Readers on the Run Cancelled! Annual Meeting date announced….

Regretfully, the Readers on the Run 5k has been cancelled due to some unforeseen insurance issues. Our next scheduled event is our Annual Meeting, to be held Sunday October 16th at Hartung Hall. Stay tuned for further details!

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Pie Throwdown success!

Unsupervised1Unsupervised playing at the Golden Eagle Saloon

Wow, what a day! The LiBerry Music Festival and Berry Pie Throwdown featured musical styles from klezmer to rock n’ roll bagpipes, and raised just about $3000 for renovating the Ida and Ansgar Clausen Cabin. Many thanks to Sound Solutions LLC and the many bands for providing such great entertainment, and to the more than 20 cooks who brought such delicious food. We had more savory pies than ever before, 5 judges, and our very own Monique Musick, board vice president, ended up winning not only Best Overall Pie award, but the highest-earning auctioned pie, which went for $165!  The other pie winners were Liz and Sarah Furman (Savory) and Rachel Pernick (Sweet).

Speaking of the pies, we have tried to collect the recipes for all entered pies and have compiled them in a special pie cookbook, which are then sold at the Procrastinators’ Sale in midwinter (just in time for Christmas!) and at next year’s LiBerry Festival.  If you entered a pie and would like to have your recipe included in the next edition’s cookbook, please send the recipe, including the how-to, and especially any interesting story or anecdote behind it, to Deirdre Helfferich.

Matt Buxton of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner came out and covered the event, and it ended up on the paper’s Sunday front page!

Special thanks to Grassroots Guitar and Country Kitchen for providing prizes, Gail & Brian Feeney, Nancy Burnham, Pat Turner, Josh Harris, Panika Gumm, Ginny Gallagher, Darcie Fromholz, Deirdre Helfferich, Hans Mölders, and Cat Stephenson, for their timeless efforts helping out with the judging, doors and a myriad of other tasks in order to put this event on. Thanks to all the bands for their wonderful music: Amanda Bent, Mason Little, Almost a Minyan, Kentucky Tundra, Nikki Hunter, Laila O’Sullivan, Sister Crispin, Purple Blues Band, Dead Calm, Tara and her Handsome Gents, and Unsupervised. And as always, thank you to our hosts, the Golden Eagle Saloon and its bartenders!

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Collections and inventory – August 2016

August brought in a total of 233 titles, more than twice as many books as most months this year, and bringing our online catalog up to 7,174. Many of these were part of the Helfferich & Crosby family collection, or were donated by Chris Guinn. A few came from the Ester Post Office. Quite a few have been in our collections for years, but had not been entered yet, particularly in the woodworking and crafts sections. (Quilters, you can now peruse a broad selection of helpful guides to working with fabric, quilt patterns, and the history of quilting from our library.) Many more titles were added to the children’s section as well, although they may not yet be tidily shelved.

The philosophy, religion, and spirituality section has been significantly expanded, and further titles in this section are being shelved every day. Topics range from western philosophers (Aristotle) to reincarnation and the occult to eastern philosophies such as Zen Buddhism or yoga.

Library hours are 9 to 9, seven days a week, in the lower level of the little red-and-white building near the Golden Eagle Saloon on the Ester village square. Membership forms are available inside to the left of the door, and is only $10 per year. Our annual membership meeting is in October, and you can sign up then, as well, run for office on the board, or vote for board members. Contact us at info at esterlibrary.org for more information!

We hope soon to re-open the Clausen Cabin, after all the renovations are done. This will expand our available shelf space by three times, provide a secure office space, and include a children’s area, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. It will also make thousands more of our titles available to our members in a warm, comfortable environment.

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Monitor moving

August 31, Mike Musick and Gary Pohl moved the Monitor 441 to its new location and drilled a hole for the fuel line. This means we’ll have a warm, cozy cabin come winter! With the temperatures beginning to get nippy at night, meetings in the cabin can be a little chilly, so this is a very welcome step along the way for the to-do list for the Clausen Cabin. Now we just need to hook up the fuel line and we’re in business (at least insofar as meetings go).

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Major Milestones of Construction on Tuesday August 30

Tuesday, August 30th was a good day for construction progress at both the new PassiveHaus Phase 1 Project and at the Clausen Cabin.

