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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Collections and inventory – July 2016

The online catalog now totals 6,891 items, 91 of which were added in the last month. This is down considerably from last July, when we added 503 items! Titles added this July ranged in topic from wilderness and conservation philosophy, such as A Wilderness Bill of Rights by William O. Douglas, to humorous mysteries such as Insane City by Dave Barry, to children’s books such as The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole and The Adventures of Abdi by Madonna, to travel experiences such as A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson and Bitter Lemons by Lawrence Durrell. This month also included a few titles in the gardening and agriculture section. Examples are the Alaska Division of Agriculture’s guide to developing a successful farmers market, the Sunset Western Garden Manuals from 1999 and 1998, and The Legacy: A Centennial History of the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1887–1997, by  Norwood Allen Kerr. Science fiction, fantasy, books on yoga and anthropology, physics, and many other genres were also added.

For the first time in quite a while, book donations were accepted this month. Merritt Helfferich and April Crosby donated several boxes of books, and an enormous donation of perhaps 100 or more large moving boxes of books and movies were donated by Chris Guinn. It took several trips to get them all in to the library’s storage trailer and sheds, but thanks to Guinn’s friend Bill and his daughter (and Chris’s friends who helped him pack all those books!), along with board members Syrilyn Tong, James Rogan, Mindy Gallagher, and myself, we were able to find room to stash them all. An anonymous donation of a few boxes was left on the cabin’s porch the other day as well: thank you! And finally, Kate Billington donated a couple of shopping bags full of movies recently; these are being added to the catalog as time allows. Thank you, Kate!

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Golden shovels!

The official groundbreaking for Phase One of the new John Trigg Ester Library took place on Saturday, July 30, shortly before the Tape and Tarp Ball. While it started out with a light rain, the weather broke briefly at the critical moment with a touch of sunshine. Golden shovels gleamed, and we all held a toast to the library’s 17 years of existence. (The beverage was birch sap from trees that grew on the construction site.) I kept my comments extremely brief, thanking all the volunteers over the years who’d helped us get to this point, and David Guttenberg, Luke Hopkins, and Mike Musick, who had helped us get the grants necessary. (Others involved could not be there, unfortunately, but we definitely appreciate what they’ve done for us.) Then we had a bit of fun hamming it up with the shovels and talking about construction!

Joseph N. Hall / J N Hall Photography

Attendees waving at the photographer across the pit for Phase One of the new library building. Despite jokes about “Ester’s new swimming pool” and all the rain lately, it appears to drain well. Joseph N. Hall / J N Hall Photography.

politicians

Official groundbreaking! From left to right: Luke Hopkins, former Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor; Mike Musick, former borough assemblyman and current volunteer for the JTEL; Deirdre Helfferich, library founder and current grants manager for the JTEL; and Alaska State Representative David Guttenberg of District 4. Joseph N. Hall / J N Hall Photography.

 

The groundbreaking, from the view atop the overgrown pile of peat. Photo by Jamie Smith.

The groundbreaking, viewed from atop the overgrown pile of peat. Not including the shovelers, from left to right: Charlie Gallagher, Hans Molders, Mindy Gallagher, James Rogan, Merritt Helfferich, Ritchie Musick, Judy Stauffer, Joseph Hall, Elyse Guttenberg, Ruth Rutherford, Diane Hunt, and Trey Simmons. Photo by Jamie Smith.

The toast as seen from the other direction. Molly Leahy and Jamie Smith can be seen in the background, and Regan, Trey's dog, in the foreground. Photo by Joseph N. Hall / JN Hall Photography.

The toast as seen from the other direction. Molly Leahy and Jamie Smith can be seen in the background, and Regan, Trey’s dog, in the foreground. Later former board member Eric Glos and Jeff Martt of Stutzmann Engineering arrived, and a pair of late Official Spectators. Photo by Joseph N. Hall / J N Hall Photography.

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Cotton Ginny at the Malemute

The 2016 poster á la art nouveau, created by Amanda Bent.

The 2016 poster á la art nouveau, created by Amanda Bent.

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Flowers at the gazebo

Ida Laine Clausen, for whom the library gazebo is named, was locally famous for her green thumb and her beautiful flower gardens. She and Ansgar grew columbines and delphiniums, violets, ferns, trolius, veronica, and bright hanging basketfuls of lovely flowers every year. In that tradition, the current gazebo garden beds have been enriched each year with new perennials, and the hanging baskets there kept up with eye-catching annuals. Recent additions to the perennial beds include forget-me-nots, donated by Judy Stauffer (thank you, Judy!), which will make a nice counterpoint to the pink and red sweet williams and the lilies which are coming back stronger than ever this year. The delphiniums there are also blooming and intensely purple-blue. The native vetch and a few trolius add touches of lavender and orange.

The hanging baskets are not yet fully planted, but thanks to Jennifer Jolis, I was able to plant four of them with nasturtiums yesterday. They are still small but beginning to form buds anyway.

When it turns sunny again and if you’ve a mind to, please feel free to plant annuals in the blue pot by the road, the washtub planter, or in the hanging baskets. If you’d like to plant perennials, we have space in the beds by the roads, and as you can clearly see, sweet williams, tiger lilies, and delphiniums do very well. Also, help yourself to the strawberries!

(Photo coming soon!)

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Collections and inventory – June 2016

A total of 114 items were added to the online catalog in June, bringing our catalogued item count up to 6,800 books, movies, and musical recordings. This month’s entries were largely children’s books, philosophy and metaphysics, and history.

We are also now testing TinyCat, which features a much more user-friendly search page. Please check it out and let us know what you think. The board will be voting on whether to keep using LibraryThing at its July 6 board meeting, so please let us know soon!

A draft instruction manual for volunteers who would like to help add items to the online catalog is now available for viewing and commentary as well.

A work party is set for 6:30 p.m. on July 5, meeting at Just A Store at Chena Pump and Chena Ridge roads, to pick up and sort through a book donation (several boxes of books). If you would like to join the caravan and help us out, please come!

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