Can you find Museum Director Judy Munns amidst the boxes at A.B. Hall? Congratulations to Dorothy Widner for locating her shortly after the paper came out last Friday. She won a Skagway News apron. Photo by Dimitra Lavrakas
City offices move into McCabe
But contractor and City still at odds
By DIMITRA LAVRAKAS
Skagway city offices have moved into their digs in the newly renovated McCabe Building. They now occupy the entire second floor, served by the citys first elevator, which they share with the Alaska District Court office and eventually, the citys Economic Development Commission.
The City Museum awaits the sign-off on the sprinkler system before it can move its collection, but everything else will start going over next week, said Museum Director Judy Munns. She now works amidst the boxes, bear, canoe, stuffed birds and other museum displays that crowd around her desk. They will be out of the A.B. Hall by Oct. 15, Munns figures.
In Anchorage, the McCabes general contractor, Alaska Building Contractors owner, Pat Wolfe, also sits waiting for a resolution to the last pay request for $160,000 he put into the city.
Its in the citys hands, said Wolfe. I cant bond other jobs, they destroyed our reputation with other bonding companies.
City Manager Bob Ward decided to move in even though there were still issues with the fire alarm and fire suppression system. There were also only two keys to the building, said Ward.
Wolfe pulled out without completing what Ward said is a major list of punch items we have to address. But Wolfe said he got 98 percent of the punch list done, which are minor items that need fixing.
The city hasnt signed off on the job, and wont until there is a mediation session between the general contractor, the city and the architects Koonz, Pfeffer and Bettis.
Ward said the city had to move in because the building was scheduled to be finished in April, but that deadline was extended several times. With winter coming, and also the October municipal and November national elections, Ward decided it was time.
I think the museum can start moving in, Ward said. We have a few temporary lights down in the gallery spaces. I know Buckwheat (Donahue, director of tourism) would like to have it out of A.B. Hall because he has a conference coming up.
Ward believes the city and the contractor will probably end up in court. So does Wolfe.
Its going to be very expensive, I can tell you that, Wolfe said by phone from Anchorage. We will be taking it all the way.
School board reorganizes
Hunz, Brady and Carlson selected for interim
By DIMITRA LAVRAKAS
Don Hather and Bruce Weber, the remnants of the Skagway School Board after the recent recall election, selected long-time board president Bill Hunz to serve as an interim member at a special meeting on Aug. 29.
At another special meeting on Sept. 6, the three members chose Michelle Carlson and Dorothy Brady to stand in until the Oct. 3 election.
Candidates willing to sit on the board and present were Carlson, Brady, Dawn Kilburn, Virginia Long and Janilyn Heger.
Board President Bruce Weber, who is not running for another term, said he thought it was good to have representation from candidates who had a good chance of winning in the Oct. 3 election.
With four brand new people coming on board, its good for them to get a jump-start, Weber said. Theres a lot of stuff to learn. Theres an AASB (Alaska Association of School Boards) meeting in November.
With Michelle running unopposed, shes sure to win.
Carlson was a leader of the recent recall effort. Bill Hunz said he also liked Carlson, but he was concerned that she may not be in town over the next few weeks, as she close to delivering her baby.
Hather said he was nominating Brady because shes been on the school board before.
In the end all five candidates were nominated. It took only two votes from the three-person board to select a candidate.
The board had voted for Kilburn for the seat Carlson was eventually appointed to, but Kilburn was reconsidered as she is the school librarian and married to Rex Kilburn, a teacher at the school. Under Alaska state statutes that would constitute a conflict of interest unless she received a spousal waiver from the state commissioner of education, said Weber.
Don Hather decided to change his vote to Carlson after considering the time it might take to get that waiver. The board also wanted to go into executive session and that would have not been possible without a full sitting board.
Hunz was appointed treasurer and Brady, clerk.
The full five-member board then went into executive session for the stated reason of asking the Skagway City Council for additional funds.
Weber said, while in executive session, the board could not make any decisions because it was not a regular meeting, but that a decision would be made at their next meeting on Sept. 19.
Therell be lots of time for public comment, he said.
Candidates who have declared for the vacated school board seats are: Leola Hoover-Maudlin, Don Hather, Janilyn Heger and Dorothy Brady for the two open seats for a three-year term; Virginia Long, Christine Ellis and Dawn Kilburn for the two open one-year term; and, Michelle Carlson is running unopposed for the single, two-year term.