Trost Construction poured 29 cubic yards of concrete at the PassiveHaus thermal storage tank, starting with the bottom and carefully filling the insulated concrete forms (ICF) and bringing it up on top of a unique “floating formwork” to complete the slab. It was a long day and a beautiful day. Four concrete truck loads were delivered and placed with a concrete pumper. The concrete mix design was formulated with a 6-inch slump and an accelerator to allow deep placement to the bottom of the ICF, which later required extra care and time on the slab up top. Trost Construction really knows their concrete and their crew worked together in a coordinated effort to get it all placed and finished that evening. The concrete will need to cure for about a week and test cylinders will then be broken to check that the 7-day strength is sufficient to commence with backfilling around the structure.

Local residents Eli Sonafrank and Bill Marcos man the hose.

Local residents Eli Sonafrank and Bill Marcos man the hose, which is like wrestling a python.

Tanner McGee screeds concrete around the access hatch.

Concrete is moved, leveled and screeded along the slab and around the access hatch.

Trost Construction generously donated use of their Case skid steer to move the Clausen Cabin fuel tank and stand from the west side to the new east side location. After the concrete pour at the new building, Gary Pohl and Eli Sonafrank headed over to the cabin to move the tank. This task presented a couple of challenges. The first was getting the raised skid steer boom under the telephone and internet cables over the driveway. This required raising them up to gain just enough clearance to drive under them. Placing the tank was the real challenge, however, as maneuvering space for the skid steer was very limited both horizontally and vertically. In the end it required physically manhandling the stand into place on new cribbing while the tank was supported by the skid steer. The eave of the building limited the ability to raise the tank and it was a step by step process, inches at a time. Now that it is in its new location, the Monitor 441 heater will also be moved and hopefully will be up and running soon, as colder weather will be coming.

IMG_2197

The fuel tank and stand now sit on the east side of the Clausen Cabin, where a small shed roof will be built over it for protection.

 

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Schedule of musicians for the Li-Berry Festival

This year's poster, by Amanda Bent.

This year’s poster, by Amanda Bent.

The Li-Berry Fest is just days away. Here is the schedule of performers:

1:45pm – 2:15pm Cold Dead Hands; Soundcheck
2:15pm – 3pm Mason Little
3pm – 4pm Almost a Minyan
4pm – 5pm Kentucky Tundra
5pm – 5:15pm Pie Award & Auction
Eating PIE!!
5:15pm – 6pm Nikki Hunter
6pm – 6:45pm Laila O’Sullivan
6:45pm – 7:30pm Sister Crispin
7:30pm – 8:30pm Purple Blues Band
8:30pm – 9:15pm Dead Calm
9:15pm – 10:15pm Tara and her Handsome Gents
10:15pm – 11pm Alan Bent Band
11pm – 12am Unsupervised

We still need pies for the contest! $15 suggested donation at the door. 100% of the funds goes towards the renovation of the Clausen Cabin. See everyone there!

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JTEL Phase 1 Project Progress

Things are happening at 488 Village Road, or rather a “big thing in a deep hole” one might say. The new 12,000-gallon underground thermal storage tank for the new PassiveHaus library building is just a few days from being all formed up and ready for a big concrete pour next week. Trost Construction is doing excellent work on this unique and somewhat challenging project. They have planned the work out well. The following photos show step by step progress.

Bottom of excavation was reached on August 3rd with no unforeseen surprises.

Bottom of excavation was reached on August 3rd with no unforeseen surprises.

After reaching the excavation limits, 24 inches of structural fill were placed in lifts and compacted to 95% or greater.

After reaching the excavation limits, 24 inches of structural fill were placed in lifts and compacted to 95% or greater.

Two layers of 6 inch high density EPS insulation board were placed on the compacted fill and covered with sheet waterproofing.

Two layers of 6-inch high density EPS insulation board were placed on the compacted fill and covered with sheet waterproofing.

A reinforced 12 inch thick concrete slab was formed and poured over the top of the insulation.

A reinforced 12-inch thick concrete slab was formed and poured over the top of the insulation.

With the slab in place, new insulated concrete forms (ICF) are being set on August 12th.

With the slab in place, new insulated concrete forms (ICF) are being set on August 12th.

ICF walls are topped out and internal shoring work is taking place.

ICF walls are topped out and internal shoring work is taking place.

 

Heavy shoring in place within the tank structure to hold up the metal deck and support the walls for pending concrete pour.

Heavy shoring in place within the tank structure to hold up the metal deck and support the walls for the pending  concrete pour.

Steel deck spans the 6 foot wide tank to support an 8 inch reinforced concrete slab. The top of the slab will be at the floor level of the new building.

Steel deck spans the 6-foot wide tank to support an 8-inch reinforced concrete slab. The top of the slab will be at the floor level of the new building.

Next steps will be the completion of the forming and pouring the ICF system and slab in a continuous effort. After curing, the hole will be filled with non-frost susceptible gravel fill. The tank will be protected upon completion, and sit ready for the next phase of construction.

