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

Duly Noted


October 15, 2020

Haines Compost has composted more than 100,120 pounds of biodegradable waste and food scraps since their start in September 2018. Owner Genny Rietze reports the free service uses the static aerobic cube method and makes a compost batch in about three months. She reports there will be a (literal) ton of compost ready to sell for spring gardens in 2021. Haines Compost recently added turkeys to their business model. Genny’s goal is to sell chicken eggs and turkeys grown entirely on food waste that would have gone to the landfill. She hopes to hatch chicks in the spring so locals don’t have to order chicks through the mail. For those concerned about bear attractants on their property, Haines Compost is a safe and responsible alternative to dumping everything in the trash as 54% of household waste is compostable. Rietze said. Visit for more information. 

Southeast Alaska Independent Living opened its doors in Haines 13 years ago and SAIL assistant director and Haines program director Sierra Jimenez celebrated her 20th year with the organization. Last week, SAIL moved its local offices into the Union Street building currently occupied by REACH Inc. The two organizations are collaborating by sharing an accessible, family friendly, and welcoming building for all of their clients and staff. The organizations complement each other through the services they provide. 

Azure Jensen reports her team Tori’s Troopers is currently in second place for fundraising in the annual Step Up For Down Syndrome walk in Fort Worth, Texas. During a normal year more than 2,500 people show up for the walk but this year it’s a virtual event on October 17. Azure is planning a parade around her neighborhood with her friends and neighbors in lieu of the past large gathering. Azure is motivated to raise money for Down syndrome in honor of her 8-year-old daughter, Tori. Azure reports over the past six years her team has raised over $20,000. 

Azure lives in Texas with her husband Matt Jensen and children: Wade, Camden, and Tori. 

Her son, Wade, was recently named homecoming king of Timber Creek High School, where he is a senior and the drumline captain. 

Grandparents Bruce and JennyLyn Smith in Haines were disappointed they didn’t have the family in Haines this summer for their usual visit due to COVID-19. 

If you want to donate to her team visit:

Suzanne Vuillet-Smith traveled to The Plains, New York to visit her father Bob Vuillet and bring him back to Haines for a visit. After following quarantine protocol, Bob is enjoying visiting with his daughter Heather Lende, and sons-in-laws Norm Smith and Chip Lende. Bob also is spending time with local granddaughters and great grandchildren.

Suzanne and Norm’s daughter and Haines High School graduate Isobel Smith is living in Spokane, Washington. Isobel stayed in Spokane after her graduation from Gonzaga University. She is the Outreach Director at Dishman Hills Conservancy, which is a small conservation nonprofit organization. She is also interning for the Al Gross Senate Campaign, working on volunteer recruitment through their Anchorage office. 

Last week, the Haines High School photography class started taking school photos and will continue through this week.

Parent-teacher conferences look a little different this year as parents are encouraged to sign up for a ZOOM meeting with teachers. Conferences will take place on Oct. 19 and 20. Students will be out of school those days. 

The cross-country teams finished their season with a fun and messy tough mudder race after school on Friday. Middle school and high school runners combined running with other fun and messy agility stations including somersaults, bear crawl, and a moat jump. 

The speech and volleyball teams are currently practicing. The DDF team has a virtual meet on Oct. 17. High school wrestling will start Nov. 2.  More details to come about what exactly that will look like during this time of social distancing. HBSD continues to successfully hold in-person classes, which is a unique opportunity for public school students in 2020. 


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