Haines Assisted Living resident Joan Snyder had a 95th birthday bash on Sunday attended by an estimated 30 to 40 people. There was live music provided by Rachel Kukull and Henry Leasia, food cooked by Travis Kukull (Snyder’s nephew) and a cake from the local Costa Brava Pastry shop. Tom Heywood even serenaded her with a cover of the Frank Sinatra classic tune, “Young at Heart.” Snyder, a longtime public health nurse in Haines, has been living at HAL for about a year and a half, but she still finds time to meet up with friends for lunch and a swim at the pool, according to HAL administrator Christy Long. “Joan loves a party,” said Long. “She was very gracious, she stood up and thanked all her friends for coming.” Long added that for anybody who missed the party, Snyder is still happy to have visitors any time.
The Uglys of Haines recently donated about $4,000 to residents of Lahaina, the town in Hawaii that suffered devastating wildfires earlier this year. $1,000 came from the Uglys, and another $3,000 came from Haines community members after the Uglys put out the word they were looking for donations. Daniel Martin, president of the Uglys, said the group wanted to help the small community after the natural disaster, in part because it is something Haines residents can relate to. “People didn’t realize how devastating it was —it was kinda like Haines burning up, a town of our size,” he said. About 115 people died in the fire. Martin also said there was a personal connection, as one of his best friends, Jamie Holtvedt, used to live in Haines. Holtvedt had worked as a teacher in Lahaina at the King Kamehameha III Elementary School, which burned to ashes. The Uglys decided to make a direct donation to the school for help with supplies instead of donating to a charity. Holtvedt said about $500 each was given to nine families with kids in the school or staff members. She said the recipients were extremely grateful. “People are so overwhelmed that people they don’t even know are donating,” she said. Classes at the school are still being held in tents, but were recently canceled due to high winds and potential for more fire flare-ups in the region.
Yasmin Radbod, a recruiter from RurAL CAP, was in town from Anchorage this week to coordinate the first elder mentor program in Haines. The program matches seniors 55 years and older with classrooms at local schools, where they work for 20 hours per month for a small stipend. “It’s really like being a grandparent in the classroom,” said Radbod. “The teachers are so grateful for the extra support.” Radbod set up a booth at the senior center and at the school during Sunday’s pancake breakfast fundraiser for the Haines Dolphins swim team, where she said she found a lot of local interest. Radbod said Kiara Hylton helped set up the booth at the school, and several people grabbed applications, which can also be found online.
A dog named Lion who was passing through Haines was reunited with his owner thanks to a chance meeting on Lutak Road. Lauren White was walking her dogs with her fiance along the road when an animal approached her. At first she wasn’t sure if it was a dog. He really looked like a coyote or a wolf. We couldn’t tell at first,” she said. Eventually she realized it had a collar, but the dog still looked somewhat feeble. She brought it home and contacted Haines Animal Rescue Kennel, and posted on Haines Chatters Facebook page, but didn’t hear back about any reports of lost dogs. But the next morning, she encountered a man walking a similar looking dog in the same area. “He said he was looking for another dog just like this one. I said ‘He’s at my house!’” said White. It turned out the dog was a retired sled dog, 16 years old, which gave it the somewhat emaciated appearance.
Pub trivia is back at the Pioneer Bar after a partial summer hiatus. Owner Christy Fowler said the event has been a staple of the 70-year-old bar for at least the last decade. Mike Swasey is the host, and kicked off the event last week with an Alaska-themed event, with a round of questions to complement the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival (nictitating membranes, anyone?). “It was a blast,” said Swasey. “Canadians did not fare well in Alaska trivia.” The weekly trivia should be consistent through the winter, Fowler said. It starts at 7 p.m. on Fridays. Swasey said to expect some themed trivia, with themes tbd.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Yasmin Radbod’s last name and to clarify the source of the donation from the Uglys to Lahaina.