Co-owners Heather Shade and Sean Copeland celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Port Chilkoot Distillery with tours of the distilling plant, a complimentary table of charcuterie and crudité, and liquor samples from the keg Friday. Distiller Dave Thomas made a homemade bread pudding with a bourbon sauce topping. The nibbles were created by mixologist Marissa Mott, a veteran of fine dining restaurants in Detroit, and included pickled vegetables and pistachio and goat-cheese-filled dates. A highlight for visitors was a glass “barrel thief” dipper – used to extract samples from barrels – crafted at Bill Chetney’s glass-blowing studio. Heather said the party was overdue as the plant building’s opening in April 2020 was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company produced more than 6,500 gallons of distilled spirits last year.
Sheri and Craig Loomis were stuck in an elevator at Pike Street Market for 35 minutes during a recent trip south. Sheri said a laborer working on the elevator offered them a ride after another elevator didn’t seem to stop at their floor. The Loomises, the repairman, and a woman with a pallet of bananas for the food bank were stuck together while a friend of the repairman came from across town to free them.
Sisters Riley Erekson of Seattle and Carlee Heinmiller Young of Fort Collins, Colorado were home in Haines last week visiting mom Judy Erekson and dad Lee Heinmiller. Carlee came with her six-month-old daughter Stevie Lynn and husband Will Young. The girls visited Uncle Dan Egolf and aunts Joanna Egolf and Judy Heinmiller as well as their sister Keely and her husband Jordan Baumgartner. Carlee met up with schoolmates including Stojanka Lynch, Rachel Pattison, Lizzy Jurgeleit, and Jo Feldman.
A recent story in the Fort Collins Coloradoan featured the demise of the “Swetsville Zoo,” a roadside attraction of 180 whimsical metal sculptures created by Bill Swets of Tinmath, Colorado. Swets, 81, who was born in Haines, spent nearly his entire life on a 120-acre farm in Tinmath. A tinkerer, he fashioned sculptures of giant animals from scrap metal, car parts and old farm equipment. Bill’s parents, John and Gertrude Swets, worked as Presbyterian missionaries in Haines for 16 years, ending in 1942. “Haines was a real frontier town… They wanted something a little better,” Swets told the newspaper, which described his park next to the Poudre River as “beloved and iconic.”
Recent social media posts about the Chilkat River reaching record flood levels could use some clarification. David Levin, a forecaster for the National Weather Service, which maintains the automated river water gauge near Klukwan, says the agency’s available records for historic crests date only to 2008, and available flow records go back only to 2013. The U.S. Geologic Survey kept daily flow records of the Chilkat starting in 1959, but those records aren’t incorporated in National Weather Service data.
Residents Sylvia Heinz, Larysa Murray, and Brian Rougeux recently volunteered with Team Rubicon to provide salvage efforts in the western Alaska village of Golovin, severely damaged by Typhoon Merbok. Team Rubicon is a relief organization founded by war veterans. Its crews assisted Haines in the wake of the tragic December 2020 landslides.
Leon Rogers was named “Budding Hero of the Woods” and Grace Comstock, “Budding Heroine of the Woods” during the Backcountry Games event last weekend at the fairgrounds. About a dozen youngsters turned out at Raven Arena to compete in events including water-hauling, stone lift, tug-of-war, fish toss, and caber toss. The competition is based on the Highland Games competition in Scotland. Organizers are hoping to entice adults to compete in future years.
Resident Jackie Martin Kaptan was interviewed by radio personality Mo Rocca during a recent airing of his podcast “Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving.” Rocca was remembering Wishbone, a Jack Russell terrier featured on a mid-1990s PBS television show of the same name. Wishbone would appear dressed as characters from famous works of literature. Jackie, an animal trainer who worked in Haines during the 1990 filming of “White Fang,” retired here a few years ago.
Resident Alain D’Espremenil has been hired as the Haines reporter at the public radio station KHNS. Former station reporter Amanda Randles, who is helping train Alain, said at the station’s annual membership meeting on Tuesday that she’s hoping to return the station to a daily newscast and to launch an on-air news magazine in January. Mike Swasey and Brandon Wilks are reporting for the station on a freelance basis. There is one seat open on the Lynn Canal Broadcasting board of directors.