Why being civil matters: Heather Lende on surviving small-town politics

Heather Lende

Book number four, from Heather Lende, is about why and how people in small towns find a way—usually—to remain civil to one another.

In “Of Bears and Ballots,” Lende tells the stories that bubbled (sometimes volcanoed) to the surface in Haines, Alaska while she served on the borough assembly there. A former logging town that now survives on tourism, the great outdoors and fishing, its voters run the gamut between fiscal conservatives, pro-developers and environmental protectionists, and probably a few other political eddies significant only to Haines. Of its political stripes, she calls them “violet with red and blue highlights.”

And when they disagree, which happens frequently, they aren’t always nice about it. Just ask her about the recall election….

As it happens, there are lessons here for our political times—on the state, national and global stage. Join us for a conversation with Heather Lende on the very day before the official release of her new book. Your questions and comments are welcome throughout the hour.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Heather Lende, author living and writing in Haines



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air
  • LIVE: Monday, June 29, 2020 at 2:00 p.m
  • RE-AIR: Monday, June 29, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
  • PODCAST: at www.alaskapublic.org/hometown for free future public access
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