A lone figure strolls down Broadway on a quiet morning after an overnight snowfall blanketed the town and Mount Harding.

Andrew Cremata

Board of Game rejects latest white bear proposal

Members suggest sending issue back to municipality


The state Board of Game on March 8 unanimously rejected a proposal that would have placed stricter definitions on protecting white-colored black bears in Unit 1D.
Board members, including Ben Grussendorf of Sitka, the lone Southeast representative, said they were frustrated that the community had not come up with a compromise position.
“I’m disappointed the way this came back to us,” Grussendorf said, noting that the board was responsive to the community with the original protection placed on the books. “I don’t know where to go.”
He suggested that the issue could go back to the elected body, the Skagway Borough Assembly, which passed a resolution asking for protection of a white-colored bear in the community in June 2007.
Seven months after the board granted the borough’s request, the supposedly protected bear was shot by a hunter on his property. Dyea Road resident Thor Henricksen said he thought it was a cinammon bear, and a state investigation concluded that the bear was several colors. No charges were filed.
Several residents last summer were upset that the so-called “Spirit Bear” was killed. Local resident John Warder then drew up a new proposal that asked for “no taking of black bears with cream coloration (or lighter) over more than 30 percent of the body regardless of any other coloration.”
That definition also was viewed as unenforceable by the Department of Law and board members at its November 2008 meeting in Juneau, so the proposal was held over to the spring meeting to see if a community consensus could be reached on the issue. Department of Fish and Game held a public meeting in Skagway in January, but concluded there was no middle ground and offered no recommendation.
In his written report to the board from that Skagway meeting, Division of Wildlife biologist Ryan Scott noted that both consumptive and nonconsumptive user groups were represented, and that potential regulatory language discussed included: allowing only the harvest of black and cinnamon-phased black bears; and prohibiting the harvest of light-phased black bears in a defined area around Skagway.
“Neither of the above ideas were agreed upon by both consumptive and nonconsumptive groups,” he noted.
Scott said three themes emerged:
1. “Consumptive users are reluctant to give up any hunting opportunity, and noted that the white bear was generally seen in an area around Skagway where the discharge of firearms is prohibited and is therefore protected. Consumptive users also expressed concern in defining dark color phased bears, and the complexity of any regulation that may lead to hunters unknowingly committing violations.
2. “Nonconsumptive users feel that prohibiting the harvest of light-phased bears is a small concession considering dark colored bears would still be available for harvest. However, those that supported prohibiting the harvest of light colored bears did not agree on the area to apply the regulation (i.e., subunit 1D, Skagway Borough, or small area around Skagway).
3. “Both groups agreed that additional effort is needed to address what appears to be a growing number of urban black bears in Skagway.”
One of those bears is a glacier cub that was seen getting into Dumpsters last summer with its mother and siblings. The borough is attempting to address the garbage bear problem with new Dumpster lids and education, but there is a concern going into spring that the bear family has been habituated to garbage and may have to be moved or destroyed.
In the meantime, Warder submitted his own counter-proposal to the board asking to ban the hunting of “any black bear that is not black or very dark brown,” and limit the regulation to within the borough boundary. It was treated as a comment rather than a separate proposal.
During deliberations in Anchorage last Sunday, board members discussed the proposal with Doug Larsen, the Director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation. They had no map of the Skagway Borough in front of them, and without knowing the size of the alternative areas being proposed, they were reluctant to make geographic changes.
It was noted that the current regulation against the taking of white-colored black bears is still in effect in Unit 1C and 1D. Larsen said the current regulation was written based on an albino moose regulation in the Interior. It also is still on the books, even though the moose has since died. The Juneau white bear of Unit 1C also has not been seen for many years.
New board member Teresa Segar-Albaugh of Mentasta Pass quizzed Larsen on the coloration issue, and how often the recessive white gene will show up. She was told it would be “fairly infrequent” but they do tend to show up more at the upper end of Lynn Canal, though the bears are not like the polar bear-looking white bears of Kermode Island in British Columbia.
Segar-Albaugh said if it were a matter of protecting the species, she would be more amenable to a greater level of regulation, but if the gene was not going to be wiped out, then she had no problem with the harvest.
Larsen said it came down to the problem of regulating a single individual bear.
“The problem was, it wasn’t really white,” he said, and the only way to protect it would have been to tag it in the ear, or limit hunting to “nothing but black.”
Board members said there was no way to deal with the proposal as written, unless they wanted to close the whole area to black bear hunting.
Just before the vote, Grussendorf said the board responded to the community with the regulation placed on the books last year, and that they could hold to it a while longer until the community comes back to them.
For now, the community is just dealing with the garbage bear problem. There is $30,000 in the budget for bear-proof lids. Public Safety chair Mark Schaefer said they have 10 lids ready to try out on targeted municipal Dumpsters north of the bridge this spring. If they work, more will be ordered.
The borough owns about 80 Dumpsters, and another 60 are in private hands.

