August 24, 2017
Suzanne and John Newton will be looking at different mountains soon. After 11 years in Haines, the couple is moving to Crossville, Tenn. The view from their new house will include the Cumberland Mountains and the start of the Great Smoky Mountain range. Back when they lived in the Midwest, the couple would take their motorcycles into Tennessee. They’d ride and joke about wanting to be “mountain people,” Suzanne said. “So we’re becoming mountain people. We’ll be back on the motorcycles. It’ll be an adventure.” They’re also looking forward to the changing of the seasons, theatre, ballet and symphonies, the country music scene and being closer to family. They plan to depart Haines on the Sept. 18 ferry. They’ll then drive from Washington to Tennessee, while keeping an eye out for the world’s largest ball of string, Suzanne said. “We’re just gonna have fun.” Suzanne worked for nine years at the Haines School as a special needs para-educator. John worked as a bus driver and tour guide, and served as commander of the American Legion.
You may have spotted the pink mammogram van cruising through town this week. The van, which comes to Haines twice a year, is part of Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Wisewoman program. Exams take place inside the van - parked at the local clinic - using the latest 3-D technology, said Wisewoman patient educator Pam Sloper. Typically, about 100 people are screened per visit. The van will hopefully return in May, she said. Cost of the exam may be covered, depending on income eligibility, thanks to a women’s health grant. Sloper said that Pap smears take place in the SEARHC clinic - also with cost based on income eligibility. Risk factors for breast cancer include family history, tobacco use, inactivity, stress and being overweight, she said. Though their recommendations vary slightly, organizations such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society suggest women start having regular breast exams by the time they hit middle-age. For questions call the Wisewoman program at 766-6367.
About 65 people attended the Haines Borough Public Library’s eclipse party Monday morning. The event kicked off at 8:30 a.m. and featured live NASA coverage, as it was too cloudy to see the sun here. The crowd, gathered in front of the library’s large screen, seemed “blown away,” said library systems engineer Erik Stevens. Even watching it on TV was powerful, he said. The morning also included a talk about solar eclipse history in Haines. The event was organized by the library’s education and cultural coordinator, Zephyr Sincerny.
Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker didn’t just attend the Alaska Municipal League conference, held here in Haines last week. He and wife Sarah Walker made the most of their visit by turning it into a week-long family trip with children Ayla, Addison and Abigail. Road trip stops included Tok, Kluane Lake and Kathleen Lake. In Haines, the family camped at Chilkoot Lake, visited local museums, thrift stores, shops, cafes and the library, swung by the Small Boat Harbor, held a local baby, met up with fellow Healy resident Eileen McIver and swam at the Haines pool. Highlights for the children included hiking to Moose Meadows, exploring the Hammer Museum and fishing at Chilkoot.
University of Alaska Fairbanks recently announced its 2017 spring semester academic honors students. Haines’ Scott Hansen and Elena Horner earned spots on the Chancellor’s list, which recognizes students with a 3.9 or higher grade point average. Kai Sato-Franks made the Dean’s list, which includes those with a 3.5 to 3.89 grade point average. Students who earned spots on the University of Alaska Southeast and University of Alaska Anchorage 2017 spring semester honor roll include Jasmine Taylor (Chancellor’s list) and Jackie St Clair (Dean’s list). The University of Alaska Anchorage 2017 spring semester honor roll includes Justice Jensen (Chancellor’s list) and Amey Messerschmidt (Dean’s list).
Jan Hill and Ben Bard took part in a multicultural celebration to honor the Yukon’s Tatshenshini River earlier this month. The group, which consisted of performers from the Yukon and Alaska, gathered at Million Dollar Falls. The performance combined First Nations culture with Bhangra dancing, while also featuring the fiddle and bagpipe. The celebration was part of a “Celebrate Canada’s Heritage Rivers” event, produced by Yukon Women in Music and sponsored by Canada 150 and Canadian Heritage. CBC North posted a video of the performance on its Facebook page; the Yukon Times also shared the video. Hill is playing the drum and Bard is holding the paddle.
Local residents’ works are featured in the 2017 edition of “Tidal Echoes,” a Southeast Alaska literary and arts journal published by the University of Alaska Southeast. JoAnn Ross Cunningham’s essay, “Stardust in Seattle: Motes of Human Activity,” takes a humorous yet deeply reflective look at various human activities and attitudes. The piece was inspired by her experience at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Seattle, where she worked years ago. It’s a “kaleidoscopic look” at a moment of her life when she met all kinds of people, she said. Even the title takes a “macroscopic” look at life, portraying humans as “little specks racing around the planet doing what we do,” she said. Two poems written by Alex Van Wyhe were also featured in the journal, as well as two photographs taken by Mandy Ramsey.
About 25 children, plus parents, volunteers and coaches, attended the rainy end-of-season Community Youth Development tee-ball barbecue last week. Youths played one final game before the hot dog cookout began, said CYD director Al Giddings. The season lasted all summer. The group was led by head coach Liam Cassidy and assistant coach Heath Scott. Giddings thanked the volunteers, parents and coaches who supported the season.