Thank you letters for Oct. 6, 2019

Thank you, Merci, Danke.

Thanks for sharing our knowledge with everyone

I would like to salute the organizers of the 2019 Sharing Our Knowledge conference held here in Juneau last month. This is a regularly scheduled conference bringing together volunteers, presenters — both academic and non-academic — Native and non-Native to share their knowledge of Native culture and heritage in the region.

Special recognition goes to the late Andy Hope for the initial idea of the conference and to his brother Gerry Hope, who has worked tirelessly since his brothers’ death to assume the role of its principal facilitator. Peter Metcalfe, Ishmael Hope, Alfie Price and Alice Taff all contributed huge value this year as organizers, and for the fundraising effort that resulted in a conference with meaning and relevance to all residents of Southeast.

Finally, this year it was the Goldbelt Heritage Foundation, its leadership and its board that stepped up to the plate and through its generous financial support, made this years’ conference a huge success. The Sealaska Heritage Institute was also a valued partner supporting the event. KTOO and the Juneau Empire need to be recognized in providing great regional and statewide media coverage for this gathering.

Gu nul cheesh ho! Ho!

Carlton Smith


Thank you for the grant

The Friends of the Marie Drake Planetarium is very grateful to have a $10,000 matching grant in place from the Juneau Community Foundation’s Blackwell Fund. These funds will go toward our project to buy a new digital planetarium system for Juneau from Digitalis Education Solutions.

The Blackwell Fund continues the legacy of Juneau philanthropist Mike Blackwell. His two sons, Matthew and Andrew, told us they are “really excited about this project. It fits very well with our father’s legacy and I think he would enjoy it.”

We also thank Amy Skilbred, executive director of the Juneau Community Foundation, for helping us obtain this grant.

With this grant, we only need to raise $12,000 to have our first digital planetarium system and be up and running in Juneau.

Cristina Della Rosa,

Friends of the Marie Drake Planetarium Board


Thanks for making new cabin a reality

For those who didn’t have a chance to participate in the grand opening of the new Hilda Dam Cabin on Discover Eaglecrest Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers and partners who helped make this new public use cabin a reality.

The idea of a recreational cabin somewhere up on the mountain at Eaglecrest has been a dream for many people for many years, and the Juneau Community Foundation is delighted to have played a lead role in making it come true for the community. Once the foundation and key partners identified this project as a priority, it went from an idea to completion in under two years.

The new public use cabin, located on the upper Nordic Loop near the Black Bear chair lift, has a modern design thanks to Zane Jones from MRV Architects with additional contributions by Northwind Architects.

Getting to the cabin is fairly easy. After a 20-minute hike up the service road you cross a new, small bridge (donated by Alaska Marine Lines) and walk through a beautiful short tree lined access road constructed by Dave Hanna of Alaska Concrete Construction, to arrive at the new cabin. Accessibility was a key component of cabin construction.

This cabin, built in Triplette Construction’s local shop, headed up by Tom Daugherty — who also supervised the final building project with assistance from Jim Triplette — sleeps 6-8 and has outstanding views of Mount Ben Stewart and down the Fish Creek Valley to the Mendenhall Valley and the mountains beyond.

The Juneau Community Foundation led the overall effort and raised $175,000 for the project with more than 60 people donating time, cash and in-kind support. The two biggest contributions came from the Brakel family (in memory of Matt Brakel), the Newman family (in memory of Casey & Kelly Newman), with all other individual donations ranging from $100 to $10,000.

Dave Scanlan, Eaglecrest Manager, and his crew were extremely helpful in the project, and are excited to take over management of this wonderful year-round addition to Eaglecrest Ski Area. They hope to be taking cabin reservations as early as this November. The Eaglecrest Foundation provided additional support to this project.

The Juneau Community Foundation expects that this will be a popular addition to our local outdoor recreation infrastructure. During the short presentations by key project partners leading up to the ribbon cutting, the “cabin story” of community will and collaboration became apparent to the enthusiastic crowd who gathered to celebrate the accomplishment. If you want to help make similar projects become a reality in the future, please consider donating to Foundation’s Parks, Trails & Recreation Fund!

Reed Stoops,

Juneau Community Foundation Board of Directors


Thanks to Arete Construction

For the past month, a crew from Arete Construction has rebuilt the road I live on. They ripped up the street and dug deep trenches as they rebuilt our waster/wastewater pipes at the same time. There was a community meeting where we were warned how long the project would take and that we would have to park at the end of the street for the length of construction. I am pleased to say that the crew from Arete did a great job. They kept the street open as long as possible. The crew moved equipment and made makeshift driveways to accommodate the residents. These guys are hardworking and professional. Their progress was impressive. If they were there, they were working, even Saturdays. I know road construction can be inconvenient, but the crew from Arete made it bearable. On behalf of my wife and I, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the staff and management of Arete for a beautiful new street.

Wade and Christine Bryson

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