State champ Shelby Surdyk leads DDF team to second place in Forensics

Skagway’s Shelby Surdyk earned state championship honors in two events at the recent ASAA Debate, Drama and Forensics Tournament in Sitka, and the team had its best showing yet at State.
Surdyk won in Oration for her inspiring speech about how “getting to know your resources” is the first positive step we can make to address climate change and prepare for living in a changing world.
She also won in the Extemporaneous Speech – Foreign category. Students were given the topic, “Will the Cambodian trial of the Khmer Rouge leadership result in justice for the victims?” Surdyk answered in the affirmative, elaborating that the trial would prevent future genocides by exposing the leaders for their crimes, resulting in justice for the estimated 1.7 million people who were put to death during the Pol Pot regime of the 1970s. The U.N. trial began in Cambodia last month.
Surdyk also finished fifth in Expository Speaking.
“It feels great, Surdyk said, after returning to Skagway. “Very few individuals win multiple events at State, and in the same year.”
As captain of the team, she added that it was the best the team has done at a state meet. “I’m really proud we accomplished that this year,” she said.
Two other teammates were finalists in their events.
Alini Jashiki finished second in Solo Acting and third in Oration. Brandy Mayo finished fourth in Expository Speaking. Freshman Jayce Ellis also had a good tournament.
DDF coach Kent Fielding said Skagway finished just behind Sitka in Forensics events among 1A-2A-3A schools.
“If Sitka hadn’t have moved down from 4A, we would have won State for Forensics, and this is with only four students and competing in only five of the nine forensics events,” Fielding said.
Surdyk qualified in two events for the National Forensic League’s tournament June 14-19 in Birmingham, Alabama, but she may participate in only one event. Which one is currently up in the air, as the team recently learned that Jashiki also was able to qualify for Oration nationals, because the second place finisher from Sitka was not an NFL member.
If the team decides to take both students, then Surdyk will focus on Extemporaeous Speaking. She said it is a challenging category. Students go through six rounds speaking on different current events topics that are given to them prior to each round.
Haines will be competing in two events at nationals. Hannah Hostetler was the state champ in Dramatic Interpretation, and the Public Forum Debate team of Ryan Smalley and Chris Bowman took second. Haines finished second to Sitka in the overall 1A-2A-3A team standings.
Fielding said Skagway and Haines could potentially have half of the state’s qualifiers at nationals.

Hovering over the letter of the law

Operator still questions why 3-2 vote wasn’t enough for ‘majority’ under MOS code

