|Grade 12 graduation occurred right on our layout day this year, so this is as much as we could cover for this issue. Photo by Dan Davidson|
Welcome to the June 7, 2002 edition of the online Klondike Sun, which reproduces a selection of the 31 photographs and 30 articles that were in the 28 page June 4 hard copy edition. This posting is late due to our webmaster being on vacation. He deserves one.
The hard copy also contains Doug Urquhart's famous "Paws" cartoon strip, our homegrown crossword puzzle, and obviously, all the other material you won't find here. See what you're missing by not subscribing?
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by Dan Davidson
The first drafts of Dawson City's new smoking bylaw, Bylaw 0211, passed first and second reading at the May 21 council meeting. That puts it on the public agenda and makes a draft of the bylaw available for reading at the town office to anyone who wants to see it.
The main thrust of the bylaw is to force businesses with underage clientele to place a ban on smoking. In the first draft any business catering to persons under the age of 19 would have had to ban smoking from their premises. By second reading this had been modified to 18, which is the legal age for the purchase of cigarettes.
This bylaw is aimed primarily at restaurants, since you need to be 19 to go into a bar legally anyway, but will also include municipal indoor facilities where "council deems it necessary to provide smoke-free environments for children, youth, adults and seniors". This would include the recreation centre, the pool and other buildings.
This would also include any "indoor event or activity open to persons under the age of 18".
There was some debate about just what should not be smoked. In the original draft Mayor Glen Everitt had included cigarettes, cigars, pipes, tobacco products in general and cannabis.
"I just knew darn well that someone would say 'I guess the only thing I can smoke in here is pot'," the mayor said.
He was persuaded that it probably wasn't necessary to list illegal drugs as part of the bylaw aimed at tobacco.
Businesses that chose not to be smoke free will have to post a public health warning sign, the wording of which is still up for discussion, and a colour coded business licence.
Non-smoking facilities will have to maintain a no smoking area of at least "ten feet" on either side of an entrance to the building or facility.
There was also some discussion of the penalties involved. In the first draft the penalty to an individual jumped from $150 to $500 with no intermediate stages, while businesses went from a fine straight to a month's suspension of the business licence.
In second reading councillor Wayne Potoroka recommended staged increases of $100 in the personal fines area, and business licence suspensions beginning at two weeks and then increasing to a month. These changes were accepted after discussion.
Also proposed was an addition to create a no-smoking zone around the block which contains the Robert Service School, or at least an area within a certain distance of its entrances.
Everitt says that so far the majority of the comments he has had since raising the issue two weeks ago have been positive. One person did threaten to put a cigar out on his forehead, but most people seem to see it as an idea whose time has come.
Council is so eager for public debate on this bylaw that it actually delayed the opening of the meeting for half an hour when it was discovered that the video feed to the community cable channel wasn't carrying the audio. This left councillor Joann Van Nostrand standing in front of the camera with a printed sign explaining the problem, while council waited for a technician to get things up and running.
Third reading and passage of the bylaw will come at the June 10 council meeting. The public is invited to comment during the next three weeks.
The school gym was full of students, parents and well-wishers for the 2002 edition of the Awards Day Ceremony.
After opening with "O Canada" led by Mrs. Davidson and the choir, with Miss Bell on piano, Principal Denis Gauthier welcomed the audience and launched the proceedings
The RSS Choir presented an anthem, "Put Your Dreams on a Butterfly", and Mrs. Davidson handed out certificates to the stalwarts who had remained with the group until the end.
Mr. Gauthier and Miss Mann presented the Robert Service School Award- given to a trio of students who had made a contribution to the school above and beyond the average expectations (e.g. volunteer, work with children, assistance at school functions, readily helps where needed). From the Elementary classes (Grade 5-6) the award went to Julia Spriggs, while the High School (Grade 7-12) award was shared by Charmaine Christiansen and Jessica Joinson.
Hard worker Awards were presented by Mrs. Webster and Ms Logue to Grade 5's Shawn Gillespie and Grade 6's J.J. Van Bibber.
Mr. McCauley presented the Versatile Glass Scholarship Award of $350.00 to Nathan Gauthier, a grade 12 student who is looking at a trade related career. (This is the last year for this award).
