to The God Particles band at the Red Onion Saloon and enjoyed a hiking trip. Spencer and his fiancée Beth Fenhaus are getting married this weekend; a reception is planned at the fairgrounds for the community to attend.
The first Raven and Bear Race Series had its kick-off event last weekend. Organized by Haines middle school teacher Jordan Baumgartner, children six and under raced a half-mile leg and older children raced a mile. The race started and finished at race sponsor Sarah J’s. Afterward free frozen yogurt was given to participants. Future races will be held toward the end of each month with starting and ending places at coordinating sponsor businesses. For adults, the Tortoise and the Hare first race series was held at the brewery on May 8. Many participated in this new communitywide event. The races will continue through September on the first and last Tuesday of each month.
Toni and Charlie DeWitt have just returned from six weeks in sunny Lake Havasu, Ariz. They had many guests during the time there including former resident Chauncey Craig. Chauncey and Charlie enjoyed exploring the Arizona desert in Charlie’s side-by-side ATV.
The Haines Hot Shots took 10 kids to Tok to participate in the community’s first shooting team competition. The groups were joined by a team from Wasilla. “Thirty kids grades four through 12, and 25 community members came out to shoot and eat some amazing BBQ,” said parent Nicole Holm. Half of the Haines Hot Shots squad had never competed before. Dawson Holm took first place in the cutthroat shoot that was open to everyone and he won $75. The team brought home six medals and one trophy including a first for Cade Clay who received high overall and first place in the senior division. Caleb Holm received second place and Dawson received third place in the junior division. James Stickler took first in the Novice round, Loyal Tormey second, and Hayden Jimenez third after a three-way shoot off with Alex Weerasinghe and Colton Combs. Coach Shane Horton placed second in the adult division. “The kids all did great for their first competition and we want to thank Nishan Weerasinghe and Heath Scott for helping us as our chaperones,” Nicole said.
Many former residents have been affected by the recent earthquakes and volcanos on the Big Island of Hawaii. Jackie Ruggirello and her daughter Taiya live just four miles from where a lot of the action is taking place. “There was a huge quake, 6.9. The water in the pool sloshed and spilled out and the power poles were all swaying. The air quality is really bad at times with sulphur dioxide,” Jackie said. Josh Benassi and Cassie Miller and their sons Corvus, 4, and Felix, 1, live 10 miles away from the current lava flow. “We are all currently wearing masks in and out of the house because of the air quality. It’s been stressful, but we are safe,” said Josh.
A celebration of doggy life for Suki, the pitbull/red heeler crossbreed, will be held on Saturday, May 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. on lower Deishu Drive. Evelyna Vignola and her dog Suki have lived in Haines since 2011. She is having this event to honor her sweet dog and is inviting the whole town because Suki had an extended fan club. “Suki was friendly, she liked people, they liked her, she was always hoping for treats and she’d mellowed with age (13 when she died), so I’m having this event to honor her. Also, I love the idea of inviting the whole town and seeing who shows up. Haines has a lot of dog lovers no matter religion or politics,” Evelyna said.