The few who voted in Tuesday's primary voted for the oil company suits, not the coastal residents, which is too bad. The issue is not over, as the legislature will try to re-institute Alaska's coastal zone management plan this winter. I knew we were in trouble when I saw my ballot-- the coastal zone proposition was a full page long. It was like reading the manual for my new solar powered hand crank radio. Way to much information. Hopefully, it can be simplified and put back in place.
Today is primary election day and I will vote to bring back the state coastal zone management program. It worked for 30 years until our lawmakers let it run out. It seems to me that if the oil companies are out-spending the coastal mayors, fishermen, and concerned citizens 7-1 there must be a reason, and that reason probably has nothing to do with protecting the Lynn Canal fishery, or the beach Pearl and I walk on every day.
After popular fisherman and father of three daughters, Richard Boyce, slipped off his gillnetter and drowned on the 4th of July, his friends decided to do something positive and honor his memory by providing flotation devices in the form of inflatable suspenders for the rubber rain pants of every fisherman in the Haines fleet- about 176 skippers and deckhands. Really, one person, Randa Szymanski spearheaded the effort, with guidance from her fisherman husband and his buddies on what would and would not work. Good intentions won't save lives.
From poet Mary Oliver- "Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your gift to us, if we only look, and see."
When a friend asked for volunteers to make dinners for Michael and the two little girls while his wife Melissa is in an Anchorage hospital, 800 miles away from Haines, on complete bed rest, until hopefully December, to keep a baby in her womb who apparently wants to come out early ( their third child, a toddler, is up there with Michael's parents and visiting his mother daily). I said yes. So did lots of other people. The meals-on-wheels calendar filled up quickly.
Let's just say there has been a lot of family time this week. We needed to get a tree stand up for moose hunting season, golf, berry pick, enjoy a few more sunny summer days at the beach, can some salmon, take a few walks, and spend some time rainy-day time indoors cooing at babies. There is something about the end of the August that makes me want to spend every second I can outdoors or with the people I love. I get this kind of homesick, time is passing feeling, and I just don't want to miss a second of it, you know? There will be plenty of time this winter to write, right?
It is more than a little nice to spend a few days with a little bit of the family (actually the very littlest right now) at a cabin on a pond out of internet and phone reach, without electricity or plumbing. My grandchildren will no doubt mess up all those popular surveys of college freshmen classes-- as they will know what an outhouse is and recognize the country morning sound of a shifting lid on a wood burning cookstove. We ate a trout for breakfast, berry picked, and saw a cow moose near the woodshed at dusk.
Tonight at 7:30 in the Chilkat Center the Haines Arts Council presents the Alaska String Band and Triple L Band-- it's a family friendly show of bluegrass, old time, gospel, and swing tunes. Tomorrow from 10-noon there is a Farmer's Market at the Fairgrounds. Sunday from 3-5 at the Fireweed there is a thank you party for Daymond as he exits the Borough Assembly and a potluck meet and greet for Jono as he runs for a seat. Then at 5 that evening at the museum Elena, Brooke, and Jackie will give a slide show about their trip to Dr. Greg's Kilimanjaro orphanage-- don't miss this.
Yesterday morning we cycled right into a fog bank at about 9-mile so thick I had to stop and take off my glasses. This is right along the stretch of road adjacent to the Chilkat River where we always see wet bear prints and piles of bear poop. Actually, the whole road from home to 10-mile has been like that this summer. If the Haines Highway were a hiking trail we would carry bear spray, sing loudly, and probably turn around and go home when we encountered, say, the fifth pile of poop. But on a freshly lined paved road we feel safe. Sort of.