Mira Tazlina Lynn Johnson Kraft was born to Lindsey Johnson and Graham Kraft on Nov. 30 in Sitka at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital at 10:30 a.m. Mira weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. Lindsey’s parents Jenny and David Johnson, of Ketchikan, attended the birth along with her sister Rachel Pilch, of Sitka. Mira was almost ready to check out when the doctors noticed her weak heartbeat. A med-evac transported mother and daughter to Providence Hospital for a few days where doctor’s assured the new parents that she was healthy. The new family attended friends Erica Madison and Chris Klosterman’s wedding in Anchorage and were back in Haines on Dec. 10. “Everything is going great,” said Graham.
Riley Mae Stephens was born to Emily and Jeremy Stephens of proHNS on Dec. 14. She weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 19.75 inches long. Riley was born at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Vermont. Big sister Lena stayed with her grandparents Paul and Diana Frederick in Barre while her parents were in the hospital. “She loves her little sister,” Emily said.
The first annual Deck the Dock contest had a great turnout and Matt Davis’s boat, the F/V Aftermath, took the top prize. John Hagen’s boat, the Krista C, was fashioned like a reindeer and took second place. Ryan Cook’s boat, the F/V Misty, took third. Others who participated included Luck Dunbar with the F/V WamPum, Leslie and Dwight Downer with the F/V Bavaria, Lori Sele and Reid Barber with the F/V Beachcomber, Brent and Jess Crowe with the F/V Pavlov and Stuart Dewitt with the F/V Kealailani.
Many braved the freezing temperatures for the Haines Christmas Parade organized by the Haines Chamber of Commerce. A Game of Thrones-themed float made an appearance this year. Chamber director Tracey Harmon dressed as Queen Khaleesi, Brian Elliott as the Night King and Ivy and Caroline Elliott and Charlie DeWitt were white walkers. The borough’s float featured assembly member Sean Maidy as the Grinch, Mila Thomas as Cindy Lou Who, Mayor Jan Hill as the Whoville mayor and other borough staff as Whoville residents.
The Haines Dolphins Swim Team hosted a time trial last week for swimmers 10 and under. The “Biggest Drop” award winners went to Charlie DeWitt for dropping 22.51 seconds in his 50-yard backstroke and Caroline Elliott for dropping 16.93 seconds in the same event. Pacific Ricke was the lone representative for the Dolphins at the Mike Smithers Decathlon in Ketchikan. Pacific had five new best times, seven first places, and won first place high point for girls aged 11-12. Emery Tipkemper earned a Junior Olympic qualifying time in his 200 freestyle and is currently placed second, although not all the swims have been completed in the state yet. “I am really proud of everyone and the hard work that they have put into practices,” head coach Jackie St. Clair said. “Now you can see it’s paying off.”
Tod Sebens and his boat the F/V Taz were featured in a Google commercial for the holiday season. The video features passengers on his whale watching tour who were surprised when a humpback jumped feet from his boat. The video has over 185,000 videos on YouTube.
Debra Schnabel and Sharon Resnick recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia, “I was introduced to a place on the planet that claims more history and geology and culture and resilient people than I could ever have imagined without being there,” Debra said. “We traveled primarily in the northwest quarter from Addis Ababa to the headwaters of the Blue Nile, to Bahar Dar, trekked in the Simien mountains, on to Axum, home to the Queen of Sheba, and Lalibela where we discovered rock-hewn churches. We traveled east by train through the Rift Valley to the walled city of Harar.” Along the way they met gracious, hopeful people coping with a challenging political legacy, Debra said; she will share photos with the community later this winter.
There is a GoFundMe set up for Sherri Kessner and Josh Piorier whose infant foster daughter, Kenzi, died last week. There will also be an indigenous taco fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 22 from 11 p.m. 1 p.m. at the CIA building on Third Avenue. Plates will cost $10.