When a Haines facebook friend wrote - no more dying, okay? I knew exactly what she meant. Recently we have lost a lot of people for such a small place. Two well-loved elders died (basically) of old age-- former Southeast Fair director Harriet Jurgeleit and hard working Hotel Halsingland founder Hilma White. Ed Laperyi was a grandfather, but his death following a car accident was a shock. The former sawmill owner traded in his red suspenders for what I thought of as a Rat Pack vibe when he bought the Captain’s Choice Motel.
There's a lot going on, with play rehearsal's in full swing for Oklahoma! ( Luckily everyone is moving around a lot, as there is no heat in the Chilkat Center and it may be a while until the new boiler is installed), the cross-country team is training and racing, moose hunting season begins Saturday at dawn, and election season is in full swing. There is a candidate's forum tonight at 7 at the museum sponsored by We the People.
The wind was churning muddy green breakers onto the beach when I left Haines for Anchorage (with an overnight stop in Juneau to see the engaged couple and JJ) so I took the last two Dramamine in the house. My suit case was heavier than I hoped, but I had to pack Xtra-Tufs for the weekend in Homer and city clothes for the two days in Anchorage and another in Juneau--but I was flying light compared to the retired troopers who said they weighed 220 and 260, and who had waxed boxes of fish, big duffles, and heavy suitcases. I wished I had said I weighed 220. Just to make sure we'd take off.
I know. I usually post Sunday's Thought, but these change of season days have me off my schedule completely. I am watching the pressure gages on three canners for the next hour-- so I figured I'd catch up.
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.