I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

I’m coming back to life after the flu that won’t quit. I hate being ill, I am too healthy for this. Oh well. Here is what you need to know–  best selling Alaskan author Don Rearden is speaking at the library today at 4, don’t miss him– if that’s possible for you– and tomorrow at 11 is the Dennis Miles Memorial ski race at 26 mile, and Tod Sebens is giving a slide show at 1 at the library on his bike ride around Cuba. Spring break begins today, and continues all next week, the boys basketball starts play in the state tourney Monday,  Mosey’s is open and the Fireweed will be soon, and  we have over 11 hours of foggy, warm-ish daylight today and are gaining six minutes tomorrow. All of which means I don’t have time to be sick anymore. It is time to shake a leg and buck up. Yesterday I attended a Hospice board meeting in the morning, spent the day in bed, and then went to the planning commission meeting. I hope it was good that I was at both. At the planning commission meeting I had to decide against a friend– and afterwards there was a discussion of conflict of interest and bias, and how to avoid each and what they are. Conflict requires substantial financial gain, bias may be a business association or perhaps even a competitor ruling on an issue–  However, it doesn’t count if the appellant is the Godfather of your child, as was my case. That makes small town public service hard, but as John Adams said, we are a country of laws, and while the Haines Borough is a tiny part of that same system, we too have laws and codes and guidelines– and the only way a successful town works is if those laws are followed– no matter who they apply to, or if some people believe there is a good reason to ignore them. (Of course laws can be changed, but that too has a process that we agree collectively on and must follow.) This has been a rough week of putting all this governing ourselves to the test– with both successes and failures and a lot of long emotional meetings. From heli-skiing to gravel pits, the enforcement of the rules depends on us. Once we start shifting in favor of friendships, or  business health,  or all kinds of good or bad, or at the very least biased reasons over the accepted rules, residents get really mad or scared and don’t trust the leaders to do anything to protect or defend them. At least spring is just around the corner, there’s an author in town, a ski race to remember a guy who made life better here, and it’s warm enough to wash windows. Although Pearl would rather duck hunt. Sort of. I think she stole Mike and Ray’s plush mallard. (The two big black dogs from next door.)  If it doesn’t belong to her, she’ll have to return it. That’s the way it is, Pearly girl.  It’s nothing personal — I still think you’re the best.