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Li-Berry Pie and Music Festival coming up…

The blowout library event of the year is coming Saturday August 27, at the Golden Eagle Saloon! Enter your best pies in the pie-making contest (prizes awarded for best sweet, savory, unusual or “bestest” pie ever), dance to the strains of great local music, and have a slice of he best pies in Alaska after the judging! Celebrate Alaska summer bounty and Alaskan musicians in one great event, and help raise funds for your local library. 100% of the funds raised will go towards the renovation of the Clausen Cabin.

Music kicks off at 2:00 PM. Please bring pies from 12:30-4:00, as judging occurs at 4:00, followed by auctioning off of the winning pies and purchase of remaining pie slices. The music will continue until midnight. $15 at the door, no fee for pie entries.

Scheduled bands are: Almost a Minyan, Purple Blues Band, Unsupervised, Laila O’Sullivan, Dead Calm, Alan Bent Band, Sister Crispin, Kentucky Tundra, Nikki Hunter, Tara & Her Handsome Gents, Mason Little, and Ryan Bowers and the Brain Trust.

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Working weekends

The inside of the Clausen Cabin has to get cleared out (we’ve moved some of the boxes and furniture out, but there’s still a ton left) so that we can finish up the wiring, remove the extra cabinets, put in the flooring and wall paneling, move the heater, and otherwise get the cabin completed before cold weather sets in. For this we will need LOTS of volunteers willing to show up over the next few weekends between now and the end of September, morning or afternoon, Saturday or Sunday as is convenient for you. Someone will always try to be there to let you in or give you a specific task. If no one is there, or if these days don’t work, call 479-3368 or 374-8080 and leave your contact information, and we’ll get back to you and find a time or day that are better. Here are some tasks that can be done if no one is there or if you want to take a task on yourself:

  • mow the lawn (watch out for the flowers and ferns!)
  • remove the Siberian pea in the hedge or the woods
  • plant flower pots and planters at the gazebo (across from the Ester Post Office) or water them if they seem dry
  • take away the trash in the library at Frank’s (red & white building next to the log castle)
  • shelve books or sweep up in the library at Frank’s
  • tidy up the back porch on the cabin
  • help organize the white cottage for storage
  • catalog books online (will need instruction)
  • put books in storage in liftable boxes with lids (such as banker’s boxes)

There are many more tasks that need to be done, but these are all very helpful to clearing space in the cabin so the construction workers can finish their job. We’ll post photos of the progress here and on our bulletin board as the work progresses, and you, our members and volunteers, will have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve contributed to making your community a better place. We thank you—we really can’t do it without you.

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Tape and Tarp 2016 Re-Cap

It all started with a bang, as the skies let loose as Cotton Ginny started their first number, and nothing was heard except the thunderous rain on a hot,  tin roof (ok, maybe it wasn’t hot, but it was certainly tin). Finally, Mother Nature relented and the 2016 Tape and Tarp Ball was underway!

4 hours later, after much dancing, bidding on cool auction items and some wonderful duct tape costumes, it all ended with a whimper and a “nooooo, it can’t be over yet!”  John Hartley (Statue of Liberty), Lisa Baraff (Cleopatra meets Golden Canadian Goose) and Faustine Bernadae (’20’s flapper) took home top honors (1st, 2nd and 3rd place costume prizes, respectively).

The 2016 Tape and Tarp top costume winners: Lisa Baraff (2nd), Faustine Bernadae (3rd) and John Harley (3rd)

The 2016 Tape and Tarp top costume winners: Lisa Baraff (2nd), Faustine Bernadae (3rd) and John Harley (1st). Photo by Joseph N. Hall / J N Hall Photography

All of the costume participants

All of the costume participants. Photo by Joseph N. Hall / J N Hall Photography

The following individuals contributed immensely and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts: Amy Cameron, Marina Day, Brian and Gail Feeney, Joseph Hall, Deirdre Hellferich, Deborah Koons, Hans Moelders, Nathan the barkeep, and of course, Cotton Ginny for providing such wonderful entertainment.

Thanks to the following Ester area businesses that contributed goods and services: The Malemute Saloon, Sound Solutions, LLC, Gold Hill Liquors, Water Wagon, Ursa Major Distilleries, Dreamworks Cabinetry, Judie Gumm Designs, and Ester Designworks.

Finally, library board members who contributed time, effort and sometimes goods for the auction: Amanda Bent, Monique Musick, James Rogan, Mindy Gallagher, Gary Pohl, Jasmine Stokes, Syrilyn Tong and Susan Osborne.

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