Luke Rauscher of Hover North Tours may be going back to the beginning in his efforts to operate a hovercraft tour on the Skagway River.
In an interview this week, Rauscher alleged a series of missteps by the Municipality of Skagway in the handling of an appeal before the Board of Adjustment last May. The board overturned a Planning and Zoning decision granting him a conditional use permit for parking in the Seven Pastures area.
On May 7, 2008, the Borough Assembly members acting as the Board of Adjustment voted 3-2 in favor of granting Rauscher a conditional use permit for parking at Seven Pastures. However, according to municipal code, four votes are needed for assembly passage, and the motion failed.
Or did it?
In a letter to the municipality sent last December, Rauscher claims in cases involving assembly members acting as the Board of Adjustments they no longer act as an assembly, but as a court.
Rules of procedure for the Board of Adjustment fall into an entirely different section of municipal code than procedures involving the Borough Assembly. Concerning votes involving the assembly the code states, “Four affirmative votes are required for the passage of an ordinance, resolution or motion.”
Municipal code relating to the Board of Adjustment reads, “The decisions of the board of adjustment shall be by motion setting forth the reasons for the motion, and the vote shall be taken by “yes” and “no,” which shall be permanently entered on the record of the proceedings. The weighted vote may not be used. A majority vote in the affirmative adopts any motion.”
This apparent conflict in voting procedure caused Rauscher to question whether the 3-2 vote was ultimately counted as a failure, when it was a “majority vote.”
After hearing from the borough attorney, Mayor Tom Cochran responded to Rauscher on Feb. 24. He addressed the issue by stating four affirmative votes are necessary to pass a motion.
“One of the Assembly’s functions is to hear appeals from the Planning and Zoning Commission,” reads the letter. “In that role it is still the assembly.”
Borough Clerk Marj Harris also said via telephone the assembly and the Board of Adjustment were one in the same, and that voting procedure would be the same for the two. Harris did not know what was meant by the phrase “weighted vote” in the section of code dealing with the board of appeals. She said this section of code was written in 1985. Independent research on the term shed little light on the meaning intended.
Ultimately, it may be lawyers for each side who determine what is meant by “weighted vote,” or if a “majority vote” by the Board of Appeals means a simple majority.
Rauscher said by telephone he was still going over the letter and would be working with his lawyer in an attempt to readdress the issue.
In his letter, Rauscher had also voiced concerns that Tim Bourcy’s appeal was filed after the 10-day limit set forth in municipal code concerning P&Z appeals.
In response, Cochran’s letter states, “Clerk Harris counted only business days in making the determination of the date on which an appeal could be received.”
Cochran cites sections of code dealing with the Historic District appeal guidelines, and said he does not consider it an “error” for the clerk to count only business days. He added an amendment will be proposed in the future to clarify the issue.
Bourcy’s letter was received on April 4th, exactly 10 “business days” after the P&Z ruling, excluding weekends and Seward’s Day which fell on March 31st this year.
Rauscher also wrote in his letter that his attempt to appeal the board of adjustment’s decision could not be completed as the section of code he was referred to by Harris, Rule 45, did not exist. Rauscher claims that the municipality ultimately changed the appellate procedure, but the 30-day time limit left him with no recourse as the time had already elapsed.
Cochran’s response states, “You (Rauscher) are correct that the letter advising you of your right to appeal cited to the wrong Alaska Appellate Rule.” He added that Harris advised Rauscher to contact an attorney and checked into the matter, ultimately advising Rauscher of the correct citing. Cochran stated Harris also moved forward with an ordinance to correct the citing in code, which has been completed.
In the months since the appeal was upheld, Rauscher applied with the state to utilize the Skagway River for his hovercraft tour and planned on using areas to the north of the river’s outflow to load and unload passengers. Originally, Harris determined no conditional use permit was necessary, and wrote the state confirming this original finding.
That finding was reversed and in a letter dated Nov. 26 Harris informed Rauscher a conditional use permit would be required as municipal code “specifically lists Water-dependent or related visitor industry services as a permitted use through a conditional use permit.”
Rauscher claimed he was being singled out in relation to this requirement and said there are many businesses in town utilizing municipal land for part of their business operations, including “parking and storage.” Rauscher specifically cites tour operators who use portions of the Dyea Road zoned Residential Conservation to park and let tourists “walk around and to take photos.”
“None of them have a conditional use permit even though it is required by code,” said Rauscher in his letter.
In Cochran’s response he wrote, “Ms. Harris admits she made an error and attempted to correct that error.” He then cites the reasons for the requirement of the conditional use permit, one of which reads, “A conditional use permit gives site-specific flexibility to the zoning ordinance in a uniform and controlled manner.”
Rauscher said he is frustrated by the municipality’s handling of issues revolving around his proposed business.
“Morally, I feel like I’ve been (jerked) around,” said Rauscher.
Rauscher said he would appreciate it if the municipality simply admitted to what he perceives as “mistakes” and offer advice on how to “make it better.”
“Everything from the (borough) is negative,” he said.
Rauscher said he is going to continue to work with his attorney to determine if the original vote of the Board of Adjustment was in error. If so, he will seek to continue with his tour operation utilizing the Seven Pastures area for parking.
He said if his attempt to revisit the past ultimately fails, he will apply for the conditional use permit at the mouth of the Skagway River but will exclude any language concerning the use of hovercraft, as the state has already approved use of the river and the municipal land usage would only be for access.

