News of Bikes and the outing of a Bully
It's going to be a really big weekend beginning Friday as all the cyclists roll off the ferry and head up to Haines Junction, and then Saturday as about 1350 of them (us) pedal the roughly 160 miles back down to Haines, finishing up on the Parade Grounds in front of the derelict former Army barracks building and spending the night in town. About 150 volunteers also man all the checkpoints, and this year, I say bundle up. It's cold up in the pass, and it's supposed to rain -- at least on Friday and part of Saturday, with south winds (translate that to head winds for cyclists. Of course today is sunny with a strong north wind. But that's life, right?) For me the best thing about the Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay is that it keeps me riding my bike year in and year out. It's the motivation to head out on a lot of early morning rides. There's also the annual community fishermen's salmon barbecue at the fair grounds Saturday night, and the Haines People for Peace pancake breakfast at the Senior Center Sunday morning. I was feeling pretty good about riding half the race-- 4 legs or 80 or miles, until I ran into a John McConnochie at the Fireweed Wednesday night. He left yesterday morning for a 24 hour, 360 mile ride around from Haines up and over and through Whitehorse and back down to Skagway. You think that way he can back over here in time for the race?
In other more serious news, let's give Margaret Friedenauer of KHNS radio flowers and chocolate for bird dogging the story about former Haines police officer, Jason Joel, who has a shady and scary past-- from leaving local bills unpaid to sexual harassment-- and has recently been hired as a security officer for the Alaska Marine Highway! The biggest lesson here is that keeping the public's business public is always better than secrecy. It's embarrassing that all local officials in Haines can legally do is confirm Joel's hiring date and (abrupt) resignation date. As a former police dispatcher who filed a complaint against him told KHNS when she heard that Joel been given even more authority over many more people: "There's no way for them to dig it up because every place he worked has hidden it in one way or another."