It was like the 80s logging and mill battles all over again last night at the Chilkat Center only this time it was mining vs. fish. (Sort of. It wasn't meant to be, but we jumped the gun.) "A little tense" is how one friend described the informational meeting on Tier 3 or Outstanding National Resource Water status for the Chilkat River under the Clean Water Act. (I know, it’s a mouthful.) Michelle Hale of the Alaska DEC spoke and answered questions about the river’s recent nomination by the Klukwan Village and a statewide fishermen’s group.
I have two obituaries to write today for teacher Betty Venables who taught at The Haines Christian School back when there was one, and George Meacock Jr., who was the son of a prominent pioneering family. George graduated from Haines High in 1951 in a class with three boys and three girls. One of them was Myrna, and George's wife Gladys who married him in 1975, suggested I talk with her for older memories. I asked Myrna about him at church yesterday, and she gasped. She hadn't known George had died.
“They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”
~ Harper Lee, from To Kill a Mockingbird
The Chilkat River isn't so much talking this morning as it is howling-- my face has a fine layer of silty grit thanks to the dust storm blowing down from Klukwan. I would have taken a picture, but my mittens are too clunky and I couldn't take them off without flash-freezing my fingers which I need in order to type. (Two of them, at least.) Last night's Rivertalk story telling evening in the Chilkat Center was so moving and whacky in a weird and wonderful Haines way that it made my February.
Here is a short, non-political, critically informative video explanation of Alaska's financial crisis by Gunnar Knapp that every Alaskan should watch and share with friends. Thanks to Charles Wolforth's column in the Dispatch, which is a good read as well. There will also be a citizen discussion about the Haines economy Saturday night at 7:00 in the Chilkat Center.
"Smile at each other; smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other." ~ Mother Teresa
So this week we've had snow, sun, clouds, wind, calm, cold, warm-- and Alaska made the national news because there's not enough snow in Anchorage to start the Iditarod sled dog race there this year. Today? The clouds fell from the sky and landed on the beach.
"The birds they sang
at the break of day
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be...
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."-- Leonard Cohen