The school board races will be the focus of the Oct. 3 election, as city councilmembers J.M. Frey and Dave Hunz are unopposed.
Skagway kids take world sports tour
'Baby Traj' Mitchell Snyder scores with trey,
joins teammates Kristina Knorr, Jerod Moore 'Down Under'
By MIKE SICA
He was just a kid from Alaska playing at Duke University, home of one of the best college basketball programs in the nation.
He recognized the home of the Blue Devils, Cameron Indoor Stadium, from countless games on national television.
Awestruck and overwhelmed, he was numb from the tips of his toes to the tops of his fingers, but the magic touch was still there, guiding his long-distance jump shots through the nets.
Halfway through the workout, Duke assistant coach Dave Henderson came up to him and said, your jumper is really working.
By the time the shoot-around was over, young kids were asking for the autograph of Trajan Langdon, the former Anchorage resident who starred at Duke and now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association.
Only it wasnt Trajan Langdon.
Ive got the little goatee and they knew I was from Alaska, explained Skagway high school senior Mitchell Snyder. I guess they put two and two together.
And got 4,000!
I may look like him, but Im no Trajan. Not even close, said Snyder, who spent this summer on the basketball trip of a lifetime, traveling the world while meeting NBA players, top college coaches and stars, and famous arenas and gymnasiums.
Snyder was one of 12 students on an Elite Basketball Organization team from Southeast Alaska, organized and coached by Carlos Boozer, Sr. Boozers son, Carlos, Jr., led Juneau-Douglas High School to a pair of state titles and now plays for the Duke Blue Devils.
While Boozer is following in the footsteps of Langdon, you can see the handprint of Trajan on Snyder. Several Blue Devils noticed the resemblance in appearance and shot.
Langdon was nicknamed the Alaskan Assassin for his long-distance accuracy in college.
During the trip to Duke this past June, Snyder was approached by Blue Devil Jason Williams after hitting several jumpers. Williams, a former national high school player of the year, told the Skagway Panther he could drive his car if he could hit a shot from about 30 feet.
I missed it off the front of the rim, Snyder remembered. He said, maybe next time.
Nevertheless, the Skagway Panther and an EBO teammate from Juneau cruised around the Duke campus as a passenger in Williams black Accura.
I got to ride shotgun, Synder added with a grin.
And what a ride it was, from Skagway to North Carolina to Nebraska to Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Australia and back to Skagway.
On the way, he rattled on a roller coaster in Maryland, toured Washington, D.C., and visited Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.
He played in prestigious basketball tournaments and stepped on the hallowed hardwood at universities across the country, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina home of the Tar Heels to Kearney, Nebraska, where Skagway resident Don Hather earned Hall of Fame recognition in college football and wrestling.
I was thinking about him a lot while I was there, said Snyder, who spent more than two weeks at the University of Nebraska-Kearney in early July.
Later that month, he was in Las Vegas for a week to compete in the Big Time Basketball Tournament.
Thats where I pretty much met everyone whos anyone in basketball, Snyder said.
There were NBA players such as Damon Stoudamire of Portland, Baron Davis of Charlotte and Kenyon Martin of New Jersey, the No. 1 pick in this years college draft.
The list of coaches was even more impressive: Dukes Mike Krzyzewski, St. Johns Mike Jarvis, Kansas Roy Williams of Kansas, Arizonas Lute Olson, and more.
And then there were the games, featuring some of the best high school players in the nation with their killer crossover dribbles and teeth-rattling dunks.
The speed of the game was incredible, Snyder said.
The Alaska team won just one game by forfeit. The Skagway senior, however, held his own.
Snyder, who averaged more than 20 points a game for the entire EBO tour, was eventually named Most Valuable Player by his teammates.
At any one time in the game, he was our go-to guy, said Juneau-Douglas High School sophomore Sterling Henderson. He was the one who would always step up when we needed it.
Even off the court, he was probably our best leader, said Clay Brown, a senior starter for the JDHS Crimson Bears. Hes real cool and calm about things, keeping his emotions in check.
On a long trip like this, its important to have a guy like him always getting along with everyone.
His father is proud, but not surprised by his sons success.
