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.

The Haines assembly did some great good the other night by supporting the pre-school and giving them another year in the old Human Resource Building where they have been for over thirty years, and the innovative plan to join forces with the Senior Center facility and create a new place for our young adjacent to our elders, which I really like. As Margaret said before her yes vote, she’s ready to do something good for a change. It was just too bad that the starting point for the discussion seemed to be, well, we can’t come up with another reason to oppose it, so I guess we have no choice but to do what the residents want. ( The hall was packed to standing room in support of the pre-school and our young families with a broad swath of the community.) Sigh.

Even so, much of the meeting was like a Monty Python skit on Roberts Rules of Orders, with motions and amendments and amendments to amendments and points of order and calls for question and re-considerings–  and much confusion on process. I sure was lost trying to follow the assembly action. It took from 6:30-9:00 to move three ordinances forward that they approved of either unanimously or 5-1. By then it was past my bedtime so I went home. Thank goodness I missed the mean part of the meeting when one assemblyman apparently attacked the clerk.

I would like to say, well it is January, and after thirty plus years here, I should expect this. As one old timer reminds me, this is the season when we go from Cabin Fever to Shack Nasty, but just because we have always behaved this way this time year is the worst reason to continue. It doesn’t do anybody any good. Find the good, as someone I know has said–

So, perhaps there should be a little Zumba before the assembly meetings ( my daughter Stoli is teaching classes these days and she cheers up any crowd she’s in)  or jumping Jacks, or wonderful Marnie or Mandy leading a few yoga poses during the breaks. And maybe even a few happy lights should be placed in public places, like the borough office and the library?

I hope you have a good day– and maybe we should all tell the people we see today– at the store, work, school, the pool, the library– in the neighborhood, that you appreciate them, that they are looking great, and greet a scowl with a smile. Think of it as a lifeline in a storm. As I used to say to my cross country teams, take responsibility for your own survival– and this time of year especially, so much depends on the mood of the people we are with.