The Masonic Bursary of $250.00 was presented by Mr. Brendan White to Bonnie Vogt, This award goes to a student who shows dedication to her studies, is a hard worker and demonstrates a commitment to attendance and involvement in the life of the school.
Mrs. Barber, on behalf of the Pioneer Women of the Yukon, presented books to Tamika Knutson (Gr. 5-6), Ashley Bower (Gr. 7-9) and Natasha Burian (Gr. 10-12). This award goes to students who show dedication to their studies, have good attendance and contribute to the life of the classroom and the school.
The top Athletic Award was presented to Hannah Dewell by Miss McCullough
Subject Awards went to a number of students who maintained a minimum of 75% in their subjects. Principal Gauthier presented these to the following students. The grade 7-9 student is first and the 10-12 second.
English: Mary Fraughton, Natasha Burian; French: Nicolaas Jansen, Natasha Burian; Math: Nathan Schultz , Natasha Burian; Science: Mary Fraughton, Bonnie Vogt; Socials, Nicolaas Jansen, Bonnie Vogt; Art: Ashley Bower & Kyley Henderson, Natasha Burian; Band: Colleen Taylor & Russell Magee, Danielle Mayes; Computers: Nathan Schultz, Dustin Nabess; Home Ec.: Charmaine Christiansen, Jennifer Touchie; I.A.: Kyley Henderson, Aonghus MacDonald; P.E.: Nathan Schultz, Malcolm Dewell; Accounting: Carmen Roberts.
Academic Honour Roll certificates are based on an average of 86% or higher in the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Socials, and a Second Language. Grade 5: Ryan Dragoman, Sonny Parker, Eve Derry, Aurora Knutson; Grade 6: Sidney Larsen, Mindy Anderson; Grade 7: Ashley Bower, Mary Fraughton, Ashley Graham, Joshua Vogt, Jessica Burian; Grade 8: Kevin Beets, Nicolaas Jansen; Grade 10: Natasha Burian, Monica Nordling; Grade 12: Bonnie Vogt.
The Top Academic certificates for the highest average overall averages went to: Grade 5 - Ryan Dragoman; Grade 6 - Sydney Larsen, Mindy Anderson; Grade 7 - Ashley Bower; Grade 8 - Nicolaas Jansen; Grade 10 - Natasha Burian; Grade 12 - Bonnie Vogt.
Finally, there was the Mary Gartside Award, a $200.00 prize given to the top Grade 12 student who obtains a minimum overall average of 70% in core Academic Subjects. This was presented by Helen Winton to Bonnie Vogt.
by Dan Davidson
June 15 will be a busy day in Dawson. This is the date picked for this year's visit by the Commissioner. Mr. Cable will have a couple of events to preside while he is here.
In the afternoon the IODE and Parks Canada will be putting on the annual Commissioner's Tea on the front lawn of the Commissioner's Residence. This is an event in the spirit of the teas once held by Martha Black when she was the chatelaine of the house and her husband was the Commissioner. Most years the weather smiles on this afternoon, and when it does it's a great time amid wonderful surroundings. Many locals dress in period costume to set the tone for the afternoon, but the dress code is informal, so no one needs to feel pressured.
The evening event this year will be something different. For many years the Palace Grand was host to a formal Commissioner's Ball, a fancy dress blow-out which reached its peak of attendance and expense during the heady Gold Rush Centennial years.
Rising costs and declining interest (plus the addition of two other Klondike balls to the social calendar) moved the Klondike Visitor's Association to seek alternatives. Last summer that effort produced the successful Commissioner's Barbecue, held on the back lawn between the residence and Fort Herchmer.
This year's event, according to organizer Sally Derry, will build on that success and also attempt to recall the days of the balls.
"We're not going back to the ball because that wasn't working," she said, "but this event will be semi-formal and held in the big Music Festival tent on the same site as last year's."
Billed as "The Party of the Summer" the evening will feature one of the Dawson Fire Department's famous barbecues, and the music of Suzie Q, a cover band from Canmore, Alberta.
The band was very excited about coming to Dawson, so much so that the members are covering some of their own travel costs. Their manager and lead guitarist even assisted the KVA by arranging for a door prize of two nights at the Banff Springs Hotel, part of Suzie Q's regular circuit during the band's eight year history.
