Thank you letters for Aug. 11, 2019

Thank you, Merci, Danke.

Last month, Jacqueline Woodson, the current national ambassador for Young People’s Literature, visited Juneau. Lucky us! Jacqueline is the author of over two dozen award winning books for young people — picture books, middle grade and young adult books. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Newbery Medals, the National Book Award and Coretta Scott King awards. Speaking at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library to a room filled with adults and children, she shared her vision and hopes for young people, read from her work and answered questions. She spoke about her Ambassador project, visiting kids in juvenile detention centers and Title One schools around the country. Many of her books deal with tough themes: racism, family separations, growing up, being different. All of them have a heart of tenderness. Her website,, is well worth a look. Her platform for her tenure as ambassador is: “Reading= Hope X Change (what’s your equation?).” She is a great reminder of the importance of public libraries. In the midst of all the aching conflict in our state and nation, Jacqueline’s reflections, honesty and witness soothed my heart and gave me hope. Thank you, Juneau Public Library and staff, for this rare opportunity, and a special thank you to M.J. Grande, youth services director, whose vision and commitment to children’s literature and to children of all backgrounds and needs is such a gift to our community. Hooray for libraries and librarians!

Susi Gregg Fowler


The Aukeman Triathlon would like to thank all of the athletes who joined the 11th annual triathlon on Aug. 3! And a huge thanks is extended to the many, many volunteers who made the event possible, including the Thunder Mountain High School cross country team members who helped with the run courses! We would also like to thank our wonderful sponsors — you are essential for a super fun event. The Alaska Shirt Company donated the wonderful shirts for athletes and volunteers for this year’s race, Tyler Rental provided a truck for transportation of and storage of equipment for the race, and The Grind fueled us with 5 a.m. coffee. The following businesses helped financially and with in-kind donations: Juneau Bone and Joint, Nugget Alaskan Outfitter, Cycle Alaska, Heritage Coffee Roasting Company, Pavitt Health and Fitness, Juneau Trail and Road Runners, Freewheelers, Clif Bar, Alaskan Brewing Company, SCERF. Whole Health. Life., Chatham Electric, Taku Fisheries and Juneau Interiors Staging. Finally, thanks to these entities for allowing the race : CBJ Parks and Recreation Pools, Alaska DOT, and the University of Alaska Southeast for sharing their space for the event!

Elizabeth Smith


Juneau Animal Rescue would like to thank and honor Juneau resident Walter Prussing on behalf of Twila, an adorable Jack Russell terrier mix adopted from JAR, and Twila’s human companion, Shirley Dean.

Recently, Twila accidentally and quickly slipped out of a door to her home on Douglas. Walter was driving down the road at a slow rate of speed and “bumped” Twila as she ran across the street. Walter immediately stopped when he realized he made contact with Twila. He stayed at the scene and began looking for her human to make sure that the dog was OK. When Walter found Shirley, he asked to go back to her house with her to make sure Twila wasn’t injured. He accompanied Shirley to her backyard where they found Twila, a little shaken up but fortunately uninjured. Shirley picked Twila up and Walter was greeted with a sweet little kiss from Twila.

Twila sits in front of the whale statue in Mayor Bill Overstreet Park. (Courtesy Photo | Karen Wood)

Twila sits in front of the whale statue in Mayor Bill Overstreet Park. (Courtesy Photo | Karen Wood)

Many people are unaware that the driver of a vehicle is required by law to stop if they hit a domestic animal and report the incident to Animal Control or JPD. Most people don’t stop or take the time to find the owner and check on the animal. Walter went above and beyond by stopping and looking for her owner when he realized he hit Twila. Walter is a great example of a citizen in Juneau who not only looks out for his human neighbors but for his animal neighbors as well. We would like to thank him for his unconditional compassion and concern for Twila after this accident. He is a true animal protector. Both the Juneau citizens and animals are lucky to have him in our community.

Officer Karen Wood

Director of Juneau Animal Control & Protection

Juneau’s local chapter of Veterans For Peace extends a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out for our Hiroshima Remembrance Day events on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Special thanks to the individuals who spoke and performed at the Peace Ceremony at Overstreet Park: Rai Behnert, David Katzeek, George Partlow, Teri Tibbett and others. Thank you to the Gold Town Nickelodeon for hosting a poster exhibit donated by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, as well as screening the film “The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons.” And thank you to each and every pair of hands that helped to fold Tsuru (paper cranes) for the events! Our cranes will be donated to Tsuru for Solidarity, and we invite others to keep folding for the cause.

Shelby Surdyk

Associate Member of Veterans For Peace

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