Mitch Snyder remembers the first basketball camp in Juneau he attended while in grade school.
He came back dragging his bags in and I said, son howd you do? he recalled . Mitchell said, I did OK, and then he pulls out the first of three trophies. And that was his very first (JDHS boys coach George) Houston camp.
Snyder tours Mount Rushmore .
Mitch and Tracy Snyder missed their boy throughout the summer, but the sacrifice was worth it, even when he called from Australia during odd hours of the night.
After completing the EBO tour, Snyder hooked up with another Alaska team for 13 days during the Down Under Tournament. His team finished fourth in a field of nine, with half the teams from the United States.
Despite competing at a higher caliber of play than the EBO program, Snyder still made the U.S. All-Star team.
So he calls his father at about 10:30 p.m. ... in Australia. Nineteen hours away in Skagway, the Snyders awaken to their phone ringing at 3:30 a.m.
Were in bed but it was OK, Mitch Snyder said. Ive got to get up at 4 in the morning to go to work. I was happy to hear from him.
The cost of the calls probably hurt more than the timing.
The family phone bill for the summer trip was about $2,000.
Skagway teammate Thomas Cochran enjoyed getting some of those long-distance calls from his long-distance shooting teammate.
I was just as excited as Mitchell, hearing about the people he met and the places he went, said Cochran, a fellow Panther senior. I really enjoyed hearing his stories. It was fun every time he called, saying he was in such and such a place.
Despite being in hardwood heaven, Snyder couldnt help but think of home and the upcoming high school season.
Like the boomerangs he brought back from Australia for his mother and cousin Savannah, his thoughts kept returning to Skagway and the Panthers he hopes to help lead to a state Class 2A basketball title this season.
Snyder still remembers the disappointing loss to Kake last season at regionals in Juneau. Kake advanced to the state final before losing to Angoon, another conference rival.
Thats why Snyder refers to Skagway as the third best team in the state. But third best is not good enough for the Skagway senior.
Is he still hungry for a title?
Starving! Snyder quickly answered.
The Panthers should be a contender this season after losing only one player from last year.
Were going to have to work our butts off and Mitchell will have to work his butt off the hardest as our leader, setting the example for the rest of the team, Skagway coach Lee Toogie Hartson said. He will be huge, but so will our other kids.
Im sure (our opponents) are going to use double teams and throw a lot of crazy things at him, so our other players have to also step it up this year.
No matter what happens to the 6-foot-2-inch shooting guard and his Skagway teammates, Snyder will never forget the summer of 2000 and the generosity of his home town.
While in Nebraska the EBO team realized they had a shortage of funds. The Snyders only had to make a few calls to raise about $1,000.
I want to thank the community for all its support, Mitchell Snyder said. They always come through, so Im not surprised.
The people of Skagway are always there to open their wallets for youth, his father added.
Mitchell Snyder is also grateful to his parents.
I have to give them credit for everything Ive done up until now, he said. They have worked hard and made sacrifices to supply everything for my sister (Kelly) and me.
Hes hoping to repay them and the people of Skagway with a state basketball title. A college scholarship would also be nice.
I dont care who you are and where you are from, explained Mitch Snyder, who is glad his son stayed in Skagway despite having the talent to play at a bigger school. You can succeed coming from a small town, as a scholar or an athlete.
Hopefully, hell be able to get a good education out of this, his father said.
Thanks to the EBO program, his talent and his work ethic, Snyder has a chance. His coach thinks he has the shot to catch the attention of college recruiters.
If you can knock down the 3-pointers, they will look at you, Hartson points out. He can really shoot.
Like Trajan Langdon. Almost.
Kristina Knorr on Australia Volleyball Tour
Skagway High School senior Kristina Knorr was one of 24 Alaskan high school students who played volleyball this summer in Australia.
Knorr made the team after a huge tryout in Anchorage last year. The players were picked based on ability, attitude and reliability.
There were about 5,000 total from the West Coast and Alaska there, Knorr said of her trip Down Under during late June and early July.
While not playing volleyball, Knorr toured the Opera House and the Olympic facilities in Sydney. She visited zoos and even got to take surfing lessons.
Its very hard to get up on a board, swinging your leg around to get your balance, she said.
The volleyball included seminars and games for players of all levels, from beginners to national teams.