Even with fewer ships coming, capacities not far off last year’s
The annual cruise ship schedule from the Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau is inserted in this issue, along with our annual Tourism Statistics and Trends on page 4 (print edition only). Some highlights:
• There will be 43 fewer calls by ships this year, but the total capacities of ships coming to Skagway (753,165) is only about 1,350 below the listed double occupancy cabin capacities of ships coming last season. Actual cruise visitors last year were about 10,000 higher than those listed capacities. The numbers could remain higher if parents continue to bring their kids to Alaska and fill up berths.
• The port is losing about 30 of the small ship calls from Cruise West, in addition to the loss of the Empress of the North from last season. And there are fewer overall sailings to start the season in May. However, Princess has added the Sea Princess with seven sailings, and both Holland America and Royal Caribbean will be bringing more people than last year, if they are full.
• And there’s the rub: the season’s success will come down to bookings and spending. Various industry sources report cruise and ferry bookings down 8-15 percent, but picking up in recent weeks. As for spending, it was down last year in all tourism sectors, but overall revenues were the third highest ever recorded.
• It all starts with the lone new ship of the season, the English vessel Balmoral, on April 19. Yes, April – you have 35 days to get ready. – JB

CHIEF DREADLOCKS – Departing Fire Chief Mark Kirko is fitted with a lighted helmet and dreadlocks from SVFD member Shelly Moss and his wife Jodi. The parting gift was part of a roast of the chief during the annual awards banquet, but other awards were handed out. See a list on page 6. The Kirkos left for Vermont this week. - Jeff Brady


Manager interviews on St. Patty’s Day

The three remaining finalists for Skagway Borough Manager will be interviewed by the selection committee on the afternoon of March 17.
The interviews begin with Eric Strahl of Menominee, Michigan at 1 p.m. Kenneth Venables of Keystone Heights, Florida will follow at 2:30 p.m,, and then Thomas Smith of Eagle Lake, Minnesota will be at 4 p.m. The public may observe the interview sessions in the assembly chambers. A “meet and greet” reception with the candidates will be held at 7 p.m.
A departure from previous selections, the borough invited spouses of the candidates to accompany them, and all are coming up.
The committee will have a scoring system similar to what they used to pare down the list of candidates. They started with 25, reduced it to six for phone interviews last month, and then picked four finalists. The fourth finalist, Ed Pefferman, withdrew his name. No reason was given, said Borough Clerk Marj Harris.
The committee will meet later to make its recommendation to the entire Skagway Borough Assembly.

No stimulus money for Taiya River Bridge

Cochran said he had been notified that federal stimulus money for Alaska would not be available for Taiya River Bridge repairs or replacement this year. For the state Department of Transportation to use federal highway funds, the bridge would have to be two lanes, and would need a new design, he said.
“They told us it would be a year out, at a minimum,” Cochran said.
Even though DOT recently gave the municipality a waiver to be able to send emergency vehicles over the old bridge, “a piece of paper won’t make it safer,” Cochran noted.
The mayor said there may be other funding avenues, and he was off to Juneau early this week to speak to legislators and DOT officials with the borough’s lobbyist, John Walsh.
He encouraged tourism businesses who rely on traffic crossing the bridge to write letters as well.

Dedman’s Collection decision in April

The Borough Assembly received a preliminary report on the contents of the Dedman’s Collection just prior to the March 5 meeting, and decided to table third reading of the purchase ordinance until its April 2 meeting.
The collection has been offered to the borough for $150,000. After second reading last month, assembly members wanted to know more about what they would be buying.
The preliminary report by Museum Director Judy Munns, National Park Service historian Karl Gurcke, and NPS curator Debra Sanders said they needed more time to “adequately discuss the critical issues of nitrate negatives, copyright status, and storage staff and conservation issues which must be resolved prior to a final decision concerning acquisition.” They needed until the next assembly meeting to prepare a full report, but Mayor Cochran said it would be better to give them until April 2. There are literally thousands of photos to inventory.
The preliminary report from a two-day inspection at Dedman’s Photo Shop describes more than 55 boxes of historic photo prints, cards, negatives, slides, and albums dating back to the gold rush, as well as 46 rare glass plate negatives. Most of these glass plates are photos by renowned WP&YR photographer H.C. Barley. About 10 percent of the collection’s negatives contain nitrate, which was a common film component from 1910-1950. They are highly flammable, and such negatives should be stored in a freezer, the preliminary report says.