That should go nicely with the other door prize, which is an Air North flight to anywhere on Joe Sparling's new service to Alberta and British Columbia.
Several local businesses, including the Bonanza Market and Bombay Peggy's, will be auctioning off picnic baskets of goodies and services.
The 4H Club will be asking local ladies to contribute decadent deserts, and anyone who was here for the Perfect Pie contest last fall knows what that can mean.
The dinner and dance will begin around 7 o'clock, but from 6:30 to 8:30 there will be a mini-carnival outside the tent, with games and music for those who may choose not to go to the dance.
Derry says that she is asking special guests such as the Commissioner, the MLA and the Mayor to keep their speeches to a minimum and concentrate on local themes. The anniversary focus this year continues the year long celebration of Dawson's incorporation as a city.
Premier Duncan will be proclaiming Dawson the honorary capital of the Yukon for the year during the Western Premier's Conference, which will be held here the week before.
by Dan Davidson
Each Tuesday evening during the month of May and early June there's a free meal at Saint Mary's hall. The Seasonal Food Bank program is now close to the end of its sixth season, and seems to be as appreciated as ever,
The program, originally begun by Saint Mary's but now supported by Saint Paul's Anglican Church, the Dawson Community Chapel and the Dawson Christian Fellowship on a rotating basis, helps summer people (or summerdoughs) to bridge the gap between when they arrive in Dawson and when they get their first pay cheque.
As Father Tim Coonen has noted, many summer workers (which are an essential part of Dawson's tourist season) don't realize that most jobs here don't start until the tourists arrive, and that their first pay packet may be weeks after that.
The Food Bank provides one-time emergency grocery assistance to those in dire straits, as well as providing one hot meal a week for about a month.
The Tuesday evening sessions are a food and information time, with presentations by members of various agencies in the community.
On May 28 it was the turn of the Anglican Church to provide the meal and supervise the clean-up, which is part of the obligation the visitors take on along with the calories and protein.
Father John Tyrrell, also a member of the volunteer ambulance crew, alerted the visitors of the need for travel insurance. Most are from Outside, and their provincial insurance coverage will not deal with the costs of emergency ambulance services or med-evacs, which have been known to run into the tens of thousands of dollars if the unfortunate victim should need to go as far as Vancouver or Edmonton.
The second presentation was by Conservation Officer Sharon Benjamin, who provided a Bear Aware session. The two pieces of information linked up nicely. Many of Dawson's summer workers live in "Tent City", across the Yukon River, and there have been a few very bad incidents with bears there over the last three or four years.
The visitors were most appreciative of their evening's gathering and those locals in the kitchen heard a good many "thank yous" as the dirty dishes were washed and things were put away after the meal.
According to the organizers, the program will run for at least one more week, perhaps two, before closing down for the summer. Leftover foodstuffs are donated to other worthy causes in town, such as the Women's Shelter.
by Dan Davidson
For a while there they were afraid it couldn't be done, but all the obstacles turned out to be surmountable. After an absence of one year, the Dawson City International Gold Show is back in business.
The ballroom at the Oddfellows Hall was full on Friday morning as the delegates gathered to register and hear a whole list of speakers say nice things about placer mining.
The greeters included Boyd Gillis from the Gold Show committee, Mayor Glen Everitt, Chief Darren Taylor of the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, MLA Peter Jenkins, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent, Klondike Placer Miners' Association president Tara Christie, and MP Larry Bagnell.
Once past the greeting folks were off to the trade fair. Organizing this without an arena had broken the spirit of the Gold Show organizers the previous year, but creative use of the space available through the Robert Service School solved the problem.
The main gymnasium became home to the industry related trade fair, with 31 spaces available there and another 16 in the open recreational area just across Fourth Avenue.
Back inside, the Ancillary Room was host to an Antique and Craft Fair of some 20 displays, including a concession stand.
In addition to the hall and the school, the KPMA used the hall at Saint Mary's Roman an Catholic Church for its annual general meeting, the audio-visual room at the Museum for one of the eight guest speakers. In addition, new shows debuted at both Diamond Tooth Gerties and the Palace Grand Theatre, the George Black Ferry began its season in the Yukon River.
