Greg Podsiki celebrated 30 years working for the United States Postal Service in Haines this week. Podsiki was surprised with decorations made by his children and grandchildren, including Melissa Bastable Ganey and Kaitlyn Podsiki, and friends and coworkers Gen Bell, Aimee Jacobson, Shori Heaton, and Corrie Stickler. Podsiki also was treated to a cake baked by Ganey and decorated by Kaitlyn Podsiki with the USPS logo. Becky Nash stopped by to read a two-page poem about Podsiki’s long tenure, which Podsiki described “as one of the most demanding but wonderful jobs I have ever had.” He said there is always something new to learn, as technology has significantly changed the way mail is processed since his first day on the job.
Despite visitor restrictions, Helen Tengs has been able to keep in touch with her children Tony Tengs and Christy Tengs Fowler from her residence at the Juneau Pioneer Home. The facility has recently acquired iPads as part of an effort to keep residents connected and safe from COVID-19. A recent Juneau Empire story featured Tony Tengs playing his guitar and singing into an iPhone, while his mother watches through a glass door and listens through the iPad. The technology also helps Christy Tengs Fowler visit with her mother from her home in Haines. “It is still a little confusing for her,” Tony Tengs said. “I like to be able to see her and have her see me. It seems reassuring.”
Eileen McIver won $250 and fifth place for her video “We Put the Zoo in Zoom” from the Alaska Landmine video contest, which received nearly 200 video submissions. The contest featured Alaskans living social distancing mandates. McIver heard about the contest from former Haines resident Krista Kielsmeier. The idea for her submission was born from a zoom party for pets McIver had organized in Healy, Alaska, where she currently lives. She limited the event to animals, and the zoom boxes were filled with pets rather than people. She submitted an edited version of the party for the contest. “I wasn’t going to do it,” she said. “But then I saw there were cash prizes.”
Rustin Gooden finished his last class for his master’s degree in fish and wildlife management last week. His thesis, more than 60 pages long, discussed the importance of funding to research the effect of climate change on subsistence users in Southeast Alaska. To celebrate, Gooden is planning a multi-day bike, hike and packraft adventure up the Tsirku River to the Tsirku Glacier.
Julie and Noble Anderson celebrated their anniversary with take-out in Juneau and memories of Haines residents involved in their wedding here 12 years ago. Barb Blood had made a delicious cherry pie and she and husband Jerry served as witnesses. Late Haines magistrate John Hutchins provided flowers in addition to ones the couple brought from Bell’s Store.
Haines High School special education teacher Jason Eson, has been keeping busy working from home and chronicling past adventures on his YouTube channel “Jason Eson.” Recent videos include drone footage of skiing on the Jarvis Glacier and Mount Kashagnak, which was shot before social-distancing mandates were in place, wakeboarding in Lutak Inlet, and a comic video featuring a review of exponential growth and COVID-19. “I hope people watch it and smile a bit,” Eson said.