Lady Panthers earn trip to State

The Skagway High girls basketball team is heading back to State Tournament after a four-year absence.
The Lady Panthers had to earn the trip the hard way – falling in a semifinal heartbreaker at regionals, but climbing back with three straight wins and exacting revenge on a Kake team that kept them from going to State last year.
“It was kind of redeeming,” coach Lara Labesky said. “It was the same situation as last year, except we had lost by 2 the first time we played them (this year). It was a good confidence booster for the kids to go through the gauntlet and have to play four games.... It should help us at State.”
Skagway finished in second place in the region and will play Ninilchik, a familiar foe, in the opening round of the ASAA 2A State Tourney in Anchorage on Monday, March 16. Game time is 5:15 p.m. and it can be heard on KHNS. The Southeast region’s top seed, Yakutat, will face Noorvik earlier in the day. Fans can also follow the state tournament at
Skagway had a bye at the 2A Region Tourney and ran into a gutty Kake team in their semifinal opener at Sitka. The Lady Panthers pulled ahead 14-13 at halftime but started the third quarter very cold and ran into foul trouble. Kake outscored Skagway 11-2 in the third quarter, but Skagway chipped away at the lead all the way to the end of regulation.
A final shot by Kaylie O’Daniel with two seconds left tied the score, and they were headed for overtime. In the OT, despite playing with just four players left on the court, Kake made some crucial shots. The teams traded leads four times, but Skagway could not get any shots to fall in the final minute, and Kake won 40-38.
“Losing that first game wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to us,” Labesky said.
She said the team was a little let down by not being able to face Yakutat in the championship game, but they were ready for the other teams. Skagway first knocked off Angoon 54-43 in methodical fashion, building a 10-point cushion in the first half and maintaining it the rest of the way. When some of the starters got in foul trouble, Nikita Ford provided the scoring spark off the bench, and Kayla Henricksen and Amanda Jensen also had some valuable minutes.
Next up was Hoonah on Saturday morning, and they challenged Skagway early on. The Braves led by one at the end of the first quarter, but O’Daniel connected for eight second quarter points and the Panthers jumped out to a 10-point lead at the half. Skagway played great defense and kept it rolling, eventually winning easily, 54-34, as everyone got to play.
Five hours later, they were back on the court against Kake, which had lost the championship by 26 to Yakutat the previous evening. Under the new format enacted last year, Kake had to play the consolation round champ, Skagway, for second place at tournament and a trip to State. The roles were reversed for 2008. Last year, Skagway beat Kake in the semis, lost to Yakutat in the finals, and had to play Kake the next day, and lost.
“For the sophomores who lost that game last year, it was pretty important to win (this year),” Labesky said. “The freshmen were nervous, but we got everyone going and they came out on fire and played really well.”
The Panthers jumped out to a seemingly commanding 21-4 lead behind four 3-pointers by O’Daniel. Anna Korsmo also had some big buckets, but Kake was able to cut the lead to 10 at the half. Jessie Ellis, despite being sick with the flu, knocked in a trey to open the second half and played tremendous defense until fouling out in the game’s final minute. Kaitlyn Surdyk and Korsmo pulled down some big rebounds, and O’Daniel kept lighting it up en route to a tourney-high 27 points.
All seemed on course with the Panthers up 40-25 early in the final quarter, when Kake made its final run. Nicole Wooten scored 12 of her team’s final 14 points as the T-Birds cut the Skagway lead to three with just 1:30 left. Skagway then got a huge bucket from freshman Rori Leaverton at the one minute mark and played great defense down the stretch. A final bucket by Kake came too late, as the Lady Panthers held on to win, 42-39.
There were some tears on the Skagway bench, but more importantly, it was an “important win for their psyche,” Labesky said. “Everyone stepped up.”
Skagway landed three players on the all conference team: O’Daniel, Ellis and Surdyk. The first two were a lock for their scoring prowess and defense all season, but Labesky said she was very pleased the other coaches recognized Surdyk for “the hard work she puts in.” One coach told her, “Believe me, we know who number 4 (Surdyk) is.”
Now comes Ninilchik. Although no longer the powerhouse that won five straight state championships earlier this decade, the Wolverines are always a formidable presence at State, where they have appeared annually since 1997.
Labesky said the team is looking forward to playing Ninilchik, and they have a goal of meeting up with Yakutat in the state championship game.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Labesky said. “I think we have a good chance of doing something up there. But no matter what happens, just the experience of playing there will help, and hopefully we’ll get back up there the next two years.”
All games will be played at the Sullivan Arena in downtown Anchorage.