Knorr went up against a team from Canberra that was just below Olympic caliber. The Alaskans had a 7-point lead in the second of a best-of-three series before facing a hard-hitting server with a lot of top spin.
They didnt kick our butts, but they definitely beat us, Knorr said.
Jerod Moore Wrestles Down Under
Skagway High School sophomore Jerod Moore also went south for the summer, wrestling in the Down Under International Games from July 1-17.
Moore was nominated for the Alaska team after finishing with a 2-2 record while competing at 103 pounds in the state tournament last season.
The grappling rules were quite different in Australia.
Takedowns are worth one point, and as soon as both shoulder blades touch, youre pinned, Moore explained.
In Alaska and the United States, takedowns are worth two points and it takes three seconds to pin an opponent.
Moore, one of 25 Alaskans on the tour, finished with a 2-4 record wrestling in the 114.5-pound class in Australia. While there, he also got in his share of touring.
We drove around in glass-bottomed boats, he said. Theyre like Ski-doos, you can see fish and stuff underneath.
Klondike Road Relay preview
Six Skagway teams run through the night
By APRIL BUSCH
Friday night the train whistle will blow at 6 p.m., Tourism Director Buckwheat Donahue will drop his arms, and 150 teams will be ready to take off from Broadway.
Dusk will fall, the moon will rise and set, dawn will break, and still theyll be running.
Its the 18th annual, 110-mile Klondike Trail of 98 International Road Relay. The relay is divided into 10 legs between 5.8 and 16 miles long.
Thirteen flights will start in half-hour intervals based on expected 10km times, beginning with the slowest teams. Teams competing in open, women, mixed, junior, corporate, masters open, masters women, masters mixed and medical categories will race from Skagway up the Klondike Highway, through the White Pass to Whitehorse.
Skagway will host six hometown teams, all competing in the mixed category: White Pass and Yukon Route Highballers, Jewell Construction Turbodogs, The Westmarks Snafu, The Hotdams, The Slackers, and Princesss A Running Borealis.
Last year The Turbodogs were 21st out of 148. This years team Chad Feringer, Peter Jepsen, Courtney Mason, Jeff Kasler, Mary Holozubiec, Max Schoenberg, Peter Tucci and others hope to crack the top 20. With nine Klondike Relay veterans and seven returning team-members, the Turbodogs are running to win.
A Running Borealis has three members returning for its third year in the relay. Kate McNatt, Jill Gutzler and Gayle Baker ran on the all-female Skagway team, the Female Furries, three years ago and on A Running Borealis last year. They are joined this year by Tim Alderson, Chris Martin, Greg Russell, Chad Culley, Amy Hindeman and Seth Plunkett.
The Princess team has been training mildly this year, Gutzler said. Some more than others. Three of the team members are from Fairbanks and will pretty much just show up for the race.
Westmarks Snafu Dennise Sager, Norah Kell, Michelle Calver, Jean Mason, Rod Fairbanks, Mark Smith, Cindy Gaddis, Beth Winslow, Shannon Curry and Christy Murphy have been training this summer in anticipation of the race.
When asked if they had trained together this summer, White Pass and Yukon Route Highballers team captain Jeremy Simmons replied, Have we trained at all is a more appropriate question.
The Highballers are Susan Cavanaugh, Vance Reynolds, Ted VanBronkhorst, Liz Ruff, Joshua Gatherum, Jeremy Simmons, Kristin Michaud, John Briner, Kore Goertz and Carlann Defoutes.
Chilkat Guide Susanna Muench is team captain for first-time racers The Slackers. Theyll be making their debut with Andy Hedden, Hutch Butler, Keith Thompson, Joel Weber, Ariana Grash, Hillary Johnson, Velda Yamashiro, Kimary Duda, Susanna Muench and Polly Rhodes.
The final Skagway competitors are first-timers the Hotdams, sponsored in part by Gray Line.
Everybody works so much we havent really been able to train together, but weve been training on our own, team captain Joann Kuntz said.
Theyll be speeding to Whitehorse with Jeremy Butzlaff, Jeremy Gieser, Denae David, Kelly McCeleary, Amy Martin, Joe Fieldman, Eagle Aldredge, Chris White, Joann Kuntz and Mike Hinderman.
For race results, go to: www.sportyukon.com
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