10 years ago, 2014

Assessor says accounts still a mess
By Karen Garcia

The Haines Borough’s latest contract assessor says years of problems persist in the borough’s assessment system and resolving them may require establishing a department with three full-time employees. 

Marty McGee has been working since November to address problems he says include inconsistencies and inaccuracies in property descriptions and records, inadequate staff time devoted to assessments, and poor direction provided by previous borough managers. 

Hired last fall, McGee is former chief assessor for the Municipality of Anchorage and has served as chairman of the State Assessment Review Board. He said his highest priority for creating the 2014 property tax assessments has been correcting inequities that resulted from last year’s valuations, which had some properties jump 800 percent in value. 

The borough received more than 400 appeals last year as a result of former contract assessor Jim Canary’s valuations. 

25 years ago, April 15, 1999

Swimmer returns with Olympic gold

Haines Dolphin Genny Szymanski is the third-fastest 10-year-old female swimmer in the state, taking seven top-five finishes in last weekend’s Alaska Junior Olympics. 

Syzmanski won the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley races, and knocked seconds off her previous best times in all seven events. “She blew us away. We were hoping for one top-five finish. We’re pretty stunned by this,” said Randa Szymanski, Genny’s mom and team coordinator. 

Genny said she responded to the intense atmosphere at the Bartlett High School pool. More than 400 swimmers on 27 teams competed in the two-day meet. “I had a good mental attitude. You just decide you want to win no matter what.”

50 years ago, April 4, 1975

Southeast Skyways, too, wants the Haines route

Southeast Skyways of Juneau flew into Haines Thursday and put in a bid for community support in their application to the Alaska Transportation Commission (ATC) for the Haines-Skagway-Juneau run which Alaska Airlines wants to drop June 1. 

Timing their appearance to demonstrate most effectively their capability — the ceiling was too low for the Alaska Airlines Twin Otter flight which was canceled — Bill Bernhardt, Jim Juille and Dean Williams arrived in a Grumman Goose amphibian piloted by Ray Renshaw, veteran of the old Alaska Coastal Airlines Grumman operation of a decade and more ago.