Technical presentations began on Friday afternoon.
Dr. Richard Harington, an Ottawa based paleontologist well known to at least two generations of miners, gave an slide show talk on "Pleistocene mammals found in the Klondike".
Mark Mauthner, mineralologist with the Pacific Mineral Museum in Vancouver, used a PowerPoint slide show and trays of mineral samples to demonstrate variations in collectible nuggets and suggest that gold is not all that glitters in the creeks.
Randy Clarkson of New Era engineering presented his study of sediment releases into the Yukon River. He concluded that it has no impact on fish stocks.
Bill LeBarge, a YTG geologist, spoke on technogenic placer deposits in he Yukon and Russia.
Dr Grant Lowey, also a part of the Yukon Geology Program, talked about resource appraisal maps in the Stewart River and Dawson areas.
DIAND's Mark Nowosad lectured on water quality and sediment monitoring on the Sixtymile River.
Matt Dumala from the University of British Columbia. talked about how studying the composition of recovered gold can be an exploration tool..
The only lecture on Saturday, the day after the Miners' Appreciation Dance, was a talk by Oxford University paleontologist Beth Shapiro. who has been carrying out DNA studies of Ice Age mammals in the Berengia corridor.
Was the event a success? To judge from the smiling faces of the many miners and exhibitors, one would have to say yes. That was certainly the response from Rene Mayes, who organized the show two years ago.
It was certainly the response from Boyd Gillis, the president of the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce, who pushed hard to revive the show, Even Lindsay Jordan, the chamber's office manager and de facto coordinator for the event.
The committee also included Mayes, Mark and June Mather, Anne Doyle, Laura Clarkson, David Millar and representation from the KPMA, as well as support from the Klondike Visitors Association and the City of Dawson.
June Mather coordinated the Antique & Craft fair, which was a new feature this year.
The sixteenth Gold Show is history, but no one seems to be in doubt about the future. Registration forms for 2003 were included in the delegates' packages.
by Dan Davidson
Doctor Richard Harington has enjoyed a unique relationship with the placer mining industry for a long time. When retired miner Jack Fraser introduced him to the Gold Show delegates on Friday afternoon, it was more of an acknowledgement than an introduction.
"I think his time here could best be measured in generations," Fraser joked.
"On top of that, he single handedly created the industry's most favourite comeback. How many times have you heard a miner say, 'No - no damn gold, but you shoulda seen the neat bones we found'?"
It was because of those bones, and the conclusions that Harington and others have been able to draw from them, that the Ottawa based paleontologist found himself being honoured on Friday by the Yukon Historical and Museums Association, represented by its secretary, Paul Thistle, also the director of the Dawson City Museum.
The YHMA voted the recently retired Harington its lifetime achievement award for his contributions to knowledge relating to the Pleistocene Era in the Yukon's Beringia region.
"When I took him to the school yesterday," Thistle said, "I told the kids that he had been studying this stuff (ice age mammals) before their parents were born."
by Dan Davidson
Placer miners need to consider carefully the varieties of gold that turn up in their clean-up operations, and they probably should be looking for other things as well.
That was the message from Mark Mauthner, a mineralologist with the Pacific Mineral Museum in Vancouver. He presented these ideas at the Gold Show in Dawson last weekend.
No stranger to the Yukon place scene, Mauthner grew up on mine sites in and around the Mayo area. He said he was actually conceived on a gold claim, which he suggested might explain his early interest in rocks.
"I've been collecting minerals all my life."
His obsession with minerals eventually took him to the masters degree level. These days he consults all over North America, having recently worked on a major display of gold varieties in Vancouver, and consulting for a museum in Houston.
One of his special areas of interest is in connoisseur level gold crystals.
"These are what collectors are looking for in particular," he said, as he showed sample slides. Crystallized gold assumes some rather fantastic and dramatic shapes and is valued by connoisseurs for its unusual properties. Mauthner brought along a sample case from his own collection, showing that these items are not very large. Some are embedded in other minerals, which serves to highlight both substances.
