Katherine Dolma achieved her Girl Scout Gold Award, scouting’s highest recognition, for her community work on reusing and recycling.
In working toward the award, Dolma completed 80 hours of service work based on the education and implementation of recycling for schools and businesses. This involved making presentations to school children, helping to change habits at her own school and helping with the Ecological girls’ annual fashion show that features clothing from recycled products.
“It’s a fun way to get people to think about recycling,” Dolma said, speaking of the fashion show.
A long time ago, birds were colorless, a dull gray that displeased Raven and his friend Jay. Ever industrious from his lofty perch, Raven finds a colorful river bank, plucks a feather from Jay and sets to solving the problem.
The result, based on an ancient Athabascan story, is retold by retired Paul Banks Elementary teacher Dorothy Cline, who many will know as Dotty. The seeds of the story published in “Raven Paints the Birds” came to her four decades ago while working in the village of Tanana.
From four-wheeler riders mudding in spring and summer, to hunters in fall, and to snowmachiners and dog mushers in winter, the Caribou Hills beckons temptingly to many who enjoy the outdoors.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a cabin there, though. For those who don’t, new ownership of a well-known establishment at Mile 16 of Oil Well Road will offer weary travelers some respite.
Like a musher plodding through a snowstorm, organizers of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race are continuing to move forward with this year’s event despite numerous challenges. Compensation for difficult conditions means the route, format and purse will all be significantly changed for 2012.
“We actually talked about taking this year off to regroup, but we decided the race will go on, but there will be a lot of changes,” said Tami Murray, executive director of the race, who has herself given up her salary percentage for organizing the event during the difficult financial times the race currently faces.
An unusual musical friendship started on Valentines Day 25 years ago. Two young female singer-songwriters performed on pizza nights at the Fresh Sourdough Express and such events as helping raise funds for the Tony Knowles for Governor campaign.
Sunrise Kilcher-Sjoeberg and Sharon Friesen-Schulz started in 1987 performing together, finding a unique match in their ability to create a certain sound and songs together. It’s a musical collaboration that aged with refinement through the years, so that today there’s an uncanny ability to finish each other’s music. But their performance gigs in public grew less and less after Schulz married, had children and took on full-time work as the speech and language pathologist at Paul Banks Elementary.
If a doctor were to prescribe T’ai Chi for arthritis or T’ai Chi for memory loss, it might sound like a bit of a stretch.
Yet, at the Homer Senior Center, the art of T’ai Chi taught by Rowan Mulvey for several years now has served good medicine to dozens of seniors through the practice.
“I’ve had bad arthritis for while now,” said senior Gerrianne Reiter. “T’ai Chi helps with the pain.”
For Lani Raymond, T’ai helps with breathing, flexibility and memory. “I almost forgot to mention memory,” Raymond quipped. “There are 108 moves, and you need to remember each to do them in the right order. I’m not there yet.”
Christina Whiting left Homer last Saturday for Spain where she’ll explore the Basque region for two weeks. She’ll then begin a solo five-week, 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a portion of a network of trails that lace Europe, known as the Way of Saint James. This ancient trail, in use for over 1,000 years, is based on the discovery of the tomb of Saint James the apostle, one of Jesus’ disciples, in Galicia early in the ninth century. Saint James is now interred in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
“The ocean is part of me. Sometimes, I just have to go down there to smell the ocean,” said elder Simeon Kvasnikoff of Port Graham.
Tied as they are to the sea, the Sugpiat of Port Graham and Nanwalek are reading the unfolding story of climate change in grasses and ice storms. Elder Nick Tanape notices bears aren’t quite as fat as they should be before heading off to a winter’s sleep.
Chitons, a shellfish stuck to rocks and exposed only on low tides, are dwindling alarmingly in number.
Steve Wolfe, wrestling coach and teacher at Homer High School for 30 years, has written his third book about the sport that he says is mainly a tribute to his outstanding athletes, most notably in this book, Tela O’Donnell who represented the United States in the 2004 Olympics.
He first coached O’Donnell when she was in the eighth grade. “A beautiful, petite farm girl raised by a single parent, her mother Claire,” he writes. The young athlete grew up “wrestling sheep, fixing fences, building barns and riding horses.”
The Women in Black stand at a park by one of Homer’s only traffic lights each Tuesday at noon, eight years and four months into the Iraqi conflict known as the Second Operation Desert Storm.
Occasionally a driver goes by and wags a middle finger at them. They also have received thousands of supportive waves, bouquets of flowers, honks and many cups of coffee and tea. In Homer’s peaceful hamlet, other than the Women’s vigil, one could easily forget America’s involvement in the devastating wars raging in the Middle East.