Emily Files, KHNS - Haines
Emily Files is a reporter at KHNS in Haines.
Alaska Fish and Game is stepping up its research on bats in Southeast. The nocturnal, bug-eating animal is being threatened in the Lower 48 by a disease called White-Nose Syndrome. That’s prompting Alaska researchers to find out which bats live here and where they roost. But they can’t do all the work by themselves, so they’re enlisting the public’s help.
Two of Klukwan School’s high school students are either graduating or moving after this year. The high school/junior high teacher is also leaving.
Hooligan fishing is a tradition for many people in the Upper Lynn Canal. But this spring, those who fish in the Chilkoot had disappointing results. Researchers say the mysterious fish seem to have turned right instead of left into the Taiya, near Skagway, instead of the Chilkoot. And there’s no way to know exactly why.
Skagway’s modern gold rush – the cruise ship season – has begun. The town of around 1,000 people expects almost 800,000 cruise ship passengers this summer. And the first 2,000 of those passengers had a chance to explore town Tuesday. The Celebrity Solstice sailed north from Vancouver, with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway.
Skagway’s modern gold rush – the cruise ship season – has begun. The town of around 1,000 people expects almost 800,000 cruise ship passengers this summer. And the first 2,000 of those passengers had the chance to explore town on Tuesday. The Celebrity Solstice sailed north from Vancouver, with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway.
Two forester jobs in Haines and two in Ketchikan are wiped out in the state budget approved by the legislature earlier this week. Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed changes to that budget would add some money back into the Department of Natural Resources, but they wouldn’t bring back Southeast forester jobs. However, the two-person Haines State Forest office won’t be completely lost.
A growing national movement to opt-out of standardized testing has hit the Haines School District hard. In the past six years, only one student has refrained from taking annual tests. But this year, families of 12 students refused the test.
Haines School is now one of many around the US that have put restrictions on yoga pants and leggings. These rules have sparked discussions about appropriate school attire and personal choice.
In Haines, the borough assembly has decided to wait until the state finalizes legislation before taking any action on local rules on marijuana use and sales. But some residents aren’t waiting on the legislature.
The fourth time was a charm for the Freeride World Tour in Haines. The big mountain ski and snowboard competition made three attempts to hold the event, but cancelled each one because of weather.
Some of the best big mountain skiers and snowboarders in the world are in Haines this week for the Freeride World Tour. After taking on slopes in France, Andorra and Austria, the tour is holding its first ever Alaska stop.
Sports like basketball are well-supported at schools around Southeast Alaska. But in Skagway, the superintendent and school board have made a deliberate effort to extend activities beyond athletics.
Alaska’s Percent for Art in Public Places statute mandates that one percent of construction costs for public buildings are set aside to pay for art installations.
The Haines Borough Police Department and dispatch services could face a dramatic funding loss under Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed budget. It would eliminate funding the state Department of Corrections, or DOC, gives each year to law enforcement in 15 small communities. That funding is meant to help communities run local jails, but in Haines it supports more than that.
For three years, the 500-person town of Haines Junction had no grocery store. Residents had to drive two hours to Whitehorse to shop for food. But in December, two locals broke the grocery drought.
It’s hard to get a true sense of how big of a problem homelessness is in Haines. There is no shelter or centralized service tasked with responding to homelessness. Right now, a patchwork of local organizations helps out people in need. But even they aren’t sure how large the problem is and what the solution should be.
Haines doesn’t have a shelter or official service for people who are homeless. There are local organizations that do what they can to help – a lot of the time that means providing a one-way ferry ticket to Juneau, the closest town with a homeless shelter. So what happens when a homeless couple shows up in Haines, determined to find a place to stay? That happened with 48-year-old Roger and 45-year-old Judy Kley, who slept in shelters and on the streets for three years and just recently found a home in Haines.
Haines School now has a physical education teacher and high school girls’ basketball coach who trained an NBA team for 20 years.
Port Chilkoot Distillery in Haines is the only craft distillery in Southeast. When the business started, distilleries in the state were not allowed to sell their spirits on-site. But a law passed earlier this year removes that restriction.
Each fall, thousands of bald eagles flock to a stretch of the Chilkat River about 20 miles north of Haines. The birds fly there for a late chum salmon run. It’s thought to be the largest gathering of eagles in the world. Dozens of people travel to witness the raptors each year, filling up almost every hotel room in Haines.