Who is the Boss of This Place?
When my children were small, they used to ask "who is the boss of this place?" and I'd answer "I am" or "your father is" if I needed back-up. It's a good thing to know. Tom Morphet asked a similar question in an editorial in the Chilkat Valley News two weeks ago, after a really busy weekend. "Who is in charge of scheduling in this town?" and he answered, "No one. Should there be?" And made a good case for it, as on Saturday May 14 there were five big events all happening in our small town. Our daughter had to attend the Girls on the Run 5K and the pre-school fund raiser and picnic, so we drove to the Klukwan heritage center opening with her daughters, so they could see their dad dance, which means we missed the only home track meet and any chance to greet the new borough manager prospects, or see who would be chosen to lead our community and be "the boss of this place." At least for a little bit. There have been so many in the last decade I can't name them all, can you? Which begs bigger questions. Anyone who reads Tom's paper knows there are a lot of concerns with The Borough's leadership from the harbor expansion process to Jehovah's Witnesses setting up shop in Lookout Park all summer to capture tourists.
Still, the shining gold star goes to the temporary boss of our school, Haines School District Interim Superintendent Rich Carlson, for his kind, brave, and wise guidance -- and the school board and staff's prompt and non-contentious agreement on policies in response to it-- regarding our local transgender teen, Ice. As Superintendent Carlson told KHNS, "We're not going to discriminate based on gender identity. That's the long and short of it." He even traveled to the state track meet where Ice placed in two events, flying 800 miles to Anchorage as soon as he heard there may be some protesters. "I wanted to be there, frankly, to protect Ice," he told KHNS.
There are many other real leaders who make this town remarkable-- and they are easy to spot in the summertime all over town-- at the beer fest, Jess and the Southeast Alaska State Fair, the library and the summer reading program, the bike race board and volunteers, the farmer's market, the summer youth theater conservatory, Carol and the Arts Confluence, the pre-school builders, the newspaper and the radio news writers, the new wellness center by HAL that Lucy Harrell helped pay for (and Lucy!), the old theater turned arts and crafts center on Main Street, the 4th of July celebrations, the tribal members heading to Celebration in Juneau, and the volunteers at the museums and on the ambulance and fire crews and coaching T-ball, caring for stray animals at HARK, and Presbyterians helping old women zip-line. (I'm sure you can make this list even longer.)
Also, the pool has re-opened and the women's locker room is much nicer thanks to The Borough crew. (It's closed Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer, and there are swimming lessons for the kids. Call 766-2666 for details.) Nick Jans is speaking and showing slides at the library at 7:00 on Thursday, and in a scheduling conflict, I can't go, because there is a Planning Commission meeting at 6:30. The agenda is posted on The Borough webpage.