2A Tourney • Girls Results

Kake 40, Skagway 38 OT: KAK- Wooten 21, James 11, Friday 4, Mills 3, Aceveda 1; SGY- O’Daniel 14, Leaverton 13, Ellis 9, Korsmo 2.
KAK 4-9-11-8-8=40
SGY 7-7-2-16-6=38

Skagway 54, Angoon 43: SGY- O’Daniel 22, Leaverton 9, Ford 8, Surdyk 7, Ellis 6, Korsmo 2; ANG- Johnson 23, S. Braley 17, R. Braley 2, Daniels 1.
SGY 17-14-12-11=54
ANG 10-11-10-12=43

Skagway 54, Hoonah 34: SGY- O’Daniel 24, Surdyk 9, Ford 8, Leaverton 6, Korsmo 5, Jes. Ellis 1, Jay. Ellis 1; HNH- Merissa 13, Norris 8, White 5, Johansen 4, Sheakley 2.
SGY 10-19-14-11=54
HNH 11-8-7-8=34

Skagway 42, Kake 39: SGY- O’Daniel 27, Leaverton 10, Korsmo 5; KAK- Wooten 17, Aceveda 8, James 7, Mills 4,, Friday 3.
SGY 17-8-13-4=42
KAK 4-11-8-16=39

All Sports: Soo Bin Kang, Kaitlyn Surdyk

See 2A Tourney Gallery

Skagway boys end season with one win at regionals, anticipation for next year

The Skagway High boys team finished 1-2 at the regional 2A Tourney in Sitka, a respectable showing for a young team of just eight players.
Late in the regular season, Skagway fell in standings to seventh seed and had to play a strong Yakutat team in the opening round at tourney. Skagway kept the game close for most of the first half, getting buckets from all its starters. But a strong run by Yakutat at the end of the half pushed the Eagles to a 36-22 lead, and then they outscored the Panthers 25-5 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Although falling 73-42, Skagway ended the game on a high note with a pair of treys by Ian Klupar and Devin Fairbanks
That momentum carried over to the consolation round, as Skagway played one of its best games of the year against Kake. Thomas Etue hit a trey at the first quarter buzzer to give the Panthers the lead for good. A flurry of Panther baskets by Mickey Wilson, Bryce Jones and Etue to start the second quarter boosted the Skagway lead to 24-9. The T-Birds cut the lead to 10 points at half, but Skagway started the third quarter strong and pushed its lead back out to 20. The Panthers won easily, 62-49, avenging two losses at Kake a month ago.
“We played a great game,” said coach Chris Wassman. “We were coming into our own, settling into our man-to-man and working hard. It was not our best game, but one of the best. These guys have had that talent all year long and they can put up big numbers, but they are still a volatile, young team.”
The Panthers moved on to play Hoonah, which had fallen to Klawock in a close semifinal game. Skagway had not seen Hoonah since early in the season, but felt they could match up with them. It was a tight game at the start with five lead changes in the first quarter, and the Panthers were down by just three at the half. Skagway came back to take the lead briefly after a Klupar trey midway through the third quarter, but not enough shots fell the rest of the way, and the Braves prevailed 65-54.
Wassman said he felt his team played a good tournament. He was sorry that the team’s lone senior, Tylor “The Main Man” Forester, got sick and had to sit out his last game. “He gave us some great defensive minutes.”
Wassman also had a lot of praise for the players who will be coming back.
“The freshmen had a great year and I am looking for big things from them next year,” he said. “Danny (Moore) and Ian (Klupar) are two inspired freshmen.”
He also lauded his sophomores. “Devin (Fairbanks) defended great and was taking it strong to the rack, Bryce (Jones) got a bunch of rebounds when we needed them, and John (Doland) showed he has hops like a gazelle.”
Juniors Mickey Wilson and Thomas Etue were the team leaders. Wilson put up good numbers all season, and played tough defense, while Etue was the best playmaker in the region.
Wassman was disappointed that only Wilson made the all conference team. Etue, who made the team last year, did come home with a trophy. He won the free throw contest, sinking 21 of 25. “He was focused and felt like he couldn’t miss,” Wassman said. Those two should have sensational senior seasons.
The coach is encouraged to see members of the team already hitting the gym. He also hopes to welcome six new players to the squad next year: eighth graders Nick Ackerman, Airk Cochran, KC Mayo, Jake Greiser, Riley Westfall, and Greg Eagan.
“With seven players coming back, we could have 13 ball players,” he said. “I hope to get them inspired to take charge.”
He says that league champ Klawock and runner-up Yakutat will be losing seniors after this season, and Skagway has the potential to be one of the top teams in 2010.
Off-season play is the key to developing skills to take to the next season, he said. Wassman is planning a fundraiser to send players to camp this summer. Watch for details soon.