His advice to miners began with the suggestion that they keep an eye out for gold crystals. He says he's not aware of a lot of big crystals being found in Canada, but any that might turn up would probably sell for more money, ounce for ounce, than selling them as regular gold or as jewellery gold.
One 15 oz piece from Colorado, known as the Golden Horn, sold for US$5.million. He called it the Mona Lisa of the collectors market.
Mauthner showed slides of some of the interesting gold crystal formations he has seen, many of which originated in South America. Most of these were from lode gold operations, since placer gold tends to be more worn down and smoothed, but he said that there was still potential for finding crystals in Yukon operations. He showed slides of a number from Venezuela; two samples which sold for US$1 million.
"If you have crystals it's worthwhile to put them aside," he said.
As for selling them, miners could try to find the market themselves, which be fairly time consuming for them, or work through marketers, who would simplify the process for a commission and still bring in a profit.
Mauthner also recommends that placer miners consider some of the by-products that come from their operations. Gold is not the only mineral that ends up in the creeks. In an ice cream bucket from Gimlex Mines Mauthner found samples of Rutile (titanium), Cassiterite (tin), Kyanite (aluminium), Scheelite (tungsten), platinum and half a dozen other minerals.
Miners should, he said, figure out some way to make the most of what's in their tailings piles. Not that any one operation would process enough of these minerals to make much money, but if there could be some method of combining the take from all of the mines, it could be enough to be meaningful.
"I'm not trying to present this as a new idea. I'm sure it's been thought of. What I'm trying to do here is rekindle a thought, get somebody to do some research and find a way that this could become viable."
His proposal was that the rock could be processed at some central location and miners paid out in terms of the contribution of raw material they made to the process.
by Dan Davidson
In late August five weary Gold Rush trekkers will stagger into Dawson City near the end of the historic recreation that Frantic Films is calling "Klondike: The Quest for Gold".
By the time they arrive here they will have scaled the Chilkoot with a full miners pack and supplies, 2,000 pounds each, just as it was in 1897. The Chilkoot may be only 50 km from Skagway to lake Bennett, but our five adventurers will have walked it many times by journey's end.
And that, of course, is only the starting point for an 800 km trip down the Yukon River to the gold fields of the Klondike. They probably won't actually have to whipsaw timbers to make their own boats, but lots of other touches will be as authentic as can be arranged.
Don Young almost chuckled as he discussed the possibilities in the Downtown Hotel in early May. He knows just what they'll be facing, for he was the man behind the video camera on the last of these "reality" shows, Quest for the Bay.
He can chuckle quite a bit. The cast members will be subsisting on 1897 type supplies: canvas tents, no mosquito repellent, canned and dry goods. Young and his guide will be more comfortable than that. Besides, he will not have to worry about someone turning a camera on him while he figures out how to manage without toilet paper in the woods.
"We'll take them back in time and they'll live the life of a stampeder," he said.
After they arrive in Dawson they'll be sent out to a claim on the creeks to actually live the life of a pack of miners for a few weeks and have a go at finding some gold. This part of the experience will probably last until the first snowfall. By that time Young will already be editing tape for the first couple of programs, which will go to air in January 2003.
"The key for these shows," said Young, "is to maintain the integrity of the experience. I've seen the web site chatter for the other shows and the audience will always get you on the small stuff. You can have a great big story, but if you make a little mistake that's what everybody focusses on.
"We go to a lot of expense and trouble to make it as real as possible."
He doesn't like to use the term "reality show" to describe what's being done in these programs.
"These are classic documentaries. We're still trying to find the right vocabulary here. This is real people executing a real series of events. Nothing is preplanned, not a word is scripted other than the continuity script that I write afterwards."
The words are so real they have to be bleeped a bit, and the footage so real that some shots have to be airbrushed just a little. The History Channel sees itself as family fare.
At the time of this interview he was still trying to track down period snowshoes to get it right.
The end product will be five one hour shows, for which Young will shoot 80 to 100 hours of videotape.
The initial planning for Klondike: The Quest for Gold began last winter, shortly after it became obvious that Quest for the Bay was a hit. It pulled in three times the average audience for the History Channel. Young, who had done the field work for that show, was called in after the developers, Jamie Brown and Lynne Skromeda of Winnipeg based Frantic Films, got the green light (as they say) to go ahead with production.
