Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Duly Noted


November 14, 2019

Dr. Michelle Oakley is featured in an article on for her work with Archer, the Haines dog who was burned in a house fire last year. “Archer’s story, a graft surgery for his eye, will be in our next season, too, which comes out in March. He is doing great,” the vet said. The People article highlights how Oakley used tilapia skin to help heal his wounds and make a miraculous recovery. All seasons of Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet are now available on Disney’s new streaming service. “We are really excited for the potential to get more viewers and have it available internationally,” Oakley said.

Last weekend’s bald eagle festival wrapped up with a celebration dinner on Saturday, catered by chef Travis Kukull. The band Sunny North Extension played music while attendees square danced, even in the midst of a power outage. Dave Olerud also accepted an award on behalf of the Alaska Legislature from Jesse Kiehl, which was presented by former Haines teacher and principal Gary Matthews. The award was for the American Bald Eagle Foundation’s quarter century of service and conservation on behalf of the bald eagle’s habitat, through education and stewardship.

Genny Rietze has returned from a Rise Business Conference in South Carolina. The conference was started by Rachel Hollis, famed author of the book Girl Wash Your Face. The conference was attended by 6,000 people, most of whom were women, and from as far away as Australia. “There were eight guest speakers that shared their personal journey, tips and tricks and how they overcame failure. It was very real, inspirational, and encouraging,” said Genny. She hopes to apply the concepts she learned to her business Haines Compost. “It was a good reset and good inspiration for big plans to come with Haines and composting,” she added. While waiting to get back to Haines, in Juneau she also caught up with Lisa Daugherty, founder of Juneau Compost.

Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood met in Anchorage for Grand Camp Convention in October. Haines Camp 5 ANS sent two delegates, Carol Lawrence and Leanne Converse. ANS elected new officers and Carol Duis was elected secretary, along with Paulette Moreno of Sitka as president, Sandra Churchill of Wrangell as first vice-president, Kevin Allen of Juneau as second vice-president, Cynthia Llanos of Ketchikan as treasurer, and Cyndi Reeves of Anchorage as sergeant at arms. The convention is a historic event. Heather Gurko was elected the first woman president of the ANB Grand Camp in its 107-year history. Also, at the conference attendees had the opportunity to sign HB 126 establishing that each November is Alaska Native Heritage Month in Alaska. The U.S. Mint also unveiled the design for a $1 gold coin in honor of Elizabeth Peratrovich and her civil rights activism for Alaska Natives, which will be available in 2020.

Jenn Walsh and Chris Downer along with their son Azeo have just returned from a sunny rock climbing trip in Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas. They were also joined by other Haines locals, Rachel Saitzyk, Jeffery Moskowitz, Brian Rougeux and Lizi Wirak. Highlights of the trip were the perfect sunshine and amazing rock climbing in the Nevada desert. “Azeo and I went to the Children’s Discovery Center and he loved the hands-on learning at the museum. He also really loved playing with his chalk bag while we were climbing and sprinkling chalk everywhere,” said Walsh. She and Wirak also were able to do a girls’ trip to climb Geronimo. Wirak and Rougeux, and friend Drew Peterson from Oregon climbed a 2200-foot face called Solar Slab.

The Haines Public Library is hosting Mad Science on Tuesdays. Education coordinator Tracey Wirak is leading lessons for kids to learn about the scientific process and to get kids excited about hands-on projects. “We have lots of snacks from the summer program, so kids can come in and have a snack while I read them a book themed around the experiment we will conduct,” she said.


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