2A Tourney • Boys Results

Yakutat 73, Skagway 42: YAK- Adams 20, Jackson 16, Baillhart 10, Karsunky 9, Ivers 8, Fraker 6, Brown 4; SGY- Klupar 12, Wilson 10, Etue 8, Fairbanks 5, Doland 3, Jones 2, Moore 2.
YAK 12-24-25-12=73
SGY 8-14-5-15=42

Skagway 62, Kake 49: SGY- Wilson 28, Jones 12, Etue 9, Doland 7, Fairbanks 4, Moore 2; KAK- Dolan 22, Aceveda 11, Dixson 11, Pate 4, Adams 1.
SGY 11-18-23-10=62
KAK 9-10-13-17=49

Hoonah 65, Skagway 54: HNH- Geise 20, Wright 17, Hill 12, Byers 6, Norris 6, Coutlee 4; SGY- Wilson 21, Etue 8, Jones 8, Klupar 8, Fairbanks 7, Doland 2.
HNH 12-16-19-18=65
SGY 8-17-13-16=54

Good Sports: Ian Klupar, Thomas Etue


Dorothy L. Sheleby, 1914-2009

Former Skagway resident Dorothy L. Sheleby passed away on March 4, 2009 at Park West Care Center in Seattle. She was born on March 26, 1914 to Frank and Leada Simons in Burlington, WA., the oldest of three children.
Dorothy’s family moved to Skagway in 1926 when her father, Frank, was hired by the White Pass & Yukon Route as a hostler. He eventually advanced to fireman during the 15 years of his employment. Dorothy graduated from Skagway High School in 1934 and married Joseph Sheleby, also employed by the WP&YR. Together they raised three children. The oldest, Ron, was also eventually employed by the White Pass in the engine service for a total of 13 years. Dorothy took great pride in the railroading history of her family, always ready to share stories with new friends in later years.
She lived in Skagway 42 years and said repeatedly that they were the most enjoyable and rewarding years of her life. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, Emblem Club, and Skagway Library Board. She served as Sunday school teacher and deacon in her church, elected president of both American Legion Auxiliary and Emblem Club and joined the Klondike Gold Rush Days of ’98 amateur variety show in the 1950s. Her grandchildren still delight in the pictures and stories of her early days as a “dance hall girl”.
She was a 4-H leader, an accomplished knitter, seamstress and Avon lady. She made many lifelong friends never forgetting them in spite of her progressing dementia in later years. In 1968 husband, Joe, retired from the White Pass with 38 years of service. They moved to Spokane, WA where they enjoyed 20 years of relaxing rural life on the Little Spokane River.
They never forgot Skagway however. For many years they faithfully attended the annual Skagway reunion in the Seattle area. After Joe’s death in 1989 Dorothy moved into Fairwood Retirement Village located near Whitworth University. There she enjoyed another 20 years of friendships and service in her church. As her health began to fail last fall she moved to Seattle to be closer to her daughter.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years; daughter, Dolores and two younger brothers, Arthur and Robert. She will be greatly missed by son, Ronald A. Sheleby and wife, Pat; daughter, Leada L. Ask and husband, Chuck, as well as grandchildren Sue Conners (David), Lynette Boatright (Art), R. Keith Streeter (Deborah), Vernon Streeter (Sally), R. Joseph Sheleby, Shawn Sheleby (Kelly) and 10 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 21 at 2 pm. Newport Presbyterian Church, 4010 120th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA. – Submitted by the family

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