Young referred to himself as a hired gun, but he wears a number of hats on this production, everything from videographer to coach to camp counsellor, and, of course, location scout.
The morning after this interview he was out on Hunker Creek with Kelly Miller of the Klondike Centennial Society, scouting several claims to which the KCS holds title for promotional purposes, slogging through the early May mud on some of the half made roads that cut into the bush.
One of the claims, which contains a set of old buildings, has been used to celebrate the fictional exploits of Scrooge McDuck, and Young was impressed with the possibilities of the site, which is located on a pup stream the KVA would like to have christened White Agony Creek.
Whether it will be white agony for the stampeders remains to be seen. They stand to have a great adventure and make $10,000 at the end of the road, but it isn't going to be easy, and Don Young would be disappointed if a few things don't go wrong.
"One of the things I really like," said Young, "is (that when things go wrong) I get to tell them 'Whatever decision you make I'm going to film it and put it on national television.'"
That's a real incentive to keep going and solve problems.
by Dan Davidson
"Oh, it's so fun to play in here," burbled Kim Barlow as she switched instruments between songs at Saint Paul's Anglican Church on Friday night.
"No darn microphones," sighed Andrea McColeman contentedly from her vantage point behind the marimbas.
Indeed, this was Barlow and McColeman unplugged, in a concert arranged to take advantage of their visit to the Robert Service School in the afternoon and their gig at Bombay Peggy's the next night.
And it is quite true that there in no venue in Dawson quite like St. Paul's for clarity of sound and ambience. The pews may be hard on the bottom, but the room is easy on the ears.
The duo was also at ease as they informally chatted with the several dozen fortunate souls in the audience, fiddled with tunings, and tried out some of the new arrangements they'll be taking with them on the festival circuit this coming summer.
At some venues it will be just the two of them, though probably amplified, while at others there will be an entire rock band to fill the ears. None of that will probably sound exactly like what the audience got to hear on May 24: two musical friends have a good time, so at ease with their tunes that "what'll we do now?" was just a question of options, not a panic.
The material ranged through the quieter, more acoustic (but not necessarily less lively) numbers on Barlow's two CDs. Equally adept on cello, guitar or banjo, Barlow rang the changes on a variety of numbers, including a classical guitar solo.
The star instrument of the evening was McColeman's marimba, which looks rather like a chance mating between a xylophone and a small pipe organ, upside down. To complete the oddity, one of her sets of hammers looks a lot like a pair of overgrown Q-tips. One solo piece lulled the audience almost to sleep (it was supposed to), but usually it made a very lively and effective backup to the altered arrangements of the songs, to which she also contributed backup vocals, piano and percussion.
If the reaction from the audience is any indication, they'll have to find a way to take this with them when they travel.
Written by Ernie (typed by Irene Davis)
On Monday evening April 22 I went out in the evening and up until 3:30 am my owner was calling for me, but I could not come home.
The next day she found me 100 feet up a tree, at the very top with the wind blowing and me swaying back and forth.
The fire department arrived at noon and put up a ladder but it was too short to reach me, and the tree too thin at that part for anyone to climb. Next they tried to bribe me down with food and then tied a rope above the ladder to try to shake or scare me down. They called and coaxed and I cried back to them wondering what would happen next.
They decided to leave me alone to settle down for a while and the fire chief came to check on me at 4:00pm. Then at 7:30pm the fire chief and crew arrive again and attempt to saw the tree down but the saw didn't work, radioed for another saw, started sawing , the rope broke, stopped again. The tree comes down with me in it and I'm still not free. Some of the crew are holding me and others are trying to get me unglued. Yes, now they can see I was definitely STUCK up there with pitch all over me, they had to pull me free leaving hunks of my hair on the tree.
It was a good fire drill (they'll huck the Husquevarna) and I am very happy to be home with my brother Bert.
A huge Thank You to our DC Fire Dept. and Special Thanks to: Fire Chief Chris Mayes, Torrie Hunter, "Buffalo", Henry Procyk, Chris Clelland, and Chuck Stad (his reassuring & comforting hands to the end), from Ernie Davis, Bert, (& owner Irun).
A "paw" logies for late news wanted pictures.
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