Bears, Ballots, and BBQs: A Haines Vignette

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Editor’s note: This excerpt from Heather Lende’s Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics is used with permission from Algonquin Books.

When I wrote an obituary for an old gold miner, I learned he was credited with laying the first sewer line in Haines. He was tired of the stinky outhouse in the back of his favorite bar on Main Street, so one day he dug a trench and laid the pipe down to the harbor. It evolved into a proper wastewater treatment facility funded by taxpayers.

When the longtime municipal sewer plant operator retired this spring, his wife told the story of how she knew

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